The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4d – Innisville — “How We did Hoe it Down”!

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4d – Innisville — “How We did Hoe it Down”!


J. T. Hughes blacksmithing shop at Innisville. Photo submitted to the Perth Courier, 1984 by Mr. Crampton Perth Remembered

There are about 6 huge pages about Innisville written by Thomas Alfred Code so I will do this in parts. This is 4d

I think the country schools in the early days were quite as good as today (1929) for all practical purposes. We were schooled in the three “R’s”; the common subjects: Latin and Greek roots, also in prefixes and affixes. Our handwriting was better than that of today, which can be proved by reference to the early county records. The headlines on our copy books were quotations from some standard authors, such as : “Honesty is the best policy” or “Many a shaft at random sent hits the mark the archer little meant”. After writing these and many others twenty times it was a dull mind that would not retain them, to be applied in conversation later in life.

Pupils were numerous in those days, and the teachers were of high standard. Let me mention Thomas Carswell who was still living in Carleton Place in 1929, John Arthur Houston, later of Toronto, James A Stewart who passed away in Winnipeg, and William Hughes of Innisville. Together with several able female teachers they were a formidable group. The salaries then were not attractive, three to four hundred dollars, yet an old teacher told me that he seemed to have more money then than now with 10,000 dollars.

The offending pupils were frequently sent out to cut a switch, perhaps to chastise themselves. Many of us, however, have been cutting gads all our lives to whip ourselves.

Reading matter was scarce. The Carleton Place Herald– edited by the late James Poole, furnished the news, and strife followed on its arrival as to who should get the first reading. Few of the lines were left unscanned.

Even with the early opportunities for schooling, coupled with the home opportunities of today, and a practical knowledge pf work and what it costs to earn a dollar, a person, if ambitious, should get well to the front. I do not refer to the professions, but taking the years spent in going to our higher educational institutions a graduate is not looking for a practical pursuit, rather for a position, not a job. I except law,medicine, science, engineering, etc. I think most young men at present time take the load too late in life.

We did not have gymnasiums. Are we not destroying self- endeavour, self-help and ambition, in all we are doing in making the path smooth for the rising generation? Our physical exercise was hard work, skating, fishing, and a hand spring over the fence. We had a form of baseball as now, but you did not have to touch the base runner, but throw the ball with all your might and hit him between the bases, or wherever you could. If you hit him this was out–also, ‘over the fence”– and perhaps the runner was out of running for the day.

Social Amusement

For social amusement we had our penny reading and spelling contests, concerts, singing schools and debating societies. It was all local or country talent. Mostly everyone could do something to entertain, some in a dramatic way, some as singers, readers, musicians, and in many other ways that cost but little. Our young people today were not schooled in those arts– if I may call them such. They get their entertainment and individuality in the picture shows– everything ready made.

Then we had our corn husking and apple pairing bees, followed later in the evening by dancing to the old jig time. Oh boy! How we did hoe it down! The boys were good step dancers: they developed it by practising on the barn floor on rainy days when not off fishing.

Again in the village the cattle fair was an event to which everyone looked forward. The cattle were  bought mostly by Ottawa buyers and driven to the city, as this was before the old Canada Central was built from Carleton Place to Ottawa.


Four mile courses were plowed on the ice between Innisville and Ferguson’s Falls. A horse that could trot the mile in three minutes or less was some goer! The sport is dead today!

I have a faint recollection of the logging bees and barn raisings where men strived to keep up their end, and many stories are told of the gallons of proof whiskey needed necessary for the occasion. This commodity was purer than no doubt, and cheaper, but it had the kick; about 2S. 6d a gallon, or 7 1/2 a quart. It was many years after the decimal currency was introduced before it came into general use– the people seemed to figure on the old lines.

Next instalment: Game, Fish, and Fruit






Photo- Perth Remembered


The first industrial process on the site was operated by the Kilpatrick family beginning in 1842 and established as a tannery shortly thereafter.  In 1882 a new owner, Thomas Alfred Code, established Codes Custom Wool Mill with a range of processes, including: carding, spinning, fulling, shearing, pressing, and coloring of yarns. In 1896, its name was changed to the Tay Knitting Mill, and it produced yarn, hosiery, socks, gloves, sporting-goods, sweaters, and mitts. Another change came in 1899, when a felt-making process was introduced and the mill was renamed Code Felt. The company continued to operate until the closing of the factory in 1998.


51 Herriott – The Code Mill is actually a collage of five different buildings dating from 1842. T.A. Code moved to Perth in 1876, and bought this property by 1883. Code spent 60 years in business in Perth. The business started with a contract to supply the North West Mounted Police with socks, and continued for many years manufacturing felt for both industrial and commercial uses.

Code Felt Co today– Click here..


Screenshot 2018-03-08 at 14.jpg

In the 1883, Mr. T. A. Code established Codes Custom Wool Mill with a range of processes, including:  carding, spinning, fulling, shearing, pressing, and coloring of yarns. In 1896, its name was changed to the  Tay Knitting Mill, and it produced yarn, hosiery, socks, gloves, sporting-goods, sweaters, and mitts.  Another change came in 1899, when a felt-making process was introduced and the mill was renamed  Code Felt. The company continued to operate until the closing of the factory in 1998. The following year, John Stewart began a major restoration and introduced new uses for this landmark. This impressive limestone complex with its central atrium now has an interesting mix of commercial tenants.-Perth Remembered


How did I get this?

I purchased this journal online from a dealer in California. I made every attempt to make sure the journal came back to its rightful location. Every day I will be  putting up a new page so its contents are available to anyone. It is a well worn journal full of glued letters and newspaper clippings which I think belonged to Code’s son Allan at one point. Yes there is lots of genealogy in this journal. I am going to document it page by page. This journal was all handwritten and hand typed.

How did it get into the United States?  The book definitely belonged to Allan Code and he died in Ohio in 1969.

Allan Leslie Code

1896–1969 — BIRTH 27 MAR 1896  Ontario—DEATH JUN 1969  Mentor, Lake, Ohio, USA


Andrew Haydon.jpgAndrew Haydon- see bio below–He was the author of Pioneer Sketches of The District of Bathurst (Lanark and Renfrew Counties, Ontario) (The Ryerson Press, 1925) and Mackenzie King and the Liberal Party (Allen, 1930).


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 (USA)


The Original Thomas Alfred Code and Andrew Haydon Letters – —Part 1

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 2– Perth Mill

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 3– Genealogy Ennis

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4a – Innisville the Beginning

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4b – Innisville — Coopers and “Whipping the Cat” 1860-1870

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4c – Innisville — Henry York and Johnny Code

When Newspapers Gossiped–David Kerr Innisville

Kerr or Ennis? More about the Innisville Scoundrel

What Went Wrong with the Code Mill Fire in Innisville?

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.

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