An overview of the camp erected during the construction of the Paugan dam, in 1927. Source: unknown. Collection : Jane Earle MacDonald. Published by the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.
Of settlers, loggers and... electricity
A Historic Church
The first church of the St. Martin i parish was built in 1892. It is intimately connected with the history of Low and its Irish settlers. Photo Sogercom.com
The Municipality of Low was founded in 1848 by a group of Irish immigrants.
It is named after Charles Adamson Low, a lumber baron in the Gatineau Valley at the time. The post office was established in 1854 and subsequently named after him as well.
The Saint Martin de Tours Parish is established in 1858 with a church being built in 1892 on Martindale Road. The parish took its name from Martin O’Mally, donor of the land on which the church sits to this today.
Low represents one of the rare cases where the municipality was established in 1858 while the Township was formally established in 1859.
Like most of the municipalities in the Gatineau, the town of Low is the product of the lumber exploitation and agricultural development that the first settlers engaged in. The railway was started in 1887 and finally arrived in Low in 1892.
In 1928, the Municipality of Low is the stage for an important electrical generation plant at the Paugan Falls with the building of the Paugan Dam. It was restored in 1956.
Troubles in 1895
One of the more significant moments in Low’s history remains the citizen’s tax revolt of 1895, whereby the residents of Brennan’s Hill refused to pay the government agents sent to collect unpaid taxes.
On the 13 of November 1895, the government sent several constables to accompany the bailiff and the county treasurer. They were run out of town. The militia was called in for reinforcement – 82 men from the Ottawa Field Battery and a section of the Princess Louise Dragon Guards were deployed on November 17th 1895. They left November 20th, having convinced the residents that tax payment was unavoidable.
One of the leaders of the rebellion was Edward McSheffrey, who would become mayor of the first municipal council.
Maniwaki et la Vallée de la Gatineau, Anastase Roy, 1933
Une rivière qui vient du nord, Louis-André Hubert, 2001
Commission de toponymie du Québec, http://www.toponymie.gouv.qc.ca
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