Dickinson House background
Photo courtesy Library & Archives Canada, PA 200356  

The Dickinson House was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act by the Rideau Township Council on March 1, 1979.

As originally built, the house was attached, at the north-west rear comer, to a 30' X 18' frame house (the Currier Cottage), originally constructed by Joseph Currier, lumber merchant, mill owner and politician, for his second wife Ann Crosby. After her death in 1861, Currier sold this cottage to Dickinson, who used it as kitchen and dining room for the main house. There were sleeping quarters over the dining room also. However, this house was notoriously cold in winter, to the effect that legend says the residents wore galoshes to dine. The kitchen and dining room were established in the main house and in 1948 the Currier cottage was moved to another lot. It was demolished sometime in the 1980's

The first three owners of the house also owned and operated Watson's Mill.

 The Dickinson House side view

The Dickinson House

History of Ownership

Moss Kent Dickinson, founder of Manotick, built the House in 1867 to be his residence. At the time he was co-owner or owner and operator of the stone mill (now Watson's Mill), a sawmill, and a wool carding and cloth mill.

    The Dickinson House, Flour Mill, Carding Mill, and Sawmill

This picture, c 1867, shows the three mills, and the Dickinson House. The house is in the background to the left of Watson's Mill. At the right side of the mill is the carding  & cloth mill. The first sawmill can be seen just below the carding mill. The sawmill has been busy. There are virtually no trees in sight.

Moss Kent died in 1897. His family continued to live in the house and operate the mill for more than sixty years. .In 1928 the mill was sold to Mr. Alexander Spratt, who moved his family into the home in 1931.  The Spratts ran the mill until 1946, when it was sold to Harry Watson.  Mr. Watson purchased the house in 1948 and the Watson family lived in the home and ran the mill until 1972

It was then sold to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) who used it as offices until the move to its new facilities in 2008. In 2009 the City of Ottawa purchased the house along with a number of other heritage properties in Manotick.