Stories of Wagons and Volunteers

Stories of Wagons and Volunteers


Photo by–crated.comThe Volunteer Sculpture at the war memorial, Almonte, Ontario–By Tony Mihok Buy the print..

Ernie Little’s horse leaned hard into the collar of the harness and strained, head down rear legs stretched back, left front hoof tipped forward and down so that he could drive the caulks into the pavement to keep from slipping with the load. The pull on the wagon seemed heavier than usual on the stretch of Little Bridge street from the subway to the roadway in from of the Town Hall.

Ernie sat up front on the upturned nail keg facing the side of the wagon with one arm on the rack. The lines were slack in his hands. He was content to let the horse move up the slope at its own pace. Ernie was happy as usual, smiling, looking around in full enjoyment of this day in early June, 1927.

Behind him on the wagon was a wooden crate which was nailed snug and hard all around. Although it wasn’t so very big, it must have had something unusually heavy inside to make the horse strain as hard as it did coming up the slope from the subway to the town hall.

“What’s in the box Ernie?” a man called from the street. “Dunno,” said Ernie. “Sure is heavy though.” Then, as a kind of afterthought he added “I think it’s got something to do with Alex Rosamond.”

The horse seemed to be wondering too. The box wasn’t anywhere near the size of the thousand pound bales of wool that came from Australia and that were wrapped in burlap and tightened in like a corset with steel bands. Two of these bales filled the wagon and made up the usual load for the hose and wagon for the trip to Rosamond Woollen Company’s No. 1 mill from the C.P.R. freight sheds, and sometimes in the other direction, from the mill to the railway. This was a regular route for the horse, and now as the wagon came to the level in front of the town hall the horse eased up the strain on the collar and started across to go up Water Street and on to the freight sheds. A small tug on the reins brought him up short. He stopped in his tracks for a moment, as if wondering, what now?

“Gee, Gee up there. Gee.” Ernie called out. The horse drove his shoulders again into the collar, swung to the right and moved forward up Bridge Street towards the railway crossing. “Whoa now. Whoa.” Ernie brought the horse and wagon to a halt in the space between the town hall and the tracks. He stepped down off the wagon to look over the site more carefully.

Men working there on a stone structure laid down their tools and came back to the wagon to inspect the crate.

Ernie returned to the wagon, picked up the lines and moved to the side of the wagon.

“Back up now. Back, back, back up.” The wagon moved close to the stone base. Ernie again slackened off the lines and let the horse enjoy a rest while the men prepared to unload the crate from the wagon.


Ernie read the packing slip idly as he watched the men make ready to lift the crate. “The Volunteer” he read. “The Volunteer”, he mused. “Just how does that connect with Alex Rosamond? I wonder.”

From–Three Interesting Stories of Almonte’s Past


Related Reading-From The Almonte Gazette–The Volunteer …… by John Dunn

Alexander George Rosamond (1873 – 1916) click here


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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