The Teske Bridge is located on the Miller Road, which branches from Smallian Road and it too crosses the Blanche River. This bridge has been known by several names. People on the Smallian Road knew it as the “Burton Teske Bridge” because Burton and his family owned the adjacent property. The people on the Blanche River Road knew it as “Miller Bridge”, as Bertha and her brother Eddie Miller lived near the west side of the bridge. Burton’s children knew it as Quarterman’s Bridge because Mr. Quarterman from Buckingham had built two small cottages next to the bridge.
Initially the Historical Society had some difficulty with renaming this bridge. We felt that two-word bridge names were cumbersome so, in 2011 we decided to change the name to Teske Bridge to recognize the many Teske families in the area, including Burton and his father Randall.
The original bridge was a half kilometer down-river and part of the structure still remains. The road to it ran across Burton’s field. When the bridge was built on the current location, it was accessed by two roads. In the summer the current road was used, which includes a large steep hill that starts at the bridge. The winter road was just south of the current road. The slope was reduced by excavating about three meters of the sandy soil for about 30 meters, making it safer to snowplow and drive. The winter road went through Burton’s field and passed in front of his house. When I was young, there were two houses built close together, one owned by Burton and his wife Frances (Baillancoury) with five children and his father Randall. The other was owned by his brother Orvil Teske and wife Dorothy (Miller) with two children.
The two small Quarterman cottages were sold to David and Joni Depper in 1981. They are the son and daughter of Jean and Roy Depper. Jean’s father, Joe Miller, had also built a cabin on the Blanche River about 100 meters west of the bridge in about 1940. He in turn sold it to the Depper family in the early 1970s and it was eventually renovated into a year-round home where Jean and Roy lived in retirement. Property across the river from these three cottages was purchased by David Depper, and in 1977 he started a summer party called “The Bender”. Over the past forty years this party has grown to often bring together over 200 people on the same weekend date in late July, including a broad range of family members, local residents and friends from the Ottawa area. Many of them camp on the riverfront property all weekend to enjoy a wide range of live music in the evenings, while the day time swimming activities are highlighted by people of all ages jumping off a diving board installed on the Teske Bridge.
In 1957 Bertha Miller, who owned the land on the northwestern side of the bridge sold her property to Hermann Daoust, originally from Buckingham. Then in 1971 Hermann Daoust also bought the land adjacent to the northeastern side of the bridge from the Conroy family. Mr. Daoust and his wife, Gertrude, built a cottage about 300 meters up from the bridge where they spent their summers and eventually part of their retirement. In 2003 Hermann’s daughter, Suzanne Daoust, took over the land and in 2013 settled there permanently with her husband, Bernard Scheire, transforming the cottage into a year-round home.
About a kilometer up the river from Suzanne’s home, the river flows through a rocky area. Around 1900s, the Kuschick family owned the property and they had a small sawmill run by water. Dad’s aunt, Hedwig Smallian, was married to Frank Kuschick and I clearly remember my Dad talking about Kuschick’s mill. Roy Depper also told me that he remembered seeing remnants of the mill (metal wheels etc.) on the bottom of the river.