The Love Story of the Lanark County Brakeman



Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario


I found this anonymous story and had to share it. A brakeman in the service of the railway that ran through Lanark County fell between two cars of a moving train, the merciless wheels crushing off both legs. The unfortunate man was removed to a comfortable place and being told by the attending surgeon that he could not survive the injury, he was asked if he wished to send any message to his family.

He replied that he would not die until his wife could come to him and the surgeon shook his head in a doubting manner. The bleeding helpless but conscious brakeman, knowing that every one despaired of his life, again assured them this time more determinedly than before, that he would foil the plans of his master, Death, until his wife in person could receive his farewell.



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lindaseccaspina – Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

When one of the superintendents received telegraphic advice of the accident and the dying man’s wish, he ordered his most experienced and courageous engineer to attach his locomotive to a coach and bring his wife to the side of her husband. In ten minutes from the time the order was given the train had the wife on board even though the night was stormy.


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Perth Remembered

The Superintendent stood at the back of the telegraph operator, and in flashes of electricity ordered all trains on to side tracks. Through the darkness and the storm the “special” whirled upon its mission of devotion and love. The villagers who hovered around the depot stoves at way stations on winter nights crowded out upon the platforms and stood in respectful silence as the mighty locomotive dazed both sight and hearing for an instant only.

Steel rails vibrated under wheels and the engineer knew that God and a good road-bed were in his favour. As he backed his driving-wheels at the station his engine seemed as proudly conscious of victory as does the race-horse when leading under the wire. The brakeman had kept his word. Husband and wife embraced. Bystanders, blinded by pitying tears, left the two alone for a moment, only a moment. For with the kiss and the farewell the brakeman closed his eyes and died.


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


A McDonalds Corners Love Story

The Ghost Lovers of Springside Hall – A True Love Story

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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