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

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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