So Which Island did the River Drivers of Clayton get Marooned On?


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Date:1902-Location:Mississippi River, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada–Photo from the North Lanark Regional Museum— I do believe this is one of Annie Duff’s photos

With files from the  April 20, 1920–Almonte Gazette

The citizens of Clayton had a quite exciting time that Saturday night in April of 1920 as the Almonte Gazette’s Clayton correspondent wrote. It appears that “messengers” as they called them came from Hall’s Mills with a report that some men had gone missing.  The Gazette reported that Alexander Monroe Jr., and William Munroe were missing and fears were met that they had been in a serious accident. They left their homes on Friday morning to bring a raft of logs down the river to the sawmill. Towards evening they had not returned to their home, nor had anyone received any word from them.

Their wives and children became fearful for their safety and on Saturday morning there was still no word of them. Messrs. E. Munroe, D. Thompson and Charles Munroe took to their boats and great relief was felt in Clayton when they returned in about an hour with the two men. The unfortunates had been compelled to spend a night on an island.

It seems that on Friday a heavy storm of hail and rain fell over them and it was accompanied by a strong wind along with some thunder and lightning. The Munroes and Thompson got along all right with their raft of logs until they approached the outlet of the lake. Night fell and they were without a boat. The men made a small raft and tried to get to an island near by, but just near the shore their raft went to pieces, and the men had to wade up to their waists in order  to make shore on the island

With damp matches and and wood damp the three men were unable to make a fire. They
had no overcoat and their wet clothes made for an uncomfortable stay on the island. Found safe and sound the next day they appeared to be none the worse of their experiences- and most certainly had a tale to tell to future generations.

*Does anyone know where this island this was?

Lyall McKay

There are two islands in the channel one just by the old floating bridge where Joe Baye was to keep his horse pastures. The other island is around by where the main hydro line crosses the lake.


Rose Mary SarsfieldThe 1863 Walling Map shows a small island in Taylor Lake near the area of the Floating bridge. The lake has changed a great deal over the years. My book will have a copy of the original survey map before there was a dam on the river.

Perth Courier, July 1, 1898

On Thursday, June 16, a report reached here that Albert Stewart had been drowned. The result was only too true although the details of the report are not yet to hand.  The daily papers stated that Mr. Stewart and a companion named Deschene were drowned on Monday evening, June 13 about twenty miles below the mouth of the Crow River on the Coulonge while driving logs for Messrs. W.C. Edwards and Co.  Their bodies have not yet been recovered although diligent search has been made.  Mr. Stewart was married last fall to a daughter of William Miller of Middleville and a few days later left for River Dessert, Quebec along with Jas. Deachman and P. Wright, also of this place.  When the winter’s work in the woods was finished, the deceased and his companion Mr. Wright went river driving which he was engaged in when he met his death.  Much sympathy is expressed for his bereaved wife who is residing at Middleville, the suspense is due to the failure to recover his body as well as the difficulty of communications with those on the scene of the accident rendering the affliction the more grievous.  Lanark Era

The Story of Wild Bob Ferguson of Dalhousie Township

Halls Mills Ghost Town- Another W. H. Wylie Connection

Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

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

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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