Scoundrels Ruining Ferguson Falls




On the night of Wednesday, 18th inst., the grist mill of A. Code, Esq., M.P.P., Ferguson’s Falls, was burned to the ground. The fire is undoubtedly the work of an incendiary. Since Mr. Code bought the above property it has been the victim of a gang of scoundrels, for whom no punishment would be too severe.

Since the property came into his hands, he has, at a large expense, put the different mills thorough working order, and enlarged and improved the premises. Hardly had this been accomplished than the villains began their work. First an attempt was made to blow up the flour mill, but was only partially successful. Then the saw logs were spiked in such a manner that the men engaged in sawing them ware miraculously saved from instant death.

Rewards were offered and suspicious parties arrested, and for a time the scoundrels were quiet. This summer, they began again on a larger scale; first, by burning the saw mill; and now the -flour mill. Mr. Code has the sympathy o f every respectable person in the community and the general impression Is that- he-might as well give up the attempt to civilize, Ferguson’s Falls and vicinity.

The worst feature in the case is that certain parties with pretensions to respectability are very justly looked on with suspicion. With every new act of atrocity they seemed pleased, and actually encouraged by their hints and insinuations, the villains whose only merits are that they are daring enough to execute what those respectable sneaks plan and suggest.

It is to be hoped that the large reward offered will have the effect of bringing the guilty parties to justice. I f this kind of thing is allowed to go on unchecked, there is no knowing where it will end. The respectable people o f Ferguson’s Falls should join together and determine to unearth the gang of villains who are thus ruining the prospects of their village, and who have already made it notoriously the plague spot of the county.

The first woollen mill was owned and operated by Abraham Code. The Innisville blanket mill was destroyed by a fire in 1879 and in the following year Mr. Code moved to Carleton Place and commenced operation on the first steam mill on the Mississippi River at that point.  The Hawthorne Woolen Mill was constructed of stone and was five stories high, 70 feet wide, 100 feet long.  All of the looms and in fact all of the machinery were brought from Scotland as well as 20 families who were brought over to work in the mills and operate the complicated machinery. In 1880 the idle Hawthorne woollen factory was bought by James Gillies of Carleton Place from its original owner Abraham Code at a reported price of $16,400.

 October  27 1871–Almonte Gazette

Author’s Note–One of the pioneer industries was a blanket mill which operated above the bridge at Innisville by the late Abraham Code father of the late T.A. Code of Perth.




Perth Courier, November 10, 1871

It will interest many of our readers to know that Mr. A. Code on Tuesday last sold the whole of his property at Ferguson’s Falls to Peter McVicar of that locality for, we understand, $3,200.  The property comprises the water privileges there, mill sites and about 200 acres of farm land.

Abraham Code (December 28, 1828 – March 23, 1898) was an Ontario businessman and political figure. He represented Lanark South in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1869 to 1879.He was born in Lanark Township in 1828 and educated there. He served as reeve for Drummond Township from 1860 to 1875. Code built a large woollen mill at Carleton Place in 1871; he was forced to close it due to financial difficulties in 1878. He was elected to the provincial legislature in an 1869 by-election held after the death of William McNairn Shaw. Code joined the federal Ministry of Internal Revenue as an Inspector of Weights and Measures in 1880. He died in Ottawa in 1898. He is buried in Beechwood Cemetery.


The Mississippi Navigation Company was incorporated to build locks at Innisville and Ferguson’s Falls and open navigation from Lanark and Playfairville to Carleton Place.  Its directors were James H. Dixon of Peterborough, Abraham Code, M.P.P. (then owning mills at Ferguson’s Falls) and Robert Bell, John Craigie and Robert Crampton of Carleton Place.  The company’s brief existence ended with the building of a steamboat, The Enterprise.  Bought by the Gillies & McLaren firm , The Enterprise plied the Mississippi Lakes for about twenty-five years in the service of the lumber industry and provided transportation for many of the town’s public events of bygone summer days.

Steamer Sailings

The Steamer Enterprise will leave her wharf at Carleton Place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 1 o’clock for Innisville, returning in time for the train going south.  Also every Friday evening at 7 o’clock will leave for a pleasure trip round the lakes.

John Craigie, agent, May 11, 1870


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News


The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

Ferguson’s Falls Never Had Any Falls

Once A Ribald River Town, Ferguson’s Falls May Be Dying

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.

3 responses »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s