The Funeral Train That Went Through Carleton Place — Our Haunted Heritage

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Photo from the collection of Colin J. Churcher, National Archives of Canada PA-207507.

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This is the train which conveyed the casket containing the remains of Sir John A. Macdonald from Ottawa to Kingston, Ontario, on June 6, 1891. It is standing in the Canadian Pacific Queen Street or Broad Street station, originally opened by the Canada Central Railway on September 15, 1870, and which was subsequently destroyed in the great Ottawa-Hull fire of April 26, 1900.

The locomotive, #283, was a 4-4-0 built by Hinckley in August 1883. It was subsequently wrecked in a collision with #354 at Stittsville, Ontario, in October 1897. On this auspicious occasion Jack Hollyoak was the engineer and Harry Fraser the fireman.

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That day all engines on Canadian Pacific were decorated with black crepe. The casket was conveyed in an express car which was completely covered with black crepe, both inside and out.  Stops were made at Carleton Place and Smiths Falls on the way to Kingston where crowds of our townsfolk pressed around the funeral car that was draped in purple and black. A floral offering was offered at Smiths Falls by a contingent of local Liberals and Conservatives. The train stations all through Canada, including Carleton Place, had black mourning displays for one week.

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Funeral train leaving Buffalo- Mourning President William McKinley 1901

So why did they have funeral trains? A funeral train is a train specially chartered in order to carry a coffin or coffins to a place of interment. Funeral trains today are often reserved for leaders and national heroes, as part of a state funeral, but in the past were sometimes the chief means of transporting coffins and mourners to graveyards. Funeral trains remain mostly steam locomotive hauled, due to the more romantic image of the steam train against more modern diesel or electric locomotives.

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Our Haunted Heritage Event Page- but tickets soon! October 15th

St James Cemtery Ghost Walk Event Page- October 28th

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Stairway to Heaven in a Cemetery? Our Haunted Heritage

Old Wives Tales of Death — Our Haunted Heritage

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Death by Corset? Bring Out Your Dead and Other Notions! Our Haunted Heritage

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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