A short distance from the Ferry on the road leading to Perth, was a swampy portion of road once infested by great black snakes and here one can still feel in imagination the old corduroy road built of logs laid side by side and one can visualize the oxcarts rumbling over it as they made their way along with their loads of supplies. Farther on was a log house owned by a frog catcher but this has long since been replaced by a modern brick home. Across from it stands a shop where once a blacksmith plied his trade shoeing and repairing farm machinery.
There’s still a tonne of black snakes up around there ( or at least there were when I was in high school)
I can pretty much guarantee none of my ancestors who travelled through the ferry to settle in Lanark county would be posing for a pic with any snakes!
I imagine there are quite a few corduroy roads beneath existing back roads now. We had one beneath our cottage road and to the best of my knowledge it is still there. Unless they dug up the road this year.
Patricia M Mason Leduc I dont think they ever dug up corderoy roads. They just keep piling the gravel on them. It was quicker and cheaper than plank roads.. and around here you can still see remnants on some of the original roads in spring depending on how high the water gets, or what dams break.
Now talk about them snakes. Wow. Still around, but I bet nothing like they were back then. I still have yet to catch one.
Also read- IN SEARCH OF SNAKE ISLAND click here
In the Year 1859 Story of the Believe It or Not
The Mother of Mrs. Albert Cole of Ottawa, Had a Strange Experience While on Her Way to Ottawa.
Mrs. Albert Cole of 828 Cambridge street is one ot the old residents of the Ottawa district. Before her marriage to Mr. Cole, she was Jessie Thompson, a sister of Peter Thompson of the Montreal Road. Mrs. Cole was born on the Thompson homestead, about three miles out and is 86 years of age.
After her marriage Mrs. Cole lived on her husband’s farm near Green’s Creek, till Mr. Cole fell heir to the homestead in North Gower and moved there. Mrs. Cole tells some interesting stories of the Montreal road. She tells, among others, a snake story of the belleve-it-or-not variety.
Mrs. Cole tells that In the year 1859 her mother was riding to town on horseback when the had an experience such as she had never had before. When passing through Capt. Bradley’s beaver meadow (the road then ran there) she saw ahead of her, lying full length across the road, a great snake. The snake must have been fully 35 feet long as she could not see either its head or its tail.
At first she took the thing to be nearer a limb of atree and then she saw what it really was. She was about to turn her horse , (30 feet away) when the reptile began to enter the long grass. When Mrs. Thompson got home other men went to hunt the snakein the whole beaver meadow, but they could not find any trace of the reptile.
In this connection it should be told that a similarly large reptile was reported in the early 1870s as having been seen at the south end of the Mer Bleu. One man who had a gun chased this reptile for a long distance but never caught it.
Cedar Hill School–Equipment as we know it today was almost non-existent. The old coal shovel was perhaps the most versatile too!…it not only scooped coat into the scuttle..it also dragged ashes and clinkers from under the furnace grates..bulldozed paths to the little houses out back..and chopped snakes that were bold enough to sun themselves by the door. The grading also was different..a child either KNEW his facts..he partially knew them..or he DIDN’T know them…it was as simple as that. Many educators deride the mastering of factual knowledge as being dictatorial or even useless, since things keep changing. But all facts do not change, and many basic facts serve as posts from which to hang lines of imagination and from which to evolve one’s own personal philosophy