Absolom McCaffrey was 46 when he opened his new bakery on Bell Street in 1867. Previous to this he had been a cooper – a maker of barrels – in business with Napoleon Lavallee between 1833 and 1847. Together they did a thriving business constructing butter tubs and barrels for flour and pork. Absolom was still listed as a cooper in the 1861 census. Why the change of career we wonder?–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Thomas Code was another uncle of the writer and also a forty-niner. In company with Absalom McCaffrey of Carleton Place and others, he joined in the gold rush to California. Returning home a few years later he purchased the Innisville store business of Michael Murphy, who left and settled in Carleton Place. He continued until conditions got very much impaired in the village, and having a large family decided to try his fortune in the West; this was in the middle 1870s. He took up land near a place called Elgin, south of Brandon, Manitoba. He and the family suffered great hardships on the early stages. He told me when I visited him in 1883 that only for the people of Ontario, the country would have never been settled. They were living in a sod house, and the outbuildings were built with sods– one of them an excavation on the side of the knoll. I again paid him a visit in 1902 and found conditions about as we find them at home- good houses and barns. Other facilities had changed the whole situation. Some of the family are farming there yet.
William Code, father of the writer, was born in Montreal in the year 1820 as stated. He served an apprenticeship with John Graham of Carleton Place– a wagon and carriage builder of the early days. In the middle to late nineteenth century 164 Bridge Street belonged to the Greig Block. One thing that is clear is that John Graham operated a wagon shop here. At the expiration of his term he drifted to Prescott, Ontario and obtained employment there.
This was in the historical year of 1837 when Von Shultz and his band (Rebellions of 1837–38) invaded the Windmill District. His employer, who was equipped with musket and regimental clothing, insisted that my father should don the outfit, which he did. His employer disappeared and was never heard of again. While the situation was not that dangerous he could hear the bullets in the air. Von Schultz and his gang were captured and history tells what happened there. An old friend, Robert Mackay, who passed away some years ago, told me that he was at the scene of the hanging at Fort Henry, Kingston, and said he saw bodies removed in a cart, the legs hanging over the end.
After my father’s experience as a journeyman, last in Kingston, he came back to Innisville and started a wagon shop. He had a turning lathe later in the old carding mill for rounding the hubs. I remember helping my father to crosscut the oak logs, to be split into spokes ready to be put away to dry. He made the coffins also for the district. They were an uninviting receptacle covered with black cloth, the best of them are not inviting.
He also built a hotel, and procured a farm near the village. He died in the year 1868. Father was enterprising, ambitious, and met with more than average success, as success went at the time. But later, owing to limitations and the general trend, a Napoleon could only go so far, which leads me to advise ambitious young men to start out in life where the going is good, and where there is room at the top of the ladder.
The hotel was later leased to James Young, who afterwards ran the Queens Hotel in Perth. The old woollen mill on the south side of the river that had been operated by A & G Code was vacated. Strange to say during all the years it had been operating it had escaped destruction, but one night in the year 1878 it was discovered to be on fire. Without fire protection the building was obliterated together with the late A. Code home and the hotel. This with the burning of the flour and saw mills in 1882 left Innisville almost desolate compared with its former glory, as almost everything of an industry trial character had vanished.
Next –The family of William Code
Note—When the post office opened in 1851 a clerical error resulted in the community being called Innisville. The error was never corrected.
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..
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–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).
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)