The Old Horseshoe Bridge

The Old Horseshoe Bridge

I found this old conversation as I was researching yesterday. I believe we have our answer is at the bottom and if you read the caption under the photo it says “sinkhole”:) but the discussion was great so I decided to document it.

It began like this……

February 19, 2016 update

I see pictures of the Floating Bridge in several places bearing a date of 1890.

While it is a good picture of the bridge, the date is absolutely wrong.

First it shows the telephone line. We didn’t have telephones in these parts in 1890. I think 1910 is closer to the correct date.

Also as to the railing on the bridge. My neighbours and myself, helped build the railing shown, and it could be the last one before the bridge was closed in 1944. It could be in the (thirties) with wages at 25 cents or 30 cents an hour/

Thank You. Eldon Ireton.

Lila James (nee Leach) added this:

Rose Mary Sarsfield I don’t think it is the Floating bridge. I’ve seen lots of photos of the floating bridge but I never saw this one before

Rose Mary SarsfieldThis appears to be a different bridge than the famous Floating Bridge over the narrows between Taylor Lake and Clayton Lake, which was in Lanark Township. There was an area in Ramsay along what is now called the Tatlock Road that had a sinkhole. The above photo may be of a bridge over that area. Eventually the road was built around this area as many efforts were unsuccessful in finding a solid bottom.

Lila Leach-JamesRose Mary Sarsfield Alf says you are correct as there was a sinkhole on the Tatlock Road near Donald Millers…Alf also said an engineer came back from the war and said it was 44 feet to the bedrock, reason that they could not fill it so built the bridge…it’s the curve near Cavanagh Pit…between Miller Road and Donnie Miller’s…

Diane DuncanI think Rosemary is right, this is the bridge on tatlock road. Realigned in 1950s, and improved in 1960s when it became a county road.

Rose Mary SarsfieldThanks Lila Leach-James that’s the area in the photo from Google earth below. When you get it enlarged it sure shows that it is quite a large area. As I was doing research on my Clayton book, I kept coming on to pieces in the old Gazettes about them trying to fix the road through there, over and over again, without success.

Rose Mary SarsfieldIn the image below from Google Earth the area is quite clear as the road takes a definite turn

Mary HurdisRose Mary Sarsfield this map don’ t show the 12th line that passes Gerald Tennants road and straight acrossthe Wolf GROVE and past David Thompsons across where the bridge was to the Thompsons on the other side.

Rose Mary SarsfieldMary Hurdis this shows where the sink hole was on the second line.

Ken MacDonaldYes the map you displayed is the Tatlock Rd between hiway 7 and Union Hall,. the angle Rd. near the bottom is by Cleary’s its the Old Perth Rd

Mary HurdisIt’s possible that it was part of the bridge,becausethere were posts driven down to hold the bridge in place.They may have been cut lower so wider loads could pass.They seem to be too close together for telephone poles.I remember fishing therewhen I was very small and seeing the posts cut off at the sides.f you look close these posts are on both sides!

Allan StanleyFloating bridge at the narrows did not have any posts on the sides… and finally was destroyed when Hurricane Hazel (1954) damaged many parts of eastern North America.

Lila Leach-JamesKen MacDonald Hubby Alf James did….that particular bridge went across a sink hole between Don Millers farm and the Miller Road on the Tatlock Road but new road now goes around sink hole….Cavanaghs have a pit on the other side now….He also said an engineer stated the bedrock was 44 feet below in that sink hole….It is located in Ramsay Twp and was a smaller version of a floating bridge…….

Rose Mary SarsfieldThe original post attributed to Eldon Ireton I believe did not refer to the above photo, but to one of the Floating bridge over the narrows between Clayton Lake and Taylor lake and was in Lanark township.. This bridge is another bridge in Ramsay Township.

Stuart McIntoshPretty well says it all,

In Claudia Smith’s Book: Gypsies Preachers and Big White Bears she says that long before 1900 there was a floating bride of some sorts on the road to Carleton Place from Clayton. It went straight across the sinkhole in Ramsay Township. That would be the one that everyone above was talking about. It was 20 acres of muck that was some sort of ode to a corduroy road and it was supposed to be stable. When Spring or wet weather occurred I am sure that you don’t have to imagine hard what it looked like. They got so desperate to keep it stable that they added logs from old barns and an old Presbyterian church.

They battled that sinkhole for years to no avail. In 1910 they tried new things that just did not work and the whole thing turned into a mud pile. No matter what they did it just sunk into oblivion. The next thing they did was a half moon crook in the road. However, Bert Miller’s steam threshing machine was just too much for that thing they called a bridge and it began to tip sideways, Somehow, all those folks that had gathered to watch got the front wheels of Miller’s machine up and stabilised the back and got it over to the other side. One does have to think twice that the was the very last heavy machinery to go across and by 1939 any new ideas for that bridge was gone; hook line and sinker.

So in going back through my blogs was this it??? I think so!!!

Does this sinkhole still exist? Thanks to Lucy Connelly Poaps here is a photo of one of the last pictures of Horseshoe Bridge on the 2nd line of Ramsay that carried traffic around the sinkhole. The bridge was closed in 1940 in favour of a detour road around the pit. The photo shows the deteriorating old bridge on the right. I would like to create some memories of this. Anyone remember anything? Read more here..The Horseshoe Sinkhole Bridge? Mysteries of 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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