The Pakenham Fire of June 1939 –Names Names Names

The Pakenham Fire of June 1939 –Names Names Names


Marilyn Snedden via  the collection of Margie Argue and her late brother Dan Paige


In June 20 of 1939 several people were endangered and three building destroyed when fire broke out in the butcher shop of G. L. Hawkins, on Graham street, at 3 30 o’clock that morning, and for a while threatening the centre part of the village.

The total loss of buildings and contents was estimated as $7,000 Mrs. Albert H. Steen, owner of a double house adjoining the shop; her daughter. Mrss Mary Steen: Mr. and Mrs William McDonald and their daughter. Miss Pearl McDonald, all occupants of the  Steen house, escaped from the burning building with only a few pieces of clothing and furniture. No one was injured.

The origin of the fire is not known, but it is believed to have started in the rear of the butcher shop, spreading to the brick veneer home of Mr. Hawkins and to the frame, clapboarded double house owned by Mrs. Steen both adjoining the shop.

The loss of the store and its contents is about $2,000. the brick house and contents $3,000. and the Steen home $2,000. Insurance partially covers the losses. The fire spreading from the shop, first entered the section of the double house occupied by the J. McDonald family. Awakened by the smoke, they had just enough time to grasp some clothing and  escape from the upper storey.

A  few pieces of the downstairs furniture was removed before the flames made further salvaging impossible. Mrs. Steen and her daughter, Miss Steen who is a graduate of the Ottawa Civic Hospital, also had little time to rescue clothing or furniture. The Pakenham fire brigade was called but, consisting only of a  pump and water tank, was not effective. The Almonte brigade responded to a rail for help, but their arrival was too late to be of any use except to prevent the flames from spreading further. Fire Chief Harry Houston of Almonte was in charge of the brigade, which soon exhausted the water supply in a well, and other supply was too far distant to be of use.



Marilyn Snedden via  the collection of Margie Argue and her late brother Dan Paige






Clipped from

  1. Ottawa Daily Citizen,
  2. 21 Jul 1880, Wed,
  3. Page 1
    1.  -  1939


      Mayne Store–Memories of the Pakenham Fire 1940

      1. The Pakenham Fire of 1940

      2. July 8, 1940 Fire at the Mayne Store Pakenham

      3. Dickson Hall Fire Pakenham-H. H. Dickson

      4. Fire at Pakenham Woollen Factory with Town Directory

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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