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Books written or edited by Ken W. Watson

A History of the Rideau Lockstations
A History of the Rideau Lockstations

This book is a lockstation by lockstation description of how the canal was built. This book takes a brief look at how the decision was made to build the canal, and then takes a detailed look at each individual lockstation on the Rideau. Attention is paid to the actual construction of the lockstations, looking at why each spot was chosen, problems that had to be overcome, and how they did it. In most cases the original construction plans had to be changed, it was engineering on the fly.

Proceeds from this book go to Friends of the Rideau

click here for more information about A History of the Rideau Lockstations

122 pages, 8.5” x 11”, pb, wire-o binding, colour cover, b & w interior, 29 maps, 49 photos, 24 reproductions of 19th century paintings, bibliography, ISBN 0-9696052-1-8, $ 19.95

Price: 19.95

Engineered Landscapes
Engineered Landscapes:
The Rideau Canal's Transformation of a Wilderness Waterway

This is a research document divided into two parts. The first section of the book contains a reconstruction of the pre-canal geography and includes maps and transcriptions of the first three full route surveys. The second seconds looks at the construction of each lockstation and includes flooding depth calculation for each section of the Rideau Canal.

For those looking at the pre-canal Rideau without the masses of detail, my book "The Rideau Route" is a lighter version of Part 1 of Engineered Landscapes.

click here for more information about Engineered Landscapes

"Engineered Landscapes: The Rideau Canal's Transformation of a Wilderness Waterway," 290 pages; 8.5” x 11”; paperback; colour cover; b & w interior; 150+ b & w illustrations, maps, period paintings & photos; 9 - 11" x 17" fold out maps (7 b & w, 2 colour); 2 - 8.5" x 11" colour maps; includes bibliographic references; first printing 2006; ISBN 0-9780751-0-2; $59.95

Price: $59.95 for printed book. Price: $19.95 for digital version (PDF on CD)

Rideau Route
The Rideau Route: Exploring the Pre-Canal Waterway

This book reveals the secret world that lies below the waters of the Rideau Canal – the drowned landscape of the original Rideau Route. The Rideau Canal Waterway that we see today is a flooded environment, created in 1826-31 by the building of canal dams to form a slackwater navigation system. In the pre-canal era, the Rideau Route spanned three watersheds, those of the Rideau River, the Gananoque River and the Cataraqui River. The book looks at those landspaces, particularly the navigation impediments that had to be overcome to create a navigable waterway. Transcriptions of the three Rideau Route surveys (1783, 1816 and 1824/25) are also included.

click here for more information about The Rideau Route

"The Rideau Route: Exploring the Pre-Canal Waterway," 146 pages; 8.5” x 11”; paperback; colour cover; b & w interior; 140 b & w illustrations, maps, period paintings & photos; includes bibliographic references; first printing 2007; ISBN 978-0-9780751-1-8; $19.95

Price: $19.95

The Sweeney Diary
The Sweeney Diary: The 1839 to 1850 Journal of Lockmaster Peter Sweeney

This book containes the transcription of Peter Sweeney's personal journal from 1839 to 1850. The journal is written with one line per day, often in short form such as C.D.H.A.Q., Sweeney’s notation for "Catherine Drunk Had A Quarrel" - a reference to his wife Catherine and an indication of Sweeney’s tumultuous home life. In addition to the diary, local historian Sue Warren has provided a section titled "The Life and Times of Peter Sweeney" which puts the journal into historical context. Also included is a full listing of who’s who in the diary

Proceeds from this book go to Friends of the Rideau

"The Sweeney Diary: The 1839 to 1850 Journal of Rideau Lockmaster Peter Sweeney," 198 pages; 7.5” x 10”; paperback; colour cover; b & w interior; includes maps, period paintings & photos; includes bibliographic references; first printing 2008; ISBN 978-0-9696052-3-2; $14.95

Price: $14.95

Tales of the Rideau
Tales of the Rideau

This book contains 17 non-fiction stories of the Rideau Canal. In addition to Rideau classics including the tale of a lost treasure of silver, the ghost of Watson's Mill and skeletons found at Oliver's Ferry, a number of lesser known stories and articles are included. For instance, why exactly did Lt. Colonel By fall from grace?, why did the Hogs Back Dam keep falling down? what really killed two men at Jones Falls in 1869? and many others. The book is rounded out by articles dealing with how malaria end up on the Rideau during the construction of the canal and how the Rideau Route was mapped. .

click here for more information about Tales of the Rideau

"Tales of the Rideau," non-fiction, 166 pages; 6" x 9"; paperback; colour cover; b & w interior; 108 b & w illustrations, maps, period paintings & photos; includes bibliographic references; first printing 2010; ISBN 978-0-9780751-2-5, $9.95

Price: $9.95

Watson's Paddling Guide
Watson's Paddling Guide to the Rideau Canal

This is a 168 page detailed guide to paddling the Rideau Canal. It contains a description of the entire route together with 18 detailed route maps and maps of every lockstation showing the portage routes. It also provides an on-water guide to the history of the Rideau Canal with dozens of Points of Interest identified along the route. Best of all, the guide is FREE (as a self-serve PDF download).

"Watson's Paddling Guide to the Rideau Canal'," non-fiction, 168 pages; PDF; route maps, lockstation maps; first printing 2012; ISBN 978-0-9780751-3-2, $0

Price: $0 (click this link for page with free download)


TO BUY

Mail Order
Please contact me (rideauken@gmail.com) if you would like to have one or more books mail ordered to you. I can take a cheque or money order, or I can issue you a PayPal invoice (payable through PayPal using a VISA, Mastercard or American Express credit card).

I will confirm shipping/handling costs depending on the order. In general, shipping/handling for one book is $10 to Ontario/Quebec, $12 for the rest of Canada, $16 to the US. Shipping for additional books in the same order is $3 per book. HST/GST will be charged according to destination. Large books (Engineered Landscapes) will be shipped at cost and small books (Tales of the Rideau) will have a lower price.

Book Stores
Many of these books can also be found locally on the Rideau, places that normally have these books include:
  • The Novel Idea in Kingston
  • Hotel Kenney at Jones Falls
  • Elgin Home Furnishings in Elgin
  • Village Green in Westport
  • The Depot in Merrickville
  • The Bytown Museum in Ottawa







Comments: send me email: Ken Watson

©1996- Ken W. Watson