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

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.

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