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Hammond

Dive into the fascinating French-Canadian history of Hammond, Ontario, a place that may have gotten its name by being drawn from a hat. Our photo gallery offers a wonderful glimpse into its past.

Hammond, Ontario 

The village of Hammond was founded at the end of the 19th century when Loyalist descendants from the St-Lawrence River valley settled an area just east of present-day Hammond. This area was called “North Indian” – not to be confused with “South Indian”, which became the village of Limoges. Before the arrival of the first settlers (Miller, Armstrong, Price, Candiff, McLean, Butler, Cooper, Watson and Kinnaird), the area was already being cleared of its pine forests. The lumber was sent to England and used mainly in the construction of ships. Around the year 1880, other settlers arrived – the Carrières, Éthiers and Guindons.

A rail line linking Rockland to Limoges brought more workers to Hammond and facilitated the transport of lumber and other agricultural products. The rail line, owned by J.R. Booth of Ottawa, was called Canada Atlantic and was used for over 50 years for the transportation of merchandise. This branch of the rail line was called the Grand Tronc. Gradually, most the forests in the area were replaced by agricultural lands.

The Hammond Train Station, 1898

The Hammond Train Station, 1898


The First School

The first public school was built in 1876 and called “Number 15 Clarence”. When the railway was built and passed through the school yard, a new school called “the red school” was built. Its first teacher was Hiram Vesser of Navan, who taught about 30 students for the sum of $150 per year. Older children only attended school in the winter, since they were expected to help on the farm with sowing and harvesting. English was the only language of instruction during this time.

Students brought their lunch to school, which usually consisted of bread with jam or a sugar spread, bacon, an apple, a “gâterie” (a sweet treat of some sort), cheese and a raw turnip which could be peeled and cut into pieces with a pocket knife. Girls would wear dresses covered by an apron and boys would wear shorts and long socks until the age of about 13, when they could switch over to pants. All children wore booties usually made of rubber or felt (during the cold season).

After grade 8, students who wanted to continue their education could do so in Sturgeon Falls, over 400 kilometres away! This arrangement was made with the Ministry of Education, which paid for transportation and a pension allowance.


A post office opened its doors on December 1st, 1895 with W. F. Empey as its first postmaster. 

In 1896-1897, the Canadian Pacific railway extended its Montreal-Alfred line to Ottawa, which passed through Hammond. We don’t know exactly where the name Hammond came from, but early tales claim that the name belonged to one of the surveyors that worked on the railway expansion project, and that his name was pulled out of a hat.

The Gendron Hotel in 1920

The Gendron Hotel in 1920

After this project was completed, Hammond had two train stations in Hammond-proper, one in Cheney and two railway lines that crossed each other. Here, Séraphin Bourgon constructed a hotel aptly named the Junction. It had 10 rooms, a tavern, bar counter, kitchen, dining room and a showroom. The rooms were rented by travellers (who mostly came by train) and were also used by the Gendron family. If they ran out of room, the children were sent to sleep in the attic. The bar counter could seat 4 patrons, who had the choice of various spirits and clear whisky. In the tavern, Molson, Black Horse or Brading beer could be purchased for 30 cents – by men only, as women were not admitted. The showroom was exclusively used by travelling salesmen who would showcase their wares and merchandise that could be brought in from Montréal.  

Thomas Butler in 1890

Thomas Butler in 1890

A general store was soon opened by W. F. Empey and M. Merrill, followed by a blacksmith shop built by Jack McAuley. George Cardiff opened a cheese shop catering to both Hammond and The Brook (which became Bourget in 1910). At this time, the population of Hammond was mostly anglophone and Protestant. The Catholic families in the area (Butler, Franche, Shane, Brownrigg, Collins, Éthier, Brière, Carrière, Guindon, St-Jean, Bélanger, Legault, Gendron, Poupart, Smith, Lamarche, Roy, Touchette and Valade) had to make their way to Clarence, Bourget or Sarsfield to attend church. In 1902, they erected a building which served as chapel, school, and community hall. Still, baptisms and marriages had to be celebrated and recorded in Bourget.

The new church and presbytery, 1912

The new church and presbytery, 1912

In March of 1911, a delegation from Hammond made their way to Ottawa in order to petition the Episcopal Corporation of Ottawa for the village to get its own parish. The request was granted, and Ludger Archambault became the first visiting priest for the parish of Saint-Mathieu of Hammond. About a year later, on 30 March 1912, James and Margaret Butler sold the land on which the current church and cemetery stand for the sum of $635. Construction on a new church began in May 1912, under the architectural direction of Charles Brodeur. Contractors Daoust & Bélanger were in charge of the project – which they committed to complete by December of the same year, for a total cost of $12,895. The new church was completed on 7 September 1912, along with a presbytery, and it was blessed by the Archbishop Gauthier on 12 January 1913. The initial building was made of brick and measured 110 feet in length, 47 feet in width and 38 feet in height. 16 panes of glass were included in order to let natural light flow in.  

The public school, 1920

The public school, 1920

A fire devastated Hammond on June 13th, 1914, destroying a large part of the village. Strong winds helped flames spread quickly to neighbouring houses and buildings. The flames reached a black earth field, where it is said it burnt for a month.

In 1920 a new 2-story school was built, complete with (cold) running water and a wood stove for heat. About a decade later, grades 9 and 10 were added. Again, students who wanted to continue their education had to go elsewhere – usually Rockland and Plantagenet. In 1948, the École Saint-Mathieu was built, including 2 classrooms, an office, electricity and hot water heating. Eventually a third classroom was installed in the basement, before an expansion was finally undertaken in 1959 to add 2 more classrooms.  

A second devastating fire affected the village in 1941. However, because most of the male residents of Hammond were volunteer firefighters, most of the village was saved.  

A group of schoolchildren, 1926

A group of schoolchildren, 1926


The Hammond hockey club, 1926-27. The players on this team were Arthur Brownlee, Gilbert Butler, Joseph Lalonde (manager), Albert Brownlee, Andrew Butler, Hector Laviolette, Paul-Émile Poupart, Wilfrid Racine, Léon Potvin, M. Martin and Émige Bergeron (assistant-manager).

The Hammond hockey club, 1926-27. The players on this team were Arthur Brownlee, Gilbert Butler, Joseph Lalonde (manager), Albert Brownlee, Andrew Butler, Hector Laviolette, Paul-Émile Poupart, Wilfrid Racine, Léon Potvin, M. Martin and Émige Bergeron (assistant-manager).


Mr. Lacroix’s Class, 1942

Mr. Lacroix’s Class, 1942


Did you know?

  • Hammond’s wooden sidewalks were replaced around 1920.

  • Cheddar cheese “Made in Hammond” was exported overseas during World War II.

  • Ronaldo Guindon founded the “Hammond Egg Grading Station” in 1940. He and his wife Ida could grade over a million eggs per year!

  • René Gendron became the proprietor of the Junction Hotel in 1955.

  • Electric-powered street lights were installed around 1960.

  • The first resident to obtain a TV was Jean-Paul Lalonde.

  • The first mechanic was Bruno Gendron. 

  • The first nurse was Ethel Cayer Watson, who obtained her diploma after her husband’s accidental death.

  • The Caisse Populaire opened its doors in 1975.

  • Hammond Golf opened for business in 1980, when it was converted from a pig farm to a golf course. The original house on the property, built in 1909, is called the Obéline Léonard House.

  • Pope John Paul II Regional Catholic School was opened in 1986.


If you lived in Hammond or know friends/family from there, I highly encourage you to look at the family stories featured here, starting on page 111. You may be surprised to see names you recognize or even pictures of yourself or people you know. The featured families are: Antunes, Beauchamp, Beaudry, Bédard, Bélanger, Boulerice, Bourgon, Brasseur, Brazeau, Brownrigg, Butler, Brière, Cantin, Carrière, Cayea, Cayer, Champagne, Charbonneau, Charlebois, Cheff, Collins, Cusson, Cyr, Diotte, Drouin, Duchesneau, Éthier, Farrell, Faubert, Faucon, Fleurant, Franklin, Gagné, Gareau, Gaudreau/Goudreau, Gélineau, Gendron, Giroux, Goyer, Goyette, Guindon, Henrie, Hupé, Lacroix, Lalande, Lalonde, Lanthier, Lapalme, Laplante, Laprade, Lavigne, Laviolette, Lavoie, Lecompte, Leduc, Lefebvre, Legault, Lemery, Léonard, Levert, Lévesque, Lortie, Marleau, Martel, McCormick, Morris, Nicholson, Nolan, Normand, Pageau, Parisien, Payant, Perrier, Pilon, Potvin, Poupart, Proulx, Prud’Homme, Racine, Ranger, Richer, Roy, Sabourin, Saumure, Sauvé, Savage, Scott, Simard, St-Denis, St-Jean, St-Onge, Tessier, Thivierge, Touchette, Tremblay, Valade, Vézina, Vinette, Yandon  


Photo Gallery


Want to start researching your own family roots? Contact us today!


Bibliography and further reading:


Photo credits:

  1. “Casimir et Philomène Brazeau de Hammond”, digital image of an 1875 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Arsène Goyer, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707884/data?n=10 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  2. “Napoléon Carrière”, digital image of an undated photo (unknown photographer) donated by Emile Carrière, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1710676/data?n=15 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  3. “Mme Basile Carrière”, digital image of an undated photo (unknown photographer) donated by Emile Carrière, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1710681/image/841297?n=17 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  4. “Mme Goyer”, digital image of an 1880 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Arsène Goyer (subject is donor’s grandmother) , Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/2261072/data?n=27 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  5. “Thomas Butler”, digital image of an 1890 photo by J.B. Dorion of Ottawa, donated by Elsie Lacroix, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707896/data?n=9 : accessed 10 Mar 2019). Additional information: Le père de Thomas Butler fut l'un des premiers défricheurs de Hammond.

  6. “Gare du Grand Trunk”, digital image of a 1898 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Ublad Gendron, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1710671/data?n=1 : accessed 10 Mar 2019). Additional information provided by David Jeanes: this is the Central Counties Railway (later Grand Trunk) station and interlocking tower at the crossing of the CPR "Short Line" which was completed through Hammond and on to Ottawa in 1898. The platform served the branch line trains from Rockland to South Indian (Limoges) which was the senior railway at the crossing and therefore controlled the interlocking signals. The architecture of the signal tower is very similar to the one built on the same branch at Rockland, where the Canadian Northern Railway crossed the Central Counties.

  7. “Moise Tessier de Hammond”, digital image of a 1900 photo by P.J. Soucier of Vankleek Hill, donated by Ovila Ethier, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1898357/data?n=31 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  8.  “Emile Legault et sa soeur”, digital image of a 1910 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Jeanne D’Arc Lavigne, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1638609/data?n=34 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  9. “Enfants de l’école rouge”, digital image of a circa 1910 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Arsène Goyer, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707888/data?n=25 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  10. “William Léonard de Hammond”, digital image of a 1912 photo by E. Paul of Rockland, donated by Ovila Ethier, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1898357/data?n=31 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  11. “Église et presbytère de Hammond”, digital image of a 1912 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Arsène Goyer, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707880/data?n=2 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  12. “Équipe de football de Hammond”, digital image of a 1919 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Elsie Lacroix, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707891/data?n=3 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  13. “Hôtel Gendron”, digital image of a circa 1920-1930 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Ublad Gendron, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707890/data?n=22 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  14. “Ancienne école”, digital image of a circa 1920 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Elsie Lacroix, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1710701/data?n=16 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  15. “Première Barque Traversière de M. Dallaire”, digital image of a 1925 photo (unknown photographer), Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1710708/data?n=24 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  16. “Un groupe d’écoliers”, digital image of a 1926-1927 photo (unknown photographer), donated by Conrad Lalonde, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1710691/data?n=18 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  17. “Club de hockey de Hammond”, digital image of a 1926-1927 photo by J.P. Beauvais of Rockland, donated by Conrad Lalonde, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707879/data?n=5 : accessed 10 Mar 2019). The players on this team were Arthur Brownlee, Gilbert Butler, Joseph Lalonde (manager), Albert Brownlee, Andrew Butler, Hector Laviolette, Paul-Émile Poupart, Wilfrid Racine, Léon Potvin, M. Martin and Émige Bergeron (assistant-manager).

  18. “Un groupe d'hommes revenant d'une retraite fermée à hull”, digital image of a 1930 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Arsène Goyer, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707882/data?n=28 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  19. “Bar de Hammond”, digital image of a 1930 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Elsie Lacroix, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/2259129/data?n=6 : accessed 10 Mar 2019). Pictured: René Gendron, Raymond Butler, Oscar Faubert, and Ubald Gendron.

  20. “Famille Joseph Lalonde”, digital image of a 1930 photo by Alex Castonguay, donated by Conrad Lalonde, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707877/data?n=21 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  21. “Équipe de Hockey”, digital image of an 1932 photo (unknown photographer), donated by Elsie Lacroix, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1710689/data?n=13 : accessed 10 Mar 2019). The players on this team were Oscar Faubert, Antonio Gendron, Edgar Lalonde, Alphir Bédard, Ubald Gendron, Rhéal Laferrière, René Charbonneau, Raoul Gendron and Aldège Gagné. 

  22. “Classe de monsieur Lacroix”, digital image of a 1942 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Elsie Lacroix, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707893/data?n=23 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  23. "Église Saint-Mathieu, Hammond, Ontario ", digital image of an 1947 photo by Marcil Champlain, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, BAnQ numérique (http://numerique.banq.qc.ca/patrimoine/details/52327/3126469 : accessed 10 Mar 2019)

  24. "Presbytère Saint-Mathieu, Hammond, Ontario", digital image of an 1947 photo by Marcil Champlain, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, BAnQ numérique (http://numerique.banq.qc.ca/patrimoine/details/52327/3126470 : accessed 11 Mar 2019).

  25. “Famille Napoléon Carrière”, digital image of an undated photo by Champlain Marcil donated by Emile Carrière, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707901/data?n=29 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  26. “M. et Mme Samuel St-Jean”, digital image of a 1950 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Arsène Goyer, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707883/data?n=7 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  27.  “M. et Mme Joseph Simard de Hammond”, digital image of a 1956 photo (unknown photographer) donated by Ovila Ethier, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707885/data?n=4 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).

  28. "Vues aériennes d'Hammond", digital image of an 18 Aug 1959 photo by Marcil Champlain, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (http://numerique.banq.qc.ca/patrimoine/details/52327/3124846 : accessed 11 Mar 2019).

  29. “Le curé Pilon (1969-1975)”, digital image of an circa 1965 photo (unknown photographer), donated by Elsie Lacroix, Digital Prescott Russell en Numérique (http://images.ourontario.ca/PrescottRussell/1707899/data?n=14 : accessed 10 Mar 2019).