Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

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There is now a Happy National Fiddling Day in Lanark county. From now on; a day in May will be set aside to commemorate the cultural significance that fiddle music plays in Canada. The bill, introduced by Liberal PEI Senator Libbe Hubley was unanimously passed in March 2015. This year marks the first of many Fiddling Day celebrations to come!

Did you know we have a Fiddler’s Hill in Lanark County?

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View from Fiddler’s Hill-google image

 

Alexander Watt was one of 300 settlers, from 33 families, who came to settle the area of Dalhousie in 1820 as part of a group of settlers known as the Lesmahagow Society. They were named after their native home near Lanark, Scotland. In July 1820, Alexander and the entourage left Scotland and ended up in Brockville. They slowly made their way to Perth, and then on to the Village of Lanark on foot. Of course the terrain wasn’t much to look at and they didn’t know how to deal with the dense brush. Nailed to a tree overlooking the Clyde River, was a sign reading “This is Lanark.” From here they had to hire a guide for the rest of their journey to Dalhousie.

From the top of a hill they discussed how unusable the land was for farming and they quickly became discouraged. To keep the wild animals at bay Alexander was in charge of keeping the fire lit at night. To stay awake he would pick up his fiddle and play Scottish tunes to the future community of Watson’s Corners, which was visible in the distance from this hill. Alex’s fiddle tunes were so encouraging to the rest of the settlers the name “Fiddler’s Hill,” was given to that very hill south of Watson’s Corners, in Lanark County, Ontario, which it is still known as today.

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Singer: Mac Beatie Fiddler: Reg Hill Step dancers: Donnie Gilchrist and a young Buster Brown in Lanark County. Video from 1963. 

Photo from the Carleton Place Farmers Market

Map from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Research from Lanark and District Museum

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.

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