Fire Caused Strange Scene Near Portland

Fire Caused Strange Scene Near Portland


Portland, Ontario

In the year 1870 fire caused consternation among the wild things which inhabited a strip of uncultivated land on the north side of the Rideau across from Portland. The land was in North Burgess and was partly rocky, partly stumpy (had been cut for timber) and partly beaver meadow.

The land in question had a frontage of about a mile on the lake. The year 1870, as most people know, was a very dry year and fires broke out everywhere. Something started a fire in this “bad land.” The fire came from the north and the denizens of the “bad lands” could not escape that way.

The fire drove them towards the Rideau River. One day the residents of the south side of the Rideau witnessed a strange scene. They saw red foxes, coons, ground hogs, squirrels and rabbits jump into the river and swim towards the south side. It was a scene never before witnessed.



The Drought of 1871 and the Mills on the Mississippi River

What Do You Know About the Burnt Lands?

When Crops Failed — Lanark County Went Manitoba Dreamin’

Run Pig Run–Shake it Off! Convictions of 1870

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.

3 responses »

  1. Interesting stuff Linda. I popped over from a blog party and am glad I did.

    Keep up the good work here, I’m looking forward to reading more.



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