Railway Story by Ralph Ayers

Transcribed from a story (Railway Story 5) found in the Sharbot Lake Public Library.

Ralph David Ayers, in 1972, wrote that the K.&P. Railroad passed through Oso Township in 1877, five years after the initial construction had commenced in Kingston. The line was fully financed, mainly by Kingston merchants, who hoped to develop the “wealth, resources and importance” of the back townships, and at the same time, increase Kingston’s sphere of influence.

Two stations were built at Sharbot Lake and Oso Station by the K&P. S.L. was the largest and most important.

Sawed lumber from the mills of Thomson & Avery and Apatite from Boyd Smith’s pits were the primary goods shipped out of the township of Oso by the railroad. Manufactured goods, food staples, mail, whiskey and settlers were carried north from Kingston and deposited in Oso and neighbouring townships.

The line which was leased to the Canadian Pacific Railroad in 1913, was abandoned between Tichborne to the south and Renfrew to the north after W.W.2, due to lack of Traffic.

The CPR’s Toronto-Ottawa line, built in the 1880’s passed through the village of Sharbot Lake. Mail, manufactures from Toronto and American tourists were carried by this line. In the 1960’s the line was abandoned and Oso Twp. was left without rail.

In the early days of the K&P when the hamlet of S.L. was entirely surrounded by water, there was a bridge just north of the present day (1978) Marina, the S.L. Marina, the CPR had a bridge to the east of the baseball diamond.

In 1916, Harold Kimberly recalled helping to put in a culvert from the CPR between western S.L. and a pond (near the baseball diamond) to the east. To this day there is a culvert in the area, that serves to take the spring run-off. Just south of the Marina there was a siding, where the logs from the Lake were rolled on to flat cars of the train.

Mel Easton in his book, said that some of the local men who worked on the K&P were: Jimmy Allen, R.H. Burke, Sol Bourk, Guy Bonner, Sam Cooke, Herb Campbell, John Craig, Ben Commodore, Mr. Cameron from Mississippi, W.O. Cudworth, Harold Donnelly, John Dixon, Archie Gray Erwin, Charles Fields, Tom Duffy, Walter Hannah, E.P. Hayes, Wm. Hawley, Joe S. Kirkham, Joe, Tom and Cecil Kimberly, Harry Lee, Scotty Meldrum, Mr. Meyers, William Millikin (Percy’s dad), Myron Long, Wm. P. Paton, Art Reynolds, Art Roberts, Archie Riddell, Arthur Shanks, Carman Tripp, Eber Walroth, H.J. Walker, David and Dawson Webster and Mr. Mallory.

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