Joe Baye — Donna Sweeney Lowry

Joe Baye — Donna Sweeney Lowry


Middleville img (12) (1)

Middleville Museum photo

Good morning,

I just read your post about Joe Baye relatives looking for info and you visiting his grave at Auld Kirk. My mom grew up near the floating bridge. My grandmother Annie (Moulton) Giles and Ellen (Slack) Baye were good friends. One of Ellen and Joe’s granddaughters, Eleanor, spent a lot of time at their cabin by Floating Bridge.

Mom and Eleanor became good friends. Eleanor was Mom’s maid-of-honour. Mom loved the Baye’s like grandparents. I was told when Joe died his little black horse was gifted to Mom. The beautiful horse was never without it’s netting and was never made to take a quick step unless Joe had been drinking. When this happened Mom said you could hear the poor thing snorting and puffing and the whip cracking when they turned onto the 12th line! Another time when he was drunk he cut the tails off Mrs.Bayes cats.

After enduring enough of Joe Mrs Baye confided in my grandmother and they sent away for some kind of herbal medicine that would stop you from drinking. After Mrs Baye sneaked in into Joe’s tea or food, he became deathly ill and Mrs.Baye thought she had killed him. But he didn’t die and supposedly was not as fond of alcohol after that.

Joe made excellent axe handles from the near perfect hickory limbs he harvested from neighbours property. Mom laughed and said everyone had to go to Joe to buy an axe handle because Joe had cleaned out all the good limbs.

Joe loved music. Joe and Ellen put up an outdoor dance platform at their cabin and couples came from all around to dance. That is where my Mom and Dad met.

The Mississippi runs along county road 29 behind many Lowry farms. I understand Joe trapped all along the Mississippi River. Joe was certainly a well known character at one time.


Author’s Note

Thank you for your story.. Keep sending them in!!

Did you know?

On the return trip they camped against Indians Landing on the Mississippi Lake, sometimes staying there for most of the summer.  Joe and Johnny Baye made their local headquarters there in the 1880’s and 90’s.  They sold boats including dugouts made of ash and basswood, and many of their axe handles and colored hampers and clothes baskets were sold in the stores of the town.  Joe Baye and his white wife also lived at the Floating Bridge on the Indian River in Ramsay.  He died in the Almonte hospital in 1928.



The Legend Of Big Joe Baye — How Much Do You Know?

The Little Door by the River

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Living with the Natives — Mrs Copithorne’s Bread

  1. Looking for Information on the Native Fort Farm of Fred Sadler of Almonte

  2. The Adventurous History of the Mississippi – Linda’s Mailbag

  3. Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives

  4. The Natives of Carleton Place — Violins and Deer

  5. They Died From Dirty Clothing — The Whiteduck Family

  6. From Carleton Place to Fish Creek –North West Rebellion

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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