John Curry, Stittsville News
October 10, 2017
The meeting room at the Stittsville branch of the Ottawa Public Library now has a name.
It has been named after Stittsville historian, author and community builder, Grace Thompson (1923-2009).
A plaque outlining Grace’s contributions to the Stittsville and Goulbourn community was unveiled at a commemorative naming ceremony at the library on Thursday, Oct. 5. In addition to the plaque, a sign is going to be placed above the entrance to the meeting room showing that it has been named in honour of Grace.
Grace Thompson was a main researcher and writer of the Tweedsmuir History for Stittsville, a collection of historical information and photographs about Stittsville collected and prepared by the Stittsville Women’s Institute. This information formed the basis for the publication of the book Country Tales about the history of Stittsville, which was published in 1973.
Country Tales was followed by another book, Farms and Families, which outlined the histories of various farm families in the Stittsville area.
In 1981, Grace compiled and wrote Remembering Our Railway, detailing the history of the railway in Stittsville and Ashton.
She went on to write a couple of books about her ancestors, North Shore Legacy and The Sloan Family Saga.
But Grace’s contributions to the community went beyond her groundbreaking historical research and writing.
She was the first secretary-treasurer of the Stittsville Goulbourn Horticultural Society in 1962 as well as a founding member of the Goulbourn Jubilee Singers in 1977. She was instrumental in the naming of the Goulbourn Jubilee Singers, with the name arising from the fact that 1977 was the 25th anniversary jubilee year for Queen Elizabeth.
She was a member of the original steering committee which led to the formation of the Goulbourn Township Historical Society and also was among the first volunteers of the Stittsville Public Library when it opened in 1973, continuing to volunteer with the library into the 1980s.