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

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.

2 responses »

  1. Keep on writing about our history / folklore Linda and brush off the nay sayers. Our history relies on story telling however it is interpreted. Kudo’s to you !

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