The Pakenham Brush Fire of July 1939

The Pakenham Brush Fire of July 1939

BB Old Brush Fire Sand 4.jpg


In June of 1939 there was a town fire in Pakenham and then in July of 1939 to make things worse there was a huge brush fire. Finally realizing the danger from a forest fire in the Pakenham Mountain district, volunteers turned out in large numbers. The fire had caused destruction to thousands of ‘dollars’ worth of lumber over a four-mile front. It  became almost impossible to get men to fight the flames without pay.

With a large party of men and equipment to fight the blaze, T. J. Needham, of Pakenham started for the scene of the fire. Their chief efforts were made in the vicinity of a sawmill, owned by H. L. Barr. and which was about one and a half miles south of the village. Mr. Needham said that up to the present it had been impossible to make the villagers realize the menace the blaze presented to their homes.

Arthur Seward, a homesteader, and his bride of five months, who lived in the path of the fire, had to move from their home. The Sewards immediately packed ready for instant evacuation of their property if the flames should threaten their home.




Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 06 Feb 1970, Fri,
  3. Page 45


A. J. McWatty– whose farm was a mile from Pakenham village, was forced to send for aid when the flames swept perilously close to his outbuildings and only the efforts of a small army of volunteers saved the property.

Three separate outbreaks in the high mountains of the district have been reported. A girl spectator from the Almonte area had her dress burned off when a spark from the area lit on her back, it was reported. She was not seriously hurt, however, and bystanders beat out the flames with their hands. A motorist who left his touring car standing near the scene of the fire returned to find its canvas top burned completely off.




Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 25 Jul 1939, Tue,
  3. Page 4


Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 27 Jul 1939, Thu,
  3. Page 15


  1. Clipped from

    1. The Ottawa Citizen,
    2. 29 Jul 1939, Sat,
    3. Page 3

The Pakenham Fire of June 1939 –Names Names Names

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

The Lavant Station Fire 1939

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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