Tag Archives: 1910

Red Letter Days of the Lanark Fair 1910

Photo Adin Wesley Daigle

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Sep 1910, Sat  •  Page 11

The World’s Fair- Lombardy Fair

Results of School Fairs Lanark County — Who Do You Know?

“Sale” Fairs — Crops and Sometimes Fair Damsels

Clippings and Photos of the 1958 Almonte Turkey Fair

HISTORY OF LANARK TOWNSHIP AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION –Laurie Yuill Part 4-“the proprietor of a merry-go-round was paid a bonus to bring his machine to the Fair “

Eva L. Devlin Pilot Crashed at Perth Fair

The Lanark Fair 1904 Names Names Names

McDonald’s Corners Fair Marks 100th Anniversary 1956 Names Names Names

“Around the Local Fairs in 80 Days”? Lanark County Minor Steampunk Story

The Country Fairs 1879

Are You Ever too Old to Go to The Rural Fair? — Almonte

It Happened at The Richmond Fair 2012 – Photo Memories

Doin’ the Funky Chicken in Lanark County

Dalhousie Lake in Photos –Caldwell Family Summer Vacations

Dalhousie Lake in Photos –Caldwell Family Summer Vacations




Dalhousie Lake Caldwell Cottage- Circa 1910-1920- All photos–-LCGS acquisition from Chris Allen

Read more about the family here: The Alexander Clyde Caldwell Family Part 1
















Author’s Note.. I put this photo below from the same area from a postcard from the 40s


dalhousie-lake-postcard (1).jpg





The family at Dalhousie Lake- Photo-LCGS acquisition from Chris Allen




Dalhousie Lake –Photo-LCGS acquisition from Chris Allen-“First Camp” 1890

Attendees: (in no particular order) Mrs. Wallace, AC Caldwell. Miss Robertson, Miss M. Wallace, N. Young, Ed Cooper, Miss N. Robertson, R. Robertson, Miss L. Drysdale, Lloyd Robertson, Miss Barrie, Mrs. R. Drysdale, Dr. Lyle


Come 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)



The Alexander Clyde Caldwell Family Part 1

The Carleton Place Beanery at Dalhousie Lake

Canadian Girls in Training

Knitted Mittens for the Dionne Quintuplets–Mary McIntyre

“They were Set Down in Dalhousie Township”– Effie Park Salkeld

The Steads of Dalhousie Lake

The Hysteria and Overbooking of Hayley’s Comet 1910

The Hysteria and Overbooking of Hayley’s Comet 1910




If you read *When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror! you will remember three young ladies residing in a house in one end of Carleton Place. They were suddenly awakened at 3 am that night in May of 1910 by the cries from the town fire and the illumination of the sky. The women thought that Halley’s Comet had passed that night and had produced the end of the world.

The three rushed outdoors in their night clothes waving their arms and crying in despair. They thought it the end of the time was near. It took awhile to get the ladies under control and understand what had really happened. No doubt they had read the newspapers that very day about the coming of Halley’s Comet.




For weeks international and local newspapers literally terrorized their readers. Over 500 Italians in Little Italy in New York fell to their knees in prayer that night when they saw the ball of flame bearing down on them in the sky. In New Jersey locals took the whole day off work to pray in their local churches for their salvation. Fraudsters hawked anti-comet pills, with one brand promising to be “an elixir for escaping the wrath of the heavens,” while a voodoo doctor in Haiti was said to be selling pills “as fast as he can make them.” Two Texan charlatans were arrested for marketing sugar pills as the cure-all for all things comet, but police released them when customers demanded their freedom. Gas masks, too, flew off the shelves.



The whole performance took five hours that night while the Carleton Place fire raged. On the bridges of Ottawa and on rooftops people gathered and some educators carried bottles so they could contain some the atmosphere for future analysis.  The world’s greatest scientists assured everyone that no harm would befall and their analysis could not be foretold, but it was concluded that there was no cyanogen gas from the tail of the comet that they were fearful of. Local bartenders were telling their patrons to drink half water and half alcohol and that was an antidote if they breathed any cynogen gas from the meteor. Local farmers removed their lightening rods from their homes and barns fearful of dangerous light flashes and substances that might accompany the comet.

Folks got real creative with their anxiety. It didn’t help that a few months earlier, The New York Times had announced that one astronomer theorized that the comet would unceremoniously end life as we know it. The Associated Press warned their readers they had observed two rather large black spots on the sun and solar eruptions were viewed and spread even more hysteria.

In the end there was no collision, and no drastic effects and life went back as we know it. That night as part of Carleton Place burned down few thought of Hailey’s passing comet except for the girls near Townline and the visibility of Halley’s Comet at the birth and death of Mark Twain was nothing “an exaggeration.”


I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”
 Mark Twain, a Biography


Some of our citizens claim to have seen the comet Friday night.
There is nothing wrong with their eyesight–Almonte Gazette- May 27 1910


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come 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.



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


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The Lost Photos & Words- Carleton Place Fire 1910

The Lost Photos  & Words- Carleton Place Fire 1910



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal19 May 1910, ThuPage 1

I found this article by accident– half the time you look for something and you don’t find it–or–find half the article. This article is quite the treasure for me personally. The photos are not that clear, but it is still a precise record of what happened.

What is most interesting is the map of what buildings burnt in the Carleton Place fire of 1910. We now know that it definitely began in the old Comrie building where Cameron’s Butcher Shop was, and, who was exactly affected by this devastating fire.















Read about more losses on: When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!- Volume 1- Part 2







Read more about the Gillies house here-Fires in Carleton Place–James Gillies House




All Clipped from The Ottawa Journal19 May 1910, ThuPage 1






Burned down in the 1910 fire

Read more about the Gillies house here-Fires in Carleton Place–James Gillies House





From the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come 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.




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

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



Part 1-

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

Perth Courier, May 20, 1910

Lashed by a heavy gale, a fire broke out shortly after midnight Tuesday night in the rear of the Cameron Brothers, a meat shop in Carleton Place, spread with rapidity and before it was got under control 35 buildings were destroyed, entailing a loss of over $150,000 and nearly 100 people were left homeless.

The handsome Zion Presbyterian Church was totally destroyed and among the residences completely wrecked was that of the late Jas. Gillies, which was one of the finest in town.  The drill hall, curling rink, Masonic hall and other structures that ranked among the best in town are completely demolished

The blow is the hardest that has ever been dealt the enterprising Junction Town and the people are stunned by the disaster.  The only fortunate feature is that no lives were lost and no one was injured.

It is estimated that there was not more than $80,000 insurance so the sufferers will have to bear a very heavy personal loss.

It was shortly after midnight when the town was aroused by the wild clanging of church bells.  The volunteer fire brigade members knew the signal and Chief William McIlquham and his men jumped into their fire fighting harness and were soon on the streets.

The fire had been discovered at the rear of the building at the corner of Bridge and Albert Streets in the heart of the town.  This building was occupied by Cameron Brothers and W. Singleton & Son and there is considerable doubt as to which side of the premises the fire originated.  However, it is generally believed that the fire started from a box stove at the back of the meat shop.

The wind was blowing like a hurricane and the flames leapt to the adjoining buildings with lightening speed.

Half clad men and women and children rushed out of their homes as the fire caught the houses in its grasp.

Every able bodied townsman became a fire fighter and Mayor Cram was one of the hardest workers.  The 2 fire engines were placed at the Mississippi River and they did good work but were insufficient to cope with the conflagration.  The fire rushed down Albert Street and caught on the brick building occupied upstairs by the Freemason lodge and downstairs by the Salvation Army.

From this building it leapt to near by buildings and then caught on the steeple of the Zion Church.  The firemen worked valiantly to save the edifice but their efforts were futile for the stream would not reach the blaze.  The flames soon enveloped the whole church and then huge arms of fire were stretched out for more prey.

Blazing timbers as big as a barrel were carried hundreds of yards by the gale and new fires sprang up everywhere.

A message was flashed to the neighboring town of Almonte for assistance and it was readily given.  Carleton Place had assisted Almonte several years ago when the town of the woolen mills was attacked by fire and the Almonters remembered this and got up in the middle of the night to get aid to the other town.

A freight town happened to be passing through Almonte and it was stopped.  The locomotive was attached to two freight cars and the Almonte fire engine and other fire fighting equipment were loaded on these and the run to Carleton Place was made in record time.

As the fire approached the armories Sgt. Major Collins of the 42nd Regiment whose headquarters was the drill hall, repeatedly entered the building and carried out rifles and other equipment.  Before he had completed his work the building which was a frame structure, took fire and the hissing of exploding bullets could be heard as he emerged from the building hall on his last trip.    Many rifles, uniforms and other equipment were destroyed.  The equipment was to have been handed out to the members of the company this week.

Members of the Methodist Church formed a bucket brigade around the church and the parsonage of Rev. A. Wilkinson and succeeded in saving both buildings.

There were many narrow escapes from falling walls and tottering telephone poles.  The heat became so intense with three solid blocks burning that the crowds had to retreat before the fiery blast.

A heavy downpour of rain came about 2:00 when the fire had been under way for about two hours and this storm helped to fire fighters in their work.

The embankment of the C.P.R. tracks kept the fire back and had it not been for this barrier it is thought that the greater portion of this town would have been reduced to ashes.  The fire was raging so fiercely around the railway that two trains were held back until the flames subsided.

It was after 4:00 Wednesday morning before the fire had spent is course and the hundreds of exhausted men who had formed a circle around the burning area and who had been continually forced further and further back by the encroaching flames were able to get to their houses.  A score who were left without a place to lay their heads were given shelter by more fortunate townspeople whose homes had escaped.

So quickly had the fire spread that few people were able to save any of their household effects.  Many were without fire insurance and will be in destitute circumstances for a while.

With daylight Wednesday morning the full extent of the conflagration could be seen for the first time. The entire block bounded by Beckwith, Albert, Judson, and Franklin Streets was in a heap of ruins. Where frame buildings stood in many cases nothing but a huge pile of ashes was left.  The destruction was not confined to this block but the whole neighborhood was touched by the fire.

The happiest man in Carleton Place was Mr. G. Leslie.  The fire burned right up to the wall of his hardware establishment but through the efforts of the firemen it was saved.   The building with the stock is valued at $30,000 and it was said there was not a cent of fire insurance on it.

John Fraser, formerly of Perth, an employee of the Mississippi Hotel, was roused by Mr. C. Fanning after the fire had caught on his house.  Fraser rushed out with two young children in his arms and likely had he not been roused a fatality might have occurred.

The great velocity of the wind is evidenced by the fact that a big ember was carried into the air a mile out into the country and set fire to the barns of a farmer H. Morphy.  The barns were destroyed.

The greatest loss was the Zion Presbyterian Church.  It was valued at $35,000.  It was a substantial stone edifice nicely furnished inside and contained a valuable pipe organ.  Only last year the church was remodeled at the cost of $18,000.  The church was insured for $15,000.  (Note:  see article below on the history of this church.)

The manse of Rev. Mr. Scott near the Zion Church was also destroyed.  Great sympathy is felt for the pastor who is left, after thirty years service in this town, without either church or manse.  Rev. Mr. Monds, pastor of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, suffered the loss of his manse but the church was saved.

The Gillies residence was valued at $25,000 and was partly insured.

The loss to Singleton and Son is estimated at $10,000 of which $3,000 is covered by insurance.

Finlay McEwen, the postmaster, lost his residence which was worth $7,000 and was insured for over $3,000.

E.T. Wilkie, Civil Engineer, lost his dwelling which was valued at $5,000.  A house owned by his mother Mrs. W.W. Wilkie and occupied by Dr. Howard, was destroyed.  Dr. Howard left only a few days ago on a trip to New York.

The tower of Bates and Innes, Woolen Mill, caught fire several times but the employees remained on watch and quenched the blaze each time.

The building where the fire originated was owned by William Comerie who is now engaged in railway work at Chapleau.

Other persons whose buildings were destroyed are:  Jas. Walters, David Thompson, Stephen Stanzel, J. Fraser, John McFarlane, John McDonald, E.A. Wilson, Mrs. Steele, John Gordon, Gilbert Gordon, Mrs. White, Samuel Dunfield, Francis Gallagher, Mrs. Code, W.H. Hamilton, Peter McDonald, J. McLeod, and Edgar Bradford of Ottawa.

The dwelling of Samuel Torrance who is now at Elk Lake City, was totally wrecked.  Mrs. Torrance joined her husband last week and the home was vacant.

Business is practically suspended in Carleton Place and the townsmen have started to work clearing up the streets.  Poles and telegraph wires were down everywhere and telephone and telegraph connection was partly broken off.  A telegraph operator secured a barrel and made connections with the broken wires and established a temporary office outside in the center of the burned area.


A revised list of the losses in the big fire at Carleton Place are about as follows:

The losses are:

T.C. McGuire on building, no insurance and small loss of stock mostly removed.

A.W. Bell on buildings occupied by Keays, Tucker, Muirhead, Stuart, Dolan, DeWinter, W.H. Hoper, partly insured.

Robert McDiarmid on buildings and stock part of stock being saved—insured

Allan Brothers stock, boots and shoes—insured

S.A. Dack, jeweler, insured

Ed Keays, confectioner, insured

W.J. Muirhead—hardware stock partly got out, insured

  1. H. Tucker, jeweler, stock mostly got out, insured
  2. H. Hooper, photographer, lost most everything partly insured

DeWinter’s, dentist, partly insured

Bell Telephone Company, Central Exchange—Complete loss, insured

W.B. Stuart, drugs, stock mostly removed

J.S. Dolan, tailor, stock mostly removed

The I.O.F. and Chosen Friends lost all their lodge furniture, regalia and fixtures

In the buildings adjoining, Mr. Box removed his stock of boots and shoes, with heavy loss.

  1. Carmichael removed his grocery stock; J.L. Murphy his stationery stock; Dr. McIntosh removed his household furniture and effects. On the other side Mr. Chapman emptied his dwelling as did alsoMr. Reid. Mr. Bangs(?) had his things in readiness for a rapid exit in the bank building.  Taber and Company suffered heavy losses due to water and smoke.  Mr. Struthers also lost considerable on building.  Miss Coleman, dress maker had her rooms cleared, the roof being destroyed.  Dr. de Renzy had his effects removed.

The loss is variously estimated at from $50,000 to $85,000.  The destroyed property cannot be replaced now at the latter figure.  The insurance is between $30,000 and $40,000.

Zion Presbyterian Church, value $40,000, insurance $16,000

Zion Presbyterian Manse, value $2,000, insurance $2,000

St. Andrew’s Manse, value $3,000, insurance $1,000

Masonic Hall and Regalia, value $4,000, insurance $3,200

Heber(?) Singleton, value $10,000, insurance $3,300

Finlay McEwen, value 48,000, insurance $3,425

Mrs. Alexander Steele, value $2,100, insurance $1,100

Mrs. James Gillies, value $15,000, insurance $11,000

John Gordon, value $1,500, insurance $1,000

  1. Danfield, value $1,000
  2. Gallagher, value $1,500, insurance $1,000

Miss A. Cameron, value $1,200

John McDonald, value $7,000, insurance $1,500

Peter McDonald, value $2,500

Estate of Donald McNab, value $1,700

Armories, value $5,000

James Walters, value $1,000

R.F. Gordon, value $1,000

Residence of W. H. Hamilton, owned by Mrs. A. Code, $1,300

House owned by Edward Bradford of Ottawa, $1,500

Herbert Murphy, value $1,000

Singleton Block, value $4,000, insurance $1,500

A Cameron butcher shop value $2,000, insurance $800

E.T. Wilkie (2 houses) value $9,000, insurance $5,500

John McFarlane, value $2,000

Curling Rink, value $3,000, insurance $1,000

G.N.W. Telegraph Co., value $1,000

  1. Torrance, value $300

Bates and Innes, value $500, insurance $250





David Robertson—-Just to add to the story– The owners of the buildings destroyed by the fire of 1910, salvaged what they could and the contents of the homes and businesses were stored in various locations around town, My grandfather Warren’s outbuildings behind the white frame house located on the corner of Edmund and George Streets was one the locations that the locals stored items salvaged from the fire. As the buildings were rebuilt or alternate locations were chosen, the people effected by the fire picked up items located in the outbuildings at my Grandfather’s. My grandfather was given two cast iron flower pots that survived the fire as the owner decided he did not want them anymore. NO proof but family lore says they were in front of the Gilles home. The flower pots were located out front of one of the houses destroyed in the fire of 1910. Those flower pots that survived the fire are now out front of my house in town. Attached is a picture of the one of the two matching flower pots that sit in front of my house in 2016.. Also see below a picture of the same flower pots in front of the house on George street from 1923.
Here is the picture from 1929 of Jim Warren. As you can see of the front lawn the same flower pots that survived the fire and are still in use today in front of my house. It is interesting to note that these flower pots sat in front of my parents house on High Street for 50 years. In fact these cast iron pots have sat in front of houses every winter and summer since before 1910 are are still solid and in use in 2016