Tag Archives: Chaudiere Falls

Clippings of the Chaudiere Falls- and Signor Farini- Tightrope Walker

Clippings of the Chaudiere Falls- and Signor Farini- Tightrope Walker

Date 1900-06-26

Accession NumberMP-0000.27.185

DivisionPhotography – Documentary collection


CreditGift of Stanley G. Triggs

Lost Ottawa


Michael Davidson shares this picture of the Chaudiere Falls, taken by preeminent Ottawa photographer Topley, circa 1880.

If I have my bearings right, the ring dam would be built not far to the left of this chasm about thirty years later.

I believe you can still see this chasm looking from Chaudiere Island.

(LAC PA-008423)

Lost Ottawa


Dramatic shot of a photographer standing on the rocks below the Chaudiere Falls in the Ottawa River. Date January, 1878, long before the river was dammed. Ready to sacrifice for his art?

Apart from the beauty of the scene, the shot indicates the water power that was there to be harnessed. More power than Niagara, Ottawa pamphlets used to claim.

The shot appears to have been taken by (and of) one of the Stiff Brothers, Thomas or Philander, who were early Ottawa photographers.

(LAC PA-012592)

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada01 Jan 1878, Tue  •  Page 2

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada28 Jun 1866, Thu  •  Page 2

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada06 Sep 1864, Tue  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada06 Sep 1864, Tue  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada09 Sep 1864, Fri  •  Page 2

The funny thing was that the Ottawa Daily Citizen only published once a week, and after all this publicity a formally written account of the event was never published. But word on the street was– he did in fact do his two performances: one at 3PM and the other at 10PM and once blindfolded.

James Powell of the Historical Society of Ottawa shares a story a man, a rope, and the Chaudiere Falls.

Check out the story on Ottawa Ma

The Great Farini Crosses the Chaudière Falls

The Great Farini crossing the Niagara Gorge with an Empire Washing Machine strapped to his back, 15 August 1860.

Earl W. Brydges Public Library, New York.

9 September 1864

Back in the mid-nineteenth century, the world was wowed by Jean François Gravelet, better known as the Great Blondin. In June 1859, in front of a crowd of 25,000 fascinated and horrified onlookers, Blondin crossed the Niagara Gorge from the United States to Canada on a tightrope. On his return trip, he brought a daguerreotype camera with him to take a photo of the spectators.

One of Blondin’s greatest fans was a young man from Port Hope, Ontario named William Leonard Hunt. Hunt was born in June 1838 in Lockport, New York but grew up close to Port Hope where his parents settled after living for a time in the United States. As a child, he was a daredevil and was fascinated with all things related to the circus—much to his parents’ chagrin who view such activities as dishonourable. Hunt gave his first professional performance as a funambulist (tightrope walker) at age twenty-one by crossing the Ganaraska River in Port Hope on a rope stretched eighty feet high between two buildings, just months after Blondin’s conquest of Niagara Falls. Hunt chose the stage name Signor Guillermo (Italian for William) Farini, or the “Great Farini.” Read more here.. CLICK

Another account here click

CLIPPED FROMThe Kingston Whig-StandardKingston, Ontario, Canada03 Dec 1864, Sat  •  Page 2

CLIPPED FROMThe Kingston Whig-StandardKingston, Ontario, Canada03 Dec 1864, Sat  •  Page 2

Read more about his life here..

Stories my Grandfather Told Me– The Circus

Sometimes You Win and Sometimes You Lose –The Great Peters

The Boy that Ran Away to the Circus and Other Stories

Architecture Stories: ‘Once Upon a Time’ -Home of the Kool Aid Acid Test & Other Time Travel Stories

The Human Seal or Polar Bear Comes to Carleton Place and Almonte

Mrs Jarley and her Waxworks Hits Lanark– and they call me strange:)

Mrs. Jarley’s Wax Works -Creepy Entertainment

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

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

“Ottawa Flashbacks” Photo Collection- Simpson Book Collection

Views of Ottawa— J Hope & Co. 1884 – Simpson Book Collection

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

Mississippi Hotel Beer — Brading’s Beer



Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum Instagram Page

Alan Lewis from Bytown or Bust added this information about the beer bottle from the Mississippi Hotel in Carleton Place.

This beer, Bradings , was brewed in an old brewery near the  downtown of Ottawa. After WWII, most of the beer sold in Ottawa was brewed by Brading’s. I remember seeing many of these bottles when I was young. Brading’s must have been swallowed up by one of the large breweries, maybe Molson’s or Labatt’s. For Chaudiere Falls / Lebreton Flats history see www.bytown.net/chaudiere.htm. … Allan Lewis- Bytown or Bust

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Dec 1942, Thu  •  Page 14