The following article first appeared in The Echo of Cantley Volume 30 no 1, July 2018. This article is made available for the enjoyment of others with the express permission of the Echo of Cantley.
Genealogical research provides facts about our family tree, helping us understand where we came from. Family stories passed down, told from one generation to the next, bring these facts to life, giving meaning and often drama to our past.
The Ice Storm of ’98 will certainly go down in Cantley history, but weather stories, of all seasons, provide tales for our family history books. The following is a July weather story.
Andrew Blackburn was the first farmer in Cantley, settling here with his two sons in 1829. Many branches of the Blackburn family still live in Cantley including Gary Blackburn and his family.
Since childhood, Gary has been hearing a story about his great-grandmother, Elizabeth Jane Scollon. He enjoyed the story but never thought it could really be true – a tale which perhaps had a grain of truth but was probably embellished through the telling over time.
Imagine Gary’s surprise and delight when his granddaughter, Brandy Blackburn, stumbled upon this clipping in the July 3, 1911 edition of the Ottawa Journal newspaper while researching the family history! This is a great example of where genealogical research may lead.
Though strange, this article proves great-grandmother Blackburn’s story is indeed true! It is an appropriate July weather story and it certainly dramatizes family history for today’s Blackburn family ... and for Cantley history buffs!
Cantley 1889 is collecting Cantley family stories...strange but true (or embellished!). If you have any tales to tell, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Ottawa Journal, July 3, 1911
The lightning played a queer freak at Cantley, Que. While sitting with her arm resting on a Bible which was lying on a sewing machine, Mrs. Andrew Blackburn, Jr., received a severe shock from a lightning bolt. The back of the Bible was torn from its pages by the stroke of lightning.
It first struck an elm tree near the Blackburn’s house and ran along a wire clothesline to the kitchen of the house. Entering the kitchen, it knocked a number of pieces of furniture out of place and then, entering the adjoining dining room, where Mrs. Blackburn was sitting, finished its work as described above.
Dr. Davies of Hull was called to attend to the injured woman. He states today that she is progressing favourably and that she is now suff ering from nervous shock.