Dickinson House was a grand home built in 1867 by Moss Kent Dickinson, a founder of Manotick. Dickinson designed it with a New England architectural style and placed it near his gristmill. The Dickinson House was used as a mill office, general store, and post office. In succession, three families of mill owners lived in the Dickinson House – the Dickinsons, the Spratts, then the Watsons. In 1870, Dickinson and his family moved in and operated the milling complex for 60 years. In 1972, the last mill owner Harry Watson sold the buildings to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, named the gristmill Watson’s Mill, and kept the house’s name as Dickinson House.
Dickinson House is now part of a heritage site that preserves three linked historical buildings: Watson’s Mill, a carriage shed, and Dickinson House. Today, this home is a museum for the public. At this museum, you can attend an exhibit called “Steamboats on the Rideau,” which is a storytelling of steamboats on the Rideau Canal with its research conducted by Coral Lindsay, the founder of the museum. If you want to purchase souvenirs, there is the Dickinson House Museum Gift Shop. There are books on local history, photo-art notecards, postcards, photo-art prints, and handicrafts.