Did Anyone Ever Have Fun in Ashton? Ashton 101




According to Wikipedia and other archives I researched yesterday; the first settler in Ashton was listed as John Sumner. This morning on the LCGS Facebook page– Jim Amy Kirkpatrick said that John Sumner was NOT the first settler in Ashton. *William McFadden, a veteran of the war of 1812-1814 settled on Lot1, W1/2, Concession 8 in about 1817 – years before John Sumner came to Canada. The Beckwith side was also settled at about the same time.

Well,  John Sumner became a merchant and chose to be near the Goodwood River, (now known as the Jock River) which gave the village the power it needed to establish a mill. Every single other town had a mill, so why shouldn’t Ashton?

The village’s former name was Mount Pleasant or Sumner’s Corners (after John Sumner) (c1840) and an outlet was established for mail in the area, but the post office did not officially open until July 6, 1851. I guess in that era you could have any job you choose and Sumner decided to become the postmaster.

Sumner was instrumental in naming the settlement, and there are two schools of thought regarding the same name. One group says Sumner named Ashton after his ancestral home at Ashton-under-Lyne in England, and the opposing group says it was so named because of his successful pot ashery establishment.

The Historical Atlas of Carleton County of 1879 refers to Ashton as ‘a smart little country village with many encouraging evidence of material prosperity and healthy improvement surrounded by many fair farms and not just a few fine ones’.


After 15 years of Sumner residing there, the village had reached 100 in population, with a few churches, and a school with an average attendance of about 40 pupils.  The Jock river’s name was changed after a Frenchman named Jacques drowned in that very same river in the early 19th century.

As I searched the newspaper archives I noticed there were few Ashton social notes in the Almonte Gazette or the Perth Courier. Sure there were births and deaths, but that was about it. I wondered why no one was reporting about socials and then figured no one had the time to do it- or maybe they were just content without having to blast something across the county.

In 1950– 115 acres of land was going for $5000 according to the Ottawa Journal. In the 70s the Ashton Feed Mill had a flea market and auction hall and Gerald Lepage was the auctioneer. A teacher could make herself a fine $1500 a year in 1954 teaching the local kids in SS #5 in Munster.


I did find something amusing in the March 22, 1969 Arizona Star that Richard Kidd from Ashton, Ontario won a World Book Atlas, but I am not upgrading my newspaper archives service to $19.99  a month to find out the details– so you can ask him personally. Or, was there another Richard Kidd in the area?




www.mcelroy.caWilliam McElroy watering his horse (and buggy) in the Jock River


Reg Delahunt from Ashton -Old Canadian Newspaper files- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Mrs. Lorne Robinson wins big bucks from CKOY


From Fuller’s Directory for 1866 and 1867

Ashton possesses a water power, and contains Episcopalian and Presbyterian Churches. Distant from Perth, the County Town, 23 miles.

Population about 125

Argue, George, tanner and currier

Church, Clarence, M.D.

Conn, James, general merchant

Cosier, James, waggon maker

Fanning, Daniel, hotel keeper

Fleming, James, boot and shoe maker

Glover, William, blacksmith

Kelly, Patrick, cabinet maker

Kenedy, Robert, grocer

Lamont, John, tailor

Lindsay, James, carpenter

McFarlane, Donald, hotel keeper

Moore, Hugh, tailor

Robinson, Donald, blacksmith

Robinson, Hugh, waggon maker

Shore, John W., J.P., carpenter and builder

Stewart, Benjamin, cabinet maker

Sumner, James, general merchant and postmaster

Torrance, Robert, blacksmith

Turner, John, carpenter


William McFadden– Bytown.net

October 18, 2006:

I came across your enquiry regarding William McFadden.  I am a decendent and 
have researched the family line up to the present day.  William McFadden was 
born in 1788, Tyrone Ireland.  He married an Ann Foster also of Tyrone.  
They had 8 children.  William died on Sept. 24, 1881 and is buried in Ashton, Ontario, Canada.  

There is information available in the Goulburn Achives and in the Atlas of 
Carleton County.

John Summner–

Start of High Street Carleton Place

On the Perth road, now High Street, a dozen of the village’s buildings of 1863 extended from Bridge Street along the north side of the road for a distance of about two blocks.  There was only one building on its south side, the large stone house torn down several years ago, at the corner of Water Street.  It was built in 1861 by John Sumner, merchant, who earlier at Ashton had been also a magistrate and Lieutenant Colonel of the 3rd Battalion.  Carleton Militia.

-Brenda Holtz added:
Hello there….I just wanted to let you know that Sylvie Pignal donated the wicket from the old post office from the Ashton General Store to the Goulbourn Museum at Stanly’s Corners just outside of Stittsville.

-Sadly, there is a plaque on the Jock River bridge attesting to the drowning of a young girl in 1998. Etched on the plaque are the words:

“May this river never claim another life”

Perth Courier, June 6, 1890

Stewart—Died, at Ashton on Thursday, 29th May Rev. James Stewart, aged 35.

Elsewhere in the same paper:

On Tuesday of last week word was received in town that Rev. James B. Stewart, Presbyterian minister of the congregation at Ashton and Appleton had died and the remains were interred in Elmwood Cemetery, Perth on Saturday afternoon.  The deceased was born in Scotland 35 years ago and was married about two years ago to Jennie McLaren of Perth, youngest daughter of the late B.(?) A. McLean who with one child survives him. Mr. Stewart was inducted in Ashton and Appleton only a year back and his early death is much deplored by his congregation.

Perth Courier, July 1, 1898

Mrs. Jessie Conn, relict of the late James Conn, died Wed., June 15 at the residence of her son Harvey, Moore St., Carleton Place.  Her maiden name was Jessie Stewart and she was a native of Scotland but has spent the last number of years in Ashton.  The funeral took place from her late residence in Ashton the following Friday afternoon and was largely attended.

Perth Courier, Oct. 13, 1898

Middleville:  Ed. McFarlane has left us.  He intends to open up a shop at Ashton

Perth Courier, January 1, 1869

Married, at Carleton Place on Christmas Day, by the Rev. L. Halcroft (?), Mr. E. Flander to Miss Emily Cosier of Ashton.

Perth Courier, Jan. 11, 1884

Cherry-Stewart—Married, at Ashton on the 27th Dec., by Rev. J. M. McAllister, Mr. William Wesley Cherry of Stittsville (?) to Miss Ellen Toshack (?) Stewart, eldest daughter of Mr. Neil Stewart of Ashton.

Carleton Place Herald, Feb. 24, 1903

An article ran in this paper concerning a dinner given in honor of the pastor, Rev. A.A. Scott, of Zion Church.  I thought maybe this would be a good place to present the information contained in this article on the history of this church, as obviously from the above, it was a great loss to the community when it burned down some years after this article ran.

The congregation was established in 1868.  At a meeting of the Presbytery held in Almonte, a requisition was received to which was attached 120 signatures, asking the Presbytery to constitute then a separate charge. In Perth, at a later meeting of the same Presbytery, (for at that time all this territory was covered by the Ottawa Presbytery), held on May 6, 1868, the request was granted and Zion congregation was established, being one of three – Black’s Corners, Ashton and Carleton Place – under one pastorate.

033605-26 Harold Scott BOBIER, 29, Farmer, Stittsville, Stittsville, s/o Albert BOBIER & Margaret Jane BOBIER; married Sarah Kathleen HAMILTON, 23, Secretary, Ashton, Ashton, d/o James John HAMILTON & Elizabeth Emma CRAIG; wit Nichola G. BRADLEY, Ashton & Ethel E. LEACH, Richmond, 23 Oct 1926, Goulbourn Twp

033610-26 Milton BOYLE, 46, Farmer, Munster, Ashton, s/o James BOYLE (b. Goulbourn Twp) & Annie CASSIDY; married Lucy May RICHARDS, 40, Wid, Carleton Place, Carleton Place, d/o John LOWE (b. Goulbourn Twp) & Annie McFADDEN; wit Lillian W. CLARKE, Bells Corners & E. Almina ACRES, Britannia, 20 Oct 1926, Britannia, Nepean twp

033623-26 Michael CORKERY, 62, Farmer, Wid, Ramsay Twp, Goulbourne Twp, s/o Dennis CORKERY (b. Almonte) & Margaret McGOVERN; married Catherine SULLIVAN, 45, Goulbourne Twp, Goulbourne Twp, d/o Daniel O. SULLIVAN (b. Goulbourne) & Margaret CONBOY; wit Albert FORREST, Ashton Station & Vera E. HAMILTON, Smiths Falls, 15 Sept 1926, Goulbourne

033643-26 William Hubert GARLAND, 25, Farmer, Dwyers Hill, Stittsville, s/o Edward W. GARLAND (b. Goulbourne) & Lavina BLEEKS; married Barbara TRIMBLE, 21, Munster, Ashton, d/o Andrew B. TREMBLE (b. Goulbourne) & Ellen Jane HILL; wit Elmer GARLAND & Mrs. Elmer GARLAND, both Richmond, 6 Nov 1926, Ashton

The Ashton General Store

April 6  2016

Dear friends and valued customers,

It is with great regret that we must inform you that, despite our best efforts to the contrary, the owner of the building in which our business, The Ashton General Store, is located has decided that we will have to close our doors for good on April 22nd, 2016. Somehow, the owner, the Estate of our dearly departed friend, Bill Patterson, has concluded that the value of an empty building is greater than a building containing our viable and vibrant business serving the community.

It is hard for us to express the sorrow we feel knowing that we will no longer have the privilege of greeting you in the mornings and wishing you the best day ever, or helping you deliver an important parcel for your grand-daughters’ birthday or, just chatting with a friend.

When we first bought the business in 2011, we had a vision that it should be a community space; a place where we could all gather and feel comfortable enjoying each other’s company. We and our family all regret the loss to our community more than any economic hardship we ourselves may suffer. Our thoughts are with you.

You will always be our Ashton family. We love you all!

Sincerely, Jean and Sylvie Pignal

Related reading

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.

5 responses »

  1. Hello there….I just wanted to let you know that Sylvie Pignal donated the wicket from the old post office from the Ashton General Store to the Goulbourn Museum at Stanly’s Corners just outside of Stittsville

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I lived in the Fleming house growing up in Ashton. Just a barn and The Carruthers then us. On the east side going north from the store. Have fun in Ashton??? Who didn’t? I am 43 now and I think it was the safest place to be raised. It was/is a family community who took/takes care of each other. Lot 1 Conc.8 Goulbourn Twp.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s