Tag Archives: snakes

Black Snakes of the Urbaine

Black Snakes of the Urbaine

A short distance from the Ferry on the road leading to Perth, was a swampy portion of road once infested by great black snakes and here one can still feel in imagination the old corduroy road built of logs laid side by side and one can visualize the oxcarts rumbling over it as they made their way along with their loads of supplies. Farther on was a log house owned by a frog catcher but this has long since been replaced by a modern brick home. Across from it stands a shop where once a blacksmith plied his trade shoeing and repairing farm machinery.

Sarah Cavanagh

There’s still a tonne of black snakes up around there ( or at least there were when I was in high school)

Stacy Lee Kehoe

I can pretty much guarantee none of my ancestors who travelled through the ferry to settle in Lanark county would be posing for a pic with đź¤®any snakes!

Patricia M Mason Leduc

I imagine there are quite a few corduroy roads beneath existing back roads now. We had one beneath our cottage road and to the best of my knowledge it is still there. Unless they dug up the road this year.

Ken Nicholas

Patricia M Mason Leduc I dont think they ever dug up corderoy roads. They just keep piling the gravel on them. It was quicker and cheaper than plank roads.. and around here you can still see remnants on some of the original roads in spring depending on how high the water gets, or what dams break.

Now talk about them snakes. Wow. Still around, but I bet nothing like they were back then. I still have yet to catch one.

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

The Toll Gates of Lanark County on Roads that Were Not Fit for Corpses

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Sep 1937, Sat  •  Page 2

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 May 1928, Sat  •  Page 2

Also read- IN SEARCH OF SNAKE ISLAND click here

In the Year 1859 Story of the Believe It or Not

The Mother of Mrs. Albert Cole of Ottawa, Had a Strange Experience While on Her Way to Ottawa.

Mrs. Albert Cole of 828 Cambridge street is one ot the old residents of the Ottawa district. Before her marriage to Mr. Cole, she was Jessie Thompson, a sister of Peter Thompson of the Montreal Road. Mrs. Cole was born on the Thompson homestead, about three miles out and is 86 years of age.

After her marriage Mrs. Cole lived on her husband’s farm near Green’s Creek, till Mr. Cole fell heir to the homestead in North Gower and moved there. Mrs. Cole tells some interesting stories of the Montreal road. She tells, among others, a snake story of the belleve-it-or-not variety.

Mrs. Cole tells that In the year 1859 her mother was riding to town on horseback when the had an experience such as she had never had before. When passing through Capt. Bradley’s beaver meadow (the road then ran there) she saw ahead of her, lying full length across the road, a great snake. The snake must have been fully 35 feet long as she could not see either its head or its tail.

At first she took the thing to be nearer a limb of atree and then she saw what it really was. She was about to turn her horse , (30 feet away) when the reptile began to enter the long grass. When Mrs. Thompson got home other men went to hunt the snakein the whole beaver meadow, but they could not find any trace of the reptile.

In this connection it should be told that a similarly large reptile was reported in the early 1870s as having been seen at the south end of the Mer Bleu. One man who had a gun chased this reptile for a long distance but never caught it.

Cedar Hill School–Equipment as we know it today was almost non-existent. The old coal shovel was perhaps the most versatile too!…it not only scooped coat into the scuttle..it also dragged ashes and clinkers from under the furnace grates..bulldozed paths to the little houses out back..and chopped snakes that were bold enough to sun themselves by the door. The grading also was different..a child either KNEW his facts..he partially knew them..or he DIDN’T know them…it was as simple as that. Many educators deride the mastering of factual knowledge as being dictatorial or even useless, since things keep changing. But all facts do not change, and many basic facts serve as posts from which to hang lines of imagination and from which to evolve one’s own personal philosophy

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
26 Aug 1908, Wed  •  Page 3

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
15 Aug 1899, Tue  •  Page 4

Rideau Ferry Road– Black Snakes Bridges and SS#6

I am Afraid of Snakes- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Snake on Mill Street 1948

A Tale from Snake Island

Frogging the Lanark Screamers in the Mississippi River

Tales from Oliver’s Ferry

The Tragic Tale of the Rideau Ferry Swing Bridge

Snake on Mill Street 1948

Snake on Mill Street 1948

Almonte Gazette 1948

News being very scarce this week—as it always is in late August—an editor has to resort to strange ways of filling up a newspaper. Apropos of that: on Wednesday night in front of the Gazette office, which is located on Mill Street, we met a little girl standing beside a tricycle who pointed to the gutter along the sidewalk and said: “frog, frog.” She started to reach, and looking in the direction of her small hand we saw a snake crawling along. We told her not to touch it and it crawled into a tile drain under a ramp leading to an alley entrance.

A couple of middle aged ladies came along right then and we made the fatal mistake of telling them what we had seen. They looked in the gutter, saw no snake, and looked at us as if we were a snake—or as if we had been seeing snakes. After these ladies had gone on their way, looking disgusted, we stood there ruminating. We knew we could not call on the three year-old child for evidence and we felt we had blundered with the ladies just as the Light Brigade did at Baiaklava. 

Things generally end that way. But this time we were lucky. Along came Mr. Tom Proctor, Sr. and we told him of our strange experience. He looked at us dubiously but was too polite to express what was passing in his mind. Then came one of our own employees. He was a little bit helpful because he told Tom he had seen a snake in the same spot a couple of weeks ago. With that, Tom looked strangely at both of us. But like the sun bursting through a dark cloud, our friend the snake dissolved all our troubles by sticking its head out of the drain pipe at that very moment. 

We were so pleased we yelled: “There it is,” and straightway it withdrew its head. Tom Proctor said with growing doubt; “Where is it: I don’t see anything; of course I’m not as young as I used to be.” Well, to make a silly story short, we all stood still and out came the snake. This time we kept quiet and he came all out—three feet of him. Tom looked at us with an apologetic expression then back at the snake. The reptile was one of those harmless spotted adders (milksnake) we used to see sunning himself on the sandy roads in (the old days— often killed by toy buggy wheels—later by cars. 

Finally it crawled up on the sidewalk and made for the alleyway, pausing now and then. Along came two young “bobby-soxers” gabbling pleasantly. Just as they were about to step on the snake we pointed to him. They seized their skirts—they were wearing skirts at the time—and with shrieks that could be heard for miles they dashed down the street going five feet every leap. 

Meanwhile the snake escaped into the dark alley and that was the last we saw of him. But we have the proof of Mr. Proctor, our employee, the two girls and a few others realized that there really was a snake. And if anyone in Carleton Place or any other neighboring town wants to make an issue of this situation by saying that the main street in Almonte is so dead that snakes crawl on it we will recall this one. 

In the year1929 there was an awful uproar in “The Loop,” Chicago, when a big bull snake invaded that populous section of the city. Women fainted, strong men went into pubs for strong drinks, police grabbed their guns and pandemonium reigned. Finally the reptile was shot. It was said he wandered up from Lake Michigan and didn’t know how to get back. So where did this come from?

Artist’s drawing of the portion of the McArthur Block at 63 Mill Street which once housed the Almonte Gazette. It first appeared in the Gazette’s Christmas edition dated December 25, 1891. Thanks to the scrapbooks of Lucy Connelly Poaps

The Pantagraph
Bloomington, Illinois
12 Jun 1929, Wed  •  Page 1

The Daily Independent
Murphysboro, Illinois
12 Jun 1929, Wed  •  Page 1

Freeport Journal-Standard
Freeport, Illinois
11 Jun 1929, Tue  •  Page 1

I am Afraid of Snakes- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

I am Afraid of Snakes- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers
family photos 2006 and 2007 008jac.jpg
This is a childhood Memory (not a good one and I have to admit one that almost sent me into Cardiac Arrest) It also was not funny as I was so frightened of snakes.

You know when I think of this one, my older brother sure was not nice on that Day..
I will have to take you back with me, a to the age of about 12, I might add many moons ago.   We were at a friend of my parent’s cottage.  To set the stage my Mom had, had major surgery at the time, today it is not as invasive as it was then.  This friend and Godmother to my sweet brother, had a cottage up near Calabogie, Ontario.  She was kind enough to suggest to my parents that maybe they could spend some time at the cottage and give my mom a chance to get over her operation and she would be there to oversee the Children, and get the meals.

Now this lady was a super person, somewhat authoritative and things were to be done her way.  As a child I used to think, she was a tad bit on the mean side, and when she said jump you sure did not ask, how high.  Now this does not sound like a fun place to be but it was when your chores were done.  That is where I learned how to make a bed with square corners, I can tell you, for me it did take time to get it perfect and it did have to be perfect, you know bounce the coin on it.  Now a good outcome I earned my bed making badge for Girl Guides. There was an upside of this situation as I was working on my Gold Cord, anyone that has been in Guides will understand.

It was a cottage, no electricity, no plumbing, just an outhouse.  Now this outhouse was very clean and there was nothing that should have scared a young child, B U T ……….

My ever- loving, brother always had a tendency to enjoy playing bad deeds upon his sisters, I do love him but then, I sure did not.  I decided that day he was mean, miserable and scared me half to death.  Little did I know that he had visited the outhouse before me, and spotted a problem, did he advise anyone… NO!

After my lesson in bed making I did have to go to the wash room, now being a girl I did not like the outhouse.  What had to be, had to be, buck up kid go to the bathroom or wet your pants.  Now can you imagine the lecture had an accident happed, no I did not want to face this.  Out I went and I really did need to go, in fact almost did not make Whew success I made it, my little dance with crossed legs helped.

Well when I went to get the toilet paper I noticed it, on the bean near the roof was a nest, in the nest was mother snake and a lot of little Crawley, slimy, reptiles hanging down.  OH MY GOD, I grabbed the door and went to open it., yes even with the pants still down.

Well the door would not open, I yelled I screamed I did do a war dance and no one was coming to my rescue.  My dear, sweet, older Brother locked the door from the outside. After what seemed to be an awful long time my Mom’s friend came out wondered what the noise was all about and opened the door.  I was crying, screaming and just a mess.  Now this was not the way a good Girl Guide should act, you are to BE PREPARED at all times.  This girl was not prepared or amused and somewhat in a stage of PANIC!

Mom’s friend tried to calm me down, but I do have to admit, I wanted my Mom not her friend.  Now she was the Leader of the Girl Guides and I am sure I would not have passed my OUTDOOR BADGE that day.  She was trying to impress upon me that the snakes were harmless, as an adult that might be, but to a child who did not like snakes, they were dangerous and would do me harm.

My sweet brother got a good talking to.  It is a good thing my Mom was not feeling well as it would have been one of those times when gathering a switch would have been the order and I am sure she would probably have used it in different circumstances.


Did the phase my Brother, NOT such a sweet child!
From the Penď ­
of Noreen
July 2018
PS; when we lived on the farm and I was picking my asparagus There was a snake in the patch.  Never went without my cat Chicklet. She did do in a tiny green copper snake YUK You see I still need protection even as an adult.
Image result for snakes clipart

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

  1. relatedreading

Hitching a Ride Cross Town — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

My Old Orange Hat –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Out of the Old Photo Album — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers


Snow Road Ramblings from Richards Castle — From the Pen Of Noreen Tyers

Summer Holidays at Snow Road Cleaning Fish — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Putting Brian on the Bus– Stories from my Childhood Noreen Tyers

My Childhood Memory of Richard’s Castle –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Grandpa’s Dandelion Wine — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Wedding Tiara — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Art of Learning How to Butter Your Toast the Right Way — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Smocked Dresses–From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Kitchen Stool — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Flying Teeth in Church — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Writings of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Memories of Grandpa’s Workshop — Noreen Tyers

Cleaning out Grandmas’ Fridge — Noreen Tyers Summer Vacation at Richard’s Castle

My Flower Seeds — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Legend of Horseshoe Falls

The Legend of Horseshoe Falls




I love all history and once in awhile I lurk out of Lanark County to find some other tidbits. This was from the The Chilliwack Progress,  26 Apr 1899, Wed,  Page 2



Formerly there dwelt under a Niagara Falls a gigantic snake which now and then would make its way to an Iroquis Indian Village in the neighbourhood and coil itself around the town. It swallowed the people who  tried to escape and rendered itself further obnoxious by poisoning the wells with its spittle.

Finally one day it was destroyed by a stratagem. It was so huge that when people laid its body out in death it stretched over more than 20 arrow flights. Indeed when thrown into the river it was too large to pass the rocks so that it became wedged in between them and the water passed over it. Thus fashioning the horseshoe which remains today.


It seems snakes and native lore were the shaping of  Niagara Falls.. here is another story here:

The Real Maid of the Mist: Niagara’s Famous Legend

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Apr 1957, Tue,  Page 12



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



Rideau Ferry Road– Black Snakes Bridges and SS#6

Local Sea Serpent Positively Seen This Time!!

The Sea Serpents of Lake Ontario

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