Downtown Almonte 1891 — Thumb Biters Skaters and Widows

Downtown Almonte 1891 — Thumb Biters Skaters and Widows

On Friday December 4, 1891 a shanty man was caught on train going north through Almonte. He caught the eye of Conductor Reynolds and realizing he was going to be out on his ear he attempted to have his lunch early. The shanty man decided to bite Mr. Reynolds thumb off and refused to leave the train car. Mr. Reynolds was heard using language that this paper cannot repeat and the man found his way down the stairs to the outdoors to find his own transportation.


 - operatives are thrown out of employment, i...


Clipped from

  1. The Evening World,
  2. 27 Apr 1889, Sat,
  3. Third Edition,
  4. Page 2


 - Said She Bit His Thumb. Samuel L'zsoy.. a...


Clipped from

  1. The Philadelphia Inquirer,
  2. 06 Aug 1897, Fri,
  3. Page 5

 - Bitten Thumb Was Clue Toronto, July 14. A man...

 - Leask, who la said to have ft lacerated thumb,...

Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 15 Jul 1920, Thu,
  3. Page 8

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When Cell Phones Were Needed

On the 13th of December 1897 a big scare was created in town at midnight with the vigorous ringing of the Almonte fire alarm bell. When the local citizens rushed to the fire station asking where the fire was they were told a couple of skaters had been drowned up the river. Meantime, the relatives got very anxious, felt sure an accident had befallen the absent ones, and began to talk of arranging a search party when the thoughtless young men rang the alarm in older to rouse a crowd and arrange to search for the bodies!

The action of those who rang the alarm were condemned on all sides as an unwarranted proceeding under the circumstances. Had Mr. Tosh, the caretaker, not been ill in bed he would not have allowed it. The facts are that a couple of the young folks were skating on the river, and, the afternoon being fine and the ice good, they glided along till Appleton was reached; then went to Carleton Place and, being too late for the evening train, came home on the Winnipeg Express.

November 21, 1873 – On Wednesday a fine young lad, a son of Oliver Jackson, a painter in the employ of James Kearnes of Glen Tay, was drowned while skating on the Tay at the village. The body was recovered the next day.

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On Saturday last Mr. R.L. Bond made himself useful in town as a fire extinguisher. At seven o’clock in the morning he was called across to the town hall and found a blaze beneath the floor of the council chamber in the same spot as threatened to destroy the hall by fire on a previous occasion.

It caught from the pipe leading· from the furnace and had made some headway before the floor was torn up and the fire extinguished without difficulty. The town property committee have taken action to prevent a repetition of the occurrence, which, had it taken place at night, might have. caused the destruction of the hall.


On Friday last Greg McUnton was brought before Squire Smith charged with committing a petty trespass upon the property of Ellen McCarthy. It seems Mr. McCarthy left for Uncle Sam’s domain and before departing leased the land in question to McUnton for a
period of three years. Trial evidence ,brought out the fact that McCarthy had, with
her four little children been left penniless arid with no means whatever of earning a living.

At the urging of McCarthy’s lawyer, McUnton agreed to throw up the lease saying had he known the facts of the case he never would have leased the land, as he had no desire to do anything unkind towards Mrs. McCarthy and her children.


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

Dust on the Wind –Ashton Social Notes 1887-1897 Names Names Names

Middleville Social Notes 1890

It Raineth Every Day in Lanark County–Social Notes–July 30, 1897


The Smiths Falls Twister of 1948

The Smiths Falls Twister of 1948



August 1948

 - Estimate Damage at $5 mm When Trees... - town's main thoroughfare. The town was blacked... - His leg was still paining him Sunday, and he... - Pent-broke, Cornwall, Perth, Carleton Place and...


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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

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 12

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 12


Photo– 1995? After the 54 Rock Fashion show I put on. LOL Exhausted


Just Like Me– They Long to Be Close to You

I am sitting here listening to The Carpenters realizing that no song today will ever give me the same reaction their songs did. If silk had a sound, it would sound like Karen Carpenter. I am fighting back the tears right now as their songs echo through my headphones. The Carpenters were played continuously for times of angst in my life, and  honestly, sometimes left me more depressed than I already was.

Then I remember one summer evening driving back to Ottawa from a White Zombie concert in Montreal and trying not to fall asleep at the wheel. I was bringing three other people home, and everyone was fast asleep- that was no help. I began to laugh at my shenanigans at the venue that night screaming in zest at Rob Zombie that “I wanted to bear his children”. Giggling at those minutes of nothing but pure insanity could still could not keep me awake.

Insert- one Carpenter’s Gold CD in the car CD player and I begin to sing at the top of my voice with the windows open. Surely that would keep me awake! First track ends and the song “Close to You” comes on. Immediately I hear three voices in the back seat begin to sing the song together in great harmony. I was shocked — these folks knew every word of The Carpenter’s song. I realized then and there that when Karen Carpenter sang– she touched everyone’s soul. After that night I was never sad when I heard the Carpenters melodies because I realized life is a gift–don’t be sad—as someone, somewhere, is still wrapping it up for you as “We’ve Only Just Begun!” .



It “Depends”

I watch a lot of channel 700 with the Vintage Songs from the Past. They just played Gino Vanelli’s “I just want to stop” and I stopped typing- yes I stopped posting and typing. It brought me back to the day when I was buying purses for my store Flash Cadilac from this gal from England who was staying with a friend below Gino Vanelli’s apt in Old Montreal. He heard us talking about him and came downstairs and sang this song to me. I almost peed my pants. Time has flown by, and as for peeing my pants? I just stare at the Depends commercials now and realize time is drawing near. LOL




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.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 10

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 9

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 8

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 7

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 6

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 5

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 4

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 3

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 2

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 1


Perth 1912 – The Whole Community Lives Happily Together

Perth 1912 – The Whole Community Lives Happily Together

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Clipped from

    1. The Ottawa Journal,
    2. 07 Dec 1912, Sat,
    3. Page 19


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Front row, left to right; Johnnie Byrne, Michael Furlong, Joe Farry, Johnnie Dowdall, Ralph Hanlon, Leo Mulholland, Norbert Doyle, Collingwood Smith, Jim Williams, Leo Dowdall, Frank Daughin, Jim Horan, Isadore Kane, Johnnie McGlade, tom Brady. Second row, left to right; Aileen Kane, Rebecca Jackman, Edna Crawford, Isabel Fenwick, Sadie Quinn, Vera Crawford, Marie McCarthy, Wilma Kane, Mary White, Helen Young, Kathleen Kane, Winnifred Lee, Kathleen McGuggan, Nellie Cooper, Victoria Brown, Emline Courtney, Anna Badour. Back row, left to right; Bernice DeWitt, Annie Nonan Brankin, Gertrude Hudson, Gladys Crawford.

The old wooden school building had four classrooms on the ground floor with another 4 rooms on the second floor. It was taken down and replaced with the present St. John’s School in 1926. During the rebuilding period, classes were held in St. John’s Hall (McMartin House).


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

  1. The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 20- Code Family–“Whither Are We Drifting?”– The Perth Public School

  2. DeBunking The Biggest Nose in Perth Story

  3. The First Train to Perth–and I Don’t Know if I’m Ever Coming Home! Seriously!

  4. Perth fair Winners 1949 and The Perth Fair Story


Lanark County 1857 Clippings – Body Counts and Disappointment.


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Sept 1857 Buy lots in Renfrew as it is soon to separate from Lanark County and Renfrew might become the county town!

Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 21 Sep 1857, Mon,
  3. Page 2



George Easton (1830-39) who emigrated in 1820 from Scotland was part of a scheme to settle weavers in what would become Lanark County. He was a crusty pioneer struggling with his conscience. He was lonesome for his homeland, unhappy with teaching the local children and busy clearing more stony land for farming.  It was said he often cried out the words: “Disappointment! Disappointment!! Disappointment!!” 

Charles Thomas of the Bathurst District (1850-52)  Charlie, a former employee of the Hudson Bay Company, operated a stopping place on the Bonnechere River providing overnight accommodation for guests passing through, primarily lumbermen. His mother was of Cree heritage and Charlie had close ties with the local Algonquin population who helped him clear land and trade fur. He struggled to secure reliable sources of food for his guests, fodder for their livestock and medicines for the local population. Severe winter weather added to his worries as horses fall through the ice and timber rafts crash upon the rocks on Golden Lake.



 - weather ; harvest late this year- ! - 1 County...

 - Frightened jct or ins Skis. A young man went...

Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 14 Jul 1857, Tue,
  3. Page 2


The Settlers Body List

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Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 06 Jul 1857, Mon,
  3. Page 2

Postage Stamp Flirtation 1903

Postage Stamp Flirtation 1903



My Dear Miss F–:

The very delightful party of last month was one which will long be remembered by those present, and by none longer than myself. I hope you enjoyed it thoroughly. How exquisite a spectacle, that of the lovers of years ago once more assembling their friends as witnesses to the union of hearts which age has not withered nor the passing of time cooled toward each other. To me there was great significance in the ceremonies of the evening. For those who aspire towards such a union themselves there almost seemed to be a wish and a prophecy of like love and a similar history. To me they spoke words of encouragement and gave me hope. May I not take to myself that courage and that hope, and ask you to return a love which is as fond, and which will be as enduring as that is of our dear host and hostess. My dear Miss H —, I have longed to say this to you before. I have often nearly broken a silence, which in plain truth I need not have kept. I will do so now. I will at once assure you of my earnest love, and beg you to think of me with favor. You are to me dearer than all the world besides, and you always will be. Tell me that I may come to you and say it, and you will make me happier than words can express. This may seem too abrupt — but were I to write a million pages, they would but repeat that I love you and ask you to love me, Am I too bold in signing myself

Ever your most affectionate



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

What Did You Eat at The Olympia? Comments Comments Comments




Located at 101 Bridge Street, the restaurant, with its booths, curved counter and red leather stools, was a local institution and operated by Louis and James Laskaris as the Olympic Candy Store in 1920. Jim was the manager and principal owner and Louis was the candy maker.  There was once  great displays of Turkish Delight fudge and butter cups displayed in their windows.

Jim married a local girl Helen Mesner and they had two children Bill and Nan. After Helen died Jim returned to Greece and remarried and sold to Jim Antonakos in 1958. Louis  Laskaris left Carleton Place and opened a business in Bowmanville. A fire destroyed the building in 1960, but it was rebuilt and opened again in 1961. Jim Antonakas had previously purchased the building 2.5 years before that fateful day. Antonakas had originally operated a restaurant in the Byward Market in Ottawa.

Everything in the restaurant and garage was destroyed but the firemen aided by the residents of Carleton Place were able to save almost all of the equipment in the barber shop. A fire that amounted to $75,000 worth of damage to: The Olympia Restaurant, Howard Little’s Barbershop and a garage owned by Elmer Robertson containing a small amount of furniture fell prey to the flames. In 1961, the Olympia was rebuilt and reopened. At this time, Stewart Comba leased a part for his furniture shop and R.A. Downing had an office here.

One of the people that ran the Olympia restaurant was Monib El Jaji and his family. El had been cooking for other restaurants for 18 years when he decide to open his own. He had moved his family from Lebanon to Canada in 1967 as he wanted his kids to grow up in a peaceful place.

Some of the people that worked at the Olympia were: Pearl Wilson, Reta Chilcott, Toots Morris, Marian McDaniel and Ruby McPherson. The Olympia closed it’s doors for good in 2000 and is still greatly missed.

Carl Moulton Pizza.

Tim Bell Poutine, but I don’t think they called it that back in the “good old days”.

Ray Paquette Chinese buffet as a “treat” on Friday nights…

Selena Connah Their poutine was amazing!

Kaleigh Ferguson French fries and pizza. That was our treat on Fridays with mom. Cindy 

Beth Sweeney Cheesebugers

Bonnie Tosh Their Chinese buffet.
Plus they had a great breakfast really cheap.

Robert McDonald The Olympia was the first restaurant we tried upon moving to Carleton Place. Their Chinese Buffet was my favourite.

Heather Rockburn Poutine and pizza

Fay Tucker French fries and gravy!

Susan McCann Fries are gravy and egg rolls!

Jackie Kavanagh I actually worked there for a short time when I was a teenager so ate a lot of food there!


Norma Rotzal Worked there in 1966. Fries and gravy was a big thing.

Bill Brunton Fries and Gravy comes to mind.

Jim Amy Kirkpatrick French fries and gravy

Marilyn White Fries

Bill Russell Breakfast

Cindy Stevens McFadden Fries with gravy!

Sylvia Giles Fries and gravy! But, the fries and gravy at The Embassy were better!  🙂

Chad Hastie Loved there gravy!! Buffet was good to0

Gail Grabe Chips and gravy with a cherry coke. That took all of our 25 cent allowance in the late 50’s early 60’s. Sometimes an extra nickel for the tabletop jukebox selection.

Rick Redmond Fish and chips . Later their buffet.

Barbara MacDonald Fries and gravy. Also hot chocolate with marshmallow on top.

John Newton Poutine

Donna Mcfarlane Chinese buffet


Norma Ford Their soups were out of this world.

Dawn Jones Pea soup on Friday!

Janinne Wark Chinese.

Tom Wright We used to get permission to walk from Carambeck to the Olympia at lunchtime. We had hamburger deluxe (fries and drink) and it was $2.50. I don’t think we left a tip for the poor waitress as we wanted to stop at The Maple Leaf Dairy for candy on the way back to school.

Sandra Rattray Mine were french fries and gravy or a hot pork or chicken sandwich smothered in gravy with fries if I had any money.

Dawn Jones chinese buffet

Lynne Johnson pizza on Friday nights – takeout

Brandon Armstrong I loved the pizza

Kate Logan Pizza

Tammy Lloyd- Illingworth Loved going over to the buffet….. It was really good!!

Pamela LeMaistre Fries and gravy!

Wendy Healey Pizza for sure

Pam McCauley Fries and gravy

Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown Fries and gravy before or after the show at the town hall!

Dory N Grey Pizza – pepperoni & mushroom  =) GREAT pizza!

Angie MacDonald Cromlich After school: fries and gravy with a Pepsi.
As a treat the odd Friday night: Chinese buffet Every once in awhile I’d just get fried wontons with sweet and sour sauce… $1.25…

Christy Zavitske McNeely The Buffett was always so yummy. I wish the prices were the same. 🙂

Tina McNeely fries and gravy were the best

Bj Layloved the olympia.. look at thoze pricez.. lol

Lawrie Sweet Coleslaw

Peter Iveson Grill cheese sandwich, french fries, coleslaw, a dill pickle, and a chocolate milkshake.

Donna Zeman Fries and gravy

Ted Hurdis No question , chips and gravy.

Dale Costello Chips and gravy. And conversations with Woggi and JG about resolving world problems as CP was problem free back then.

Ann Stearns Rawson Hot chocolate after ice skating at the old arena rink.

Mary Jane Lancaster Fries and gravy…aka brown sauce

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 8–Olympia Restaurant to McNeely’s

The Howard Little- Olympia Fire on Bridge Street

Food Fit For Olympians in Carleton Place

Memories of the Olympia & Howard Little Fire-Ray Paquette