So I Walked Into a Candle Holder and Blakeney-ed Out



Last night in a frustrated moment, I walked into an elevated candle holder in the dark. When I was left with a tiny lump on my face, I knew right then and there it was time to walk away from the computer.

Yesterday I posted an interesting photo in The Tales of Carleton Place, and thought it was part of Arklan Island.. It was not.. It used to be part of a mill downstream from Almonte in Blakeney


So today I jumped in my car and headed to Blakeney. I remember going through the small village once, a very long time ago, but, where was it exactly. Bill White was across the street when I backed my car out, but I decided I would follow Allan’s advice and head downstream after Almonte. Miles later it was right where I thought it was, and I was in love.


The area around Blakeney was settled primarily by Lowland Scots starting about 1820. The Scots chose this location to settle because of the availability of the rapids in the river to supply power to their textile mills. The Mississippi Valley in the 1800’s was one of the textile centres in Canada. Blakeney was once a thriving community with over a dozen mills and shops as well as many homes. My question is: why did those settlers who settled in Watson’s Corners near Fiddlers Hill not come here. This is Lanark County paradise!


I walked across the many tiny wooden bridges and shot this badly mumbled video. The water, however is one beautiful vista.

Within a very short distance the Mississippi River drops three times in spectacular fashion. The river flows under the road bridge and soon breaks into numerous narrow, shallow channels that are separated by a number of little forested bedrock islands. There are also other falls on the far side of the bridge, on the left side of the road. If you scramble down the hill you will find two little waterfalls, steeper than any of the main rapids on the other side of the bridge.

The rapids are breathtaking, and as I stumbled over some rocks I repeated what I have told myself many times. I could have never been a settler. The whining alone from me would have infuriated them all, and I would have been sent down the river without a paddle.


Then I found an abandoned house covered with giant ferns which seem to grow everywhere in the village along with Lilac bushes. What a dream home this would be fixed up.


There were many odd things at some of the homes similar to Bette Davis’s film The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, and I marveled at the creativity in the town.


Oh, to live in such a village. As I snapped photos, a lovely elderly gentleman asked me what I was doing. Smiling, I told him I was writing about Blakeney, and not there on questionable matters. I asked him about the stone structure and he said he thought it had been torn down 5 years ago. It had been situated by the curve before the bridge. When I thanked him he said,

“I am 87 and I live alone!”–

I giggled, and thought there might be a glimmer of hope if I so wished to live in the charming village of Blakeney. I jumped in my car and headed back listening to Madonna’s Ghosttown. Let’s hope Blakeney never become a ghost town like Heron’s Mills.

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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