The Now Complete Page Turning Story of the Beckwith Grandfather Clock

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This week I told the story of the old McLachlin Grandfather clock in Beckwith. Anyone that has not read it I will repost the story here.

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H. F. McLachlin once lived on the 1st Concession in Beckwith, two miles from Franktown, and used to have a service station near Smith’s Falls.  Generations of his family have been residents of Beckwith township since 1818 and the farm on which Mr. McLachlin resided had been in the family since 1827.

In the year 1818 Mr. McLachlin’s great grandfather came to live in Beckwith.  When his great grandfather came to this country he brought with him a cherished memento of the old land, a “grandfather’s clock”. That clock stood nearly seven feet high, and in fact, was so tall that the low log shanty he built in 1818 would not hold it.

So he decided to ask the jailer in Perth to let him keep it inside the jail for a spell until he could build a house with ceilings high enough to house it.  That clock remained for a number of years in the Perth jail and it was no ordinary clock.  The eight day clock had works of solid and heavy brass.

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Years later that clock finally left the old Perth jail and went into the hands of grandfather Robert McLachlin.  According to records the clock was then willed to a nephew John Ferguson who lived in Torbolton Township.  From John Ferguson, the clock went to Robert McLachlin Jr. father to H. F. McLachlin.

The last bit of information I found was that the clock was last in the possession H. F. McLachlin who was going to leave it to his son. The interesting part of this story is that the clock although well over 112 years old when it came from England was still going and never missed an hour and kept excellent time. So does anyone know what happened to this clock?

Tim Campbell emailed me after the story and said:

The story of the clock is in the new book that Beckwith is publishing called “Beckwith Then and Now”. The book is to be launched on January 17th and will be available at the Beckwith Township Hall. It is a wonderful compendium of stories, photos and recipes from the past 200 years.

On Tuesday I went to the Township Hall and the Beckwith Reeve, Richard Kidd showed me this wonderful new hard-cover book “Beckwith Then and Now” about to be launched. It is a beautiful colour coffee table book every home in Lanark County, and then some, should have. The Beckwith staff also took the time and trouble to send me the rest of the story about the clock. The rest of the story? Of course, with anything around here there always seems to be more- and that’s half the fun of living in a rural area. So let’s turn the page.

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From the upcoming new book “Beckwith Then and Now”.

The story of this clock was told to the editors of the Ottawa Farm Journal around 1930 by Harold McLachlin. Five generations of the McLachlin family have resided in Beckwith Township. The McLachlin Grandfather Clock was given to Beckwith Township in 2007 by Harold’s daughter Evelyn Griffith of Carleton Place.

In 2008, the clock was repaired and restored by Mel Chase of Chase Clock Works, Carleton Place. In 2012, Ian Jackson, Beckwith’s Chief Building Official designed and made an attractive protective display case for the Grandfather Clock.

GRANDFATHER CLOCK IN JAIL –January 1931 Almonte Gazette 

Mr. H. F. McLachlin, who lives on the first concession of Beckwith two miles from Franktown,  is a great admirer of Old Time Stuff. When Mr. McLachlin was in Ottawa a couple of days ago the editor o f the Citizen in Ottawa had a very interesting chat with him. Besides being a farmer, Mr. McLachlin conducts a service station on the town line near Smiths Falls. Forbears of Mr. McLachlin have been residents of Beckwith township since the year 1818, and the farm on which Mr. McLachlin resides has been in the family since the year 1827.

 In the year 1818, Mr. McLachlin’s great grandfather (first name not remembered) came to somewherein-Beckwith. At that time, Grandfather Robert M cLachlin was a youth. In 1827 Robert McLachlin took out a patent for land on his own behalf and started to farm for himself on the first concession of Beckwith. 

Since that year the farm on the first concession has remained in direct descent in the family: When Great Grandfather McLachlin came to this country he brought with him a cherished memory of the old land, a big “ grandfather’s clock,” which stood nearly seven feet high. In fact it was so tall that the low log shanty he built in 1818 would not hold it, and he was forced to ask the Jailer at Perth to let him keep it in the jail there till he could build a house with ceilings high enough to house it. 

And in the jail the clock remained for a number of years. The jail had not seen a clock until the McLachlin clock arrived. The clock was no ordinary clock. Its works were of solid and heavy brass. It was of course an eight day clock. 

History of the clock From the jail the possession of the clock went into the possession of Grandfather Robert McLachlin. By him the clock was willed to his nephew, John Ferguson of Torbolton. From John Ferguson the clock went to Robert McLachlin Jr., the father of Mr. H, F. McLachlin, the narrator of this story, clock is now in the possession of Mr. ‘H, F. McLachlin and from him it will descend, all being well, to his son. The interesting part o f the story is that the clock, although well over 112 years old (it was old when it came from England) is still going. It never misses an hour and keeps excellent time. Mr. McLachlin says.

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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