This place is located on the Ottawa, about three and a half miles west of Grenville, and it is doubtful if the scenery around it is surpassed in beauty by that of any other village in the province. It is situated on a high, level tract of ground less than half a mile in breadth, which is bounded by the river on the south, and on the north by a mountain rising abruptly, and running parallel with the river. The mountain, which is mostly wooded from base to summit, is the most prominent and beautiful feature of the landscape; and from one or two rocky prominences a grand view may be obtained of the country along the Ottawa, and far into Ontario. It requires only a little effort on the part of the citizens here, in the way of preparing suitable accommodations for boarders, to make this one of the favorite summer resorts of Quebec; for while the scenery at hand is most striking, it is contiguous to other scenery which is wild and grand in the extreme.
The Calumet is a small stream tumbling down the mountain side, but such is the height from which it comes, that it affords excellent water power, and the numerous cataracts formed in its descent are ever present objects of admiration to visitors. Sixty years ago, the Calumet Falls were the property of the Montreal Water Works Company, and it was their intention to convey the water in pipes to that city, but the plan was never executed.
MARBLEThe history of the place is not ancient, the little village, which seems to be growing, having sprung up since the advent of the railway. About forty-five years ago a man named Charlebois opened a marble quarry here, a short distance up the mountain side, and erected a mill on the Calumet, for sawing and dressing the marble quarried. It is said he got out and shipped quite a quantity to Montreal, during the few years he worked, but his venture was abruptly terminated by his death. He was accidentally drowned in the Ottawa, at the mouth of the Calumet. The timbers which formed the foundation of his mill may still be seen here; but no attempts have since been made to continue the work he began, though there appears to be a large quantity of marble here.
YOU COULD COUNT THE DWELLINGS ON THE FINGERS OF ONE HAND, MINUS THE THUMB
Mr. Richard Lanigan gives the following graphic description of the place: "In 1870, when I came to Calumet, you could count the dwelling houses on the fingers of one hand, minus the thumb; to-day we can count ten times that number, if we include the Island. Then we had no railway accommodation; to-day, those living in Calumet can visit either the political or the commercial metropolis of the Dominion, leaving home after breakfast, transact their business, and be back again in time for tea; or, you can leave for Montreal by the early train, spend twelve hours in the city, and be home by bedtime. Then we had no accommodation for travellers; now we have two well kept, comfortable hotels; and, in connection with the railway, a refreshment room, which is a model for all restaurants along the entire line. Then we had no public means of transport across the Ottawa; now we have steamers plying daily between here and the towns of Hawkesbury and L'Orignal, in addition to which, there is an hourly ferry just established. Then there was but a tri-weekly mail, and we had to drive or walk four miles for our letters and newspapers; now we have a daily mail, with a post office at our doors. Then there was no smithy or place where you could hire a horse; to-day we have two blacksmith shops and three livery stables. Then we had not a single store; to-day we have six. Then we had only a small saw mill; now we have a grist mill and two saw mills: one of which, the Ottawa Lumber Company, furnishes employment during the summer to over a hundred men, and, in the winter, to an equal number in their log shanties. Then there was only the firm of the Hamilton Brothers lumbering on the Rouge; this summer, logs and timber belonging to thirteen different firms were sorted out at the booms. Then we had no place of worship; now we have two churches and one resident minister. This is doing fairly well; but, with the wealth of gifts with which nature has endowed us, we should have done far better."