Anne of Green Gables- YTV- Google Image
On Saturday night as I was watching Anne of Green Gables I realized ‘falling through the ice” was a daily common occurrence in days gone by. According to various history sites did you know that it was the fear of falling through the ice that prompted the creation of indoor rinks? Every single day I come across tragic notices of animals and people falling through the ice. Maybe that’s why I don’t like my son ice fishing.:(
January 9–1891- Almonte Gazette
The Perth Courier of last week gives an account of a horse that was missing on
Monday and on Tuesday was found in *Grant’s Creek. He had broken through
the ice and nothing but his head was to be seen, everything being frozen like a
collar around him. A team was procured and the poor animal pulled out by
means of a rope. The poor brute was then taken to town, put in a warm
stable, was rubbed down, and soon was all right.
Perth Courier, December 25, 1868
Mr. Fourdinier of Sand Point deeply lamented by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance, died suddenly on Saturday last from an attack of rheumatic fever superinduced by having been immersed in the water, his horses having broken through the ice last week while taking a pleasure drive.
Perth Courier–March, 1840
March, 1840 – On Monday last a fine little girl about 5 years old, daughter of Mr. Michael Tovey of Bathurst in company with another girl a few years older, while on their way to the house of Josias Richie, crossing the River Tay, the elder girl broke through the ice, her helpless companion approaching to near the fatal spot and when probably lending her feeble help was herself drawn into the watery grave. Their cries were heard by Mr. Richey in time to extricate the eldest who in her struggles probably kept the other down under the water until the current carried her underneath the ice and we learn there is very little probability of her body being found at present by her afflicted parents.
Haggart’s Mills–Photo from David Taylor
Perth Courier–December 28, 1855
Thomas Radenhurst, third son of the late T.M. Radenhurst, Esq., was skating on the river above *Haggart’s Mills when crossing some ice not sufficiently frozen to support him, he broke through the ice and being carried under it by the current, was drowned. Four hours elapsed before the body was recovered. The deceased was about 12 years of age.
Perth Courier, March 4, 1943
Squadron Leader Kenneth C. Wilson Rescued After Five Days on an Ice Flow
Squadron Leader Kenneth C. Wilson, younger son of Lt. Col and Mrs. E. H. Wilson of Perth, was rescued from an ice flow on Northumberland Strait on Monday afternoon after a harrowing five days on the floe after parachuting from a plane which he was forced to desert and the news of his safety, wired to Perth immediately, ended a period of suspense endured by his parents and hundreds of friends here since word reached Perth last Wednesday that he was missing after bailing out of his plane. A Canadian press dispatch on Monday told of the rescue and the hardships endured by Squadron Leader Wilson and three other members of his crew: “After drifting five days on an ice flow in the wintry waters of Northumberland Strait, four members of a crashed RCAF bomber were rescued Monday afternoon three miles off the New Brunswick coast and brought ashore at Cape Tormantine, N.B.
They were picked up by the ice-breaking car ferry Prince Edward Island after a searching air force plane sighted them and guided the ferry to their aid. The four men parachuted into the strait last Wednesday night after their twin engine bomber from the Dartmouth, N.B.air base ran into difficulties and had to be abandoned in mid air. They were Squadron Leader Kenneth C. Wilson of Perth, Ont.; F.O. A.J. Barrette of Ottawa; P.O. William Augustus Richardson of the United States; and Warrant Officer Second Class Joseph Albert Dobson of Bathurst, N.B.
The aircraft was the one which unloaded its cargo of depth charges about a mile outside Charlottetown Wednesday night after it and three other planes in the squadron lost their way in the fog. Two of the aircraft managed to land on Charlottetown airport and the third crashed about six miles from the home base at Dartmouth, killing the four crew members. Despite their freezing ordeal on the surface of the ice cake, the four men were in remarkably good condition although suffering from exposure and frost bite. Only one had to be carried aboard in a stretcher while the others were able to clamber on the rescue craft without assistance.
They were taken aboard about 3:00 Monday afternoon and brought ashore at Cape Tormantine. They were later rushed to the RCAF hospital at Moncton, N.B. From information obtained from those aboard the ferry, it is believed the four flyers crawled on the ice after parachuting down and then made their way together. It was some time Thursday before they were able to reach one another and make plans for their united actions, according to those reports.
The ice floe from which they were taken was only thirty yards square although substantial and thick enough to weather a light storm. During most of the time they were afloat the weather was severe, with near zero temperatures and scudding snow squalls to make them more uncomfortable. They had only one fire during the time they drifted up and down the strait with the winds and the tides, almost within sight of the shore. It is believed they used their parachutes to kindle that one small blaze that kept them warm for a few minutes before the cold set in again.
All they had to eat were a few chocolate bars they had with them as they left the plane. They rationed themselves strictly and lived on one quarter of a bar a day until they were sighted. Then provisions were dropped to them from a hovering search plane and a few hours later the car ferry came crunching through the ice cakes to rescue them. What they used for water during their imprisonment on the ice is not known but presumably they were able to melt ice. An attempt was made first to send a flying boat to their aid but this had to be abandoned because of the treacherous ice flow. Then the ferry was signaled and called off course to rescue them. Another C.P. dispatch on the same day stated that F.V.Barrette and P.O. Richardson were the two suffering from frost bite and that Squadron Leader Wilson and Warrant Officer Dobson were in nearly perfect physical condition despite the hardships of five days on the ice flow.”
*Grants Creek is a stream in Ontario and is nearby to Perth, Caroline Village and Fairholme Park.
Haggart’s Mills– Photo from the -Perth Historical Society
*The Haggart Mills, on Perth’s Mill Street, amongst the town’s most important industrial complexes in its day, operated between 1817 and 1964, when it burned. At its peak, it included a flour mill, sawmill and carding mill. Its most famous owner, John Haggart, MP and Cabinet Minister, was instrumental in the resurrection of the Tay Canal, which ended at his flour mill. His beautiful home still stands beside the mill site. –-Perth Historical Society
Read about HAGGART, JOHN GRAHAM– click here
Haggart House- Perth, Ontario– 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