|Thursday, August 19, 1875||The Daily Globe (Toronto)||Page 4, col. 3|
Yesterday [Wednesday, August 18, 1875] the members of the City Council, and several friends, by invitation of the President of the Council, Ald. Baxter, proceeded for a pleasure trip on the Northern Railway, and afterwards partook of a banquet at the Couchiching Hotel. The weather was delightfully fine, and the intense heat of the sun was tempered by a refreshing breeze, which greatly enhanced the enjoyment of the day. The party started from Brock-street Station shortly after 8 a.m., in a special train, which was kindly provided for the occasion by Mr. F.W. Cumberland, Manager of the Northern Railway. On arriving at Bell Ewart the excursionists embarked on board the steamer Lake of the Lake, for a trip across Lake Simcoe. This part of the day's proceedings was most enjoyable. The beautiful scenery on the lake was admired by all on board. Arriving at the drawbridge crossing the Narrows, the excursionists again took train and proceeded as far as the Northern Extension Railway goes, some two miles beyond Washago. On the journey north the train stopped at Mr. Thompson's large saw mills, known as the Longford Mills, and an inspection of the works took place. These works are said to be the largest in the Province, and some ten or twelve million feet of lumber is turned out at them yearly. The party having got aboard, the train proceeded to the extremity of the line at the Severn Station. This was the first train that has passed over this portion of the Northern Extension road, the work of which is being rapidly pushed forward, and it is expected that the line will completed as far as Gravenhurst by the middle of October next. A bridge, which is considered on the best structures of the kind in the country, has been built across the River Severn. It is 1,000 feet in length, and has a centre span of 175 feet, with cut stone piers. The whole of this work, including construction of the line, has been carried out by Mr. Moberly, the contractor, under the immediate supervision of Mr. Owen Jones, engineer of the Northern Railway.
Having spent some time admiring this specimen of engineering skill, the party proceeded to where the men were employed in blasting rock in order to make the railway cutting. Rock appears to be very plentiful in this district, and it is expected that before reaching Gravenhurst very great difficulty should be experienced in this respect, as it is said there are beds to be cut through some 25 feet in height. By the side of the road near the Severn station a sad reminiscence of life in the backwoods is to be seen. It is the grave of an immigrant who died in 1867, a time when this part of the free grant district must have presented a far more dreary and discouraging appearance than it does now. The grave is enclosed with a wooden fence, and on the tombstone is the following inscription,Scared to the memory of Isabella, wife of Rev. John Bailey, who came to this country as an immigrant on September 1st, 1864 and died Sept. 1st, 1867. During the time the excursionists were at this part of the road several blasts were fired, blowing up huge masses of the rock in the air. The excursionists then got on board the train, and no further stoppage was made until reaching Couchiching station, where they arrived about half-past four o'clock. Entering some carriages which were at the station to meet them, they were drove to the Couchiching Hotel, where a sumptuous banquet was partaken of, consisting of all the delicacies of the season. Ald. Baxter presided. After due justice had been done to the repast the usual loyal and other toasts were drunk, and the excursionists started by train for home, reaching Toronto at about ten o'clock. Votes of thanks were passed to Ald. Baxter for the handsome treat provided, and also to Mr. F.W. Cumberland for the courtesy he had shown to the excursionists.
Railways: N.Ry. of Can.
Stations: Longford, Washago