Women Smoking Pipes?



Women with Pipes in the Past (1).jpeg


Perth Courier, Feb. 10, 1871

On Friday evening last, 4th Feb., an aged woman named Mrs. Crane, living in Lanark Village was burned so terribly that she only lived about six hours afterwards when a merciful death came to her relief.  The horrible accident was supposed to have been caused by the fire of her pipe which had been laid on the bed stand after her evening smoke which communicated to the bed clothes and enveloped her in flames before she became aware of the presence of fire.




While women of the better classes generally eschewed tobacco, at least until the latter years of the century, poorer women enjoyed smoking.  They commonly smoked “cutties” or short pipes which were often referred to as “nose warmers.”  G. L. Apperson, in his Social History of Smoking.


Women with Pipes in the Past (17).jpg




In 1820, approximately 400 families  arrived in Lanark Village, bringing with them skills in cotton weaving, carpentry, blacksmithing and shoemaking. A similar influx of Irish settlers arrived during the 1830’s and 1840’s. However, the growth of the area was somewhat impeded by the muddy, rocky terrain and steep slopes, which prevented easy travel. As a result, many settlers opted to reside in Perth, unwilling to make the dangerous trek to Northern Lanark.

Of the settlers who did arrive in the Village, all males over 21 years of age were granted 100 acres divided up using the traditional grid system – a grid which is still evident in the current land use pattern and property boundaries. Although the intention of the original settlers were to farm each parcel of land, it soon became apparent that the only lands that could be cultivated were those located in floodplains, along rivers or adjacent to lakes. Consequently, most settlers opted to perform timber-related activities instead. Early industrial activity typically included grist mills, flour mills, pork-packing and tanning establishments – soon followed by the introduction of maple syrup operations, lumbering, saw mills, furniture activities and fishing.


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


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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