Train Accident? Five Bucks and a Free Lunch in Carleton Place Should Settle it


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Photo from

Almonte Gazete March 4th 1890

The town was thrown into a state of intense excitement on Wednesday forenoon by the report that the Soo train, doe here at ten o’clock, had been wrecked near Graham’s station, that the cars had gone down an embankment, and that at least one life had been lost and every passenger on the train more was injured. The balance of the day the accident was the subject most talked 0f,  being impossible to obtain any reliable account of the disaster, the telegraph wires being required by the officials.

The reports that had been received were as they went from mouth to month greatly exaggerated, and the excitement and suspense increased proportionately. Immediately on receipt of the intelligence here all the available medical men were requested to hasten at once to the scene of the disaster, a wrecking train having in the meantime been despatched from Carleton Place.


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Prs. Lynch, Reeve and Gemmill, and Messrs. J. Lawson, V.S., D. H. Davis, W. M. Rea, J. Dunlop and W. Martin responded to the call for help, and at Pakenham were joined by Dr. Jamieson, Dr. D. Cameron, of Arnprior, going by a later train. On arrival at the scene of the accident Drs. Dickson and Bedard, of Pembroke, and Rattray, of Cobden, were found in attendance, and the pleasing intelligence learned that all the passengers had been got out and the injured ones attended to, that no lives were lost, and that with two or three exceptions the injuries were not serious.

The most serious ones were Mrs. Munro, mother of Mr. J. W. Munro, contractor, of Pembroke, and aunt of Mr. J. M. Munro, of Almonte, who had. three ribs broken and was otherwise severely injured. The cook of the dining car, Mr. Duclois, of Montreal, was very badly scalded. He was in the kitchen of the car when it went over, and the boiling contents of the range were poured over him. His escape from instant death was one of the most miraculous. His injuries are very severe and painful, his arms, face and the upper part of his body being badly scalded. Another miraculous escape was that of Mr. Thos. Mackie, of Pembroke, who was seated in the rear of the dining car smoking when the shock came. He was thrown from his seat with such force that the veneered ceiling of the car was stove in where his head struck againat it. He received two severe scalp wounds, but was able to be around.


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Mr. T. R. Horn, of Pembroke, also received pretty severe injuries, being badly braised about his side and back, and very much shaken up. Mrs. Munro was placed in a car and made as comfortable as was possible under the circumstances, the others being taken to the residence of Mr. Graham near by.

The accident occurred about 9:40 a.m., a quarter of a mile beyond Graham’s station, the rails having spread while the train was passing round a curve just after crossing Graham’s bridge. The engine— a heavy Mogul—kept the track, but the tender and entire train of six can were thrown off, the four rear ones—a Pullman, a dining and a first class and a second class—turning over on their sides, and going down an embankment about ten feet high. As the cars overturned the passengers, seats, baggage, lamps and everything movable wen thrown in a promiscuous heap, many of the wounds and bruises sustained being caused by the falling furniture. That about seventy passengers could pass through such an experience without the lose of a single life, and with so few serious injuries, can only be attributed to the providential ruling of the Supreme Being in whose hands all our lives are.


Photo from the Carleton Place Canadian from the Wanda Lee Morrison and the late Joan Kehoe collection.


Following we have a list of the injured ones as far as could be ascertained : Mrs. Munro, Pembroke, three ribs broken and other injuries. Mr. Thos. Mackie, Pembroke, severe scalp wounds. Mr. Thos. R. Horn, Pembroke, side and back bruised. Mr. J. O. Dunlop, Pembroke, bead cat. Mr. Julius Blaisdell, Pembroke, head cut and bruised. Mrs. Cardiff, Pembroke, braised about the face. Two children with her escaped unhurt. Mr. Henry Duclois, Montreal, severely scalded. Mr. Stephen Smith, of Maryland, Pontiac Co., Que., back hurt. Mr. James Jones, Montreal, back slightly hurt.


Mr. A. G; Fields, Minneapolis, bound for Woodstock, N.B., face and scalp wounds and bruises on body. Mrs. Walker, Old Superior, slightly hurt. Mr. E. J. Antell, Brooklyn, N.Y., leg and left shoulder injured. Mr. Edward Gravelle, Ottawa, heat, pretty badly cut and shoulder strained. Mr. Jos. Joly, L ’Orignal, head cut ant right arm injured. Mr. John English, Toronto, was knocked senseless and badly cut about head. Miss Bertha Delahey, daughter of Mr. John Delahey, of Cobden, slight. Mr. James Wark, Forrester’s Falls, slight bruise on face. Mr. Nicholas Larkin, Minneapolis, head, face and hand cut. Mr. Henry J. Morrow, Schuyler, N. Y., head cut aud bruised. Mr. W. H. Maxwell, Toronto, leg bruised. Capt. Davy, West Broughton, head cut. Mr. A. E. Mullburg, Fergus Falls, Minn., head cut. Mr. Jerome Ford, Concord, N.H.


The passengers were treated to a free lunch on arriving at Carleton Place by the company. The loss to the company will not be very heavy, the cars not being very badly damaged. A large gang of men was put to work clearing the track, and in a few hours it was again open for traffic. A passenger train was made up and left for the east about four o’clock, having on board all the passengers except those belonging to Pembroke and vicinity. The action of Mr. Jerome Ford, of Concord, who, though injured himself, worked manfully in rescuing the passengers, and would not consent to have his own wounds dressed until all were removed from the cars, is spoken of in terms of highest praise.

Mr. W. R. White, of Pembroke, the company’s solicitor, was promptly on hand, and poured balm into the wounds of many of the injured in the shape of $5 and $10 bills, on condition that the amount paid relieved the company from any further liability in the matter. Some refused to settle.

Mr. Jno. English, of Toronto, is an official of the Central Prison, and had in his custody “ Wild Bill” Mulligan, of Pembroke, whom he was taking to the Central Prison, where he had been sentenced for one year for theft. He was hand-cufied to the arm of the seat in the second-class car, and when the car went over Mr. English was rendered insensible from a blow. Wild Bill by a vigorous effort released himself, and, being uninjured, at once set to work to rescue his custodian, which he did, and not only remained by him until he had regained consciousness, but made no effort to escape. Mr. English was greatly pleased over the conduct of his prisoner, and will use his influence to have the sentence cancelled, or at least shortened. It certainly was a very manly act of Mulligan not to take advantage of his keeper’s misfortune and clear out, as he might easily have done. his departure for the land of Uncle where he hopes to make a fortune in a few years. Our wish is that his hopes may be fully realized.

Read the Almonte Gazette here


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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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