Beckwith Councillor Brian Dowdall brought this picture of G & G Finlay, who ran a business in Perth on Saturday at the Lanark County Genealogical meeting on Saturday.
Meat hanging outside a store with the interior floor probably covered in sawdust and blood would be shockingly graphic to our modern sensibilities. After all, here in the 21st century, we like to remain cheerfully oblivious about where our meat products come from.
This was probably taken in the late 1800s or early 1900s, probably near a festive holiday and shows the freshly butchered animals made ready for sale. For many of the town and surrounding area, fresh meat was something not a lot of people could afford, so the butchers would hang their carcasses in a prominent place to to entice people into their shops. We now we eat meat within a few days of purchase or freeze it, but back then it was the custom to let the meat “hang” for several days or longer. This was said to improve the flavour.
I read a story today about a prominent resident of Beckwith who had as many hairs on his head as a billiard ball and made his wigs out of a piece of raw calf skin. One shade apparently was a dark red hue, and later he had one in black in colour. One has to wonder if this man had a significant other and what she had to say about that– or his herd of cattle.
Where’s the Beef in Carleton Place?