Updates on The Witch of Plum Hollow — Susan Fulford

Updates on The Witch of Plum Hollow — Susan Fulford

Mother Barnes– The Witch of Plum Hollow

Susan Fulford wrote:

Hi Linda, I came across your post on Facebook this morning with lots of articles on Mother Barnes, witch of Plum Hollow.  My cousin Doug McCarten posted a thank you.  One of the articles posted was titled “Witch of Plum Hollow Carleton Place Grandmother “.  I should have noted the name of the person who posted this but I didn’t. 

There are several errors due to the fact that there are two Amy Buchanans. Mother Barnes granddaughter was Amy Barnes Buchanan, daughter of Sam Barnes. She was born and raised in Smiths Falls.  Her father was a blacksmith and carriage maker and the family were quite well off.  This Amy was my grandmother, also grandmother of Jan McCarten Sansom and Doug McCarten, my cousins.  Amy Barnes Buchanan went to Queens University for a year and then became a teacher.  She taught at Snow Road.  She met and married George Buchanan, a farmer near Maberly. 

They had three daughters, Agnes, Hilda ( my mother ) and Amy ( Jan and Doug’s mother ).  When my mother was six ( 1917 ) George sold the farm in Maberly and bought a farm in Appleton ( now owned by Edith Clarke ).  He sold that farm in about 1923 or 24 finding it too hard to get labour after WWI.  The family moved to Carleton Place and rented at least two different houses, one on Flora opposite the end of McRostie Street and another on High Street.  The year they moved to CP, my mother Hilda,  started high school on Lake Ave., this school having been built the year before.


George Buchanan became an insurance agent and after all three daughters had left home, he and Amy bought the lovely stone house on Bridge St. opposite the end of High Street.  Daughter Agnes married Archie Colvin and lived in Connecticut, daughter Hilda married Lorne MacRostie and lived in Ottawa, and daughter Amy married Vern McCarten and lived in Toronto.  Amy and Vern moved to Carleton Place about 1949 to help George Buchanan with the insurance business as George had cancer.  They initially rented a house on Joseph Street and later bought the house on Bridge Street from Amy Buchanan.  Amy Buchanan lived in several rented apartments, the last one being the top floor of the brick house on Charles St. at the corner of Emily.

So Mother Barnes was the mother of Sam Barnes, Sam was the father of Amy Barnes Buchanan, Amy Barnes Buchanan was the mother of Agnes Colvin, Hilda MacRostie and Amy McCarten.  The three sisters were very close and the MacRosties and McCartens had Sunday dinners together often, either in Ottawa or CP.  The three families rented cottages together on Hay’s shore for several summers. 

My family MacRostie is also related to the McRosties of Carleton Place.  My grandfather James was a brother of Fred, Winnie McRostie’s father.  At some point, James and at least one other brother changed the spelling from McR to MacR.  We don’t know why.  I keep in touch with Winnie’s niece Joan, we are second cousins.

My children and Jan’s children are close.  Jan and I are five years apart in age, Jan’s daughter Diana and my daughter Stephanie are five years apart and Stephanie was born on Jan’s birthday.

Another coincidence – Mary and Wally Cook’s wedding attendants were Dr. and Mrs. Kendall, the parents of my friend Jane, whom I’ve known since grade seven at Connaught School in Ottawa and our teacher that year was Leta Andison of CP.

Sorry, Linda, I got a little carried away with the family history.  My grandmother Amy Buchanan was a teacher, I was a teacher and spent the first six years of my career at Caldwell School in Carleton Place and lived in Mississippi Manor next to the hospital, and my granddaughter is at Queens doing ConEd to become to become a teacher. 

John Morrow

1 day ago

I might note: the building at Black’s Corners is the Beckwith Township Municipal Offices; Goulburn is a few kilometres east (I believe), starting at Ashton.

By the way, Linda, you and I met once at a presentation about Mother Barnes at the Goulbourn building at Black’s Corners.  I was there with cousin Jan and daughter Stephanie.  Sue MacRostie Fulford  ( photo above I took)

Clipped from Vancouver Daily World, 18 Oct 1889, Fri, Page 1

This was posted on the Tales of Carleton Place yesterday by Jim Hicks and Doug B. McCarten said Jim Hicks it was extensively restored by the previous owner who just (I guess) sold it! She did a remarkable job! My family is very grateful to her for it had previously fallen into disrepair! She ran it as a museum dedicated to Granny Barnes memory. I wonder what will happen to it now? (home of the Witch of Plum Hollow)

The Plum Hollow Witch 101 – Mother Barnes

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

The Witch Hollow of Lanark County

When Mother Barnes Made a Mistake? Beckwith 6th Line

The Witch of Plum Hollow Files- An Evening in Smiths Falls

Mother Barnes and the Missing Money of South March

Mother Barnes– The Colonel’s Daughter in Plum Hollow

An Interview with the Witch of Plum Hollow–Mother Barnes— The Ottawa Free Press 1891

The Witch of Plum Hollow and the Blacksmith

My Grandmother was Mother Barnes-The Witch of Plum Hollow

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

Plum Hollow Witch and The Mountain Man of Pakenham

The Witch of Plum Hollow — Complete Story File

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.

2 responses »

  1. I might note: the building at Black’s Corners is the Beckwith Township Municipal Offices; Goulburn is a few kilometres east (I believe), starting at Ashton.


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