Nathaniel Sherrold Blasdell, too,
Who once a blacksmith’s bellows blew
In the old forge, which in the shade
Of the Russell House still undecayed,
Stands firm a landmark of the past,
How long will such old memories last?
He, too, was one of those who’s hand
Built up the bulwarks of the land,
I say unto such men as he,
Requiescat in pace.
And Doctor Rankin, there he goes,
With solemn brow and turned out toes
Upon his mottled bob-tailed horse,
Who’s canter said, the patients worse,
Or better, as the trusty steed
Did indicate by passing speed.
John Burrows, too, with serious air,
Sung hymns and offered frequent prayer,
And taught a Sunday School with might,
To spread religion’s early light,
He held a post in other years
Among the Royal Engineers,
With Colonel By, a right-hand man,
His course of favor he began,
And once owned much of the wild land
Upon which Ottawa doth stand.
John Ghitty is a favorite name,
His old hotel was known to fame,
And travellers from far and near,
Called at his temple of good cheer.
A mason of most high degree,
In the craft’s early dawn was he.
So much respected was he here,
That unbought friendship o’er his bier
Shed many a sad regretful tear.
And surly old James Doran, too,
A warrior of Waterloo,
Kept with a despot’s iron hand,
The best hotel in all the land;
Who entered there of human kind
Was forced to leave his dog behind,
For Doran had a frowning face
For each and all the canine race.
And Daniel Fisher, who kept store
On Wellington’s west side of yore,
A most experienced auctioneer
In somewhat more contracted sphere,
Than circles trade’s expanding flow
Round Bermingham, McLean and Rowe
And Michael Burke, who kept a still—
And made beer down below the hill
Where malt and hops together came,
And gave the “Brewery Hill” its name—
That hill with pathway to the right,
Where Bank Street ends upon the height.
And many a barrel of his beer
Went down, the Irish heart to cheer,
When ancient crowds did celebrate
St. Patrick’s Day in ’28.
But patriotism’s spirit rose;
From words contention went to blows,
And ere the little “scrimmage” ended
A crack that never could be mended,
Was in a luckless cranium made,
By one whom justice never paid;
I cannot tell what colored ribbon
He wore—his name was Dan McGibbon.
George William Baker, better known
As “Captain Baker” in the town.
Who oft the mailbag’s lock untied
Long after Matthew Connell died—
Long after Helen Denny’s hand
Sent postal letters o’er the land;
An Englishman of good degree,
A Justice of the Peace was he,
And Captain of Artillery—
If memory has not gone astray—