The old Brockville and Westport train was popular in its day, which makes it hard to believe the financial difficulties that were encountered. Almost from the start, the B & W was fighting off creditors and bankruptcy.
The train was used for almost everything, from circus cars to students with passes hopping on to catch a ride to school. It was also used to whisk people away to adventures in distant cities, or, quite often, on their honeymoons.
The Diary of Nell McCann mentions many such couples in her diary entries, such as the following couple:
“Married at St. Edwards By Rev M. ORourke at 8 a.m. Maggie Scanlin & Jack Hamilton of Elgin. Attendants Dr. James Dunn & Nellie Scanlin. Trip to Ottowa on Afternoon Train”
The train was a gathering place for locals and visitors alike in its earlier days in Westport.
Also from Nell’s Diary:
“Married in the House by Rev M. Boudreau Miss Eva Blair & Fred Laidlaw. Motored over to Perth & took The 1 a.m. Train for Western Points, Oct 3rd 1916”.
A group of locals at one of the locks on the canal, including Eva Blair who took the train on her honeymoon. (Cliff McEwen, unknown woman, Blanche Blair, Eva Blair, Helena Whaley, Babe McEwen. Those in the photo were identified by Cliff McEwen many years ago).
Rain, snow, sleet, or hail, the train made its way back and forth from Brockville to Westport.
“Roy Palmer & Cassie Provost Married by Rev Howe at the Parsonage & took the afternoon train for Ottowa & eastern Parts on Monday 21 April – Terrible rainy day”
Minnie (Fyfe) Hughes, Frank Hughes and Hilda Russell waiting at the B & W station on a rainy day (or possibly a very sunny day), circa 1915.