The following article first appeared in The Echo of Cantley Volume 25 no 9, April 2014. This article is made available for the enjoyment of others with the express permission of the Echo of Cantley.
You may find the daily trip across the Alonzo Wright Bridge and home to Cantley a nightmare, but imagine what it was like in 1950, or in 1850!
The first settlers arriving in Cantley used the river because there were no roads. Over the years, rough trails were cut but even by 1900, Highway 307 was only a trail. The best route North from Hull was on the West side of the Gatineau River through Chelsea. Travellers to Cantley took a ferry which operated from Kirk's Ferry to the end of what is now Prud'homme Road. The first bridge was the Alonzo Wright Bridge built in 1866. The Cantley Road remained a gravel road until it was rebuilt a kilometre or two each year and paved during the 1950s and early 1960s. These images show the Cantley Road taken on these bygone days.
Bob McClelland lives on and operates the original 1840s family farm in Cantley with his wife Sue and is a board member of Cantley 1889.
Photos: Courtesy of Gatineau Valley Historical Society, Claire Hogan, Graeme Smith.