Railway accidents are an unfortunate part of train travel. One of the most infamous railway accidents in Ontario’s history took place in 1885 when Jumbo, a famous circus elephant, died after being struck by a Grand Trunk Railway train near St. Thomas, Ontario.
The circumstances of the crash pictured in this photograph are not known, but the photograph depicts a freight train accident during the late 1800s on the Grand Trunk Railway line near Elora, Ontario. The photograph is part of the Connon family fonds (C 286) at the Archives of Ontario, and was taken by Thomas Connon or by his son, John R. Connon. The Connons owned and operated a general store and photography studio in Elora during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. John Connon is known for his invention of the first panoramic camera in 1887, and for documenting the local history of the Elora area.