Richard Birdsall Rogers - 1884 Diary

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During the Year...

Richard was 27 years of age. During the year he was appointed Superintending Engineer of the Trent Canal. He had already completed a second B.A. Sc. in mining engineering and assaying (1878) and was married to Mina Calcutt. In September he moved into the house at Stewart and Elizabeth Streets and his first son Harry was born in November. His father also became very ill in November. Richard worked many arduous hours.





1884 Diary

Period covered: July 11, 1884 - December 31, 1884

Dimensions: 18.25 cm X 8 cm (l x w)

No. of Pages: 164

Note: Additional pages are found written at the end of the diary and include a cash accounts ledger and memoranda.


[No entries January 1 - July 10]

Friday July 11: Mina & Sophia & children went down to Idyl Wild to camp out for a few days.

Saturday July 12: Received order in Council appointing me temporally in Mr. Belcher’s place for 3 months.

[No entry July 13]

Monday July 14: Took charge of office from Mr. Geo. Giroux, clerk. Wrote A.P. Bradley, Secy to R&C acknowledging appointment & also Perley asking for instructions for expenditure for P.W.

Tuesday July 15: Started for Lakefield & Y Point. Found a good deal of talk about lowering water in Katewanook [sic] in order for Wynn to put in dam at Young’s Pt. Saw Dunwoodie at Y.P. Met Wynn on way down. Wrote JW. Dunwoodie Cobourg.

Wednesday July 16: Went to Hastings on train 8 am. Missed up train. Went to Idyl Wild & home on boat. Examined works at Hastings. Top courses on gates - gallons frame on slide. Handles to gate want repairing.

Thursday July 17: Office at 9:00 am. Cricket match till 6. Office 7.30 pm. Gave Gilmour & Co. permission to raise stop logs at Heely’s Falls.

Friday July 18: Went to Hastings & then to Heely’s F’s with Calaghan. Ordered stop logs to be replaced as Rathburn was above Heely’s F’s. Went to Camp'd [Campbellford] with C & saw mill owners at Camp'd. Water high at C’d. Home at 9.30.

Saturday July 19: Office. [RBR calculated his age by writing 1884 - 1857 = 27]

[No entry July 20]

Monday July 21: At Fenelon new stop logs are required. Started for Fenelon at 11.20. Arrived at 3. Examined wk there. Piers above dam in a bad state. Dam wants new apron. Drove to Bobcaygeon. Got there at 9.30.

Tuesday July 22: Gave Strickland & Co. permission to lift 2 stop logs at Buckhorn for drive. Examined wk. at Bobcaygeon with Kennedy. Dam in a very leaky state. Wants a new dam there [---]. Crib work to canal to be finished at the [ends]. A breast work is required at entrance to lock. Flooring of Canal is not absolutely necessary as lock is small in comparison to leak of whole dam. Ordered Bridge to be replanked on top. Sunken pier off wharf is to be removed.

Wednesday July 23: Office. Wrote A.S. Perry.

Thursday July 24: Office. At 1.30 pm started for Chisholms Rapids. Home at 10. Found Gilmour & Co. had cut 30 ft off end of slide without permission. Dam leaks badly. Wants replanking. Pier built up. New Gallons frame and slide to be cut from 52 to 20 ft.

Friday July 25: Drove to Buckhorn. Ordered unbracketed (2) spaces to be bracketed & one log to be put down. Piers at south side to be planked with oak & built up - gravelled with water level at south side.

Saturday July 26: Wrote Gilmour & Co. re cutting off 30 of slide at Chisholms.

[No entries July 27 - August 6]

Thursday August 7: Hastings. Campbellford. Middle Falls. Chisholms Rapids, Ranneys Falls.

[No entry August 8]

Saturday August 9: Lakefield. Youngs Pt.

[No entry August 10]

Monday August 11: Went to Hastings at 2 pm & took Pratt & started him to fix gearing of lock.

Tuesday August 12: Civic Holiday.

Wednesday August 13: Lindsay. Fen. Tp. Met Kennedy at Fen. Tp. Went down to work at piers & booms. Two piers above slide require to be rebuilt.

Thursday August 14: Drove to Bobcaygeon. Gave M.Boyd instructions to get men to have 3 or 4 loads of gravel put in dam. Dam in a very leaky condition. Got home 8.30.

Friday August 15: Not well.

Saturday August 16: R. Strickland &[Hazlett came complaining of water being so low. Sent G. Geroux up to let off some water at Buckhorn & to stay & see that the logs were kept out.

Sunday August 17: Giroux came home & reported 11 ½ inches water at Buckhorn on cap of Dam.

Monday August 18: Office. Men started to work at Yankee Bonnett. Stevenson foreman.

Tuesday August 19: Office.

Wednesday August 20: Office.

Thursday August 21: Started to Stoney Lake for a few days as have not been very well.

Friday August 22: Stoney Lake.

Saturday August 23: Stoney Lake.

[No entry August 24]

Sunday August 25: Stoney Lake.

Monday August 26: Got [---] [---].

Wednesday August 27: Went to Buckhorn to see state of water. Made Goodwin raise coffer dam & took out another stop log. Only one left which is to be taken out on Saturday next.

Thursday August 28: Went to Hastings to see Fowlds re his claim for land.

Friday August 29: Went to Youngs Pt. Water rising every day & 2’’ over slash boards.

Saturday August 30: Went Bobcaygeon to see about men unloading 2 scows gravel on dam. Gave instructions to have 2 more put on.

[No entry August 31]

Monday September 1: Went down to Yankee Bonet. Men getting on very nice. Got Stevenson's pay sheet.

[No entry September 2]

Wednesday September 3: Moved into house at corner of Stewart and Elizabeth Sts.

Thursday September 4: Got papers deeds house from A. Rutherford to me. $1800. $600 down [---] - 1200 @ 6.00 %.

Friday September 5: Went down to locks to visit gang. Went to Lakefield & paddled to Y. Pt. and located piers in Katchewanook lake.

Saturday September 6: Office.

[No entries September 7 - September 9]

Wednesday September 10: Office. Men started to work at flat dam below the locks. Van Norman foreman.

Thursday September 11: Drove to locks to visit gang.

September Friday 12: Went to Chisholms. Had H. McCormack meet me at Campbellford and go down & look over work there. Instructed him to start work there on Monday.

Saturday September 13: Went to Lakefield to see Dary& his gang. Getting on fairly.

[No entry September 14]

Monday September 15: Office. McCormack started work Chisholms.

Tuesday September 16: Went to Hastings to see Fowlds re his claim for land.

Wednesday September 17: Goodwin came for order to let water off at Buckhorn for which he said that Mr. Rubidge had given him order after which I found that Mr. R. had not.

Thursday September 18: Sent man to Buckhorn to countermand order to let off water to cap of dam. [McChetchey] one of men working at Lakefield came down saying he had left off work as there was a row between he & foreman. Went up with him & ordered Dary to start tomorrow up lake to put in piers. Went down to visit men at locks.

Friday September 19: Office. Ordered men taking out stone & piers quite work tonight.

Saturday September 20: Office. Visited men at lock (Van Norman).

[No entry September 21]

Monday September 22: Drove Lakefield. Took Stevenson up as clerk. Drove up to Y’s Pt. to see the position of piers. Raining.

September Tuesday 23: Went to Chisholms to visit gang McCormack.

Wednesday September 24: Started for Bobcaygeon. Got there 8.30 pm.

Thursday September 25: At Bobcaygeon laid out work to commence next Thursday. Came home.

Friday September 26: Mr Dundas & Mr. Sadler here about bracket boards on dam. Visited men at lock.

Saturday September 27: Office. Raining.

[No entry September 28]

Monday September 29: Office.

Tuesday September 30: Drove to Lakefield to visit gang. Found both Dary foreman & McKetchy had been drinking . Dary was discharged on 27. McKetchy discharged 1st Oct. Gave Watson charge of gang.

Wednesday October 1: Office.

Thursday October 2: Office (paid). Gave (McKetchy) him an order for men.

Friday October 3: Went to Lindsay re instructions from Dept about ownership of dam at Lindsay.

Saturday October 4: Lakefield.

[No entry October 5]

Monday October 6: Went to Hastings & gave Thurston instructions for repairs there.

Tuesday October 7: Went to Lindsay in afternoon to make enquiries about the dam for to report repairs.

Wednesday October 8: Drove to Buckhorn with Van Norman & started him to work there.

Thursday October 9: Went to Bobcaygeon to visit Kennedy. Getting on very well.

Friday October 10: Went to Lakefield & paid men there.

Saturday October 11: Office.

[No entry October 12]

Monday October 13: Went to Chisholm to visit McCormack. Getting on very nice. Instructed him to make gallons frame. Visited Thurston at Hastings. Getting on fairly.

Tuesday October 14: Office.

Wednesday October 15: Office.

Thursday October 16: Got letter to send in Annual Report at once. Started Report. PWD. Went to Toronto re Fowlds claim, Hastings, to look for plan in C.L. Dept. Found no trace.

Friday October 17: Office.

Saturday October 18: Office.

[No entry October 19]

Monday October 20: Office.

Tuesday October 21: Got Annual Report PWD finished. Sent report PWD. Started report to R & C.

Wednesday October 22: Office.

Thursday October 23: Went to Hastings to visit Thurston. Getting on fairly.

Friday October 24: Drove to Lakefield & Youngs Pt. Instructed Stevenson to go on with channel at Young’s Point (Hopkins). Instructed Stevenson to discharge Watson, Wallace & Mahood on acc’t low water & they did not seem to take interest in their work. Very cold. Sent Annual Report to Railway & Canals.

Saturday October 25: Drove to Buckhorn [---] visited Van Norman. Getting on fairly. Very cold.

Sunday October 26: Cold.

Monday October 27: Raining. Office.

[No entry October 28 - October 29]

Thursday October 30: Campbellford. Heely’s Falls. Middle Falls. Percy Brown. Took McCormack with me to Fidler's Island. Instructed him to fix end of apron. Visited Thurston at at Hastings.

[No entry October 31]

Saturday November 1: Went to Lakefield & [Young's]. Rainy.

Sunday November 2: Baby (my third boy) was born at 5.30 a.m. Both doing well. Harry born.

Monday November 3: Office.

Tuesday November 4: Office. Fresh fall of snow.

Wednesday November 5: Went to Lindsay re brackets on dam there. Started to [---] [---] [---] but had to turn back on acc't of roads. Pd. 1.00 [---] [---].

[No entry November 6]

Friday November 7: Drove Buckhorn (Ashburnham [---]). Van Norman getting on very slowly. Intended going to Bobcaygeon but ret’d on acc’t of rain.

Saturday November 8: Went to Lakefield to visit Dunwoodie (F.). Getting on very well.

[No entry November 9]

Monday November 10: Went to Bob’gn. Stayed there. Kennedy getting on very well. Told him to take off brackets to save them.

Tuesday November 11: Ret'd from Bob'gn.

Wednesday November 12: Went to Heely’s Falls to visit Pratt. Getting on very well.

Thursday November 13: Went to Rice Lake for duck [hunt].

Friday November 14: Rice Lake. Ret'd home.

Saturday November 15: Office.

[No entry November 16]

Monday November 17: Went to Lindsay to meet Kennedy. Started him to raise hull of Vanderbuilt.

Tuesday November 18: Office.

Wednesday November 19: Office.

Thursday November 20: Went to Young's Pt.

Friday November 21: Went to Yankee Bonnet & Locks. Wynn came to ask if he could borrow the thimber (boom) in Katch’e Lake. Told him would give him answer tomorrow.

Saturday November 22: Went to Lindsay. Kennedy got Vanderbuilt about up.

[No entry November 23]

Monday November 24: Whistle Wing got frozen in it - Marguerite’s Island.

Tuesday November 25: Sold Wynn boom timber in Katchewanook Lake as he said he could not get any to [---] Lakefield Dam. 2000 ft. 12 ½. Cheque 100 note 150 at 1 mo. He to have priviledge of returning timber of same size &c.

Wednesday November 26: Went to visit Pratt at Percy boom. First day of work. Hauling out boom.

Thursday November 27: My father being very ill am afraid to leave town very much.

[No entry November 28]

Saturday November 29: Drive to locks. Instructed [---] to fix valves of gates. Mr. Calcutt put Golden Eye in Lock.

[No entry November 30]

[No entries December 1 to December 3]

Thursday December 4: Went to Young’s Pt. to visit Dunwoodie.

[No entries December 5 to December 12]

Saturday December 13: Went to Youngs Pt.

[No entry December 14]

Monday December 15: Went down to Percy Boom. Paid what men I could find.

[No entry December 16]

Wednesday December 17: Went to Toronto to Convention & Ovation to Sir John A. McDonald.

Thursday December 18: Toronto. Arrived home 8.50 pm.

[No entries December 19 - December 28]

Monday December 29: Went to Lindsay to pay accounts & pay [---].

[No entry December 30]

Wednesday December 31: Went to Youngs Pt. [---] last pier at Y. Pt.

[Note: The following passage is written in the Memoranda section of the diary.]

Wynn called on 29th to ask if brackets & stop logs could be put down at Bobcaygeon & stop logs at Fenelon. Went & saw Mr. Rubidge. He said I should put bk’s in & stop logs in at Bob’n & stop logs in at Fen. & that he would advise me to do so. He said it was ridiculous to say that water could not be run off the upper lakes by spring in order to prepare for the spring freshet.

The water about 3 wks ago rose very fast at Bobcaygeon partly on acc’t of the brackets being taken off the dam at Fenelon & I believe the stop logs taken up at Rosedale and [---] [---] to the heavy rain about the beginning of the month. The water rose to 18 inches in the Bob’n dam and Kennedy took off the brackets on the 9th Dec on his own responsibility. I told him to take them off when I was up Nov. 10th but which he told me afterwards he had not done so as Willie Boyd wished them left on for a little longer. The freshet which had risen to spring ht in the upper lakes was further augmented by the thaw which set in Dec. 27th which filled all the creeks & swamps to Spring ht. The thaw lasted till 30th when the water was a little checked.

It is nonsense to talk about the heavy rains & the thaw not having a very heavy effect. The rain did not pass into the earth as it was frozen.

Mr. Rubidge ordered brackets on dam at Buckhorn on Dec. 17. Water 28 ½ at Buckhorn Dec 30th.

Note: [The Diarist has followed this note with some account ledgers for the year.]



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