Tag Archives: stone bridge

The House on the Cliff and the Old Bridge

The House on the Cliff and the Old Bridge
Sept 1964
Postcard Sally Tuffin read-Almonte Bridge- Unsurpassed in the County

September 1964 — Almonte Gazette

Work is well on its way to demolish the stone bridge that was so much admired for a great many years as a masterpiece of the mason’s craftsmanship. It presented quite a problem to the contractors . It is understood they intend to remove as much of it as possible from each end on the surface and then drop the rest of it into the gorge from which the larger stones will have to be retrieved.

 It is likely that destruction of this sturdy stone span will present about as much trouble as erection of the new single span which will have no mid- piers but only abutments at each end. As the stone bridge comes down it becomes more apparent that it never could have withstood the heavy traffic for very long even If it had been wide enough. 

The Town Council’s chief headache in connection with the new bridge is described in the underlines beneath the cut that appears above. The Council has been criticized for not grappling with these problems sooner and for leaving it to the last minute as has been the case. 

It is said that some members thought they could get a fair sum of money for the old residence, but they soon found out that this was not the case especially when contractors who looked at it agreed that it could not be moved. It is said that there is little money to be made into a ring down sturdy frame house as much of the lumber is destroyed for building purposes in the process.

1964– the house on the cliff1964– the house on the cliff

Not much is known about the history of this house. It had little land around it. The backyard was close to the cliff that leads down to Cannon Falls . However, people who lived in it years ago said it was a comfortable dwelling. But with the cliff behind it and the highway at its front door, it was a poor place to bring up young children. How the Council is going to get this building out of the way by Oct. 2nd when it is now Sept. 24th is anyone ’s guess. Maybe the fairies will wave magic wands over it and say hocus- pocus you old house —jump into the Bay.

Frank BlakeleyWhen the stone from the bridge was being hauled away, my dad intercepted the dump trucks, and had the drivers drop their load of stone off the edge of our property on Hope St. for fill. On the way out, the drivers got a beer for their trouble.

Sept 64
sept 1974

Almonte Bridge- Unsurpassed in the County

The Back Bridge of Almonte April 1960

Almonte Bridge- Unsurpassed in the County


$_57 (35).JPG


The New Stone Bridge- The new  bridge at the lower end of the village is almost completed as the contractors are building up the side walls and levelling off the top of the arch which is over thirty feet height and when finished will be unsurpassed in the county for the quality of material used and for the workmanship. Messrs O’Brien and Willoughby are being commended for the manner in which it is being brought to a close. 1867 October 11-Almonte Gazette



Builds the Almonte High School

In July, the Deputy Superintendent of Education for Ontario wrote that if immediate steps were
not taken to provide better High School accommodation the half-yearly grant would be retained.
At this the committee reported in favour of a brick school instead of stone, with stone base and
stone door and window sills; and this report was adopted.   The Board thereupon made demand
on the Village Council for $5,000. for the erection of the school, and added Mr. Alex Ferguson
to the building committee. Mr. John McAndrew having resigned his position as truste, Mr. James
Stewart was elected in his stead.   At the first meeting thereafter, on the 12th of August 1872,
seven tenders were received for the construction of the new school building.   The highest
tender was $5,500, the lowest $4,700.   On motion of Albert Smallfield and James Stewart the
contract was awarded to William Willoughby, of Almonte, for $5,252., the argument in his
favour being that he had built the school houses at Smiths Falls, Carleton Place and Almonte,
and could furnish sufficient security.   The building was to be completed before Mar. 1, 1875.
At a subsequent meeting it was decided that the expense of the building should be divided
equally between the Public and High School.
Thursday, August 21, 1902
Mr. William Willoughby who is building the stone work of the new Methodist Church is so
pestered with loafers sitting around on the rails and talking with his men while working that
he made it a point the other day to daub every available seat around the place with mortar,
thus thinking to get rid of the nuisance, but as soon as the mortar dried, several were seen to
take out their knives, cut away the mortar and resume their old roost as usual.   The cheek of
some people is really fresh indeed.
source — Merrickville newspaper, 1889, reel 3738 #1
found by Doreen Guerrero


One of William Willoughby’s sisters took a ship at Brockville to visit friends in Western Ontario.
The ship went down on Lake Erie with all on board.   Another sister, while visiting friends in
Port Huron, was at the railway station, when a spark from a wood burning engine landed on
her paper bustle, causing fire and her death.
Photo Postcard from Sally Tuffin.
Related reading