The Amazing Mr. Paul




Photo from the Carleton Place Canadian files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

When I first moved to Carleton Place in 1981 I joined the Carleton Place Historical Society. Each month when I attended their meetings at the Carleton Place Library Mr. Paul would tell me stories that kept me coming back each month just to see him. There is no doubt that Mr. Paul became an inspiration years later to tell stories about Lanark County. He once told me that if I heard a story about the local area to keep passing it on so no one will ever forget.



Mount Blow Farm- donated by Norman Paul to the North Lanark Regional Museum


Norman,  was a fixture of Lanark County more than anyone I had ever met at the time. His father came from Scotland in 1821 and settled in what was called  the Mount Blow farm on the Rae side just a bit south-west of Almonte. Norman was born January 1, 1900 on the farm that is said to be situated on a *narrow round strip of white limestone.

Norman Paul’s great grandfather was the first Assessor in Ramsay in 1836 and when I knew him Norman still had the Census Sheet for the southwest half of Ramsay Township for the Census taken in 1837.

What people remember most about Norman besides his stories was that he was a whittler. His wooden creations are still in the North Lanark Museum in Appleton today and these dioramas were made in the 1980s depicting local pioneer life.

Norman used to travel to schools, fairs and other events to display his dioramas and give presentations on pioneer life. When the North Lanark Regional Museum opened in Appleton in 1970, Norman donated the majority of his pieces to the museum where they continued to be on display for the public. Unfortunately the museum burned down in 1979 and the collection was destroyed. Fortunately Norman Paul decided to remake the dioramas and again donated them to the rebuilt museum in the 80s.

I consider myself blessed to have known Norman Paul, and it isn’t often I don’t remember the smile of the 1987 “Maple Man of the Year”. In fact I never want too– he was that important to me and the rest of Lanark County.



Perth Courier, March 27, 1868

Leckie-Paul—Married, at Mount Blow Ramsay, by the Rev. Wm. McKenzie, on the 20th inst., Mr. John Leckie to Miss Marion Paul, both of Ramsay.


June of 1905. This school photo features teachers, Miss Ida Paul and Miss Lizzie Spears, who are located second and seventh from the left in the back row–North Lanark Regional Museum


*Many of the stone structures built in Almonte depended upon the Paul kiln for limestone. Lime was shipped as far as Merrickville from the “Mount Blow” kiln, as it was called, and old account books list buyers from Innisville, North Gower, Franktown, Smiths Falls, Prospect, Ashton, Huntley, Richmond, and other outlying points. The kiln was built of black iron stone on the site of a steep hill. It was barrel-shaped with an arched entrance, lined with fire brick and the front covered with dressed stone. Gum woods such as hemlock, tamarack, pine, spruce and cedar were used for firing. The manufacturing season began generally in mid February and ran to mid December. There were 12 or 14 such kilns in operation on the Paul farm by 1866 and the greatest production year was 1885 when they sold 9000 bushels. John Paul & Sons were awarded a bronze medal at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in 1886 for their sample of lime.- Jean S. McGill book ‘A Pioneer History of Lanark County’ on the settlement of Ramsay Township

PAUL, FRANK YUILL – In hospital, Ottawa, Ontario on Tuesday, March 7th, 1989. Frank Yuill Paul – beloved husband of Eleanor Jean Clapp. Loving father of Geoffrey at home; Nancy, Sudbury; Allen, Whitehorse, Yukon and David of Toronto. Dear son of Norman Paul, RR 2, Almonte and the late Caroline Bowland. Dear brother of Ruth (Mrs. Arthur Armstrong), Burks Falls, Ontario: Jim, RR 2, Almonte and Norma Paul of Akron, Ohio. In his 49th year. Friends called at the Kerry Funeral Home, 154 Elgin Street, Almonte on Wednesday and Thursday. Funeral service was held at Almonte United Church on Friday, March l0th. Rev. Clifford Evans and Jack Lougheed officiated. Cremation, Ottawa.
James P. Paul

Photo and text- North Lanark Regional Museum

James P. Paul -Interviewed November 4, 2013 by Sarah Chisholm
Catalogue No.: 2013.43.1
Duration: 42 minutes
Photo: L-R: Sarah, Jim

James P. Paul (Jim Paul) comes from a long line of farmers. He grew up on Mount Blow Farm in Ramsay which was started by the Paul family in 1821.

Mount Blow Farm operated as a mixed farm until the early 1900s and was well known for its lime kiln business which ran from the 1860s to 1908. In 1925 the farm began the transition from mixed farming to dairy farming, building a purebred Holstein herd. In 1951 Jim Paul officially joined his father and his brother on the farm. Mount Blow Farm continued to expand and evolve. The farm improved with the addition of milking machines, a bulk tank and a pipeline all added by 1970.

Jim speaks about the history of the farm, the equipment changes and also speaks about his father, Norman Paul. Norman Paul is well known in Lanark County for his whittlings and dioramas.

This is a great interview for anyone interested in the history of Ramsay, agriculture, in particular the dairy industry.


The Paul Family–Learn more about the Paul family at the North Lanark Regional Museum-The Story of the Paul Family at Mount Blow Farm (Yellow Duotang) — — Four Page typed information on the Paul Family at Mount Blow Farm #73



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.

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