Along Coun­try Lanes

Lo­cal his­to­rian Bill Boul­ton’s new book

The Gananoque Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - LOR­RAINE PAYETTE

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 boul­ton@1000is­


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.

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