Tag Archives: 1911

The Taylor Brothers from Carleton Place — Lanark Village Fire 1911

The Taylor Brothers from Carleton Place — Lanark Village Fire 1911
Lanark & District Museum
September 30, 2020  · —
Our beautiful “Village Queen”, the retired fire truck that looked after our village for so many years, will be on display in honour of all first responder– read-Remember the Village Queen in Lanark?

Taylor Brothers were very popular hardware stores with its home base located in Carleton Place and they other stores in Almonte, Lanark and Perth

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada17 May 1911, Wed  •  Page 1

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
07 Jun 1911, Wed  •  Page 4


Taylor Bros. Warehouse and Contents Destroyed Mrs. McGuires Block

Lanark narrowly escaped destruction last Saturday morning when fire broke out in the workshop Messrs. Taylor Bros. Limited, spread with rapidity to the storehouse in front and wiped out of existence the big frame building, together with a large stock of hardware and pipes valued at over 4,000.

At time the roof of a score of buildings close by ignited, aud it looked as though it would end in a general conflagration and the village would be wiped out. But the brigade stuck unflinchingly to their task, and after hours of stubborn fighting it could be seen that the fire was under control.

Next to the building the greatest damage was sustained in the building owned by Mr. Thomas McGuire, and used by Mr. A. J. McDonald as a storehouse. Here were stored quantities of feed, of which was removed in lime to safety. But the building itself presented the greatest danger. Only separated from the burning building by an alleyway not more than ten feet wide, time and time again it burst into flame only to be beaten out by three streams of water that swept the flaming walls.

The first seen by Mr. T. Lett Simpson, Manager of the Lanark branch of Taylor Bros., Limited. He got up out pf bed to put down the window, and was awakened by the flash and crackling like an approaching thunderstorm. He attended the fire at once, and, without so much aa taking the time to change into conventional attire. He sped to the fire alarm in a nightshirt and bare feet.

The tolling of the bell was heard in a hundred homes, and instantly there appeared men and women pouring from all quarters. The Clyde Woolen Mills, situated not more than one hundred yards away, had a splendid stream of water going in a twinkling, the town brigade followed shortly with a second stream.

A volunteer pail brigade meanwhile stationed themselves on the housetop, east of the tire and by incessant watching succeeded in stopping some of the fire that would catch now and again by floating embers. Shingles and pieces of wood carried a far as Jas. Bair’s farmhouse, nearly a quarter of a mile away.

Photo- Laurie Yuill

The fire was too far advanced to save much of the contents after the men arrived, only a few rolls of wire and sundry small sides were withdrawn unharmed. The great task was to keep the blaze confined, which in itself called forth the very best efforts of the brigade.

Captain T. Lett Simpson directed his men with good judgment and succeeded in stopping the fire zone enlarging. Barrels of oil, cylinder oil, tank of coal oil, a full line of house paints fed the flames which leaped a hundred feet in the air and reared with a mighty noise. Two thousand live hundred rounds of ammunition, owned by the local Rifle Association and stored away, rattled like a cannonade, like a score of guns.

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
25 Sep 1912, Wed  •  Page 1

The hose played here and there where the most effect could be had. Holes were cut in the roof next door und a stream sent in that held the fire back. The fire engine wordked under pressure and halted not for a single second through all the exacting demand. In perfect running urder, the shining Clyde proved itself one of the very best engines through hours of heavy work.

The scene presented an exhibition of effective fire fighting. Considering the danger to the town, very little excitement waa displayed. The gallant firefighters moved from point to point grimly beating the flames inch by inch, stand by stand, until finally they got control of the situation well in hand. It might be surmised that a fire occurring at such an early hour not many citizens would call to the source. All sorts and conditions of men appeared in ail sorts and conditions of attire, mostly of the deshabille order. It did not matter if a professional gentleman who I have seen usually groomed with the greatest care should jump from the fray garbed like a tramp. No one noticed anything like that.

Nor should a lady come alung with dishevelled locks and swathed in a blanket. They were there to fight fire, and it did not matter if collar and cuffs wore lacking. It wa just that the alarm had rung, the village alarm ringing, then the sawmill joined in the awakening.

The village engine was rushed to the river at the bridge and from that point forced the water up hill. The men were completely exhausted when safety was declared and the charred, smoking heap of ashes gave strong testimony to the great work they had done. Some had escaped by the skin of her teeth, and to the gallant men to whom we owe our safety we are deegily grateful.

Injuries were light–: in several eases men fell off roofs, but luckily all managed to avoid serious hurt. A few sore shins compeled men to limp slightly, but these minor injuries are borne cheerfully. The town is safe and that is everything. Farmers from all the surrounding country streamed into th evillage alarmed by the steam whistles going.

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
25 Sep 1912, Wed  •  Page 4

So What Happened To The Taylors?

William Taylor operated his business along with all of his sons until he turned the operation over to sons John and Frank. The other brothers moved on to different places throughout the country. For example Alexander moved to Winnipeg along with his new wife Marion Brown who was the aunt of WWI flying ace Captain Roy Brown.

During the late 1800’s the Taylor Family along with other families such as the Browns, Gillises & Findlays were the creme’ de le creme’ of high society in the town. There was a rich level of culture, privilege, recreation and art that was very much alive and well in Carleton Place at that time. These families not only socialized but inter-married with one another.

John and Frank ran successful hardware businesses in both Almonte and Carleton Place until the depression occured in 1929. By then they had gotten HERE into the automobile industry and had extended credit to many of their customers and members of both communities. As the depression dragged on these dedts were never paid and by the late 1930’s the brothers could hang on no longer. The Taylor Block in Carleton Place was eventually sold in 1945. from CLICK HEREand read-Sir Malcolm Campbell Bluebird for Sale at Taylor’s Garage?

Read—The Story of the Taylors in Almonte & Carleton Place
by Lyle Dillabough CLICK-

Remember the Village Queen in Lanark?

Wilbert Foster Garage Fire —Lanark

Images of the Day After the Lanark Fire June 16 1959–

Lanark 1962 Centennial Photos

The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

The Lanark Fire of 1895

Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959


The Safe Cracker Comes to Taylor’s in Carleton Place

Memories of Taylor’s Hardware — Mohra Taylor –

Sir Malcolm Campbell Bluebird for Sale at Taylor’s Garage?

You Didn’t Go to Taylor’s Hardware Store for Milk

There were Spies Among us in Carleton Place

The Day the Comba Building Sold-Taylor Block

Sir Malcolm Campbell Bluebird for Sale at Taylor’s Garage?

Down on Main Street– 1911-Photos- For the Discriminating and the Particular — Simpson Books

Down on Main Street– 1911-Photos- For the Discriminating and the Particular — Simpson Books

Thanks to Ed and Shirley Simpson I am slowly going though boxes of books from the late Ed Simpson to document and after will be donated to a proper spot-Ed and Shirley’s Simpson –Historic Books — the List

Brantwood Place Sibbitt produced the now-famous brochure.Approximately 10 by 7 inches with 4 colours, the elaborate document contained numerous graphics, photographs and marketing text that bordered on hyperbole. The actual date of publication is not clear. The brochure has several references to 1911 as well as the proposed “high level” bridge over the canal at Bank St. There is also a mention of the proposed bridge from Mutchmor (Fifth Ave.) to Clegg St. – an active topic in 1912. There is no mention of Pretoria Bridge that was to be approved in 1914. So with a wee bit of inductive thinking, a good guess for the date of publication is circa 1912-13-Facts from history of Ottawa East

Annexation of many suburbs in 1907 rekindled an interest in the residential development of Ottawa East. As part of Mayor Ellis’ vision of a “Greater Ottawa”, the agricultural land between Main, Clegg and the Rideau River was now viewed by developers as having future potential.

The success of the concept was based entirely on the idea that “upscale” homebuyers would be attracted to the lots by aggressive marketing and the promise of future amenities such as a streetcar line. That was a tall order given the near isolation of Ottawa East at the time. While the swing bridge across the canal (just north of present-day Pretoria Bridge) did provide a connection to the city, it could not support the electric trolley from Elgin St. As well, questions about adequate water, sewer and electrical services had to be answered. One can only speculate how the problem of the annual spring flood was addressed.

In March of 1911, Robert A. Sibbitt and Nepean Realty Ltd. purchased the majority of the land in Concession D, Lot I (Rideau Front) for $94,000. Sibbitt’s plan was to create a huge residential subdivision and market the lots as “a residential section for the discriminating and a boulevard homesite for the particular”. He named the neighbourhood “Brantwood Place”.–Facts from history of Ottawa East

What began as a marketing ploy to establish the exclusivity of a neighbourhood later became a revered Ottawa East landmark. The Brantwood Place Stone Gates, built about 1912, became a focal point of community spirit and then ultimately, a war memorial. CLICK here for more info

Moving Doorways– How Houses Change — Springside Hall Then and Now — Finlayson Series

We will build Brick Houses in Rideau Heights For $900 to $1200!

Smiths Falls Woman Built House With Her Own Hands — McNeil

Documenting Houses -Almonte — Marshall Street

War Time Homes Carleton Place 1946

The People’s Store McAdams Building Fire 1911

The People’s Store McAdams Building Fire 1911

Corner Bridge and Mill Street now the Hub

Almonte, May 18, 1911

One of the most disastrous fire In the history of the town broke out in the early hours of this morning in the business block and before it was gotten under control had entailed a loss estimated at nearly $76,000, only partly covered by insurance. The conflagration is a most serious, one for the town s the portion destroyed is right in the centre of the business section. In about an hour after the fire broke out the large block of half a dozen buildings which fell a prey to the flames had been consumed with practically all of their contents. Carleton Place sent its engine on a special train but the fire was under control when it arrived. The principal buildings destroyed are those of A. J. McAdam, Sirs. J. S. Patterson, Mrs. D. H. Davis, these three being of brick; W. McMunn, H. Conn and J. Francis, the latter being frame; T. R. White’s coat shed with a large stock of coal; W. N. Acton’s lumber storehouse, well filled with dressed lumber, and L. James’ ash house.

The fire when first discovered was well advanced and had apparently broken out in the rear of the People’s Store attire. By the time the fire company was on the scene and the engine In action the flames had spread to ths frame structure at the rear of the Mock. All the upper part of Mr. W. J’cMunn’s building, formerly the old Music hall and now used as a storehouse for buggies and machinery, was a mass of flames.


To show what a narrow escape Mr.  Robertson’s store had from destruction during the big blaze, one only has to look at the eave of the roof, which is burned and charred- in several places. The terrific heat from across the street was the cause and only a thorough drenching kept the building from falling prey to the flames. The attention of the firemen was devoted principally to preventing the fire from spreading to the adjoining blocks. The substantial store building of Mr. F. W. Robertson was instrumental in shutting off the advance of the lire down Mill street, although the edge of the roof was on fire repeatedly. The chief danger was that the fire might cross High street to the lavls house, a large three-storey frame building, as the wind was blowing in that direction, but there was little wind and this enabled the firemen to get a chance to fight it. The pressure on some of the lines of hose was poor and the water could not be ithrown to the top of the Davis house. It was. however, saved by a party of volunteers under Mr. L. W. Shipman and Mr. Avery, a teacher. The roof had become ignited from embers and Mr. Shipman succeeded after some delay in getting a hand pump to work on the roof. Mr. Avery also made his way along the roof in a daring manner and applied water to the fast in creasing blaze. The daring work ot the two men undoubtedly saved the hotel.

The saving of the Davis house also prevented the destruction of a large part of the town which would certainly have been destroyed if it had gone. There was a hard struggle to prevent the fire from crossing to the Davis house sheds, when Acton’s lumber shed was on fire, the heat being so intense that It almost drove the firemen out of range. Carleton Place generously sent their fire engine down on a special train but the fire was under control before it arrived and was detrained. The loss will be well up near the $100.000 mark, as there were three large brick buildings. A. J. McAdams building shows the most loss ( People’s Store)

The brick wall of the McAdam building on Bridge street is still standing, but owing to its dangerous condition the street has been fenced off. Monday evening about six o’clock, during the high wind, a portion of the upper part was blown off. The wall will probably be taken down to the second story, and the lower portion rebuilt. The walls at the back of the McAdam and Patterson buildings are also standing, but the rest of the burned area is nearly all levelled to the ground.

McAdams occupied the first flat of his building as a general store and lost his complete stock. The second flat was occupied by the Misses Beaton as a dressmaking shop and partly by McAdams’ stock of carpets. etc. The third story was occupied by the Citizens’ band. Mrs. J. Patterson’s shop was occupied by J. H. Proctor, harness maker, and Messrs. Rooney and Hogan barbers, on the first flat, the Bell Telephone central and Mrs. Patterson’s residence in the second flat, and the upper flat was the hall of the Sons of Temperance.

The lower flat of Mrs. Davis’ building was occupied by T. Hogan’s pool room and tobacco shop and the Union Express office and the second flat by Mrs. Davis as her residence. George Robertson, occupied the barber shop at the rear of the Peoples’ store, near which the fire originated There is a fair amount of Insurance on some of the goods but the loss will still be heavy.

1911 Almonte Gazette May

Some of the losses in detail, with amount of Insurance, are: Mrs. J. S. Patterson, loss on buildings $4,000; occupants, J. H. Proctor, harness, loss $2,000: Rooney and Hogan, barbers, $500; telephone central office, loss $4,000. Mrs. D. H. Davis, loss on buildings, $250, on furniture $1,000; occupants of stores under her dwelling, Thos. Hopkins. tobacco and pool, $2,000;

Dominion Express company office, $500. A. J. McAdams, drygoods and general store, loss on building, $7,000; on stock $30,000; other occupants of McAdam block, the Misses Beaton, milliners and dressmakers, $500; Citizens’ band loss on instruments, $500; Geo. Robinson, barber shop, $500. Wm. McMunn block, lose on buildings. $2,000; on stock of flour, feed and implements, $3,000. M. Unger, vacant dwelling and shop, loss $1,500. John France, frame dwelling, loss on building and contents, $1,000. T. R. White, coal sheds, loss on building $1,000; on contents $1,000. W. N. Acton, dressed lumber and office, loss on building and contents, $3,000. Mrs. E. Greig. loss on furniture in McMunn block. $1,000. The burned section is bounded by Mill, Bridge and High streets and the C. P. R. tracks. Chester Avery, the young school teacher who was in instrumental in saving the Davis house and thus checking the fire was slightly injured.

May 1911 Ottawa Citizen

Related reading

Mary Delaney Caught Stealing at The People’s Store

McAdams Store Almonte

Robertsons Keepsake Building Memories and Comments

Should We Build a Rink? 1911

Should We Build a Rink? 1911

Carleton Piace Planning Covered Structure. — Carleton Place, Jan. 16-1911

Even though there were no other evidence, the very large attendance at the open-air rink on the market square this winter would force upon the public the importance of providing a rink building in Carleton Place. Under the unfavorable and always varying conditions, the open-air enterprise is having good patronage, for in no other town In the valley is there a larger proportion of young people and others who delight in the wholesome pleasures of skating.

The success of a good rink building is beyond question. The town cannot have hockey teams up to standard no matter how good the material, without a covered rink and neither can the town estimate the results either financially or as a public benefit by the open-air enclosures that have been used year after year, lap to last spring the movement for the erection of a building had gone on with every prospect of completion before the winter of 1910-11.

Plans, data, a splendid site, and a large portion of the necessary capital by subscription had been secured; but the big fire on May 10 , 1910 and a series of unfavorable conditions about the same time forced the enterprise into the background. Now, however, there is. to judge by public expression, every reason to revive and advance the proposal, and it is believed that, once started, It will obtain full endorsation. 

This photo was taken from the Patterson and Findlay Solicitor’s office in the old Bank of Nova Scotia building in January of 1936. It shows the backs of frame houses on Beckwith Street and the old arena. The Carleton Place Public Library now occupies the site.Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Carleton Place Arena 1981 — Mary Cook

The Old Carleton Place Arena

Cruisin Through the Dance Halls- From Carleton Place and Beyond!! Larry Clark

The Cholera Epidemic of 1911

The Cholera Epidemic of 1911


Life before bottled water???? 
This ad for bottled water from the pure spring water at Hunt Club was in the Ottawa Journal in May of 1911.Now known as the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, this is the golf course by the airport at Hunt Club and Riverside. (Linda Seccaspina on Lost Ottawa)

Did you know there was also a spring near the Borthwick Ridge (South of Hawthorne).The water was collected and pumped from a bricked well located on land belonging to the Borthwick family, north of the ridge, on lot 20 in the fourth concession. William, son of settler Thomas Borthwick, bottled the water and sold it in Ottawa in his own grocery store, and other locations, in the 1870s and subsequent years. The waters had a salty taste.

It seems people were always prepared for a zombie apocalypse all through local history. Bottled water, strong abs and plenty of canned food.

Thanks to my favourite Ottawa historian Jaan Kolk, information about a cholera outbreak in 1911 in the Ottawa area was posted on Lost Ottawa as this was a reason why bottled water was being advertised to heavily in the newspapers.


Jaan Kolk– 1911 saw a serious typhoid outbreak in Ottawa that was blamed (correctly) on the city water supply – so lots of ads for spring water could be found that year. The major selling point for artificially-made ice in Ottawa was that it was made with guaranteed pure water. Here is a Journal ad from Dec. 27, 1912


The gap was capable of closing sharply. In the typhoid year of 1911, the Ottawa death rate was reported as 20 per 1,000 (about the same as a good year in the 1880s) and the birth rate as 23.6 per 1,000.

Registrar General, “Annual Report, 1911,” Sessional Papers, 1912, p. 18.
Figures vary from those of the MHO of Ottawa because of a different reporting
period. In 1911, Ottawa had the second highest death rate among Ontario
cities; Carleton County (at 21.1/1,000) had the highest county rate .


Jeff Legault–I seem to remember we had an old water bottle (carboy) in a wooden cradle like holder at our old cottage near Low, Quebec that we used to fill and bring with us on weekends. We had no running water or electricity back in the early 60s up there. It may have had Tally Ho written on it somewhere. Looked something like this.


Perth Courier, June 6, 1966

History of the Rideau Ferry Road

Empire strategists gave the village an unsuspected boast in 1826 when the government dug a canal linking Kingston to Bytown (now Ottawa), the purpose being to protect supply lines from a possible “Yankee” invasion.

This event brought 1,300 workers to the village front door.  More than 500 men died of malaria.  Upon completion in 1832, Archie Campbell erected a wharf and warehouse to handle canal produce.  Side wheelers plowed the river and wagon trains brought goods to the Campbell wharf.  In 1834 Campbell died of cholera.–Tales from Oliver’s Ferry

Cave Creek: the “scourge” of early Kitchissippi


ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

1,200 Died of Plague Which Hit City in 1847

The Cholera Epidemic of 1832

Think the Smallpox issue on Outlander was far fetched?

Tales from Oliver’s Ferry

Smallpox in Carleton Place — Did You Know?

The Great White Plague

Screenshot 2017-08-15 at 18.jpg

I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?

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What Did British Immigrants Spend When They First Came to Canada?



Photo– Bytown.net-read more here


Immigrating to Canada in the late 1800s or 1900s? Even though the average cost of a ticket was only $30, larger ships could hold from 1,500 to 2,000 immigrants, netting a profit of $45,000 to $60,000 for a single, one-way voyage. The cost to feed a single immigrant was only about 60 cents a day!

After you left the boat and immigration you had a landing card pinned on your clothes and then moved to the Money Exchange. Here six cashiers exchanged gold, silver and paper money, from countries all over Europe, for American or Canadian dollars, based on the day’s official rates, which were posted on a blackboard. For immigrants  the next stop was the railroad ticket office, where a dozen agents collectively sold as many as 25 tickets per minute on the busiest days.

All that remained was to make arrangements for their trunks, which were stored in the Baggage Room, to be sent on to their final destinations.  At times, corrupt currency exchange officials shortchanged immigrants, concession operators served meals without utensils, and others operated schemes to deprive the newly landed immigrant of their money. Other examples included a clerk failing to deliver money orders to immigrants, resulting in their deportation, and baggage handlers charging twice the going rate. Railroad ticket agents were not immune and often routed immigrants, not by the most direct route to their destination, but by one that required a layover. Some were forced to buy a fifty-cent or dollar bag of food from the restaurant concession for their train trip.




    For the month of May the railways reached the high-water mark as regards records for the carrying of immigrants.  During May, 40,000 immigrants, the majority of whom were of British origin, passed through Montreal on their way to Western Canada. The Canadian Pacific carried an average of 1,000 immigrants a day, the Grand Truck had an average of 250 a day.
These figures form a striking contrast for the month of May thirty years ago, when the total immigration into the country was 6,601. One railway official said that it was surprising what a big total of hard cash was disbursed in Canada by these immigrants. On an average, he said, they spend in railway fares $15 each, which means a total of $600,000, while expenses of food, beds and other incidentals amount to another $15 by the time they get to their destination. This means that during May British immigrants spent in Canada within the first few days of their arrival considerably over a million dollars– “The Cobalt Daily Nugget” 12 July 1911


Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News


The Man Without a Country

Lanark County 101 — It Began with Rocks, Trees, and Swamps

Rock the Boat! Lanark County or Bust! Part 1

It Wasn’t the Sloop John B — Do’s and Don’t in an Immigrant Ship -Part 2

Riders on the Storm– Journey to Lanark County — Part 3

ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

Rolling down the Rapids –Journey to Lanark Part 5