Otter Lake

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Two Locomotives Disappear into the Swamps (1)

McCord Museum: MP-0000.236.2.

In 1847 the Lachine Railroad Company laid the first tracks on the Island of Montreal. Trains left the station at Bonaventure, formerly Chaboillez Square, stopped at the Vinet Street Station, continued on to St. Henri, and crossed the one-time site of Lac à la Loutre on its way to Lachine.

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Two Locomotives Disappear into the Swamps (2)

Archives STM, Cote: S2/5; ID #: 3-906-004.

Because the land around the former lake was so swampy, an immense amount of filling had to be done in order for the ground to be solid enough to carry the weight of the tracks and the locomotives that moved along them. In a later construction effort an old sign was discovered six feet below the current ground level, indicating that the ground had been raised at least six feet since the days of Lac à la Loutre. Despite the extraordinary amount of filling there were still swampy areas that remained around the tracks.

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Two Locomotives Disappear into the Swamps (3)

The Montreal Gazette, September 18, 1947.

About ten years after the railroad began operations, two locomotives quietly disappeared into the swamps before the astonished eyes of railway workers. One belonged to the Montreal and Lachine Railroad and the other to the Grand Trunk.The latter was lost in 1855. As far as anyone knows the locomotives are still buried deep under the Turcot yards.