A Trip Back in Time by Karen Hirst

A Trip Back in Time by Karen Hirst

All photos and text by Karen Hirst

A trip back in time—a time when Moms and tots, teens and pursuers of teens would spend all day basking or at times baking in the sunshine at the Almonte Public Beach. Remember well the baby oil of the daytime to be followed in the evening with Noxema Cream to sooth the blistering skin—pay me now or pay me later but you will pay seemed to hold true !

We spent the early summer painting docks, rafts, change houses, putting out the buoys and slide, making sure the row boat was unsinkable and getting organized for the beginning classes as soon as school was out.

It was a great place for learning to swim during morning swim classes—I was most fortunate to have had a summertime job from the summer before high school right thru to my second year in Nurses training…best job ever. In the afternoons we did lifeguard duty and flirted with our pursers ! I also had a couple of private students and am pleased to say they all learned to swim. Often we would return in the evening for personal swim time being the fish that we were and the canteen always kept us hydrated with a cool orange soda pop or ice cream bar to finish off the day.


Karen Hirst Lt. to Rt.—Karen Kerry, Lynn McGill—from Almonte and Mary Joy Denike and John Deering from Ottawa . Records show in 1968—Beginners 175, Juniors 70, Intermediates 35, & Seniors 12—registered in Red Cross swimming classes.

We worked for the Recreation Department of the town—hired by Don Maynard. Ed Giffen was our Supervisor, Lynn McGill and others were also Instructors and Lifeguards—someone out there might help fill in the blanks of regular personnel ?

The Almonte Public Beach was a great place for the majority of town kids of all ages to meet and greet at one time or another over the years. Others must have very fond memories of the beach years?

By the way the boy who threw the erasers in Grade 8, he liked to follow me to the beach as well with hopes of riding with me back to my house on his green, big balloon tired bike —he was pretty cute I will admit !


All photos and text by Karen Hirst.

I found this clipping  from 1956 I thought everyone might find interesting.– Linda

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 24 Aug 1956, Fri,
  3. Page 21

 - 1 r Dacr) Xuimmmn T a5i4 jWli7lliliny Ola-ttta...

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 and The Tales of Almonte


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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