Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jessie Leach Gemmill -The “Claire Fraser” of Lanark

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Jessie Leach Gemmill -The “Claire Fraser” of Lanark

 

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Any attempt to piece together the early history of the township of Lanark would be incomplete without some reference to the colourful and romantic career of the late Mrs. Andrew Gemmill mother of Mrs. W. R. Ball Of Ottawa.

Before her marriage Mrs. Gemmill was Jessie Leach, youngest daughter of Major Matthew Leach, M.D.. an officer in the British army. He had retired from the service, emigrated to Canada and settled down in Lanark, at that time an almost impenetrable forest of pine.

Image result for claire outlander doctor

Their first home was on the lot next to where the Congregational church stood. The major practised medicine in the village and his daughter, Jessie, acquired an extensive knowledge of the science through the close companionship which existed between father and daughter. In those primitive days her ability similar to Claire Fraser of Outlander was to prescribe for physical ailments was of much value. Scarcely a day passed that she would not be called upon to give the benefit of her medical skill to some poor suffering creature.

In 1847 she was married to Andrew Gemmill in the little Presbyterian church at Lanark. In 1902. Mr. Gemmill passed on at the advanced age of 82. and ten years later his faithful soul mate  passed to her reward, at the home of her daughter. Mrs. Joseph Bond. She was in her 89th year.

There had been seven children in the family, but at the time of Mrs. Gemmill’s death 1912 they had all departed this mundane sphere except Mrs. Bond. Life to Mrs. Gemmill was the constant duty that strives to do right, reaching not out for form and ceremony, but taking hold of the things at hand, by being kind and gentle and true. Hers was a brave heart and a tender sympathy in the storms or life she was rock and oak and in sunshine she was vine and flower.

 

 

genea

Andrew Gemmill, 1819 – 1902

Andrew Gemmill was born in 1819,, to Rev. Dr. John GEMMILL and Elizabeth GEMMILL (born Smith).
Rev was born circa 1761, in Scotland.
Elizabeth was born circa 1791, in Scotland.
Andrew had 5 siblings: John Raeside GEMMILLSylvanus GEMMILL and 3 other siblings.
Andrew married Janet Gemmill (born LEACH).
Janet was born circa 1824, in Ontario.
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Dr. Archibald Albert “Archie” Metcalfe — The Man with the Red Toupee – John Morrow

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Dr. Archibald Albert “Archie” Metcalfe — The Man with the Red Toupee – John Morrow
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Hi Linda

Here is the story I mentioned about Dr. Metcalfe — John Morrow.

Dr. A. A. Metcalfe

Dr. Archibald Albert “Archie” Metcalfe served the medical needs of the town of Almonte for about 65 years.

Born November 3, 1869 in Ramsay Township, the youngest child of Hugh Metcalfe and Jane McLean, he attended Almonte High School, then trained as a teacher before undertaking his medical training, teaching for a time at McDonald’s Corners, then attending Queens University in Kingston to obtain his medical degree before taking advanced studies at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His first “business card” appears in the Gazette in 1896, along with similar cards for Dr. Robert Burns, Dr. John F. Hanly and Drs. Dennis P. Lynch and John K. Kelly (Lynch and Kelly appear to have had a joint practice at the time). Dr. Metcalfe’s office is listed as being in the Post Office building.

On April 10, 1900, he married Isabella Mitchell McCallum, who was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the daughter of Archibald McCallum and Helen Shannon; the wedding took place at Pinehurst and was reported in the Gazette as being very private:

Metcalfe-McCallum.

The social event of the week in town was the marriage on Tuesday evening, at ‘‘Pinehurst,” of Dr. Archibald A. Metcalfe and Miss Isabella M. McCallum. It was a quiet affair, none but a few friends of the contracting parties being present. There were no assistants. Rev. Mr. Mitchell officiated, assisted by Rev. Mr. Hutcheon. At the conclusion of the ceremony the wedding party was given an elaborate dinner by Mr. B. Rosamond, M.P., after which the newly-wedded pair drove to their home on the Island, which has been fitted up as an office and residence. The groom is one of our most esteemed citizens, and the bride, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, who came to town about a year ago, has already won the warm friendship of a large circle of friends. The gifts were numerous and elegant. The handsome and happy pair have the good wishes of all who know them.

Copied from the Almonte Gazette

April 12, 1900

Dr. Metcalfe served for many years, starting around the time he was married, in a variety of elected public offices, including Mayor and public utilities commissioner, retiring from this only a few months before his death on February 1, 1962, at the then-recently opened Almonte General Hospital. Earlier in his career he had been instrumental in establishing first a cottage hospital on Ottawa Street about 1903 and the Rosamond Memorial Hospital on Clinton Street in 1909, working along with doctors Kelly, Lynch and Hanly (and probably some others I am not aware of).

During the Spanish Flu pandemic at the end of World War I, he himself was stricken with the flu, but managed to recover; however, the flu did leave him with a few reminders: he had a fever high enough to destroy all his hair follicles, leaving him completely bald. He tried to cover this up by wearing a red toupée; when some of the nurses at Rosamond Hospital got the chance they enjoyed putting adhesive tape inside his hat, sticky side down, so when he removed the hat at his next stop the toupée came off with it.

Another after-effect of the flu was a short-term memory loss, which probably explains the following comment on the front page of the Gazette in announcing his passing:

He had a cheerful disposition and was friendly if he had

any use for a person at all. One of his saving graces —

one that is well worth mentioning— was that he could

have a great argument with some person today and

be just as friendly with him when he met him on the

street tomorrow.

These short-term memory lapses also led to some interesting situations. For about a year my mother’s uncle, Nelson Dunlop, had a car that was identical to Dr. Metcalfe’s—even the keys were identical (my dad had a somewhat similar situation in the mid 50s with identical keys for two totally different cars, a 1937 Chev Master Coupe and a 1947 Buick Special). Every time Uncle Nelson took that car into Almonte for any reason he had to make sure Dr. Metcalfe’s car wasn’t in sight or he would end up having to find Dr. Metcalfe’s whereabouts and exchange cars. If he couldn’t track the doctor down he would have to go to the police station and wait until the doctor called in to report his medical bag missing.

Another episode stemming from Dr. Metcalfe’s short-term memory lapses happened on November 8, 1942. The day before he had pronounced my great-grandmother Euphemia “Famie” (Wark) Napier dead, then he showed up at the family home om Teskey Street during the wake wanting to talk to her about something; one of the family members had to lead him to the casket to prove that she had died.

About 11 months later Dad’s sister, Fannie (Morrow) Reckenberg of Arnprior, was in the Rosamond Hospital for the birth of her son, Robert (that’s another story involving some Arnprior doctors). While she was in the hospital Dr. Metcalfe delivered a baby girl one day; the next morning he asked one of the nurses to prepare that baby for some minor surgery. When the nurse asked what kind of surgery, he said he was going to circumcise the baby. With that the nurse started laughing and asked if she could be present for the procedure. Dr. Metcalfe commented that she had been present for many circumcisions in the past and wanted to what was so interesting this time. She responded that she had seen many baby boys being circumcised, but it would be the first time to see a girl being circumcised and several other nurses also wanted to view the procedure. One of them had to go to the nursery and bring the newborn to the OR to prove their point, and everybody in the hospital new about it before the day was over.

Dr. Metcalfe had learned to drive a car when the Ford Model T came out and had some difficulty adjusting to the much different transmission in newer model cars when Ford discontinued their old standby. In order to make sure he could shift gears he would keep the clutch pedal depressed, burning out 2 or 3 clutches every year. A mechanic reportedly asked him one time why he didn’t get a car with an automatic transmission to which he responded “Do you want me to kill myself for sure?”

Another time he took his car to the garage for something one of the mechanics connected a smoke bomb to the engine. Of course, when he started the car the smoke bomb exploded, sending him back into the garage to have someone check to find out what was going on. Another time, I believe, one of the mechanics put a piece of Limburger cheese on the exhaust manifold of one of his cars. You can imagine the smell that would create when the car got warmed up.

During Isabella McCallum Metcalfe’s last illness leading to her death in 1937 her niece, Ishabel Guthrie, came over from Scotland to look after her, and remained with her Uncle Archie until his passing in 1962. Since Archie and Isabella had no children (that lived anyway) Ishabel inherited the house and continued to live there until shortly before her own death.

The story behind the building of that house is also very interesting. Apparently during Canada’s Prohibition years Dr. Metcalfe and local druggist James Patterson had a rather lucrative dodge around the liquor ban. The night before any big party in town Dr. Metcalfe would spend some time writing “scripts” for medicinal liquor (I believe this may have been a cough syrup base). The next morning there would be a lineup to his office door, where he would issue the scipts (prescriptions) for 25¢ each, and there would be another lineup outside Patterson’s Drug Store where Mr. Patterson would fill them for 50¢ each. Both men made enough money during this period to build new homes with three courses of bricks in the walls instead of the more usual two.–John Morrow

As a sidelight to this, one day a rather inebriated gentleman showed up at the office of Dr. John F. Dunn looking for a similar prescription, which Dr. Dunn refused to issue saying he would only give it out if he felt the person requesting it actually needed it, and the individual requesting one at the time definitely did not need one. When the inebriated gentleman persisted Dr. Dunn, who had been either a wrestler or boxer (possibly both) at Queens University, picked him up by his collar and belt and threw him out of the office. Dr. Dunn would have been in his late 40s or early to mid 50s at the time.



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The Story of Trenches –Fred Knight Legion Branch #99 Cowansville

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Photos of Frederick J. Knight in the British Army in WW1 who immigrated to Cowansville, Quebec and was one of the founding members and president of Branch#99 Canadian Legion in Cowansville.

Contents of a letter my Grandfather Frederick J. Knight once wrote to my Grandmother Mary Louise Deller Knight during World War 1.

 

Christmas 1915

My dearest Mary,

It’s bang, boom and crash all day long. It’s a mess rat-a-tat-tat day and night; fires and explosions, yelling and running and shooting; sandbags and trenches, war, war, war, such as I have never seen before.

We had been in the trenches for 20 consecutive days before Christmas dawned. For 20 days we had faced that strip of land, 45 feet wide, between our trenches and that of the Germans. It was a terrible No Man’s Land, dotted with dead bodies, crisscrossed by tangled masses of barb wire. That little strip of land was as wide and as deep and as full of death as the Atlantic Ocean; impassable and filled with human hate.

And though the sunshine of that bright Christmas morning in 1915 fell upon us few had the Christmas spirit. In our hole we quickly noticed, that during the regular morning shooting hour, that the German trenches were still. Someone drew a target on a board, fastened it on a pole and stuck it above the trench, shouting to the Germans: “See how well you can shoot,” and within a minute the mark had been bullseyed. The board was pulled down, and we lifted it again so that the Germans could see their score.

 

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Photos of Frederick J. Knight in the British Army in WW1 top row left last one

 

The air was still and I raised my head along with my fellow fighters and we saw hundreds of German heads appearing. Shouts filled the air, and we wondered what miracle had happened. Men laughed and cheered. There was Christmas light in our eyes and I know there were Christmas tears in mine. There were smiles on the faces across from us where days before there had been only rifle barrels.

For once all of us on both sides of the trenches were happy for that one glorious instant that it didn’t matter what we were. Some of us with more Christmas spirit than the others jumped out of the trench and began waving our hands and cheering. Suddenly a very tall German, with a happy smile which exposed two rows of glittering white teeth, climbed out of the trench and shouted:

“Our Lieutenant presents his compliments to your Lieutenant and desires to know if you will select four men and come to the middle of the neutral territory to arrange for a truce for burying the dead.”

 

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Photos of Frederick J. Knight in the British Army in WW1 top row far left.

 

Our lieutenant agreed in an instant and I was one of the four men selected, and I shall never forget how I felt as we advanced to meet the four German soldiers and their lieutenant, who were coming toward us. We felt as if we wanted to throw our arms about these men, and they told us later in the day that the same desire was upon them.

The hatred of war had been suddenly withdrawn and it left a vacuum in which we human beings rushed into contact with each other. You felt their handshakes double handshakes, with both hands in your heart. The truce was arranged for one hour and the men from both sides were to come out and bury their dead. The soldiers flocked from both trenches and rushed at each other and shook hands. “I want to have your photographs”, said the German lieutenant to our party. He sent back for his camera and we enemies stood with our arms about each others’ shoulders while the lieutenant snapped his camera.

“If I don’t have the chance to send you the prints before the war is over, he said, “I shall see that you get them afterwards.” And with that he took our addresses.

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Photos of Frederick J. Knight in the British Army in WW1– far right- Bernie on the left.

 

At last the bodies were buried and the hour of truce had passed, but the men did not go back to the trenches. All along that once terrible strip of No Man’s Land the Germans and talked or played cards, exchanging tobacco and cigarettes and joking and laughing.

“Don’t blame us,” the Germans said. “It Isn’t our fault that we are fighting. We all have wives and children, and we are just the same kind of men and feel like fools”. It wasn’t until the sun began to go down that the groups broke up and we all shook the hands that might slay us tomorrow. After supper we heard a sudden blast of music as a little German band had crept into the German trenches and played songs from all over the world, That night there was no shooting coming from either side.  In the morning, the sound of rifles was heard far down the trench. My friend next to me jumped out of the trench and began waving his hands and began to shout a morning greeting to a German soldier he had made friends with the day before. There was a sudden rattle of rifle fire and he collapsed with a bullet through his head. The sun was shining on a world gone mad once again.

 

 

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Photos of Frederick J. Knight in the British Army in WW1 top row far right.

 

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Clipped from

  1. The Los Angeles Times,
  2. 04 Mar 1929, Mon,

 

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    Clipped from

    1. The Gazette,
    2. 20 Sep 1945, Thu,
    3. Page 10 -  -

      Clipped from

      1. The Gazette,
      2. 24 Sep 1945, Mon,
      3. Page 13

The Storm of 1906 — George Bradford

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Renfrew Street Pakenham 1906 after the storm- Bill Bagg Collection

 

Aug 21, 1906

Almonte

This town and vicinity was visited with heavy rains which began falling about noon and continued with brief intervals during the day. The rainfall being the heaviest known for years was accompanied by electric storms with the lightning being particularly sharp.

 

Lanark

Although no great damage was known resulted in the immediate neighbourhood word reached here this morning that Mr. W. Bradford, age 65, of the Township of Darling, brother of  Mr. George Bradford, of this town and postmaster of White was struck by lightning yesterday and killed. Further particular, however, are wanting except it was known that he was struck by a bolt lightening while sitting reading a newspaper at his home at half-past three yesterday afternoon during the severe electrical storm.

Carleton Place

There was a nice rain fall and some lightning here yesterday afternoon in the town and immediate vicinity but there was no unusual downpour, but to the north and west, a few miles distant the fall was exceedingly heavy.  No damage has been reported. The parched pasture land will be much benefited.

 

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This photo came from the late historian and antique collector Bill Bagg, but we have some questions and hopefully one day we will find out where it really was.

Adam Armstrong disagrees with the location

Sue Campbell

9 hours
I agree. This can’t be Pakenham. I grew up in the house at 37 Margaret Street in Pakenham. The last house. Renfrew Street and Margaret Street would have connected at our house if there wasn’t a ridge. Looking up Renfrew Street from my house to the Hwy29. Then it continued across the highway up a huge hill going up to the Catholic Church. I am not sure where this picture was taken.

 

 

 

 

1906 shipwreck found in Georgian Bay by Windsor diver and international team-

The J.H. Jones was lost in a storm and everyone on board died

 

 

relatedreading

More Clippings Found About the 1910 Carleton Place Fire

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More Clippings Found About the 1910 Carleton Place Fire

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 - AND.. Page 12 was missing…:( but then after searching found it on another site… whooo hooo.

 

 

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Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 18 May 1910, Wed,
  3. Page 8

 

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Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 18 May 1910, Wed,
  3. Page 1

 

 

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Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 19 May 1910, Thu,
  3. Page 2

     

    relatedreading

  4. The Lost Photos & Words- Carleton Place Fire 1910

    When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!

    When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!- Volume 1- Part 2

    Burnin’ Old Memories –The Mississippi Hotel Fire

Christmas Toys of the 50s– Kenner’s Daddy Saddle –Fits Any Daddy!

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Christmas Toys of the 50s– Kenner’s Daddy Saddle –Fits Any Daddy!

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When the Daddy Saddle was presented to the sales people at theKenner January meeting in Cincinnati attended by Joe Steiner and others of management it was presented by our designer at that time, Jeep Kuhn who came into the room on his hands and knees with this saddle around his back (I can’t remember who was on the saddle at the time) but everybody started laughing and the jokes were obviously flying around the room. This was truly a different toy concept especially at that time period of 1965.

 

Most kids would be perfectly content riding around on their parents bareback style, but this was a need Kenner thought they couldn’t pass up.  As rare as these toys seem to be, I’m thinking Kenner missed the mark on the demand.  That or the toy caught on with the S&M crowd and things went horribly wrong from there.

The picture below is from Kenner’s 1965 Toy Fair catalog.-Kenner Collector

 

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Okay, so I can understand that you dads will do anything for your kids. I also remember rare horsey rides eliciting a “ya-hoo” or two out of this cowpoke. The Daddy Saddle is taking us into a whole weird area, though… Are you dads out there telling me that when Mr. Junior Rodeo asks to saddle you up, making you look even more like the pack animal you already feel like, you say “giddyap, pardner”? Thank goodness Kenner (who also offered a pulse-pounding milkcow action playset) didn’t include an oat bag too. There’s not much more I can add to that. Right, Trigger?

There is a video below– but of course in a non perfect world there was one where the Daddy Saddle was not used in a PG form. You know I wanted to post it LOLOLOL.

 

Thanks to Roy Morrison for posting this on the Tales of Carleton Place– you too can get your saddle..:)

Check out the new..

Pony Up Daddy Saddle – Sheriff Blue–click here–

 

 

 

 

100 Years of Toys

Who Remembers the Penny Brite Doll?

Stan the Man! Morton’s Variety Store

Explosives Go Missing! Stories From Old Photos

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Explosives Go Missing! Stories From Old Photos

 

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Photos-  on Lost Ottawa

Thanks Johnny Racine for these great photos you found on Lost Ottawa–Anyone know about this business?  Well Jeff Brennan did, and found the following on Old Time Trains

Stories of the Local Lime Kilns as Printed in the Eganville Leader
From “Reflections of a Century: Stories and Photos from the Ottawa Valley”, published July 2002) and now we know the rest of the story– or hope we do.

 

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Photos- on Lost Ottawa

Did you know that in November of 1981 Carleton Place police put the town’s three elementary schools on the alert after 600 dynamite blasting caps were stolen from the office of a vacant lime-kiln processing plant. Police said they believe the blasting caps, which are used to detonate dynamite and have enough explosive power to cause serious injury, were taken from the office of the closed-down factory Sunday night or Monday morning.

Constable Terry Williams, who was heading the investigation, said he believes the theft was the work of students because the factory yard on Napoleon Street is used regularly as a shortcut to three schools in the vicinity. He said the thieves broke into the locked office after entering the factory and then smashed open the padlock of a strongbox that contained the devices.

“They took what they could carry,” Williams said, adding some caps were left behind. Williams could not say why the blasting caps were still stored in the vacant plant, which operated under the name of Carleton Place Lime Products until it closed about 10 years ago. But Williams said police were looking into that aspect of the investigation.

The owner of the property, whom Williams would not identify, apparently discovered the break-in after one of his routine checks of the building early Monday afternoon. “He lives just down the street and checks the place from time to time,” he said. “The last time he was there was Sunday and he hadn’t noticed anything.” Police notified officials from Carambeck Public School, Caldwell Public School and St. Mary’s Separate School of the missing caps. Williams said anyone who comes across the caps should immediately notify Carleton Place police at 257-2323.

 

The History of the Lime Company

June 21 1957
Shane Lime Works Change Ownership
The Shane Lime and Charcoal Company of Eganville have disposed of their interest at their Fourth Chute Plant. On Saturday, June 15, the Carleton Lime Co. of Carleton Place assumed new management. Their representative is Mr. S.J. Neilson. Mr. W.J. Shane will continue in charge of the plant and his brother, Mr. Douglas Shane, will be associated with him.

 

This plant, which has been known as Shane’s Lime Kiln, was originally formed by the Standard Chemical Co. of Toronto in 1913, and was located just below the village limits, with the late John Shane as foreman. In 1923, Mr. Shane and his sons acquired all the interests. They also owned the Charcoal Plant at Keamey, which was dismantled in 1943.
For 34 years the plant has been in operation, employing 17 men or more, and running two or three kilns to keep up with the ever-increasing orders. When the deposit of limestone became exhausted at Eganville, the Shanes acquired the splendid layout of the Dominion Rock Products, halfway between Eganville and Fourth Chute, acquiring also an almost inexhaustible supply of rock, sufficient to guarantee the continuity of operations for years.

 

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Photos-  on Lost Ottawa

March 11–1960
W. J. Shane Retires From Bonnechere Lime
Mr. S. J. Neilson, president of Bonnechere Lime Limited, announced the retirement of Mr. W. K. Shane, works superintendent, as of the end of February, 1960.
Mr. Shane has been in charge of production operations for Bonnechere Lime since this company purchased the physical assets of the Shane Lime and Charcoal Co. Ltd., three years ago. Mr. R.J. Fillion is promoted to the position of works superintendent. Mr. Fillion has been assistant to Mr. Shane since moving to Eganville in 1957, and was previously in charge of the plant operations of Carleton Lime Products Co., Carleton Place.

 

Photos-  on Lost Ottawa

The History

January 20-1966
Bonnechere Lime Works Closes
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Fillion and family, residents of Eganville for the past five or six years while Mr. Fillion was plant superintendent at the Bonnechere Lime Products Plant at Fourth Chute, have returned to Carleton Place, their former place of residence. Reason for the move is the decision of the proprietor, Mr. S. J. Nielson, to close the plant until such a time as a substantial lime contract can be negotiated. For some time, a higher grade of limestone than that found at Fourth Chute was trucked from Carleton Place, where Mr. Nielson has a similar operation, and processed here, but this was found to be an uneconomical arrangement. Thus, the decision to close was reached.

 

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Carleton Place Lime Kiln painting by Norma Ford’s father

 

The lime industry is one of the oldest in this district and it is a pity that the present action is necessary. Besides employing up to fifteen hands, depending on how many kilns were burned – there are three on the property – successive owners have always purchased large quantities of kiln wood, from farmers in the earlier days, and slabs from sawmill operators in later years. It contributed a great deal to the local economy and it is hoped
that changed conditions will enable them to reopen in the not too distant future.

 

1986
July 9
Another Bit of Local History Is Dismantled
Sixty-three years ago, limestone cut from a nearby quarry made its way high over the Fourth Chute road, between Eganville and Douglas, for the first time on a newly-built tramway, to be dumped into one of three big kilns.
Ever since, motorists have passed under this tramway, marvelling at the structure and its huge supporting towers. Abandoned for nearly 20 years, many are unaware of the history behind the tramway and the lime kilns and in recent years, the old site has become sort of an attraction in itself. But it’s all history now. The last piece of steel overpass was dismantled and trucked away last Monday.
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The steel overpass over the Fourth Chute Road that was used for carting lime stone from the quarries in small cars on a railway track to the kilns, and the kilns themselves were dismantled in 1987.
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Map of the area (my pencil markings of the location of the CN & CP rail lines – I’m unclear of the Douglas to Eganville route) EDB

Old Time Trains

 

Read about Carleton Place’s Lime Kiln here. CLICK

 

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This is Sandy Quinn-Jones taken near the lime kiln. Photo Tom Edwards

historicalnotes

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Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 04 Apr 1928, Wed,
  3. Page 19
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    Clipped from

    1. The Ottawa Journal,
    2. 04 Jun 1974, Tue,
    3. First Edition,
    4. Page 5

       

      relatedreading

A Kiln? Looking for information please

Looking for the Artist of this Carleton Place Painting-The Lime Kiln

Archie Guthrie’s Notes on Lanark Mines Hall’s Mills and Cheese 1993

A Giant’s Kettle in the Middle of Lanark County