Look Back: The Carp Review, Feb. 1, 1906

WEST CARLETON – Feb. 1, 1906 was a huge day in the history of West Carleton journalism. It was the first time The Carp Review published a photo as part of a news story.

County Council.
New Carleton County Warden Craig Clarke.
The first photo published in The Carp Review was new Carleton County Warden Craig Clarke. Courtesy The Carp Review

“By a vote of 10 to one the members of Carleton County Council opened the year’s business Tuesday of last week (Jan. 23, 1906) by electing Mr. Clarke Craig of the Village of North Gower, warden of the council for the year,” the Review reported.

Craig had spent four years on county council acting on the roads and bridges, finance, educational and legislative committees.

Craig was the son of former warden John Craig and was born March 6, 1867 – making him 38 at the time.

“He is well known throughout the county and in the township where he resides,” the Review reported.

There was also the largest contingent of delegations Carleton County council had ever seen “at the one time filled the council chamber at the courthouse almost to overflowing.”

Ten delegations including groups from Fitzroy Harbour, Kinburn and Carp in West Carleton were on hand to praise “the continuation classes started a few years ago.”

The delegations were there to ask the classes be made permanent along with the accompanying grants those grants be increased.

Rev. Mr. Raney of Carp spoke on the needs of his section and to talk of the recently built $8,000 building which held the continuation class.

“Mr. Whitney had been blowing,” Mr. James Wilson said. “That he would do a good deal for education (laughter). You know I’m a Conservative, but I will say this: the Ontario government should give more money to the municipalities. We are, with things they way they are now, not getting enough money for our schools.”

Steamship Valencia Struck on a Rock.
The steamship Valencia.
The steamship Valencia. Courtesy the British Columbia Archives

In national news, the Review reported from Victoria, BC, the tragedy aboard of the steamship Valencia.

The steamship struck a rock on Puget Sound Coast on Jan. 22, 1906.  The coastal passenger liner SS Valencia, en route from San Francisco to Seattle with 108 passengers and 65 crew aboard, passed the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca in foul weather, and ran aground on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. The ship was on a reef, trapped between sheer rock cliffs and pounding breakers. Uncharted rocks and fierce storms made it impossible for rescue vessels to approach from seaward.

Of the 173 on board, there were only 37 survivors.

“The Valencia was at first intended and used only as a freighter,” the Review reported. “Later passenger accommodation was added. “The passengers were awakened from sleep to face imminent death in its most cruel form, and many lives were lost in the confusion.”

With no rescue possible at the time, the tragedy unfolded in almost slow motion.

“Nearly all (on board) are still aboard the wreck, which at last advices threatened to break up at any moment,” the Review reported. “So perilous is their plight that many account rescue impossible. Two men who succeeded in climbing a little way up the cliff, had not advanced beyond the highwater mark, and found descent and retreat alike impossible. The tide was rising when they were last seen, and their fate seemed obvious. Many terrible dramas were enacted after the striking of the steamer.”

District News

South March: Skating has been the order of the evening among the young folk here for the past week. Fishing is reported to be good at Lake Constance now.

Antrim: On Sunday evening next (Feb. 4, 1906), A.H. Visser will use for his subject “A good hog or a bad devil.”

Last week we had what we may indeed call a January thaw and as a consequence the roads are bare and at the present time wheeling is good.

Aged Lady Passes Away.

“One of the oldest residents of this community in the person of Mrs. John Pearson passed away on Thursday morning last (Jan. 25),” the Review reported. “The deceased had been in good health until a couple of weeks ago when she came to the village to visit friends and contracted congestion of the lungs only, being taken home on Monday.”

The 82-year-old’s maiden name was Maria Wheeler. She was a native of England and came to Canada at 14 years old when she settled with her parents in March Township. Wheeler was a member of the Presbyterian church “and always took an active interest in its work.”

Her husband, John Pearson passed away at 85 in 1900. At the time, eight of 11 of Wheeler’s children were still alive including Mrs. William Rivington of Carp; James a barrister of Toronto; Mrs. Nicholson of Magnetwan; Mrs. William Humphries of Arnprior; William of Inglewood: Alfred, a dentist of Ottawa; Henry of Minnesota; and Edwin of Carp.

The Police Village.

“For the third time a majority of the ratepayers of Carp have petitioned the Carleton County council to raise them to the status of a police village,” the Review reported. “And each time the request has been refused because a few of the ratepayers objected.”

The first petition was refused because it was not accompanied “by a certified list of the bona fide ratepayers.”

The second was refused because “the whole of the original plan of the village had not been included.”

The third one was refused, after the above rejections were remedied, was refused because the opposition contented “it was not correctly signed and that many of the signatures had been obtained under misleading representations.”

The Review reported the same could be said for the signatures the opposition obtained on their petition presented to council Saturday (Jan. 27, 1906).

The opposition requested council postpone the consideration until a public meeting had been held in Carp and “the question thoroughly discussed.”

At a public meeting held May 17, 1905 warden Bradley and county councillor Richardson stated, “the law concerning same was very plain.”

“They thought it would be advantageous for the community to be formed in to a police village and that other places which had done so seemed to be well pleased,” the Review reported. “It is the opinion of those in favour of the scheme that our village will never grow to be an incorporate village or town until we withdraw from the township.”

The Carp Review then shared its opinion on the matter.

“If the scheme works well at Westboro and other places why should it not at Carp? If another public meeting would give the ratepayers better knowledge of the matter, why not hold one at once and have things settled one way or the other before the next meeting of the county council? Such wrangling as has been going on does the community no good and causes enmity amongst our residents.”

The Carp Review was published by James A. Evoy of Carp.