Thank You SFOPHO for always providing the Heart Of Orleans BIA with great history pieces that we can share on our webpage for all the residents of Orleans to see.
The Duford Ancestral Home, which was transferred to the Cumberland Heritage Museum in 1972.
Imagine a farm in the middle of St. Joseph Boulevard, where the Shenkman Arts Centre, Farm Boy and the Place d’Orléans shopping centre are located today. From 1848 to 1957, three generations of the Duford family operated a 385-acre vegetable and dairy farm there.
The Dufords grew potatoes, turnips, strawberries and raspberries, and produced firewood, ice and hay. Ottawa’s Byward Market was an important outlet for all these products. Dairy products were sent to the Casselman family cheese factory across the street from St. Joseph’s Church, and surpluses were delivered to the Bélanger cheese factory in Sarsfield.
The Duford family also grew pine, maple and ash, which floated down the Ottawa River in the summer to the mills in Rockland, Gatineau and Masson. In the winter, the wood was transported to the Cardinal d’Orléans mill on sleds.
In 1957, Émile Duford sold his cattle and farm equipment at an auction. He then sold the farm to the Marathon Land Company, the contractors who, 22 years later, built the first phase of Place d’Orléans. The auction marked a decisive moment in the history of the ancestral farm and the village. Indeed, it was the first important step in the gradual transformation of Orléans from a rural village to an urban centre.