Need “BLOOD-LETTING’? Head on Down to the Blacksmith!

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Need “BLOOD-LETTING’? Head on Down to the Blacksmith!

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Being “bled” by the village blacksmith was one of the ways in which the people of Bell’s Corners and the surrounding country used to keep well in the 1800s. Mr. Wm. Arnold narrates that when he was a boy in the 1860s Thomas Bowes, who kept a blacksmith shop about a mile and a halt up the road towards Hazeldean, had quite a reputation as a “blood letter” and people used to go to him from miles around.

Mr. Bowes did not profess to be a physician in the regular sense, but he did profess to be real handy in opening a vein in the arm and letting out superfluous of diseased blood.  It must not be understood that Mr. Bowes put his customers’ arms on the anvil and opened the vein with a two foot steel chisel. Not at all. Mr. Bowes, according to Mr. Arnold, owned some very fine lances such as the surgeons of the day used, and he handled them most expertly. Such was the word of the rest of the blacksmiths in all the counties.

Some said that if Thomas Bowes had had a college education he would have made a very excellent surgeon, as he had, despite his strength a very fine touch, and was very attentive binding up the arm and stopping the flow of blood after the necessary amount had been “let.”

Doctors ‘ were rather scarce in the area, and there was a shortage of leeches, and one had to go to Ottawa for “leeches.” As the reputation of Mr. Bowes as a blood-letter grew, fewer people went to Ottawa for leeches. It was a common thing in or around Bell’s Corners to hear one man say to another, “Where are you going?” and have the other reply, “Oh, up to Tom Bowes’ to get bled.”

Mr. Bowes’ services were mostly called into requisition in cases of bruises or other injuries which caused discoloration. But it often happened that men went to him when they merely felt out of sorts and when they reasoned that a little loss of blood would do them good.

In those days no one had heard of high blood pressure. Had such a thing been known, then it is quite possible that more would have gone to him for blood-letting on that account. Mr. Arnold says that Mr. Bowes, besides being a good blood-letter, was a good blacksmith and that he will long be remembered as one of the “Institutions” at the Bell’s Corners country.

 

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 Friday night October 5- FREE! Donations to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum would be appreciated–

AND it’s on!!! Explore the amusing and ghastly tales of old Carleton Place. Escape into the past as your offbeat guide Linda Seccaspina provides you with an eerie, educational, yet fun-filled adventure. Learn about many of Carleton Place’s historic figures and just like you they walk the dark streets of Carleton Place in search of nightly entertainment, yet, they don’t know that they themselves are the entertainment. Walkabout begins Friday night October 5 at 7 pm in front of Scott Reid’s Office–224 Bridge Street– the former Leland Hotel –and ends at the Grand Hotel. About one hour.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.

  1. relatedreading

    The Witch of Plum Hollow and the Blacksmith

  2. The Curious World of Bill Bagg — The Gillies Blacksmith Shop

  3. Walter Cameron the Famous Blacksmith of Fallbrook

  4. The Blacksmiths of Lanark County

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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