The Belleville Volcano

It's not uncommon to hear old tales of weird happenings around these parts. You might remember the story about the guys who were struck by lightning right upstairs here in the Rednersville Country Store. That's a true story, they say.

But this one about the Belleville Volcano is news to me, and there's no one alive today who might remember that night, if it really happened. Maybe you've heard the story before.
During the evening of Saturday, January 28, 1899, people near Belleville, in a place known as Rednersville, were having trouble getting to sleep. They were being kept awake by horrible sounds resembling, as one irate listener claimed, the whinnying of a thousand dogs, mingled with the heavy boom of cannons. At midnight the disturbance reached its peak with a terrific explosion. The ground shook slighty, terrifying many people. Then there was silence. After a while, the citizens settled down and went to sleep.

In the morning, a search was made of the area. The searchers found a large piece of ice near Anderson's Landing on the Bay of Quinte that had apparently been thrown out of the water onto the land. They also found about half an acre of pulverized ice which looked as if a great weight had fallen upon it grinding it to powder. The searchers also found something else very strange. Even though the weather the previous week had been very cold, the bay still remained open where the ice was found broken up. The water there was quite clear of ice. They found, upon testing, that its temperature was a few degrees above freezing. Occasionally, the open area of water bubbled up with a hissing sound. On its surface floated a number of dead fish.

What had caused the strange noises, the earthquake and the shattered ice? No one knows for sure. Some amateur scientists in the Belleville area visited the site and ventured that a meteorite had fallen into the bay and had completely cooled. This would account for the explosion, the open, warm water and possibly the pulverized ice. But it does not explain the strange noise that lasted for hours or the big block of ice that was thrown up on the shore.

What would make a noise for hours-as if building up pressure-then explode, causing the earth to shake and water in the middle of winter to heat up and possibly throw a large chunk of ice out on the shore and pulverize the ice around the hole? Maybe a small volcanic eruption?

There are no known active volcanoes in this area now. But maybe there were once. Mont Tremblant in Quebec is thought to have once been an active volcano. In Ontario, Lake on the Mountain in Prince Edward County was believed by Indians to have once been a "smoking mountain", that is, a volcano!

And one last point for you to consider. In July of 1902, People living near Lake on the Mountain were worried that there was going to be a volcanic eruption under the lake. Why? Because the lake water was heating up abnormally for the time of the year. Was an old volcano under Lake on the Mountain coming to life?
If you've heard this tall tale before, please leave a note in the comments below.


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