Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 20: The Homecoming
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Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Above: (A) The Broad Street CPR station where Henri Fern intended to take Alfred Bonenfant; (B) Dr. George Beattie's residence, where George Boivin sought medical help; (C) Mederic Landreville's stable at 78-82 Albert Street; (D) the Bonenfant home at 230 St. Patrick Street with Dr. Rufus Parent next door at 232. Below: Google Street View photo of Dr. Rufus Parent's house at 232 St. Patrick Street where he had his medical practice and funeral home. The Bonenfant family lived in a 1 1/2 storey house to the right which has since been replaced by another building. Several old buildings have survived on this stretch of St. Patrick and Alfred Bonenfant would have no trouble recognizing his neighbourhood if he saw it today.


232 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa ON Google Street View (photo taken July, 2012). House plans of 230 and 232 St. Patrick Street are shown on Insurance plan of the city of Ottawa, Canada, and adjoining suburbs and lumber districts, January 1888, revised January 1901 Sheet 21 (Item 26) (Library and Archives Canada).

Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 21

The Homecoming

Dr. Parent was not at home when George Boivin and Louis Cyr got to his house, so Alfred Bonenfant was denied medical attention yet again. It would have been too late in any case. As Boivin had surmised Bonenfant was dead when he and Cyr first saw him, or died soon afterward.

Mary Bonenfant learned of the accident only when Boivin brought her husband's body home. As word spread friends and relatives gathered to lend their support.

"In the house are four young children not old enough to know the meaning of the shadow that rests upon their home," wrote the Journal reporter, "but kind friends are caring for them, and in the meantime their little hearts are free from the pain that their mother suffers."**

The flowery prose notwithstanding, Bonenfant's oldest child was aged nine and as likely as not the other children were also old enough to grasp the brutal reality of their father's death.

** Ottawa Journal, Friday, June 12, 1908, p. 9.

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