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The historiography about the Bryson House in Mansfield,
Pontiac County .
I have a little allegory to tell you concerning this momentous house. I know what I'm talking about since I, Larry
Kenney son of Mr.Mrs.Simon and Adrienne Dagenais Kenney, was born and raise in that voluminous and attractive house with my brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins etc. At one time we were four (4)
families leaving in that house at once, but each family had their living expansion. Grandfather, Hector and Edna Dubeau Dagenais, bought this place in 1943, at the time they
were living in Otter-Lake Quebec. This place means' allot to me and my family. Every time I go to Mother's place which is on the same farmland, we talk about the remembrances and I know she likes' to
dialogue about it.
George Bryson Sr. selected a strategic site for his home on the Coulonge River as it bends its way toward the Ottawa. This flat fertile land on the north bank is upstream a mile from the mouth of
the river and the old trading post. The site gave Bryson visual control of both rivers and a vast land area. The main house was probably completed in 1854. George Bryson's granddaughter, Mrs.France
Toller, said that her father, George Bryson Jr., was born in a small house at the site in 1852 and moved into the newly completed house at the age of two (2). The front of the main house, five window
bays wide, faces south toward the Coulonge River. The main front block has two floors with full windows and a third floor "attic" with five small rooms. Above, at fourth floor level, is an unusual
cupola, enclosing a staircase leading to a window's walk with a view in all directions. The first floor is typical in plan - a large central stair hall, a parlor on the left and a formal dining room
on the right. In the rear block is a large kitchen. Above the kitchen are rooms, probably used by servants and employees. There is no access from the second floor rear to the front and it's 5
bedrooms. The house was heated by cast iron stoves, a new product at the time. Stoves were in major rooms with pipes that ran through the house and entered chimneys on the second floor. There were no
fireplaces. The foundation of the main house is stone, probably replaced after a major flood in 1896. The main structure is 8" thick timber frame. Interiors are wood lath and plaster with hardwood
and pine floors. The exterior skin of the house is quite unique.
* George Bryson Sr. ( 1813 - 1900 January ) *.
* George Bryson Jr. ( 1952 - 1937) *.
George Bryson Sr. was born in Scotland on December 16, 1813, was a "self-made man". In 1821 George emigrated to Canada. He homestead in Ramsay, Lanark County and then in Pontiac County. In 1845, he married Robina Cobb, who was born in Glasgowm Scotland in 1815 and emigrated to Canada in 1821 to settle at Litchfield, Pontiac County. They made their home at Fort Coulonge, Mansfield Township. A Liberal M.L.C., George Bryson served until 1887 when he resigned in favor of his son. A Presbyterian, he was a Elder and "responsible for building the Presbyterian Fort Coulonge church" and still is a wealthy church today 2001. Of 7 infants born to George Bryson Sr. & Robina Cobb, 3 sons and 1 daughter survived to adulthood.
- John Bryson was the Member of Parliament for Pontiac until his death 1896.
- James Bryson, a bachelor, farmed on the Coulonge River.
- George Bryson Jr., M.L.C. etc.
- Jennie Bryson married Albert Boulter, June 21, 1854 (he died in 1857).
George Bryson Sr. was the founder of a large lumber business in Fort Coulonge, he contributed part of the original subscription to the Capital Stock of the Bank of Ottawa and served on the board from 1873 as a provisional Director and from 1874 to 1895 as a Director.