What Happened if the Newspaper Caught you Kissing the Hired Help?





Much as been said about fake news-but, I don’t write news, just history. Sometimes stories that I have written have received comments such as:

Not a true story- been debunked- stop spreading fake news.

But these are the stories that have been told for generations and also recorded on national historical sites. According to Wikipedia folklore is: the body of expressive culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes.

Personally I feel these home-grown stories make up part of our local culture, and I for one am not going to stop telling them. But- journalism in the old days was all about selling papers and here are a few I definitely call in the fake news category.


1901-Almonte Gazette-“Fake Offer”

The editor of a Kootenay, British Columbia newspaper, who was unmarried, offered to send his paper free of charge for one year to any maiden who would send her address and a lock of her hair before 1 Jan. 1901. He now has the largest circulation in the district and enough hair to stuff a mattress.

February 1906-Almonte Gazette-“Fake Intimidation”?

An editor of the Almonte Gazette once published the following:

“If the married man who was seen kissing the hired girl doesn’t come in and pay his subscription, we will publish the name. The next day, 25 married men paid their subscriptions and told the editor he should not pay attention to such silly stories.

Feb 14 1890-Almonte GazetteShawville Equity

A strange story was related to us a few days ago, in connection with the death of a horse owned by Mr. Andrew Havilin, of North Clarendon, VT. which occurred about ten days previously. It seems that early in the summer the animal was observed to be afflicted with some trouble, the cause of which baffled all attempts to discover. The only thing peculiar Hr. Havilin noticed about the horse, after he took sick, was his frequent efforts to swallow something that seemed to rise in his throat.

The animal gradually declined until death relieved its sufferings. On examination being made, the partly  remains of a large snake were found in the windpipe, thus explaining the mystery of why the horse was sick. mystery. How the reptile took up its quarters in such a singular lodging-place remains to be explained.

True or False?


Poor Journalism or Mistaken Identity?

Local Newspapers–Yellow Journalism

The Maggie Murphy Potatoe Hoax in Carleton Place

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 and now in The Townships Sun

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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