Are These Memories Just for Ourselves? — The Family in a Box




UPDATE— The Lanark County Genealogical Society found a home for these photos and they are going back to the Zumach family in Killaloe

This is a picture of  the children that attended Central School on Bridge Street in Carleton Place where the post office stands today. They are pretty bundled up! Maybe the wood stove wasn’t throwing much heat that day? Taken in the mid 1920’s – note the bare electric bulb, inkwells, and map of North America.– Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Photo Collection


Collecting pictures from days gone by can tell you a lot about how people lived. I personally collect old photos to save them from being separated, and sold by dealers. Call me eccentric- but I just feel better knowing they have a home with me– for now. Most of these pictures I have in my collection were former residents of Lanark county.

A month ago I bought/rescued a box of photos that contained one family unit. Vicki Racey and I oooh and ahhed over them, and much to my surprise they were from a well-known family tree up in “the ‘frew” area. It was at that moment I knew they had to go where others could study them. The next day I showed them to Jennifer Fenwick Irwin, our curator at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. She told me the same thing. These pictures should go back to where they originated from so they could be preserved, and family lineages could be traced.


The box contains pictures centering around three families. The Chatsicks, The Zummachs and the Zadows. Seeing there is a school and a funeral parlor named after two families it made me realize they were prominent citizens in that area.


The issue is: the families are from the Arnprior, Renfrew and Pembroke area. Which museum should they go to? There are three families. Walter Zadow had a school named after him in Arnprior, and the Zummach funeral parlour is in Killaloe. Of course we can’t forget Snake River where John Zummach was born in 1859. Or Arnprior, where some of the photos were taken.


Someone was entrusted with this box of family photos from the surrounding area and Germany. Some how it was given away to be sold. It’s not going anywhere now until I find the right museum– because what you forget, no one can retell. All you have to do is look at the picture above and see what was once a happy family and proud homestead in Renfrew County. Remember we keep love in photographs.

We had a devastating fire in 1995 in our family home and the restoration company was ready to dump all the photos. I don’t have that many as my father burned all our family photos in a can in the back yard the day my Mother was buried. In it was a hand written a Miller family tree book from Island Brook. At age 12 I had NO say in the matter — but I feel I need to have a say when I see dealers bidding against me who are only going to separate them and sell them. Call me crazy- but I have a home filled with old pictures that were thrown out years ago by many families in the area. I will protect them all and give them a home until I die.

UPDATE— The Lanark County Genealogical Society found a home for these photos and they are going back to the Zumach family in Killaloe


 Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

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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