Monday, July 20, 2009

From Whence He Came

This site is devoted to the inventive genius of Mr. Charles Havelock Taylor. The information contained in this historic account is taken from engineering journals, family photo albums and the personal memoires of two families.

Born in Chatham New Brunswick January 20, 1859, Charles was the eighth child and first born son of Mary (Palmer) Taylor born 1820, died 1906 and Charles Taylor born 1817, died 19??. (left)

The Taylors were one of the pioneer families from England, who first settled in New York State in 1710. During the American Revolution the family joined many other United Empire Loyalists and moved north to New Brunswick.

His Father, pictured above with wife Mary, was a saw-mill contractor. Charles' stay in the Chatham area was short as when his father completed the building of a mill, the family moved on to the next location. The constant moving affected his schooling although it is known that during his boyhood he attended school in Matapedia, a small logging settlement, which is on the border of New Brunswick and Quebec, and at Kedgwick near by. (photo at right is a family gathering in New Brunswick).

At the age of 12 Charles' family moved to Levis Quebec a sleepy little village overlooking the picturesque "Old" City of Quebec. To attend school he had to cross the river. Winter was the only time when the river could be safely traversed. As a result the school year was short and his formal education terminated at spring break-up. He acheived the level of 6th grade before he was forced to quit for good.

In 1876 his family moved to Montreal. It is here that that he embarked upon a career that would lead to great feats of engineering. His father won a contract to construct a section of the Lachine Canal.

Being a self-educated man and possessing strong analitical skills Charles began his work career with his father. It was not long before Taylor's entrepreneurial skills and ingenuity came to the forefront. He contracted for the task of pumping water out of excavation sites while work on the canal proceeded. Up until this time only steam driven pumps were used for this type of work but for Taylor and his creative mind there had to be a better way. He struck upon the novel idea of siphoning off the water. He offered to do the work for a mere 20 dollars a day, much below cost of the steam pump used at the time. His method was absurdly simple and Charles was able to sit back and reap the benefits of his idea. Twenty dollars a day was a lot of money at a time when the economy of the country had fallen on hard times. He generously used his new found wealth to help his father and the family.

Acknowledgements: Richard Hillary (grandson of CH. Taylor) as well as Roy and Charles (Bud) Taylor (sons of CH Taylor) .


jordan12912 said...

My name is Jordan Taylor and i live in cobalt. I would just like to say that Charles Taylor and his work helped to make Cobalt a great town. This is a great website and has a lot of iformation about the town. Good job on the website.

Ken Clark said...

Informative site, currently constructing a model in 1/48th scale of the Taylor Compressor that was located on Coffee Creek.

Model is about 85% complete at the moment, will stand about 7 feet
in height when done. Model intended for Mining Museum in Nelson BC.

Ken Clark

leo buglehole said...

Hi,my gt uncle Hurford Buglehole, 1890-1952 was a cobalt miner, he is buried in kirkland lake, alas i do not have a photo of him. I am very impressed with this site.

Bob P said...

I am a descendant of Charles Taylor Sr. He was the father in law of my great great grandfather. I have a photograph of Charles Taylor Jr taken in 1891 and I have the original obituary of Charles Taylor Sr who died in 1901. I found this blog while doing ancestral research. I am very interested in knowing if there is any more information about the large group photo at the top of the blog. The older gentleman is Charles Taylor Sr. I would like to know if anyone else is identified.
I would be happy to share the photograph and obituary