Falling Through the Ice – Farm Life in the 30s

Falling Through the Ice – Farm Life in the 30s



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As a child I always used to try and listen to “grownup stories” sitting on a back staircase hoping no one would ever notice me. This story of growing up on an Iron Hill farm has stayed with me through all my years and I will never ever forget it.



“I used to hate the Spring,” he said to my parents one afternoon at our home on Albert Street in Cowansville, Quebec.

The ice on the ponds and lakes would grow thin and then one day there was no more give.  Each day that the sun got warmer it got worse and the ice would just break with any sort of weight. Sometimes some of the farm animals would be standing on that very ice and go through and we just couldn’t save them. One day I saw a couple of them out on  the semi-frozen deep pond and I tried to get them to move as my heart could not take anymore loss.

The animals moved off in time, but I did not, and I thought I was going to drown when I went through that ice in no time. Even though there wasn’t a soul around I began to scream for help. All that screaming created pressure on my chest which made things a lot worse, and I just kept beating around in that ice and water until I felt myself begin to sink. In essence the pond wasn’t really that deep–but how do your hoist yourself up on thin ice that got slippery as it became wet.

I began to break the ice away with my hands and grabbed the edge and tried to float. I finally got one arm on the edge of the ice and I wondered how much longer I could last. With one arm out on the ice some how I pulled myself out. I lay on the ice with my face lying flat on the ice exhausted. I got up and ran to the farm and kept running and running so I would not get colder knowing it could have been the final moments of my life.

Stories like this should remind us how fragile life was and still is. Farming was not just a hobby and to those who work in acres and not in hours we thank you.



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 The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)


Related reading:

Farming Could be a Dangerous Business in Lanark County? Who Do You Know?

Falling Through the Ice- One Reason Indoor Rinks Were Created

Did Farming Pay in 1879?

Old McRostie Had a Farm in Carleton Place






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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