University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Ingram, Orrin Henry, 1830-1918 / Autobiography, Orrin Henry Ingram : May, 1830--December, 1912

A long drive,   pp. 33-34 PDF (398.6 KB)

Western fever,   p. 34 PDF (207.0 KB)

The Grand Trunk railroad,   p. 34 PDF (207.0 KB)

Page 34

met us at the hotel. River Trent was then a small country vil-
lage. The company had a large steam mill there in which Mr.
Gilmore thought I ought to make some such changes as I had
made in the Gatineau mills.
                   WESTERN FEVER
   After a day or two at River Trent I got leave of absence
for ten -days or two weeks to go to Michigan-Grand Rapids
and New Ago. I had been reading about lumbering in Mich-
igan, of the great chances for young men to go into business,
and I had the western fever. I made the plans for the changes
in the mill at River Trent. Mr. Gilmore was going back the
same way we had come, in the same sleigh, changing horses at
the different places, instead of taking the stage line from Ot-
tawa and from Montreal to Toronto. The stage line from Mont-
real to Toronto was owned and run by a middle aged negro
named Minck, who had accumulated considerable property
which he put into that stage line, andt" it several years be-
fore the Grand Trunk Railroad was built.
   The scheme for building that road was inaugurated by a
member of parliament of Canada, in 1851, or a year or so be-
fore. While in Belleville I attended a great meeting gotten up
by the Hon. John Ross, whose home was in Belleville, and
who stirred the people of Canada to make a move to get Eng-
lish capital to build it; and after parliament adjourned he went
abroad and succeeded iii interesting an English contractor who
had built a good many railroads in England. The firm was
known as Jackson, Petrow & Betz. Mr. Ross got Stevenson,
a great English engineer, to go over the proposed road. They
then got a big tent from Rochester, N. Y., and held a mass
meeting at Belleville. Mr. Ross also got a great Irish orator
from Dublin, a Mr. Rooney, to address the meeting. They had
a banquet for many thousands of people, and that meeting was
the first for the inauguration of the Grand Trunk.

Go up to Top of Page