In July of 2019 I documented THE CAVE AT POOLEY’S BRIDGE STORY. As Jaan Kolk once mentioned: Lieut. Pooley built quite a narrow bridge – out of round logs. That would have been the one still in place in 1858 when this story took place. (It was not replaced by a stone bridge until 1873.) There are “caves” under Pooley’s bridge‘ and they are said to go under the Fleet Street pumping station.
“At one time in the old Model school a rumor went around that some had discovered a cave near the town-end of Pooly’s Bridge, and a number of the boys arranged to meet with candles after school hours to explore it. As I was one of the small boys I was not invited, but I soon heard that the expedition was a failure, and that they could only go a short distance into the opening, which was simply a large scrape in the rock formation, which was later found to continue under the large hill behind, and could be seen on the surface in a field near Christ Church. When I visited this place some years later, I found that it had been made a dumping place for all sorts ot rubbish, and the same use had been made of the mouth.” –1923
“Well, the cave ran in an angular direction from the face of the hill towards Christ Church. We got in about 75 feet in a stooped position and then we had to get on our knees and we got about 40 feet further, when what found that ahead of us was only a large crevice n the rock.” Read more here-THE CAVE AT POOLEY’S BRIDGE STORY.
“The incident involved the discovery of a wide and deep fissure in the rock below Wellington street This discovery was made when corporation employee started to widen Wellington street just east of Pooley ‘ bridge. This work was being done in connection with the building of the pump bouse, and the general improvement of the locality. In order to widen the thorough fare considerable filling in had to be done on the north side of Wellington street at the juncture of Wellington with Pooley’s bridge. It was when the filling process was being considered that the presence of the fissure was discovered. It was found that beginning at the level of the water of the tail-race, about 30 or 30 feet east of Pooley’s bridge, there waa a large fissure in the rock wall which extended in a northerly direction. At the water edge the top of the fissure was about the height of a man and could be entered in an upright position. At that point it was about three feet wide, giving the appearance of a cave mouth.” read more below
from Andre Fillion
I shared the original story by Samuel Cherry with his great-great grandson. I wasn’t sure of any family relationship, but knew that his ancestral home was 33 Somerset St. W., which was the address of Samuel Cherry. He was very grateful to be able to read of his great-great grandfather’s adventure when he was a boy. He has a family photo taken around the turn of the century of the entire Cherry family on the front veranda of 33 Somerset, if you’d like to see it. Andre Fillion
THE CAVE AT POOLEY’S BRIDGE STORY. ( linda seccaspina 2019)
THE LEGEND OF POOLEY’S CAVE | OTTAWA REWIND( Andrew King 2021_