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Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 10

The Architectural Heritage of the Rideau Corridor

by Barbara A. Humphreys


This, then, is the heritage: a concentration of 19th-century buildings which form a microcosm of rural Upper Canada 120 years ago and a tangible expression of the pioneering skill, faith and determination in the creation of an environment which still retains much of its original charm. Fortunately the heritage is a living one and great credit is due those who have kept it this way: the descendants of the original families who have carefully maintained the family homes; newcomers who have rescued and sympathetically restored so many of the houses; historical societies and local historians who have contributed endless time and effort to preserve threatened structures and to interest the residents of the region in their history and heritage.

Parts of this heritage, however, continue to be seriously threatened. The small rural schools and churches, the large commercial buildings in the small towns, the old inns, the mills, the tradesmen's shops have been rendered inadequate by the relentless pressures of social and economic change. To resent or now attempt to stifle the progress of the area would indeed be no tribute to the pioneers who worked so hard to ensure it; but in making our contribution, enough must be preserved to show the contributions of others along the way. Preservation of our architectural heritage is surely the finest tribute we can make to Canada's pioneer past.

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