A Haunting Manotick Mill

Mark Hogan Photography - Watsons Mill

I lived in Manotick Ontario for 11 years. It provided me a welcome respite from the daily trials and tribulations of working at Disneyland on the Rideau, lovingly referred to as the Department of National Defense.

Manotick is a lovely and quaint village located on the Rideau River. It is located about 20 minutes south of the Ottawa Airport. Its foundation is / or was the Mill, which became operational in 1860. Today Watson’s Mill has been restored to its original form and is a reflection of a slower more sedate and peaceful time. It is also haunted.

The following is a poem of that haunting:

The Lady Of The Stone


When the moon shines bright on a cold winter’s night

As the wind frost chills the bones

While life is asleep ‘cept for the spirit it keeps

Amid the cries and the wails and the moans


All alone in the night in the soft winter’s light

Runs a river that’s cries as it leaps

Over weir and some falls as if dancing it calls

For the lady of the stones on the wheat


There stands all alone from a structure of stone

A whisper of death and despair

A suffering soul who cries out for her beau

Lost, breathless, alone she will stare


A lady so pale in her death knell she wails

For her time that was so tragically brief

Her soulful spent mourns and her perpetual scorn

For her life that was wrought by a thief


Moss Dickensen came to this landscape whose name

Its mantle Ojibwayan speak

Of a land all alone in a river that roams

From Big Rideau to the Ottawa it seeks


Moss Dickensen possessed as Joe Currier confessed

Great insight and vision to spare

One thing that he knew from this river would brew

Great fortune, great wealth and great fare


A partnership grew with Joe Currier, Moss proved

That a mill would be true to their dreams

A town that would grow from the natural flow

From the Rideau and land in the stream


The building that grew, stonemason’s cuts true

Majestic with a Scottish-like ring

The millstones were laid, then dressed and well made

From the skill that Tom Langrell’s hands bring


From the weir and the falls as the water is culled

By the timbers the current it bleeds

Directed through stalls, turn turbines, run sloughs

For the seed that a town dearly needs


Like grist to the mill old Manotick filled

With millers and farmers and feed

Prosperity grew from raw powered hewn tools

From a river that flowed to their needs


Joe Currier was blessed with good fortune and zest

That he married the girl of his dreams

Ann Crosby did come from Lake George she did run

To the arms of her lover, she beamed


Yet fate has a way of having its say

When life is idyllic and sane

For the riches and fame for Joe Currier’s reign

Like the king of the Rideau in name


But one fateful day in March so they say

In eighteen sixty-one

The first anniversary of the town’s new prosperity

On a day that should have been fun


Joe Currier is seen with Ann Crosby they’d been

From their wedding just one month before

Brimming with pride, a new life and new bride

His fortune had come to fore


With their wives by their side the men went inside

The mill had just started to run

The stop logs removed and the water gushed through

The turbines they started to turn


The shafts all-awhirl, the millstones grind shrill

The walls and the floorboards did sing

A deafening roar as the water gushed forth

Was music to the ears of these men


A danger in sight but blind to their plight

The couples they walked up the stairs

On the second floor stage, they stood in a daze

As the music did play through the air


Ann walked out in time oblivious in kind

As she looked at the marvels unfold

But mechanical whirls will tear off the swirls

From loose coats and those crinoline folds


Quick as a flash Ann faltered and smashed

Her head to the pillar and shaft

For her crinoline caught in a running gear fraught

With danger and death as it laughed


Her cranium whacked like a walnut it cracked

‘Gainst the pillar and shaft and the gears

Her eyes all ablaze in a mad induced craze

Amidst the screams and the wails and her fear


The light of her soul dimmed slowly then cold

As the darkness had captured her being

Her spirit was lost to mortality’s cause

 Forever to mourn at this scene


As the years fell away and the memories fade

And life carried on as it will

The turbines still turn and the millstones still churn

Like time, like grist to the mill


Stranger be warned of a town that was born

From a river and land that was tamed

By men of such strength that they went to great lengths

For some profit, some glory, some fame


For a specter appears from a window so clear

For lost lovers, lost souls and lost tears

Poor Ann all alone in her death spell she roams

Amid the pillars, the shafts and the gears


For alone in the night in the soft winter’s light

Runs a river that’s cries as it leaps

Over weir and some falls as if dancing it calls

For the lady of the stones on the wheat.


© John Morrison, June 2005

Manotick, Ontario

Speak of the Devil: Don't Look Now, But The Ghost Of Countess Bathory ...


Watson's Mill in Manotick

Oh and today 28 May is Pentecost Sunday. Here is an appropriate and beautiful Christian song.

Have a nice day.

The Rideau Canal: A Marvel of Engineering

How builders of the Rideau Canal lost their lives to malaria | TVO.org

The genesis of the Rideau Canal: A poem by John Morrison.

The Rideau Canal

The curtain does fall so majestic and proud

Such a natural wonder, so gracious a shroud

As if a powerful train of glory descends

As a continuous fall at the Outaouais end


A fire alights from the south it did spread

To the north like a plague through its heart it has bled

With a mawkish like cry for freedom and joy

But freedom’s best chance was a fraudulent ploy


From a flicker of flame to a firestorm bred

Death escalates through a life cycle of dread

And taming this shrew with its penchant for blood

Was a foolish man’s bait for poor Madison’s club


Yet the fire would spread in its harrowing scene

From a spark it would roar with a devilish scream

From Niagara on east, to a Forty Mile Creek

To a nondescript farm and a Chateauguay sneak


From Queenstown to Lundy, Detroit and the Thames

The Boxer and Enterprise, surrender of Maine

Through Ohio and Plattsburg, to a Moravian town

The war it did rage for Miss Liberty’s crown


Cities would fall and the towns they would burn

First Newark then York; it was Washington’s turn

War’s firebrand eyes thrust farther to yield

And finally burn in an Orleans field


What came but a draw in this foolish man’s quest

For power and glory are such meaningless guests

Whatever the gain from the lives that were lost

For the hawkish bent men who lied at great cost


And the curtain still fell, so majestic and proud

As if sensing the chaos, so soothing its sound

Like the rapturous strains of a torrent, transcends

To emerge as a call at the Outaouais end


The years fell away and the anger did wane

Rush-Baggot had calmed such a petulant strain

An American age brought prosperity’s peace

As a confidant pace of change was unleashed


But the land to the north so upright and proud

Was paranoid still to the south’s freedom sound

A country that cried for security’s calm

Yet stands all alone ‘gainst a threatening psalm


But this land full of lakes and rivers and streams

Was a natural course for a military dream

For fear set in stride a magnificent quest

To build a canal that was strategically blessed


While the mighty St Laurence was a natural draw

It was fraught with real danger from its rapid rock falls

And upstream it ran from a thunderous roar

Too close to the south with its threatening core


And the Ottawa ran to St Laurence’s call

To strike from the north and a western landfall

An historical route that opened the west

Where the traders would meet at the curtain for rest


Yet two rivers did run from a common high ground

To the south and the north from Lake Rideau their sound

From the shallows and falls through the marshes and swamps

From King’s town to Wright’s town, two rivers as one


To build a canal through this wilderness screams

Of a madness and curse of the military’s dream

A task so immense, so daunting and brash

That only the British could fathom this task


But the British did find a man of the Corp

A Wellington man from the Peninsular War

A man who had held the Canadian Shield

So right for this task with indefatigable zeal


John By was a Colonel and a leader of men

Ahead of his time and a genius, well bred

An engineer’s man with a passionate streak

For simplicity’s beauty with its functional speak


With orders to build a navigable course

From the Outaouais south to St Laurence’s source

To rise from a bay named the Entrance – way crept

Up flight after flight, like some nautical step


A plan was developed and contracts were signed

Engineering so simple with symmetrical lines

Pure genius at work with a heavenly hand

To guide and instruct a magnanimous man


With Drummond and Redpath, Phillips, MacKay

Canadian contractors, strong men of their day

These artists of stone were men of their word

So forthright and loyal to the Colonel’s accord


The sappers and miners and mason’s stones lay

Stonecutters and woodmen, all of the trades

For comfort, their spirit; their love of the crown

Romantic and colourful, these men of the realm


But the marvelous work that was soon to unfold

Was dependent upon the poor labourer’s code

The back wrenching work to clear out the land

And dig such a ditch with just spades in their hands


Such men from hard times, forever were cursed

To fight for survival and work through their thirst

Through backbreaking strains as their calloused hands scream

As they toiled and they toiled for this military dream


The Frenchmen held sway with their skill and savvy

So noble these men and their role as navvies

Independent of mind with a will to succeed

Just pride in their work and their songs and their deeds


But an Irishman’s fate to arrive at this place

To rescue one’s life from some wretched like fate

The scourge of the earth in the Englishman’s eye

Forgotten at home, they severed all ties


For a pestilence spread to drive them afar

From an emerald isle to this devil’s back yard

Though beauty may rest on the eye from beyond

A hellish nightmare was reality’s song


Just rags on their backs with their wives by their side

With children so weak from starvation and pride

A thousand would fall from a dengueish like hue

And die from this work’s laborious flu


Poor brothers would cry as their graves had been marked

So blind to the danger and the peril from sparks

As the powder was set with a magical link

Their lives were extinguished from the death blast’s cruel drink


And the lakes and the streams, swift water, rock falls

Were captured and tamed by this engineer’s call

Magnificent feats what By had achieved

In this harsh, hellish wilderness was hard to conceive


The entrance way blessed by a protestant prayer

The first stone was set by John Franklin with care

Not mindful as yet that his greatness was cast

To die in the north from the Arctic’s cold blast


The curse of Hog’s Back; an Isthmus scourge

The tranquility of Chaffey’s; Long Island was purged

At Burritt’s and Black, these rapids were tamed

And Merrickville’s beauty, a religious refrain


With names like Poonamalie, with its cedar incense

An Indian aura in a wilderness sense

Opinicon’s names and a Cranberry fog

The curse of the labourer to die in this bog


The dam at the falls known locally as Jones

Is a testament still to its magnificent stone

Block upon block in a crescent like stance

Like a rampart of genius or an engineer’s dance


The work underway, six years to progress

The locks were completed and the dams were well dressed

Through steamy hot summers, through sweat and death’s fear

Through winter’s ice jams; hell’s nightmare those years


The locks and the dams, wastewater and weirs

The cut at the entrance, eight steps to the piers

The breadth of this work remains unfathomable, sealed

As a masterpiece set in the Canadian Shield


Building the Rideau Canal - The Canadian Encyclopedia


The threat from the south was all but contained

For the status quo boundary was all that was gained

From the firestorm set in those years long ago

Extinguished for good as a friendship would grow


Poor tragedy’s mark on this cornerstone lay

On the heart of a man who held the Rideau at bay

Called back by a King who questioned his deed

A question of funds from some zealot to heed


An inquiry would set the tone through the years

To diminish By’s feats; he was ignored by his peers

His spirit would die from his countrymen’s chill

And not from the bog or the Isthmus ills


Yet his legacy flows for our nation to see

A wonderment still, a magnificent deed

To balance such beauty with a functional stream

Through a Canadian wilderness with just minimal means


But the jewel in the crown of this engineer’s quest

Was not the canal or his technical best

For a town had been born in the Outaouais scene

In this land full of lakes and rivers and streams


By the Barracks Hill shanty near the Sapper’s stone bend

A magnificent tower of peace would ascend

From a lower town swamp to an upper town’s view

A great city would grow with great values imbued


For this capital’s crown of achievement remains

From the peaceful green flow of the Rideau, contained

The seeds of a city and a national theme

To build a great country with the freedom to dream


And the curtain still falls, so majestic and proud

Like a sentinel’s call or a passionate bow

For the genius who toiled on the Outaouais scene

And left such a mark with this beautiful stream


Peace Tower in Ottawa, Ontario | Expedia.ca

Copyright John Morrison 2005

This song by the recently passed Canadian musical icon, Gordon Lightfoot, tells the tail of another national project that became the lifeline and foundation of the modern Canadian nation.

Kurofune and other books I have written. Good reads with great reviews.


Check them out at: www.johnmorrisonauthor.com of click on the links at the top of this page.


Say What?

This could be mankind’s future if we let the UN and Globalists get their way with us.

Say What?

Around the world, politicians have either just passed or are on the cusp of passing sweeping new laws, which would allow governments to censor ordinary citizens on social media and other Internet platforms.

Governments aim for total control. In Canada, a state agency can filter and manipulate what Canadians see online. In Australia, a single government official can compel social media companies to remove posts.

Canadian reality?

Canada’s foreign service spent thousands of dollars staging performances where seniors shared their sexual encounters on stage in Austria, Taiwan and elsewhere.

According to a press release by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the stage show by the Toronto theatre troupe Mammalian Diving Reflex was titled “All the Sex I’ve Ever Had’ and received $12,520 from Canadian taxpayers, or one dollar for every sexual encounter.

Too much detail if you ask me. But no one does.

Mammalian Diving Reflex? Is that like “Gerd.”

Global Affairs Canada paid for the trips to Austria, Taiwan and Australia via the Mission Cultural Fund (MCF), with the keynote word being…affairs.

I’m sure we want to know this…NOT!

And this Canadian inclusivity moment:

A Winnipeg high school is ending observation of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to “transition to a more inclusive practice.” Whitey be damned. Inclusivity is Canadian code to strip generational Canadians of all of their traditions in order to appease other cultures who come here for a better life. So those of us who have been here for generations have to change our culture so as not to offend the new arrivals. This is what out of control immigration and appeasement leads to.

And this:

The parents of an Ontario high school student currently barred from education for his views on gender have both been put on leave from their teaching positions and placed under investigation in what appears to be a case of guilt by association.

Canadians? Wake up.


This was not what we signed up for:

European Globalists Use ‘Sustainable Development’ to Export Liberal Values.

The United Nations and the European Union join hands to strong-arm countries (like the Netherlands, SRI Lanka) into advancing revolutionary social goals that ultimately destroy their way of life…ESG!

It is time we got out of the UN. This is not what we signed up for:

United Nations Charter


to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

But not to control every aspect of our lives.


Crowning Achievement

Canada’s new crown:

Canada was founded on Judeo-Christian values, considered not relevant anymore.

Canada Unveils New Heraldic Crown Emblem Stripped of Religious Symbols

The Royal crown is unveiled by Samy Khalid (L), Chief Herald of Canada at the Canadian Heraldic Authority and Donald Booth, Canadian Secretary to the King, during coronation celebrations in honour of King Charles III in Ottawa on May 6, 2023. (The Canadian Press/Spencer Colby)

Reflects our new reality.

Cross at the top is replaced by a snowflake – Canada’s new reality. After all Canada’s Snowflake in Chief is the Governor General with her jester of a snowflake Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

Don’t we get a say?

I guess not. I have always believed that our electoral system equates to an elected dictatorship. The PM, once elected, can do whatever he or she pleases for 4 years.

Next on the chopping block? Our coat of arms.

Arms of Canada - Wikipedia

With our coat of arms you can be damn sure that the Union Jack will disappear but not the Fleur de Lis and that the crown will be replaced with a snowflake. The rainbow flag will replace the Union Jack. The lion on the left will be replaced with a beaver and the unicorn will stay.

Our crowning achievement? Hosers with stubbies

Bob and Doug McKenzie take on a worthy cause, eh - The Globe and Mail

Poo poo our veteran legacy:

Official Art - Vimy Ridge | Canada and the First World War

I wonder how many of the Canadian Gen Zeders know or even care about the sacrifices made at Vimy Ridge – or even what war it was born out of?

And of our government’s push for a Central Bank Digital Currency equates to more control. Watch this:

Of course in the knowledge free zone of the Gen Z and Millennials, young Canadians will sign up for this enmasse.

Freelunch is disgustingly arrogant.

Our other national anthem.

Written by Alexander Muir in 1867, the year of Canada’s birth as a nation. He wrote it after his stint in the Queen’s Own Rifles (Victoria) after the Battle of Ridgeway against the Fenians.

The trashing of our traditions and national symbols by the Liberal government is what happens when uncontrolled immigration and divershity occurs. A nation loses its identity because new arrivals do not have the same shared values or experiences that their host nation celebrates, nor are they encouraged to do so. In time the national traditions, on which Canada is born, are whittled down or disappear altogether. That is what is happening in Trudeau’s vision of Canada as the worlds first post national state.

Canada is, in reality, Ontario (Upper Canada) and Quebec (Lower Canada), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (1867). The rest be damned.


Darn. I want a new country and a new Prime Minister. As long as the Liberal Family Compact continues there is no hope for the rest of us, especially out here in western Canada.

Kurofune and other books I have written. Good reads with great reviews.


Check them out at: www.johnmorrisonauthor.com

Heil Canada

The Canadian Reich!

Trudeau's biggest threat after NAFTA—himself - Macleans.ca

Leftist policies start out seemingly reasonable and compassionate before they become totally monstrous. (Germany 1933) Initially, there are sympathetic test cases, they started out with arguing that raped 12-year-olds should be able to get an abortion, and then before you know, it’s partial-birth abortion for bored celebrities. Euthanasia was supposed to help those with fatal illnesses suffering a great deal of pain. And then, in typical fashion, it morphed into killing teenagers and the depressed.

Where to in the Great North? How about killing the homeless and the poor?

Half of Canadians would agree to allow adults in Canada to seek medical assistance in dying due to an inability to receive medical treatment (51%) or a disability (50%). Fewer than three-in-ten would consent to expand the guidelines to include homelessness (28%) or poverty (27%) as reasons to seek medical assistance in dying.

Canadians are split when pondering if mental illness should be a justification for an adult to seek medical assistance in dying: 43% support this idea, while 45% are opposed.

That’s 1 in 4 on board with euthanasia for the poor and the homeless. Among the 18-34 crowd, it’s 40%.

And that means that this is the next bar. The conservatives will die off or be killed, leaving an exciting new electorate that has come around that the solution to a lot of problems might lie in killing inconvenient people.

Isn’t social justice wonderful? (From Frontpage)

Canada’s Covid tyranny brought out the worst in Canadians, especially all those Karen’s and Ken’s out there.

History repeats itself but most Millennials or Gen Z have no clue as they know of no history. To them history or day 1 of the common era began with their birth.

I always tell them where would they be if their parents aborted them?

God is not amused.

Life is good.

Kurofune and other books I have written. Good reads with great reviews.


Check them out at: www.johnmorrisonauthor.com