“Around the Local Fairs in 80 Days”? Lanark County Minor Steampunk Story

“Around the Local Fairs in 80 Days”? Lanark County Minor Steampunk Story



September 22 1899 Almonte Gazette

Mr. J. J. Frisbie, the aeronautic gentleman who has given a number of balloon a sessions at the Almonte and Lanark fairs in recent years, was on the bill for an ascent at the Almonte exhibition here last Friday, and it proved the most exciting and dangerous in Mr. Frisbie’s experience.



Photo by www.almontefair.ca  1894–Almonte 

Being anxious to give thorough satisfaction, he instructed his assistant to fill the air-ship to its capacity with hot air, his aim being to rise to an unusual altitude, the day being favourable for a high ascent. The assistant did so, and when all was ready, and the word was given to “Let go, all!” the balloon rose rapidly, the daring sky sailor hanging on to the parachute beneath and waving a flag as he left Mother Earth.

He had reached a height of about one thousand feet when the balloon struck a current of cool air and collapsed in a jiffy, to the horror of the spectators, all of whom were straining their eyes to see him make the descent. His assistant saw the danger and yelled to the aeronaut to ‘Cut loose!” Mr. Frisbie heard him and in the nick of time he reached for the cord that is used to let the parachute free just as the immense balloon fell in a limp mass on the side of his parachute and. tumbled off to the earth

Mr. Frisbey did not lose his nerve in the trying circumstances, and soon found himself waist deep in the swamp near the fair ground, none the worse for his narrow escape, about $50 poorer in pocket owing to the mishap, but thankful that his life was spared. He admitted it was the closest call he ever had.

The balloon on being examined later was found to be so rotten that a number of our townsmen expressed surprise that any man would risk his life with it. However, the nervy Frisbie patched up the air-chariot and took it to Prescott, where he was down for some ascensions this week. Mr. Frisbie is now a conductor on the railway from Oswego to Buffalo, and is ballooning during his holidays for the fun of the thing and to get some of what the ladies call “pin money”.



frisbiegroup1911sloanegallery (1).jpg


IRSHOW, Houston, Texas 1911
Sitting, l-r: Joseph Seymour, John J. Frisbie, Rene Simon (‘flying fool’),
Edmund Audemars, Rene Barrier, Roland Garros, Peter Young (manager),
and Charles Hamilton (standing)
From AIRSHOW, Houston, Texas 1911

Photo-Story Sloane taken from John J.s biography


In September 1911 I found out that John J. Frisbie had expanded his ballooning adventures to flying and it appears that his flying machine was in the same condition as his balloon. Frisbie died in an aviation accident at the Norton County Fair all due to pride by the looks of it. (see history below)






Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune02 Sep 1911, SatPage 1




Clipped from The New York Times02 Sep 1911, SatPage 1




Clipped from The New York Times02 Sep 1911, SatPage 1



AKA J. J. Frisbee
John J. Frisbie
John J. Frisbie flying at Genesee Valley Park during the summer of 1911


Front Covers of the Almonte Fair– 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. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)




The Country Fairs 1879

Where was Almonte’s Military Headquarters?

Are You Ever too Old to Go to The Rural Fair? — Almonte

It Happened at The Richmond Fair 2012 – Photo Memories

Doin’ the Funky Chicken in Lanark County






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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