Click Bait– The Accident Stories of Carleton Place


In the early 1900’s newspaper readership was driven by scandalous writing, or as we would call it today-click-bait.  I can’t even imagine what the families went through with each accident written in graphic detail. I have read so many appendage amputations by our local trains in gory detail, it has made the hair stand upon my arms some days. In most cases all the accidents were attended to by Carleton Place’s Dr. Preston. It seems the rest of the lot were content in just the basic aspects of medical life. So who took over from Dr. Preston when he stepped away for a much needed vacation? It was Dr. Gorrell who practiced in Ottawa. He was also an avid curler, not that makes any difference.:)

This story is not for the faint  of heart.

Feb 10, 1900

At 10 o’clock yesterday morning Tom Simpson age 27, the son of the late Jas. Simpson was killed whilst attending a wood sawing machine on the premises of Mr. Robert Drummond who lives near the home of the unfortunate victim. Whilst the machine was being operated, the balance wheel burst and a piece of the flying iron struck Mr. Simpson in the body with terrific force tearing its way with the speed of an exploding shrapnel through his vitals and almost disemboweling the man.


Dr. Gorrell was speedily summoned, but it was clear that nothing could be done to save the young man’s life. After an hour and a half, partly spent in feeble consciousness, death relived the sufferer. The momentum of the flying pieces of metal is shown by the fact that one of them was thrown a long distance and broke through a rafter in the barn roof. It was only last week that one of Mr. Simpson’s sisters became the bride of John Blair of Ashton, and the terrible transition from a home of festivity to one of dire sorrow in but a few days impresses the people roundabout with the uncertainty of life. The late Mrs. Simpson of Ottawa, whose death occurred some months ago, at the age of 106 years was the grandmother of the deceased.


Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Dr. Preston- esteemed physician of Carleton Place who was not afraid to get his hands dirty. I told Dr. Drake I considered him just like Dr. Preston. Drop in to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Learn all about Dr. Preston’s moustache!

267 Edmund Street
Carleton Place, Ontario
(613) 253-7013

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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