The LOW family has always been an adventurous sort. While in
2008 a trip from Ottawa to Buffalo could easily be done in a day, a
century ago, this was a true adventure. James Low, then age 47,
along with his three oldest sons, John Edward Low 19, James Low Jr 18
and William Wilson Low 15 travelled from Ottawa to Niagara Falls and
Buffalo by car, steamer, and train.
The travellers prepared a photograph album of the trip and the album
was eventually passed on to Arline Cloudsley Low/Brackenridge, a
of John Edward Low. She allowed me to borrow it and I scanned the
photographs, shown here.
Details of the trip have been lost. There are short captions with
most pictures, which allowed to determine the approximate path, shown
on the map below. I can't be sure how long the trip was, but
about 1985, when I first saw the album, I asked Jean Rook/Low (widow of
John Edward Low) about it and she indicated that she understood the
trip from Ottawa to Niagara Falls took five days.
The current owner of the album, Arline Brackenridge was told that the
family owned a Maxwell. Comparing the pictures in this album with
photographs other cars of the same vintage at various internet sites,
it appears to be a Maxwell Touring car.
This site was prepared by the great grandson of James Low, also named
James Low, on the centenary of the journey. It reminds me of some
adventurous journey's I have made by car: Across the continent
with my father Reed Low in 1952. I drove the Dempster Highway in
the Yukon and Northwest Territories in a Chevette in 1995 with my son
Jerry, and did a repeat trip in a Ford Escort in 2002. I drove
the Trans-Labrador Highway in the Chevette in 1996. Many trips have
been made across the continent in cars over the years. This trip
by James Low and sons in 1908 was just the first of many for the LOW
Those on the 1908 trip:
Born 1861-06-22, Montrose, Scotland.
John Edward Low
Came to Ottawa, Canada in 1886.
Married Martha Ashe (1862-1938) 1888-01-12 at Ottawa.
Was a carpenter (Cabinet Maker; Contractor).
Died 1919-10-02 by accidental drowning in Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Canada.
Born 1888-10-01, Ottawa, Canada.
Died 1976-07-31, Ottawa, Canada.
James Low, Jr.
Born 1890-04-06, Ottawa, Canada.
Died 1970-07-04, Inglewood, Ont., Canada.
William Wilson Low
Born 1893-03-13, Ottawa, Canada.
There may be errors in description and identification of
individuals. Please send me corrections if you discover them.
Died 1956-10-26, Burbank, California, USA.