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History shines at Manotick’s Dickinson Days Festival

June 2, 2018
Drew May, Ottawa Matters

The Dickinson Days Festival is held every year in early June and celebrates the founder of Manotick, Moss Kent Dickinson, even if few people in Ottawa know who he actually was.

“I don’t think that somebody from Barrhaven would really know who [Dickinson] was, even though they live right next door to us here,” said Brian Earl, a member of the Rideau Township Historical Society.

Dickinson is credited with founding the village of Manotick in 1859, serving as a Member of Parliament for Russel, Ont. and being elected mayor of Ottawa three times.

Earl said there isn’t even a portrait of Dickinson hanging in Ottawa City Hall, where other past mayors have portraits.

“He’s not that well known outside the village here,” he said.

Despite this, Earl said the comments the society gets in the Dickinson House guestbook show people are fascinated. Watson’s Mill, across the road from the house, gets lots of visitors as it still operates once a week. Manotick was amalgamated into the City of Ottawa in 2001.

The festival is important because it helps educate people about their community’s history, Earl said, and celebrates the area. The event features over 50 local vendors, a fishing derby and exhibits on Manotick. Both the Dickinson House and Watson’s Mill are free to visit this weekend during Doors Open Ottawa.

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