A Couple New Ones in Ontario

By Barrett Nicpon; posted May 24, 2008

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My father & I were able to depart on our much anticipated first hunt together in well over 9 months time back on April 29th. I hadn't spent any time in the woods with him in so long due to the compounded effects of a broken wrist on his part, and the intimidating and time consuming departure for university on my part. Anyways, it was great to get out, and what a beautiful day it turned out to be, despite what the nasties on the weather network kept reporting.

It was another day of firsts for me, as we headed south to the old CN CASO sub, the former New York Central Canada branch, the Canada Southern Line, and all kinds of other names, as it was constantly changing ownership back in the day. This, undoubtedly, is what resulted in the incredibly vast array of insulator styles to be found on the line - contractors from a dozen different railroad and telegraph companies over the years!

This was my first time hitting the CN CASO in a little over a year, and it felt good to get back to it for a bit. Although the predominant style of insulator here is a taste of U.S. rail lines, the Hemingray - 42, throughout the sea of aqua and Hemingray blue glass, the occasional golden Canadian piece can be found - including at least one style of threadless, the CD 742.

Well, the rail line wouldn't produce as well as it could, as no threadless shards showed themselves during the day. However, a couple other interesting pieces did turn up. Some of them not necessarily insulator-related, but still kind of neat!

The first surprise came when we were probing the ground as normally occurs at a site in an open, grassy area. Much of the rail line is very well overgrown, but some parts are high and open due to the oak-savanna ecosystem common throughout the area. We had just begun probing, when my father, rather excitedly, yelped "Look at that!" and pointed off into the brush about a metre to my right. I looked about the area, expecting to see the base edge of a threadless showing itself from the dirt. However, an even greater surprise appeared, as I focused my eyes away from what industrial antiques we were there looking for, to something a little more natural, and something I'd never had the pleasure of seeing until this day. There, nesting in the fallen, dead grass, was a medium to large-sized bird, in a neutral gray and beige colouration, nesting. It was perfectly camouflaged with it's surroundings, and I likely wouldn't have seen it if my Dad hadn't have pointed it out. Yes, this apparently rather tame and fearless bird so confident in it's own camouflage, was the first American Woodcock I have ever seen. Here are a couple links to some photos, as well, just to show how unusual-looking a bird it is!



We decided to leave the unusual bird be, and left the pole site for future attempts at probing.

Pushing forth, we eventually made our way to a lower, more marshy area - the kind everyone likes for threadless hunting. As I forced my way through the underbrush of this easy-to-lose telegraph line, I was able to realign myself with one of the older generations of pole site via a couple of pieces of glass just barely poking from the surface underneath a dense network of grape vines. Obviously undisturbed for many a year, I decided to be the first in a long while to appreciate the glass for what it was. Item #1 was obviously a Hemingray No. 40 broken in two places on the skirt, and it was the most exposed. Item #2 was a little less obvious. It appeared dark aqua, and only a bit of the skirt edge was exposed. I pried the base edge, and out came a Brookfield CD 152 with half the skirt missing, but in a nice, amber-swirled aqua. "Too bad", I thought to myself. That final piece, though, was the fateful one. I assumed from the other two pieces that it was a 152, as well, as I could see a bit more of what looked like that Brookfield dark-aqua. However, when I grasped the piece, and pried it from the ground, I was suddenly wide-eyed, and reaching for the camera, as what greeted me was not a Brookfield 152, but rather a more unusual style - one I've not ever heard of being found in Ontario! I was holding in my hand a No Name CD 151, of King City Glass Works origins in Fairmont, Indiana. This style, most unusual to the end of my fork, is embossed with a large, crude "7" on both skirt, and is an awesome dark tealy green aqua colour. I was confused as to what this unusual style was doing here, but embracing of it as the newest addition to my collection! Not a style I ever figured I'd own, let alone find myself!

Much more probing and digging at that and other pole sites revealed an unembossed, Hamilton (or rounded)-base CD 143 in a light greeny aqua, a Diamond CD 152 in blue, and a couple G.N.W. TEL. CO. CD 145s - one in blue aqua with amber swirls, and another in the "small o" G.T.P. blot out mould.

All in all it was a good day, and it felt too great to get out again. I shall look forward, in the couple weeks before the impending heat rush of May, to getting out again, and hopefully adding something as new and colourful as this unusual, and apparently very scarce U.S. style!

Just out of curiosity, how many of you all have heard of CD 151s being found on Canadian soil? I pulled an H.G.Co. one in ice aqua from a pole on this line about 4 years ago, and it's the only other one I know of!

All the best!