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

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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