How do you know where you are going, if you do not know where you have come from?
Huntley Township was surveyed in 1818 and the first settlers arrived shortly thereafter, in 1819. These were mainly disbanded soldiers and sailors who had been discharged in 1815 at the end of the Napoleonic War. They settled in Huntley, along the First, Second and Third lines, where the first settlement, Huntley, (later known as Huntley Centre) started. In 1823, families of Catholic Irish descent, under the guidance of Peter Robinson, settled in the northwest corner of Huntley.
The first major influx of settlers arrived from Ireland in 1840's, escaping the Great Famine. These Protestant Irish settlers came from the counties of Tipperary, Cavan, Fermanagh and Tyrone in Ireland.
Huntley Township has always had an agricultural basis. The fertile clay loam soil in the valley of the Carp River supports some of the richest farmland in Eastern Ontario. It is no wonder that the Carp Agricultural Society and its Carp Fair are among the oldest of their respective institutions in Ontario.
The settlers built schools (a total of eight before amalgamation plus a secondary school), and churches. The schools have since been amalgamated and the only public schools now in Huntley Township are Huntley Centennial Public School and St Michael, Corkery Catholic School. For High School, the students are bussed to West Carleton Secondary School, in Dunrobin, or All Saints Catholic High School, in Kanata.
At present there are three Anglican (St. James, St. John's and Christ Church), one United (St. Paul's) and one Roman Catholic church (St. Michael's) within the Township, however at one time there were many more of other, mainly Protestant, religions. There are five cemeteries in the township, one for each church except St John's and one Presbyterian Cemetery. Christ Church Cemetery on the Carp Road is one of the oldest cemeteries in the region and contains burials from as far away as Pakenham.
Carp has never been incorporated as a town although it quickly became the centre of the Township after the fire of 1870 which destroyed the settlement of Huntley. Instead of rebuilding at Huntley, the town moved to build the town of Newtown, later named Carp, at the junction of the Ottawa-Arnprior road and the Third Line which leads to Stittsville. At one time Carp boasted four hotels and four bars (taverns, saloons). In 1907, local option terminated alcohol being served in Huntley. After 1893, trains passed through Carp four times per day with mail; the first post office (Newtown) dates to 1854; newspaper service (Carp Star followed by the Carp Review) commenced in 1899; and telephone service (Monk Rural Telephone) started in 1909. Carp is now growing as a residential community with no passenger train service or station and daily mail service by truck.
Huntley Township was amalgamated into West Carleton Township in 1974 and into the City of Ottawa in 2001. Huntley was named after Alexander Gordon who succeeded to the title of 7th Marquess of Huntly on August 5, 1752 and to the title of 12th Earl of Huntly also on August 5, 1752. His sister, Lady Charlotte Gordon was married to General Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond. The Marquesses of Huntley resided at Aboyne Castle on the Dee River in Northern Scotland, ruling much of northern Scotland from this very secure castle. The Duke of Richmond, then Governor General of Canada, was very popular in Canada at the time and you may recall died of rabies on August 28, 1819 at age 54 at Richmond, Carleton County, after being bitten by a pet fox on his tour of Canada. The town of Richmond was posthumously named after him.
The Huntley Township Historical Society would like to acknowledge the financial assistance of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries and The City of Ottawa