The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4e – Innisville — ‘Neighbours Furnished one Another with Fire’

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4e – Innisville —  ‘Neighbours Furnished one Another with Fire’




There are about 6 huge pages about Innisville written by Thomas Alfred Code so I will do this in parts. This is the last instalment about the village–4d– Tomorrow the family stories begin.


There are a great many fish stories going, and lest my veracity might be questioned I will not say much. But, I have seen the net in our local waters so heavily loaded with catfish or bull pouts that one man alone could not lift it out of the water, and likewise with suckers in the Spring run. The spear was much in evidence. In the shallows, or under a fence at the head of the rapids, the wader– with a man to hold the bag– would lift them out and put them in the bag.

It was quite an art to pick one out gently so as not to cause a stampede. The people came from all over– say ten miles out– loaded up with a few bags and took them home. After dressing they were put in brine, then dried, and when cured provided the finnan haddie for the Winter; as I remember them they tasted quite as good. Eels were frequently speared, or caught with the hook, but mostly in the mill sluice box– with the mill sluice gate open slightly during the night– you were sure to secure a good catch; but they were not highly prized for food purposes. Pickerel had not been introduced to the Mississippi Lake at that time. Later Bennett’s Lake was stocked and this fish found its way down the Fall River by way of Fallbrook. They seem to have secured the ascendancy over the pike and black bass which were plentiful at one time, but latterly the waters have been very much depleted. I remember being chided frequently by my mother for bringing home so many fish.


We had little such as we have it today; but wild strawberries in the new land were different to what we obtain nowadays. Beds were to be found with berries as plentiful as you find them in some gardens today, and I think they were superior in quality.  Like wise with raspberries and thimble berries. Wild grapes and cherries were to be had in abundance, and in many cases were turned into refreshment.

Cranberry and blueberry supplies were ample, and obtained within two miles of the village (Innisville) on the shores of Mud Lake.

Some very good apple orchards were to be found in the district; and where apples would not keep over the winter they were peeled, sliced, cored and strung, then hung over the kitchen stove to dry. We called them “Fly Roosts”.


Of agriculture in the vicinity I need not say much, but the product of the virgin soil– thought the acreage was limited– was much greater per acre than today. The potatoes from the new soil were very prolific and of good quality. Crops were not subject to the pests we have.

Maple sugar was another product that assisted in furnishing the necessities for living, so with all those native luxuries the people were not badly off notwithstanding the primitive tools with which they had to work.

It is said that neighbours furnished one another with fire– taken from house to house. An old method was to strike fire with steel on flint or the back of a jackknife against a piece of dry spunk wood. It is told that some split matches to make it go farther. My experience dates from the tallow candle, and I have witnessed the coming of all modern conveniences as they came on stage since the early days of my time. Had the pioneers been told that those things would come they would have been skeptical. We may think we are near the limit, but are we?

And so..

The Ennis family and the Codes were factors in the prosperity of the village of Innisville. On the north side of the river were the Cramptons, Rathwells, Ruttles and Stuarts were leading settlers, mostly Irish. On the south side most of the settlers were Scotch: the McEwens, McLeans, Robertsons and Rathwells. (the latter Irish)

But few remain– I can only name four living that belong to the early generation, viz., Thomas Carswell, Daniel McEwen, Hugh Robertson and Benjamin Crampton; all men that have lived good clean lives– men of unimpeachable character.


Next– The Code Family-Family Stories





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

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

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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