Cantley’s Early Years

Cantley 1889 Articles

<em>Echo</em> Cantley <em>Echo</em>

The following article first appeared in The Echo of Cantley Volume 32 no 6, December 2019. This article is made available for the enjoyment of others with the express permission of the Echo of Cantley.

Cantley’s Early Years

Margaret Phillips

Navigating Through Snow

Imagine our Cantley winter in earlier times – same snow – same montée de la Source, known then as The Old Cantley Road

In winter, summer roads disappeared under snow. Families travelled by horse-pulled sleigh through neighbouring farms, the shortest distance to the Old Cantley Road. Theresa Holmes remembers her father driving her by sleigh to the nearby farm, then walking to school with the neighbourhood children. When there was a storm, schools were closed, farms became snowbound.

As we cope with winter driving this winter, let’s think of how previous generations navigated through snow... and give thanks to today’s excellent snow removal services in Cantley!

Ann Blackburn’s beloved horse Molly taking her and her husband Russell to church. Photo: Gary Blackburn collection.
Just in time for Christmas shopping! Sleighs for sale in the 1922-1923 Fall/Winter Eaton’s Catalog (from “A Shoppers View of Canada’s Past”, U of T Press, 1969).
Horse at work pulling logs in Cantley near the Gatineau River, circa 1920. Photo: Jeannie Faraday collection.
80 years ago! Cantley’s Russell Blackburn was the fi rst man to plow the roads in Cantley. In 1939, he obtained a 3-year contract to plow the roads from the Alonzo Wright Bridge through Cantley, Saint-Pierre-deWakefi eld, Poltimore, ending at Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette. To do so, he rented this RD8 bulldozer from L. T. Martin in Ottawa. In this photo, his young daughter Ruth (left) is enjoying the thrill of the big machine with an older friend. Photo: Gary Blackburn collection.
Russell Blackburn (left) in his bulldozer plow with his daughter Ruth and a friend. Photo: Gary Blackburn collection.
This illustration of a horse wearing snowshoes on the Lièvre River appeared in the April 1880 edition of L’Opinion publique. This gift to Bob Phillips was presented along with an original wood snowshoe. These items were displayed at Cantley 1889’s recent POP UP Museum.
Navigating the Cantley snow. Photo: Jeannie Faraday collection.
Before automobiles became popular, roads were rolled, not ploughed. Here, horses are rolling snow at the Trowsse Farm, Wakefi eld, circa 1930. Photo: Gatineau Valley Historical Society.