Category Archives: napoleon street

Was it a UFO? A Meteorite or a Fuse Box? A Carleton Place Legend

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Mrs. Buffam had no idea what was going to happen to her Napoleon Street home in Carleton Place on May 26, 1957. In fact her husband Norman was called home early from his fishing trip when his wife crashed through the ceiling after she was thrown from her bed.

So what happened? A unidentified witness said he saw a white ball flash from the sky and hit the house.

Ted Hurdis told me his father said it was a meteorite. Nancy Ford said she heard the cause was a penny in a fuse box. Lorne Hart from the Old Towne Bakery jokingly asked me if I thought it might be a UFO. Mrs. Buffam said she could barely remember what happened, and just heard a fierce crack and an explosion.

Art Hurdis was quoted in the newspaper as hearing a terrible noise while he worked in his stable at the rear of the house. Timbers and plaster began flying into the air, and smoke was seeping out of the lower windows. He pulled Mrs. Buffam over to a couch and headed for the basement where a small fire had started. The interior of the house was in shambles with a gaping ceiling hole where Mrs. Buffam had fallen through.

The back part of the house partially escaped damage, but the stove had moved a fair distance and all the pipes were now twisted. But, there on the kitchen table still lay open jam jars on the table from breakfast. The clock had stopped at five minutes to ten when the explosion occurred. After that horrible day the Buffam family had to split up until arrangements for a new home could be made.

So what happened? Was it a meteorite? A UFO? A bad fuse box? As Mark Twain once said,

The trouble with lightning is, it just ain’t distributed right.”

And now you know what actually happened that particular day in May. It was a crack of lightening that caused all that damage to the Buffam home. But now that we know the facts, do we discredit the other ideas that have been talked about for years? I think each and every one of us are storytellers, and we tell great tales to get what we need. Think of the excuses you once told your parents for why you got home late. No one ever gives it up– so I kind of like the meteorite story. I say we keep that one going. Carry on Carleton Place!