Ramsay W.I. Tweedsmuir History Book 1—SOME EARLY RAMSAY HISTORY

Ramsay W.I. Tweedsmuir History Book 1—SOME EARLY RAMSAY HISTORY

Ramsay W.I. Tweedsmuir History Book 1

Except for two or three who may have settled at the Great Falls, where Almonte now is,
the Township of Ramsay had no settlers until after the completion of the survey dividing the
Township into lots and concessions It was completed in January 1821. In the early summer about
30 families from England Scotland and Ireland arrived and a few weeks later 100 families
belonging to the Lanark Society of settlers came from Scotland mostly from Lanarkshire, and
settled in Ramsay. They arrived in Quebec in June, came by steamer to Montreal then traveled up
the St. Lawrence River to Brockville, then across mostly on foot, to Perth then on to Lanark. Some
came by land and some came down the Mississippi to Ramsay. Many families stayed at Lanark;
some at Perth,until the men picked their lots and had a cabin built to live in. It was fall when most
of the families were established for the winter.

The year before this 1200 settlers, also of the Lanark Society, had come to the northern
townships of Lanark County and settled mostly in Lanark and Dalhousie , a few in Lavant, Darling
and North Sherbrooke Settlement around Perth had begun a few years earlier but this was the first
in the northern part of the county. They came on three ships, the Commerce, the Prompt and the

The settlers belonging to the Lanark Societies who came in 1821 numbered 1,800 people
and came on the David of London, the Earl of Buckinghamshire, the George Canning and the
Commerce. Many settled in Ramsay.

The British Government had been persuaded by Lord Archibald Hamilton, the M.P for
Lanarkshire in Scotland assisted by John Maxwell, the M.P. for Renfrewshire, to make
arrangements for settling these people on land in Canada. They also provided them with some
tools and blankets as well as seed grain. Sufficient money was loaned by the Government to tide
then over until the harvest next fall. The people paid their own passage aboard ship
Many of these Ramsay settlers came by way of the Mississippi River. Many others came by
way of the old Perth road which had been an Indian trail for centuries to the Great Falls (now
Almonte). This road had been laid out by surveyors across the center of the township past Wolfe
Grove, the eighth line was more heavily populated than any other part of Ramsay. This is where
the first four churches were built. Four schools were built there too.

Bennie’s Corners had a population of 75 before 1851. There was Leishman’s store and post
office and Glover’s Cooper Shop, Cockle’s shoemakers, Philip’s Blacksmiths shop and a carriage
shop. Whitelaw’s had a weaving shop and at the ninth line corner was Snedden’s Hotel. Greville
Toshack had a carding mill. At Otter Glen, Young’s had a barley mill and Baird’s had a store and a
grist mill called Woodside Mill. There was a drying kiln to dry the grain and a conveyer across to
another mill where they made oatmeal. There was a Miller’s house near the eighth line and two
houses for the help. At the South corner of the Baird farm was the Covenanters or Reformed
Presbyterian Church. The great fire of 1851 destroyed the village of Bennie’s Corners and it was
never built up again. Mr. Carswell, the teacher, had a house, as did Banker Jimmy Snedden, who
was also a lumberman.

Bennie’s Corners was the post office for a large part of Ramsay until the Blakeney post
office was started in 1874. This was a new name for the village of Rosebank given in the I850’s. It
had earlier been known as Snedden’s Mills after the Snedden’s had established a grist mill, a saw
aill, and a timber slide at Norway Pine Falls which connected the main river with the bay, to aid
then in their timber trade. Teamsters found a stopping place famed for its comfort and
accommodation at Snedden’s Hotel. The Rugged Chute on the Clayton road was called
Huntersville because James and Alex Hunter had established a woolen mill of importance there. It
employed about 20 people. In 1873 the mill was destroyed by fire with a loss of $10,000.
There was quite a village of houses here including three double tenements. John Speirs ran
the mill later and lived in the Hunter house. He was a master dyer. He scoured, dyed and stretched
the cloth and made soap for the scouring by the barrelful. Mr. Croft took over the mill and made
beautiful cloth and blankets as veil as yarn. There was a post office in Mr. Speirs’ home.

History of the Ramsay Women`s Institute Branch

Ramsay Women’s Institute was formed in Ramsay Township, Ontario, Canada in 1944 with 29 members. With amalgamation in 1998, Ramsay Township became part of the newly formed municipality of the Town of Mississippi Mills.

Nearly 70 years later, Ramsay Women’s Institute continues to provide a friendly environment for self enrichment, education and community involvement for all women 16 years and older. Today’s  branch of 20 members actively supports projects locally, nationally and internationally, and continues to preserve the rich local history through itsTweedsmuir Histories.

For newcomers who wish to meet their neighbours or become involved in their new community, Ramsay Women’s Institute is a friendly starting point. New members are always welcome. The W.I. is a unique in that there are no religious or political ties.

Ramsay Women’s Institute is part of the North Lanark District of Eastern Ontario within the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario. The Women’s Institute was formed in 1897 in Ontario by Adelaide Hoodless. She was motivated by the tragic death of her son from typhoid fever due to contaminated milk. She encouraged women to organize and educate themselves in food preparation and household hygiene to improve their  standard of living. 

From Dublin to Drummond- Mahon Family Reunion — Series

A Tale of Immigrants — John Davies

Mothell Parish familes that are in the 1816-1822 1816 – 1824 Beckwith Settlers Names

Bits of Bennies Corners — Names Names Names

One of the First Settlers of Drumond from the Massacre at Culloden

Shades of Outlander in Carleton Place–John McPherson–Jacobite

The Old Settlers Weren’t so Old After All

Some Cold Hard Facts- First Tailor in Ramsay and a Cow Without a Bell

Dear Lanark Era –Lanark Society Settlers Letter

Ramsay Settlers 101

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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