The Lanark Library and Florence Bowes

The Lanark Library and Florence Bowes



Photo from the Elaine Playfair Collection thanks to Middleville Historian Laurie Yuill

In 1968 Mrs. Florence Bowes began working for the Lanark Public Library as an assistant to Mrs. Wallace Machon. Mrs. Bowes was born in Middleville and moved to Lanark following her marriage to Art Bowes. They originally lived on George Street in Lanark Village and then later moved to the Perth Road.

Florence got her training from Mrs. Machon and she eventually got her experience through the general growth of the library. The library was once situated in one room in the Town Hall,  and had a great selection of books, but there was no room for anyone to sit. There was an old wood stove in the centre of the room and a table and a few chairs, which meant 10 people became a crowd in the room.



Lanark Town hall After the fire–June 16/59; day after the fire-photos below were taken by Ileen Sheard and submitted by Candas Price.

Then came the tragic fire and everything was lost except a few books which had been taken out the night before. The teachers at the then Princess Street School offered their staff room and they began to set up a temporary library. The community also helped donating their books as well as other local libraries who offered them what they could.

During the Centennial in 1962 the new Town Hall and the Lanark Library opened 3-4 nights a week. But, television was brand new during that time and library traffic slowed down until the novelty wore off. Soon an addition was added and the Public Schools began using the Library once a week until they got their own library.


 - ment, . , Profit from the centennial...



When Mrs. Machon resigned Florence was chosen to be the Head Librarian and her daughter Lynda came in to help her with the typing and the paper work. But then the filing system changed and they needed help and Gloria Affleck came to the rescue. It took over two years to change that filing system which was mostly  done on their own time.

Florence said the workload increased and folks just did not realize what it took to process one book so she and Gloria took work home. In 1978 Florence Bowes retired from the Library and today the the Lanark Highlands Public Library is a team of dedicated staff and volunteers committed to enriching the community by providing access to the world’s ideas, information and changing technology that sits on George Street in the heart of Lanark Village.






 - LANAI A Large Number of looks Added to the;'...

November 1898

 - ' Uitsiuippi River Boy. Wednatday-lJO...


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

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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