Tag Archives: driving

Driving in a Winter Wonderland

Standard
Driving in a Winter Wonderland

cold-dog-meme

 

As I listened to the roar of my snow tires through the snowfall last week, I had to laugh at some old memories. My late husband Angelo used to argue that winter tires were “for people from Toronto who have to call in the army to shovel the sidewalks when it snows.”  That was until one day he backed down my father’s snowy driveway on Miltimore Drive in Bromont and removed part of my Dad’s fence. Not content with believing his Delta 88 could do such a thing he attempted to reverse again, only this time he hit the mailbox. He remained silent on the drive back to Ottawa and I never heard him tell tall tales about snow tires again.

 

My late father Arthur Knight always insisted that you should keep bags of sand in the trunk for traction in case you got stuck in the winter. His 70s Ford Pinto was loaded to the brim with bags of sand, and when I went to visit him he insisted tossing in more in my trunk. It was supposed to add weight, and if I ever got stuck, the sand could be used for traction he said. I never actually got stuck, so I never had to use the sand. Somehow I doubt that a couple of sandbags add or subtract anything meaningful to the traction of a vehicle that already weighs a ton when empty, plus a few hundred pounds with a driver and passenger.

 

Every year CAA publishes advice for winter driving and putting sand or litter in the back of a rear wheel drive car is always on the list. I personally prefer cat litter because it’s relatively inexpensive (non clumping, non scented) and provides decent traction.

 

When I was a kid everyone had snow tires. It was only in the 80s that people got silly and bought into the “all season” foolishness.

 

We’ve all heard someone say:

 

“I’ve been driving 50 years and have never needed winter tires–or– really, I only need two snow tires!”

 

Which meansHold my Timmies! I got this!

 

My Dad also used to tell the neighbours to pour hot water from the kettle on a frozen windshield. I heard him say that so many times, but he failed to tell folks about the puddle it left behind. That can lead someone to suffer a nasty spill– which he seemed to take each time he luckily didn’t crack the windshield with that boiling water.

 

Or how about turning your car on and idling it so the car will be warm? Sometimes I had time to run up Albert Street and buy something at Bonneau’s before the neighbour’s car was fully warmed up. Years ago cars didn’t have technology to properly warm up a carburetor but some folks still believe the myth their Dad and Grandfather told them about keeping the car warm.

 

If anyone ever tries to tell you any of these are true, block your ears and slowly back away. My favourite thing about winter? When it’s over!  Just be glad you don’t live in Newfoundland!

 

Cattle Driving — Keeping the Beast on the Road

“Let the Cattle Pass” An Insulting Nuisance

Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925

Tips From the Almonte Gazette “Travel Section” 1874

TWO GIRLS FINISH LONG MOTOR TRIP-Eileen Snowden— Almonte

 

A Ride Through Lanark County 1940

Standard
A Ride Through Lanark County 1940

IMG_8109.jpg

June 1940

Somehow I got the idea that Lanark was the county town of Lanark county. Since this would be just about the only county town in Ontario that I had never visited (always of course excepting Haliburton, where even the train goes only three times a week!) I decided it would be just the thing to round out my day if I could make Lanark. Here indeed would be terra incognita.

So turning my car toward terra incognita, I went out of Carleton Place and turned off at the church. I struck a road that sometimes was paved, and sometimes was not, till I came to a spot called Ferguson’s Falls. By now the countryside had changed. Gone were the lush acres of Carleton Place. In their place was that undecided sort of country that exists between Brockvllle and Kingston, and west of Perth. It can’t quite make up its mind whether to be agricultural country or not. So you find pockets of good land, interspersed by stretches of picturesque rock lands.

These same woods, good for maple syrup in the spring, pasture in the summer, and fuel in the winter, are not to be sneezed at, if you have some arable land as well, but you are out of luck as a farmer if all your land is this way. However, I was not out to sob over the steering wheel about the plight of the farmer who owned a rock pile, but to get on to Lanark town, and ultimately it came into view.

I took a couple of squirms, went around a hill or two, and landed plump in front of the Lanark Era. Just about the easiest place to get acquainted, the quickest place to get information, and the best place to feel at home for any newspaperman is a country newspaper office. Deadlines aren’t the disagreeable things there they are in such fast-moving sheets as The Citizen, and so they generally have time to talk to you.

I sat there and sniffed that lovely smell of a composing room, and plumped myself down to see if I could find out something about Lanark. First and foremost, Lanark produced the great *George Mair, whose epic, Tecumseh, is regarded as one of the truly great literary things done by a Canadian. With that I might couple the fact that Managing Editor Robertson of Beaver-brook’s London Daily Express, is an old Lanark boy. So Is George Mcllraith, Liberal M.P. for Ottawa West.

In with these important tidings I would breathlessly add that the chain stores have not yet invaded this delightful place. Lanark today has only a few over 700 people, but it once had more. Its chief support in days gone by was the woollen mill, but this burned down at the end of the last war, or thereabouts. There was no other large industry to replace it, and today the largest payroll in the town is that of the school. Incidentally, I see the Lanark Era of the issue I was in town said the teachers had resigned, and it was decided to advertise for new ones.

I went south on the road which they said was the bumpiest between Lanark and Florida they misinformed me, for there is a bumpier one in Georgia and in due course I came to the outskirts of Perth. I was told by *George Mcllraith that I had missed a most important item outside Pert h, and that was the first bank established in Upper Canada. I was back two weeks later, but entering by another road, missed it again. I might say that I had been through Perth a good many times by rail, but had no idea it was such a beautiful place. It beats Smiths Falls.

Perth has a pretty park in its midst, and is so laid out, not only to give it real beauty, but to create the impression that the town is really bigger than it is. I have been in the original Perth in Scotland, and both of course, are on the Tay. While doubtless the Caledonian counterpart is more entrancingly located, the Canadian Perth, and Lanark’s county town, does not suffer too much by comparison.

Whoever laid the pavement between Perth and Smiths Falls did a good job, and my own concern was the proximity of a speed cop. Smiths Falls Is pretty enough, and seems to change but little. I associate with Smiths Falls all kinds of emotions. I remember, for instance, sitting at a table in the dining room of the main hotel there, and learning that Doc Cook had “discovered” the North Pole. It was also during another momentous meal there that a fellow at the table said that the Mauretanla had just broken the world’s speed record for a steamship.

At a later date, I stopped off at S.F. to see a girl, between trains, and later again, used to drop into the Canadian Pacific station to have a chat with “Tex” Ricard, who went to Queen’s In my day, and later became a railway dispatcher. But above all. I remember going down to The Falls one time at the behest of The Citizen to write about vaccination and some of its evils. I went around to all the offices first, and climaxed the day by interviewing a couple of indignant medical officials. I returned on the last train, charged a heavy dinner up to The Citizen, and then was pleased to hear from Vincent Pask, night city editor, that it was the best story I had written for him up to date. That I had turned in a lot of bad ones I am the first to admit. The trip from Smiths Falls home through a sort of lane of a highway was dull, and I was shocked to see what a run-down place Franktown Is. I was prepared for something belter. I bypassed Carleton Place on the way back, and arrived safely at the Island Boulevard traffic circle without incident.

 

historicalnotes

George Mair

w200.11834

Throughout his life, Charles Mair, the “warrior bard,” considered it his patriotic duty to crusade for Canada. He attributed this conviction to his origin in the Ottawa valley “in its primitive day.” His paternal grandfather had come to Lanark in 1824 at age 78 and established two general stores; in 1831 his son and daughter-in-law left Scotland to join him in the merchant and timber trade. In his memoirs Mair would recall the romance and drama of the trade: “I loved the river life, the great pineries in winter, where the timber was felled and squared.” He disliked the discipline of the schoolmaster in Lanark and his years at the Perth Grammar School, but he recalled the pastimes enjoyed by the villagers as idyllic: shinty on ice, games, trapping, making maple syrup, and visiting Indian encampments. Read more here..click
Descendants of: James McIlraith   Click here
 George Stewart McIlraith b. 4 Aug 1857 Darling Twp, Lanark County, ON Canada d. 25 Apr 1942 G.W.M. Hospital, Perth, Lanark County, ON Canada m. Margaret (Maggie) Scott Rintoul m. 5 Oct 1887 Tatlock, Darling Twp, Lanark County, ON Canada at her father’s home by Rev. Joseph Andrew  b. 10 Jan 1867 Tatlock, Darling Twp, Lanark County, ON Canada d. 10 Apr 1942 G.W.M. Hospital, Perth, Lanark County, ON Canada [daughter of William JAMES Rintoul and Annie Watt]

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

Highway 7 and 15 Notes from Karen Prytula

Standard
Highway 7 and 15 Notes from Karen Prytula

 

20171202_141539.jpg

Map from Karen Prytula

Author’s note- When people send me interesting informative notes, especially someone like Karen, I like to make them available. Memories, notations, should be documented for future history.

 

From Karen Prytula– LCGS and Heritage Ottawa

The newspaper article you posted (When Things Come 360 –The First Automobile Fatality in Carleton Place– Torrance, Burgess, and Names Names) said the Torrance/Burgess family was headed to the Ashton Rd. This intrigued me somewhat, and so I pulled out my 1951 map, and the road to Ashton was Hwy 15!  Common knowledge to most, but what I did not realize was that 15 went right into Carleton Place (i.e. straight down the Franktown Rd., and straight down Bridge St. to the Town Line Rd, then veered left and went to Innisville, and then probably Perth).

You will also see there is no Hwy 7, going over the train tracks at the intersection of today’s 7 and Franktown Road.  If you stayed on the road it was probably dirt, and took you straight to the lake with no bridge to cross it like there is today if you were going to Perth.  i.e. if you were going to Perth back then, you would have to take the Townline route.

 If you were going the opposite way it took you straight to Ashton, then down what we called the 9th line, now known as Flewellyn Rd. I grew up on the 10th line (now Fernbank), one mile north of the 9th line.  We used to come to Carleton Place for gas on Sundays to gas up for the week.
Thanks Karen.
historicalnotes
Wendy LeBlanc- Hey, Linda, I always wondered why the (notice that we always used the word ‘the’ in front and never ‘road’ after) Town Line got changed to Townline Road. It was the Town Line when I left in ’66 and Townline Road when I moved back in ’88. Can’t think of why it would have changed. Did you know that it used to be Ontario’s shortest highway – #100?
24891457_10155617459571001_314786849_n (1).jpg
Crystal Jane sen this photo in. Thank you!
Hi Linda! I have an old photo of my grandpa when they were building Highway #7
His name is Ray Giles 🙂 thank you for posting it!! Such a great part of the heritage ! – considering every Carleton Place resident has driven that highway.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

 

relatedreading

Rolling Down Highway 15

Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925

“If Wayne Robertson Jumped Off the Highway 7 Bridge Does that Mean You Do it?”

Something Really Spells Funny on Highway 7

The Lost Highway

Breathtaking Bargains and Jukebox Favourites at The Falcon on Highway 7

Sentimental Journey Through Carleton Place — Did You Know About Sigma 7?

Twin Oaks Motel Opens -1959 — Highway 7 Landmarks

An Explosive Highway 7 Tale

unnamed (1)