Choose a Long Island village and trace its history—its changes and moments of continuity, and the forces guiding change or lack thereof—over the course of the twentieth century. Papers mus


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Choose a Long Island village and trace its history—its changes and moments of continuity, and the forces guiding change or lack thereof—over the course of the twentieth century.

Papers must be analytical: i.e., they need to go beyond description and focus on the deeper causes for change and/or continuity. In doing this, students should focus on how their chosen village’s trajectory reflects broader twentieth-century developments while also maintaining an eye on the unique, local factors shaping their village’s (relatively) recent history.

Students must incorporate five primary sources—these can include newspaper articles (I’ll demonstrate how to navigate the College’s database for newspaper articles).
Overview

Long Island Locks is a popular Rideau Canal lock station located just south of Ottawa, before reaching the community of Manotick on River Road. There is a decaying shell of an old farmhouse that was the victim of a recent fire surrounded by serene, lonely fields of gently waving long grass. This solitary old mansion was not always so isolated; it was previously bordered by a thriving community known as Long Island.

There is little sign of this multi-block town today, but streets, a church, hotels, and a post office were all part of this settlement in the mid-nineteenth century. What happened to it, and why did it vanish without a trace? Let us look about the region of this once-thriving community.

Long Island, which was founded in the 1830s during the construction of the Rideau Canal, appears to be buried in mystery, with its exact position difficult to define. At its peak in the mid-1860s, the community had general stores, two churches, and its own post office. However, after a merchant named M. K. Dickinson erected his magnificent stone flour mill in Manotick, many of the original settlers migrated there, and the village of Long Island declined.

Only a few sketches and a map of the settlement made for the County Atlas of 1880 appear to have remained as evidence of its existence. So, using that map and superimposing it on current Google Maps

The village must have declined in the early twentieth century, as it appears to have vanished from maps after that period. Was there a devastating fire that burned the village to ashes? Did the government take over the community and bulldoze it into oblivion? These specifics are unknown, but I would appreciate any information on what occurred to this settlement to cause it to vanish from both the landscape and map records.

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