Real life Tales from the Uxbridge Valley at the Uxbridge Historical Centre

By: Emma Morin

As we get ready to reopen at the Uxbridge Historical Centre, we can’t help but look back to the past. Whether it’s setting up new exhibits or revisiting existing ones, we interact with the stories and lives that helped to make Uxbridge what it is today. Many of these stories from the early days of Uxbridge can be found in Tales from the Uxbridge Valley, written by Allan McGillivray.

Image Caption: The front cover of Tales from the Uxbridge Valley by Allan McGillivray

As a founding member of the Uxbridge-Scott Historical Society, McGillivray has been studying, interacting with, and shaping the history of Uxbridge. In 1981, McGillivray became the curator at the Uxbridge-Scott Museum, now the Uxbridge Historical Centre, almost a decade after it first opened to the public. He was approached to write a history of the Town of Uxbridge for a millennium project and Tales from the Uxbridge Valley was the result.

The stories of Christopher Beswick, Joseph Collins Jr., and Joseph Gould in McGillivray’s book paint a picture of Uxbridge’s humble beginnings and early development. Histories of some notable buildings in the town, such as the post office and public library, are presented as well as a snapshot of day to day life in Uxbridge.

Here’s an excerpt from Tales from the Uxbridge Valley about Joseph Gould, an instrumental character in Uxbridge’s early development;

“Joseph Gould was born near the end of 1808 on Quaker HIll, just north of where the Uxbridge-Scott Museum is located. In those days, a son was beholden to his father until he was twenty-one. However, Joseph talked his father into letting him apprentice as a carpenter and joiner with Jared Irwin on Yonge street before he was of age. The deal was that when he returned home he would build a new house and barn for his parents. Joseph also learned about sawmills while he was with Mr. Irwin. In the spring of 1830, Joseph began working as a carpenter in Uxbridge, put up his parent’s new buildings, and did construction for others in the community.”

To see a house that Gould built and owned in the late 1800’s and learn more about the Gould family, come visit the Uxbridge Historical Centre when we reopen to the public!

Image Caption: Object ID: P299, photographer and exact date unknown. This is a photograph of the Gould-Carmody House on Centre Road, before it was relocated to the museum grounds. This photo was taken when the Carmody’s lived there, after they had bought it from the Gould family in 1914.

Packed with pictures from the collection and stories that highlight a rich history of our town, Tales from the Uxbridge Valley is an excellent account of Uxbridge’s heritage. For those who wish to learn more, McGillivary’s book will be available for purchase at the Uxbridge Historical Centre upon our reopening and our public exhibitions include many more artifacts from individuals like Joseph Gould. We hope to see you soon!


McGillivray, Allan. “Young Joseph Gould, Go-Getter and Rebel.” Essay. In Tales from the Uxbridge Valley, 25. Uxbridge, Ont.: Uxbridge Millennium Committee, 2000.

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