Despite one of the quotes attributed to Al Capone – “I don’t even know what street Canada is on” – the most notorious gangster in history is the subject of local folklore in a surprising number of communities in this country. In fact, according to an article in ‘Inside Ottawa Valley”, Al Capone may well have lived in Kemptville for a while!
The website of the Rideau Glen Golf Club makes reference to story about an un-named “gentleman that lived in Kemptville for many years,” describing him as a rotund, scar-faced thug, who was an avid golfer, and who spent summers at a residence on Oxford Street (which was discovered to have underground tunnels by a new owner).
This mystery ‘gentleman’ may have even put up the money to help the original owners of Rideau Glen build the course. Big Al was a left-handed golfer, and wanted a course that would favour left-handers, so he helped to build one. A longtime town resident’s father told him he remembered seeing Al Capone “in his ‘big black Cadillac’ coming to the course to inspect the progress of the construction.” Rideau Glen was established in 1929. Cool story!