Feb 7 1890-Almonte Gazette
—Mr. J. W . Munro, the enterprising contractor of Pembroke, is putting a force of men at work in his quarries near Pakenham to get out stone for the new bridge at Smith’s Falls. This handsome stone has never been quarried, but could be obtained in and much of the stone has been employed in Pakenham and Almonte for foundations and facings of foundations..
Five-Span Stone Bridge – Pakenham:
Built in 1903, this one-of-a-kind bridge was constructed by Scottish stonemasons who used locally quarried stone. Five stone arches with piers stretch 82 metres across the Mississippi River and make a spectacular view from the riverbank.
For a number of years Andrew Dickson carried on a lumbering and mercantile business, and later added a carding mill. He held a shop license for the sale of spirituous liquors. He built a lumber slide and charged a toll on all logs passing downstream. He operated a limestone quarry on his land. He set up grinding wheels powered by his mills to polish limestone slabs that were used locally as ornamental stone.Years after Andrew Dickson’s death, stone from his quarry was used to construct the five span stone bridge at Pakenham.
It is also worth noting that Sheriff Dickson’s fossil collections were relied on by the officers of the Geological Survey of Canada as late as 1905. Dr. H. M. Ami, Assistant Paleontologist to the Geological Survey of Canada, compiled a list of fossils found within the Perth Sheet in Eastern Ontario.
Ann P. Sabina (2007) reports that Andrew Dickson’s quarry is now inactive, but that fossils are abundant in Ordovician Black River limestone in the inactive quarry and in rock exposures nearby. She reports that the fossils include corals, cephalopods, trilobites, brachiopods, bryozoans and cystoids. She gives the following directions to the quarry:
“The Pakenham quarry is on the face of a hill at the east end of the bridge in Pakenham; it is on the east side of Lanark County Road 20 at a point 5.8 km southwest of its junction with Highway 17.” Sabina, Ann P. 2007, Rocks and Minerals for the Collector: Ottawa to North Bay and Huntsville, Ontario; Gatineau (Hull) to Waltham and Témiscaming, Quebec. GSC Miscellaneous Report 48
The Ontario Geological Survey lists two abandoned quarries with the name Pakenham Quarry in the Township of Pakenham. As the Village of Pakenham falls within lot 11 of concession 11 of Pakenham Township, the following may be the UTM co-ordinates for Andrew Dickson’s quarry:
Lot: 11, Concession: 11
UTM Zone: 18
UTM Easting: 399528.012
UTM Northing: 5020897.084
Perth Courier, August 9, 1872
Farm For Sale: SW ½ of Lot 25(?), 3rd Concession Bathurst, 1 ½ mile from Perth, 50 acres, all fenced and improved and in a good state of cultivation. A house and first rate out buildings and splendid building stone quarry and well watered. Mrs. William Tovey, Bathurst
Drivers who transported the limestone for the above church from the W. C. Stead quarry.
John Neilson, Stuart’s son, remembers the horse powered winch very well. He was just a young boy when his father put him to work. “My job was to drive the horse to operate the winch. It was a simple operation. The lime was broken into big chunks in the quarry, then transported into town on the trucks. This breaking process was done by hand with big mallets. Then the pieces were loaded into big steel boxes. The horse was driven in continuous circle to wind up the cable which the hauled boxes.–The Lime Kiln-Mary CookThe Lime Kiln-Mary CookThe Lime Kiln-Mary Cook
Friday 30/08/1878 Renfrew Mercury Several teams are engaged in drawing stone from Mr. White’s quarry to Pettewawa, for construction of the piers of the railway bridge there. Quite a number of men are employed at the quarry. With the stir occasioned by the railway extension, the running of the mills and foundries, and the building of new platforms, Pembroke presents quite a busy appearance at present. We notice that building operations are also increasing. Pembroke Observer
I am proud to say that when we put an addition on our heritage home in Carleton Place the stonemasons used the same stone from the same quarry in Almonte the Morphy’s used when they first built my home.
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun