Strange Coincidences– The Duncan Fire

Strange Coincidences– The Duncan Fire


Ramsay C7.jpg



Bassett Bridge Farm, Ramsay Township



September 12 1940–Almonte Gazette

The stone residence located on Mr. Allan Duncan’s farm, 11th line of Ramsay, about one-and-a-half miles from Almonte, was destroyed by fire on Tuesday evening. This property was originally known as the (John) Ryan homestead. Duncan spent the afternoon at the N.L.A.S. fair where he was a successful exhibitor.

On returning in the evening he commenced his chores and also started the gasoline engine which was used to pump water. The engine was housed in a building adjoining the main dwelling. When Mr. Duncan came from the barn, the kitchen and sheds were ablaze.

Fire Chief Harry Houston was called about 7 p.m. and with four firemen went to the scene. They found that there was no water supply available and nothing could be done to save the house. The firemen stayed for some time in case the barns should catch fire but they were saved by the direction the wind was blowing.

Mr. Duncan lost a small quantity of household goods, some clothing and a new set of harness valued at $90. The total loss was estimated at $5,500 partly covered with insurance. Almonte Fair nights have been unlucky for the Duncan family. Thirty five years ago, Mr. Allan Duncan’s father, Mr. Ed. Duncan, lost his barn by fire on the night of Almonte Fair and 16 years ago by a strange coincidence he again lost his barn also on a fair night.




Allan Duncan

Birth: 1909
Lanark County
Ontario, Canada
Death: Oct. 31, 1949
Lanark County
Ontario, Canada

The Almonte Gazette
Almonte, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, November 3, 1949, p. 4


Following six month’s critical illness, Allan M. Duncan passed away at his home on the 11th line of Ramsay Township on Monday, October 31, in his 41st year.
A son of Mr. Edward Duncan and his wife, Beatrice Miller, now of Carleton Place, he was born on the Duncan homestead on the 11th line.
All of his life was spent in this community and prior to his marriage in June 1941, he purchased the John Ryan farm which he farmed successfully up to the time of his illness.
He leaves his wife, the former Dorothy Paul, and one daughter, Paula, aged seven.
Besides his father and mother, he is survived by three sisters and five brothers, namely: Mabel, Mrs. Wm. Taber of Toronto; Muriel, Mrs. Walter Redden of Kingston; Rae, Mrs. Allan Lytle of Arnprior; William of Pine Portage, Ont.; Morden, on the homestead; Kenneth, 8th line of Ramsay, and Gordon and Hugh, 11th line of Ramsay.
Two brother are deceased, Harold and Bert, who was killed overseas in World War II.
Mr. Duncan’s long illness was all the more tragic because he was suffering from leucaemia [leukemia] for which there is no known cure. Of the three local young people whose illness last spring was diagnosed as leucaemia, he alone responded to treatment temporarily and hope for his ultimate recovery was held for some time.
Held in the highest regard as a neighbor and by a host of friends, his passing is a loss to the community that is deeply regretted.
The funeral was held on Thursday, November 3rd, at 2.30 o’clock p.m. from his late residence to the Auld Kirk Cemetery. Rev. H. C. Wolfraim, minister of Bethany United Church of which deceased was a member, officiated. Interment was in the Auld Kirk Cemetery.

Family links:
Dorothy Mae Paul Duncan Parent Nickerson (1920 – 2002)*

Paula Mae Duncan Giles (1942 – 2007)*

*Calculated relationship

Auld Kirk Cemetery
Mississippi Mills
Lanark County
Ontario, Canada


Ramsay Township,
Lanark County, Ont.
1918 Directory

Duncan Edmund 82 1 O 11 10
Duncan Alex. S. 83 1 O 10 11
Duncan Wm. J. 84 1 O 11 9


 INDEX               DUNCAN               FAMILY–CLICK HERE


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 andScreamin’ Mamas (US




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Time Travel- Is that Wandering Wayne in this 1930 Photo?

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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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