The Tay Canal, from Perth, Ontario, Canada
to the Big Rideau Lake
(was Haggart's Ditch)
November 18, 2015:
Thanks to Jane Yorath who took the following photograph at the Tay Canal Basin in Perth, Ontario.
The originator of the plan to construct the Tay Canal was Alexander Morris. His son, Edmund Morris, was the well-known
artist among the First Nations people.
The Tay Canal was under construction and improvement for many decades. It flows from the center of the town of Perth, Ontario and joins up with the
main Rideau Canal near Murphy's Point Provincial Park on the Big Rideau Lake. Pioneer families were able to make their way from Kingston on Lake Ontario,
up the main Rideau Canal and then were able to take the Tay Canal to Perth and to the hinterland townships.
In 1846 and 1847, at the time of the Great Irish famine, some residents of Perth, Ontario wrote to the emigrant agent at Montreal informing him that
up to six hundred labourers could be employed in the Perth area. The emigrant agent tried to send the Irish emigrants of Black '47 to places in
Upper Canada which had ongoing construction work, but 600 newcomers would have been overwhelming to the contemporary settlement at Perth.
August 17, 2010:
Photo taken from Lock 33, Beveridges, (see map below)
Map Source: Rideau Waterway Small-Craft Chart
Environment Canada, 1974
Uploaded August 17, 2010
Tay Canal / Haggart's Ditch
August 18, 2010:
Loved the bit on the Tay Canal. It ties in slightly with my grandmother's grandfather, who was a Captain for the Tay Canal Company.
I've put what I know about him below. I still don't know how he died (I suspect an accident on the canal?). All the newspapers
around that date seem to be missing.
Little is known of this ancestor. He was born in county Leitrim in Ireland and appears to have arrived in Canada
sometime in the late 1830's. He was Captain of the little craft "The Jolly Brewer" which once made a voyage to
Montreal and back in the incredibly short time of 22 days. He was an employee of the Tay Canal Company. He married
Ann Doran in Perth, Lanark county, Ontario in January of 1844 and was to die just 10 months later (at the young age
of 28 years) and just 2 days after the birth of his only child, daughter Catherine McSherry (see baptism below), who
was to eventually wed William Tierney, grandson of the immigrant Denis Tierney of Nepean / Fallowfield).
From his will, we know that he had siblings still in Leitrim in Ireland, but it remains unknown if any of them
ever emigrated to Canada or who his parents were. Bernard McSherry is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery (Old Craig Cemetery)
in Perth, Ontario.
His father-in-law, Judge John Doran of Perth, paid for the handsome tombstone which marks Bernard's grave.
Here is the baptism record of Mary Eliza Tierney at St. Patrick's Church in Fallowfield, Nepean Township:
17 Jan 1864: Mary Eliza TIERNEY, born 27 Dec 1863, to William Tierney and Catharine McSherry (Source)
September 25, 2011:
The next photo is of the Steamboat John Haggart, a very ambitious-sized boat for the Tay Canal
Source: Perth: Tradition and Style in Eastern Ontario, by Larry Turner, page 69
Surname: Hicks family.
October 4, 2013:
Dredging Boat on the Tay Canal, Ontario, Canada
E-mail Sue and Al Lewis
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