Visit us at The Depot this summer for an interesting selection of Rideau items, including charts and books. The Depot is located in Blockhouse Park in Merrickville and we're open in July and August (sometimes weekends in June and September depending on availability of volunteers).
We're also out and about at various events along the Rideau with a selection of Rideau merchandise - The Ottawa Boat and Sportsmen Show (February), Colonel By Day (Monday, August long weekend, Bytown Museum), Rideau Ferry Regatta (August), Canalfest (August Long Weekend, Merrickville), Classic Boat Show (August, Westport).
If you're looking for a book - several Rideau history books are available at outlets along the Rideau including:
Novel Idea in Kingston
Hotel Kenney at Jones Falls
Elgin Home Furnishings in Elgin
Village Green in Westport
The Depot in Merrickville
Bytown Museum in Ottawa
A History of the Rideau Lockstations by Ken W. Watson - a history of each lockstation on the Rideau Canal detailing why each spot was chosen, problems that had to be overcome, and how they did it. Illustrated with maps, period paintings and photographs. 120p. 2000 (updated to last printing in 2009).
Building the Rideau Canal: A Pictorial History by Robert Passfield. A 2003 reprint of the 1982 classic. The book features 72 period illustrations of the canal during and just following construction, 43 of which are in stunning colour. Passfield provides expert interpretation of these images and engaging descriptions of the engineering of the works. This is one of the best books about the Rideau. 184p. 1982. (reprinted in 2003). (click here for more info)
Invisible Army: Hard Times, Heartbreak & Heritage. New for 2010. This is the story of the forgotten people who made the Canal work - the staff who have served on the Rideau Canal since 1832. "A rich account of the routines, rhythms and experiences of those who maintained and operated the Rideau." For details see the Invisible Army Page. 480p. 2010.
Tales of the Rideau. New for 2010. This non-fiction books contains 17 tales, ranging from classics such The Lost Barrel of Silver to lesser known tales such as the Sluiced Superintendent. Focusing on the back-story, the details that formed the basis for each tale, this book explores many fascinating facets of Rideau history. For details see the Tales of the Rideau Page. 166p. 2010.
Pathfinders, The Guides of The Rideau by Ed Bebee. Explore the lore and the lure of the Rideau with this engaging book about unsung group of men and women who contributed to the flowering of the Rideau. 170p. 2004. (click here for more info)
Fish Tales - The Lure and the Lore of the Rideau by Ed Bebee. New for 2007. Sketches and rollicking stories of legendary fishing guides and nine Rideau Corridor communities; Delta, Battersea, Elgin-Morton-Jones Falls, Chaffey’s Lock, Newboro, Westport, Portland, Perth, Smiths Falls-Ottawa. 272p. 2007. (click here for more info)
The Rideau Route: Exploring the Pre-Canal Waterway by Ken W. Watson. New for 2007. This book reveals the secret world that lies below the waters of the Rideau Canal – the drowned landscape of the original Rideau Route. This book answers the question; what did the Rideau Route look like before the canal was built? A fascinating and educational read. 146p. 2007. (click here for more info)
The Sweeney Diary: the 1839 to 1850 Journal of Rideau Lockmaster Peter Sweeney The fascinating diary of the first lockmaster at Jones Falls. The book also includes The Life and Times of Peter Sweeney and Who's Who in the Diary by local historian Sue Warren. Anyone interested in a first hand account of life in Upper Canada, of an early Rideau lockmaster, or just interested in a good read will enjoy this book. 198p. 2008.
We've digitized several of Parks Canada's research reports about the Rideau Canal. These are offered as Books on CD - a reproduction of each report as a fully searchable PDF with high quality scans of all the images from the original reports. For full information about the project and reports scanned to date see the Resources of the Rideau Page.
These Books on CD are available for sale during the summer at The Depot in Merrickville. We also have a selection of these when we attend events.
Reports completed to date include:
Construction History of the Rideau Canal.
The Rideau Canal: 1832 - 1914
Historic Bridges on the Rideau Waterways System
Builders of the Rideau Canal, 1826-32
Recreational Boating on the Rideau Waterway, 1890-1930
The First Tay Canal in the Rideau Corridor, 1830-1850
Canal Lock Design and Construction, The Rideau Canal Experience, 1826-1982
Overland Transport in the Rideau Region, 1800-1930
Industries and Industrialists of Merrickville, 1792-1979
The Architectural Heritage of the Rideau Corridor
Commercial Navigation on the Rideau Canal, 1832-1961
The Second Tay Canal in the Rideau Corridor, 1880-1940
Friends of the Rideau
P.O. Box 1232, Stn. Main
Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, K7A 5C7