Fire at Thom and McNab’s 1903




Old Boys Reunion Mill street- Photo from


Almonte Gazette-January 2 1903

For the first time in many months the stillness was broken early Tuesday morning by the alarming clang of the fire bell. The alarm was given by Mr. P. Guthrie, who when going home from night work noticed smoke coming out of the building occupied by Messrs. Thom & McNab dry goods store.

The engine was quickly on hand with a good head of steam ready, but the great difficulty was in discovering where the fire was, as the store could not be entered on account of the dense smoke and no blaze could be seen. Finally about half-past seven when some of the smoke had been drawn off through an upper window, the firemen managed to get into the cellar and from there directed a stream upwards onto the blaze which was quickly extinguished.

It is supposed that the fire originated from the furnace. As wood is used for fuel and the fire in the furnace would have burned out about 12 o’clock, the spark which started the conflagration must have been smouldering during the night. The fire did not spread rapidly on account of there being: no draft, but bursting up through the floor it burnt through the counter and shelving; and had almost made its way through the ceiling before it was subdued.

The heat and smoke in the building are responsible for most of the damage to the stock as the firemen were very careful in their distribution of the water. No estimate of the damage can he formed as yet but the stock is practically ruined, and was valued at $11,000. The insurance for the stock, was $7,000, divided among three companies, the Phoenix, the Insurance Company of North America and the Law Union and Crown. The loss for the building which is owned by Mr. T. R. White will amount to about two hundred dollars.


Author’s Note: Two hundred dollars?



The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1903

The Almonte Fire of 1909

People from the Potter-Bennett Block Fire– A Shocking Find


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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