Part Eleven ~ People of our Past (Part One)
Nell McCann and her bicycle. Nell authored “The Diary of Nell McCann ~ one woman’s journal of life in the Village of Westport, as written in the early 1900’s” which is a fund-raiser for The Rideau District Museum.
We’ve looked at the hotels, palace ships and even the layout of the village, but we have yet to talk about the early citizens that helped shape our town. Prominent businessmen and early entrepreneurs frequently got their names into the local papers for their accomplishments, but Nell McCann was a resident that wrote down everything that she saw and heard into the pages of her diary. Those same prominent businessmen and notable citizens made their way into Nell’s writings (quite frequently as the Pall Bearers in local funerals), as this entry from 1916 indicates:
“Captain Thos Lynch died Oct 23rd from the effects of a fall from an Apple Tree funeral at St Edwards Wedensday Oct 25. Pall Bearers. M. Mulville -P. Garvin- Jas. H. Martin – John Cawley – J. P. Foley-F. Charbonneau-W Byrnes Undertaker”
Prominent citizen, John Cawley, was mentioned numerous times in Nell’s diary including the entry regarding the funeral of Captain Lynch. John Cawley’s most notable feat in Westport history was installing the granolithic sidewalks in the early 1900’s which replaced the old wooden walkways.