The Country Fairs 1879



Photo by  1894–Almonte 


Flooded Old Wooden Arch Entrance 1983 Photo by



Almonte, April and October, last Thursday in.

Bastard, at Portland, April and Sept., last Thursday

Bellamy’s Mills, April on 3d Wednesday, November on
2nd Wednesday.

Brockville, May, 1st Tuesday ; October, 2nd Tuesday.

shed (1).jpg

Photo from –Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum –The circus in the summer of 1885– from the Almonte Gazette

Burritt’s Rapids, January, 1st Tuesday ; April, do.,
September, last Thursday.

Carleton Place, April and November, 1st Tuesday in.


Vintage Smiths Falls & Perth–A postcard of Perth’s Citizens’ Band, 42 Reg’t. On the back of the card it says they are open to engage for Fairs, Demonstrations, Picnics, Socials, At-Homes, etc.Dance Music Furnished.For terms apply to A.H. Keays, Bandmaster and Secretary. c1910

Farmersville, May and October, 2nd Wednesday in.

Ferguson’s Falls ” ” 3rd Tuesday in.

Franktown, ” ” ” 2nd Tuesday in.

Frankville, October, 1st Wednesday in.

Kemptville, March, June, September, and December,
1st Wednesday in.

Kitley, at Toledo, May, 1st Tuesday ; September, last

Lanark, May and October, 2nd Tuesday in.

Lyndhurst, October 22nd.

Merrickville, April, May, September, October, and
November, 1st Thursday in.





Middleville was not listed.. but it has been a fall tradition since 1851

New Dublin (Elizabethtown) March and June, 2nd
Tuesday in ; September and November, 4th Tuesday in.

North Augusta, April, October, and November, 1st
Friday in.

Oxford Mills, Jan., April, July, Oct., 1st We’nesd’y in.

Pakenham, May, 2nd Tuesday in; October, 2nd
Thursday in.

Pembroke, March, 1st Wednesday in ; October, 3rd
Wednesday in.


This picture (c. late 1800’s early 1900’s) would have been taken at the fairground location in off Wilson Street behind where the Planing Mill was and the Metro Store location now around what is now Alvin Street and Clyde Street.
Perth, May and October, 1st Tuesday in.-Perth Remembered 

Renfrew, April and October, 2nd Tuesday in.

Ross (Forester’s Falls), April and October, 4th Tues-
day in.

Sandpoint, May and October, 1st Tuesday in.

Westport ” ” ” 2nd Tuesday in.



*THE PERTH FAIR –from Perth Remembered

This picture (c. late 1800’s early 1900’s) would have been taken at the fairground location in off Wilson Street behind where the Planing Mill was and the Metro Store location now around what is now Alvin Street and Clyde Street. This land was sold as it became to small for the fairgrounds and became a housing development known as Fairholm Park. Some homes from Herriot Street were moved here when they were building the Wampole Houses. The fairgrounds were then located at the present location.



NO Richmond Fair mentioned either

This photo of the fairgrounds, taken in 1913, harkens back to the days before midway rides and food trucks (and look at the outfits!). It was growing in popularity and attendance, in fact just six years before this photo was taken it moved from a two day event to three, and there was mention of people taking the train just to attend the Richmond Fair!- Photo from the  Goulbourn Museum

Perth Courier, October 7, 1870


A sad accident occurred at McDonald’s Corners on Friday evening, 30th Sept., which resulted in the death of Mr. Wm. Donnally of Palmerston.  The particulars are as follows:  while going home from the fair held at that village, Wm. Donnally and Caswell Scott commenced running races and when about three miles from McDonald’s Corners, they were running past some wagons, one going on each side.  When near Mr. E. Geddes’ wagon, Donnally’s horse threw him, and he either fell against the wagon or it ran over him, rendering him insensible.  He was immediately removed and coming to his senses after a while he was then taken to Mr. Geddes home, where he lingered until Saturday night when he died. He leaves a wife and a large family of small children to mourn his loss.  This is one more on the list of deaths caused by intemperance.

Spring Fair Day of 1852 at Carleton Place: James Poole- Howard Morton Brown

“The Spring Fair was held at Carleton Place last Tuesday.  Very indifferent Milch cows brought 20 pounds.  There was an average stock of drunken bipeds in the village, some of whom were under eighteen years.  The day was finished with one of those party fights between Orangemen and Catholics, which have been the disgrace and ruin of Ireland and which occasionally break out among her sons in this land of their adoption.  We know not what length their passions would have carried them had they not been checked by the prompt and decisive action of Mr. Robert Bell, who was called there by the uproar, where there were about fifty actually engaged, and the whole crowd which filled the street were fast giving way to their passions.”

Perth Courier, October 16, 1931

Archibald Rankin

By R.A.J. in the Ottawa Citizen)

Archibald Rankin who for more than a generation ranked as one of Lanark County’s outstanding men today spends the evening of his long and useful life in a ivy clad cottage that is surrounded by a wealth of beautiful flowers and where from the shaded rose arbors this fine old gentleman may look out upon the rugged hills and verdant valleys—whose enchanting beauty attracted his forebears, perhaps because it so resembled the burns and ferns of beloved Scotland.

The quaint little village of Middleville where Mr. Rankin resides was once a center of social and commercial activity and shared with Lanark Village the distinction of being the community center for these early settlers who came to Upper Canada in 1820-21.  Among the number who came out at that time were Archibald Rankin and his wife Jean Scott; they came in the fall of 1821 when Lord Dalhousie, who is described as a distinguished soldier and close friend of Sir Walter Scott, was governor of Canada.  The Rankins settled near Middleville and a few months after their arrival a son was born and they called him James.

Eventually James Rankin and Jean Campbell were married and to that union a family of six were born the eldest son being Archibald Rankin, subject of this sketch who has lived his useful life of 82 years in that vicinity most of the time on the farm that had been cleared through the toil of his pioneer grandfather.  His services to the community have been generous; his ministry to those about him have been unselfish and his attitude has been:

“Thrice happy then if some one can say

I lived because he has passed my way.”

After acquiring a modest education in the quaint little school at Middleville, Archibald Rankin qualified as a teacher and for four years taught in the school in which he had been educated.  He became clerk of the municipality a post which he filled with the utmost satisfaction for the record period of 52 years he having succeeded his great uncle William Scott.  Mr. Rankin recalls that John Rayside Gemmill was the first municipal clerk when the township was organized; he was also the first to publish a newspaper in Lanark County and subsequently as a publisher went to Sarnia.

But clerk of the municipality was only part of Mr. Rankin’s many and varied duties.  He was a secretary and treasurer of the famed Middleville fair over a period of 55 years; he practically organized the Middleville Division of the Sons of Temperance; he was a member of the Sons of Temperance when he was 13 years old; he attended several conventions as a youth and in 1913 at the Cahawa Convention he was elected Grand Worthy Patriarch of Ontario, the highest office in the gift of the members.  He was treasurer of the Congregational Church of Middleville for more than half a century and he continued to serve as treasurer and Sunday school secretary after the advent of the church union.  He was secretary of the local Oddfellows and Foresters Lodge throughout the greater part of his life.  He joined the church choir in the days of the precentor and tuning fork and is still an active member at the age of 82.

Mr. Rankin recalls the coming to Middleville of the first clergyman of the Congregational denomination.  He was Rev. R.H. Black, a sturdy man of strong principles who came out from Dunkirk, Scotland in 1852 and organized the congregation in Middleville.  In that church, Mr. Rankin was married to Beatrice Ellies daughter of a pioneer of Dalhousie Township who passed away in 1900.  They were the last couple upon whom banns were pronounced.  The license system came into vogue at that time.

While performing the exact duties of his many offices, Mr. Rankin also operated a farm on the outskirts of Middleville but in 1913 he disposed of the property and moved to his attractive present home in the village where with a devoted daughter he is enjoying the peaceful sunset of a busy life.  He is a constant reader, a deep thinker, and his penmanship is like copperplate; he delights to dwell on people and events of the past and perhaps his most treasured possession is a Bible presented to him by the pupils of that little Middleville school upon his retirement in 1876.


Photograph from the Dawson Kerr collection in the Perth Museum, Perth, Ont. Mr. Kerr was raised in in the village of Fallbrook, Ont., just a couple of miles north-west of Balderson, where this fair was located (see Don McGregor’s email to me below). I had previously speculated on this website that the location of the fair was Fallbrook, but Don McGregor has set the record straight. The two photos show different views of the same crowd. Charles Dobie Collection


Are You Ever too Old to Go to The Rural Fair? — Almonte

It Happened at The Richmond Fair 2012 – Photo Memories

Doin’ the Funky Chicken in Lanark County


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.

Leave a Reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s