Did You Know about the Tay Canal Works Explosion?



Construction of the Tay Basin -Perth Town Hall in background–Photo from Susan Code’s Page 

In 1885 a dynamite explosion  accidentally occurred according to the Dominion Annual Register Review  at the Tay Canal Works, Beveridge’s Bay causing the complete demolition of the engine house and severely injuring Mr. George P. McDonald, a son of the contractor and two other men named Buchanan and Lewis. McDonald died of his injuries February 8th.

Perth Courier, Feb. 13, 1885

On Sunday morning last about 11:00 Mr. George P. McDonald, one of the sufferers from the dualine explosion at the Tay Canal Works, Beveridge’s Bay, breathed his last near the spot where the accident took place.  The terrible injuries received and the shock to his system proved too much even for his robust constitution.  His remains were brought to Perth Sunday afternoon followed by a large concourse of employees, workmen and friends and were sent for internment at Toronto.  The deceased was the fourth son of the well known contractor of this and other public works Mr. A. P. MacDonald and was 28 years of age at the time of his death.  The blow to his bereaved parents is a terrible one.  The other victim, William Lewis, is still in the Ottawa Hospital but we understand he is sinking rapidly.  He is too weak to stand amputation of his limbs and this would be his only chance at life.

On another note??…

Perth Courier, April 17, 1885

On Friday last an employee on the Tay Canal, Denis Cahill, got drunk and of course took a walk along the railway track.  Near the western limits of the town he lay down on the track so as to be in good shape for mutilation by a passing train.  A freight train came along after a little bit but the cow catcher quickly shoved him off to one side by catching him on the side of his head.  Strange to say, he was not seriously hurt and was taken to the Perth lockup.  Dr. Kellock sewed up the ghastly wound and had him ready for transfer to the Ottawa Hospital the next day.


Related reading

Tay Canal

Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

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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