Shebeens and Shebangs of Lanark County

Shebeens and Shebangs of Lanark County



Almonte Gazette– March 14,1873

A *shebeen on the Island, conducted by a person named Lynch has been summarily dealt with by the License Inspector. Information having been laid before a J. P.Lynch was summoned to appear on Tuesday last to answer to the charge of selling whisky without a license, but self-arousing conscience led him to seek safety in flight, and he consequently “vamoosed the ranch.” The trial has been adjourned until Monday next, and in the meantime a warrant will be issued for his apprehension. Query—is the *shebang closed ?


Almonte Gazette– March 28 1873

On Wednesday last an enterprising Almonte individual, evidently with a drop too much took advantage of the fact that the top rail on the long bridge was gone, and in attempting to rest himself, fell over and came to a full stop on the ice. He gravely remarked “that’s a long piece to fall,” hunted up his hat and started off. The attention of the Street Inspector is directed to this very dangerous locality. How the individual mentioned above escaped without serious injuries is more than we can understand.


Carleton Place Herald March 21, 1873

M.D. Tom James says there is not only one insolvent gazetted in the village. He says that between the bridge and the British Hotel there are three whose names have appeared in the Carleton Place Herald within the six months as having turned insolvent.

Mr. A. Campbell, Assignee of Perth, can testify that Tom James, M.D. Carleton Place, is not a practitioning doctor but merely a doctor in a lunatic asylum for a number of years and has no business commenting on local drinking establishments.

M.D. Tom James agrees that he was indeed a doctor in a lunatic asylum and that he practised there a number of years and that madmen always jump when they hear the word “doctor.”  James says that Mr. Campbell can only be an escaped inmate or lunatic himself, and since his last letter he has observed that another grocery and liquor store has been opened in the village. This makes the twelfth house, or should he say whiskey stand, for the sale of intoxicating liquors. It is unlicensed, and we hope measures will be taken to suppress it. The people of Carleton Place must be a drouthy lot.


Clayton Feb. 21, 1868

Thomas Coulter begs to announce to his numerous friends that he has opened a hotel in Clayton and is now prepared to accommodate his friends and the general public in such a manner to make it to them always satisfactory.

Appleton, October 30, 1869

The subscriber having leased the above house for a term of 6 years and has fitted it up in good style is now prepared to accommodate the travelling public at all hours. Very good liquor is to be had at the bar–*Michael Brennan.





The history of Appleton’s hotels in not well documented. It appears that Appleton had at least two hotels on the East side of the River. One was opposite the cheese factory and the other was opposite the general store. The hotels provided a place for the mill owners to entertain salesmen, a place for travellers to sleep, and served as the local watering hole.

In his book, Historical Sketches of Appleton, Jack Brown makes several mentions of Appleton hotels included:

*In 1871 a Mr. Michael Brennan was Appleton’s hotel keeper.
In 1897 Mr. Baker changed the name of his hotel from Appleton House to Bay View House.
In 1904 Mr. Thomas C. Arthur sold the hotel to a Mr. Wellington Spearman.

Text and Photo from the North Lanark Regional Museum
Almonte, Ontario

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




A shebeen (Irish: síbín) was originally an illicit bar or club where excisable alcoholic beverages were sold without a licence.

A shebang-a rough hut or shelter.


Related reading:

Be Very Proud Carleton Place — Postcards and Booze


Drinking in the Rain — Hand Me the Booze and Watch Me Get Fabulous— Photos of Carleton Place

82 Bottles of Booze on the Wall – 82 Bottles of Booze

He Said-and– He Said! Oh Let the Song of Words Play!

Drunk and Disorderly in Lanark County

Are You Sure that Isn’t Fusel Oil?

Did You Know Where Happy Valley was in Carleton Place?

Not Happy in Happy Valley? Head up to the French Line for some Sweet Marie

Is There a Secret Tunnel in Carleton Place?

Did you Know that Temperance Drinks Are all the Rage Now?

Reckless at Ottway Lake


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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