|Description: A beaver top hat in a leather traveling box. The top hat (a) is black and has a brim and a black ribbon and bow. The interior is lined with white material and a band of leather. The manufacturer's crest is stamped on the inside of the hat, which reads: Thompson's, Montreal. The name 'T. Barron' and 'Lachute' are also written on the inside. The case (b) is made of leather with a brass buckle and is stitched together. There is a sticker on the case that reads: 'From the Ottawa Hotel, Great St James St, Montreal', 'S. Browning, proprietor'. Branded into the leather is 'Warranted Solid Leather'.
History:The hat might have belonged to the influential Barron family that settled in Lachute, Argenteuil County, Québec, in the nineteenth century. In 1809, the first Scottish settler, Thomas J. Barron, arrived from Morayshire, and his family was to dominate Lachute for many years. Over the years, Thomas purchased the majority of the land that Lachute now stands. He and his family dominated the Lachute area for many years. Thomas J. Barron, merchant, politician, public servant, was a prominent citizen of Lachute, Que. He served his community in several capacities, including Deputy Register of the town, 1858-1866, Registrar, 1866-1897, and as the first Mayor of Lachute, 1855. The sticker on the case suggests that the hat was located at the Ottawa Hotel in Montreal. The McCord Museum possesses prints and photographs of the Ottawa Hotel, Montreal, 1874, which was situated on Great St James Street. According to their collection, the Ottawa Hotel was famous for providing guests a comfortable stay in Montreal. Hotels at that time, such as the Ottawa Hotel, were often equipped with hot and cold running water and, from the 1890's, were even lighted by electricity. For a history of Lachute and the Barron family, see: Dr. G.R. Rigby's 'A History of Lachute: From its earliest times to January 1,1964' (Brownsburg, Que.?: Brownsburg-Lachute Rotary Club, 1964) and the Thomas Barron Fonds at the National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Reference Number: R7803-0-5-E.