From the Files of The Canadian — Who is This? Where is This?

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Thanks to Stephanie Sweetnam we are putting things together.. Her comment:

My father Michael Bennett took these pictures and wrote the original story about Mrs.Crosbie for the Canadian. He probably took some of the other pictures in the box and could fill in blanks.

 

The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum has boxes of photos from the old “Canadian newspaper” basement that Jennifer Fenwick Irwin rescued. Boxes of old treasured photos from times gone by. Does anyone know where this is, and who it is? I loved the Bean Supper poster and I tracked the church down.

I think we need to get it into our heads that photographs are more important than we think they are. We can tell historical detail from backgrounds, and by identifying this lady we found out her historical importance to Flower Station in Lanark County.

So who was she? We found out very quickly and now her history is documented.

Hal Garrett on May 7, 2015 at 4:28 am said:
The lady in the pictures is Mrs. Irene Crosbie who ran the general store at Flower Station which is in the township of Lanark Highlands. She and her husband Art ran the store for many years, after he passed away she continued to run it until she was well into her 80’s. She was a remarkable woman who raised a family of I believe 18 children of which I believe included 3 sets of twins.

Georgette Cameron added:

Good work Hal and she was an amazing woman. Grandma Crosbie was the most positive and inspirational person that I have ever known. She was able to find the good in everyone and never had a bad thing to say about anyone. She did a great job raising her children and was a very strong individually.

 

Did you notice it was —Sand Baked Beans? Recipe below.

Cheryl added:

My Uncle Harry Majore made the sand-baked beans for the annual Bean Supper at St. Declan’s Church. I remember going behind the drive shed and watching Uncle Harry work around the pots of beans. The aroma was amazing! It was always a fun time, with great food, home-made pies and games. It was also a time to visit the graves of my relatives. Thank you so much for writing about this area of Lanark County!

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StDechansChurch

declanschurch

Bottom photo thanks to Allan Lewis from Bytown or Bust– they have some added information if you click on the link above.

 

Saint Declan’s is a quaint rural church tucked into the hills of Lanark Highlands about three kilometres west of Brightside on the French Line Road. The parish was established in 1872 and the church built in 1889. It once served a community of mostly francophone families. The name was given by Father Declan Foley, who, at the church’s blessing on July 7, 1889, named it after his baptismal patron*.

Over the years a priest’s residence was built and a drive shed erected to provide winter shelter for the horses while Mass was being celebrated. The shed was later used to host the parish’s famous annual sand-baked bean supper and dance. The rectory has since been removed but the shed still remains. On the grassy hill beside the little white church is Saint Declan’s Cemetery, where former generations now rest.

Saint Declan’s is a mission of Almonte, with the parish priest commuting from Holy Name of Mary Church to celebrate Mass with the congregation on a monthly basis.

Although small in numbers its faithful parishioners have kept the church financially self-sufficient. When the building was declared structurally unstable and threatened with closure in October 2001 local Catholics raised the necessary funds within a year to begin repairs that were completed in 2004.

SAND BAKED BEANS

TOTAL TIME
About 10 hours, mostly unattended, plus soaking time. (About 3 hours plus soaking time for oven method.)

Ingredients

2 pounds dried beans of your choice (soldier, pea, Jacob’s Cattle, great northern, yellow eye, etc.)
3 onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 pound salt pork, sliced into pieces about 2 inches by 1/2 inch

Preparation

1. Soak beans overnight in water to cover or quick-soak: Put beans in a large pot, add water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse.

2. If you don’t already have a bean hole, dig a hole about half again as large as whatever pot you plan to cook the beans in. (The key is that there be 6 inches between the top of the hole and the top of the pot.) Build a fire in the hole using about 10 pieces of cord wood. When the fire is burning well, add 10 softball-size rocks, then continue to burn until the wood is reduced to embers. You should have a bed of embers 2 to 3 inches deep.

3. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the beans and put them into a 6-quart Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot along with all remaining ingredients except the salt pork. Stir well to combine. Lay the salt pork slices on top of the beans, then add water to cover by about an inch. Bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat.

4. Carefully remove the rocks from the bean hole. Put the pot into the hole on top of the embers, cover it with a triple layer of heavy-duty foil, then put the rocks back into the hole around and on top of the pot. Fill in the hole with dirt, covering the pot. Come back 8 hours later, remove the pot from the hole and serve the beans.

YIELD
12 servings

NOTE
OVEN METHOD: Follow Steps 1 and 3 above, then transfer the pot to a 350-degree oven and bake until the beans are tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Check beans every half-hour or so after the first hour, adding water as needed if all the water has been absorbed.

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

16 responses »

  1. The lady in the pictures is Mrs. Irene Crosbie who ran the general store at Flower Station which is in the township of Lanark Highlands. She and her husband Art ran the store for many years, after he past away she continued to run it until she was well into her 80’s . She was a remarkable woman who raised a family of I believe 18 children of which I believe included 3 sets of twins.

    • Good work Hal and she was an amazing woman. Grandma Crosbie was the most positive and inspirational person that I have ever known. She was able to find the good in everyone and never had a bad thing to say about anyone. She did a great job raising her children and was a very strong individually.

  2. My Uncle Harry Majore made the sand-baked beans for the annual Bean Supper at St. Declan’s Church. I remember going behind the drive shed and watching Uncle Harry work around the pots of beans. The aroma was amazing! It was always a fun time, with great food, home-made pies and games. It was also a time to visit the graves of my relatives. Thank you so much for writing about this area of Lanark County!

  3. OMG what a flash back!! Can remember going to Crosbies Store as a kid.Coming from the city to visit I always loved it when we needed to go there for gas and some snacks,,the old gas pump and the paper and pen she used to talley our bill..Thanks for the memories!! Oh and we eventually moved just down the road from that little church and its famous bean suppers,,I was even married in that little church,,what a treasure this post is..ty for posting it and all the comments 🙂

  4. My father Michael Bennett took these pictures and wrote the original story about Mrs.Crosbie for the Canadian. He probably took some of the other pictures in the box and could fill in blanks.

    • Stephanie.. I will credit this immediately.. The CP museum rescued all the old photos when the Canadian shut down in CP. so we are piecing the history together.. There was only two of these photos of her but every day I am posting the photos one by one on the LCGS.. Thanks so much.. Every comment and story helps us put this together.. Huggg

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