Hand Typed Almonte History Notations Part 2








A long time ago students of A.D.H.S typed historical notes about Almonte and the surrounding area. Some of them still exist today at the Almonte Public Library.

Thanks to the Almonte Public Library for treasuring them. No date



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

Hand Typed Almonte History Notations Part 1

A 1978 Walking Tour of Mill Street Almonte

McAdams Store Almonte

Almonte in the Twenties

Remembering John Kerry from Almonte—By Karen Hirst

St. Andrew’s United Church

St. Andrew’s United Church

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Jul 1966, Sat  •  Page 21


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte


Clayton United Church Quilt Fran Cooper

And They Kept Singing in Church While it was on Fire

In Memory of David Scharf — Almonte United Church Tragedy

The Almonte Fire 1955– Almonte United Church

St. Peter’s Celestine Church Pakenham

PAKENHAM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1897– $338.50 on the Cornerstone?

Did You Know the Ashton Anglican Church Dates Back to 1845?

Lanark’s First Church in the Middle of the Forest

At Church on Sunday Morning From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

The Remains of the Bethel Methodist Church

For the Love of St. Andrew’s– 130th Anniversary

Who Really Built the Baptist Church in Carleton Place?

Drummond Centre United Church — and The Ireton Brothers 38 Year Reunion–Names Names Names

Notes About The First Baptist Church in Perth

Smith’s Falls and District Baptist Church

Memories of The Old Church Halls

Tales From the Methodist Church in Perth

Knox Church– McDonald’s Corners

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

St. Augustine’s Church and Christ Church

Before and After — Auld Kirk

Another Example of Local Random Acts of Kindness- Zion Memorial United Church

The Beckwith Baptist Church

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976

What did Rector Elliot from St. James Bring Back from Cacouna?

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

A Sneeze of a Tune from St. Andrew’s Church in Carleton Place

Let The Church Rise– A Little History of St. James Anglican Church

A Ride Through Lanark County 1940

A Ride Through Lanark County 1940


June 1940

Somehow I got the idea that Lanark was the county town of Lanark county. Since this would be just about the only county town in Ontario that I had never visited (always of course excepting Haliburton, where even the train goes only three times a week!) I decided it would be just the thing to round out my day if I could make Lanark. Here indeed would be terra incognita.

So turning my car toward terra incognita, I went out of Carleton Place and turned off at the church. I struck a road that sometimes was paved, and sometimes was not, till I came to a spot called Ferguson’s Falls. By now the countryside had changed. Gone were the lush acres of Carleton Place. In their place was that undecided sort of country that exists between Brockvllle and Kingston, and west of Perth. It can’t quite make up its mind whether to be agricultural country or not. So you find pockets of good land, interspersed by stretches of picturesque rock lands.

These same woods, good for maple syrup in the spring, pasture in the summer, and fuel in the winter, are not to be sneezed at, if you have some arable land as well, but you are out of luck as a farmer if all your land is this way. However, I was not out to sob over the steering wheel about the plight of the farmer who owned a rock pile, but to get on to Lanark town, and ultimately it came into view.

I took a couple of squirms, went around a hill or two, and landed plump in front of the Lanark Era. Just about the easiest place to get acquainted, the quickest place to get information, and the best place to feel at home for any newspaperman is a country newspaper office. Deadlines aren’t the disagreeable things there they are in such fast-moving sheets as The Citizen, and so they generally have time to talk to you.

I sat there and sniffed that lovely smell of a composing room, and plumped myself down to see if I could find out something about Lanark. First and foremost, Lanark produced the great *George Mair, whose epic, Tecumseh, is regarded as one of the truly great literary things done by a Canadian. With that I might couple the fact that Managing Editor Robertson of Beaver-brook’s London Daily Express, is an old Lanark boy. So Is George Mcllraith, Liberal M.P. for Ottawa West.

In with these important tidings I would breathlessly add that the chain stores have not yet invaded this delightful place. Lanark today has only a few over 700 people, but it once had more. Its chief support in days gone by was the woollen mill, but this burned down at the end of the last war, or thereabouts. There was no other large industry to replace it, and today the largest payroll in the town is that of the school. Incidentally, I see the Lanark Era of the issue I was in town said the teachers had resigned, and it was decided to advertise for new ones.

I went south on the road which they said was the bumpiest between Lanark and Florida they misinformed me, for there is a bumpier one in Georgia and in due course I came to the outskirts of Perth. I was told by *George Mcllraith that I had missed a most important item outside Pert h, and that was the first bank established in Upper Canada. I was back two weeks later, but entering by another road, missed it again. I might say that I had been through Perth a good many times by rail, but had no idea it was such a beautiful place. It beats Smiths Falls.

Perth has a pretty park in its midst, and is so laid out, not only to give it real beauty, but to create the impression that the town is really bigger than it is. I have been in the original Perth in Scotland, and both of course, are on the Tay. While doubtless the Caledonian counterpart is more entrancingly located, the Canadian Perth, and Lanark’s county town, does not suffer too much by comparison.

Whoever laid the pavement between Perth and Smiths Falls did a good job, and my own concern was the proximity of a speed cop. Smiths Falls Is pretty enough, and seems to change but little. I associate with Smiths Falls all kinds of emotions. I remember, for instance, sitting at a table in the dining room of the main hotel there, and learning that Doc Cook had “discovered” the North Pole. It was also during another momentous meal there that a fellow at the table said that the Mauretanla had just broken the world’s speed record for a steamship.

At a later date, I stopped off at S.F. to see a girl, between trains, and later again, used to drop into the Canadian Pacific station to have a chat with “Tex” Ricard, who went to Queen’s In my day, and later became a railway dispatcher. But above all. I remember going down to The Falls one time at the behest of The Citizen to write about vaccination and some of its evils. I went around to all the offices first, and climaxed the day by interviewing a couple of indignant medical officials. I returned on the last train, charged a heavy dinner up to The Citizen, and then was pleased to hear from Vincent Pask, night city editor, that it was the best story I had written for him up to date. That I had turned in a lot of bad ones I am the first to admit. The trip from Smiths Falls home through a sort of lane of a highway was dull, and I was shocked to see what a run-down place Franktown Is. I was prepared for something belter. I bypassed Carleton Place on the way back, and arrived safely at the Island Boulevard traffic circle without incident.



George Mair


Throughout his life, Charles Mair, the “warrior bard,” considered it his patriotic duty to crusade for Canada. He attributed this conviction to his origin in the Ottawa valley “in its primitive day.” His paternal grandfather had come to Lanark in 1824 at age 78 and established two general stores; in 1831 his son and daughter-in-law left Scotland to join him in the merchant and timber trade. In his memoirs Mair would recall the romance and drama of the trade: “I loved the river life, the great pineries in winter, where the timber was felled and squared.” He disliked the discipline of the schoolmaster in Lanark and his years at the Perth Grammar School, but he recalled the pastimes enjoyed by the villagers as idyllic: shinty on ice, games, trapping, making maple syrup, and visiting Indian encampments. Read more here..click
Descendants of: James McIlraith   Click here
 George Stewart McIlraith b. 4 Aug 1857 Darling Twp, Lanark County, ON Canada d. 25 Apr 1942 G.W.M. Hospital, Perth, Lanark County, ON Canada m. Margaret (Maggie) Scott Rintoul m. 5 Oct 1887 Tatlock, Darling Twp, Lanark County, ON Canada at her father’s home by Rev. Joseph Andrew  b. 10 Jan 1867 Tatlock, Darling Twp, Lanark County, ON Canada d. 10 Apr 1942 G.W.M. Hospital, Perth, Lanark County, ON Canada [daughter of William JAMES Rintoul and Annie Watt]

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

More Memories of the Floating Bridge

More Memories of the Floating Bridge


Photos above from the Middleville & District Museum




 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
31 May 1943, Mon  •  Page 17




Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

#18 Drummond — Ralston’s School (Drummond Central School after 1967)

#18 Drummond — Ralston’s School (Drummond Central School after 1967)










Drummond School photo S.S. 18 from Lanark & District Museum (no date)


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  29 Jun 1977, Wed,  Page 61

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

Who Can Forget SS #1, Drummond?

Favourite Recipes from Drummond Central School

What Came Out of the Old Drummond Swamp

Lily Roberts of Drummond The Rest of the Story

Hisby Fire Drummond Township Clippings

Drummond Cemetery Photos by Glenda Mahoney

Saunders and Sadler — Genealogy

Saunders and Sadler — Genealogy


Lorraine Nephin just sent me this .. thank you
Beatrice Saunders age 17. Later she married Howard Sadler. They ran a fruit and vegetable farm in Almonte

Lila Leach-James-— Beatrice’s brother was James Saunders and married my fathers older sister, Eva Leach and they lived in Westboro…..He designed and was in charge of building many of the railroad stations in Ontario! He designed his beautiful stone house which I believe is designated heritage and still standing at 300 Elm Grove Avenue, Westboro….

Jim Saunders had a barn in his back yard! Nowadays that would not be allowed! His hobby was raising chickens, exotic breeds. They were every colour and design! He won many ribbons at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto…He had many, sometimes 50 different breeds! The ones that didn’t win sometimes found their way up to our farm!


This is a photo of James and Eva Saunders….probably taken in early 1900’s…I remember being at their 50th anniversary around 1960….



Jason Porteous I have a copy of this picture of her parents. I got it many years ago and can’t remember who shared it with me. Its of Albert Saunders and his wife Minnie Hoerle.

Wayne Poirier Lena Berenice Saunders is my 2nd cousin 2x removed.




Jennie, Violet, Florence, George Saunders at their grandmother’s house near the CPR station in Carleton Place. They were the children of William Joseph Saunders and Emily Tanner and the grandchildren of Robert Saunders and Marie Anne Lewis.

The photo posted is from the Porteous family collection. I have put up other photos before taken by Pat Allan’s Mom, Muriel (nee Porteous) but this is from Jason Porteous’s family photo collection. Thank you for preserving history! Amazing photos!


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler

Saunders Family Photos and Genealogy Carleton Place and Area –Debora Cloutier

The Story of the Almonte Flour Mill

The Story of the Almonte Flour Mill

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1987 Almonte, Ontario

When miller Edgar Salatandre halted the Almonte flour mill’s steel rollers Friday, he closed a 164-year chapter of Ottawa Valley history. Still powered in part by the tumbling waters of the Mississippi River, the Almonte mill was the- last of 18 or so grist, textile and sawmills that once flourished along a 30-kilometre river stretch from Carleton Place to Pakenham.

Its closure marks the end of an era that began in pioneer times and peaked at the turn of the century. The end for one of the town’s oldest industries also meant layoffs for 15 men and office manager Ardeth Brooks, who had worked at the mill for periods ranging from 12 to 36 years. Two men were able to retire on pension while severance payments eased the pre-Christmas crunch for the others, who say they will have to look outside town to find comparable jobs. Salatandre, one of only about 30 millers in Canada, accepted a transfer to Toronto. Ray Ladouceur and his cousin, Don, at the mill 17 and 20 years, respectively, say they will look for jobs in Carleton Place and Arnprior, or Ottawa if necessary. “There is nothing locally,” said Don. Rick Gladman, who had been mill manager from 1978 to 1983 and is now operations manager at a much larger mill in Port Colborne, returned to oversee the shutdown. “This is not a happy time for me,” he said moments before locking the mill door for the last time. “I’m losing a lot of old friends.”



My dad Keith Camelon ask me to submit to these to you They are of the Flour Mill in Almonte where my dad was an employee until it closed in 1987– Sandy Harris

Economics, the great arbiter of change, had dictated that the mill, which once sent its flour throughout the Ottawa Valley and around the world, was no longer a viable operation. The cost of trucking western wheat from grain elevators near Prescott, a limited market, inadequate storage and outdated equipment made it uneconomical to continue operating the mill, said Lewis Rose, chief financial officer for Maple Leaf Mills Ltd, which owns the Almonte mill. The Almonte mill’s production will be replaced by Maple Leaf mills in Montreal and Toronto, where grain boats unload at docks alongside. “There was no significant reason to continue having a mill there,” said Rose. “It didn’t make economic sense.” But to pioneer entrepreneurs, the 30-metre drop of the Mississippi River from Carleton Place to Galetta was a potential source for generating rotary power. The river became the catalyst in turning a wilderness into one of the country’s leading manufacturing centres for quality wool cloth. The reputation of the woolen mills built along its shores became international. Local history buff John Dunn remembers as a youth seeing huge bales of worsted cloth being shipped to, of all places, England, which is famous for its woolens. “I can still remember seeing those bales and reading the labels on them,” said Dunn, who has lived in the town of 4,200 most of his life. Before the textile industry got started, it was the grist mills and sawmills that created the nucleus around which towns such as Almonte were built.

Their place names still dot the countryside Bishops Mills, Oxford Mills and Brewers Mills. Almonte, in fact, was first called Shipman’s Mills, after Loyalist millwright Daniel Ship-man, who built a grist mill and sawmill here in 1823. Grist mills were essential for farmers, who hauled their grain to them for grinding into feed for poultry, hogs and cattle. Sawmills cut the abundant timber into boards and planking for construction. As industry flourished, the early wooden mills were replaced with more formidable stone structures, many of which stand today. The sprawling six-storey Rosamond No. 1 woolen mill . here, built in 1866 for $26,500 and shut down only last year, is now being converted into a condominium. Others have become restaurants, museums, art galleries and homes. The nearby Mill of Kintail, built in 1830, was an abandoned derelict when rescued in 1930 by doctor-sculptor Robert Tait McKenzie. He restored the picturesque stone mill as his summer home and studio. It is now a museum housing many of his artistic works. The fate of the Almonte flour mill is still uncertain. The building is to be sold after Maple Leaf, which acquired it in 1965, removes the milling machinery, precluding possible resurrection by a competitor. The original wood-frame structure was built about 1840 by Shipman. It was probably replaced by a second wooden mill, either in 1866 or 1886 the history books differ here. The second mill was destroyed by fire in 1909. At the time of the fire, the mill was owned by The Wylie Milling Co. Ltd. The name still appears on the large, double-door office safe in the mill office. Wylie rebuilt, erecting a four-storey structure with stone walls more than half a metre thick. The new mill, by this time evolving more toward flour than grist milling, had storage capacity for 12,000 bushels of wheat That is the building now up for sale. The rebuilding was followed by a series of business transactions and foreclosures that led to the mill being acquired in 1931 by William Rueben Pierce. He eventually changed its name to Almonte Flour Mills Ltd., more accurately reflecting the mill’s main enterprise. The mill was acquired in 1951 by Philip Strickland, who previously had operated mills in southwestern Ontario. “The mill was in danger of going out of business when I bought it . . .” Strickland recalled from his retirement home in Orillia. “All its production had been for export, which was falling off. I managed to sell flour locally.” He brought in a new generation steel roller mill and business prospered. Production grew from 27,000 kilograms of flour daily to 90,000 kilograms.

In 1968, the mill was again rocked by an explosion and dust fire, which blew out every window, lifted the roof and heaved the huge, three-storey rear stone wall out about a metre. Edna Clement, who worked at the mill for 45 years until her retirement in October 1986, has vivid memories of the 1968 fire. “I was sitting at my desk making up the pay envelopes when I heard a big bang and I thought the men in the mill were making some unnecessary noise,” she recalls. She left her desk to see mill workers fleeing the fire by sliding down a grain chute. She ran back to her desk, grabbed the satchel containing the pay envelopes, and escaped. There was more excitement in 1974 when a 16-car train derailment rocketed two cars into the side of the mill and five cars into the river behind. “It’s sad, very sad indeed that it’s closing now,” says Strickland, who sold the mill in 1965 to Maple Leaf as part of an arrangement in which he joined the company as a senior executive. “It has a good staff. But the company hasn’t been able to sell all of its production and the land transportation costs have risen to the point where it was difficult to keep it going.”

Dennis Foley 1987


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte




Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte