Memories of Almonte by the Commonfolk

Memories of Almonte by the Commonfolk

There isn’t much I can’t find– it takes a bit — but I came across these notations from an WordPress site. I thought people would like to share or add to these memories. Most of these are from 2010-2014.. More to come–Please note I have left them as they were written..


Almonte Public School 1959
This school had a girls’ entrance on the East end and a separate boys’ entrance on the West end. The playground was even divided into a girls’ playground and a boys’ playground and we didn’t dare cross the line. The full basement was divided into a basement for boys and a basement for girls to use in inclement weather at recesses.   Also, a girls’ cloakroom and a boys’ cloakroom on each floor and a girls’ stairs and a boys’ stairs to the second floor and to the basement.

Anyone remember Church Street Public School? With Miss Ross on the piano?- Ian McDougall Tokyo

Can anyone out in Almonte assist me in trying to remember the name of the elementary school I attended in the late 50’s early 60’s. The memory is foggy except for one thing. Every morning the whole student body would gather in the foyer and sing, God save the Queen, Oh Canada and Don’t Fence Me In. I lived there for a short time, less than a year, but remember that I really loved the town.-Prudence Hutton Florida

Just back from a wonderful trip to Almonte and Carleton Place enjoyed our visit Changes are many but like everything else changes do happen was so nice to be able to have lunch at the Canadian now that is one place that is still living in the 50’s hope it never changes The Superior Cafe is also still living in the 50’s so nice to see–Toni Mazurski

My dad was the first principal of Naismith school back in 1969. Good place to grow up. Lots of wonderful memories and I would love to come back “home” to retire. Working at the “soup” and hanging with Louise and the gang and going to ADHS – best time of my life for sure.–Angie (Scott) Davis


Do you remember when the IDA was an ice house? Gregg

1971-84. Ate ice cream on the rocks behind the post office, went for pancakes at the fire hall, and met some amazing people. My Almonte past is part of who I am today-Kelly Miller

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Photo from Lisa Stanley Sheehan Collection

My mother was Doris Comba she was maried to murray (funeral director on church street)I lived there from 1949 to 1952. Remember Donnie Petersen, a good friend who lived behind us, we lived on Church street across from Combas funeral home, also Jerry Keeley and his whole family, very good friend. Remember diving off front bridge and also into the flume off the railroad bridge. My cousin was hugh mcmullan; he lived in the big stone house just up from the Flour Mill on Main Street. Remember Stan and Jessie Morton and their children, used to go to the Ball games at the fairgrounds on summer nights. Swam at Donaldsons and Murray used to take us kids to the big Rock at Blakeney as well as the rapids. Loved going with Donnie to his Dad’s Ice Cream Factory, worked there aa couple of summers with Mr.Thorpe, Archie and the rest of the crew, My mom worked as mr.Petersens Bookeeper for awhile and then for Harry Gun at the IGA market before she married Murray. Had a crush on Judy Guthrie and Sylvia Gale back when the world was young. Would love to hear from any who knew me way back then. The best years of my life, at least as a kid–jack De Sadeleer Australia


Harry Gunn Store Almonte–from

hello almontemay years ago when i was in grade one, mrs scholars class, i wonder how many people remember her.there was always a shortage of books and we had to double up.i was always paired up with elizabeth warner, me being from the country and being very shy, i think i was doing a lot of blushing.she moved away and i have thought of her many times over the years,-Don Andrews


Judy (Reid) Hamre added this to Don Andrews comment..
For Don Andrews: yes I remember Miss Elizabeth Schoular – she had retired when I started at Church St. School in Mrs. King’s grade 1 class, but she would come in and read to us. Many years later at a flea market in the basement of an old church in Carleton Place, I came across her Singer treadle sewing machine. It had every part, the owner’s manual, and sews like a dream. I paid the princely sum of $35 for it! It is one of my greatest treasures and thanks to my dear friend Fran (Scissons) Briscoe, has travelled across the country to BC with me.

The Peanut Parade -was a big occasion


n- I wonder how Almonte came to having this parade – someone worked for Planter’s Peanuts?? Joanna

I’m the proud grand-daughter of Stan Morton, proprietor of Morton’s Variety for 30 years–Jennifer Morton


Photo- Almonte Gazette


My mother was from Almonte and I remember going there as a child in the early 50’s. Her name was Mary Lyons and she was a nurse. I haven’t been back to Almonte for 50 years, but have fond memories. I remember catching tadpoles in the Mississippi and going down the slide in the river. We went to the square dances and always looked forward to the chips truck. My Uncle John Lyons worked for the city and played the fiddle. Going to the movie theater in Almonte was fun. Brought your own candy and sang “God Save the Queen”Tom Preston

I was reminded of days like this when we would be listening to Rough Rider football on CFRA with Ernie Calcutt. Frank Ryan who owned CFRA was a son of Almonte. Given CFRA’s connection to the valley-remember the Happy Wanderers and Frank Ryan’s farm reports?- I thought Frank Ryan deserved a mention–Lou Chapman



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)


Who was the Almonte Ghost of 1886?

When Mr. Peanut was once King in Lanark County!

Minute to Minute– The Almonte Flour Mill Explosion

Explosion at the Almonte Flour Mill–Rob Armstrong‎

The Almonte Skating Rink on “The Island”

Remembering John Kerry from Almonte—By Karen Hirst


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.

4 responses »

  1. For Don Andrews: yes I remember Miss Elizabeth Schoular – she had retired when I started at Church St. School in Mrs. King’s grade 1 class, but she would come in and read to us. Many years later at a flea market in the basement of an old church in Carleton Place, I came across her Singer treadle sewing machine. It had every part, the owner’s manual, and sews like a dream. I paid the princely sum of $35 for it! It is one of my greatest treasures and thanks to my dear friend Fran (Scissons) Briscoe, has travelled across the country to BC with me.

    • I remember Miss Schoular also, although she never taught me as I moved to Almonte from .Windsor in 1952 when I was placed in Miss Ross’s Grade .Four class with Don and his cousin, .Bob Andrews. We went through the next four years in the same classes and you’re right Don. You appeared very shy, an admirable quality in hindsight!
      I met Jack De Sadeleer once as his sister, Judy, was one of my best friends until she married and moved to southern Ontario.
      As to the photo of the grocery store, I don’t believe it was ever Harry Gunn’s. In the fifties it was owned by a Mr. Pobst ( sp.? ) until he closed it . But you would buy items at the counter and he or his assistant, Harold Woermke, would climb a ladder and take the items off the shelves, wrap them in brown paper, tie them with a string and hand them to you. Kind of like a sketch from ” the Two Ronnies “. He closed the store in the late fifties and it became Mappins Jewellry Store, managed by Mr. Pobst.
      In 1965, my father, Perce Baker, bought the building from .Bob France and it became Baker’s Gifts and Flowers, as my dad had also purchased The Flower Shop on Farm Street from George Gomme. Harry’s grocery store was on Bridge Street, just behind our building. He later had a dress shop across from Peterson’s Dairy on Mill Street.
      Since my husband Derek died almost two years ago,I now spend my time living between Ottawa and London, England where my fiancé lives and when people there ask me where I’m from, I very proudly say ” ALMONTE ” !
      Marte ( Baker ) Sheldrake

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