Walking in the 1800's
William GORDON from Goulbourn Township walks to Osgoode Township
April 8, 2005:
There were many connections between families on both sides of the Rideau River
in the 1800's. William Gordon from Goulbourn Township (originally from County Armagh, Ireland) walked from near Richmond
to visit his son Moses who lived in Osgoode Township. He made this trip on foot until
he was in his '90's. Too bad we don't take the time to do this sort of thing anymore.
William Gordon was born in 1758 in County Armagh, Ireland and arrived in
Goulbourn Township in 1827. He died in 1860 at 102 yrs. Burial: Shillington Cemetery,
Goulbourn Twp., Ontario "SEE THE GORDONS OF GOULBOURN, THE LOWRYS OF HUNTLEY & FITZROY",
BY ELIZ. M. GORDON.
Source: Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (book at Ottawa Public Library).
Robert Sample writes to Michael Daley:
Bridges over the Rideau River
I have been doing some thinking Michael which is sometimes a dangerous thing.
Anyway, I have wondered for some time about when the first bridge would be built
over the Rideau River between say south of Manotick to Ottawa. In Elizabeth 'Betty'
Gordon's book on the Gordon and Lowry families she speaks of her ancestor
William Gordon 1758-1860 walking from Stapledon on the 4th line of Goulbourn,
east of Richmond to Osgoode to visit his son Moses. He apparently did it several
times and once when he was in his nineties. He had to cross two Rivers,
the Jock and the Rideau. Elizabeth Gordon's book is called "THE GORDONS OF GOULBOURN, THE LOWRYS OF HUNTLEY & FITZROY".
I shall draw Al Lewis into this and maybe he will know and if he does not,
I am sure he also is curious.
Here's one possibility:
There's a painting dated 1845 which shows an "aerial" view of the locks at Long Island.
Not far from where the Jock River enters into the Rideau River, along the Rideau Canal system..
Today you can drive your car over the dam from the Gloucester side but in 1845 it
was just passable on foot and not very wide. Another foot bridge is shown in the
picture, on the Jock River side of the Rideau which could take pedestrians the rest
of the way across the river.
There's another picture of a bridge over the Jock River at Richmond, dated 1830.
This one looks like it could handle a team and wagon.
Both pictures are in the book "Building the Rideau Canal" by Robert Passfield.
There was a little church called Dawson's Chapel on the Nepean side of the Rideau,
where the Jock River joins up at Heart's Desire.
Mike Epp sent an e-mail last week saying that there were some families from the
Gloucester side and some from the Nepean side who attended the church.
It's pretty amazing how far people walked back then. Often carrying heavy loads.
back to Robert:
Hi Al. In our exchange you spoke of people walking quite a distance to get
their wheat ground into flour. People walked from Dwyer Hill to Burritt's Rapids or Merrickville
with a bag of wheat on their backs to get flour ground.
This seems like an amazing feat but then the Trappers in the North used to go
with heavy loads and I think it was known for them to carry about 180 lbs on their
backs on snowshoes. Kind of like the commercial, walked ten miles one way to school
through ten feet of snow, up hill both ways, 40 below zero in my father's pajamas.
and from Michael:
GOOD EVENING, ROBERT, AL. I KNOW THERE WAS A WHARF AT KARS, in North Gower Township) , IF YOU CONTACT ,
CORA LINDSAY , AT THE RIDEAU ARCHIVES IN NORTH GOWER , SHE MAY HELP , SOME YEARS
AGO SHE PUBLISHED A BOOK "KARS ON THE RIDEAU,"
MY COPY LEFT HOME , SOME YEARS AGO, AND NEVER RETURNED, I REMEMBER THE SWING
BRIDGES AT KARS AND MANOTICK, THE ARCHIVES IS OPENED ONLY TUESDAY ,[IF MY MEMORY SERVES ME]
ALSO A MRS , CARROLL PUBLISHED A BOOK ON THE "MILL IN MANOTICK".
THERE WAS BRIDGE AT BURRITTS RAPIDS , HOPE THIS HELPS.
... MICHAEL DALEY
E-mail Michael Daley and Al Lewis
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