This was a specialized tour, called the What Building Stones Tell: A Walking Tour Focusing On The Fossils, Rocks and Minerals of Montreal Buildings. We examined "corpse sediment" like these puppies. (These are not literally puppy corpses. I felt the need to clarify, given the title.)
Who has all the hot Montreal geology gossip you need to know? Booyah! Right here, folks.
But, common woman that I am, the thing that captivated me even more was something called a "cat's paw" brick. Back in 1870 at this local factory, bricks were laid out in the sun to dry. It would appear the brickyard owners had a cat that liked to wander over the wet bricks and leave its mark, as it were.
|Old Boris used to leave his mark, but I can assure you, it wasn't a paw print.|
If you look closely at the McGill Faculty Club, for example, you'll see many bricks with the cat paw mark on the side wall.
There is even a local group comprised of builders and architects who call themselves The Cat Paw Club. They walk around the city looking for specially marked bricks to add to their list.
Of course, I felt compelled to do the same. And looky-looky what I found, including on the side of the McGill Theology Department. Coincidence? Or divine intervention?
|This is at the corner of Guy and Sherbrooke, on the side of the building where I get my mammograms done. (Insert Joke Here) You can see traces of the old fireplace, soon to be covered up by some new office or condo building.|
|But if you look closely....|
Oh, and cat paw bricks are not a recent phenomenon. This Roman brick is over 2,000 years old, and was found at Fort Vancouver in Washington. It probably got here as ballast in a Hudson's Bay Company ship in the 19thC. Read about this special cat paw brick HERE.