A Rideau Jaunt in 1872 (Published in 2007, based on the journal of William Mills)


Cat No.:   CA0186:

Here is something a little different from our normal fare. This is an original publication by Archive CD Books Canada and has never previously been published. It is the result of a two year project and it is not by accident that we are releasing it in 2007 the 175th anniversary year of the Rideau Canal's opening.

On a July Thursday in 1872, William Mills, a Civil Servant took a couple of days off work to make a jaunt down the Rideau Canal from his home city of Ottawa to the busy St. Lawrence port of Kingston. He took his note book with him so he could record the memorable events and sights of his journey, much in the manner that we would take a camera with us today. The trip made a lasting memory for William so in the years following, he expanded his notes to a complete written account of his adventure in another note book especially set aside for the purpose. To this handwritten account he added the text of an article he sent into the “Canadian Monthly and National Review,” and which was published in the April, 1878 edition.

As far as William was concerned that was an end of it. The memories of his adventure were secure and one can imagine him coming across his notebook from time to time in later years and reliving his adventure with a smile on his lips. We can only speculate on the hands that William’s note book passed through over the years following his death, but in 2005 we found and procured it because, even to a casual glance, it still carried an insight of a working gentleman’s adventure from well over 100 years in our past.

We were able to trace some of William’s life through various reference books and discovered that he worked as a clerk in what, today, we would call a government real estate office. In those days, before the invention of the typewriter, the hallmark of a good clerk was his handwriting and William must have been an outstanding clerk. So much so that we are bringing you his story just as he wrote it, in his own beautifully clear - if a little curly - handwriting.

To add to your enjoyment of William’s story we have also included on the CD 82 pictures of the lock stations and other points of interest which William mentions. The majority of these pictures were borrowed from archives and collections, and are of an age such that you can see the canal much as William did. Other pictures come from earlier, during the canal’s construction, while others still are from later, including some very interesting aerial views.

If you are new to the canal, or even if you have known it for a long time, we are sure following William’s adventure down the Rideau will bring you a new dimension of enjoyment in this unique, manmade, waterway.

The printed text of this CD is computer searchable but the primary document is handwritten and so cannot be searched. We have, however, extensively bookmarked and hyper-linked the whole CD so that finding your way around is made quick and easy.

We have placed a freely downloadable sampler of a few pages from the CD on our Downloads page so you can browse before you buy.

You can also reach the Sampler by clicking on the following link Sampler

You can return to this page by closing the Sampler Page when you are ready to purchase.

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  Partial;

FastFind:  NO;  ISBN No.:   978-1-897405-01-7 ;