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

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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