26 July 2011

Death at Rideau Falls

Phil Jenkins most recent column in the Ottawa Citizen sees him traveling some of the same territory that I did a couple of weeks ago when I took this photo.

Phil's column remarks that "as far as I know, no one has ever done themselves a nasty and unwittingly tumbled 37 feet over the (Rideau) falls."

Phil only writes that kind of statement as a challenge.

Three city employees were engaged in inspecting the city's bridges on 19 November 1926, before the freeze up, and had come down on a pontoon from examining the Saint Patrick Street bridge to the Sussex Street bridge. About 30 feet above the falls the river was controlled by stop logs, but they were out of one of the chutes. The swift current made the pontoon unmanageable and as it rushed through the chute the three men on it jumped off. One made it to shore safely.

Livingstone Jack (49) and John Costello (53) were swept over the falls. Costello's body was promptly recovered and interred at Notre Dame cemetery. As reported in the Citizen on May 19, 1927 that of Jack remained in the Ottawa River until 18 May. His remains were interred at Beechwood cemetery.

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