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The Billings Family virtual exhibit

The Billings Family virtual exhibit [PDF - 5.5 MB], presented by the City of Ottawa Archives gives a view of the Billings Family and their interactions with the growing city center of Ottawa and Billings Bridge Village. The histories are written from the perspective of one family’s experiences and activities, within the context of Ottawa’s development as a city.

As the first settlers of Gloucester Township, Braddish Billings and Lamira Dow Billings began a legacy of community involvement and service.

They contributed to their community in varying degrees over the generations, participating in such areas as medicine and healthcare and promoting development in business, real estate and politics. The Billings Family prospered in the wilderness through hard work and ingenuity. They rose up into the middle / upper class, persevering for generations in the same geographical area while many other families did not.

The Billings Collection, held by the City of Ottawa Archives and the Billings Estate National Historic Site, reveals a dynamic and interesting family. The Collection includes not only written documentation, but also a significant number of photographs, scrapbooks, and artifacts that allow us to see glimpses of the Billings’ personal experience of Ottawa.

The broad historical periods are:

  • Early Settlement (1783-1825)
  • The Bytown Era (1826-1854)
  • Emerging City & National Capital Settlement (1855-1900)
  • Focus on Growth (1901-1945)
  • Growth and Transformation (1946-2005)

The web site meets the Ontario school curriculum guidelines, for grades 7-10. Teachers will find learning resources and an educational guide on the Educational Resources page.