The Bascule Bridge of Smiths Falls — A Ghost Story



Please note-This is purely a fictional story.. trust me:)

The Bascule Bridge has been a Smiths Falls landmark for over a hundred years and it’s not without its stories.  Sid Tennant was the foulest-tempered lad you ever did see; and he operated the bridge that sits on the outskirts of town that once spanned across the Rideau Canal,  so folks had to deal with him. The bridge was built on the Toronto-Ottawa line of the Canadian Northern Railway in 1912-1913, and John ran it like he owned the old mobile bridge.

One evening Sid was out riding when something in the trees scared his horse and it bolted like lightening. The crotchety old man was thrown down next to the bridge and he died instantly. The bridge from that day on was forever more poised at a 45 degree angle.


Everyone thought they’d seen the last of Sid, until one night when Timothy Brown made his way home past that  roadbed span after drinking at the tavern.  Timothy was halfway past the old bridge when a plume of red steam came rising up through the boards of the adjacent bridge tender’s unmanned tower.

Timothy stopped and watched the mist solidify into the translucent body of  Old Man Tennant. The span began to move, and you have to remember very little power was required to operate it owing to the unique rolling lift action which almost eliminated friction. As Timothy stared in fright, the ghost of  the old Sid seemed to signal the overhead concrete counterweight which balanced the 21-metre plate-girder lift-span. It made a sound so loud all of Smiths Falls surely heard it, and as quick as Sid appeared he vanished at once with another loud popping sound.


Since Timothy had a reputation for taking a wee drink or two, no one ever believed his story of course.  The ghost of Old Sid continued to harass the townsfolk of Smith Falls for years until Canadian National Railways transferred ownership of the bridge to the City of Smiths Falls for maintenance as a heritage resource in the mid 1980s. The ghost of Old Sid hasn’t been seen since, and maybe that’s a good thing. Or maybe not!

Please watch this amazing movie of the Smiths Falls Bascule Bridge

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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