Trip Advisor 1834- Richmond to Perth is the “Road to Ruin”

Trip Advisor 1834- Richmond to Perth is the “Road to Ruin”



The Smits on a road on their farm in Richmond hauling in potatoes. Public Archives

It’s hard to fathom that 183 years ago in 1834 most everyone walked and not on smooth roads,  but more like corduroy roads or through forest trails. Imagine those that were used to horse and carriage in the old country suddenly having to rough it when they came to this part of the bush in 1820. Some road-side taverns were not known for having luxury meals, and an average dinner at the end of a travelling day was a sparse meal of ground maize and treacle. Who could face the early unforgiving Canadian scenery on a meal like that?

They said the road to Richmond was a miserable one that led through the woods for nearly 20 miles with many swamps. What would the early settlers say today to streamlined cars hitting 60 km on a smooth paved surface? No one was impressed with Richmond in those days, but they were with Perth. At Richmond there were 30 to 40 log homes, a small tavern run by Sargent and Mrs. Hill, with tolerable accommodations- but there was no roof. However, this spot had been recommended by the Trip Advisor of the day as a “Paradise of Upper Canada” when it was no more than what some called a “Purgatory”.



Richmond was surrounded by swamps, and the Main Street was below a small rivulet that ran nearly parallel with it. For 30 miles to Perth the name of the road became “Road to Ruin” because it was chiefly travelled by those ‘from the swamps’ who had to attend court in Perth and mostly empty pockets were the fruits of their journeys. Litigation was as costly then as it is now.

Perth on the other hand was a pretty little village well watered and with a desired population some wished could be transferred to their own villages. It was new lands, new traditions, and new forms of expressions of  blazing your own trail.





Re: Smit Photo above

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.

One response »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s