In this beautiful watercolour of Bytown (later Ottawa) in 1841 by John Bainbridge, we can clearly see the home of Ottawa’s founder, Lieutenant-Colonel John By. Credited as Ottawa’s founder, By was responsible for overseeing the construction of the Rideau Canal and helping shape Bytown’s development. Built atop what is now Major’s Hill Park, his house overlooked the entrance locks to this 200-kilometre waterway. The house was destroyed by fire in 1848.
In recognition of By’s contributions to the city, archaeologists from Parks Canada and the National Capital Commission, with the assistance of student volunteers from Carleton University, carried out extensive digs on the site between 1972 and 1974.
A giant temporary dome was erected over the site to protect artifacts and workers. Many artifacts were found, including this beautiful teacup.