Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume




Sept 6, 1928

Jessie Comrie had been missing since Sunday.  She was a trained nurse and a lifelong resident of Carleton Place. Monday her body was discovered and assumed drowned in a flume in the Bates and Innes Mill.

An object was seen early Monday morning by William Campbell by the flume and an investigation disclosed that it was indeed Miss Comrie lying face downward. The body was examined by Dr. Metcalfe, coroner and he decided an inquest was unnecessary.



Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-story is: The River Dance of the McArthur Mill in Carleton Place

Miss Comrie had been called late at night to relieve a nurse at James McIntosh’s home and she was enroute there when she fell into a flume. No explanation had been found as to the way the accident occurred although examination of the body revealed many scratches about the limbs. Had it been a possible robbery?

The water was 18 feet deep where she fell in and it is thought that in the darkness Miss Comrie became confused and took the wrong route to the McIntosh home. A sister, Mrs. Peter McDonald was the only survivor of the family who died later in 1931.

For months the citizens of Carleton Place gossiped about what might have happened to Miss Comrie as some could not believe that she took a misstep.


Author’s note —In the 1920s to the 1950s a proportion of female homicide victims were generally ignored for the most part.


mcar (2).jpg

Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-story is: The River Dance of the McArthur Mill in Carleton Place




1870-Building of the first stone structure of the present Bates and Innes Woollen Mill was begun by Archibald McArthur and was completed a year later.

1909 – Bates & Innes knitting mill, after making waterpower improvements, began running night and day with about 150 employees.  The Hawthorne knitting mill was closed by reason of financial difficulties, and its operating company was reorganized as the Carleton Knitting Co. Ltd.



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal28 Mar 1931, SatPage 9



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

related reading

The Saga of Bates and Innes

Roy Bates and His Dog Named Taffy— ahh Paddy

Do You Remember? Memories of the Pengor Penguin

So How Much Time Do You Get for Stealing Wool?

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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