Tag Archives: logging

The Everyday Life of a Lumberjack and River Driver –James Annable

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The Everyday Life of a Lumberjack and River Driver –James Annable

Photo from- thanks to Cathy & Terry Machin– Moore Lumber Co who Dugald New worked at as a cook and labourer.The Postcard Courtship of Emma Buffam and Dugald New – Episode 3

It has seldom been our privilege to present a more comprehensive word picture of the everyday life of a lumberjack and river driver on the Upper Ottawa a half century ago, than that which comes to us today from the pen of Mr. James Annable of Carleton Place. Born on the banks of the Mississippi at Carleton Place, in the days when lumbering on that important tributary of the Ottawa was at its height, Mr. Annable at an early age threw in his lot with the bronzed giants of the forest and river. His experiences during that first season are not only interesting but highly informative.

“I left home to go to the headwaters of the Mississippi river in Lavant as a cook’s flunkey in the shanty of Boyd Caldwell, Sr., pioneer lumberman with timber limits at Ompah. We outfitted in Lanark village and travelled by wagons. There were thirty teams of horses, each wagon loaded with bob-sleighs and tools, along with provisions to feed seventy men that winter. The foreman in charge (we shall call him Bob Price) was six feet tall and weighed about 200 pounds. The wagons were loaded to capacity with flour, beans, black molasses, salt pork, sugar, tea, etc. The cook wagon was equipped with utensils and food already cooked to feed the crew composed of teamsters, bush rangers, roadmen, sawyers and river drivers.

It took fifteen days to make the Journey to Lavant station, near Ompah, where our camp site was already staked out. On our arrival at the Snow Road, we were almost frozen as winter had set in and the ice was on the inland lakes and creeks, we arrived with a number of the men sick with colds and sore feet; many of them had to cut brush roads around sluiceways. At last the wagons arrived.

“We lived in tents for twenty days while the shanty was being constructed out of hemlock logs. After the trees were felled the broad-axe men notched the ends and locked them on the corners, boring a one-inch auger hole through each tier and driving dowel pins made of ash and hickory sapling to hold the corners intact. They were floated alongside each other and held together with swifters made out of rope and the inner bark of ash and elm. Each stick would average from 800 to 1,000 feet virgin pine. They were formed into cribs of twelve sticks each. Rafters were made out of tamarack and spruce, tapering from eight inches at the butt to four inches at the top. The pitch of the roof was about 30 degrees. “The roof was made by hewing out the center of eight inch timber with a tool called an adze. After narrower so that they would float and not break apart.

In the center of the crib the cookery was located, also tents for the river drivers. These men wore high boots almost to the knees the roof -timbers were complete. This made it waterproof and when completed it was almost air tight. Ventilation was made under the eaves to carry out the smoke. “Around the south end of the camp bunks were constructed three tiers high and five feet wide to hold two men. Their beds were made soft by cutting cedar boughs and filling the bunks with them.

Each man had to make his own bed, the blankets being furnished by the company. Pillows were ‘out’ until the flour sacks were empty, when they would be filled with straw and in time everyone had his pillow. Next, the cookery was constructed by making a log box six feet wide and 18 feet long.

Moore Logging Crew-Photo from- thanks to Cathy & Terry Machin– Moore Lumber Co.The Postcard Courtship of Emma Buffam and Dugald New – Episode 3

Each man had his own pike pole and peavy or cant-hook and our first slide was reached at Playfair, a few miles from Lanark. The cribs were all broken up and had to be made in four-stick lots to run through the slide Into the lower waters, and it was about eight feet. The kitchen crib was the last to go through. Then on down to Ferguson’s Falls, twelve miles distant.

A post was set in the center with iron bands, with loops for the large iron pipe that supported the cooking utensils over the Are, to rest on. When we were boiling spuds, beans and ‘sow belly,’ the beans when boiled soft were placed in a 24 inch cast, iron kettle with cover that projected out over the edge a half Inch. These were buried in the sand and ashes over night and were ready to serve for breakfast piping hot, flavored with blackstrap molasses and plenty of salt pork browned to a golden hue. read-The Carleton Place Beanery at Dalhousie Lake

The bread was baked the same way, the loaves coming out of the Dutch oven with crust on all sides, weighing about twenty pounds and cut in wedges. At meal time each man took his tin plate and tea basin and knife and fork and stood in line until the cook or the cook’s devil would help him with his food. Fresh meat was seldom served in those days but there was plenty of wild game to be had, but with no shooting allowed we used to snare rabbits.

Photo from- thanks to Cathy & Terry Machin– Moore Lumber Co. along with Brooks Lumber Co.who were a huge outfit out of the US and bought land parcels all through Canada to cut wood. Thanks Jaan KolkThe Postcard Courtship of Emma Buffam and Dugald New – Episode 3

After each meal, eacn man took care of his dishes and tools and put them on the rack ready for the next chow time. When the days work was done and supper over, they sat on the long benches that ran in front of the bunks, the boys would enjoy themselves by playing flutes, fiddles, mouth organs and jewsharps. Old shanty songs prevailed and the old timers took delight in hanging it on the tenderfoot, but it did not take long for the first-timer to learn his way about. Wrangling and fighting were taboo.

A tragedy occurred as we passed Innisville rapids into the big waters of Mississippi Lake. Our foreman called for volunteers to ride a chain boom through Innisville rapids. Some twelve of the old timers went through fine, after a three-mile sail, each man on a single stick thirty feet long and twelve to fifteen inches in diameter. These logs were chained together end to end and were snubbed to shore at Cooke’s Landing wilh one end to the other and poled against the current across the mouth of the big lake and made fast to trees on the other shore.

When everything was made fast, all the crew went up again to the slide and ran the square timber through the lower rapids out into the clear water They floated the cribs endways until they reached the boom, placing the cribs close together in formation to get in readiness to cross the Mississippi lake about four miles to the head of Pretty island. There always seemed to be a head wind ahead of us so we had to lie idle until the wind chance to south.

One of my favourite photos of Ruby Featherstone down at the old Pike Hole. Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Dec 1937, Sat  •  Page 2

Franktown Once Enlivened By Shouts of Lumberjacks–The word of Mrs. Frances Atkinson

Just Another Day in Logging

  1. Six Women in Town but Lots of Logging
  2. Loggers– Arborists– Then and Now in Lanark County
  3. You Don’t Waltz With Timber on a Windy DaySmoking Toking Along to the Log Driver’s Waltz Sandy Caldwell King of the River BoysYour Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day

Memories of the Lumber Era- The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings and Local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich

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With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

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Lanark County local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich



Lanark County local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich

Lanark County local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich
Lanark County local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich
Lanark County local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich
Lanark County local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich
Lanark County local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich
Lanark County local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich

Lanark County local photos from-Nigel Klemencic-Puglisevich

Logging Down the Line From Snow Road to Lavant to Carleton Place to Appleton to Galetta

Remembering the Old Log Timber Slide

I Saved the Lives of 29 Men That Day

The Pembroke Lumber Company Rare Photo

History of McLaren’s Depot — by Evelyn Gemmill and Elaine DeLisle

The Continuing Saga of Christena McEwen Muirhead—The McLaren Mill

The Day Carleton Place was Nearly Wiped Out!

Clippings Of the McLaren Case The Scandal That Rocked Lanark County

History of McLaren’s Depot — by Evelyn Gemmill and Elaine DeLisle

David Armitage Gillies –Last of the Old “Camboose” Lumber Men


Loggers– Arborists– Then and Now in Lanark County

A Logging Camp Story — Beaver Stew

Just Another Day in Logging

  1. Six Women in Town but Lots of Logging
  2. Loggers– Arborists– Then and Now in Lanark County
  3. You Don’t Waltz With Timber on a Windy Day
  4. Smoking Toking Along to the Log Driver’s Waltz 
  5. Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys
  6. Your Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day

Logging Down the Line From Snow Road to Lavant to Carleton Place to Appleton to Galetta

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Logging Down the Line From Snow Road to Lavant to Carleton Place to Appleton to Galetta

It has seldom been our privilege to present a more comprehensive word picture of the everyday life of a lumberjack and river driver on the Upper Ottawa a half century ago, than that which comes to us today from the pen of Mr. James Annable of Carleton Place. Born on the banks of the Mississippi at Carleton Place, in the days when lumbering on that important tributary of the Ottawa was at its height, Mr. Annable at an early age threw in his lot with the bronzed giants of the forest and river. His experiences during that first season are not only interesting but highly informative.

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 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. The old pike Hole

appleton tom edwards photo

Down by the Old Pike Hole–The Island Bridges of Carleton Place- Before and After

The Devil, a Regatta, the Enterprise and a Gale

A Logging Camp Story — Beaver Stew

Just Another Day in Logging

  1. Six Women in Town but Lots of Logging
  2. Loggers– Arborists– Then and Now in Lanark County
  3. You Don’t Waltz With Timber on a Windy Day
  4. Smoking Toking Along to the Log Driver’s Waltz 
  5. Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys
  6. Your Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day

Stories of Big Joe Montferrand

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Stories of Big Joe Montferrand

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Big Joe was a logger and he plied his dangerous trade along the Ottawa Valley as he led the men who conveyed the long trains of logs down the swift rivers to the pulp mills of Montreal and beyond. He was a man of extraordinary strength and courage, attributes matched only by his civility and kindness. During his life he was called upon to teach a lesson to many a quarrelsome braggart or would-be-bully, but unlike the fictitious Paul Bunyan, Big Joe lived and his numerous descendants still reside in Quebec.

In January of 1925 Mr. Derby told a very personal story about Montferrand when he boarded in Aylmer with the Derby family. Mr. Derby Senior and Big Joe were friends and Derby said that the fabled stories of Big Joe Montferrand of being a quarrelsome lad was a myth– except when he was in action.

Joe was generally a good natured man, but when someone started anything he went into action. He instantly became a real wildman and it was said that his kick was deadly. In 1855 however Derby was in Quebec with Montferrand and they were lying off on a raft of wood off Cap Rouge near Quebec. At one point they both decided to get a wee shot of booze and a man asked if he was not indeed Big Joe Montferrand and that he was pleased to meet him.

The man expressed interest in him as the strongest man in the area and said he would like to see if this story was true by fighting him. Big Joe agreed and they both went off to the hotel yard ready to fight. Derby  thought it was best to stay in the bar at this point and have a couple of drinks as really he had no idea they were going to fight.

Before long Joe came in and told the barkeeper he had best come out and take care of what was now a dead man. According to the story the two of them had not been fighting long before the man began to  fight unfairly bunting his head. Joe warned him to fight fairly or he would kick, but the man refused to listen. So Joe did what he did best and that was to kick his opponent, and he kicked hard. One of Joe’s kicks went near the man’s heart and that was the end of the story, and his opponent dropped like a log.

Of course a huge fuss ensued and Joe was not arrested but was detained for a few days until he was able to go back to his logging crew. He had learned a lesson that day and never fought anyone else who challenged him.

Montferrand stood 6’4″ and was lithe and powerful, and one of his biographers, Andre de la Chevrotiere, described him as “prodigiously strong and at the same time generous, charitable, patriotic and with a love for hard work.” Anyway, big Joe was a famous fighting man, and some of his memorable battles took place right here.

He spent a lot of time in Hull and Ottawa between 1825 and 1850. One of his brawls became known in every shanty as “the battle of the beast with seven heads.” Montferrand was a ladies’ man, and he had a date with a fair creature who was coveted also by one of seven MacDonald brothers. The MacDonalds were an unruly lot four of them standing more than six feet, and they knew Joe – would be crossing the Footbridge at the Chaudiere from Hull to the Ottawa side. They decided to confront Joe in the middle of the bridge.

Joe pounded six of them senseless, and came to the youngest, and took mercy, and told him to go home to his mother. Joe continued on his way to keep his rendezvous with the lady fair. ‘ He was a bush foreman, and when the lads were taking off with civilization for the bush, it was Joe’s custom to stand them treats in a tavern, and it was said his generosity usually exceeded his purse.

One time, he was leading his gang into the woods for the winter when they came to The Tavern of the Pretty Widow.  Montferrand wanted to stand the treats but he was broke. He asked The Widow for credit, and she granted his wish, and so Joe decided to leave a calling card. From his “turkey” the bundle the men carried containing all their belongings he got out his “cork boots” (caulked boots), cleared a path, launched himself into the air and planted both feet on the ceiling, leaving his heel marks.

So was born “the legend of the cork boots,” and so many travellers stopped into The Widow’s place to see the marks of the feat that she was well repaid. He had one line of challenge: “No man on the Ottawa can stand up to Jos. Montferrand.” In those days when a “rough and tumble” or “a toute fain” meant using the head, feet, fists and even teeth’, nobody ever did.

Did you know?:- Far more often, though, the appellation ”Mrs.” indicated a widow’s tavern. As the only women to be licensed in their own right were widows. 

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Nov 1935, Sat  •  Page 32

Canada’s Mythical Mufferaw is a real part of Mattawa

MATTAWA MUSEUM

Mattawa and District Historical Society

All About Lorraine Lemay –Mississippi Hotel

Architecture Stories: The Hotel that Stompin’ Tom Connors Saved

I Saved the Lives of 29 Men That Day

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I Saved the Lives of 29 Men That Day

Perth Courier, April 28, 1911

Reminiscences of Old Perth by Alexander M. Richey

How I came to have 15,000 logs at the time the bridge at Almonte was swept away is easily explained.  I left Fall River with less than 10,000 logs but the firm of Young, Winn and Company of Ottawa purchased all of John Hall’s logs, 6,000 or more and I had agreed to drive them to the mouth of the Mississippi along with my logs.  Hall’s Mills had burned down that spring.  A steam saw mill and a long haul of the lumber to the market could not pay expenses so Hall sold his logs and went back to the square timber trade again.  For the timber trade paid sometimes, the sawed lumber did not at least according to Hall.

Near Old Sly’s 1830

 

A steam saw mill in those days could not compete with a mill run by water power.  There were nearly a dozen of water rover mills nearer to market then Hall’s was.  His mill was on the north side of the river just above the bridge of the Perth and Lanark Road.  Some 90 years ago a lad named Cameron ran a ferry at this place—they called him the bare foot ferry boy.  But years after he was elected to parliament from the United Counties of Lanark and Renfrew and became Hon. Malcolm Cameron.  I found the firm of Young, Winn and Company to be a staunch friend, honest and upright and liberal in every particular.  They were from the state of Maine.  Capt. Young was the practical man of the firm.  An old river driver as well as a sailor and had been owner and captain of a lumber vessel part of the time.

MIKAN 3372563 Log jam  July, 1883. [132 KB, 760 X 605]

Log Jam 1883

Captain Young was with me from the time I left the mouth of the Mississippi until we got the logs separated into booms; mine for Pontiac Mills and his for Ottawa.  He and all the men except for Pat Green and I were at work clearing out what was called the blind soy but at that time we were forced to use it to get the logs past the Shaw rapids.  The soy in times past had been the outlet of the river but got choked up with drift wood, felled trees, etc.  At one time it had been quite a stream and came out in Fitzroy Harbor quite distinct from the Shaw Rapids.

 

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Photo- Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

The high water in the Ottawa River backed up higher than in the smaller one and sent nearly all the logs down the soy and it was a much better route for the logs in every way.  Green and I were getting a few scattered logs off the bank on the other side of the river; he had got the last one afloat and was polling it out of he current.  I was getting a flatted boom out of the crotch of a tree where it had floated during the freshet.  I heard some splashing but had been so busy with the boom stick that I paid no attention to Green until then.  I looked around and saw Green’s hat floating on the other side of the log.  I shouted for a canoe and swam to the hat.  I noticed air bubbles coming up and I dived down for Green.  He was standing straight up with 15 feet of water above him.  I got him up and onto the log before the canoe got to us.  He was filled with water but if his last breathing had not given me a clue to where he was he would have been past recovery before we got to him.  It took twenty or thirty minutes before he drew a long breath and thirty of us wee using our best skill on him.

 

 

Early in the summer of 1852 I was running the Shaw Rapids with a raft of timber and had gotten half the raft over in one trip as the water was high.  We landed at the head of the slide and started back for the other half when down came half a raft of Dunlop’s.  Away out of the channel was a high wind from the southwest. They were headed for the horse shoe falls.  Nothing could save the timber from going over.  My canoe a three and a half fathom bark could save the men.  I landed my men, fifteen of them, on the nearest point and I pulled for the raft in haste and not a moment too soon either for the poor fellows were rowing side oars up stream for their lives.  I tell you, when I got along side the canoe 14 men never embarked in a canoe any quicker in ten seconds.

 

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Photo- Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

 

I heard the timber crashing over the falls of thirty feet or more.  I had hardly got them landed when another raft of thirty cribs and fifteen men came down the rapids but were blown out of the channel by the wind which was by this time almost a hurricane.  I had started to take my men off the point of land when I saw this raft in as great a danger as that of Dunlop’s men so we turned to the rescue but the pilot, a French Canadian thought he could save his raft and bring it to the slide but very soon he had to give up that idea and he and his men jumped for the canoe and listened to the timber crashing over the falls.  The reason for their trying to run at the time was on account of the high wind.  They were afraid the anchors would not hold the whole raft against the wind and strong current. Well, I saved the lives of 29 men that day and only one man Mr. Dunlop returned thanks and he was not one of those rescued either but thanked me for his men’s lives.

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

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.

 

relatedreading

Loggers– Arborists– Then and Now in Lanark County

You Don’t Waltz With Timber on a Windy Day

Smoking Toking Along to the Log Driver’s Waltz

 

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

Your Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day

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The Old Saw Mill Poem – Lanark County

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Saw mill, grist and shingle mill established by Isaac Currie 1860 on the Fall River. Maberly. Photo: Library of Archives Canada 1870

The Old Saw Mill – By the Mississippi River–by Unknown

In a little town so still

There’s a building old and battered

‘Tis the old saw-mill.

It is twisted, it is tattered

From the toil of many years

The walls are scratched and shattered

Yet it shows no sign of fear.

The carriage growls and grumbles

As it journeys to and fro,

And the engine howls and mumbles

Making all the pullies go.

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Perth Remembered

The belts all need relacing.

And the track is out of line.

The saw should have refacing.

Ere it splits another pine.

The melting snow is dripping

Through the knot holes in the roof,

But the saw goes on a ripping

She’s still running that is proof.

The saw-dust chain is whining

How that edger saw does throb

But the boss looks quite contented

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Perth Remembered photo-PENMAN’S SAWMILL MIDDLEVILLE 1910

For it’s still doing the job.

No matter what the weather

The work goes on the same

There’s no excuse for stopping

For the weather man’s to blame

What’s it matter if its raining.

What’s it matter if it snows.

There is no use complaining.

And so that’s the way it goes.

 

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Caldwell Steam Sawmill in Wilbur-photo from Ruby and Raymond Blackburn

 

At the edger there’s a fellow

Who is working all the day

He wears a suit of yellow

And he’s drawing steady pay.

His name is Erwin Downey

And across the track from him

Is the faithful Ira Deugo,

Who is working with such vim.

Eric Needham, known as Kelly

Is the man who piles the slabs

He is one of our best workers

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Maberly-Mill

Yet he loves to stand and gab.

Joey Bowman helps the teamster

And is always in the way

Yet he does his best and that is worth

The very best of pay.

Wash. Sheffield from Arnprior

Is the sawyer of the crew

He pulls and shoves the levers

While tobacco he does chew

And our well known comedian

Who is anything but green

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Perth RememberedPenmans Saw Mill Gang–Middleville

Is the man who twirls the can hook

His name is Lornie Steen.

The boy who saws the slabs in lengths.

Provides us lots of fun

His name is Gordie Belford

But we always call him Hon.

The fellow that I near forgot

Is always on the go

He follows two good horses

And he doesn’t dare be slow.

 

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Perth Historical Society Photo-Thanks to Brad Nichols, of Lanark, who advises that this is the former Caldwell Grist and Sawmill on the Clyde River in Lanark.

The horses too deserve a line

In this our loggers song.

The ever willing workers

Who are so true and strong.

And last of all the scaler

Who is the foreman too

Stands there all day and keeps the score

Of all the work we do.

He sees the boards come sliding out.

And always he’s the same

Through rain or shine through work or rest

Frank Needham is his name.

And here I end my story

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Before Riverside park, there was Caldwell’s Saw Mill. Located approximately where the beach is now, this saw mill operated from 1869 to 1891. Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

I hope you’ll think its fine

The story of the loggers

Who love the smell of pine.

Now if you plan on building

A barn or anything

Here’s where to get your lumber sawed

Just visit us next spring.

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Related reading

Where Was Hunter’s Mill and Huntersville?

Memories and Mentions of Names in Maberly

 

Up and Down the Shantymen used to Roam

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May 1 1891

—A shantyman named Telesphore Larocque, in the employ of James McLaren & Co., was driving logs on St. Denis Creek when he fell through and lost his life in the treacherous waters. This is the third fatal accident which has occurred in the same place within the past twelve months. 1898

Up and down the long stretch of road in spring and fall the shantymen used to roam. In the days when it came time to hire for the woods gangs of men would spend days in the village enjoying a rollicking time. Those were the days of sights and they continued each succeeding spring and fall until within the last 15 years when the lumber business had waned and almost passed away. These were lively scenes in the early shanty days. In the business of lumbering numerous horses are used not only in the woods operations but also in “cadging” the provisions long distances from the storehouses to the camps

Every person acquainted with the life and disposition of a “shantyman” knows that in his merry moments, when through with the season’s operations in bush or on “drive” he is wont to engage in diversion of an innocent nature. And also in the long winter evenings when the work of the day is done and the “lads” have all returned from the woods and are seated around the camboose. It has been an arduous day perhaps out in the “works”; from before dawn till twilight’s close the men have been faithfully attending to all the parts of making logs or timber, chopping, scoring, hewing, skidding, hauling, with a brief midday meal of bread and pork at the base of some tall monarch of the woods, then thankfully coming to camp at night the lads file in, take their turn at the wash basin and then red cheeked and hungry they get down to a good substantial meal of meat and bread and tea. The appetite of a shantyman is great and swift. He eats a lot and it doesn’t take him long. So when the meal is over there are axes to grind, peavies to tighten up, axe handles to make and everything to get ready for the morrow’s operations. After this is all carefully attended to the jubilant spirits of the “shantymen” find expression in songs and sports. LCGS-HISTORY OF LANARK VILLAGE COVERS AN 85 YEAR PERIOD

 

 

historicalnotes

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Photo- Lanark & District Museum

 

Joyce MacKenȝie —- A 2nd generation settler relative…Peter Leo McKenzie set out from Carleton Place to the Northwest in 1887 and worked in the logging industry. His goal was to make enough money to put himself through medical school. He did succeed. Graduated from the University of Chicago Medical School and practised medicine in Portland, Oregon until his death in 1922.

Perth Courier, November 4, 1881

 

Almonte:  Another old settler has gone to his rest.  Andrew McKenzie died of congestion of the lungs at his residence at Almonte on the 17th Oct. at the age of 72 years.  Mr. McKenzie was for over 20 years a colporteur (?) in the service of the Ottawa Valley Branch Bible Society.  In the winter time he visited the shanties in the Ohio Valley selling Bibles to the shantymen and speaking to them of Him who came to seek and save the lost. Dreary and long were the journeys he often took and many were the hardships he endured and the dangers he faced as he passed from shanty to shanty.  But his work is done and we doubt not that he has received his Maker’s approval “Well done, good and faithful servant”.  “Blessed are they who die in the Lord from henceforth; yes, saith the Lord, that they may rest from their labors and their works follow them

 

George Briscoe of Beckwith Township was Bill Cameron’s shanty man.  Through good management, the business held on all through the 30s.  With the 40s came a new interest in the lime business, and prosperity.  In 1944, Bill Cameron was ready to call it quits and he sold the Lime Kiln to another enterprising young businessman, Stuart Neilson.

1881–The Brockville recorder gets off the following: One of our back country exchanges announces the recent construction of a new car on the Canada Pacific for the exclusive use of shantymen, and says it is large and high. There ought to be a bar in both ends and the rest left for a battleground

In the autumn of 1844 Peter McLaren left his father’s Lanark Township farm to join a Gillies Lumber Company shanty crew on the Clyde River. In taking a winter’s employment with the felling axe, he was, in many ways, like other young men of his time and place; but Mclaren had just turned 14 years of age and, within just a decade, would become one of the richest and most powerful lumber barons in Canada–Read-MISSISSIPPI LUMBER BARON Peter McLaren (1831-1919) Ron Shaw– click here

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

 

The Story of Wild Bob Ferguson of Dalhousie Township

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Robert “Wild Bob” Ferguson

1866 – 1889

Buried in the Ferguson Cemetery, Dalhousie Township

Friday August 23, 1889 The Perth Courier

Tragedy at Calabogie Lake Fatal Row Between Two River Drivers The Inquest

Kingston Ont., August 15 – “I’ll fight that fellow or I will be in hell tonight.” These were the remarks of an enraged river man in the village of Madawaska on Tuesday night. About eight o’clock he was shot and after great agony died yesterday about 11 o’clock . It was Edward McLaughlin, river driver, who shot Robert Ferguson and killed him.

Madawaska is a small village in the Kingston and Pembroke railway, fourteen miles from Renfrew. Both men were employed at High Falls by E. B. Eddy, Hull Que. On Tuesday Ferguson and McLaughlin went down from High Falls to Madawaska, and were soon intoxicated. Ferguson, ugly when in his cups, interchanged some blows with McLaughlin, but they were speedily separated. Ferguson, however, was not satisfied, he was most violent in his threats. The blustering river driver could not be pacified.

Almost an hour afterwards he found McLaughlin, quietly sitting on a veranda at Burn’s Hotel. Stealthily he approached the sitter, and when close to him struck him, knocking him over. McLaughlin, exasperated, drew his revolver and shot Ferguson in the abdomen. One person says that a fellow named Jack Lee had hold of Ferguson after he knocked McLaughlin over, and the latter put his arms around Lee, and shot Ferguson. Others say that McLaughlin used his weapon in self-defence.

A Brockville commercial traveller named Jamieson is of the latter opinion. After the shooting McLaughlin appealed to Jamieson to know what to do. He was advised to give himself up, but first go to his home at High Falls and see his wife and two children. Jamieson helped him out with his boat and he started up the lake. Ferguson was a native of  Dalhousie, being born on Lot 26 in the 3rd con. of said township in the month of January, 1866, and was consequently about 23 years of ageand was wanted for various offences in Lanark County.

McLaughlin is aged 22 years, and is a quiet fellow. He was afraid of Ferguson and courted his friendship rather than enmity. Ferguson, who was unmarried, had a bad reputation. He was an outlaw, having stabbed a man, and a warrant was out for his arrest. Some years ago, he attacked a peddler and, after a beating terribly, relieved him of some of his goods. For this crime he served a term in the Perth gaol.

An inquest is now in progress. McLaughlin is at his home and ready to surrender when called upon. The character of the deceased was made evident by his conduct before the shooting, he went about the settlement in search of McLaughlin and roaring “I’ll lick that fellow or be in hell to-night.”

Further Details – The Kingston Whig Man Visits The Place  The thriving village of Madawaska, Calabogie Lake, is located on a very romantic and pretty spot on the line of the Kingston & Pembroke R.R. about fifteen miles from Renfrew.

When the wind is high and the log drivers in the employ of E. B. Eddy, Hull, P.Q., cannot work at Calabogie lake they make their head quarters at Madawaska. The gang is composed of fifty-three men, forty-seven of whom work at the head of the log drive about twenty-five miles from the village, and six men are located at the village to urge the logs on their way down the river. Edward McLaughlin, who lives at the head of the lake, and Robert Ferguson, of Dalhousie, were two of the drivers stationed at the village. On Tuesday the weather was not suitable for the drivers to work so they gathered at Madawaska.

While loitering about some of them drank freely and became boisterous. Ferguson drank more freely of liquor than the rest of the men and soon worked himself into a fighting humor. He was quarrelsome and would not be pacified. He made special effort to fight with McLaughlin who seemed peacefully inclined. He and Ferguson were not good friends having fallen out on Monday about the question as who should steer the boat they were using. Ferguson wanted to settle the matter by fighting McLaughlin on Tuesday. They, with others, met in the bar-room of Byrnes’ hotel in the evening.

While there Ferguson began quarrelling with the men. McLaughlin tried to stop the disturbance and Ferguson pitched into him. Both clinched and fell to the floor with Ferguson on top. Then McLaughlin trolled Ferguson over, while in this position they were separated. McLaughlin cut about the face, left the bar-room and went to the verandah. He told the crowd that he would not stand Ferguson’s abuse, and would not be “chewed” by him. Ferguson went away, and failing to secure a revolver, came back to Byrnes; hotel, and seeing McLaughlin sitting on the railing of the verandah struck him a stinging blow in the face without a moment’s warning. McLaughlin was dazed for a second or more and Lee, a county constable, caught hold of Ferguson.

When McLaughlin came to himself he pulled a Smith & Wesson revolver and discharged a bullet into Ferguson’s body, while he was being held by Lee. Lee’s hand was scorched by the blaze. He had a narrow escape from receiving the lead himself.  Ferguson was carried upstairs into Byrne’s hotel where he died at 9:30 o’clock Wednesday morning. McLaughlin was quite sober when he shot Ferguson, and expressed sorrow for what he had done. He asked Mr. Jamieson, a commercial traveller, if he thought Ferguson was fatally shot. Mr. Jamieson said he was sure he (McLaughlin) had killed Ferguson. Then McLaughlin exclaimed: “My God, I did not mean to kill him. I pointed the revolver at his legs.” You should not have used the revolver,” said Jamieson.”What shall I do,” enquired McLaughlin. Jamieson said: “Go home and tell your wife about the affair and then surrender to the authorities boldly.”

At ten o’clock McLaughlin rowed up to the head of the lake and had not been seen since. It is said he is still at his  home and that he is afraid to come to the village. He labours under the idea that if he comes down he will be lynched. No efforts have been made as yet to arrest him, notwithstanding that a warrant has been issued for his capture. He is a hunter, and the constable holding the warrant thinks it would be useless to try to arrest McLaughlin where he lives.

Mr. Nicholson, Clyde Forks, married to one of Ferguson’s sisters, laid the charge of murder against McLaughlin before magistrate Eddy, of Renfrew. McGuire, agent for Eddy, says since McLaughlin has been in his employ he has been a steady, peaceable man. Ferguson was not an agreeable character. He had a very cranky disposition and had to be discharged from the river gang last year for bad conduct. He was only employed, latterly, in a temporary capacity.

Dr. Galligan and Mann, Renfrew, were called to attend Ferguson after he was shot. They found it was impossible to save his life. Dr. Galligan remained with him until he died. Before he expired he prayed frequently. The doctor drew up his will. In it he left property worth $500 in Dalhousie, to a brother, Allan Ferguson. After the post mortem examination was made by Dr McCormack, Renfrew, Dr Galligan order the remains to be buried.  The affair caused great excitement in Madawaska and Renfrew. The residence of these places talked freely about the participants in the affray. A great deal of sympathy was expressed both for the murderer and his victim.

Yesterday when the Whig reporter arrived at Madawaska he saw the hotel, on the verandah of which Ferguson was shot by McLaughlin. The hotel is a large frame building and is conducted by Mr. Byrnes. The house stands prominently on a hill and faces the railroad, it can be seen a long distance away. It was crowed yesterday with river man, who discussed, in a vigorous way, matters pertaining to the murder. The streets were crowded with people while the inquest was being held in the hotel.  The enquiry into the cause of Ferguson death was not concluded yesterday. It was resumed to day at 12:30 o’clock . The principal part of the evidence was however, submitted yesterday. Dr. Galligan corner, says he will not charge McLaughlin before the jury with will full murder.

E. McKay, of Thistle Carswell & McKay, mill owners, knew McLaughlin well and considers him a quiet decent man.  Many people are indignant at the position which County Constable Lee took during the process of the disturbance which led up to the murder of Ferguson. They consider that Lee did not do his duty when he failed to arrest the men who were acting disorderly. If he had done this at the beginning of the quarrel, Ferguson would not have been killed.  This morning about 2:30 o’clock the coffin, containing the corpse of Ferguson, was placed on board a K.& P.R. train and carried to Clyde Forks where it was transferred to a hand car and carried away. The remains were accompanied by friends of Ferguson, including two brother-in-law, Robert Craig and W. Nicholson. Two ladies were in the party and seemed to be in great grief. The corpse was interred to-day at Dalhousie in St. James church cemetery.

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The Evidence Presented

The coroner’s inquest, conducted by Dr Galligan, of Renfrew, began at 12:30 on Thursday. The following Jurors were empanelled: S. Dempsey, foreman; Robert Box, J. McAdam, A. S. Bradford, John McPherson, James Strong, G. Legre, A. Proux, W. Ramsay, John Mahon, A. McPherson, S. Hunter, W. Hawley and P. Barry.  After the jurors had been sworn evidence was submitted. G. Armstrong said he lived at Quio.

He saw Robert Ferguson and others on Tuesday on a street in Madawaska with their coats off. Lee was holding Ferguson. A short time afterward McLaughlin appeared with a revolver cocked and pointed downwards. McFarlane, a river driver, went towards McLaughlin. He (McLaughlin) told him to keep back because he would shoot any man who would lay hands on him. Lee, foreman over the river drivers, was seen conducting McLaughlin to a stable on Tuesday afternoon.

In the evening witness heard the discharge of a revolver and looking about saw McLaughlin with his hands on his face as if drying blood on it. Matthew Tracy, driver, lived in North Onslow. He saw Lee and Ferguson clinched in the afternoon. Ferguson appeared to be under the influence of liquor, and says he wanted to fight. Tracy heard a shot fired, then saw Ferguson stumbling around Byrne’s hotel, he said another river driver, saw McLaughlin with his revolver pointed downwards. Witness said he did not understand enough of the English language to know what McLaughlin said.

Dalphes parent saw Ferguson and McLaughlin on August 13th in the bar of Byrne’s hotel. There Ferguson hit a man named McPherson twice. McLaughlin tried to stop the quarrel. Ferguson struck him. Then McLaughlin gave Ferguson a kick. The men clinched and McLaughlin threw Ferguson. McLaughlin said he would not hit him. Afterward McLaughlin had a revolver in his hands.  Gideon Labelle came from Hull, P.Q. He saw Ferguson trying to fight with McLaughlin. Byrnes told McLaughlin if he wanted to fight to go outside. McLaughlin went out of the hotel and said: “If Ferguson comes near me I’ll shoot him.” Then McLaughlin flourished his revolver.  George Sylar, of Gatineau Point, saw McLaughlin holding Ferguson down in the bar-room. McLaughlin did not hit Ferguson.

Witness saw McLaughlin outside the hotel with a revolver and heard him say he would shoot the first man who laid a hand on him. McFarlane tried to take the revolver from McLaughlin.  Peter Kane, of Pontiac, Que., saw Ferguson strike McLaughlin in the face. Then McLaughlin pulled a revolver. He aimed it a Ferguson and fired. When the ball entered Ferguson’s body he exclaimed “I’m shot.” The men were twelve feet apart when the shot was fired.  Michael Foran, Maynooth, saw Ferguson strike McPherson. McLaughlin stepped up and said it was too bad for Ferguson to strike McPherson. Then Ferguson struck McLaughlin in the face. McLaughlin kicked Ferguson. They clinched and both fell, with McLaughlin on top. Both men had been drinking.

When Ferguson was on top on McLaughlin he said, “I will not hit you.” McLaughlin said he did not want to fight. Ferguson tried to force the quarrel. McLaughlin was seen by witness in the yard at the back of the hotel with a pistol in his hand. McLaughlin went to a store to get a shirt, and Ferguson followed him and asked him to fight, he refused to fight. When McLaughlin was sitting on the railing of Bryne’s hotel Ferguson struck him in the face, and then McLaughlin fired at Ferguson. David Milligan, Quio, Que., saw McLaughlin and Ferguson clinched on the floor of Bryne’s hotel, McLaughlin was on top of Ferguson held one of McLaughlin’s legs with his teeth. McLaughlin yelled that Ferguson was biting him. Byrnes ordered the men outside.

McLaughlin had a revolver in his hand at this time.  He told McFarlane he would shoot any man that would lay a hand on him. Witness saw men carrying Ferguson upstairs after he was shot.  John Lee, constable, Madawaska, knew McLaughlin and Ferguson. On August 12th Ferguson was angry at McLaughlin because he did not take an oar and row the boat they were in on crossing Calabogie lake. On the morning of August 13th Ferguson said he would break McLaughlin mouth before night.

About 3 o’clock in the afternoon witness saw Ferguson at his pump. Ferguson was furious. He swore by his Maker he would fight, then he went to Byrne’s hotel and witness went after him. Ferguson struck McPherson. McLaughlin told Ferguson not to bother the old man because he was the worse of liquor. Ferguson then hit McLaughlin and broke one of his teeth. Connors caught Ferguson and told him to be quiet. McLaughlin kicked at Ferguson, they clinched and fell on the bar floor. Ferguson was biting McLaughlin on the thigh when one Dillon separated them. McLaughlin turned Ferguson over on his back and said if Ferguson kept quiet he would not strike him. McLaughlin went to the door and Ferguson followed him and they clinched again.

Witness caught Ferguson and some other person seized McLaughlin. Witness advised Ferguson to leave McLaughlin alone. McLaughlin then drew a revolver and said: “The first man that lays a hand on me I will put a hole in him.” Witness called McLaughlin aside and asked him to give up the revolver. He refused saying, “I’m alone here and the crowd is against me.” He would have surrendered the revolver if Joe Varneau had not told him to keep it. McLaughlin went to Harris’ store to buy a shirt. Ferguson went to look for him. When Ferguson could not find McLaughlin he returned to the hotel and swore “By the red roaring Irish – either McLaughlin or I will be a corpse before morning.” He said he would go and get a revolver.

About 7:30 p.m. McLaughlin came to witness house. Witness advised McLaughlin to keep out of Ferguson way. McLaughlin said he would, that he was a married man and had a wife and family, and it would not suit him to fight. He said he and Ferguson came to Madawaska together to get men to work in the mine. Witness and McLaughlin went to the hotel and sat on the railing. Ferguson came along with a panel in his hand and walked up to McLaughlin swearing that he would settle the row now. Witness stepped between them and told Ferguson to stop fighting for McLaughlin did not want to fight. Ferguson acted as if he was not going to fight, but suddenly struck McLaughlin in the face. Witness caught Ferguson and pushed him back against the wall, saying that he would have to stop. Instantly the pistol was discharged. Witness let go of Ferguson and he shout “I’m shot,” and walked into the kitchen.

Witness saw McLaughlin afterward. He said he was sorry for shooting Ferguson, but he could not help it as he was afraid of him.  Dr. Norman McCormack, Renfrew, performed the post-mortem examination on the body of Robert Ferguson. The doctor found slight bruises about the elbows, and a slight bruise on the left shin. A small wound was discovered on the left side between the seventh and eighth ribs.

On the body being turned over on its side blood came out of the wound. When examining the wound in the chest he could not get the probe to enter, he made very slight attempts to enter the wound. On opening the abdomen blood issued. On laying the abdominal cavity open he found it full of blood, and a perforation was in the diaphragm. The right side of the heart filled with clotted blood. The doctor could not trace the bullet any further than the diaphragm. The bullet went first through the chest at the junction of the diaphragm and thorax, then from the thoracic cavity into the abdominal cavity. All the organs examined were healthy. The death of Ferguson was caused by internal hemorrhage from a wound caused by a bullet, it was found in the abdominal cavity. The inquest was then adjourned until to-day at 12:30 o’clock .

The Verdict

The following is the verdict of the Coroner’s inquest: – “That Robert Ferguson came to his death from the effect of a pistol shot, fired by Edward McLaughlin, and we find Edward McLaughlin guilty of manslaughter in the third degree.” This verdict rendered in the above case – manslaughter in the third degree against McLaughlin. The Kingston News says is tantamount to acquittal because there is no law dealing with such a charge. There is manslaughter in the second degree, but not the third.

 

 

Dear Editor

1889, September 6   The Calabogie Tragedy  Lavant, August 28th, 1889 To The Editor of The Courier.

Dear Sir, – . Your correspondent says he was an outlaw, having stabbed a man. I would like to know who the party was, and where it happened, as such a thing never occurred in the county of Lanark . Your correspondent also says that some years ago he attacked a peddler and, after beating him terribly, relieved him of his goods, For this crime you say he served a term in the Perth gaol. Well, Mr. Editor, Robert Ferguson was never in Perth gaol in his lifetime, that I can testify to.

I have known him from infancy, and for the last 12 years lived within a mile of his parents residence. I must also state that here were several charges laid against him there was no truth in. I must admit that he had lived rather a wild life, although he had a very respectable parents.

His funeral was one of the largest that ever passed through Lavant township. The corpse was interred at Dalhousie, in St James’ church cemetery, where the funeral service was conducted by Rev Mr. Mcllroy, Presbyterian Minister of Poland, Dalhousie. After the burial there was a floral wreath placed on his grave by a young lady whose name I withhold, I am Sir, Yours & C A Friend.

[Note. – Our esteemed correspondent is in error in thinking the narrative first published in our columns of the Calabogie tragedy was written by a COURIER correspondent. The account was taken from The British Whig and The Toronto city dailies, we have no reporter at the place to write upon the event. Upon enquiry we learn that the deceased, Robert Ferguson, never was in Perth gaol, and it seems that other stories going about in reference to the unfortunate young man were equally without foundation. But the assault, etc., told in our columns last week appears to be true enough. One thing is quite clear – if he had never touched whiskey, young Ferguson would be alive and well to-day, and probably a good citizen. – Ed. Cour.]

historicalnotes

Ferguson Cemetery-

St. James Church & Cemetery at Hood.

Lot 16, Con. 3, Dalhousie Township

Burials – 1861 to 1904

Click here to see headstones

Related reading

Madawaska Village, Ontario, Canada
A Nineteenth Century Murder in a Missing Ghost Town-Bytown.net

For the Love of Money-Gillies Gilmours and the McLarens

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Canada Lumber Co. — Perils and Boating

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Photo seen at a local auction last week. The final destination to Ottawa down the Ottawa River logs-no date

 

Back History of the Canada Lumber Company

1887 – Peter McLaren sold his lumber mill properties at Carleton Place and upper Mississippi timber limits at a price reported as $900,000.  The buyers, the McLarens of Buckingham and Edwards of Rockland, formed the Canada Lumber Company.  It doubled the mills capacity, with Alexander H. Edwards (1848-1933) as manager here.  Peter McLaren three years later was appointed to the Senate, and died at age 88 at Perth in 1919.

 

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Rafts of logs down the Mississippi to Mills at Carleton Place. Photo-Perth Remembered

 

Almonte Gazette 1899— From a Herald Extra dated 18th inst., we learn the particulars of a fatal accident that happened at Carleton Place to a man named William Horricks of the Township of Drummond where his wife was at that time visiting.  The deceased was a married man about 35 yeas of age.

The Extra says:  “About 11:00 this morning (Tuesday) a terrible accident occurred in the lumber yard of the Canada Lumber Co. in Carleton Place whereby William Horricks, an employee of the company, lost he life.  The particulars are as follows:  two lorries heavily laden with lumber were running downgrade of the yard.  Horricks was in between the piles and wanted to cross the tracks and as soon as the first car passed he rushed out not knowing a second car was coming.  When on the track the second car struck him knocking him down and passed over him causing such serious injury that the unfortunate fellow only lived a short time.”

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Site of Canada Lumber Co in 1910 in Carleton Place

 

Almonte Gazette–1925 A drive of logs is being brought down the Mississippi River from its headwaters. The logs are being taken to Arklan, about a mile below Carleton Place. Mr. Baker is in charge of the drive, he having recently purchased the water power at Arklan from Mr. C. A. Burgess of Carleton Place. The logs are causing some temporary inconvenience to residents of the town who have pleasure craft on the river.

 

You Don’t Waltz With Timber on a Windy Day

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

Your Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day

Related Reading to Arklan Island:

New Photos from Mysterious Arklan Island

Tales from Arklan Island–Odds and Ends

The Natives of Carleton Place — Violins and Deer

Tales From Arklan –The Midnight Heist

You Don’t Waltz With Timber on a Windy Day

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Lanark Loggers—I took a picture of this photo at an auction sale. I realized the price would be higher than I could afford- but it needed to be circulated. (Note the dog standing up on top of the log):)

There is no doubt that I have what one might say quite “an unhealthy” fascination with loggers sometimes. If the McLaren-Caldwell fight was going on now you might find me writing about their gang fights at the local Lanark taverns. These loggers were fighting champions, where fiddlers sang of their deeds, and some were buried by the rapids where they died.

Perth Courier, June 4, 1869

We regret very much to learn that a sad accident occurred on the River Clyde about two miles from Middleville at Taylor’s Saw Mill whereby a promising young man lost his life. Waddell McFarlane, 21, son of Mr. McFarlane, postmaster of Rosetta, was driving saw logs over the dam at Taylor’s where a jam occurred. Young McFarlane, in his efforts to release the logs, boldly stepped on the logs immediately at the head of the chute when the one on which he was standing became loose and was carried over the dam; McFarlane was carried along with it and when he arrived at the foot, the log struck him and before assistance could be rendered, he sank to rise no more.

This occurred on Thursday afternoon about 3:00. An immediate search was made for the body which was continued all night until next morning when about 7:00 the lifeless remains were found a short distance from the scene of the accident. We learn that the funeral took place on Sunday last and was attended by a large concourse of people. Young McFarlane was held in universal esteem by all who were acquainted with him and his loss in universally lamented. He was buried next to the river where he died.

 

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Photo from the Perth Courier

 Perth Courier–1883

Hardship—Messrs Boyd Caldwell and Sons, Lanark, have 800,000 logs lying on the Upper Mississippi River and tributaries. They cannot get them down to the mill at Carleton Place on account of the decision in the McLaren versus Caldwell case and the mill is at present idle for want of stuff to cut.

 

Perth Courier–1908

Mississippi lumbering continued on a reduced scale. A Lanark Era spring report said: – The Nichols drive on the Clyde parted company here with Charlie Hollinger’s logs at the Caldwell booms, and swept its way over the dam to await the coming of the Mississippi sawlogs. The gang folded their tents and rolled away up to Dalhousie Lake where the rear of the drive floats. It will take about two weeks to wash the mouth of the Clyde, and then the whole bunch will nose away over the Red Rock and on to Carleton Place. While going through Lanark some of the expert drivers did a few stunts for Lanark sightseers. Joe Griffiths ran the rapids on a cedar pole just big enough to make a streak on the water. The Hollinger logs were retained at the Caldwell mill, where they are now being rapidly manufactured into lumber.

If you ask any girl from the parish around,

What pleases her most from her head to her toes;
She’ll say, “I’m not sure that it’s business of yours,

But I do like to waltz with a log driver.

 

Read the Perth Courier here at Archives Lanark

Related reading

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

Your Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day