TOUR STOP 1: Welcome & Introduction to Lottie Raven, your tour guide.
Welcome to Seeley's Bay
Seeley’s Bay is a charming destination on the heritage Rideau Waterway and the village owes its existance directly to the construction of the Rideau Canal. The dams at Upper Brewers and Whitefish Falls flooded the 18 mile cranberry marsh as well as a ‘ravine’ on land owned by the Seeley family, thus creating a bay that lay within sight of the main road to Kingston. Guided by Lottie Raven, a colourful resident from Seeley’s Bay’s past, you will hear and read about the history of such places as our harbor and Haskin’s Point, as well as a multitude of the buildings and locations in the village. As was the case in many small villages, fire has taken its tole and many of the original buildings on this tour have been destroyed by fire which you will hear referred to throughout the tour. Local historians, as well as several enthusiastic history lovers share their knowledge of the area with you throughout this tour. Prepare to be entertained and enlightened by the history of this village as you visit the many locations of interest.
We acknowledge that Seeley's Bay rests on traditional lands inhabited by indigenous people from the beginning. In particular we recognize and deeply appreciate the historic connection and contribution of the Annishnabek, Huron-Wendet, Oneida and Haudenosaunee peoples as stewards of this place. As settlers, we are grateful for the opportunity to live here and we thank all generations of people who have taken care of this land.
Lottie Raven is remembered as the lamplighter in the village of Seeley's Bay.
She was born Charlotte Mountenay in Quebec about 1867 and was a domestic living in the Donnelly household in Pittsburg Township in 1901. In April 1911 she married James Raven, a widower with two children at home.
The Raven family lived in a house at 137 Mill St. in the village. James Raven worked as a labourer and Lottie did housework for various village households.
For a number of years Lottie was responsible for keeping the night lanterns lit at the wharf and at the three intersections in the village. She was a good woman with the misfortune of having a wart on her face. Unfortunately, this imperfection made her the target of cruel jokes at times but did not change her view of the community and her important role.
After James Raven died in 1924, Lottie continued to live on Mill St. and was often seen sitting on the porch where she died of heart failure in August 1940.