Bill Armstrong and The Innisville Museum

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Bill Armstrong and The Innisville Museum

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In 1967 SS#17 Drummond –the Innisville School– closed its doors along with the rest of the Lanark County schools and a local man had a dream that this once busy building be turned into a museum. Bill Drummond who lived across the street once went to school in that building in the 1900s and already had a growing collection of Pioneer artifacts sitting on his front verandah– not to mention the ongoing  community donations once folks heard there might be a museum in Innisville.

It made sense to him that this former thriving community should have permanent memories from the once sizable population. Most of Innisville had been destroyed in a  fire in the late 19th century and a lot of the town had moved away for a better future.

Sadly the Innisville & District Museum in Drummond Township closed in 2007, and the Lanark & District Museum agreed to take on the Innisville Museum Collection in order to preserve that district’s heritage. That meant the dairy corner with the separator and the wood butter prints would be moving along with the lovely spool bed, clocks and hanging lamps. Innisville history along with the Teachers desk that had sat there through the years along with the writing slates and quill pens would still be shared with the Lanark County folks.

Thank you Bill Armstrong for caring so much about our local history to have given your free time to anyone who was interested in finding out about the past.

“History is not just something that happened long ago and far away. History happens to all of us all the time. Local history brings history home, it touches your life, the life of your family, your neighbourhood, your community.”

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Nancy Hudson–
Bill was a quiet modest man with a quick wit and sense of humour. My best memory of Bill was as Santa Claus at our Christmas concerts in the old Orange Hall, he was a very ‘slim’ Santa! If Elsie Kilfoyle was the “Ma” of Innisville, Bill Armstrong was definitely the “Pa”

 

December 20, 1977        William John Armstrong

Mr. William John Armstrong of Innisville died December 20, 1977 at the home of his grandson, Robert Armstrong, Ottawa. He was in his 80th year, and had been in failing health for some time. He was born September 10, 1898, at Gilbert Plains, Dauphin, Manitoba, the son of an Innisville couple, John W. Armstrong and his wife, Annie Hudson. He was educated at Scotch Corners and Innisville. He resided in this district for 73 years, and prior to his retirement he was a farmer, and also worked as a truck driver for the Department of Highways, Steel’s Cartage, Carleton Place and Reynolds’ Cartage, Carleton Place.

Mr. Armstrong was active in the community. He was curator of the museum at Innisville from the time of its inauguration until his death. He was Past Master of LOL No. 92, Innisville, a member of RBP, Carleton Place; Past Master of St John’s Lodge No. 63  AF and AM Carleton Place; a former member of the 100F, Carleton Place, and secretary of St John’s Cemetery Committee. Predeceased by his wife, the former Annie Gardiner. They were married at Trinity Church, Ottawa, July 18, 1923. Survivors include a son, Stanley W Armstrong, Ottawa; grandsons, Robert John Armstrong and William Edwin Armstrong, both of Ottawa; and sisters, Bella (Mrs. Ernie Miller) Pakenham; Maggie (Mrs Ernie Rathwell) Smiths Falls; Carrie (Mrs. William McCall) Carleton Place; Alma (Mrs. William Voege) New Jersey, USA; Essie , Mrs Clyde Emerson) Carleton Place and Annie ( Mrs. Carl Morris) Peterborough. Ont. He was predeceased by a sister, Ethel (Mrs. James Johnston) and two brothers, Thomas and Herb Armstrong. The funeral service took place Dec. 22, 1977 at St John’s Anglican Church, Innisville, with the Rector, Rev. Roger Young, officiating. Interment will be in St John’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were two grandsons, Robert and William Armstrong, and four nephews, John Armstrong, Gordon Miller, Robert Brydges and George Gardiner.

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

Related Reading

The Name of the Man that Moved the Kennedy House

The House that Skated to Carleton Place — Kennedy House

Memories of the Pickerel Run Innisville

More Pictures of the Innisville Pickerel Run

The Angling Adventures of John and Leonard McNeely

Tales of the Innisville Hotel

Back Where I came From — Innisville

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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.

2 responses »

  1. Bill was a quiet modest man with a quick wit and sense of humour. My best memory of Bill was as Santa Claus at our Christmas concerts in the old Orange Hall, he was a very ‘slim’ Santa! If Elsie Kilfoyle was the “Ma” of Innisville, Bill Armstrong was definitely the “Pa”.

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