Some bumps on the Bay Hill road

by Brent Eades

I’ve been experimenting with adding colour to some of the 700 historic Almonte photos that Michael Dunn shares with me on Almonte.com. Colour seems to make old photos more immediate and relatable, I’ve found.

Here’s one from the Bay Hill road, by what’s now Metcalfe Park. There’s no date for this photo, but I’d put it around 1890 or thereabouts — hydro lines are visible, but cars aren’t. Just a single horse and cart partway up the hill.

Paving wasn’t common at this time — as you can see in this photo, the solution to mud-soaked roads seems to have been piling chunks of limestone in the soggiest bits. I imagine this would have been OK for slow-moving horse-drawn vehicles, but certainly not for the ‘automobiles’ that were soon to fill this same road.

A road which still looks quite familiar, come to think of it.