Les Trois Érables is not only a beautiful old heritage mansion – it is loaded with local history and lore. It was constructed in 1896 by Dr Hans Stevenson, a country doctor born in Wakefield to Irish immigrants. He hired Moses Edey, a prominent Ottawa architect – who also designed the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa – to design the house.
When you come, you will note Edey’s use of high ceilings, gorgeous stained glass and fine woodwork throughout. It is a Victorian-era house that, with its large wrap-around porch and turrets, is an excellent example of the neo-Queen Anne architectural style. Right on the riverfront in the heart of the village, Les Trois Érables is truly a Wakefield landmark.
Dr Harold Geggie came to Wakefield from Montreal in 1911 to intern with Dr Stevenson, and, upon Dr Stevenson’s unexpected death later that year, nervously assumed his country medical practice. Dr Geggie later purchased the house and even married Dr Stevenson’s daughter, Ella! They had three sons, all of whom became doctors themselves in the family practice. “The Maples”- as the family called the house – was not only the family residence but also the doctors’ office, dispensary and examination and operating rooms.
It was quite a challenge in those days to care for the patients who were widely dispersed in this very rural area – often horse and buggy was the only means of getting around. Many locals tell us today of their experiences of being cared for by the doctors, including being given birth to, right in the house! Dr Geggie – the self-described “simple, country doctor” – lamented the absence of a hospital for the duration of his practice and made it his mission to establish one in Wakefield. His legacy is the Gatineau Memorial Hospital which he founded in 1952. The original building is now Le Manoir seniors residence, just down the road on Riverside Drive at the mouth of the La Pêche River.
The house remained in the Geggie family as “the Doctors’ house” until 1980. It was later transformed into a beautiful bed & breakfast inn, keeping the original features of Moses Edey’s vision of a neo-Queen Anne Victorian mansion. Many of the Geggie family continue to live in the community. In fact, for a fuller description of the history of the house and the community, see some of the publications of Norma Geggie, daughter-in-law to Dr Harold, who at over 90 years old is still very active in promoting historical and social causes in the area. Here is her homage to Dr Geggie on the 100th anniversary of his arrival in Wakefield in 1911.
Come experience part of the history of Les Trois Érables yourself. We have on display many historical photos and artifacts in the guest kitchen, and have made available a copy of Dr Geggie’s memoirs (as recounted by Norma Geggie) in each guest room for you to peruse.