The History of Greely
To be perfectly honest, I have no interest in history as a pastime. In fact, when I was in high school
many years ago, I dropped History to study Latin. So why am I involved in helping set up an area on
the Greely Community Association’s (GCA) web page that discusses the history of Greely ?
Hopefully that will be answered in the next couple of paragraphs.
My wife and I lived in Osgoode for 10 years beginning in 1986. When we decided to look for a
new home we found one we liked in Greely. Once the move was completed and the dust had
settled we decided to drive into town. We drove east towards Bank Street along Parkway
Road and began hunting for the “downtown” area. After an hour or so of searching we gave
up and returned home. One of our new neighbours told us there was no real “downtown”
but the business area was located around the cheese factory on Meadow Drive.
So, out we went again, this time in search of the cheese factory. After an hour or so
we gave up looking for the cheese factory and again returned home, wondering why
the business district in Greely was hidden when it had been so easy to find in
Osgoode – all we had to do was walk down Main Street and there it was. A few days
later, while we were walking our dogs, we asked another of our new neighbours
where the cheese factory was, noting we really wanted to buy some local cheese.
We told them we had heard about the cheese factory but hadn’t been able to find it.
The person we were speaking with said “Oh, you mean the old cheese factory.
It’s not here anymore.” (this incident may shed some light on why I opted for
Latin in grade 13). As we continued our conversation we also learned that
Meadow Drive is the main street in Greely. Herein began our introduction to the history of Greely.
As the weeks passed we began to realize that that the village of Greely is actually a collection of subdivisions, some newer than others, some with easy access to neighbouring subdivisions, others more isolated. Greely West, the subdivision we live in, contained a number of empty lots and was still under construction at the time. I’m happy to report that houses have since been built on all those lots and Greely West is now ”all built up”.
Sometime later, when we were driving our dogs to the kennel, south of Vernon on highway 31, we noticed the Osgoode Township Museum. As I have discovered, this building contains voluminous amounts of text and photos related to Osgoode Township, in which Greely lies. I thought to myself “If I was interested in history, I bet I could find lots of information concerning Greely in there”. But the Museum is a bit far from home so I decided to search the Internet so see what I could find. Well, as it turns out there’s not much information about the history of Greely on the Internet. However, a number of the long-time residents of Greely and their children still remember much of the history and when I spoke with them I began hearing common names and locations that allowed me to begin piecing some of it together.
Michael Daley, a noted historian and resident who lives on Stagecoach Road, has provided a great deal of information contained in this section of the GCA web page. He noted that if he didn’t have the information I was seeking he would do his best to guide me in the right direction. I thank him for that.
Lori Erling, a neighbour of mine in Greely West who, unlike me, is interested in history, has put a great deal of effort digging into the history of our village and authored one of the papers on the page.
The short version of the history of Greely is actually pretty interesting. When Greely was incorporated in 1834 it was primarily a farming community. In addition it was a transportation hub with “traffic”, eg. stagecoaches, moving north & southward from Bytown to the towns & cities located along the St. Lawrence River. Vehicles passed through a gate and the money collected was used to “build” Highway 31. Other vehicles, eg. wagons carrying produce, moved their products westward to Manotick Station so it could be sent to cities farther west along the railroad line.
But there’s a lot more to the history of Greely than that and it is has been interesting to uncover, even for someone who studied Latin rather than History in Grade 13. And, rather than having to drive to the Osgoode Township Museum or search on the Internet for information you probably won’t find, the GCA has decided to begin posting some of this information for you so you can learn more about our the history of our village and the surrounding area.
On behalf of the Greely Community Association, I hope you find the information contained in these articles interesting. If you have additional content or would like to comment on the site please don’t hesitate to contact email@example.com and we’ll be in touch.
Treasurer, Greely Community Association
Disclaimer: While every attempt has been made to ensure the information contained in these pages is accurate, we cannot guarantee that this is true in all cases. Many years have passed since Greely was incorporated and much of the record-taking in the early days was done via word of mouth until someone took the time to start recording it on paper. Please excuse any inaccuracies.
Copyright © Greely Community Organization · 2013