Coral grew up on her family's farm south of Manotick. She jokes she was forced to safeguard the lore of that lost era after she married Hugh Lindsay, whose great-grandparents helped settle Kars in 1829. Lindsay's Wharf was part of river commerce for the next 100 years.
A slide show with music, prepared by Ron Wilson, gave listeners a good look at different boats and the communities they served. With regular dredging, steamers with drafts of just 6-7 feet could haul lumber, produce and people up and down the Ottawa to Kingston route, including connections to Toronto and Montreal, or the in-land waterways and marketplaces of the US Northeast.
The audience had plenty of questions and their own river stories to share. Many wanted to know what became of all the boats. Changing times turned them into problematic junk - a disposal challenge like today's obsolete computers, only bigger! A few were intentionally sunk and can still be seen as submerged wreckage.
Coral Lindsay described being called over by her mother to watch as The Ottawan make its last trip past Manotick in the fall of 1935. Eric Field said he could just remember traveling from Prescott to Toronto by steamboat. He got the night's biggest laugh by recalling the somewhat alarming adventure of being held over the rail by his heels, in the strong grip of his father, who thought little Eric might enjoy a better view of the anchor going down.
Article by Lucy Martin
For November's meeting life-long area resident Coral Lindsay spoke on a subject near and dear to her heart: steamboats and the Rideau Canal. Her talk was offered twice at Dickinson Square's Carriage House, where displays of photos, books and details filled tables along three walls.
The first presentation, organized by Watson’s Mill, was given a week before the November meeting to all comers.
Today we know the Rideau corridor as a beautiful setting for residents, tourists and recreational boaters. But before highways and airports, most trade, travel and regional development depended upon these essential waterways and the power of steam-driven engines.
A slide show with music, prepared by Ron Wilson, gave listeners a good look at different boats and the communities.
Fleets and Forwarders: Steamboat Days on the Rideau Canal, 1830’s – 1930’s
Presented by Coral Lindsay
Dickinson Square, Manotick
November 19, 2008