Mayne Store–Memories of the Pakenham Fire 1940




Pakenham Fire Destroyed Heirlooms  Perth Courier 1940


L. A. Mayne lost many valued heirlooms Monday morning, when the old Mayne store was burned to the ground in the big fire here.Just how the fire started is at present a mystery, except that it broke out in the upper portion of Mr. Mayne’s store, used for the most part as a store-room. Mr. Mayne declares there was no one about the premises at the time, no matches were kept there, yet when William Jordan drove into the village shortly before midnight he noticed the fire, which had then gained considerable headway in the upper premises. Among the articles of furniture lost was a table brought to this country by the wife of the late Dr. Mann, who in 1820 built the little Scottish “Auld Kirk”, whose ruins still stand on the high promontory that overlooks the Mississippi.

Another valued piece of furniture was an heirloom brought from Edinburgh about 125 years ago by the widow of Andrew Dickson, whose name runs like a thread through all the story of Pakenham’s history. The old store, built upward of a century ago, was used as a guard house when the Pakenham Fitzroy volunteers organized a company to suppress the risings in 1866-67, Mr. Mayne, on whose premises the blaze broke out, is convinced that it originated outside and not inside the premises. He was on the rear verandah of his residence next door to the shop when his attention was directed to a small streak of flame running upward on the outside corner of an old and unused bakery at the rear of the store.

The building was of frame, and dry, and before he could procure water or assistance the whole place was in flames. Many insurance inspectors and adjusters have mingled with the large throng of people who have come from far and near to witness a scene of desolation, but up to the present there has not been any official investigation. Things are beginning to assume their usual tempo. Postmaster Smith has his office in William Belford’s home, and Preston Burgess, manager of the telephone exchange, is installed temporarily in Gordon’s drug store.


 Keith Thompson, Clayton, Ontario – 26 February, 2002


The Pakenham Fire of 1940


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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