The Glen Isle Bridge Case–Beckwith or Ramsay?



Bridge across the Mississippi River to Glen Isle- Public Archives- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


The Glen Isle Bridge Case–June 23, 1899-Almonte Gazette

This case, which has been of considerable public interest, came up for hearing before Justice R. M. 1 Meredith at Ottawa on Monday last. The facts are briefly as follows: Glen Isle bridge crosses the north branch of the Mississippi river on the 9th concession line of Ramsay near the dividing line between Ramsay and Beckwith.

For many years the question as to which municipality ought to bear the expense of maintaining the bridge has been in dispute. The township of Ramsay claimed that the road on which the bridge is situated is used mainly by residents of Beckwith, along with the forced road across the 8th concession.



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  20 Jun 1899, Tue,  Page 4


The unopened part of the town line between Glen Isle and Carleton Place and the whole cost of keeping it up ought not to be borne by Ramsay ratepayers. Beckwith in the past has been assisted by grants for repairs, but of late years has refused to do it.

In June, 1898. the county council, on petition from the Beckwith council, ordered the original town line opposite the 8th concession of Ramsay to be opened up for public travel by the townships, and appointed commissioners to do the work at the cost of the townships. This would have involved a very heavy expenditure by Ramsay, as their engineer’s estimate of the cost of the work was about $10,000. Besides, under the Municipal Act it is the duty of the county councils to maintain bridges over rivers which form or cross boundary roads between municipalities, even though such roads deviate so as to be wholly within one of the townships, and under this provision Ramsay claimed that it was the duty of the county council to maintain the Glen Isle bridge.

This suit was accordingly instituted both to set aside the order of the county council for opening the original allowance and also to settle the question as to who was liable for keeping up the Glen Isle bridge. All the facts above mentioned were proved or admitted at the trial. Mr. Justice Mere­dith decided that the county council acted illegally in their attempt to open up the original town line but on the main point in the case he held that although the part of the ninth line in question and the forced road across the eighth concession are and have always been used by residents of Glen Isle and others in lieu of the original town line allowance. They do not form a “deviation” from such town line.

Within the meaning of the Municipal Act and the liability for maintaining these roads including the Glen Isle bridge rests on Ramsay. The township of Ramsay was ordered to pay the county’s costs of resisting this part of the claim. M r. G . H . Watson, Q C ., of Toronto, said M r. J. A. Allan, of Perth, acted for the county of Lan­ark: and Mr. J.T. Kirkland and Hr. M. J. McFarlane for the township of Ramsay.

2017-Glen Isle, on the Mississippi near Carleton Place and about a square mile in area, is named for Captain Thomas Glendenning who in 1821 located on a grant of land including most of the part of the island lying now in Beckwith Township.




The Glen Isle Bridge single lane steel truss structure was built in the 50s and is the only access to Glen Isle outside Carleton Place.

Lavallee’s Creek, now smaller than in the past, and extending from Highway 15 near Carleton Place to the Mississippi at Glen Isle, was named for Napoleon Lavellee, hotel keeper and colourful local figure from 1830 to 1890 at Carleton Place.

“The Laird of Glen Isle, Mr. McDougall, and seven of his children were frequently seen at the rink on Mr. Doherty’s place in Ramsay.”–1895-Daniel McDougall and later his son Norman were farmers on Glen Isle.

Archived – Glen Isle Bridge over Mississippi River, Township of Ramsay, County of Lanark

Glendinning Burial Plot–Lot 20, Con 12, Beckwith Twp—Burials – Unknown

Glendinning Burial Plot

Lot 20, Con 12, Beckwith Twp.

Burials – Unknown

Thomas Glendinning lived on Glen Isle near Carleton Place and it is believed that his wife Jane and his daughter are buried here.  They died of Cholera.  There was an iron fence around the site, but it apparently has been ploughed over.  Thomas moved shortly afterwards to Western Ontario. 
Keith Thompson, 30 October, 2001.

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


Related reading

How to Really Catch Fish With Dynamite at the Glen Isle Bridge

Glen Isle and Appleton by Air-The Sky Pilots of Carleton Place

One Day a Long Time Ago on the Glen Isle Bridge

The Hidden Hideaway On Glen Isle

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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