Peg O My Heart — Gracie Mark’s Belt — Mark’s Brothers

Peg O My Heart — Gracie Mark’s Belt — Mark’s Brothers


Doris Blackburn/ Karen Blackburn Chenier gave me this beaded belt from the 1920s. What is the story behind it?

Marks Archive Photos 2005 026.jpg.opt257x343o0,0s257x343.jpg

This very unusual beaded sash belonged to Vaudevillian Joe Mark’s wife Gracie. They were part of the illustrious Marks Brothers. From Perth, Ontario they toured North America from the 1870s into the 1920s.


As the Marks Brothers had grown up near Christie Lake they often returned there for a summer vacation. The rest of the year was spent travelling or performing in New York City. Read all about the Marks Bros. here..  CLICK


One day when Sophia accompanied Arden on his mail route, Gracie happened to meet them at their mail box. After a short chat she offered Sophia this belt to keep as a souvenir of their appreciation of Arden’s mail service to the Mark’s family.

Doris Blackburn 2008

Sophia was my Grandma Blackburn, *Arden’s wife who used to do the mail route every day with him. There is a book about my Grandpa Blackburn and his mail route stories His route ran from the Perth post office to Christie Lake and back. He delivered mail, groceries and even people. Quite the characters I met including a “hermit” named Dickie Peters who never came out of his little shack except to wave to Grandpa. As I often say to people “I can’t make this shit up.”  Karen Blackburn Chenier




Arden Blackburn’s Mail Route: The Early Days at Christie Lake

Theirs was a bond born in nature. United by water, the early inhabitants at Christie Lake were drawn into a community that came to transcend politics, religion and sometimes even family. Over time they gathered to work, to play and to celebrate the beauty that was around them. Located approximately 15 kilometres southwest of Perth, Ontario, Christie Lake is the third largest lake in what is known as the Tay Watershed. Follow the community’s mailman as he uses the North Shore Road to weave a thread that brings together this unlikely blend of permanent residents and summer vacationers

Marks Archive Photos 2005 038.jpg.opt389x291o0,0s389x291.jpg

A staged promo shot for the Marks’s production of Bringing Up Father, with Tom as Jiggs and Gracie as Martha. 1920s


Ontario’s Version of the Marks Bros-Tales of the Queen’s Hotel

What’s Happening at Christie Lake June 23, 1899

The Killarney of Canada in Lanark County

The Killarney of Canada in Lanark County

And So They Danced in 

The Story of Ms. Kitty Marks

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.

One response »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s