Category Archives: Uncategorized

The “Bustle Period” in Ladies Fashion.

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Members of the Shipman family at the turn of the century. The Shipman’s had a lumbering enterprise in Almonte. (National Archives of Canada photo)

by Allison Paul                       

Gazette reporter

One hundred years ago was known as the bustle period in women’s fashions. The first bustles of this period about (1870-1890) was large pads, stuffed with wool and worn behind, just below the waist, under the skirt. The idea behind the bustle was to push the skirt out. In the 1870’s through to the 1880’s dresses consisted basically of tightly corsetted bodices with skirts flattened in the front and puffed out behind. However, there were four years from 1878 to 1882 when dresses were tight all the way down with a train at the back. Elegant dresses were heavily trimmed with ribbon, paste spangles, tinsel, lace, bows and flowers. 

Dresses of this period became extremely colourful. Often they were made of three or four different materials. Sleeves were plain or puffed out above the elbow into what was called the leg-of-mutton sleeve. During the day the blouse and skirt were worn and in the evening dresses were low-necked with ballooned elbow sleeves or else sleeveless. Laced or buttoned boots were popular and black stockings were usually worn. Women also wore long white frilled .drawers which were quite inconvenient. An outside patch pocket in skirts became a new fashion during this period. The Princess dress had a fitting bodice which con­tinued down like a tunic, making an over-skirt. All fashionable skirts were double or draped or trimmed to imitate an over-skirt. However, at the end of the 19th century skirts were plain or flared. There was one comfortable dress which was allowed indoors, the Teagown.

Caps were im­perative with this. Some skirts in the 1880’s were designed for exercise and these were fully pleated behind and had no over-skirt. Three-quarter length coats were worn outdoors. Later on in this period knickerbockers became the new fashion for ladies for exercise and sport. A short coat and a small felt hat was worn with them. During this period hair was piled up on the head and hung down the back of the neck, Hats became more fashionable than bonnets and from 1893 to 1897 decorative combs or or­naments of osprey or heron feathers were worn in the evening. Homburg hats were the fashion for men during this period. These hats were soft with a dent in the crown. The waistcoat was also a part of men’s fashions. This was sleeveless except for the type worn by some workers and later railway porters. At first the waistcoat had a collar and lapels but these were discarded in the 1870’s and it was then known as a straight waistcoat.

Like the coats, it could be single-breasted or double-breasted; but until the 1890’s evening-dress waistcoats were single breasted; then the double-breasted form became correct. In the 1890’s especially for evening dress waistcoats were being replaced by the cummerbund. In the 1860’s shirt collars were lowered and either turn-down or stand-up and neck ties were small and tied in a bow and later a knot. During this period men wore the cut-away coat in the evening and for the daytime the frock coat was worn. Another possibility was the morning coat. It was cut away in a curve over the hips and buttoned high over the chest. Double-breasted “reefer” jackets were worn especially for yachting. For shooting men wore a Norfolk jacket which had vertical pleats and loose knee-breeches.

 

In the 1890’s a short hair cut was proper and anyone whose hair was a trifle long was called a poet or a musician. During this period little boys were dressed like little girls until they were four­ years-old and then they were dressed in trousers. Trousers were usually buttoned on to a short coat and this was called a skeleton suit. Knickerbockers and sailor suits were popular for public school and for formal wear tight short black Eton jackets with a large white starched collar were the rule. Young girls followed the fashions of their mothers except that their dresses were shorter and for the first half of the century the wearing of white frilled drawers showing below the skirt was fashionable. Boys and girls always had to wear some kind of head gear out of doors and in the summer it was usually a stiff straw hat.

 

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The Lotta Bustle: Running Around In My Underwear

 

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Clipped from

  1. St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
  2. 10 Feb 1889, Sun,
  3. Page 23

     

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WHY THE ORANGE LODGES STARTED USING ORANGE WOODEN SHUTTERS

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WHY THE ORANGE LODGES STARTED USING ORANGE WOODEN SHUTTERS
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Few people are better able to tell about the early days of Orangeism in our counties than Geo. Boyce, past grand master of Ontario East. He has seen the membership of the order in Carleton grow from 700 to 1300 in 1927.

He has walked in Orange processions annually, rain or shine, since 1864. He has seen the days when Orange lodges were housed in log buildings. But always was there the wooden shutters the distinctive Insignia, as it were, of a county Orange lodge. “It isn’t as  shutters were required on an Orange lodge room any more than on any other sort of a lodge room.” said Mr. Boyce, “but lt always seemed to be a sort of accepted idea that shutters were a distinctive mark for a county lodge.

In the early days school buildings and Orange lodge buildings looked very much alike. But when shutters were used on the Orange lodges there could not be any mistake by either Orangemen or  as to where the lodges were located.

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About Orange parades Mr.  Boyce added: “I never knew of a parade, how-ever far back, which was short of either a white home, a fife, or a drum. I have never heard of a district where some farmer could not play the fife, or at least do his beat,” he added, “and for the drum, there have always been in every district big muscular chap who were both able and willing to beat the nicest drum which could be handed them. “

The reason there were so many Orange Lodges was that many of the settlers were from Northern Ireland had been members of Orange lodges there. It was natural therefore that when a number of North of Ireland men settled in a certain locality that the first thing they did was form an Orange lodge.

Comment– Clifford Johnston wrote: This article has missed the most important reason for there having been so many Orange Lodges. Settlers from the Isles were predominantly Protestants. They arrived in a predominantly Roman Catholic country with a large social infrastucture which excluded Protestants. Protestants were not invited to RC social functions. The Orange Lodges filled the social structure void for Protestants. As the roads improved, as movies came of age, as cars replaced horses Protestants became more mobile, providing greater social opportunities for them, and Orange Lodges started to decline in importance and numbers. I still have my grandfather’s LOL ribbon/badge, Pendleton #950, now defunct.

historicalnotes

Above is a photograph of Bennett Rosamond the Grand Master of the Orange Order in Canada. Bennett is with members of Lodge 389 in Lanark, or, Almonte. The image on the banner is that of William of Orange who is carried in Orange Parades. That is Bennett on the far right, looking like Gandalf, or, a Levite Prophet.

According to the History of the Rosemond Family by Leland Rosemond, the Rosamond family were members of the Orange Order in Leitrim Ireland, and fled to Canada after a Rosamond son killed a Catholic lad who was invading the Rosamond home with a gang bent on doing my kindred harm.

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Perth’s Soldier Terrible Ordeal in Prison Camp 1917 Clyde Scott

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Perth’s Soldier Terrible Ordeal in Prison Camp 1917 Clyde Scott

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Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 15 Feb 1917, Thu,
  3. Page 13
  4. PerthLanarkTroops-1914-644x442.jpg 
  5. THE CONTINGENT LEAVES Photo Perth Remembered

    The overseas contingent will leave Perth tonight at nine o’clock. They fall in at the grounds at eight o’clock and parade to the station headed by the Citizens’ Band. The parade state of the overseas contingent from Perth is as follows: Scott C. Lieut., Wright. W. E. Col. Serg., Brown A. C., McFaulds J., McLean W., Cameron H.G., Carr F.C., Fraser E., Joynt W.J., Pearce V.G., Wright W., Sinclair A., Spalding E.

    THE 130TH LANARK & RENFREW BATTALION

  6. 1915-March-on-Gore

     

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Fresh Fairy Foot Marks Earth On a Charcoal Pit Westport Perth –McNamee

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Fresh Fairy Foot Marks Earth On a Charcoal Pit  Westport Perth –McNamee

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This is a story about Irish fairies in Canada, and the story began on the road from Perth to Westport. It was near the McNamee Farm which was at the foot of the mountain, just beyond the Scotch Line, not far from Stanleyville.  Among the stories is one which might lead to when the Irish immigrants came to the mountain top between Westport and Perth, in North Burgess. Apparently their particular family fairies came with them.

In the early 1850s Mr. McNamee’s father was working as a charcoal burner on the west, side of the mountain, close to Westport. With him he had as a helper a man named George Murphy. Those who understand charcoal burning will remember that when the wood used to be well lit it would be covered by a bed of sand or earth, so that the wood might be merely charred instead of being burned.

One morning when his father and George Murphy awoke they saw that the earth which they had put over the charcoal was covered with tiny footprints. The prints were about two inches long, and exactly the shape of a human foot. The marks of the heels and the toes were clear cut.

The whole surface of the pit was covered in tiny footprints and gave the impression that a number of little people had been dancing on the fresh earth surface. The two men were greatly surprised at what they saw. Neither had seen anything like it in Ireland. They had heard a great deal about fairies while back in the homeland, but had never seen any of their footprints.

The men were loath to disturb the earth and waited a long time for someone to come and verify what they had seen, but as nobody came they were forced finally to uncover the pit. If there has been any cameras in those days they might have taken a photo, but there were none, so they had no evidence to show their families and friends

Both Mr. McNamee and Mr. Murphy made wide inquiries as to whether anybody else had had a similar experience, but they could not find that anybody had. So they came to the conclusion that they had been specially favoured.  Some to whom they told the story suggested that the foot-marks were those of some small animal, but both men strongly averred that the marks were like those of miniature human feet much smaller than those of a new baby’s feet.

 

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Mr. J. B. McNamee tells another story that about 1870, just after they were married, his father and his mother had an experience with a banshee. They had started home from a dance at a neighbour’s and were going by way of a bush road, when they heard nearby a weird cry, unlike anything human they had ever heard. It was a half sobbing, half moaning cry, as of something in dire distress. Mrs. McNamee said: “Maurice, can that be a banshee”?

As they were not far from the house of the dance, they decided to go back and let the people know what they heard. As they walked back they heard the cry a second time, and before they had reached the home of the neighbours, they had heard it a third time. When they told the neighbour and those who were still at the dance what they had heard, they all turned out to listen. But the cries were not repeated.

Three days later a man was killed in the bush close to the house where the dance was held. , Mr McNamee says the early settlers all believed in fairies, banshees and ghosts, and that ghost stories were the favourite amusement at every evening gathering. Ghosts were not talked about at barn-raisings or daytime gatherings, as there would not be any “kick” in talking about ghosts in the broad daylight. The telling of ghost stories gave every night gathering a “kick.”

 

 

 

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Civic Bylaws 1875

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Civic Bylaws 1875

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The following clauses of the old civic bylaws in 1875 “to preserve order and public morals” enacted back in the misty past and re-enacted when the civic bylaws were codified and consolidated, make humorous reading in these more or less civilized days.

 

“No person shall keep or use in any house, pit, ground or other place for running baiting or fighting any bull, bear, dog, cock or other animal, whether of domestic or wild nature, etc. It used to be done.

“No person shall wash or bathe his or her naked person in any public water In the said town.” It used to be done, they say.

“No person shall suffer or permit to run at large within the town, any wolf, bear or other wild animal, of which he or she, is the owner, possessor, harborer or caretaker.” We don’t know about this one.

“No person shall shout or call out (improperly) ‘Fire’ In a loud voice”. (There goes my walking tours)

” “No person shall obstruct passengers by standing across any of the sidewalks, footpaths or crossings, or by using insulting language thereon.”

“No person shall permit any horse, mule, ass, sheep, swine, or goat belonging to him … to run at large in the said city, or to permit such …. to graze in along or upon any street lane, sidewalk, boulevard, park, square, or public ground within the said town.”

 

 

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When Mother Barnes Made a Mistake? Beckwith 6th Line

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When Mother Barnes Made a Mistake? Beckwith 6th Line

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The following story which concerns some exciting happenings in Smiths Falls, and on the sixth line of Beckwith township in the forties of last century, is related by Mr. H. F. McLachlin of Franktown.

The story brings in the once famous Mrs. Barnes of Plum Hollow, near Brockville, who used to be known as the “Witch of Plum Hollow.” The story opens with the death of a girl in Smiths Falls under peculiar circumstances. The girl, it appears, had grown to an abnormal size and had been affected with an enormous appetite. The doctors could not tell what had caused the girl to grow as she had done, and in medical circles her death caused quite an amount of talk.

Soon after the girl had been buried it was discovered that her grave had been opened and the body removed. A few days later her remains were found in a bog near the bank of the Rideau river. Many people were inclined to blame medical students for the outrage. Friends of the deceased girl decided to consult Mrs. Barnes at Plum Hollow. Mrs. Barnes had had a reputation for finding lost articles and giving information on a variety of topics. Whether by coincidence or by occult powers, Mrs. Barnes had prior to that produced results which seemed weird in the extreme and led to her being called a “witch.”.

When the relatives of the girl, accompanied by the sheriff, told Mrs. Barnes their story, and asked her to tell who had done the act, she told the sheriff to ride north from Smiths Falls till he would meet a man in the bush. This man who turned to the right would be the man.

The sheriff followed the directions and in the bush he met Mr. James Stewart of the sixth line of Beckwith who was out in the bush looking for a couple of calves which had been lost. Soon after the sheriff saw Mr. Stewart, he (Mr. Stewart) turned to the right onto the sixth line road, which was then, (as it is today) little more than a lane.

On the strength of what Mrs. Barnes had said the sheriff arrested Mr. Stewart and took him to the Perth jail. Things might have gone badly for Mr. Stewart, but it appeared that the morning after the girl’s body had been dug up three men had called at a farm house near the Rideau river (where the remains had been found). The farm house was in a lonesome place. In those days most farm children were ultra-shy and used to run and hide when strangers appeared. When the three children (little girls) of this family saw the strangers approach, they ran and hid under an old four-poster bed which stood in the ground floor bedroom. The strangers asked for a drink. The farmer’s wife asked if they would drink buttermilk. They said they would and the farmer’s wife went out to the milk-house to get it.

The men not knowing of the presence of the children under the bed, talked about the dissection they had performed the previous night. When the news of Mr. Stewart’s arrest spread, the children told their parents about what the strangers had said. They were taken to Perth and gave evidence. As a result of their evidence Mr. Stewart was honourably acquitted. After that Mrs. Barnes’ reputation was somewhat eclipsed.

 

Author’s Note: I don’t think Mother Barnes reputation was ‘eclipsed’ as in essence she directed the sheriff to the right spot where they could learn more about the incident. But, I guess if you don’t get it bang on people talk LOL

 

 

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The Evil Eye of Lanark County

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The Evil Eye of Lanark County

 

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August, 1929

A pretty bride recently went to the Perth Court and asked for a separation, charging that her husband believed she possessed the “evil eye” and could bewitch him. In the enlightened year of 1929, and in the civilized village of Lanark,  the pretty young wife told the judge that her husband believed her eyes could exert an evil power over him.

When, the amazed judge heard the Mrs. tell how she was forced by her husband to go to a witch in order to be “exorcised,” he granted the separation. In doing so he made this final comment: “It seems strange in this day that such a matter should be in litigation or that such testimony could be heard from the lips of witnesses”. But, strange as the case was, investigation later disclosed there had been many others, in the area wherein witchcraft and the “evil eye” played an important part. I would think we should have just labelled that “Lanark County Gossip”.

These cases usually involved immigrants or their descendants who still retained . superstitions and beliefs in magic. Even more amazing was the revelation that such superstition ascribed to a lack of education or undeveloped mentalities.

But until this woman went into court there was no suspicion that faith in witchcraft was so widespread. The witch was supposed to have passed out of the realm of belief after the Salem persecutions.

Her husband said that unless he was freed from the evil influence he would die and his wife would be to blame. A month after their marriage, she said, the husband forced her to go to live with a “witch” in order to be exorcised.

Authorities were jolted when the wife asked for a separation from her husband, charging him with cruelty because, she said, he regarded her, not as his wife, but as a witch. She told the astonished Court that her young husband, here nine years from Italy, had accused her of having bewitched him, his family and his house.

Four days after their marriage, she testified,  her husband accused her of having bewitched him with her evil eye into marriage. Coincidentally enough, she had, indeed a cast in the left eye. “My husband,” she said in court, “was continually pointing his finger at me.”

The defendant denied the charge about witchcraft, but had apparently was taken seriously by some in the community of persons among whom they live. The defendant said that if the woman whom they visited was a witch doctor he did not know it until the plaintiff’s affidavits were served on the motion for temporary alimony.

She had sustained her burden of proof, and that the charges, under the circumstances, were so cruel as to make it impossible for them to live together any longer. This case was all the more remarkable because of the otherwise high intelligence of those concerned. But authorities later discovered that fear of the evil eye prevailed among many “intelligent” people living in Lanark County.

 

 

historicalnotes

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Clipped from

  1. Akron Daily Democrat,
  2. 05 Oct 1894, Fri,
  3. Page 3Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

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