Tag Archives: Nepean

I’ve Got a Hex on You — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina –Historic Rabbit Hole Series

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I’ve Got a Hex on You — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina –Historic Rabbit Hole Series
The buildings, which are designed in a Gothic Revival style, officially opened on June 6, 1866, about a year before Canada’s Confederation. On February 3, 1916, a fire. … Confederation. On February 3, 1916, a fire destroyed all but the Library of Parliament. Reconstruction began later that year and was completed in 1927. When the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings was rebuilt in 1916, teams of horses hauled six-ton loads of Nepean sandstone blocks from a quarry near Bells Corners. Each team could make the roughly 30-km. round trip just once a day. LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA / PA-130624

Linda Seccaspina

A few weeks ago I wrote about Mrs. Lowney who lived near Bishop’s Quarry who was recorded in the Ottawa Daily Citizen that her cows would not give milk because someone working in Bishop’s Quarry had the “evil eye”. It seemed to be the norm on those days as those that hailed from Ireland in the 1800s brought over their beliefs in hexes and the dreaded evil eye.

Catherine Lowney, a widow, who lived near Bishop’s Quarry, attributed fear of the “evil eye” on her property because her cows would not give milk, even though it was the height of the milking season. Of course one would think there was a very logical explanation of the absence of milk from Mrs. Lowney’s cows, or was there?

At that period (1860s) stone for the Parliament Buildings was being quarried near Mrs. Lowney’s house and many strangers were employed in Bishop’s Quarry in Nepean. So when gossip starts you know that maybe thirsty strangers from the quarry sneaking into her farm and milking her cows would be a valid excuse. Of course she failed to see anything but some bewitching Hocus Pocus taking root in the neighbourhood. Her belief held firm that a certain neighbor or quarry worker possessed the “evil eye’ and was getting back at her for some imagined wrong. We all know how that goes.

Of course my interest wheel piqued to HOT and I began to wonder where the former Bishop’s Quarry was. As I searched for information I came across Bruce Deachman’s article in the Ottawa Citizen. Q is for Quarry: Forgotten, overgrown quarry provided the building blocks of Ottawa

Since I could find nothing about Bishop’s Quarry I somehow knew after reading his article that this forgotten Campbell’s Quarry in Nepean was one and the same. Campbells quarry closed in 1962, when the National Capital Commission expropriated the land for the Greenbelt. Situated right beside Highway 417, just west of Moodie Drive, lie overgrown remains of the former Bishop’s/Campbell’s Quarry that supplied building material for the Parliament Buildings, the Dominion Observatory and the Canadian Museum of Nature.

(We love comments and input–this from Tim Cartwright)

(Tim Cartwright Campbell’s quarry is not the site directly beside the 417. It still exists within the property of Natural Resources off of Haanel Dr. This is why they objected to having it reopened in more recent times.

So, just to make sure I wasn’t going in the wrong direction and steer my readers into reading a fish tale I contacted my historian friend Jaan Kolk. Actually it’s more of a Facebook ‘pity” PM that begins with: “JJJJJJJJAAAAAAAAn, can you help me please”?

Jaan Kolk

Yes Linda, it must be Bishop’s quarry to which Bruce Deachman refers. Henry Bishop owned 200 acres of farm land with a stone quarry: Lot 6, Conc. II OF. The 1879 Belden Atlas shows his house and “white sand stone quarry” on the south side of Corkstown Road, about midway between Moodie Drive and Eagleson. The Canadian County Digital Atlas Project gives the year settled as 1821.

The 1965 aerial photo layer at GeoOttawa shows the bright scars of what looks like quarrying on both sides of Corkstown Road about 2 km west of Moodie (halfway between Moodie and Eagleson.) Zoomed in, one can see a road along the strip stretching south. Google maps shows traces of the same features, and shows the pathway identified as Greenbelt Pathway W. / Trans-Canada Trail. I believe the Citizen photo is of the area in the woods where the trail bends south away from the Queensway. That was Henry Bishop’s quarry in 1861; the quarries north of Corkstown would have been Keefer’s. Campbell began operations on that extended sandstone ridge in 1916, and shut down when it was bought out by the NCC about 1962. I can’t say exactly where they were operating then; there appears to have been a second roadway into that general area from Hazeldean Road

Henry Bishop’s was not the only stone quarry in the area, and may not have been the biggest supplier of stone for the Parliament Buildings. In “The City Beyond”, Bruce Elliott writes: “In the spring of 1861 nearly a hundred quarrymen and stonecutters were boarding in and about Bells Corners. Henry Bishop boarded about 30 of the quarrymen who were working at Keefer’s quarry on the Corkstown Road. He also ran a tavern, which he came to regret because of the insobriety of some of the workmen.

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he Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Jul 1960, Sat  •  Page 35

Nevertheless, his fine stone house was built with the profits. Maps show A. Keefer as part-owner of the lot on the north side of the Corkstown Road, directly across from Bishop’s. Elsewhere, Elliott notes that fine stone house (“Bishop’s Palace”) was built with stone from Bishop’s own quarry.

Here is an Apr. 30, 1966 Citizen note on the demolition of Bishop’s hotel for the Queensway -Jaan Kolk
Linda Seccaspina

Actually, it was recorded in the History of the Ottawa Valley that Mr. Henry, father of Mr. Bishop of Wellington Street had a fine place, Bishop’s Palace. Their sandstone quarries out which much of the ‘decoration’ of the parliament buildings of the city was produced was located between Courtney’s and Pollock’s.

The Irishmen like Henry Bishop’s family who founded Nepean’s Corkstown not long afterwards are believed to have started settling there as early as the 1840s. It became a substantial community, partly due to the flourishing quarry works established nearby that employed as many as 100 men at a time, and provided much of the fine Nepean sandstone used in the first Parliament Buildings.

These men had many hardships to deal with, and one of the first houses along the old Corkstown Road was soon turned into a tavern where the weary workers could raise their flagging spirits. Henry Bishop owned it, and his comfort station was known far and wide as the Bishop’s Palace.

The two-storey stone structure, built in 1861 was known before, the turn of the century as “Bishop’s Palace” when it served as an inn for travellers, area farmers and workers from nearby Nepean Sandstone Quarries.

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Here is Henry Bishop’s obituary from the Ottawa Journal, Nov. 2, 1901: (thanks to Jaan Kolk)

In April of 1966 National Capital Commission awarded a contract to Alfred Beaulne Construction for the demolition of Bishop’s Palace on the south side of Corkstown Road. It had also served as a private residence from the early 1900s until 1938 when it was acquired by NCC. News of impending demolition was greeted with “regrets and resignation’ ‘by Nepean Township Historical Society.

In an odd note, maybe there was a hex of some sort in that area near the quarry. Today, Campbell’s/ Bishop’s Quarry now sits abandoned, and years ago it stopped being able to provide sandstone. According to Deachman’s article on the abandoned Campbell/ Bishop’s Quarry-” repairs to the generally neglected stonework of the Museum of Nature required many tons of replacement sandstone (approximately five per cent of the museum’s stone had to be replaced), architect Barry Padolsky and the Department of Public Works attempted to have the quarry re-opened. Their efforts ultimately failed, however, when Natural Resources Canada objected, noting that the heavy machinery needed for the quarry would throw off the calibration of the instruments at their research laboratory adjacent to the quarry.” (Q is for Quarry)

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Oct 1966, Wed  •  Page 27

What was once a historical workplace for 100s of men now fades into the sandstone so to speak. So thanks to Jaan Kolk for his help– another historical area like the Pure Spring Ginger Ale water spring is documented for generations to come.

Pointing to the sandstone buildings around us, some of which had stood there for several hundreds of years, she commented on how old everything in Oxford looked. Can’t they afford anything new? she asked earnestly.”-In the Light of What We Know

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
01 Dec 2018, Sat  •  Page A2
Jaan Kolk's Profile Photo, Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, hat, stripes and indoor
historian Jaan Kolk
Linda Seccaspina
Henry Bishop

1880s- 
Legislature of the Province of Ontario

Descriptive Catalogue
of Ontario Minerals
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Henry Bishop–Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Apr 1851, Sat  •  Page 2
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Henry Bishop mentioned.. Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Oct 1874, Tue  •  Page 4
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of interest to all because of the clipping above it…. Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Sep 1880, Mon  •  Page 4

Campbell's Quarry--Archie Campbell

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The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Jan 1932, Sat  •  Page 13
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 May 1960, Sat  •  Page 44
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Jul 1949, Fri  •  Page 15
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Sep 1959, Wed  •  Page 21

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Jan 1912, Mon  •  Page 11

Q is for Quarry: Forgotten, overgrown quarry provided the building blocks of Ottawa

Particulars About Pure Spring Ginger Ale — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina Historic Rabbit Hole Series

A. Huckels & Co. -The Story of a Bottle- Thanks to Jaan Kolk

The Marvellous Jaan Kolk

Talking Through Your Hat? Jaan Kolk

So Where Was Caldwell Mills? Thanks Jaan Kolk

The Thrift Store Couple – More Information-Jaan Kolk

The House on the Hill — Up the 8th Line of Ramsay — Jaan Kolk Files

Britannia Boat House Doomed— April 1907 Ice Jam –Jaan Kolk Files

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign–Dr. Winters 154-160 Bridge Street Carleton Place –Jaan Kolk Files

Please take the Devil Out of Me? Rev. James Wilson of Lanark

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

The Cholera Epidemic of 1911

The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes

Benoit & Richardson Photo– a Mystery

Before there was Baker Bob’s There was The Almonte Bakery

Does Anyone Remember Cohen’s in Lanark Village?

Was the Butter Tart Really Invented in Barrie, Ontario? Jaan Kolk Files

When Merivale Was the End of the Road

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When Merivale Was the End of the Road

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Here’s Construction Season in 1926, described as “Asphaltic Concrete – Merivale Road.”

 

George Boyce was then a boy of 16. and old enough to have clear recollections about the area and his family far in 1860. According to Mr. Boyce, Merivale Road was “the end of the road.”— literally. At a point about a mile south of the Boyce farm the road tailed off into a trail and it wasn’t far from that when even the trail ended.

The road to Ottawa at its best points wasn’t much. In fact it was hardly a road at all in the proper sense. Most people who travelled it did so on horseback. Only a few of the dozen settlers owned vehicles of any sort. Although Ottawa was only from eight to ten miles from the Merivale settlers, “going to town” was not a matter of everyday occurrence, as it is now. But if the people did not go to town often, they made up for lack of travelling by visiting. They visited far more than at present. They visited for both sociability and mutual aid. In these days people “borrowed” a lot from each other. They had to. None of the settlers had enough of anything to get along independently.

So they borrowed all sorts of things, from farm implements down to eatables. But, they always returned them and things were loaned cheerfully. The people who loaned knew that within a few days they themselves might be borrowers. Every borrowing meant a visit. “Borrowing” visits kept the settlers from being lonesome, and therefore borrowing had it good points. Today borrowing is rare. Today if a farmer runs short he jumps into into his vehicle as the case may be and whirls into town.

 

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City View School in Nepean, located at 8 Merivale Road according to an Ottawa City Directory from 1923.

The settlers who were located In the Merivale district when the Boyces were there in 1860, were William Stinson, Joseph Switzer, Wm. Craig, James Craig. Wm. Caldwell, Robert Mowat (brother of the Ottawa tailor of the sixties). Joseph Green. Christopher Green. John Davidson, and the Keenan family to which belonged Mr. Keenan, the veteran pioneer teacher, and Dr. Keenan.

If the farmers of today in Nepean have comfortable homes, they can, in the opinion of Mr. Boyce, thank their forbears. Both the man and the women of the 1850s and 1860s worked very hard, he says. As showing how the women of that period tried to help make ends meet, Mr. Boyce tells how Mrs. John McSorley, who lived “at the end of the road,” several miles past the Boyce farm, used to frequently walk to Bytown, a matter of 12 miles, and carry a pail of butter to the market.

When the Boyces went to the present Boyce farm in 1860 “bees” were of common occurrence. There were bees for log burning, for barn raising, for crop gathering, and for a dozen other things. As a matter of fact people could not have accomplished anything without “bees.” It was almost impossible to hire help and if help had been available the the people still had no money to pay for it.

The people were not “afraid to to home in the dark” in those days. Mr. Boyce tells how the people, after dancing half the night after a “bee,” would go home several miles through the bush roads, utterly unafraid, though bears and even wolves still abounded.

 

Samuel Hawkshaw- Carleton Place–Carleton Blazers of Bells Corners

The Groom and the Lads

Stories of the Mississippi River — Elk, Rice Beds, and Corduroy Roads

Life in Lanark Village 1820 — Bad Roads Distilleries and Discontent!

Take Me Home Beckwith Roads– Photo Essay

Britannia Boat House Doomed— April 1907 Ice Jam –Jaan Kolk Files

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Britannia Boat House Doomed— April 1907 Ice Jam –Jaan Kolk Files

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Before

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After–(MIKAN 3325436) dated April 20th, 1907

Photo Archives Canada

Yesterday I posted a photo that Jennifer Fenwick Irwin from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum‎ posted in Lost Ottawa in 2014. It was a great photo of the Britannia Pier Boathouse in Ottawa dated 1907. Historian Jaan Kolk realized the photo was taken that year because of the enormous ice jam at Britannia Bay that year.

In April of 1907 the Britannia Pier was smashed up considerably and the local cottages on the shore were also threatened.  A destructive ice jam had been formed at Britannia by heavy winds and the boathouse that was built in 1906 by the Britannia Boat Club was doomed to destruction. There were great fears that part of the pier would have to be rebuilt.

The ice had been driven to the beach by the fierce overnight winds. It towered twenty feet over the water level and the pressure from the ice in the rear was increasing. For three miles the ice was jammed from the park to Rocky Point up the river. It was noticed that the bay itself was eerily clear because the ice was formed mostly along the edge and was forced down to the beach under intense pressure.

The first collision from the ice was heard early in the morning when the jam first encountered the pier. The broken floating ice cakes were pressed together with such force that they began to overlap one another until the solid ice jam practically reached the level of the pier. It kept accumulating until the ice over topped the pier by almost 10 feet.

The wall of the Britannia Boat House was subject to so much pressure that it buckled and then bulged out. The boats and canoes appeared safe, but if they were not rescued soon they would be crushed as well. That was an easy thing to say because even if one wanted to rescue a boat it was a dangerous situation to even venture near the boat house.

The planking of the pier was squeezed out of place and some parts had been forced fifteen feet into the air. The biggest loss was the back of the boat house that had been forced out since the initial ice crush. Word was that all hope of saving the building was gone.

Any other year in the Spring, and under ordinary conditions, the ice floats down the river without doing any damage, but 1907 was the year that the ice flow decided to travel a new course due to the heavy winds. The result was a heavy loss to the club house members, the Ottawa Electric Railway and to residents along the shore.

 

 - JAM PROVES BIG ATTRACTION Thousands Visit Scene...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 22 Apr 1907, Mon,
  3. Page 5

historicalnotes

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Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 22 Apr 1907, Mon,
  3. Page 1

 

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Jaan Kolk
March 30 at 1:11pm
 
Great job, Linda! Just one small correction. In 2014 when I was unable to view the LAC photo by Lawrence Hurt Sitwell (MIKAN 3325436), I speculated it might be the same photo Carleton Place & Beckwith Museum posted. That speculation was incorrect, although there is no doubt they are both photos of the same damage. So the caption for the last photo should just indicate it is from the Carleton Place & Beckwith Museum collection, photographer unknown.

 

I found this story all due to the photo that was initially posted on Lost Ottawa.

Years ago when I lived in Berkeley I used to go to Urban Ore on Murray Street every week to find surplus good for outfits etc.. I would walk by the artistic lot on the same street that belonged to the folks that created things for Burning Man every year.

I used to love looking at this Steampunk boat in the upper corner that sat there all year. I lost all my photos of this great vessel, but today when I saw a photo that Jennifer Fenwick Irwin from the of Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum‎ posted in Lost Ottawa in 2014 of the Britannia Pier Boathouse it reminded me of the boat on the Murray Street lot in Berkeley.

. For anyone who is interested in the history of this original photo my friendly historian Jaan Kolk identified it..🙂

Jaan Kolk said –Library and Archives Canada have a photo captioned “Ice jam at Britannia [Ottawa, Ont.] showing wreck of new club house from the front” (MIKAN 3325436) dated April 20th, 1907. It is from a Lawrence Hurt Sitwell album. Unfortunately, no scan of the photo appears to be online, but I bet it is of the same event, if not the same photo.

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

Jaan Kolk Files—–

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign–Dr. Winters 154-160 Bridge Street Carleton Place –Jaan Kolk Files

Please take the Devil Out of Me? Rev. James Wilson of Lanark

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

The Cholera Epidemic of 1911

The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes

Benoit & Richardson Photo– a Mystery

Before there was Baker Bob’s There was The Almonte Bakery

Does Anyone Remember Cohen’s in Lanark Village?