There were high jinks in Darling over the last weekend and there was every reason for a celebration of that kind. Mrs. Jennie Majaury reached the age of 100 years on June 25th which makes her almost equal with the mythical Johnnie McGlorie that they used to tell us about when we were youngsters.
Mrs. Majaury at the centenary mark is a remarkable woman. Her eyesight is still so keen she can knit without glasses and her hearing is sharp enough to detect the sound of a locomotive whistle on the Kingston & Pembroke Railway many miles away. Mrs. Majaury is a native of Darling Township, having been born on a farm within a mile of the one on which she spent all of her life following marriage and widowhood.
Her father was Joseph Crawford, an Irish immigrant who came out to this country in his youth and…
Searching for information on the snowstorm of 1998, I came across this gem in the Ottawa Citizen in January of 1986. Gertrude Jessie Stanzel was born in 1913, but it didn’t matter how old she was — she was always a force to be reckoned with. In 1986, at then 72, even being blind, she had an acute sense of smell. In fact that sense of smell helped save four senior citizens from dying in a fire.
Gertrude Stanzel and her husband Stephen were preparing to go to for bed around 10:30 pm on night in January of 1986, when she smelled smoke coming from the back porch of their Frank Street home. Immediately she told her 76 year-old husband Stephen she smelled trouble. Stephen, fearing he could be engulfed by flames if he opened the inside door opened the outside porch door only to discover a large fire inside…
It was no secret that teacher Miss Lowe at the Central School in Carleton Place was mean. Well, she wasn’t mean in the dictionary sense- she was just a very tough disciplinarian. One day she instructed a couple of scalawags to stay after school in order that a mystery might be solved. Even though the clock had struck 4 no one was going anywhere until someone fessed up who stuck the bent pin on Mickey Lee’s seat.
It had began innocently enough when Mickey had stood up to read about “Casper and the Setting Sun”. Leaving his seat mate, Norm Strong, meant Norm could tend to the business of constructing a bent pen pin and some cardboard into some rough torture device. As the end of the reading came near, Strong decided his creation should be placed directly on Mickey’s seat. When Mickey sat down he made the fact known…
Somewhere in Lanark County a well renowned school teacher that shall not be mentioned by name wasn’t having much luck duck hunting. Birds were scarce, his dog had been killed by a train, and he was breaking a new one in. In his search for game he had gotten much farther down the river than usual, and was in unfamiliar territory.
The teacher had become very discouraged and stopped on the river bank to rest his legs. He was idly watching a flock of domestic ducks go paddingly about when a man, whom he thought was a farmer came along. The two exchanged greetings and in an answer to a newcomer’s inquiry as to what luck he had, the teacher admitted that times were tough that day and the family might not have Sunday dinner. He added laughingly that if the ducks on the river were…
PERTH CANNING COMPANY. This label is from a product that was canned by the jPerth Canning Company Limited, which operayted in Perth from 1895 to 1902. The cannery closed because of lack of enough vegetables for canning.The premises were located on was was known as Park Avenue, know now as Rogers Road. The building was bought by a creamer company in 1902 and in 1929 became Land of Lanark Creamery until closing in 1960. Location of the Huntington Green Condominiums today.
I lived on that street from 1954 until 1967 it was known as Market Street. The old Creamery building was all closed up and it was a great place to explore and play when we were kids. A lot of the old offices and production lines were just as they were, like they just locked the doors and walked out. I loved that place and spent hours exploring with other neighborhood kids. We never damaged anything, we just used our imaginations and amused ourselves for hours, great memories!
In July of 1890 Pakenham lost a valued officer, the community a generous hearted and kindly-dispositioned citizen, and a host of people a warm friend. We refer to the death of Mr. Thomas Meredith, of Upper Pakenham, which took place on Saturday afternoon last, under most distressing circumstances. The particulars are as follows: Mr. Robert Fulton (on the old Shannon homestead) had a “ bee” on the afternoon in question which was attended by about a dozen of the neighbours, including Mr. Meredith. They were engaged in the work of raising the frame of an addition to Mr. Fulton’s barn. They had got the first bent in an almost perpendicular position, and what was considered the most dangerous part of the work over, when by some degree the beam fell into pieces. The deceased had been pushing the bent with a pike-pole, and was standing on the ground between two…
Framing barns, sheds, and stables according to Robert J. Mackey, was a much more difficult part of carpentering than building houses. To frame a big barn, for example in his opinion requires a greater knowledge of the carpentering art than any other part.
Between the years 1875 and 1886 when he moved to Ottawa Mr Mackey framed barns and stables in every township in Carleton county and in parts of Lanark county. The biggest barn job which he had during those 11 year was a barn which he erected in Beckwith township about 1877 for a Mr. William Goth.
The barn in question was erected just off the highway between Ottawa and Carleton Place and was still standing in 1930, but was no longer owned by Mr. Goth at that point. There is still a bank barn on Highway 29 between Carleton Place and Almonte that you can drive by…
Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert McKay, Clayton Road who lost their barn and grain in a fire caused by lightning on August 22nd are gradually repairing the damage with the whole hearted assistance of their neighbors as well as the members of the farming community far and wide. On Saturday, Mr. McKay assisted by the neighbors, held a bam raising and a frame barn was erected.
It was like the old fashioned barn raising with the men doing the carpentry work and the ladies visiting and assisting in the pie and cake department. Supper was served to sotrne 80 persons on Saturday evening. On Monday a silo was erected and it was expected that it would be filled on Tuesday p.m. Besides the assistance given with the building Mr. and Mrs. McKay were presented with a purse containing a large sum of money and donations of hay, straw and grain were also received. Mr. and Mrs. McKay are highly appreciative of all the kindness and assistance given them which will help to alleviate their crushing loss.
The partridge and duck hunting season opens on Saturday, Sept. 27 and if the present weather prevails there will be a large exodus to the woods and lakes. Up Sudbury way, the first hunting casualty is reported. A man engaged in the innocent passtime of picking mushrooms was shot and killed a few hours after the season opened. The killer ran away.
Commenting on this tragedy the Sudbury Star advises hunters to stay out of the woods in masse this year and make Queen’s Park tighten up on the regulations about firearms. At the present time anyone can buy a license, be he a maniac or an idiot if he has $1.
The local issuer of licenses, Mr. Russell Dodds, has sold 100 to date. He says there is a new form this year, much like a driver’s licence which must be filled in with name, address, age, etc. This is a step in the right direction! but is scarcely enough in the larger centres where the applicant is unknown to the issuer.
“Stay Home and Stay Alive” says the Pembroke Observer where 11 were killed in a few days in 1957. It reminds one of the old rhyme “Drinking water is as risky as the so-called deadly whiskey. Some say it’s a mistake to breathe the air.” It is especially, alarming about the poor mushroom man as we don’t want our friends Baldy, Cliff, Bob and Oral to have their heads bopped off and our supply o f mushrooms too. Sept 1958
Lt.-Col. E. D. Taylor has sold “Old Burnside” to Dr. Morgan Martin who is a member of the Staff of the Federal Department of Health and Welfare, Ottawa. He and Mrs. Martin and their three daughters are expected to move here this week. Col. Taylor and Mrs. Taylor have moved to Ottawa where they will reside at 124 Springfield Road. They have been most highly regarded residents of Almonte for over six years and their departure is greatly regretted. Their twin sons, Peter and Anthony were honor students at Almonte High School and are now attending school in Ottawa.
Their younger son, John, is attending Sedburg School at Montebello, Que. On December 1, 1958 the Board of the Rosamond Memorial Hospital appointed Col. Taylor, who was chairman of the General Hospital Committee, to select a committee and proceed to build a new General Hospital for Almonte and District. The hospital, as everyone knows will soon be built. P & L Taylor resigned from the committee on July 19, 1960 as he planned to leave Almonte and was succeeded by Mr. R. A. Stewart. Col. Taylor also served on the Almonte Town Council for two years. Mrs. Taylor was an active member of the Almonte Women’s Hospital Auxiliary.
Old Burnside, 218 Strathburn Street, Almonte–From Mississippi Mills PDF Compiled by Linda Hamilton for the Mississippi Mills Heritage Committee, May 2015 Dates: Built 1835-40 Style: Georgian with a Gambrel roof Architect: Unknown. Original Owner: James Wylie (1789-1854) Current Owner: Mr and Mrs Howard Campbell. Construction: Limestone ashlar.
Notable Features: This is a grand and imposing stone mansion that is one of the first homes built in the area. The home features limestone quarried on site, multiple bedrooms and fireplaces, and many original features. The grounds of this home are also exceptional. It sits on seven acres of forest and garden, enjoys private river frontage, and has a private stream with a bridge and a waterfall. History: The original owner of this home was James Wylie (1789-1854). Wylie was a prominent local citizen in what was then Shipman’s Mills. He was a merchant, Rideau Canal contractor, postmaster, farmer, and county agricultural society president. He was also a member of the Legislative Council of Canada. Wylie came to Perth from Scotland in 1820 and opened a mercantile business. In 1822 he purchased 200 acres of land in Ramsay Township on the Mississippi River from the Protestant Church and built a log home. This was one of the first homes in the area. He named his property Burnside after the stream and waterfall that run through it. A ‘burn’ is a small waterfall and this one reminded Wylie of his native heath. Wylie’s ten children soon outgrew the cabin, so Wylie built the new home to accommodate his large family. The old log home was incorporated into the second house as a dairy. In the mid 1800s Burnside was not yet located within the town. It was a small settlement unto itself which included a general store, a dairy, and a Scotch whiskey distillery.
In 1841 a traveller to Shipman’s Mills made this report of his impressions of the settlement at the falls: “James Wylie, Esquire, a magistrate and storekeeper, has erected a fine house, his son (William G. Wylie) another. About half a mile from this, Mr. Shipman’s spacious stone dwelling, his mills and the surrounding buildings, present a bustling scene. There is one licensed tavern here, and a school.”
In 1848, Wylie built a larger home, named “New Burnside” next door at what was then 255 Hamilton Street (now Strathburn Street) and moved there. James Wylie’s eldest son, James Hamilton Wylie brought his bride to the first house (see Appendix B: 1881 Census) and later lived at New Burnside, too. Two of his six children, John and James lived at Old Burnside as adults as well. In 1912 Old Burnside was rented to Dr. and Mrs. Macintosh Bell.
Dr James Mackintosh Bell rented the home for two years and bought it in 1914. Born in St Andrews East, Quebec in 1877, Dr. Bell was the grandson of the prominent Presbyterian minister Reverend William Bell of Perth. Dr. Bell was a soldier in WWI and a scientist, geologist, geographer, author, painter, and lecturer. He grew up in Almonte but travelled all over the world. He was very involved in the mining industry and is credited with discoveries in that field. Known as Mack by his family and friends, he studied at Queen’s University in Kingston where he got his MA in 1899. While exploring the Canadian Arctic in 1900, Dr James Mackintosh Bell noticedrocks stained with cobalt and copper on the shores of McTavish arm of Great Bear Lake. He noted this in his notebook.
This eventually led his guide at the time to the discovery of enormous uranium resources in that area. Radium was so important at that time, that the resulting mine made a fortune. He was made an honorary member of the Royal Geographical society in 1901 and received his PHD from Harvard in Geology in 1904. He was named as head geologist to the New Zealand Mines Department in 1904. While there he met and married his wife Vera Margaret Beauchamp, daughter of one of New Zealand’s most prominent businessmen. Bell fought in WWI where he was gassed and suffered from trench fever. After returning from the war, the Bells moved into Old Burnside. They made many improvements to both the house and the garden, and Old Burnside became known as “Bell’s House”. Dr. Bell died in 1934 at the age of 57 in Almonte. An article in the Ottawa Citizen at the time of his death clearly reveals what an important and respected person he was in his community. Several hundred people attended, including most of the prominent citizens of the day.
The house was subsequently sold to the Winslow-Spragge family. Theirs was another large family. A wonderful account of life at the house is reproduced below (Appendix A). This was taken from a book by Anne Byers called Life and Letters: Lois Sybil Harrington and Edward Winslow-Spragge (2000). The Montreal Gazette, March 31, 1948, shows Old Burnside for sale for $30 000. Describes features and gives brief details.
Morgan Martin and his family lived there next and they sold to the present owners, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Campbell in 1972. The Campbells raised their seven children there. According to an article in The Millstone from July 20, 2012, the Campbells “spent their lives travelling the world as members of the Canadian foreign service. But about twenty years ago the couple decided on a new challenge: They would convert their rambling, 19th century mansion (which The Ottawa Citizen once referred to as “one of the most exceptional houses in the Ottawa Valley”) into a bed-and-breakfast.”
Apparently there is a story of a “ghost horse” at Old Burnside. The legend is that long ago, during a winter’s storm, the horse took refuge in the passageway formed by the double wall built two feet thick to protect the northern exposure, and, unable to turn about and make his escape, was trapped and starved to death. Its’ hoofbeats can still be heard on winter nights.
Hollywood actress Tori Spelling stayed at Old Burnside for five days in July of 2007 while filming the movie “Housesitter” with her husband Dean McDermott. Spelling confirmed a rumour that the couple conceived their son during that time. Old Burnside was the setting for the movie “Housesitter”, 2007.
Construction History and Current Building: Please note that I was not able to go inside this building at the time of research. Information is from observations from the exterior (road) and from articles and photographs. Construction: The main building is symmetrical in the Georgian style. It is three full stories high. It faces the river (northeast). It has additions on all sides but the front (see images) which match the house in style and cladding. However, the limestone ashlar on the main building is coursed, while on the additions it is irregular. On the northwest face, a main floor “flower room” has a sun porch above which can be accessed from the second floor. The “day wing” on the southeast houses a library, music room/study, and has a second floor. This was a more recent addition to the building. Older photographs show no addition at all, and slightly more recent photos show only a single story addition.
A third addition projects from the back of the building. This was presumably the original log cabin that was then converted into a dairy.
It is clad in limestone as well. A large outbuilding on the property has garages and more living areas. A bridgecrosses the waterfall/stream directly to the northwest of the main building.
Walls: The walls are light brown limestone coursed ashlar. The limestone was quarried on site and is used both outside and inside. A huge slab of rock is also used as a “stage” that leads southwest into the sunken garden. The wood for the framing of the structure was also apparently sourced on site. Chimneys: There are four end chimneys, two projecting from each flat end wall. Although these chimneys appear to have been modified over time, they are in their original position. A fifth chimney has been added more recently on the northwest corner. Other modern pipes and vent stacks are also present. Doors: The front door is protected by a wood frame enclosed portico with a transom fanlight above the doorway and a landing with a balustrade on top (see image: 02front portico). This portico was altered as well; it was a two story portico at one time, with only the upper portion enclosed. At the rear of the house, three sets of arched double french doors with 12 panes each lead out from the “day wing” onto a sunken patio area. Windows: At the front, the second and third story windows are double hung sashes with two over two lights while the ground floor windows are four over four. These are evidently more modern replacements of the original windows but they can be seen as they appear today in photos dating from the 1920s. Older photos show three windows on the upper floor projecting from the roof with shed styled dormers overhead. The outer two windows have now been converted into gabled dormers while the central one has been framed with a gambrel shaped roof moulding above it and the wall has been extended up to incorporate the window. Most of the windows have storm windows on the exterior. At the back of the house a few original windows can be seen. They are 12 over 12 lights, double hung windows. Some other multi-paned original (or copies of original) windows are also visible (see image: 05rear of building). Various other windows are present as well. A notably beautiful arched, multi-paned window can be seen on the southeast side (see image: 04window of southeast wing). The shutters seen in older photographs are no longer present.
Roof: There is a gambrel roof on the main building clad in teal coloured tin. The additions to the southeast and southwest (rear) have hip roofs clad in the same teal tin. The main roofline has been altered through the years. Older photos suggest that the current gambrel roof was created by raising the central peak of the previously extremely shallow upper roof slopes. Interior: Old Burnside has many original and beautiful features inside as well. Articles written to describe the home as a bed and breakfast go into great detail about these elements. The main house has four bedrooms and a sewing room on the third floor and four bedrooms on the second floor, three of which have fireplaces and views over the “burn”. On the second floor, at the top of the staircase, is an archway with a fanlight and sidelights leading to the rear of the house. A tiny staircase serves the kitchen area and a room that was reportedly Wylie’s office. The paneled dining room immediately to the right of the main doorway and hall, was the original kitchen and the old fireplace with its original iron crane still exists. This kitchen hearth, 18 feet of solid rock, is the base of an enormous chimney There is apparently a bake oven hiding behind the butternut paneling beside the fireplace.