The Phantom Light on Mississippi Lake

Standard

aredlake

Years ago J. Sid Annable wrote a yarn about a mysterious red light that was seen moving high over the lower Mississippi Lake one summer. Had he and his friend caused any of the shenanigans?

For a week Sid and his friend ‘Peck” Wilkie constructed a huge box kite in an old shack. They built the frame of old cedar rail material from the line fence of Bill Duff’s farm.  The kite was three feet wide and six feet long, covered with cheesecloth with glue sizing brushed on.  The tail was six feet long.  A wire was fastened to the nose to attach our twine and to make a perfect balance.  To fly the kite as high as possible they bought five pounds of binder twine.They made a windlass with a crank on each side, placing a leather brake on to control it.  A rack was made on the seat of their rowboat, they fastened the twine, rowed out on the lake and hoisted their kite in a successful test.

One night they attached a railroad lantern to the tail of the kite and sent her up.  The red light showing brightly in the sky caused quite a sensation.  After people were all in their beds they brought our kite down and tucked it away for another night’s fun.  Next day everyone in Carleton Place was talking about the mysterious light in the sky over the lake.  The Carleton Place papers had a front page story, and the next night people came from Almonte and nearby villages to investigate the strange phenomenon.

After a week of this, old Charlie Glover, crack rifle shot of the village, rowed up to Nagle’s Bay to take a pot shot at their mysterious light.  They kept the kite moving and Glover wasted many shots before he made a lucky hit.  Down came the kite into Mississippi Lake. The next morning Sid and his friend retrieved it in a rice bed, some distance in from the edge.  Apparently, someone spoke out of turn and let the cat out of the bag.

The frame of this kite was in the attic of William Wilkie’s home for a long time.  W. W. Cliff, editor of the Central Canadian, published the story in 1884, picturing ‘Peck’ Wilkie as the Peck’s bad boy of the village.  Some years later Peck Wilkie was drowned in the pond on the Boston Common.

Originally written by : By James Sidney Annable

Phantom Light on Lakes Once Talk of the Town

Carleton Place Canadian, 07 March, 1963

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s