Hopetown is a “compact rural community” in the former Lanark Township in Lanark County in eastern Ontario, Canada. Since 1998 Hopetown has been located in the municipality of the Township of Lanark Highlands
The first settler in Hopetown, originally Currie’s Mill, was Robert Cannon and as Jennifer E.Ferris told me “in 1863 the General Store was once owned by Robert Cannon, who had a cooperage and was the hotel owner where the General Store now is”.
Hopetown could have been named after the Earl of Hopetown, who was a colonel in the 42nd Royal Highland Blackwatch Regiment, but I think I like the most popular theory. Mr. Currie, who bought some of Robert Cannon’s holdings enjoyed saying “I hope so” when folks asked him if he could grind them a grist. Hopetown was always hoping to become a town and I think the village was built on ‘hope’.
B & T General store
I was fortunate to meet Tracy from the B & T General store in my quest to find out about the McDougalls. Great great gal. I am hoping people have memories of the General store past and present so generations can read them down the line and know how great rural life was.
Glenda Mahoney--We used stop at the Hopetown store on our way to visit family. Small world for sure. We always stopped in Hopetown to buy a glass bottle of coke. We could hardly wait to finish the soda so we could fill the empty bottles at a little natural spring. The water was the real treat. We thought our dad was magic because we were able to drink this outdoor water. I think it was located in the French Line area. Water came out of a rock crevice.
My brother remembers the spring as well but only remembers it was on a side road off of 511. It ran down from the top of a hill through a crevice in the rocks and could be accessed from the side of the road. Invisible unless
Cathy Doe —Great breakfasts and excellent pizza. I would be lost out here in the middle of no where, without this store!
b. Dec 14 1849 in Hopetown, Lanark, ON.
d. Aug 22 1930 in Bellvue, AB.
m. Sarah Ann Smith, Dec 18, 1881 in Lanark, ON.
photo: Bassano AB., 1925 from Soul Passages
The government offered 100 acres of land to each emigrating family, free passage, and provisions for their first year of settlement. Organization for transport and housing was apparently chaotic, and even given the pressures of hunger and unemployment, initially there were relatively few takers of that offer. Eventually, however, several thousand settlers, mostly Scottish, braved the more or less non-existent roads, the blackflies, the uncertain weather conditions and the isolation, and took up land allocations in what is now the Lanark area.
It wasn’t till the 1830s, however, that Hopetown itself was settled by Europeans. Many of those settlers had first lived in Quebec, and then, after the political upheavals of 1837, looked to the newly opened land in this area as a place to re-establish themselves. The town had a school, a church, and a cemetery – and it was at the centre of a rough road network that connected many isolated communities. Given the difficulties of transportation in those days, Hopetown became the central burial place for people from all over the district.
So that explains one mystery: why such a small community has such a large cemetery. The question of how the place came to be called Hopetown, however, remains unanswered: did those early settlers ‘hope’ for growth? Did someone baptize it Hopetown in the depths of a dark winter, to ward off depression? –Middleville Museum
Lot 645 Lanark County Collection, 1823 to Modern on cards and cover in a shoe box, with a few hundred items. A good starter collection which includes Carleton Place 1837 double circle money letter, Franktown 1847, Hopetown 1845, Lanark from 1845, 1882 and 1887 as well as 9 Perth items 1823-1854. Also early items from Ramsay, McDonalds Corners, Pakenham and Poland. Mostly fine or better. Inspect. Estimate $1,000, sold for $800 plus buyer’s premium.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)