Saturday, October 10, 2015

Stop 3: Brudenell

Brudenell wasn't new to us, but I couldn't resist in stopping. I had been here and taken photos twice, the last time being 4 or 5 years ago.

The main remaining feature [that I know of] is the building in most of the photos, below. It was once the Costello Hotel, one of three hotels which once existed. It's a place with a reputation.
Brudenell was on the stage line to nearby Eganville, Rockingham and Combermere, and had plenty of offerings for travellers stopping along the way. Its main industries seem to have been gambling, drinking, and sex - not necessarily in that order.
The arrival of Jim and Mike Costello from Ireland in the early 1870s did absolutely nothing to enhance Brudenell's unsavoury reputation. It was under their watch that Brudenell became known as the most notorious 'sin-bucket' along the Opeongo. (  
The Opeongo Line was seen as a colonization road, but it didn't work out too well as you might have guessed from seeing the recent photos of the terrain around Newfoundout.

Brudenell's population reached about 200 in the 1880s, and in addition to its three hotels, the community "two blacksmiths, a race track, church, meeting hall and school. It was also thought to have a daily stage service to Eganville, Rockingham and Combermere." (

When the Canada Atlantic Railway was laid in 1893 to the lumbering camps, it went through Killaloe rather than the Opeongo Line, and that just about sealed the community's fate.

The previous times that we stopped at Brudenell, there was a For Sale sign out front. This time, there was a house trailer parked to the side, and there appeared to be some sign of activity. If anyone plans on restoring the place, they have a major job ahead of them.

Apparently, an abandoned store still stands, and I presume that this building ↓ next to the Costello Hotel is it — judging by the style of the frontage.

The Catholic Church, minus a steeple, is still active. The sign out front proclaimed Saturday morning Masses.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Stop 2: Newfoundout

Stop 2 on our marathon drive was the ghost town of Newfoundout, just off the Opeongo Line between Dacre and Foymount. We have driven the Opeongo a few times, but I was unaware of Newfoundout until I came across a recent reference on Facebook. In point of fact, the whole route was purposed around visiting Newfoundout.

By the way, 7.5 hours isn't so bad as it seems when you're stopping somewhat frequently: as we were. Just thought I would get that in there. Especially when you're retired and not punching a clock, ya gotta stop and smell the roses as it were.

It's not much: just a few tumbled down structures in a cow field, but I commiserated deeply with the poor sods who ended up on this barren piece of rocky land.

Before I get to the photos, following are a few extracts from two websites: here and here.

Six kilometres up a trail off of Opeongo Road, across from Davidson’s Corners, are the skeletal remains of Newfoundout, Ontario. Victims of the government’s infamous “Public Land Act” of 1853, 13 families wound their way up the mountainside and for 30 years attempted to eke a living out of the mostly barren, rocky soil. Never able to attract more settlement or institutions, such as schools, the town died, becoming completely abandoned by 1948.
Take the Opeongo Road west from highway 41 for about 5 km to Newfoundout Road and turn left. The Newfoundout Road is NW of the ghost town of Esmonde. Drive up the hill from 1.5 km- 6.5 km to see all the buildings. 
Much like the Nipissing Colonization Road, the Opeongo Road was another of the government's road colonization attempts. As people would immigrate to Canada and settle along these roads, they'd clear the land to build a home and farm. However the land proved to be poor for growing and many of these settlers left with broken dreams.
The settlers to the Opeongo Road were given 100 acres of land. The Public Land Act (1853) proclaimed, "One hundred acres will be given free to any settlers, 18 years of age, who shall take possession of the Lot within one month from the date of his application, erect on it a house, 18 by 20 feet, put in a state of cultivation at least 12 acres in the course of four years, and live on the Lot during the period.
Between 1860 and 1890 these families lived in the back part of the colonization road, trying to make a living on their farms. By 1948, the area was completely abandoned.

Onto the photos.

Looking back at a bit of the road that we drove in on. It was not a welcoming road.

Beyond the gate is a cow pasture and woodlot. We trespassed, but I think it was expected and not forbidden.
There is not much point in captioning the next bunch of photos which depict the state of the old cabins. But notice the surrounding rock in so many of the photos as well as the hilliness. What a place to try to wrest a living from the land! Being the wimp that I am, I never would have made it. (In two of the shots, you can see a cement foundation.)

I found the next two photos somewhat poignant: one remaining post and a few old implements on a rock. I am not sure if the implements date back to the settlers, but I think they speak regardless.

I had wandered around a bit while Sue stayed closer to the car (I don't think her footwear was appropriate for traversing the hilly cow pasture, and btw the evidence for cows was there if you know what I mean).

Anyway, it was pleasant to see milady, and we were soon off to the next stop.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The First Stop

We are back in civilization, or so it is called, but this post is about our going forth almost two weeks ago.

Whenever possible, we take the long route to the cottage. While we can get here in 2.5 hours following the most direct route with no stops, this trip took us 7.5 hours. It was partly due to the backroads route but mostly due to our various stops.

The very first stop occurred about 45 minutes into the trip. You might recall our recent tour of the Tatlock Quarry. Well, we decided to return and view it from the observation area off Tatlock Road.

We picked up Tatlock Road off highway 7 and followed it until it neared 511. However, we didn't drive all of the way to 511; keeping our eyes open, we spotted the sign to the quarry to our left, and proceeded to the observation area.

We had tried to get there in the spring, but the gates weren't open then. They only open them when the road in is quite passable.

The observation area is fenced in, but you can still get a good view, and if you focus your camera right, you can pretty well bypass the fence in your pictures.

Okay then: that was the first hour and a half of our trip and, indeed, of our 12 days away. Stay tuned for more gripping installments of what AC did on his fall vacation.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Leftovers and See You Later

Since we are off to the cottage, I thought I would post some pics of our last, brief stay there. You might recall the Dragon Ball weekend. Well, here are a few more shots from back then.

Everybody loves Mary: my niece in law. She's a gem.
This old trailer has been parked out back for ever so long, and I finally got a decent but well cropped picture.
Lumber in the barn ... waiting .... waiting ...
I'm not sure what JJ thought when his cousin climbed up beside him to watch a movie, but he adapted.
I took a picture of some faint and distant lightning.
My very tall nephew found a unique way to wash the dishes in a slightly low sink.
My BIL takes an indoor shot.
The Dragon Ball venue was nicely decorated.
I am going into radio silence. See you in a few weeks.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Some Around and About Pics

We will soon be taking off on our annual fall getaway to the cottage. Although I am sure to post once more before then, I thought that I would post a few recent pics before then.

JJ kindly made arrangements with some bus friends to meet them at the park after school. Although I didn't expect the friends to show up, I didn't mind walking him to the park, and one (and his sister) did show up. Danica had dance lessons, so it was just a JJ afternoon.

JJ thought that I should take a picture of him in the baby swings.

Although the others aren't in the frame, they were quite excited to find a little copse hideaway.
The next morning there was music and dancing while waiting for the school bus. See the radio on the ground.
After the bus left, I went for a walk as I often do in decent weather. This was one of the pics that I snapped.

That afternoon found us back at the park for another playdate. Both kids this time.

Danica and friend playing ball on the equipment, but the ball kept on sailing past to the other side.

Jj really gets around -- so to speak.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tidbits from Bridge Street

It was a hot afternoon in downtown Carleton Place, so I opted to sit in the outside shade while Sue second-handed it across the street. Being both hot and a tad lazy, I snapped several shots while sitting on the benches outside the post office.

I'm not sure that I knew we had a Masonic Temple in CP, but sure enough ...

Apparently, the structure is 104 years old, but the masons have been active here since 1843. I had assumed that the temple was a former use only, but it seems that it is still the temple for the St John's Lodge No 63, and there are approximately 100 members.

Beside the temple is Leslie (not LFSLIE, I'm sure) built in 1895.

From the walking tour pamphlet: "It has been home to cabinetmakers, furniture and undertaking businesses throughout its history. The eight-column colonnade supports an intricate entablature and remains a showpiece of Ontario architecture."

As I continued to point my camera upward at odd angles, I next snapped the clock tower of the old post office, which was build ~1891. From the pamphlet "The Building was designed by famed Ottawa Parliament Peace Tower architect, Thomas Fuller (1823- 1898), who designed 78 Post Offices for the Dominion of Canada from 1881-1896." The clock tower was added two years later in 1893.

Then there is St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, apparently built in 1887, just a few years prior to the other buildings.

"Fanciful towers and turrets add interest to the imposing St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, built in the Scottish Baronial style in 1887. Contrasting decorative courses, and window and door details are constructed of dark Beckwith limestone."

I have tried to attend a concert or two in this church, but the pews are not at all comfortable to a modern larger man with a bad back.

The best sighting of the day was to see this lovely lady lady walking toward me. But I won't say how old she is. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Morning Strolls

I find myself getting back into more of a routine now that it's September and the kids are back at school. I have been strolling to the nearby park and sometimes along the adjacent wooded path after the kids have embarked on the bus. My problem will be in keeping to some sort of routine on Thursdays and Fridays when we don't have them and also on the weekends, of course.

These photos are all from these walks, except the Rudbeckia from my own garden and the one of JJ, but that was also taken in the park, and we did walk there. I take my camera with me and click any number of shots, and I delete most of them when I see them on my computer.

What the camera does enable me to do, even though most shots are worthless, is to be present. I am a daydreamer by nature and could easily walk for an hour in the woods but be mostly wrapped up in my own head and notice very little. When I have my camera, I find that I am always looking around and seeing things that I would likely otherwise miss.

Magic Lantern, hanging at the edge of the path at the back of a garden

Autumn is in the air, or at least beginning on the ground

JJ found a little hideaway in a small copse

Rudbeckia are still flowering in the garden

A changing bush off the boardwalk

Life is da berries