2007 Lecture Series
Building the Rideau Canal
by Mark Andrews
June 17, 2007

In the fourth Rideau 175 Lecture, “BUILDING THE RIDEAU CANAL”, presented by the Merrickville & District Historical Society, Mark Andrews described the many facets that contributed to the construction of the Rideau Canal.

In his presentation he demonstrated the ingenious engineering accomplishment of Colonel By’s Royal engineers in constructing the Jones Falls dam, at the time the largest masonry dam in the world, and still an operating wonder.

At Hog’s back it was the application of homegrown rough and ready dam construction by Philomen Wright that resolved a problem which had twice defeated the best efforts of the same Royal Engineers who triumphed at Jones Falls. And, at the eight entrance locks at Bytown it was not the Engineers nor Surveyors who determined the route, but rather avaricious politicians and land speculators that caused the canal to be constructed in perhaps the most difficult and inappropriate location.

Copies of Mr. Andrews book, For King And Country’, Lieutenant Colonel John By, Indefatigable Civil-Military Engineer, published by the Heritage Merrickville Foundation were available for purchase at the lecture.

Colonel By and a contractor at the Bytown entrance locks    Jim Skelding and Mark Andrews


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