The Almost Tragic Story of Robert Henry


2.24 KERR FAMILY PIC 1_0004.jpgA steamer tows St. Lawrence river skiffs. Kerr Family collection-Thousand Islands Life

Almonte Gazette-August 22, 1884

On Thursday of last week a young man named Robert Henry, of Carleton Place, had a very narrow escape from being drowned while with a pleasure party up Mississippi Lake. He, in company with a few other young men, was being towed in a small skiff behind the steamer. While standing in the stern of the skiff the latter gave a sadden lurch, and Henry fell overboard. In the excitement of the moment the skiff was not loosed from the steamer till, it was about a hundred yards from where he fell in.

Mr. Alex. Menzies, knowing that Henry could not swim, made his way back in the boat as quickly as possible, and arrived just in time to see the latter sink beneath the water for the third time. He saw that not a moment was to be lost, and bravely dove into the water after his companion.

It was a moment of terrible suspense to the onlookers, and a great sigh of relief was given when Menzies again appeared on the surface, bearing up the unconscious form of Henry, No time was lost getting both on board the steamer, and, restoratives, being applied, the all-but-drowned young man soon regained consciousness. Menzies exhibited great courage m risking, his life in the attempt to save that of his friend—courage of a stamp that is seldom seen.




Taken above the bridge in Carleton Place, Caver’s Planing Mill in background at right with tall smoke stack (since demolished) -Public Archives


Perth Courier, Sept. 26, 1884

Some weeks ago Alexander Menzies having an office in Messrs. Bower Bros. Drug Store, saved the life of a young man named Robert Henry by jumping into the Mississippi Lake near Carleton Place and rescuing him from a watery grave.

We learn form the Central Canadian that a substantial testimonial is to be given Mr. Menzies in the shape of a $40 medal bearing the following inscription:  “Presented to Alexander Menzies by the young men of Carleton Place in reward of his bravery in saving the life of Robert Henry on the Mississippi.”




Elizabeth McCallum and Alexander Menzies married on Wednesday, October 14, 1885 in Carleton Place, Lanark, Ontario.

Perth Courier, May 29, 1896

Alexander Menzies has been away for a couple weeks having a growth removed from his face and had a successful operation performed.


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

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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