Along Country Lanes
Local historian Bill Boulton’s new book
A crowd of people came out to enjoy home baked goodies and a short talk by Lansdowne historian Bill Boulton as he released his second book. Titled “Along Country Lanes”, it provides a fascinating look at the people of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, where they came from, who they were and some of their greatest achievements.
“When I wrote the first book (Lansdowne: Village Streets and Country Lanes – Then and Now), people asked me about a second one and I said I shouldn’t live that long,” said Boulton. “And then somebody said, ‘well, why don’t you write one on the county? You’ve done the village’. And then one night at a historical society meeting a gentleman sitting right over there put an idea in my mind by telling me that people didn’t know where these small communities were. They didn’t know anything about them. ‘ So why don’t you write something about that?’”
This piqued his curiosity, and he soon found himself up to his neck and beyond in his favourite mire – the history of TLTI. Before he knew it, he had collected information on between 45 and 50 tiny communities all tucked away inside the Township’s borders, communities with anamazing array of claims to fame.
“There’s some interesting things here that I never knew, and there are some things there that should cause an argument, like where the first cheese factory was – was it Athens, was it Plum Hollow, or was it Quabbin?,” said Boulton. “All three of them claim to be the first one.”
Adventuring in the township has never been easy, and he found that taking to the road was a story in itself.
“There are two straight roads in the whole of the township – County Road 2 and the Parkway,” he said. “That’s it. So I divided the book into four sections – the Parkway, County Road 2, the centre, and then the north. And if you get out of the Centre, you wander like this all through the roads, but I hope it would come out so that people wanted to sort of drive the roads and discover where some of these places were. And if you get lost in the process, don’t call me.”
The book covers all kinds of different material. Where was the oldest barn in Ontario? Who raised it? Who was Captain Kidd, and what did he have to do with Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands? It explores the memories of growing up in the 1800s as shared by a 97-year-old, murder on our doorstep, and looks at the memorable personalities of Mary Watson and Dinny Noonan. You also learn about the Link Plant and the Battle of Britain, and the first iron smelter in Canada at Furnace Falls.
To learn more or to purchase the book, please contact Bill Boulton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book sales were brisk for author Bill Boulton as he launched his new book, Along Country Lanes, at the community centre in Lansdowne on September 30.
Local historian Bill Boulton launched his new book,‘Along Country Lanes’ at the community centre in Lansdowne on September 30.