Lectures at 10am, Crossroads United Church, 690 Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd

Steve Manders - Book - "The First Spike"

steve manders book first spike

Steve Manders, who has given a number of lectures with Later Life learning, is promoting his new book, The First Spike, a history not only of the K&P but also of much that went on in Kingston and southeastern Ontario in the 19th century insofar as it related to transportation and communication.

K&P stands for "Kingston and Pembroke," and was the first railroad to link Kingston with the timber and mining hinterland to the north. It opened in 1878. In 1885, the little railway station that now stands across Ontario Street from City Hall was built from cut stone that originally formed part of the battery wall that defended Kingston from American attack.

A graduate of Queen's University in geography and education, Steve has spent much of his spare time hiking and paddling the transportation routes north of the city. It was during these many hikes and portages that he realized that some of the trails he was hiking were old railway lines that had fallen into disuse and grown over. He started bringing a metal detector with him and mapping the places where he found railway spikes, bits of rail, and metal railway and logging tools. Gradually he was able to trace the old K&P line all the way north to Renfrew.


Steve said "The book would not have happened without your encouragement along the way.   It resulted in a lot more research than I presented at Later Life Learning."

The book is it is for sale at the Novel Idea now and other places.

Read more here at the Whig Standard

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