Documenting The Lanark Village Caldwell Home –“The Hielans”

Documenting  The Lanark Village Caldwell Home –“The Hielans”

Photo of the day–Found this amazing picture while digging through a box of stuff left by the previous owners… Fairly certain this is Bess Caldwell, circa 1900-1905, ripping around the lawn of Goth Manor on her goat cart. from Northern Gothic in Lanark

Miss Caldwell

Built in 1865 by the Caldwell family— (read more here More Tidbits About Lanark Village) and now known as “the Hielans,” this great house is a treasure of the Ottawa Valley, situated in the heart of the village of Lanark on the Clyde river”.
Before- Lanrk & District Museum
“Highland Laddie”, also known as “Hielan’ Laddie”, is the name of a Scottish popular folk tune “If Thou’lt Play Me Fair Play”, but as with many old melodies various sets of words can be sung to it, of which Robert Burns’s poem “Highland Laddie” is probably the best known. “If Thou’lt Play Me Fair Play” has been reworked several times since Burns set down his words,


The Trials, Difficulties, Slow but Steady Progress and
Finally Success of the Hardy Pioneers Written
Especially for the “Courier” — Inter-
esting Sketches.


Written By Mr. C. M. Forbes.

Published in The Perth Courier, Dec. 15, 1905 through Feb. 9, 1906.
Transcribed for the LCGS website by Charles Dobie. read the rest here click-
           In 1837 the lumbering industry throughout Canada passed into an era of unexampled prosperity. This attractive business condition marked the entrance into active life of the village the Caldwell family, who coming out from Lochwinnoch, Scotland, in the early twenties, had gone on with others to the Township of Lanark. But the strong armed young sons John, Alexander and Boyd had learned woodcraft and possessed the business acumen and foresight to penetrate its possibilities. They were more ambitious than could be gratified on the Lanark homestead. Alexander and Boyd formed a partnership in 1837 and for thirteen years together engaged in the export timber business. They acquired lands and when they dissolved partnership these were divided, Alexander retaining the Clyde lands, Boyd the Mississippi, and pursuing separately the fortunes of the timber trade. They moved into Lanark Village and until their death remained the central figures of that great lumbering industry which they carried on.
           Sandy, as Alexander was affectionately called, possessed in a marked degree the power of winning men. His promises and his threats were alike accepted irrevocably. If a man proved himself on a jam of logs and Sandy said he should have more per month than he engaged for then the man got the increase, or if big Mick Ryan, swinging, swaggering Mick, tearing down Hall’s Hill shouting in response to a query, “drunk again ?” “Yis, be gad, it’s not every day I kill a pig” — if Mick went home and ill-treated his wife and Sandy knew of it then there would be threats and executions. Poor Mick he feared nobody but Sandy ; one day when in response to a summons for help the latter went to remonstrate with the Irishman for his cruelty he found him sitting in the house busy with a saucer of tea. He never looked up but at the first word from Sandy, Mick threw the tea in his face, but for his impudence and other misdeeds found himself sprawling upon the floor. Sandy nearly broke his hand with the blow.


W. C. Caldwells Aberndeen Mills, Lanark Ontario. Grist and carding mill. Photo: Ewan R. Caldwell Collection, Negative No. PA-135197. Public Archives of Canada. –Perth RememberedSandy Caldwell King of the River Boys
           But there were happier times than this settling of family disputes. Every person acquainted with the life and disposition of a “shantyman” knows that in his merry moments, when through with the season’s operations in bush or on “drive” he is wont to engage in diversion of an innocent nature. And also in the long winter evenings when the work of the day is done and the “lads” have all returned from the woods and are seated around the camboose. It has been an arduous day perhaps out in the “works”; from before dawn till twilight’s close the men have been faithfully attending to all the parts of making logs or timber, chopping, scoring, hewing, skidding, hauling, with a brief midday meal of bread and pork at the base of some tall monarch of the woods, then thankfully coming to camp at night the lads file in, take their turn at the wash basin and then red cheeked and hungry they get down to a good substantial meal of meat and bread and tea. The appetite of a shantyman is great and swift. He eats a lot and it doesn’t take him long. So when the meal is over there are axes to grind, peavies to tighten up, axe handles to make and everything to get ready for the morrow’s operations. After this is all carefully attended to the jubilant spirits of the “shantymen” find expression in songs and sports. And it was in these sports that the leader Sandy excelled. He was always ready for a trial of swayback, twist the broom, hop the barrel or any one of the many games of the woods. This was the winning side of his nature but he also possessed a keen appreciation of the practical side of affairs and was ready to note every detail of the business in which he engaged. Thus, on the “drive” season when a jam of logs or timber obstructed the stream no readier arm or knowing mind ventured out upon the mass of locked timbers. Quick to find the place where the pinch of a peevie would do most good, where the unloading of a log would relieve the pressure in the proper spot, he appeared to possess a genius for bringing order out of chaos by this speedy restoring the tranquil passing of the drive. Moreover in the estimating of a timber limit few men of his time knew better than Alexander Caldwell how much square timber or logs a given area would produce.
           The partnership of 1837 then, between these two brothers Alexander and Boyd Caldwell, was one destined to have only good results for they were both eminently qualified. Thus we see them for thirteen years actively engaged side by side until the importance of their interests led to an understanding that each could pursue his fortunes alone. This perhaps was a good thing for the young village because it now became the home of two aggressive lumbering concerns instead of one and these added to a number of other companies who did business on the Clyde or Mississippi gave Lanark that picturesque bearing and character which belongs to every prosperous lumber town. In those days Lanark Village was spread over as much area as at the present time.

           The growth of the village so far as steady population and the erection of houses are concerned was slow until the fifties. Then an impetus seemed to be given progress and we find the Caldwell store and residence among the substantial structures that came into form at that time. This building is one of the best pieces of masonry in the place and indeed we know of no walls built here since that excel these in point of workmanship.
           It was also in this decade that the Congregational church of Lanark came into existence.
           A simple incident brought this about. Certain preachers at Middleville had been holding strong attractive meetings and a few of the elders and members of the Presbyterian church had gone to hear them which brought upon the offending churchmen the displeasure of the meenister. This precipitated a church quarrel which ended in 60 families seceding from the Presbyterian Church owing to what they called arbitrary treatment and setting up a branch of the Congregational Church. This was about 1848 although the congregation was not formally organized till 1852. Two years later an offshoot found good soil in Lanark Village when a congregation was organized here and in 1856 a church built and opened. This was the building partially destroyed by fire in 1900 and torn down to make room for the splendid new church in 1903 with Rev. D.C. McIntosh, pastor.
The rolling nature of the country upon which Lanark is built has given prominence in name to some of the more conspicuous peaks and stretches inside the corporation. Thus we speak of the French Hill, Legary’s Hill, the 50 acres, in the same manner as Glasgow people speak of similar peculiarities in the topography of their city. The bend of the High Street was the Bell o’ the Brae, where according to ancient tradition Wallace won his strategic victory over Bishop Beck of Durham and the English garrison of the Castle. Balamany Brae was another historical incline and Glasgow Green at the foot of the Saltmarket was a fashionable promenade down to the end of the eighteenth century. At that date John Mayne could write :
Whae’er has daunered oot at een
And seen the sights that I hae seen
For strappin lassies tight and clean
          May proudly tell
That, seach the country, Glasgow Green
          Will bear the bell.
           I have often thought of dear old Glasgow Green when on a Sunday afternoon perchance I roamed over Lanark’s 50 acres. It is true that the 50 acres will ill compare in point of size or historic association with the famous green, nearby the Court House where in July, 1865, the last public execution took place. It was that of Dr. Pritchard, the Sauchiehall Street poisoner whose mortal agony was watched by some thirty thousand persons. But our 50 acres is a considerable stretch of green and here in the summer time Lanark lads and lassies are wont to stray even as they do in the Old Country and moreover where Ned Belton and a certain cobbler along with a number of cronies held full many a sweet and savory “bouillon.” Our own poet John Moran has immortalized this feature of the 50 acres in his clever verses on the “Stolen Gobbler.”
           One who is at all acquainted with the history of Lanark cannot mention “French Hill” without recalling memories of a pleasant old Frenchman who once lived there. Whence he came I know not nor do I care to enquire, for the people who knew him always speak so reverently and affectionately of “Old Tut Millotte” that I fain would believe he spent all his days in Lanark. Everybody knew him and none had an ill word to say. Fortune had not been kind to Tut even when we consider a lack of making the best of opportunities. But though the fickle dame frowned and despotically refused to accord the beaming old fellow any roseate chance yet he never showed discouragement.

           He had a position with the Caldwell firm when that company were in the heyday of their lumbering. Cooper by trade, it was his duty to make barrels in which to pack pork. This he did in the summer time and cut up and packed the pork in the fall. His workshop situated on George Street at the base of the hill between the Era office and Nelson Affleck‘s blacksmith shop contained all the equipment necessary for the business. In one end stood a pair of scales of the old pattern, large board squares supported by chains from a balance beam of iron. A huge cutting block and a ponderous cleaver such as some Gargantua might use, a sharp knife, a huge fork, a pot of lamp black and a brush with which he marked B.C. & Son on the carcass completed the outfit. He also wore while in this inspecting house a special suit which bore thickly spread evidences of his calling for the grease accumulations of years deepened until it was reckoned by inches. Pork for Millotte‘s inspection was usually sold at the Caldwell office or store before submitting for inspection and almost invariably Millotte received it with the remark “No meestake, fine pig for Boyd’s Willie.” This perhaps was not intended as a word in praise of the pork so much as it served to please the seller, and brought the reward of a glass of malt at Dobbie‘s tavern, and when night came he was pleased to boast, “No meestake, twenty one horn of malt and all right yet,” accompanying this statement with a slap of the right hand upon his open mouth which produced a sharp sound indicating all was right below. Dear old Millotte ! Your bronzed features and fringe of snow-white hair, your imperturbable disposition has set many a one thinking.
The death of Alexander Caldwell in the sixties and Boyd in 1868 passed the control of the family interests on to a younger generation. The late W.C. Caldwell, M.P.P., took up the business which had been established and vigorously prosecuted, with success by his father; T.B. Caldwell and William Caldwell succeeded to the holdings which had made the name of Boyd Caldwell and Son prominent among Canada’s foremost commercial firms. The old school dropped into history and Lanark’s business circles were now formed of younger men who by their energy, push and enterprise have shed fresh lustre upon the family name. Early in life W.C. Caldwell became identified with the political life of the province and for upwards of thirty years stood as the leader of the Liberal party in the North Riding of Lanark. He engaged in numerous political campaigns and invariably won the admiration and respect of those with whom he came in contact even when they found their views diametrically opposed to his. His manly bearing and straightforward manner were of the kind one might expect in a son of a worthy sire. Lanark mourned when her honored son was laid low, for his achievements in public life had brought enoniums not only upon himself but also the village of his birth. One of the more important election contests in which he invited public opinion was that of 1879 when he defeated Dr. Mostyn by the majority of 282 votes. When the news was announced after the returns were counted up, wild enthusiasm prevailed. A procession was formed and marched out to meet the conquering hero who had spent that day in Almonte and was returning home in the evening. Ardent supporters manufactured a banner out of colored cloth and upon it the number 282 flamed. With this emblem of victory waving proudly in the breeze, the long line of men entered the village and shouts of acclaim greeted the man who won the day. A banquet held in Baird‘s brick block the same evening has never been surpassed in point of excellence. Political fervor also ran high and speeches made which are remembered down to the present day.
           Mr. William Caldwell moved to Toronto a few years ago and his removal left Mr. T.B. Caldwell the sole representative and proprietor of the Boyd Caldwell interests which included the Clyde Woollen Mills, timber limits, iron mines, and the large Lanark store. T.B. Caldwell is now North Lanark’s representative in the Federal Parliament. Since the death of his father the expansion has ever been reflective of that careful business administration combined with aggressive enterprise which have always characterized the name.

Bytown Paranormal
August 9, 2020  · 

Visiting Northern Gothic today and came across this beautiful old church on a hill in Lanark, Ontario.
118 MILL STREET, Lanark Highlands, Ontario K0G1K0
For Sale

Description for 118 MILL STREET
Waterfront Victorian Home on 5.4 Acres! Perched atop a hill overlooking the Clyde River & Lanark Village, youll find this masterpiece from the mid 19th century. Just 15 mins from Perth! 600ft of waterfront. Example of excellent 1800s craftsmanship, w/ 11 ceilings throughout, fireplaces in every rm on the main lvl, & a wrap-around porch. On the main lvl youll find a grand staircase, & huge family rm to your left adjoining the formal dining rm. On the right youll find an opulent parlour w/ wall-to-wall bookshelf harbouring a secret passageway! Upstairs youll notice grand arching doors w/ stained glass leading to a separate suite w/ full bthrm, bdrm, & extra set of stairs. On the other side there are 3 lg bdrms & 3 full bthrms; 2 were recently remodeled. A separate 2 storey outbuilding offers a workshop wired w/ its own 200 amp service, loft & 2 car garage. Backing onto golf course for optimal privacy. Come experience the rich history of this one-of-a-kind estate! 24hrs irrevocable. (id:1937)

Revolutions of Death at Caldwell & Son’s

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

More Tidbits About Lanark Village

The Tale of the Transplanted Higlanders

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.

One response »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s