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Brockville, Westport & Sault Ste Marie Railway
Date Chronology of Events
15 February 1871 Brockville & Westport Railway incorporated Act 34 Chapter 45 Statutes of Ontario (Lapsed).
25 March 1884 Brockville, Westport & Sault Ste Marie Railway (BW&SSM) incorporated Act 47 Chapter 63 Statutes of Ontario.
11 January 1886 Mrs. R.H. Preston turns the first sod at Newboro, while Mrs. W.H. Fredenburgh does the honours at Westport.
17 June 1886 Construction Started.
04 March 1888 First train from Westport to Brockville on BW&SSM (Saturday).  The train travelled from Lyn Junction to Brockville via the Grand Trunk Railway.
01 August 1888 BW&SSM issues bonds for railway construction.  Knickerbocker Trust Company of New York is trustee for bondholders.
03 June 1889 First BW&SSM train over the trestle crossing the Grand Trunk Railway at the end of the GTR Manitoba Yard, Brockville.
December 1894 BW&SSM Placed in Receivership.
20 January 1903 Railway sold under Judicial Sale to New York Syndicate (Holm-Gerken- Schmitt-King) for $160,000 in BW&SSM bonds.  (End of BW&SSM)
24 October 1903 Brockville, Westport & Northwestern Railway (BW&NW) incorporated Act 3 Chapter 88 Statutes of Canada.
23 November 1903 New York Syndicate transfers ownership to BW&NW.
18 April 1906 New York Syndicate (except King) transfers control of BW&NW to Edward R. and Orlando Thomas of New York.
09 April 1910 Martin Zimmerman of New York agrees to gain control of BW&NW shares and bonds for Mackenzie, Mann & Co for $362,000.  William Mackenzie and Donald Mann were the principals of the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR).
09 - 15 June 1910 Mackenzie, Mann & Co gain majority control of BW&NW shares and bonds.  Several bonds are still outstanding, preventing MM&Co from gaining a perfected title to the BW&NW.
14 December 1911 Railway sold at Judicial Sale to RP Ormsby (Secretary of CNoR) for $250,000 in BW&NW bonds.  The judicial sale perfects title to the property at the expense of the bondholders. 
10 July 1914 Ormsby formally transfers control of BW&NW to CNoR as a requirement of the Canadian Northern Railway Guarantee Act of 12 June 1914.
05 November 1916 Control of CNoR passes to Government of Canada
20 December 1918 CNoR amalgamated with Canadian National Railways (CNR)
03 October 1921 First run of the "Jitney", a Reo 20-passenger  gasoline-powered railcar. 
1921 Line from Centre St, Brockville to Lyn Junction abandoned.
1925 Line from Centre St (Phillips Cables) to Lyn Junction dismantled.
15 June 1951 Application to abandon line from Lyn Junction to Westport filed with Board of Transport Commissioners.
18 June 1952 Board of Transport Commissioners Order #49236 gives approval to discontinue service effective 19 July 1952. At the request of G.T. Fulford, MP, this was extended to 30 August 1952.
30 August 1952 Last regular train operated. 
04 September 1952 Special train picked up all moveable equipment along the line.
06 October 1952 - Brockville & Westport dismantled from between Athens and Soperton to Westport.
05 May - 
31 July 1953
Brockville & Westport dismantled from Lyn Junction to between Athens and Soperton.  The only thing that remains is the abandoned roadbed, a few bridges and culverts, and a couple of stations.

It wasn't Brockville but the hamlet of Farmersville (today called Athens), 12 miles to the north-west which, in 1871 sponsored the Brockville & Westport Railway Company under Chapter 45, Act 34, Statutes of Ontario, to build from Brockville on the St Lawrence River to Westport on the narrows of the Rideau Lakes.  It was given the power to negotiate with the Grand Trunk Railway for a right-of-way into Brockville and to enter into leasing or operating arrangements with the Brockville & Ottawa Railway. 
Recall that roads into the back country of Eastern Ontario were non-existent.  The Rideau Canal system was at its peak in the transportation of passengers and freight.  The railway was seen as a bridge route between the two bodies of water.  It also offered potential for the transportation of minerals which might be found in the rocky Canadian Shield beyond Westport.  However, Sir John A. Macdonald's Conservatives had been defeated in 1873 because of the Pacific Scandal.  Alexander MacKenzie's Liberals came into power with their "go slow" policy of railway building the Canadian Pacific Railway.  Nothing happened for 12 years because North America was in the grips of a deep depression. 
Sir John A. was re-elected in 1878 and railway building was seen as a way to unite Canada.  In 1883, promoters ranged through Leeds County appealing for support for a line to Sault Ste Marie.  The Soo was in the news as the gateway to the West.  The Canadian Pacific Railway was opening up the wide prairies with its vast potential for new farm lands.  A new steel plant at Sault Ste Marie was on the drawing boards.  Everyone was racing to build a railway line to reach the Soo.  On March 25, 1884 the Brockville, Westport & Sault Ste Marie Railway Company was incorporated to build from Brockville to Westport, and from there to Georgian Bay and Sault Ste Marie. 
Earlier railway construction in the 1850's was very dependent on the contributions of the counties, townships and municipalities that the railway line would run through.  Support for a railway was not a foregone conclusion, particularly when it came to putting up money.  The B&W was no exception.


Brockville, Westport & Sault Ste Marie 4-4-0 #1 on the CPR Loopline Dock, Brockville, Ont circa 1895.  Acquired second-hand but in good condition in December 1887,  #1 was built by the Danforth Locomotive & Manufacturing Co, Patterson N.J.  It was used in construction work on the Lyn end of the B&W.  Note the link-and-pin coupler and the absence of air-brake hoses on the front of the locomotive.  By 1903 BW&SSM #1 was out of service and parts were being cannibalized to keep #2 going.  BW&SSM 4-4-0 #2 was also built by Danforth but we don't have much information on this one.  It was sold for scrap in 1905.  Photo Courtesy National Archives of Canada PA-164368
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