Current street names: Lyman Street and Mulvihill Avenue
Former street names: none
First established: Mulvihill (1915) and Lyman (1909)
Name meaning: Mulvihill was named for Annie Mulvihill (1834-1875), mother of Howard Chamberlin, who subdivided the land on the east of Hilson. Chamberlin's plan established one new street which he called Mulvihill Avenue, after his mother's side of the family. Howard was the eldest of ten children. Annie Mulvihill died due to complications from childbirth while giving birth to her tenth child, at age 41. Lyman Street was named by George and Allison Holland in an early subdivision of their property, but it's significance is unknown.
How named: What is most interesting is that though Lyman and Mulvihill run only west of Hilson today, they both had their beginnings as street segments running only east of Hilson. Neither of these original segments exist today.
On October 20th, 1909, George and Allison Holland subdivided one of their last parcels of property which they owned alongside Richmond Road, and created Plan 286. It was a simple little plan of 19 individual lots, some facing onto Richmond, but also a newly created street which they called "Lyman Street". None of these lots would ever be sold or built on however. Just two months after registering the plan, the Hollands sold the entire subdivision to a trio of local businessmen, who in turn a month later flipped it to Fred Heney (who owned much of the land immediately to the west). Heney later sold it to the Nepean Township school trustees, who established Hilson School on the property in 1914 (ironically on the subdivision plan which the Hollands originally called "Elmdale"). The original Lyman Street would run through the north end of the new Hilson School today.
|Carleton County Plan 286|
|1929 Map of Ottawa (Mortimer Co.) showing the original|
Lyman Street running east of Hilson
Mulvihill similarly was established on a subdivision plan that was created by Howard Chamberlin in 1915 and registered in January of 1920 (Plan 395). This plan connected like a puzzle piece into the Holland Plan 286. On this equally small plan were 15 builder lots on two new streets created running east off of Hilson, just north of the electric streetcar line, which Chamberlin called Mulvihill (after his mother's maiden name) and McDonald Street (after his wife's maiden name, it has since been renamed and is now known as Shannon Street).
|Carleton County Plan 395|
Howard Chamberlin (1862-1940) was an early letter carrier in the late 1800s, and continued working for the federal Post Office until 1921. He was especially known for his work with the Roman Catholic churches of Ottawa (he was the Ottawa district representative of the Catholic Record and Catholic Register), and was an original member of St. George's parish. He lived in a great brick house that still exists today at what is now #115 Shannon Street (built in 1904), which he purchased in 1905 from it's builder Charles Rochon. The house was the only structure in the vicinity at the time, and was situated on what was a 2-acre lot. Ten years later, Chamberlin laid out that acreage into the Plan 395 above, surrounding his house on lot 1.
Early Days: The original Mulvihill Avenue
This Mulvihill Avenue was located exactly where the parking lot entrance to Hilson School exists today. In the early days, it would see two houses built on it. One of them was particularly interesting, a stone double was built sometime between 1910 and 1916, at 127-129 Mulvihill. This house faced south (towards the streetcar tracks), and was located where the south part of the school now stands. When the original Hilson School was built, it was less than fifty feet away (though a long wood fence separated the properties). This house was rented to tenants for the entirety of its existence, and was torn down in 1948 after the school board acquired some of the surrounding property to expand both the school and the playground area. The Weir family resided in the #129 half of the house from the early 1930s until 1948, and I was able to track down a few family members, but unfortunately none had a photo of this neat old stone house. One of the family members I spoke with was Alanna Weir (who was 1 year old when the family moved out of 129 Mulvihill). Impressively, she had 12 siblings; her Dad had divorced and remarried a much younger wife, resulting in Alanna having sisters who were 20 years older, but also sisters 18 years younger that her.
The other house on old Mulvihill was a tiny wood-frame house, #135 Mulvihill, located on the northeast corner of Hilson. Built in the late 1930s, it was a very simple dwelling (its assessed value throughout the 1940s was just $300). It too was acquired by the school board in the late 40s but remained as an occupied house until the 1990s. It was given a Hilson Avenue address after the original Mulvihill Avenue disappeared. The old Mulvill became just a small parking lot for the school until the Hilson rebuild.
Both of these original houses can be seen on the early aerial photos below.
|Aerial photograph of the same area in November 1928,|
which provides a higher resolution/better quality.
These two streets have always been strictly residential. The one exception was an ad I found for a speech therapist who operated out of an office (assumedly out of her home) at 14 Lyman Street in 1948:
|April 16, 1948|
Other interesting photos:
A couple of Lyman Street houses are visible in this view of the old R. L. Crain plant from 1947, which remained in this location until 1999. (See more on the Crain plant in the Kitchissippi Times article I linked to above)
|(Source: Ottawa Archives CA-5956)|
This Fire Insurance Plan from 1948 provides some interesting detail on the neighbourhood:
|1948 Fire Insurance Plan, showing most of the two|
streets, plus the Hilson expansions. (Note yellow
represents wood, pink is brick, and blue is stone)
|Photo of Halloween Night 1949 at 144 Lyman Street.|
From the Ottawa Journal, November 1, 1949
In November of 1952, Captain H. G. Cloutier, son of Major G.G. Cloutier of Lyman Street was awarded the Military Cross for his actions in the Korean War. [Edit June 2/16: I was kindly informed by Capt. Cloutier's nephew that he actually lived in Barrie, and it was his parents who resided on Lyman, so I've modified the text here to fix that. Thank you very much for the correction!]
|November 11, 1952|
Here is a great bird's eye view from October of 1964, looking east, with the Crain plant at bottom right and the border of trees around the convent property at top left:
|Source: Ottawa Archives (CA-8913)|