The Doctor Dolittle of White Lake–Harry Brown



Photo- Ottawa Journal January 1963


There was no doubt that Harry Brown was like a lot of us seniors. Wanting to live his own life on his own terms after he retired he turned down his son’s Robert and Harry’s offers of going to live with them. Harry was going to have none of that and instead when he retired from The Corps of Commissionaires he decided to build a cabin on Three Mile Bay at White Lake.

His sons knew best not to argue with him and instead picked up a hammer on weekends and holidays and helped build their father his dream cabin. It was just how Harry wanted it– well insulated and hidden among the trees on the shore of Three-Mile Bay.

You might think once you are settled into your new home in the middle of nowhere– social contact might be off the limits– but that’s not how Harry led his life. The summers held the welcome of cottagers and of course with winter came ice fishing. Did Harry suddenly inherit a list of social commitments? No siree Bob– he decided to hang out with all the four legged friends who suddenly depended on him and made his property home. So the squirrels and the skunks made kind of called Harry “Dad’ and so did some raccoons that became quite tame. Apparently, it is easy to house train these critters.

Harry became known in the area as somewhat of an ‘animal whisperer’ and tales of birds perched up on his shoulder and arms circulated around White Lake. We can judge the heart of a man by his love of animals– and there is no doubt Harry Brown had the biggest one in White Lake– no maybe even Lanark County. This is a story that touched my heart yesterday and hope it did yours.


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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