John Edwards Archibald Gillies and the Franktown Fire

John Edwards Archibald Gillies and the Franktown Fire



Photo by:3D Cruiser – blogger



April 28 1905–On Saturday morning at 6.30 Mr. John Edwards was burned out of house and home in Franktown. The fire started from the pipe or chimney. Only the furniture below could be saved. A heavy wind was blowing.

Fortunately it favoured the English church, or that edifice would have suffered a similar fate. Franktown depends upon pumps and pails in such emergencies, but these are of no avail when a fire once secures a good headway.

Hie building was occupied for many years by the late *Archie Gillies. The village is only rarely visited in this way—the last the detraction of Mr. E. D. Edwards’ shop and home.


Perth Courier, July 22, 1881

Chirivari—Mr. Archibald Gillies of Franktown was chiravaried the other night on the occasion of his second matrimonial venture three weeks after the death of his first wife.  He bought the crowd off with a $2 bill the first night and received them the next night with a shotgun.

Archibald Gillies(Jr.) was married to Verginia Lang 29 years his junior who was the daughter of William and Margaret Moore.

Gillies Corners:
Was named after Archibald Gillies Sr., the grandfather who had an inn at Gillies Corners, west of Franktown on the settlers first road between Perth and Beckwith, was the location of the inn of Archibald Gillis, who settled there in 1819 and maintained a licenced inn for a period including from the 1830’s to the 1850’s. Although the name doesn’t show in the Historical Atlas for Lanark County, it does show a building there.

From the book: In Search of Lanark by Carol Bennett under Beckwith Township entry: “Gillies’ Corners on the old Perth road, was another thriving community at one time. It was named for Archibald Gillies, a settler of 1819 who ran an inn in that neighborhood for twenty years. It catered for the Perth to Bytown traffic when the state coach passed through the community twice daily. It was the coming of the railroad which caused the demise of this community.”


The Carleton Place Herald — December 15 1896 republished in The Almonte Gazette

A dreadful affair took place in Franktown last Thursday when a son of  *Archibald Gillies named John Gillies, aged 13 obtained a gun, loaded it with powder, placed it upon a chair, pointed it towards an open door and discharged the weapon.  The weapon rebounded, striking the child in the abdomen.  The father, hearing the report, entered the door just in time to see his son pulling himself to a lounge.  The little fellow recognized him and said,

“Father I am dying” and expired.

Young John Gillies was listed in the 1891 Canadian census, but his death was never recorded.


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)



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal18 Oct 1905, WedPage 8




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal18 Oct 1905, WedPage 8




Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925

So Who was Buried First in the Franktown Cemetery?

A Monument Back in Time –Time Travelling in Lanark County —Part 1

Like a Prayer I left My Mark in Franktown — Part 2

How Franktown Got Its Name


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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