Robert Shaw “Cold as Ice” in a Cardboard Box?



Please note sometimes he was known as John and sometimes Robert Shaw

 Perth Courier, October 9, 1896

The week before last a half witted resident of Carleton Place named Robert Shaw, known as “Christmas” was brought in on a charge of kissing the young ladies of that town and the judges gave him three months in the Perth gaol.  Shaw was a resident of Perth at one time, but now devotes his time to Carleton Place.


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Feb 20th 1914– Almonte Gazette
It has been reported that our erstwhile citizen of Carleton Place- Robert Shaw, alias “Christmas”, has passed to the great beyond having been frozen to death somewhere up north. The unfortunate man had taken shelter in a large packing box in which his body was found. It is a tragic ending to a remarkable life. No doubt his demeanor could have possibly aroused the bad weather.

After reading the half witted resident of Carleton Place comment– I wondered why they spoke of his remarkable life. The Victorian Era may not have had its own version of the Darwin Awards, but thanks to the miracle of newspaper records, we can reflect on the bizarre deaths and disasters of yore. True or untrue.


February 27 1914– Almonte Gazette

The report in circulation last week that Robert Shaw of Carleton Place had perished with the cold is not correct. The Carleton Place Hearld has since received information from a gentlemen who saw Mr. Shaw on Friday last. He is in excellent health and working steadily on the construction of the CNR, being with Angus Sinclair contractor on the Pettawawa River. We are sure that Robert’s many acquaintances will be please to learn that no such fate as that was written fell to his lot.

  • In reality Robert Shaw  died at the age of 68 in 1929

Historical fact

People believed the weather was not merely a natural occurrence. Bad weather could be caused by the behaviour of wicked people, like murder, sin, incest, or family quarrels. Going way back it could also be linked to witches and sorcerers, who were thought to control the weather and destroy crops. They could, according to one infamous treatise on witches – the Malleus Maleficarum, published in 1486 – fly in the air and conjure storms (including hailstorms and tempests), raise winds and cause lightning that could kill people and animals. and animals.

Read the Almonte Gazette here

Read the Perth Courier at Archives Lanark


Practical Tip

Just in case you need shelter–Practical Tip for Urban Shelter from Practical


* Refrigerator cardboard box
* Styrofoam found within the same box and dumpster.
* Duct tape
* Box cutter
* Tape measure
* Marker

If the circumstances force us to build the shelter outside, we should protect the shelter from moisture. We could use multiple layers of trash or any available plastic. (trash bag, tarp, poncho, carpet, sheet metal, wood, rugs) The refrigerator box can be replaced with boxes from big screen TVs or whatever is available. Most families have boxes in their attic. Local furniture stores are usually happy to let people take away their trash. Call and ask for permission. A lot of furniture and hardware stores will give you cardboard.

We built the shelter as a triangle, in order to minimize the walls we would have to insulate. Lets not forget, a smaller shelter is easier to warm up with body heat. If we wanted to squeeze two people in the shelter, we could choose a rectangular configuration. I guess we can call our shelter, an urban emergency survival A-frame or urban A-frame shelter.

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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