Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1898, September 5 - Ottawa and New York Railway Opening is Blessed at Embrun

Ottawa Citizen 25 August 1898

His Grace Archbishop Duhamel to Perform the Ceremony on Monday September 5th.
The Ottawa and New York railway will be publicly blessed by His Grace Archbishop Duhamel on Monday, Sept. 5th, at Embrum. A large number of spectators from the surrounding district will doubtless be present. A train will leave the Sussex street depot at eight o'clock in the morning. After the ceremony of the benediction, a picnic will be held at Lussier's Grove, and during the afternoon speeches will be delivered by Messrs. Guibord and Edwards, the federal member for Russell county, by Mr. H. N. Belcourt, M.P., Ottawa, and by the Hon. Mr. Evanturel.

Ottawa Citizen 6 September 1898

The unique, yet impressive, ceremony of the blessing of a railway was observed yesterday for the first time in Ontario, when His Grace Archbishop Duhamel aided by several members of the local clergy, publicly blessed the Ottawa and New York Railway at Embrum [sic] in the presence of an immense gathering of people, the little village being en fete for the occasion.  A special train carrying about 300 excursionists left the Sussex Street depot shortly before nine o'clock, an extra car being provided for the Archbishop and clergy accompanying him.  The run was made in about an hour and at the station in Embrum an immense crowd of parishioners of the surrounding country had collected to welcome the distinguished visitors.  Immediately after the arrival of the train His grace took the cope and mitre and delivered in English and French an explanation of the significance of the ceremony.  The railway was then solemnly blessed and the rails sprinkled with holy water.
The ceremony closed with cheers for Mr. C.B. Hibbard, president of the O. & N.Y., his Grace the Archbishop and Rev. Father Fouget, the parish priest.
A procession was afterwards formed and marched to the Catholic church where a solemn high mass was celebrated by the Rev. Father Lambert, of the University of Ottawa, assisted by the Rev. Father Larose of The Brook and Rev. Father Bourget ?? Regis.
At the throne, His Grace was assisted by Mgr. Routier, while occupying seats within the sanctuary were Rev. Fathers Alexis and Moise, of the Capuchin Order; Mr. C.B. Hibbard, Mr. Herbert of the C.P.R.; O. Guibord, M.P.P., Ald. Durocher, N. Tetreau and Dr. Duhamel.
The mass was sung by a full choir under the direction of Rev. Father Bourget.
The sermon in French was delivered by the Rev. Father Alexis of the Capuchin Order.
Full account also in the Ottawa Free Press, same date.

Otawa Journal 6 Septeber 1898

The railway was blessed.
Archbishop Duhamel assisted by a large number of clergy conducted it.  Embrum en fete.
The unique ceremony of blessing a railway took place yesterday at Embrum for the first time in Ontario.  The railway blessed was the Ottawa and New York line.  The affair was carried out with great eclat by the people of Embrum.
About 200 people went to Embrum from Ottawa in the morning.  Archbishop Duhamel, the members of the clergy and the invited guests occupied a special car.  On the arrival of the train at Embrum at 10.00 a.m. the Ottawa people were met by a large crowd.  Not only were the majority of the residents of Embrum present, but many people from neighbouring parishes. As soon as the stop was made, Archbishop Duhamel, arrayed in cope and mitre, spoke a few words in English and in French to explain the blessing he was to perform.  He then blessed the railways by singing special prayers and sprinkling holy water.  During the course of the ceremony many of the clergy were on hand, and Mr. C.B. Hibbard, president of the railway, attended in his official capacity.  At the close of the official function the Archbishop called for three cheers for Mr. Hibbard, and they were given by all with a right good will. Cheers were also given for the archbishop and the Rev. Father Forget, parish priest of Embrum.
At the church
Next the clergy and Mr. Hibbard took carriages and followed by the people in procession went to the Embrum church.  There solemn high mass was sung by Rev. Father Lambert, O.M.I. of Ottawa University, assisted by Rev. Father Larose, parish priest of "The Brooks", and Rev. Father Bourget, parish priest of St. Regis.  His Grace, who was at the throne with cope and mitre and the other sacred vestments, was attended by Rev. Vicar General Routhier.  Seats in the sanctuary were occupied by Rev. Father Dezaulnac of Cornwall, Rev. Fathers Alexis and Mois, Capuchins of Ottawa.  In the lower part of the sanctuary were seated Mr. Hibbard, Mr. Hebert of Montreal, representative of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Mr. O. Guibord M.P.P., Ald. O. Durocher, Mr. N. Tetreau of Hull, ex-M.P.P. and Dr. Duhamel of Hull, registrar of Ottawa county.  The body of the church and both galleries were crowded with the congregation.  A musical mass was given by the members of the choir under the direction of Rev. Father Forget who presided at the organ.
The sermon.
A sermon was delivered in French by Rev. Father Alexis.  The preacher answered the charge oftentimes made against the Roman Catholic church that she is opposed to material progress.  He cited proofs from the history of the church, enumerated what she had done towards the abolition of slavery and for liberty, equality, fraternity, and civilization in general.  He spoke in particular of the Catholic Church in Ontario.  He closed his sermon by exhorting his hearers to strive not only for material progress, which may be of great use even in the spiritual order, but above all to work for their own individual, spiritual, moral progress, and for that of humanity, because our last end in this world in perfect happiness with God in heaven.
The sermon in English which was to have been given by Rev. Dr. Fallon was not delivered owing to Dr. Fallon's unavoidable absence.
After mass all directed their steps towards Lussier's Grove, a short distance from the village, where tables were spread for 500 people.  No less than 1,800 meals were given on the grounds.
The sports.
Among the sports was a lacrosse match between teams from Duncanville and Cornwall.  There was a contest for the most popular of three married ladies, and for the most popular of three young ladies and on this $800 were realized.  The money will go towards paying off the debt on the church.  The Union Band of Ottawa rendered music during the day.
Mr. C.B. Hibbard, president of the Ottawa and New York Railway Co., showed the greatest kindness to the archbishop, the members of the clergy and all the excursionists, and was thanked sincerely for this generosity. 
The archbishop and his party returned home by special train yesterday afternoon.
- - -
The I.O.G.T. excursion to Cornwall and the public blessing of the O.&N.Y. line at Embrum yesterday attracted five hundred Ottawans.  About half went right through to Cornwall and spent six hours on the river front.  They visited the N.Y. & O. bridge across the St. Lawrence and were able to gain an idea of the size and importance of the structure.  They spent a pleasant day and returned to the city about 8 o'clock last evening.
About half of the excursionists stopped off at Embrum and attended the blessing of the railway by His Grace Archbishop Duhamel.

The Record, Chesterville 8 Septeember 1898

Ottawa Sept. 6.  A novel ceremony was performed at the little village of Embrum, down the line of the Ottawa and New York Railway, when Archbishop Duhamel, surrounded by a number of clergy of the diocese, called upon the benediction of heaven upon the head of the President of the Ottawa and New York Railway, the road itself, the employees and the rolling stock.  There were several thousand people present and a large picnic was held in the afternoon.

Cornwall Freeholder 7 September 1937

Railway Blessed - An impressive ceremony took place at Embrum on Labor Day, when His Grace Archbishop Duhamel blessed the Ottawa and New York Railroad.  A special train conveyed the Archbishop, clergy and invited guests from Ottawa to Embrum and fully 2,000 persons were present.  His Grace spoke a few words in English and French, explaining the prayers of the blessing he was to perform.  The act of blessing was marked by the singing of special chants, and the sprinkling of Holy Water.  The ceremonial was deeply impressing and striking and the scene was most picturesque.  After the conclusion of the various acts of devotion, His Grace called for three cheers for President Hibbard of the railroad company, and three cheers were given for Archbishop Duhamel and Father Forget, pastor at Embrum.
 A procession was formed, headed by His Grace, Mr. Hibbard and the clergy and all proceeded to the village church, where a solemn High Mass was chanted by Rev. Father Lombard, O.M.I., of Ottawa University, one of the assistants being rev. Father Bourget, of St. Regis Church.  Rev. Dean DeSaunhac, of Cornwall, occupied a seat in the Sanctuary.
After the Mass, all adjourned to Lussier's Grive, where tables were spread for 1,800 people.  The Union Band of Ottawa furnished the music.  The funds of the church were increased by $800 as the result of a popularity contest between three married and three single ladies.

It is significant that the above ceremony was carried out before the railway was officiallyu inspected by the Department od Railways and Canals,

Ottawa Free Pess 27 September 1898

The official inspection of the Ottawa and New York railway was made today.  A special train left at 8.40 this morning having on board Mr. E.B. Johnson, government inspector; Mr. Geo. Parker, president of the New York and Ottawa Construction company; Mr. C.B. Hibbard, president and general manager of the New York and Ottawa railway, and Mr. F.D. Anthony, chief engineer.
The road was inspected from Ottawa to Cornwall in compliance with government regulations.  The roadbed was found to be in excellent shape.  The ballasting has been completed and the road is in fine condition for speed.  When the bed becomes thoroughly settled the company intend putting on a fast train which will cut down the time between Cornwall and Ottawa considerably below any previous year.  The great advantage, however, will be apparent when the bridge over the St. Lawrence is completed, and the fast service put on to New York.  Already the road has worked up a big traffic with local points between Ottawa and Cornwall, and the cheap Saturday rates are proving a boon to merchants.

Ottawa Journal 28 Septe,ber 1898

O. & N.Y. INSPECTION. - The Ottawa and New York Railway was officially inspected yesterday by Government Inspector E.V. Johnston. Mr. Johnston expressed himself as highly safisfied with the road. On the return trip first class time was made from the G.T.R. crossing to the city.The distance, 52 miles was covered in 55  minutes.

Montreal Star 28 September 1898

An official inspection of the Ottawa and New York Railway between Ottawa and Cornwall was made on Tuesday.

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