Tag Archives: accident

Was Engine CPR 2802 a Killer Train? Brent Eades

Was Engine CPR 2802 a Killer Train? Brent Eades

From Brent Eades

Hi Linda, I just came across this clipping from the online Gazette that I saved months ago, but I didn’t note the date at the time. Early 50s I think. What’s really interesting about it is the line “It is said that the engine pulling the freight was 2802, the same one that plowed into the Pembroke local at the Almonte station Dec. 27th, 1942 causing the worst wreck in Canadian history.” If that’s true, that could be a really interesting story I’ll leave this with you.

Thanks Brent!!!

Did you know? An engine that had a life span of 49 years?

ALMONTE, Ont., (CP) A 12-year-old boy, stepping aside to push three younger companions to safety, was killed Thursday when a freight train suddenly bore down on them as the boys were heading across a railway bridge to their favorite swimming hole. The victim was Freddie Leach, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Leach of this town. 45 miles southwest of Ottawa. He died instantly from head injuries suffered when struck by the Canadian Pacific Railway train as it caught up to him near the end of the 500-foot bridge.

His three companions Gerald Clement, 9; Gerry Waddell. 9; and Billie Anderson, 8 reached safety without injury and sobbed out a story of how Freddie saved their lives. Waddell said Freddie was leading the group across the railway bridge when the sound of a train whistle sounded behind them. Freddie stepped aside and shouted to them to run for their lives. This is the way Waddell told the story: I turned around and saw the engine of a train just hitting the end of the bridge. It was coming up behind us, and I yelled and we all started to run. Freddie let me and Gerry and Billie go ahead, cause were littler. We ran as hard as we could but I never thought we could make it.

All I remember is reaching the west end of the bridge and throwing myself to one side. The engine roared by me just as I leaped. I felt the steam on my bare legs as I dove off the track. When I stopped rolling I got up and saw the other two boys, but we didnt see Freddie. Then we saw him. He was lying in a bloody lump about 50 feet away. Young Anderson said he knew “Freddie must have waited to let us start, because he had been walking ahead. “If it hadnt been for him, he added, “we might all have been killed.

The train was stopped in little more than its own length and the crew ran back to provide assistance. Doctors pronounced Freddie dead on arrival.

The Windsor Star

Windsor, Ontario, Canada21 Jul 1950, Fri  •  Page 19

The 2802, standing on the shop track at West Toronto on November 1, 1957. The 2802 likely looked much like this in 1942, without those “elephant ear” smoke deflectors.1942, December 27 – Almonte, Canadian Pacific, Chalk River subdivision.

It was designated by C.P. as Passenger Extra 2802 East, (2802 being its engine number, a C.P. Hudson [4-6-4] type locomotive), crewed by engineer Lome Richardson and fireman Sam Thompson.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Jan 1943, Sat  •  Page 21


Passenger Extra 2802 East was carrying soldiers and other military personnel from Red Deer, Alta., to Halifax, where they would deploy overseas to Europe’s theatre of war. Hurtling through the night, its engine, caboose and 13 metal coaches weighed more than 1,000 tons.

After 32 years working on freight trains, Smiths Falls native Lorne Richardson was making his inaugural run as engineer of a passenger train. Sixty-four-year-old conductor John Howard, meanwhile, also a Smiths Falls resident, had been a CPR conductor since 1911, five years after he joined the company as a porter. He had another year to go before retirement.

Richardson, Howard and the rest of the crew of 2802 knew the 550 was ahead of them. They’d been given orders to keep a fast train while maintaining a safe distance — 20 minutes — between the two trains. It was a difficult task given that the troop train had no speed gauge and no way of knowing exactly how fast, or slow, the 550 was travelling, except when they arrived at the stations the 550 had recently left. In such cases, the troop train would be purposely held back to restore the 20-minute gap.

Following train No. 550 was a 13-car troop train from western Canada, bound for Montreal, via Chalk River, Carleton Place and Smiths Falls on the Chalk River subdivision, and then via the Winchester sub. to its destination. It was designated by C.P. as Passenger Extra 2802 East, (2802 being its engine number, a C.P. Hudson [4-6-4] type locomotive), crewed by engineer Lome Richardson and fireman Sam Thompson. Train 550’s engine and train crew were unaware that they were being closely followed by a passenger extra but, even so, at Almonte, under the rules of the day they should have been “protecting” (with fusees) the rear of their train as it was outside “station limits” by 170 feet (as defined by the rule book). At Almonte the local was 40 minutes late, arriving there at 8:32 P.M

1942, December 27 – Almonte, Canadian Pacific, Chalk River subdivision.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
20 Jul 1950, Thu  •  Page 16

Margaret Lisinski– Survivor of the Almonte Train Wreck

A Personal Letter John Reid, Almonte 1942

Fred Gauthier Survivor — 6 Months 1 Day –1942 Almonte Train Wreck – Vern Barr

The Removal of the CPR Train Station– Almonte –1978

Gravelle Toshack Almonte Farmer Killed By Train

Train Wreck January 21, 1969– Almonte Gazette

Names Names and More Names of Almonte Train Accident plus McDowall Family 1917

Miraculous Escapes– Almonte Train Wreck

Cpl. James H. Clifford and Miss Marion  McMillan-Survivors of the Almonte Train Wreck

Went into Torrent at Foot of Chaudiere Falls with Thermometer at 20 Below!!! 1902

Went into Torrent at Foot of Chaudiere Falls with Thermometer at 20 Below!!! 1902

37 Arthur Street Ottawa

Few men have had an experience such as Robert Davis of 37 Arthur street had back In 1902 and lived. Mr. Davis fell from the Booth flume (uncovered at the time) into the icy water of the river, on a day in January when the thermometer registered twenty below zero. He entered the water halfway between the falls and the bridge. A little below the bridge the river was solidly ice covered. Had he not been a strong swimmer and carried as far as the Ice in the rapidly flowing current, his death must have been certain.

But his strength as a swimmer enabled him to swim diagonally across the strong current to the north side of the river, and gain the land just east of the north pier of the bridge, from which point he was hauled to the bridge by a rope provided by the men of Booth’s mill. His escape seemed nothing short of miraculous. To understand properly what a wonderful escape Mr. Davis had it must be remembered that at that time there was no great dam as now and the water tore down under the bridge in a practically unrestricted flow and with mill-tail velocity.



When Mr. Davis came out of the water his cap was gone and he was bareheaded (as well as all wet) with the temperature 20 below. An employee of the mill took off his coat and put It over Mr. Davis’ head. This fact is mentioned to show the fine instincts of generosity which impel the average man in times of stress. Mr. Davis never forgot that act.

Just as the moment when Mr. Davis had been hauled onto the bridge there passed from Hull a hack with a Mr. McNeill (a brother of the late J. R. McNeill, the tailor) as a fare. Mr. McNeill (who was a stranger from the Northwest) He insisted on taking Mr. Davis to his home at 37 Arthur street, which he did.

As soon as Mr. Booth heard that Mr. Davis had come out of the river alive, he made quick arrangements for him to be taken to the boiler room and offer dry clothes,stimulants and a doctor. If ten men fell into the Icy current as Mr. Davis did (with a drop of between 26 and 30 feet, 9 would undoubtedly have been drowned. The chances would have been all against them. Insurance Agent’s Chance Mr. Davis’ experience had a humorous side. There was a certain young insurance agent who used to go around the mill soliciting accident Insurance. Being a good talker and a great hustler he did a land office business.

Lost Ottawa
Booth, Perley and Pattee mills on Chaudiere Island next to the Ottawa River in 1878.

These mills were built over the flume seen in our earlier map (posted at 7.30 am). The water pouring out the side has been used to power turbines that in turn power all the mill machinery in the days before electricity.

J.R. Booth would soon own all these mills.

(CSTM E.B. Eddy Collection, originally LAC PA-012497)

About six months after the Davis Incident the young man was at the mill and he did not know Mr. Davis personally. The young man wore a medal. Mr. Davis asked what it was and the young man proudly told him it was a Humane Society medal given him for saving the life of a man at the bridge about six months before. Mr. Davis looked at the medal and saw his own name on it, as the man who had been saved. He was dumbfounded for the moment.

When he recovered he asked the agent to describe the circumstances of the rescue and the agent told how the man had fallen from the Booth flume and how he had jumped into the river and saved him. Mr. Davis asked him if he would know the man again if he saw him. He replied that he thought he would. Mr. Davis then told him that he was the man who had fallen in the river and that he had got out of the water without help, and demanded to know how the agent had secured the medal.

The young man then caved in, admitted wearing the medal was not right, and begged Mr. Davis not to say anything about It, as he had found it a great aid to getting business. As Mr. Davis was glad to be alive at the time he laughed heartily and let the agent go his way.

WOW!! He said nothing??

Joseph Wooldridge Phillip Low- Near Drowning 1963

The Tragic Death of Dr. Mostyn Shocked the People of Almonte

Dr.Cram and Dr. Scott Drowning 1907 –Cram Genealogy

Robert Drader Bill Shail Saved from Drowning May 28 1957

Booth’s Mill — Eddy’s Lumber Dock— Near Tragedies

Lake Keminiskeg Disaster Part 2 Believe it or Not

Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

Another Story- When your Number is Up — Hubert Horton

Believe it or Not– William Dedrick of Perth

A Carleton Place Tale to Send Shivers Up Your Arm — The Sad Tale of Margaret Violet King

1978 Accident — Gallant and Touolan

1978 Accident — Gallant and Touolan

Two area youths were trapped in a car for six hours after an accident which occurred early Sunday morning on County Road 16, southwest of Almonte. Robert Gallant, 17, of R.R: #2, Carp, and William Touolan, 17, of R.R. 04, Almonte are in the Almonte General Hospital with major injuries after their car struck a tree on County Road 16, 6.3 km west of County Road Nine at about 4 a.m. on July 2.

The two youths were trapped in the car until almost 10 a.m., when a man passing heard shouts coming from the direction of the wreck. He turned back and came upon the accident, then called Almonte OPP, who turned the incident over to Perth OPP.

The Almonte Fire Department was able to free the youths by cutting the posts supporting the car roof and then attaching a chain from the roof to a tree above and pulling it up. According to Perth OPP reports, Gallant sustained a fractured right wrist, cuts and a concussion. Touolan is reported to have suffered facial cuts, neck injuries and exposure. The 1974 Ford, which was driven by Gallant, sustained $2000 damage. Perth OPP report that charges are pending. July 1978

Almonte Gazette 1978

Teamsters Horses and Accidents- Stuart McIntosh

May 16, 1961 60th Anniversary of Accident–McPhail

Remembering local Almonte Scouts — Jack Lyons and Harold McGrath

1989 Carleton Place Accident Clippings

1989 Carleton Place Accident Clippings

Photo- Judith Scott-These  came from the Canadian may 31st 1989. 

Comments from “Bus accident in Carleton Place”

Train Accident? Five Bucks and a Free Lunch in Carleton Place Should Settle it

Click Bait– The Accident Stories of Carleton Place

The Accidental Death of Thomas Lowe 1871

What Happened to Claude Taylor?

What Happened to Claude Taylor?
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
24 Mar 1897, Wed  •  Page 1

I could not find a lot about Claude, but I did find these clippings from the Lanark Era– He did fully survive and sure loved being in the Social Columns. See all the social columns below…

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
08 Jun 1898, Wed  •  Page 5
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
02 Jan 1901, Wed  •  Page 5
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
14 Aug 1901, Wed  •  Page 5


Name:Claud Taylor
Marital Status:Single
Birth Year:abt 1883
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1891
Residence Place:Lanark, Lanark North, Ontario, Canada
Relation to Head:Son
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
French Canadian:No
Father’s Name:John Taylor
Father’s Birth Place:Ontario
Mother’s Name:Jane Taylor
Mother’s Birth Place:Ontario
Neighbours:View others on page
Household MembersAgeRelationshipJohn Taylor54HeadJane Taylor55WifeGeorge Taylor23SonRachel Taylor20DaughterAgness Taylor18DaughterEffie Taylor15DaughterClaud Taylor8SonRobert Mcinnes23Domestic
Enumeration District:83

So What Happened to James Reid — Lavant

So What Happened to Miss Eva Reid of Renfrew?

What Happened to the Riddell/ Montgomery Doors? Three years later…  Sherri Iona (Lashley)

What Happened to Earl Hyde France ?

Survivors of the 1906 Fire– Mr. William Edward Scott Tom Comba — What Happened to Them?

What Happened to Lottie Blair of Clayton and Grace Cram of Glen Isle?

So What Happened to Miss Winnifred Knight Dunlop Gemmill’s Taxidermy Heads?

What Happened to Harold McLean?

What Happened to Basil Flynn’s Ducks.. ahh Geese?

What Happened to the Towels in the Soap Box?

The Case of the Missing Toe

The Case of the Missing Toe
March 31, 1931

I posted this story the other day on Tales of Almonte on Facebook and I got a tag on the posting.

Linda Mills — Linda, can you tell me the year this happened. The young man in the article was my Father in Law and I’ve heard this story more than once. The toe is buried at St. Michaels cemetery in Corkery. I then checked everywhere and could not find another burial of a toe. So this is one in the Odd Stories in History.

As you might gather from all the other answers, “Headstones” are far more common than are “footstones” At least they use to be. In some cemeteries they still are. And in many rural and small-town cemeteries, the graves are laid out with the feet all to the East, with the symbolism that all will be facing the rising sun on resurrection day. More modern cemeteries are not so picky, and lay out the graves so as to most efficiently use the available space.

Before embalming came into practice, the deceased were bathed, dressed, and were buried the same day or the morning after. Often times a family member would place a wooden cross, or something along that line, marking the grave. Footstones were placed at the end of the grave, with the initials of the deceased engraved at the top. When a headstone was ready to be placed, months and even years later, the footstones were sometimes the only record of burial. The metal funeral home markers we see today are basically evolved footstones. But again, do webury toes?

Dr Metcalfe–Photo Doug McLean who is a descendant of the Blairs from Clayton. (Rose Mary Sarsfield) who attended to the toe incident

read-Dr. Metcalfe Guthrie Evoy

Outstanding Men — Dr. Metcalfe of Almonte

Dr. Archibald Albert “Archie” Metcalfe — The Man with the Red Toupee – John Morrow

Name:John Germanus Scott
Death Age:86
Birth Date:abt 1914
Death Date:8 Aug 2000
Burial Place:Corkery, Ontario
Obituary Date:10 Aug 2000
Obituary Place:Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Newspaper Title:The Ottawa Citizen
Spouse:Phyllis Whaley
Child:MeivinHaymondEd WardRobertAudreyDouglas
Siblings:Kathleen GilmetteMary MeehanTheresa StackRose FarrellRita ScottWalterMatthew

Related reading

The Tragic Tale of the Accidental Axe — Warning: Not All History has Good Memories

Frank Hunter — Death Veiled in Mystery — Mcllquhams Bridge 1929

Frank Hunter — Death Veiled in Mystery — Mcllquhams Bridge 1929

Shortly after hia admittance to the Perth Memorial Hospital suffering from severe injuries from an unknown cause, although it was presumed he was struck by a “hit and run” motorist, Mr. Frank Hunter, aged 75 years, prominent farmer residing on the Perth Lanark highway at Mcllquhams Bridge, on the Mississippi River, died at an early hour this morning. He had been visiting a neighbor on the tenth concession of Drummond. and on his return home was struck by some object as yet undetermined.

He managed, however, to walk to the home of Mr. Wm. Davidson, whose son Alex had previously heard a car pass by, then heard someone moving about the farm yard near the house and on going outside found Mr. Hunter, in a serious condition. A Lanark doctor was quickly summoned and the victim of the accident moved to the Perth hospital in the ambulance.

At the hospital it was ascertained that the man had received a severe blow on the right side of the lace and the right ear was crushed. Both hands were injured, but none of the bones of the body were fractured. Deceased is survived by his wife, one son and one daughter. Dr. A. W. Dwyer, coroner, empanelled a jury to hold an inquest which was opened at noon today at Blair’s undertaking parlors with the following Jurymen: Messrs. W. E. Thornton, foreman. R. A.- Patterson. A. V. McLean. J. H. Devlin. C. P. Doyle. A. M. Johnston. Arnold McCulloch and J. J. Smith. After viewing the body, the Inquest was adjourned until 7.30 o’clock on Tuesday night next in the Perth town council chamber. November 1929

The driver was never found.

Frank Hunter, age 75. Presumed to have been struck by a car on the Perth-Lanark highway. ( Nov. 15, 1929, p. 2 )*IndexDeath IndexLinkArnprior Chronicle p. 2

ame:Frank Hunter
Birth Date:abt 1853
Birth Place:Glasgow
Death Date:8 Nov 1929
Death Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Cause of Death:Cerebral Hemorrhage

April 15th 1892

James W. McDonald who kept a general store at McIlquham’s bridge, Drummond, has made an assignment for the benefit of his creditors.  Too much expansion for the amount of capital, his liabilities are over $6,000.

It seemes like damages to an accident would be about $22,000 in those days.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Oct 1930, Sat  •  Page 2

Related reading

Down at Old McIlquham’s Bridge

“Naked and Afraid” in Lanark County –McIlquham’s Bridge #2

1821-1945 Oldest Family Farm Property –Mcllquham Genealogy

Remembering Stephen Yanor John Forrest Lanark 1962

Remembering Stephen Yanor John Forrest Lanark 1962

Remembering  Stephen Yanor John Forrest Lanark 1962

Hi, I regularly enjoy your bits of local history. I recently recalled a tragic accident that happened on McIlquham’s bridge on the Ferguson Falls road by where Mal’s Camping is. A boy fishing on the bridge was struck and killed by a truck. I think it was likely the summer of 1962. I think his name was David Yaner(spelling might be wrong). Anyway I was thinking that remembering what happened to him(accurately) might be appropriate.

Mike Closs

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Jun 1962, Tue  •  Page 24

Approximately one mile downsteam from Bridge #1 is McIlquham’s Bridge #2. There was a ferry in the early days or some other method of crossing as the settlers and pioneers would have to cross the river at this point when travelling between New Lanark and Carleton Place.

“Naked and Afraid” in Lanark County –McIlquham’s Bridge #2

Down at Old McIlquham’s Bridge

Margaret Rosalind Whitcher — William Henry Witcher Paint Business Owner

Margaret Rosalind Whitcher — William Henry  Witcher Paint Business Owner
1919 Almonte Gazette
Name:Margaret Rosalind Whitcher
Birth Date:abt 1913
Birth Place:Carleton Place, Ontario
Death Date:11 Aug 1919
Death Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Cause of Death:Accident

In front of Okilman’s in 1926 would be right in the empty area next to the Roayl Bank on Bridge Street. In the 1911 census Margaret was not yet born (1920). William Henry Whitcher was very prominent in the family that were Carleton Place house painters. He worked with his brother Charles. Willian McIlquam was the Carleton Fire Chrief.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
03 May 1898, Tue  •  Page 7
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Apr 1914, Mon  •  Page 1

(Old Pizza Pizza building where Bistro Polo is now)

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Jan 1906, Fri  •  Page 8

12-14 Bridge Street-This land was part of the original land settlement in Carleton Place that the Crown granted to Edmond Morphy. In 1839, the property belonged to Edmond Jr. and it is not clear from the information from the Land Registry office who sold the property to a Mr. Whitcher. The possibilities include James L. Murphy or a Mr. Cameron, but it is from the sales of the land after Whitcher’s ownership that are clear about the land transfers that result in the Salvation Army ownership of the property in 1922. In 1916, Whitcher sold the land to a James Steele and in 1920 Steele sold the land to Bates and Innes. The year 1922 was the year that Bates and Innes sold the land to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army may have been located at 12 Bridge Street since 1907 and rented the building and in 1922 bought it.

Name:W H Whitcher
Marital status:Married
Race or Tribe:English
Birth Date:Oct 1870
Birth Place:USA
Census Year:1911
Relation to Head of House:Head
Dwelling No.:117
District:Lanark North
District Number:89
Sub-District:23 – Dufferin Ward
Sub-District Number:23
Place of Habitation:Onetoner
Religion:Roman Catholic
Works at:at House Painting
Weeks Employed:30
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Family Number:121
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:NameAgeW H Whitcher40Ella Whitcher33Flarence Whitcher10Mary Whitcher3Kalt Whitcher1
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 1– Canadian Tire to The Moose

May 16, 1961 60th Anniversary of Accident–McPhail

May 16, 1961 60th Anniversary of Accident–McPhail
Robert (Bob) McPhail then Kenneth and Georgette McPhail.

Hi Linda

May16th marks the 60th Anniversary of the accident. Could you post again please. These are my father in laws father and brother and sister in law. Barb McPhail

Everyone needs to be remembered.. Honoured to share this

May 16, 1961 Almonte Ontario, Canada ARTICLE

Three Ramsay People Die In Level Crossing Accident As Freight Train Strikes TruckOne of the most tragic level crossing accidents in the history of Almonte occurred about seven o’clock, Tuesday evening, when three people lost their lives as a west bound freight train plowed into the half-ton truck in which they were riding, at a point on the 10th line of Ramsay, some three miles from this town.Dead are Robert Timmins McPhail in his 62nd year; his son, Kenneth Oswald McPhail in his 28th year, and the latter’s wife, Georgette Alaine (Ottney) McPhail in her 28th year.

The accident happened when the trio were returning to their farm home, and were passing over a crossing in the lane leading to the McPhail residence. It had been necessary for the truck to pass over a public crossing on the 10th line of Ramsay only a few hundred yards from the point where, they turned into their private roadway.Kenneth McPhail was an employee, of Simpson-Sears in Ottawa and commuted back and forth to work each day; his wife, the former Georgette Ottney was employed in the law office of Mr. C. J. Newton.

Robert McPhail, a well known farmer, had come to town to drive them home for their evening meal. He picked up his daughter-in-law first and then proceeded to the corner of Ottawa and Martin Streets where his son was waiting for him. They drove, out Martin Street to the point where it reaches the town boundary and becomes the 10th line.Mr. McPhail was driving a new truck and as there was a high wind at that time, it is conjectured that the windows might have been closed.

It is said he was slightly hard of hearing but it is difficult to figure why the young people, did not hear or see the approaching train because the crew said that the engineer blew loud blasts on his whistle, when he saw the truck was not going to stop. There is a good view of the track in both directions at this crossing.The freight train, pulled by two locomotives was a long one and while it had passed through Almonte only a few minutes before, it gained speed rapidly and was travelling at a fast rate when the accident occurred. It is said that the truck was carried on the front of the engine for a considerable distance before the engines and cars could be brought to a standstill. Dr. John King of Almonte was called to the scene as was Dr. A. A. Metcalfe, coroner for Lanark County. Constable Martin Brindle of the OPP, Perth, is investigating. Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth McPhail left five young children, Kenneth aged 11, Ross 10, Harold 8, Frank 7 and Shelley 5.

Sent by Barb McPhail

Related reading

Fanny Elizabeth Black McPhail — Genealogy

The McPhails of Drummond Township