Shortly after his arrival here in 1872, Lord Dufferin, Governor General, and his party paid a visit to Pelissier’s Cave in Cantley. They went up in the vice regal carriages, accompanied by a couple of Weldon Champness’ best victorias, which, filled by invited guests and driven by Mr. Champness’ best drivers. One of these was John Regan. Pelissier’s Cave at that time was in its infancy.
It had only a short time previously been discovered. The vice regal party went up well provided with eatables, which were carried in the quite proper type of English lunch hampers. The vice regal coachman and footmen prepared the luncheon and served the meal. Lord Hamilton, Lady Dufferin’s brother, was one of the party. Mr. Regan says Lord Hamilton was a distinguished looking six-footer.
At that period the entrance to Pelissier’s Cave was so small that it had to be entered on hands and knees. Mr. Pelissier had made for the descent a number of short lengths of ladder. These, when required, were bolted together to give the necessary length. A Good Climber. Mr. Regan says that though the descent was quite risky for even a man, Lady Dufferin showed absolutely no fear and descended and ascended the ladders in quite a business-like manner. The Dufferins enjoyed themselves greatly. They dropped stones into the lake at the bottom of the cave, shouted for echoes and marvelled at the beauty of the cave.
La Caverne de Pelliers. The Caverns of Pelissier
Image Reference: CD-004/01758-002.jpg
Date: c 1900
Photographer: A.T. Tardif, Hull, Quebec.
Location: Wilson’s Corners, Cantley, Quebec, Canada
Post card of the Pelissier Caverns at Wilson’s Corners aka Lafleche Caves.
Lord and Lady Dufferin Make a Winter Visit to Cantley
by Mary Holmes
It’s the depth of winter in 1874 in Canada. What better winter-time outing for Queen Victoria’s representative in Canada, the Governor General and Lady Dufferin, than a trip by horse and sleigh to Cantley, in the wilds of the Gatineau Valley bush. They set off to visit what we now know as Laflêche Cave on Thursday, February 19, 1874. According to reminiscences of one of the drivers, John Regan, in an ‘Old Time Stuff’ column in the Ottawa Citizen on April 7, 1928, they went up in the vice regal carriages, accompanied by a couple of Weldon Champness’s best victorias (carriages) which were driven by Mr. Champness’s best drivers. One of these was John Regan himself. Pelissier’s Cave had only been discovered a short time before their visit.
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- The Ottawa Journal,
- 30 May 1887, Mon,
- Page 3Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.
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