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

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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