Elizabeth Kelly — Mary Cook News Archives

Elizabeth Kelly — Mary Cook News Archives

img - 2020-02-08T210746.524

 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
24 Oct 1980, Fri  •  Page 3


 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Dec 1984, Mon  •  Page 4

 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Feb 1988, Mon  •  Page 8

 - The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
15 Jan 1938, Sat  •  Page 10

Elizabeth Kelly From the Millstone

Mrs. Marion Graham was friendly with Miss Elizabeth Kelly (who by no small coincidence is the namesake of our library). Once I was visited at my office at 77 Little Bridge Street by Mrs. Graham and Miss Kelly. Miss Kelly was born and raised in this building. Interestingly, I was able to obtain the autograph of Miss Elizabeth E. Kelly at the foot of my original diary entry of this event. I say “interestingly” because there was some question in my mind when I met Miss Kelly on July 4, 1983 (when I understand she was well into her eighties) whether in fact she knew her own name. As it turned out, she knew a lot more than that. For example, Mrs. Graham turned to her at one point during our conversation and asked Miss Kelly whether she (Miss Kelly) knew where she was (Mrs. Graham had asked her this because my own office, in which we all were sitting, had once been the bedroom of Miss Kelly’s parents). To this Miss Kelly simply replied, “Yes. My bedroom was upstairs. There are twenty-four steps going upstairs.” Well, I need not tell you that, upon their departure, I wasted no time in counting the number of steps leading to the top of the stairs, and she was right!

Speaking of Miss Kelly’s bedroom, I once heard a story, perhaps it was from Mrs. Marion Graham (Library Board Member May 1953 – December 1975 and Chairman for 20 years), who, with Miss Elizabeth Schoular (Almonte Public School Teacher) and Miss Elizabeth Kelly (Librarian) and other like-minded citizens (W.J. “Jim” Coady, farmer & Chairman, 1953- 1955; Mayor Alex “Sandy” McDonald, In Charge of Dy house & later Superintendent ; Dr. John F. Dunn – Medical Practitioner; Rev. Arthur Hirtle, Baptist Minister; George L. Comba, Director of Comba Funeral Home; Stewart Lee, Merchant – Lee’ s Hardware; Miss Jessie Mathews – High School teacher, Latin, Art & some history) that Miss Kelly was such an avid reader that practically nothing could keep her from her books. Even as a young child, when Miss Kelly was sent to bed by her parents, she would pull the bare lamp-bulb down from the ceiling on its cord, and hide herself, the bulb and the book under the covers so that she might continue to read. Not surprisingly, this heated relationship with a burning bulb proved disastrous one night as her bed sheets caught fire and sent her fleeing onto the little roof-cover over the front porch of her house screaming for help. Years after I had bought the building, when I was having some work done on an area near Miss Kelly’s former bedroom, the tradesman asked me whether the house had ever had a fire. It was then that I recollected the story I had heard about her reading mishap. Parts of the old brick wall are still charred from that night.

Miss Kelly’s father was Dr. John King Kelly. Mrs. Graham reported to me that he was a very compassionate doctor, but he died a poor man. His books disclosed that he got paid most often in specie (potatoes, cuts of beef, and other such farm products). But he would never let the manner or probability of payment get in the way of him attending to an ill patient, even if he or she were as far away as Clayton on a wintry night.

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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