Remembering The Lanark Fair — The Buchanan Scrapbook

Remembering The Lanark Fair — The Buchanan Scrapbook

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

If you were lucky to have a quarter when you went to the fair you immediately turned them into pennies. In those days a penny could do lot, and you cherished each one. Some would walk miles to attend the fair and Hazel Mitchell ( Mrs. Albert Mitchell) walked 7 miles to the Lanark Fair. From Ladore to the MacDonald’s Corners Fairs she made the trek as she had begun to exhibit at an early age. Hazel had prize ribbons for handwriting and various baked goods, especially bread.

She felt the walk was well worth it but sometimes she stayed with some of her relatives overnight. They would watch the horse races and look at all the exhibits, especially the fowl. Ice cream was a rare thing in those days so it was usually her treat for the day.

Most people only attended their local fair– which was the one that was closest to them. It was the social event of the year where the local people went to meet their friends as in those days you seeed to know everyone you met. When Albter Sommerville was involved the society hired a cook by the name of Martin Larocque, and there was always a good dinner served at midday. Archie Yuill looked after the dining hall for a few years also.

At the Lanark Fair there used to be a string of horse buggies pass up and down the road from Carleton Place. Mrs. McCurdy lived down on the Guthrie place near the McIlquham Bridge on the 11th line. She never exhibited at the Fair but was busy preparing meals served by the U.C. W. ( WA at that time) and they treated the boys after the ballgame. There was also a big horse show and had many fruit stands will all kinds of autumn fruits for sale.

Lanark Fair was first connected with the early Bathurst Horicultural Society at the start in the 1800s. The grounds they felt were on a good site, on a rising knoll with good buildings, a big hall, and an eighth of a mile long race track. It took 8 rounds to make a mile and the horses were always going in circles. As some said there was no high class stuff and the ice cream and popcorn in very long bags were the desired treats.

In its hay day the Lanark fair even beat out the Perth Fair when the fairs were bring held at the same time. But the Lanark fair eventually lost out as the merchants thought it just wasn’t lucrative enough as far as their businesses were concerned and chnage was eveident everywhere. The last Lanark Fair was held in the village in 1948. The buildings were demolished and the lumber sold– but people still talked about the great little fair in Lanark.

Walter Cameron said he felt like a millionaire with a five cent piece in your pocket. He loved the bicycle races and a ride on the merry-go-round meant more to him than anything else. It used to be hard to find a place to tei your horse up at the fair there was such a crowd. But it began to fizzle out after the first world war and more after the second. People travelled farther and things close to home didn’t mean so much anymore.

So what happened to the fair? The fairgrounds became a park with most of the treesgone and according to some– for better or worse sports took over in Lanark.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Sep 1949, Sat  •  Page 1
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Sep 1949, Mon  •  Page 22
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Sep 1948, Sat  •  Page 13
Upper George Street, Lanark, shop of John P. Leslie, wagon maker. The shop did buggy repairs, general, built new wheels, etc. and was also an agency for the machinery shown in front. Mr. and Mrs. Leslie lived above the shop at the time. Next is the home of James Darou and next the Labelle home.
Ray Paquette21 hours
It was nice to see the picture of the ball diamond where I attended many games acting as the batboy for many teams coached by my Dad in the 1950’s…

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.

3 responses »

  1. It was nice to see the picture of the ball diamond where I attended many games acting as the batboy for many teams coached by my Dad in the 1950’s…


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