1910 - 1948 (38 years)
||Haughton Clifford Laird |
||9 Mar 1910
||Parry Sound, Parry Sound District, Ontario 
|Eby ID Number
||28 Mar 1948
||Oakville, Halton Regional Municipality, Ontario 
||Hillcrest Cemetery, Parry Sound, Parry Sound District, Ontario 
||16 Jul 2019 |
||Maxine Esther Rachel Ziegler, b. 25 Dec 1914, Elmira, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada , d. 24 Jul 1989, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada (Age 74 years) |
||2 Jul 1938
||17 Jul 2019 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- Macfie: Bridge at Waubamik bears witness to the Roaring Twenties
OPINION Sep 12, 2007 Huntsville Forester
Just north of Waubamik, and a few feet off to the side of Highway 124, stands a monument to the "Roaring Twenties," an era both prosperous and notorious that followed the Great War, and ended abruptly with the stock market crash of 1929. Often, as I drive past the concrete bridge pictured here, I glance over to reassure myself that it still stands. Henceforth, I will also throw it a brotherly salute, for I recently discovered that the bridge and I are of the same vintage, both born in 1925.
The 1920s saw the automobile begin to make serious inroads here on the southern flank of the Precambrian Shield. The 50-year-old colonization roads that accessed the region, built for horse and wagon, were inadequate for motorcars. Government money went into straightening, widening and levelling rights of way \emdash and replacing decaying wooden bridges with durable, architecturally pleasing concrete structures.
In my youth, you couldn't drive very far without crossing a carbon copy of the bridge at Waubamik.
I always knew that such bridges dated from the 1920s, but until this summer, when David Collison gave me a diary to read, I couldn't have been more precise than that. The diary was kept, in the mid-1920s, by David's grandmother Mabel (Keating) Collison. At the time, Mabel and Aylmer Collison and their six children lived on a farm between Waubamik and McKellar.
Mabel's diary entry for September 1, 1925 (after duly noting school starting and the fact that forest fires raged all about) records that "A.C. [shorthand for Mabel's husband] started to work on cement bridge near T. Jackson's."
Thomas Jackson's farmhouse, used by Mabel as a reference point, stood a couple of hundred yards from the new bridge, built where the Great North Road (now Highway 124) described a tight loop in order to hurdle Harris Lake Creek at the easiest crossing point. On August 18, 1928, both the bridge and Jackson would make the national news. That night, Jackson was shot to death while helping to remove from the ditch a car driven by a fleeing train robber, who, in his haste, failed to negotiate the sharp curve.
Brothers Walter and Haughton Laird of Parry Sound blocked the road at the one-lane bridge with their car, then overpowered a gunman at the wheel of the stuck vehicle. In the melee, Jackson was fatally shot. John Burowski was convicted of murder, and hanged in the Parry Sound Jail. The Shooting of Thomas Jackson (to borrow the title of a song inspired by the event) contains all the required elements of a 1920s crime melodrama.
Building the Waubamik bridge, given the equipment and materials available, was no simple undertaking. Complex forms were required, and mixing the concrete, done on the spot, took time and much hand labour, so the work was not completed until October 9.
Three days later, Mabel's diary informs us, Aylmer Collison "went to move the bridge gang to the next bridge \emdash 25 miles." (The same day, "A.C. shot a fox." A fox pelt in those days, when fur prices were at an all-time high, would bring Collison the equivalent of a week's pay as a teamster. I wonder if he shot the animal from his wagon seat.)
Mabel didn't say in which direction, up or down the Great North Road, her husband moved the bridge gang, but it might well have been to near Dunchurch. In childhood days, I crossed the Jordan Creek Bridge, stamped from the same mould as the one at Waubamik, a thousand times. Set in a lonely hollow surrounded by dark spruce woods (older fellows said that lynxes lurked in the branches, ready to pounce), the Jordan bridge was a landmark on the three-mile walk to Dunchurch, where my brothers and I went each Wednesday and Saturday night to hang around the stores, then carry home a gallon jug of coal oil or some other such necessity. The bridge, actually half a year younger than I, then seemed timeless as the Pyramids of Egypt.
And now I've outlived it by a considerable margin. Years ago, the Jordan Bridge was knocked down during a reconfiguration of Highway 124, and likely used as landfill.
Opinion | Macfie: Bridge at Waubamik bears witness to the Roaring Twenties. (2007). MuskokaRegion.com. Retrieved 16 March 2019, from https://www.muskokaregion.com/opinion-story/3635215-macfie-bridge-at-waubamik-bears-witness-to-the-roaring-twenties/
- [S98] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Woolwich - Elmira Union CC#4578 Internet Link.
Maxine Esther Rachel/ Ziegler Laird/ Beloved/ Wife Of/ Haughton Laird/ Mother Of/ Robert, Douglas & Stewart/ Born Christmas Day 1914/ Died July 24, 1989/ "I Am Not Afraid Of Tomorrow/ For I Have Seen Yesterday/ And I Love Today"
- [S2173] Find A Grave, (2019). Findagrave.com. Retrieved 16 March 2019, from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/179870720.