Formation of Pontiac County
1814-1838 Ottawa County - Township grounded and governed as district ruled by members of Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada.
1838-1841 Executive Council ruled when Legislative Assembly was discontinued.
1840 Union of Upper and Lower Canada to form Province of Canada.
1847 December 13 - First Quarterly Meeting. Alfred Lancaster (Litchfield) (1 st) was elected as first warden. 1847-1848
1847-1855 Ottawa County Division No,.3 Bristol, Clarendon, Litchfield, Calumet Island and Allumette Island. Registry office in Aylmer.
1854 John Egan, first M.P in County of Pontiac 21 July 1854-28 Nov. 1857
1855 Sept. 19 at 10: 00 am, first General Session of County Council held in Town Hall on Church St. Portage du Fort. Mayor Patrick F. Fox, Mayor of Litchfield presided and elected warden(5 th) W.L
Gray (Allumette Island) warden 1855-1857 (6 th)
1858 Edmund Heath (M.P) 11 Jan.1858 - 10 June 1861
1860 Dec. 12 1860, Council held on lot 13, Range 1, Litchfield (Havelock) .
1861 John Poupore (M.P) 11 July 1861 - 1 July 1867
1867 July 1,B.N.A.A.Act-Dominion of Canada formed First MP (Federal) Edmund Heath First MPP (Quebec) John Poupore
1872 Village of Havelock become Bryson.
1891 Pontiac's first Provincial Court House build in Bryson Norman French structure of gray stone with white trim. Destroyed in 1914 by FIRE.
1913 March 12, Request to move County seat closer to R.R. service.
1914 Court House burnt in Bryson.
1915 Resolution passed to move County Seat from Bryson to Campbell's Bay.
1916 May 16, County seat moved to Campbell's Bay. Meeting held in Council hall until the hall was condemned and demolished.
1925-1927 Court House built in Campbell's Bay.
1964 June 18, County Council building opened in Litchfield (outskirts of Campbell's Bay) W.B.Burke - Warden.
COURT HOUSE IN PONTIAC COUNTY " CAMPBELL'S BAY "
The first building to be used as a County Building in Pontiac County was the Town Hall in Portage Du Fort. It was build around 1840 and used first as a school for about 10 years. Then it became a
Court House, jail and registry office.
This circuit Court was built by John Gordon and Pat Ratchford. There are 2 blackboards in the back wall on the first floor which were covered in 1960's. The stairs on the outside were removed and a
front porch was built in 1945. There are 3 cells that were used in the early 1900's.Offenders were only kept overnight and fined in the morning. Three were iron bars on the windows, board bunks and
straw brick mattresses. After the 1914 fire, it was used as accommodation for the homeless. In 1963 a Special County meeting commemorating Portage du Fort's 100 th anniversary was held there. It has
also been used for wedding, dances and council meeting.
In 1916 the County Council meetings were held in Council Hall on Patterson St. in Campbell's Bay. Finally between 1925-1927 a new Court House as built on the corner McQuaig and John St. in
Campbell's Bay. In the Court House are two court rooms. The main one has magnificent, carved oak decorations and brass railing to embellish this stately, high-ceilinged room. It has been the location
for many trials and even the movie industry has used this room for its court room scenes. The other court room, which is used for family court trials, over looks the court yard which is enclosed by
high cement wall. Regular cells (14) and solitary confinement cells are found in the basement of this palatial building. These are no longer used. In 1968 the guards went on strike for higher wages
and since that time, all prisoners have been taken to Hull. Michael Bradley, who was accused of killing five members of his family, was the only person to be hung in Pontiac County. The hanging took
place in the court yard in 1935.
The Court Registry office , on the main floor, is for regular court and family court business, civil affairs and small claims matters. In the archives storage room behind this office are all the
church records dating back to 1896. The Registry Office for land sales and deeds has records dating back to 1862. The Crown Attorney's office is on the second floor.
The Ministry of Transports had much of the basement and thats' where I, Larry Kenney was working. I start to work for the Ministry of Transports in 1972, at that time the office was on
the main street in Campbell's Bay at Mousseau's building. Then about the same year or 1973 we move in the basement of the Court House and stayed there until 1993. The reason we left is because the
Ministry of Transport ( Constructions) was shut down and we went for the Ministry of Transport at Shawville (maintenance).
In September 1990, a part of the Court House building ( the Jail ) was torn down to make space at the back for a
parking lot. Between me and you that part of the building should had never been touch. In that part was the 14 prison cells and the solitary confinement cells. To me that was History and should had
never been touch, but was decided that they wheir going to demolish that particular part of that narrative building.