Was it a UFO? A Meteorite or a Fuse Box? A Carleton Place Legend


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Mrs. Buffam had no idea what was going to happen to her Napoleon Street home in Carleton Place on May 26, 1957. In fact her husband Norman was called home early from his fishing trip when his wife crashed through the ceiling after she was thrown from her bed.

So what happened? A unidentified witness said he saw a white ball flash from the sky and hit the house.

Ted Hurdis told me his father said it was a meteorite. Nancy Ford said she heard the cause was a penny in a fuse box. Lorne Hart from the Old Towne Bakery jokingly asked me if I thought it might be a UFO. Mrs. Buffam said she could barely remember what happened, and just heard a fierce crack and an explosion.

Art Hurdis was quoted in the newspaper as hearing a terrible noise while he worked in his stable at the rear of the house. Timbers and plaster began flying into the air, and smoke was seeping out of the lower windows. He pulled Mrs. Buffam over to a couch and headed for the basement where a small fire had started. The interior of the house was in shambles with a gaping ceiling hole where Mrs. Buffam had fallen through.

The back part of the house partially escaped damage, but the stove had moved a fair distance and all the pipes were now twisted. But, there on the kitchen table still lay open jam jars on the table from breakfast. The clock had stopped at five minutes to ten when the explosion occurred. After that horrible day the Buffam family had to split up until arrangements for a new home could be made.

So what happened? Was it a meteorite? A UFO? A bad fuse box? As Mark Twain once said,

The trouble with lightning is, it just ain’t distributed right.”

And now you know what actually happened that particular day in May. It was a crack of lightening that caused all that damage to the Buffam home. But now that we know the facts, do we discredit the other ideas that have been talked about for years? I think each and every one of us are storytellers, and we tell great tales to get what we need. Think of the excuses you once told your parents for why you got home late. No one ever gives it up– so I kind of like the meteorite story. I say we keep that one going. Carry on Carleton Place!

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.

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