Tag Archives: 1920

January 1920– Church Street School in the Winter — PLUS PHOTOS

January 1920–  Church Street School in the Winter — PLUS PHOTOS
Karen Hirst
June 12, 2018  · 
Church Street Public School, Almonte…memories were made within these classroom walls….if only they could talk what would they recall?
With a new school build, Church Street Apartments now occupies the site.

1866- The Church Street Schoolbuilt at a cost of $3,175—contract price.Almonte Church Street Public School, 1950/51 -MARG DRENNAN-

January 1920

Schools reopened on Monday after the Christmias holidays, with good attendance. Unfortunately the Church Street school was so cold that the children had to go home again. This has occurred several times this winter, and the explanation given is that the furnace is too small. There is a new teacher engaged in the person of Miss Eileen Staley, of Wolfe Island. She succeeds MissKate MacDonald, who resigned before Christmas. Miss Robeson, who also resigned before Christmas, is doing duty until a successor has been appointed. January 1920

Buddyzee FisherI lived in that building for a few years. Great place with huge high ceiling and similar heating bills. Lol.

In the 1890s P.C. Dowdall’s Drug Store was on Bridge St. in Almonte near the railway. In the entrance, the weather forecasts were posted up daily, providing a point of interest each day for the children walking to and from the Church Street school.

PUPILS WERE READY TO TESTIFY AGAINST PRINCIPAL OF SCHOOL (By Dugald Campbell) It has been a long time now since this little item happened. But it was back in Almonte around the latter 1800s likely. The old town had two’ famous school principals. One of course, was the redoubtable P. C. McGregor, patron saint of Queen’s University at Kingston, and for many years principal of Almonte High School. P. C. was really something. My story, however, concerns another principal, the late John McCarter. He was an old dour, stubborn Scot with a single mindedness and a stern approach to life. He held forth in the Church Street School, and he trudged, summer and winter, across the Bay Hill and up Mill Street. John McCarter was a stem disciplinarian aland he did not hesitate to lay on the birch rod at times. His arder in this direction brought him into trouble.The old man licked a lad named Jack Carney rather heavily, and there was such a rumpus kicked up that the case was sent up to the higher court in Perth. The late E. W. Smith (Almonte magistrate) did not wish to get into trouble with the two principals in the affair, so he wisely sent the case up to the county court. Mr. A. M. Greig represented School Teacher McCarter, and W. H. Stafford represented Jack Carney. The presiding judge was Judge Senkler at Perth. Carney’s lawyer took a cart load of school youths to witness that Carney took a shellacking. I was not one of the kids, but it was a great day when the prosecuting lawyer took the kids over to Perth. The late Sandy Robinson took his famous side-seater to Perth with his team of steppers.Twenty two miles was a long trip in those days, and there was a lot of heat generated around town because of the interest in the case. John McCarter had many friends and it would have been suicidal had he lost the case, but because of the youth of the lads, who were keyed up to take their oath re the licking of the Carney lad, the wise old judge dismissed the case. No evidence was taken because of the youth of the witnesses for Carney. Jack Carney’s health was not abated one whit, and maybe it was a good thing for the discipline of the town, but it was hot stuff when it lasted.

Also read—

Miss Christena Dunlop –Teacher Church Street School

Almonte Church Street Public School, 1950/51 -MARG DRENNAN

Thank you to Fran Cooper
Good morning, Linda,
Church Street Public School, Almonte that was taken on the lawn near the school for 1950-51.
I want to try to get everyone’s name and then I am going to donate the photo to the North Lanark Museum at Appleton so many people can enjoy it.
Fran Cooper.
Almonte Public School 1950-51 Photo
Back Row: Left to Right: Mrs. Howard Giles, Miss Edna Ross, Miss Agnes Gillies (later Mrs. Stuart King), Miss Marion McGill (Mrs. Murray Cavanagh), Miss Margaret Rodgers, Diane Larocque, _____________, Donna Honeyborne, Ruth Craig?,
Next Row: (short row)
Mr. Hal Farnham, Principal, John Sutherland, Miss Elizabeth Schoular
Next Row: _________, Raymond Morton, Jackie Philips, Garnet Rodger, __________,
Bob McClymont, Bob Andrews, _________________, ______________,
Second Row: Earl Needham, Hugh McMullan, Bert McIntosh, Donnie Andrews,
___________, Arthur (Artie) Wilson, Gordon Paterson, ______________,
_____________, ____________,
First Row: Elgin Miller?, ____________, ____________, ____________,
Deannie Lotan, Earl More, Billy McClymont,

Brent Eades
October 6, 2020  · 
School in Almonte 100 years ago, give or take. This is Church Street School in the early 20th century, exact date unknown. It’s now an apartment building.

From Frank will Fix it..
Linda, here’s a picture you might find interesting. Church Street School, Grade 1 class picture 1959-1960. I’m in the 2nd row, 3rd from the right. Frank Blakeley

Bob Smithson grandpa and Cameron smithson middle row

Alice CharleboisJohn Dalgity , your Uncle Jack is in first row 5 from left, Gordie Lotan 3 over from him. Your dad Garry second row, 7th from left. I have that picture with the names.
Karen Hirst
September 4, 2019  · 
Church Street Public School

Gwen OneillI loved that school playing ball at recess was my favourite time there. Haha
Sheila Mueck and I were there at same time.

church street school -CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Jul 1971, Wed • Page 2

Catherine LehewShe was known TINA DUNLOP..she taught GL Comba (my mothers father) in grade school.
She was tall woman always worn dress very Victorian.. my mom had Ms Ross Gr 1..Tina Dunlop had grade 2 1934. Very stern..walk around with a pointer line us up along the wall to learn your authentic very stern.
She possibly my mother’s grandmothers cousin
My grandmother was Jenny Dunlop married Charles Comba originally from Pakenham.
My us Emily Comba

Judy Reid Hamre
July 8, 2021  · 
I went to Church Street School until grade 5. This was grade 3 not sure why it says G.L. Comba because everybody in the pic can confirm it wasn’t Comba!


Church Street School-Hello Linda,My mom was born & raised in Almonte along with her 8 siblings. My Uncle worked the print shop for the Almonte Gazette, Uncle Fred was reeve at on time, my aunts worked in the flour mill Grandpa Clement built homes and helped build St. Mary’s church twice ! Thanks to Lin Jones

Almonte Public School 1959This school had a girls’ entrance on the East end and a separate boys’ entrance on the West end. The playground was even divided into a girls’ playground and a boys’ playground and we didn’t dare cross the line. The full basement was divided into a basement for boys and a basement for girls to use in inclement weather at recesses. Also, a girls’ cloakroom and a boys’ cloakroom on each floor and a girls’ stairs and a boys’ stairs to the second floor and to the basement.Anyone remember Church Street Public School? With Miss Ross on the piano?- Ian McDougall Tokyo Every morning the whole student body would gather in the foyer and sing, God save the Queen, Oh Canada and Don’t Fence Me In. I lived there for a short time, less than a year, but remember that I really loved the town.-Prudence Hutton Florida

More about the Church Street school-A hostel on Church Street?? Do tell…. Clipped from The Ottawa Citizen, 10 Jul 1971, Sat, Page 37 CLICK to read all..
Judy Reid Hamre I went to school @ Church St. and I remember thinking how cool it was to have a drop in centre (I was 11)
Glenn Arthur I remember that and the descrption that the teens were given by Mr Galligan. I also was a Volunteer at the Centre along with other teens in town that that all turned out to be pretty good citizens of Almonte and area
Judy Reid Hamre
January 10, 2020  · 
This is the clock that hung in my classroom. My father rescued it after the school closed

Cathy PatersonSure do grade1 to 6 awesome to sets of stairs going up two down to the cloakroom boys side and girls side lining up outside to go in ! Off to classroom then assembly then singing God Save The Queen then The flag would go up of Elmer the Saftey Elephant of no accidents! School patrols out on the corners

Marty TaylorThink I only went there 1 year? Don’t remember much except the whole class got half a day off due to the smell after I threw up on some girls back in the classroom.

Sandy FranceThe grade 8 boys were tasked with wrapping the Union Jack flag so it could be unfurled by yanking on a cord during the singing of God Save the King. One day some wag filled the flag with small pebbles. Mr. Farnham was not impressed by the ensuing clatter.

Donna TimminsI went to the high school for Gr.1 with Miss Rodger, then Church St for Grade 2, 3, 4 &5 with Miss Rodger, Miss Gillies who later married Stuart King & Mrs. Penman for Grade 5. Mr. Sutherland in Gr. 6 which at Easter we transferred to the new GLComba and then back to Church St. for Gr. 8 with Hal Farnham. Lots of fond memories.

Judy Reid Hamre
January 11, 2020  · 
I bought Miss Schoular’s Singer treadle sewing machine at a flea market in Carleton Place in the late 70’s. It had every accessory imaginable and sews beautifully

Don RaycroftGlenn Arthur A “beautiful” addition if I recall.😊I remember Ed Giffen teaching us the football basics and how to win. When he started the program I remember him saying you guys will be able to hit each other without visiting Mr. Farnham.It didn’t seem funny at the time but I have often laughed about it over the years.And I have no idea how he got in his Austin Mini. Maybe he took the front seat out??

Almonte in the Twenties


Almonte in the Twenties-Earl Munro – Almonte, Ontario

We see a lot of changes in Almonte since those far-off days. Perhaps the greatest of all are along Mill Street. Turkey Fair was an annual event, taking place on or about December 10th each year. There was generally sleighing by that time of the year. Some years fowl had to be brought in by buggies and sometimes a few automobiles were still running as some of them kept going until the snow got too deep. Roads then were only kept open for horse drawn vehicles during winter months. Some fowl was brought from Darling, Bellamy Road and surrounding country. Some came as far as twenty miles or more.

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Photo- advertisement- January 1920- Almonte Gazette


The turkeys, chickens, geese and ducks were bled and feathers removed but they were not eviscerated except on request. Many buggies parked along the sidewalks, but West’s yard was the main parking place. Mr. West bought fowl, also Chas. Hollinger from Ferguson’s Falls as well as buyers from other places. The town was patrolled by one policeman, but others were sworn in for the Agriculture and Turkey Fair. A few of the Police officers in those days were Wm. Watchorn, Joe Burnett, Jas. Cochrane and Wm. Peacock.

Mr. West’s store was perhaps the busiest in town. He ran a General Store, also taking in exchange farm produce, wood, etc. Matt Ballentyne, Miss McFarlane and Miss O’Keefe were some of the employees. Beside West’s store was Wylie’s feed store operated by W. A. James. Wm. Waddell had a small store, then the Rexall Drug Store by M. R. McFarlane. Wilfred Snedden, Wilbert Connery and Raymond Robertson served their drug apprenticeships there, and perhaps many others. Next was W. E. Scott’s furniture and funeral parlour. The Standard Bank, formerly the Sterling Bank was next along the street.

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Photo- advertisement- January 1920- Almonte Gazette


H. H. Cole ran a grocery stores, also a Men’s Clothing Store. His son Ben looked after the clothing part. J. F. Patterson’s Drug Store was on the next corner along Mill Street. Meredith and Graham Ireton, Ed. Carey, Bill More, Geo. Bowland and others served their drug apprenticeships with Mr. Patterson. Knight Bros. Hardware was bought out by N. S. Lee in 1925 and is still in operation, although enlarged some by taking over the former drug store.

We will list some of the business places of that day further along the street, but not all in order. Taber’s Ladies Wear, Merchants Bank and later bought by W. H. Stafford. (It had once been owned and operated by John McKinnon), McLean’s Bakery, Woosley’s Barber Shop, M. R. Young Men’s Wear, Clement Bicycle Shop, Dr. McGregor, dentist, and Taylor Bros. Hardware (they opened a Garage on Bridge St. in 1928 with Cliff Robertson as manager.)

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Photo- advertisement- January 1920- Almonte Gazette


Eugene O’Reilly had a store on the corner of Mill and Brae Streets and they closed out their business in 1928. Later on J. H. Proctor opened a boot and shoe store, also a harness shop in the back part of the building. On the other corner of Mill and Brae was the Bank of Montreal, then Smolkin’s store, Jas. Cochrane’s Men’s Wear, W. James Barber Shop, George Eades Boot and Shoe Store (Needham and Son, bought out Geo. Eades later on), A. B. Lotan’s Butcher Shop and on the second floor of some of these buildings were four places of business – A. Allan, tailor; R. A. Jamieson, lawyer; T. R. Patterson, dentist; Greig & Greig, lawyers. Mr. Pittard’s printing office was next. He once was editor of the Almonte Times paper. Then was W. D. Lea’s bakery and Laura and Nellie Hogan’s Millinery shop. Though the Hogans now are retired from business they will long be remembered, not only for their millinery work, but also for the kindness they showed to all who called at their shop.

Further along Mill street was Peterson’s Confectionery, Ivan Duncan’s Barber Shop, Telephone Office, W. Lawford’s Store, James Moreau’s store, then the Dominion Store. The last store on the block was Fred Robertson’s, who sold out to Wm. Pimlott in 1928.



White & Thoburn stores from almonte.com


Across Mill Street on the corners was Rooney’s Pool Room and Barber Shop. Doyle Bros. had a store next door. Further down Mill Street Dr. Johnson had his dentist office and then James Hogan’s Pool Room and Barber Shop. The Post Office was next. It was a busy place, Wesley Horton hauled the mail from the station to the Post Office and vice versa. Dr. J. T. Kirkland was the Postmaster, Mrs. Kirkland also worked in the post office, as well as May Eades, Annie Laurie and later others were employed. Maurice and Mary Kirkland helped during the Christmas holidays. Mr. Pollock looked after the Customs Office on the second storey of the post office building. Mayme Laurie was his helper and later on Miss Scott worked for him.

On Little Bridge Street was the Thoburn Mill, Dr. Kelly’s house and office, Ben Baker’s store, and a Chinese laundry. Then along that side of Mill Street were some apartment buildings. In the Nontell block on the ground floor was a cafe and also a store run by O’Kilman’s. George Glickman bought him out in 1925 and later on a Mr. Evoy took over the store and Mr. Glickman moved across the street. On the second floor were two apartments, one of which was occupied by the Nontells. On the top storey a long hall ran the length of the building with a row of rooms along the back and another row facing the street. Most of the rooms were rented by millworkers. The writer had a room on the back row in 1927 and ’28 for $1.50 per week. Louis Peterson had a front room rented. He worked long hours making ice cream at his plant which was further down Mill street (no eight hour working days then). George Comba’s funeral parlour was next, then the Gazette office. Next was the Penman knitting mill, which employed a lot of help. Mr. Bert Gunn was superintendent for a number of years. Across from Lee’s Hardware were two houses. In one J. H. Proctor had his harness repair shop and D. L. Woods had a photo shop in the other. Chas. Black operated a garage across from Harry’s Motors. The building was taken down a long time ago. In the back part of the next building was Peterson’s Ice Cream plant, in the same location, but on a much smaller scale than at the present time. However, it must pay to advertise. The following is an advertisement that appeared in 1925 in the local paper –

“The talk of the town” – our new ice cream, purest, richest and most delicious ice cream you ever tasted. Try some, order some. Peterson’s Confectionery.”


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Photo- advertisement- January 1920- Almonte Gazette


J. B. Wylie’s feed store was next. It was burned down. Next was the Yorkshire Mill and between there and the stone bridge was a building that had been used as a blacksmith shop, cobblers shop, etc. That pretty well takes in the business places on Mill Street in the twenties.

Below is a notice that might be of interest to some – “Notice: All drivers of Motor Vehicles must keep to the right hand side of the street while in Almonte and must be on the right hand side when they stop their cars. The by-law under which this order is issued will be strictly enforced. W.W. Watchorn, Chief Constable, 1925.”

The following item is rather humorous – Women may be as able as men at automobile driving, but we as expert pedestrians always jump faster and further when we find ourselves in the path of a woman driven car. Anon.

The farmers for miles around hauled stove and cord wood to town. Some town people had bush lots in Wolfe grove and cut and hauled their own wood. Robert Giles, Mr. Nontell and some others had circular saws and did sawing for man people. Wood and coal were the fuels used for heating and cooking. Thos. Leishman hauled coal to No. 1 Mill and other places in town. He had a brake on one of the wagon wheels to help hold back the wagon on the hills. Ernie Little looked after the hauling of the freight, while the Waddell men did the express. Eddie James did a lot of work for the town with his team, including the sprinkling of the streets in summer to keep down the dust. There were six mills in town, all working, plus Whylie’s flour mill and Young’s planning mill.

Radios were in use in those days, but attachable ear phones had to be used.

The question is often asked “How did people manage without so many thing that are in use now and taken for granted?” Half a century ago there was no pasteurized or homogenized milk, no waterworks in town, except some private systems operated from their own wells or cisterns, no television, no ploughed road for automobiles, no snow tires, no school buses, no gas or electrically heated homes. However, in the humble opinion of the writer, the majority of the people were happier and more contented than they are now, even with all the comforts and luxuries of this fast moving day and age.

Earl Munro – Almonte, Ontario.

Author’s Note: I found this on the web and have no idea what date Earl wrote this. If anyone knows please let me know. 


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun