Dissecting a Letter to the Editor — Isabel Aitken Ranney and Auld Kirk

Dissecting a Letter to the Editor — Isabel Aitken Ranney and Auld Kirk

Before and After — Auld Kirk

March 1960

The following letter is from a lady, long a resident of California, who was born in the Rosetta district. San Luis, Obispo, Calif.

Dear Mr. Hanna: ( read-Stewart Hanna –The “Angry” Journalist of a Rural Town)

Enclosed please find $3.50 for the Gazette for another year, and believe me I get more pleasure from that money in proportion than any other I spend. I realize there are not many of my age left, but I enjoy hearing of all that goes on in the town and surrounding country.

As usual I am sending some cards showing the beauty of the country. With the exception of M. B. Rock those scenes are all between here and Los Angeles. If there are any cards showing the Auld Kirk, I would be so happy if you would send me one.

Our rector of the little church pictured in this stationery collects cards of churches and I would like one for him. Either my grandfather or my great grandfather helped haul stones to build that church, I have forgotten which one though. (grandfather)

William Aitken

DEATH12 Mar 1889 (aged 73–74)
BURIALRosetta CemeteryRosetta, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
St. Stephen’s was founded in 1867 as the 1st organized Protestant church in San Luis Obispo county. The original church building, locally known as a “carpenter gothic” gem, was built of Monterey Pine beams from Cambria, Ca. And covered with redwood on a site which cost $10. The rich hues of our memorial stained glass windows reflect both a pioneer heritage and a radiant future. The building today still retains the lines and flavor of the original structure

The little church shown on this stationery was the first Protestant’ Church in all San Luis County and is more than 90 years old. The other church was one of the Missions built by the Mission Fathers in 1773. It is still in use and in good condition. Our little church shown here is in good condition ■and is very beautiful inside with all stained glass windows. It is only one block from my home. There are additional buildings built since this picture was taken.

Best wishes for the Gazette for another year.

Sincerely, Isabel Ranney

Everything You Wanted to Know About Auld Kirk

The early days of the Auld Kirk, St. Andrew’s, in Ramsay, when Rev. Fairbairn and Rev. Dr. McMorran were the ministers. Recollections of the long services, which lasted from 11 o’clock till one. There was the red velvet bag attached to an inner handle In which the collection was taken in.

Instead of children going home with their parents they used to eat their lunch in the church yard and wait till Sabbath school opened about 3 o’clock. The Sabbath school, like the church services, was severe. Each child had to learn during the week and repeat on Sunday, 4 to 5 verses of Scripture. For special occasions they were asked to learn a whole chapter. After school the children walked home. Religion was very severe in those days and the children “couldn’t do anything.”

Name:Isabella Aitken Ranney
Birth Date:1881
Birth Place:Ramsay, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Death Date:1964
Death Place:San Luis Obispo County, California, United States of America
Cemetery:Los Osos Valley Memorial Park
Burial or Cremation Place:Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California, United States of America
Has Bio?:N
Spouse:Amos Moore Ranney


William Aitken
12 Dec 1857Rosetta, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
16 Jun 1940 (aged 82)Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Auld Kirk Cemetery
Mississippi Mills, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada

1940, Thursday June 20, The Almonte Gazette page 4
Mr William Aitken
Mr William Aitken, for many years a resident of Almonte, passed away Sunday afternoon, June 16th, at the home of his daughter, Mrs D.J. Thompson, Lanark Township. His parents were William Aitken and Isabella Turnbull, pioneers of the district. He was born at Rosetta, in 1857 and received his education at Rosetta School House. During his lifetime he attended four successive churches on the one site. At an early age he entered public life, taking much interest in church, school and municipal affairs, acting first as councillor in the township and later as reeve. He also was clerk of the Grange, which was held at home of Mr George McFarlane at Rosetta, in the ’80’s. He was married in 1878 to Alice Knapton of Rosetta, a daughter of Silas Knapton and Mary Harrington who died in 1904. There was a family of nine, William of Regina, Sask.; Edwin, who was killed in action at Vimy Ridge in 1917; Jack of South Porcupine, Ont.; …Edwin, who was killed in action at Vimy Ridge in 1917; Jack of South Porcupine, Ont.; Mary, Mrs D.J. Thompson of Lanark Township, Isabel, Mrs A.M. Ranney of Oxnard, Cal; Alice, Mrs F.E. Ranney, deceased; Agnes and Estella who died in infancy and Ella of Santa Monica, Cal. In 1905 he sold his farm at Rosetta and moved to Regina, Sask. where the family resided for four years, when he married Miss Agnes Dick of Almonte, and returned to Almonte shortly after. She predeceased him in 1927. In Almonte he also took a keen interest in church and municipal affairs, being treasurer of the Bible Society Branch, also clerk of the session of Bethany Church. He also served on Almonte Council as councillor and as reeve. Shortly after the death of his wife in 1927, he took up residence at his daughter’s home in Lanark Township with the exception of some winters spent in Almonte. He left 22 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon from the home of his daughter Mrs D.J. Thompson, to Rosetta Church, where service was conducted by the Rev Stanley Smith of Middleville. Many friends and neighbours were present. The pallbearers were six grandsons, Harvey, Edwin, Russell, Malcolm, John and Billie Thompson. Interment was in the Auld Kirk Cemetery at Almonte.
Contributor: Gary J Byron (49329383)


1904, Friday December 9, The Almonte Gazette page 4
At Rosetta, Nov 26, Alice Knapton, wife of Mr Wm Aitken, aged 50 years.

1904, Friday December 9, The Almonte Gazette front page
Mrs Wm Aitken It is not always that the death of a quiet unassuming mother calls forth such widespread sorrow as did that of Mrs Wm Aitken, of Rosetta, who succumbed on Nov 25th. Her illness extending over a period of five months, was borne without a murmur. Mrs Aitken, who was fifty years of age, came with her parents from Newfoundland, when quite young and settled on part of the farm on which she died. She and Mr Aitken lived together for twenty-five years, and to them nine children were born, two dying in infancy. The funeral was an unusually large one, friends coming from Almonte, Clayton, Lanark and vicinity to show their last token of respect to one who was much loved. To the husband and family in their trying time and trust that the Great Comforter may soften their loss which is so hard to bear.
Contributor: Gary J Byron (49329383)

Everything You Wanted to Know About Auld Kirk

Before and After — Auld Kirk

The Very Sad Tale of Cecil Cummings of Carleton Place

William and Agnes Aitken — Genealogy

Hamilton & Aitken Photos by Nancy McKenzie Dupuis

The Funniest Anti-Dog Letter to the Editor–Almonte Gazette

The Almonte Gazette is sold to John Graham of Carleton Place 1965

Tips From the Almonte Gazette “Travel Section” 1874

Stewart Hanna –The “Angry” Journalist of a Rural Town

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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