The Heirlooms- Ferguson Violin

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The Heirlooms- Ferguson Violin

 

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This is a picture of Allan Ferguson, born March 25, 1849, Dalhousie Twp., Lanark County, Ontario and died June 8, 1919 at North Bay, Ontario, son of Thomas Ferguson and Mary Mathie. Melanie Mason/Charles Dobie photo

THE HISTORY OF GRANDFATHER ALLAN FERGUSON’S VIOLIN

I am not an original Amati, but a copy, and my history begins in Italy. Sometime in the mid-1800’s I arrived in Canada to stay with Allan Ferguson, who lived in Dalhousie Township, Lanark County, Ontario Canada. I provided music and entertainment for the hoe-downs and lumber drives up the Pontiac and Madawaska Rivers and shanty parties, barn raising and other such social events in the counties of Dalhousie, Lavant, and Darling.

I accompanied my owner Allan Ferguson, son of Thomas Ferguson and Mary Mathie, to the Lake Nippissing area where Allan, a friend and Sir Hugh McIntyre’s nephew, went survey and purchase land for the Canadian Pacific Railway. A condition of the land grant, ie, granted by the crown, was that a residence had to build on the land. The lumber and building supplies had to be shipped up the Ottawa River from Ottawa (Bytown).

 

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This is a picture of Annie Williams, wife of Alexander Ferguson, with their son, James, who married Margaret Burns and their son Alexander (Allie) Ferguson.-Melanie Mason/Charles Dobie photo

Since they were on the north shore of Lake Nippissing , why not name the spot North Bay Ontario . So that’s how the city of North Bay received its name In 1918, my owner, Alan Ferguson died in North Bay and I was passed on to his son, James Allan Ferguson. I was later brought back to Lanark County by James Allan Ferguson, known by friends as Jim “A”.

In February, 1921, the home of Jim A was burned in a terrible fire, in which he nearly lost his life rescuing me. I suffered damage, which was repaired by Uncle Thomas Elliott, who was a violin and bag piper maker in White Lake, Renfrew County, Ontario. Upon the death of Jim A, I was passed on to his son, Allan James, and upon Allan’s death to his sister, Jean Ferguson Allen of Ottawa Ontario. She had me restored by Charbonneau, a violin-maker in Braeside Ontario  and gave me to Keith Ferguson, the son of John Eldon Ferguson. The last known violin location was in in Point Claire, Quebec.

 

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Violin made  by J. G. Steele of Carleton Place in 1927–.- Lanark & District Museum

This is a picture of Allan Ferguson, born March 25, 1849, Dalhousie Twp., Lanark County, Ontario and died June 8, 1919 at North …

Hello, my name is Keith Ferguson, son of John Elden Ferguson and Norma Ferguson nee Smith. John Elden was the son of James Burns (JB) Ferguson. I am still in possession of the Ferguson violin. I now reside in Rigaud QC. Jean Ferguson passed the violin onto Norma who then gave it to me as Jean knew I was the musician (guitar, drums, sax) of the family. I had some restorative work done on the violin by Bobby Lalonde, a famed fiddle player and current owner of Bobby Lalonde Music in Hawkesbury in 2019. When I went to pick up the violin, he played for about ten minutes and the sound of the instrument was magical. I am so proud to carry on the tradition of keeper of this piece of Ferguson history.

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Bottom violin was made by Dr. Manford R. Kerr of McDonald’s Corners circa 1920- The back and sides are made of Bird’s Eye Maple, the Scroll from Maples and top was from Pine.- Lanark & District Museum

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The Pretty Family Fiddle- Came to the Lanark Highlands with George Pretty and family from Glasgow Scotland in 1820- From the Lanrk & District Museum–.- Lanark & District Museum

 

 

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

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.

 

 

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The Templeman’s Family Heirloom

Where is it Now? The Heirloom of William Camelon

The Now Complete Page Turning Story of the Beckwith Grandfather Clock

 

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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.

2 responses »

  1. Hello, my name is Keith Ferguson, son of John Elden Ferguson and Norma Ferguson nee Smith. John Elden was the son of James Burns (JB) Ferguson. I am still in possession of the Ferguson violin. I now reside in Rigaud QC. Jean Ferguson passed the violin onto Norma who then gave it to me as Jean knew I was the musician (guitar, drums, sax) of the family. I had some restorative work done on the violin by Bobby Lalonde, a famed fiddle player and current owner of Bobby Lalonde Music in Hawkesbury in 2019. When I went to pick up the violin, he played for about ten minutes and the sound of the instrument was magical. I am so proud to carry on the tradition of keeper of this piece of Ferguson history.

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