Tag Archives: 1920s

Know Your ADHS Principals –Benjamin A. Upshall -1926– Human Smuggler

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Know Your ADHS Principals –Benjamin A. Upshall -1926– Human Smuggler

Benjamin A. Upshall, Canadian aviator during the Great War, former principal of Almonte High School and at present assistant principal of Trenton High School, was held at Niagara Falls, N.Y. on Wednesday by immigration officials for arraignment on a charge of smuggling aliens from Canada into the United States.

Upshall is alleged to have been operating since early in 1925. He was arrested at the lower bridge when he is said to have tried to enter Andrew Mccay and John Carney, both natives of Ireland. Upshall is reported to have received from $25 to $150 a head from the aliens.

Immigration officials are tracing eight men he is said to have taken into the United States illegally. Upshall is alleged to have driven the men from Trenton in his automobile and to have represented them as natives of Canada or friends of his on pleasure trips when he took them through Niagara Falls. Upshall was principal of Almonte High School about six years ago. He was not re-engaged at the end of his first year which was 1919.

Almonte Gazette- 1926, July 1

August 1919 Almonte Gazette
October 1919 Almonte Gazette

Name:Benjiman Wpshall
[Benjamin Upshall
[Benjiman Upshall
Gender:Male
Marital status:Married
Race or Tribe:English
Nationality:Canadian
Age:26
Birth Date:Sep 1884
Birth Place:Ontario
Census Year:1911
Relation to Head of House:Head
Dwelling No.:82
Province:Ontario
District:Middlesex West
District Number:97
Sub-District:34 – Ward 3
Sub-District Number:34
Place of Habitation:Colborne St
Religion:Presbyterian
Occupation:Odd Teacher
Employer:No
Employee:No
Works at:Coll Instituteur
Weeks Employed:48
Hours/Week:25
Earnings:450.00
Life Insurance:1000
Insurance Cost:10.00
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Language:E
Family Number:83
Neighbors:View others on page

ADHS Blast from the Past

Related reading

Marion McVeigh Lanark Teacher and Principal

Central School — Gord Cross

A Tale From Almonte High School –Dugald Campbell

Miss Christena Dunlop –Teacher Church Street School

Photos of Men at Work – 1920s — Don’t Forget About Me!

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Photos of Men at Work – 1920s — Don’t Forget About Me!

All these photos came from the Playfair family in the Lanark/ Middleville/Playfair area. Thanks to local historian Laurie Yuill. All circa 1920s except for the corduroy road photo second to last– That photo is earlier. Some look like railroads and some do not–

All these photos came from the Playfair family in the Lanark/ Middleville/Playfair area. Thanks to local historian Laurie Yuill. All circa 1920s except for the corduroy road photo second to last– That photo is earlier. Some look like railroads and some do not–

Canada’s first provincial Dept of Highways was created by Québec in 1914. Two years later Ontario, which had had a provincial instructor in charge of roadmaking attached to the Dept of Agriculture since 1896, formed its own separate highways department.

Through the 1920s cars became cheaper and their numbers multiplied; registration of motor vehicles increased from 408 790 to nearly 1.62 million by the end of the decade. Good roads associations, national and provincial, led the crusade for improved road travel, and expenditures on roads by all governments tripled. By 1930 the annual outlay was $94 million. Methods and technology for building roads improved as horse-drawn scrapers and graders gave way to steam power for shovels and rollers. However, road building in most provinces ceased and maintenance was reduced during the Great Depression and WWII as men and materials were urgently needed in the war effort. The few good paved roads that had been built were almost completely destroyed by heavy wartime traffic, particularly in industrial areas. The Canadian Encyclopedia

For Whom the Toll Gates Tolled– Revised

The Lanark County Back Roads Tour

Stories of the Mississippi River — Elk, Rice Beds, and Corduroy Roads

The Toll Gates of Lanark County on Roads that Were Not Fit for Corpses

almonte gazette 1930

Blackhawk’s B & B Tonic Carleton Place — The Great Tonic Laxative

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Blackhawk’s B & B Tonic Carleton Place — The Great Tonic Laxative
Vintage can belongs to Adin Wesley Daigle
Vintage can belongs to Adin Wesley Daigle

This was made by the looks of it in the early 1920s so I realize it is not politically correct today. The Can Med Assoc J. 1929 Jan;20(1):69-70. The Proprietary and Patent Medicine Act and Improper Medicines– so this was made in the 1920s or after by the Blackhawk Medicine Company in Carleton Place. Another reason is the can. World War I brought about new methods of food processing as manufacturers streamlined production methods of canned and frozen foods. Canned foods had a bad reputation initially as the lead solder used in construction leached into the food causing health problems. Once new safer cans were introduced then canned foods etc. increased in popularity enormously.

The Carleton Place company probably chose the name Black Hawk as Black Hawk was a popular war chief and leader of the Sauk tribe in the Midwest of the United States. He was known more for being a war leader, a “captain of his actions” than he was a tribal chief. Black Hawk earned his credentials by leading raids and war parties in his youth. So, it would seem the perfect name for leading a raid on your bowels in those days.

There were scores, maybe hundreds of these shows across the country (mostly the south and midwest), fronted by flashy characters in buckskin suits and western hats promising miracles from these bog Native American remedies and

Gone were the simple herbs prepared at home or by the local apothecary from time-honored recipes. During the early 1900s in came the elaborate concoctions in dark-colored bottles with attractive labels to gain attention for your daily needs.

Then came the Cathartics, used to cleanse the bowels. We must keep those bowels clean! Fiber does that for us, but if you live on highly processed foods, increasingly possible in Victorian times, you don’t get that effect. Many patent medicines were cathartics – very popular stuff.

Unhealthy diets aside, people liked medicine that makes something happen — the more dramatic, the better. We see lots of cathartics in the diet-trickery aisles at drug stores today. Tonics like the one above made in Carleton Place were used to ‘brace up and give increased tone to the system. The Victorian era  also used laxatives and tonics for chickenpox. You could buy it over the counter in tonics, powders, and soft drinks.

Chocolate coated poison - Album on Imgur

Even a tiny dose of strychnine can cause convulsions. Yet the Merck Manual, following the medical practice of the day, recommended small amounts as a treatment for acute constipation. Commonly derived from the plant Strychnos nux-vomica, strychnine was thought to improve gastric function. (Strychnine injections were also recommended for both flatulence and ulcers.) Opium and turpentine were also recommended, but patients probably derived more relief from the less dramatic manual-recommended regimens, such as eating apples and figs or drinking coffee. In the shop, as in any druggists, poisons are freely available over the counter and are not kept in separate, locked cabinets. Some are also used in medicines, for example bitter tonics containing strychnine to stimulate appetites and improve muscle tone. Laws governing the sale of poisons will not emerge for almost a decade, in 1868.

Constipation Guaranteed to be Cured in Almonte

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

Dr. Wood’s Norway Pine Syrup — QUACK MEDICINE Spanish Flu

Medicine for Weak Women — Hokum Era

Drugs of the 1950s from Mac William’s Shelves– Iodine, Liniment and Camphor Oil

The Remedy Women of Lanark County

I Will Take Some Opium to Go Please —The “Drug Dispensary” at the Chatterton House Hotel

Was Lipstick Banned and the $64,000 Question

What the Heck was Electric Soap? Chatterton House Hotel Registrar

When the Spanish Fly Kicks In !

If Quackery Poison Gets You!! Blue Poison Ointment

Constipation Guaranteed to be Cured in Almonte

It’s Electrifying! Dr Scott’s Electric Corset

The Hygeia Waist – To Breathe or Not to Breathe

Would You Smoke a Hornet’s Nest?

What Did it Cost to Stay in the Hospital?

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What Did it Cost to Stay in the Hospital?

39580609_10155954954026886_5426378075380121600_n.jpg1920 St. Vincent de Paul

 

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 Nuns of the Sisters of Charity of St. Paul, on the lawn of 1153 Wellington Street in Hintonburg, the site of the St. George’s Home for Boys. This “home” was a basically a distribution for boys removed from industrial cities — and often their families — in England. The boys would then become indentured labor, mostly on Canadian farms, until they reached the age of 18.


As many as 100,000 boys and girls were transported to Canada by Catholic and Protestant organization between 1869 and 1935, when this home was closed. (LAC Topley 106034)

 

39625171_10155954954021886_8986343524911808512_n.jpg1920  St Francis General Hospital–The Abandoned Smiths Falls Hospital 2011

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39442699_10155954958336886_2198852174119698432_n.jpgCarleton Place Hospital 1958 Thanks God for Blue Cross

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Photos of the hospital bills from the McRae family

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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.

relatedreading

What’s in the Cornerstone at the Carleton Place Hospital?

The Abandoned Smiths Falls Hospital 2011

Clippings of the Opening of the Carleton Place Hospital February 14 1955

Chuck Norris Does Live in Carleton Place—Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital (CPDMH) Auxiliary

Sitting in the Emergency Ward at the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital

Maybe We Should Film Oak Island in Carleton Place? The Day the Money Disappeared

1980 Statistics for The Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital

The Day We Lost Hand in Carleton Place — Carleton Place District and Memorial Hospital

Carleton Place Photos 1920s

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Carleton Place Photos 1920s

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In front of the Queen’s Hotel with the King’s Cafe- Photo- Tom Edwards July 12 1920

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Findlay House on High Street  Photo- Tom Edwards 1920s

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Photo Linda Seccaspina Findlay House 1982

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New CPR station-– Photo- Tom Edwards 1920s

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Town Hall- Photo- Tom Edwards 1920s

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In front of the Queen’s Hotel with the King’s Cafe- Photo- Tom Edwards 1920s

 

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Findlay Foundry on High Street –Photo- Tom Edwards 1920s

 - CINDER KIs-IA KIs-IA KIs-IA A1D THE . PRINCE."...

 - celved th, hearty applause of the audience....

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  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 14 May 1920, Fri,
  3. Page 2

 - LICENSE INSPECTORS' , ; VISIT NEARBY TOWNS...

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  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 22 Apr 1920, Thu,
  3. Page 2

 - MOUNTED POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING BALLOON ' New...

Clipped from

  1. Nanaimo Daily News,
  2. 30 Dec 1920, Thu - CARLETON PLACE MAN LOSES A FINGER Speetal te...

    Clipped from

    1. The Ottawa Journal,
    2. 21 Feb 1920, Sat,
    3. Page 9Come 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)relatedreading

      The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler

    4. Hit By Lightning

    5. When the Past Comes A Haunting- Jessie Comrie

Should Girls Speak to Strange Men in Uniform? 1917

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Should Girls Speak to  Strange Men in Uniform? 1917

 

 

Women’s fashions in the 1920s reflected radical changes affecting many areas of post-World War I American society. Many of them rejected, at least temporarily, the traditional roles of wife and mother and instead entered the workforce of the thriving businesses of the period or enrolled in colleges and universities, which were also experiencing rapidly increasing enrollments.

The working girl and the coed were typically young, simultaneously more liberated and more apparently frivolous than their mothers, and intoxicated by the attention lavished on them by the popular press. “Is the Younger Generation in Peril?” asked a long 1921 Literary Digest article. Typical of journalism investigating youth during the decade, it focused almost exclusively upon young women’s fashions in dress and cosmetics.

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Articles of this kind inevitably linked short skirts, the rejection of the corset, and bobbed or shingled hair with “licentious” behaviour—smoking, drinking bootleg whiskey, listening to jazz, dancing the Charleston or Black Bottom, necking, and petting.

Selling shame–The cosmetics industry boomed during the 1920s, and … was immediately suspected of being immoral — a woman of “easy virtue. By the late 1920s, “permanent waves” were also available to women willing to  change their hairstyle was immediately suspected again of being immoral—a woman of “easy virtue.

 

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Unidentified dance troupe.. The photo went for over 150 dollars at an auction– way over my budget- Photo- Linda Seccaspina

 

Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune,  08 Oct 1917, Mon,  Page 6

 

historicalnotes

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Sexual health posters from the 1940s reveal how warnings against STDs focused on prostitutes, pinning them as dangerous disease carriers and advising soldiers to resist temptation.

Dozens of campaigns portrayed these women as wily temptresses, referring to them as ‘good time girls’, ‘pick-ups’, ‘procurable women’ and ‘victory girls’.

Others mimicked the style of war propaganda, calling on men to ‘fight syphilis and gonorrhea’ and using images of dutiful soldiers to encourage them to get tested.

 

 

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.

relatedreading

Are You the Perfect Woman?

Women Arrested for Wearing Pants?

Women Smoking Pipes?

The Taber Business College- Women in the 20s

A Tale of Two Women

How Many Women Does it Take to Replace a Team of Horses?The Doukhobors

 

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Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour Bridge Street walk with stories of murder mayhem and Believe it or Not!!. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!–

 

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Here we go Carleton Place– Mark Your Calendars–
Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour Bridge Street walk with stories of murder mayhem and Believe it or Not!!. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!–

Join us and learn about the history under your feet! This year’s St. James Cemetery Walk will take place Thursday October 19th and october 21– Museum Curator Jennfer Irwin will lead you through the gravestones and introduce you to some of our most memorable lost souls!
Be ready for a few surprises along the way….
This walk takes place in the dark on uneven ground. Please wear proper footwear and bring a small flashlight if you like.
Tickets available at the Museum, 267 Edmund Street. Two dates!!!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1211329495678960/

OCT 28th
Downtown Carleton Place Halloween Trick or Treat Day–https://www.facebook.com/events/489742168060479/

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Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925

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Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925

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Standing in front of the Smiths Falls, Hotel Rideau–Photo from The King’s Highway.

 

 

An honest to goodness story from the Ottawa Journal  August 18, 1925

In order to save gasoline we took the direct road from Smiths Falls to Carleton Place. It was 17 miles long and as narrow as a lodge resolution and covered with uncrushed stone. Our car had brand new tires guaranteed for 4000 miles and also an old spare.

In the first few miles driving on aggressive stone one of my tires blew. I immediately put on the spare which blew out when it saw Franktown. Pulling into Franktown, which is a place where they pull the sidewalks up on Sunday, we pulled up to a well for a drink of water. The awe-stricken natives manifested disgust from their window panes for the noise that our infirm wheels were making.

 

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The Reilly Hotel on the Franktown Road

Wand had no choice but to drive five miles on uncrushed stone on a flat tire to Carleton Place. Half way there we had no choice but to stop for a little peace in our minds. A motorist from Quebec  came up and parked behind us with the same automotive ailment. We joined in unison in praise for the inducements of which the province of Ontario has offered to their motorists.

 

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Bowland Garage Carleton Place 1930- Both photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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Central Garage 1954 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 

In Carleton Place a blonde woman was in charge of a garage where she informed us that all the mechanics were out golfing-so we went on to another garage where our troubles were mended.

The road from Carleton Place to Ottawa was good so we tried to make up lost time. We had not gone one half mile out of the small town when we noticed we were being escorted. Our companion was a traffic cop who wanted to know if we were working for a telegraph company whose wires were down. I threw up my hands in frustration and we flew into the ditch and I was honestly sorry we were not all killed.

I paid $14 to get out of the ditch and wondered how much I was going to have to pay when his Worship decided how guilty I was when I appear before his Majesty in a few days. Right now I have decided to settle my personal affairs and preparing for a diet which our prison magistrates serve to perjurers, thieves and fire bugs.

My name is 118-133 Ottawa August 18, 1925

 

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The Tales of Carleton Place— Public Archives-Automobiles in Carleton Place–191 McLaren Street

 

 

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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Related Reading

Amazing Hotel Rideau Photos

Tips From the Almonte Gazette “Travel Section” 1874

TWO GIRLS FINISH LONG MOTOR TRIP-Eileen Snowden— Almonte

The Rules of the Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place

The Central Garage in Carleton Place by Terry Skillen

The Garages of Carleton Place –1970’s

The Henry Ashby Story-Left in a Shack Without Food? Putting the Mystery Together

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In May 28 of 1926 an article in the Ottawa Journal wrote that 13 year-old Henry Ashby from Ottawa reported that he was abducted by a strange man, gagged, bound and thrown into a strange car from the Westboro Public School.

Later the next day he telephoned his 17 year-old sister to say he was alive and well in Carleton Place. His parents had spent the day scouring the countryside for him to no avail. George Presley of Carleton Place, who was also a friend of the family, telephoned the parents and told him their son Henry was safe and sound at his home. Because there were no cellphones in the day the parents got some of the information mixed up, wires were crossed somehow thinking the boy was in Ashton.

At midnight the Ashby family finally arrived at Mr. Presley’s home to find Henry who welcomed them with open arms– but seemed somehow fearful of what might transpire. Presley explained he had found Henry on the road a short distance from Carleton Place so he picked him up, and had given him a good supper.

Henry could give no clear story of what had happened to him. He told his parents of being accosted by a man, put in ropes and taken for a long ride. He said he was carried into a shack and left alone there all night untied he said. In the morning he managed to escape from the shack which was a short distance from Carleton Place and telephoned his sister. The police and his parents wondered how he had telephoned home as he had no money and the call to his sister was not placed collect.

His father said that the boy must have had a lapse of memory and had been wandering around in a dream while he walked from Ottawa to Carleton Place. There were no marks of ropes on his ankles and wrists, and his “coaster” (wagon) was missing that he had ridden to school. His mother interjected that he must have fallen off his coaster, hit his head and had a concussion. His father placed little evidence in Henry’s story of being abducted, his father considered it practically impossible that boy could have walked the distance from Ottawa to Carleton Place.

So what happened and is there more to this story? There sure was– after running Henry’s name through newspaper archives I found this article from the day before May 27, 1926. It seems Henry was in a heap of trouble– but the question remains– how did he make the telephone call and get to Carleton Place? I guess we will never know, but years later after let it be known Henry Ashby had mended his ways and became involved with the Salvation Army in Ottawa.

 

Here is why he ran away… Maybe I would have too

May 27, 1926–Ottawa Journal

 

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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

Going to Shop in the Suburbs Lanark County? You Might Be Dropping in to Stewarton!

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                                                  Photo from–Centretown Buzz

In the Almonte Gazette today I found many social notes for Stewarton. I searched and searched and found nothing in Lanark County. Where was Stewarton?

After some research I found out that Stewarton was the Kanata of its heyday in the 1920s as Ottawa ended at Waverley Street to the south in those days. An interesting tidbit is that Stewarton was named after the Stewart family that had a farm where the Ottawa bus station is now. Many downtown streets to the south were named after their kids (McLeod, Flora, Isabella, Florence). You were allowed to name a street if you provided most of the labour for it in those days.

Imagine if local folks back then in Lanark County could pop into a spiffy vehicle like today and instead of shopping in Kanata (please shop local) they might drop in and spend some time in Ottawa’s first suburb called Stewarton.

Stewarton May 27 1921-Almonte Gazette Social Notes

Miss Hollis Russell is spending a few. days in Ottawa.

Mrs. J. Hanson, of Pakenham, is visiting her sister Mrs. A. Fulton, at present.

Miss Bessie Carswell, of Glasgow, spent Thursday with her aunt at “Breezy Knoll.” Mr. ans Mrs. A. McDonald, of Ottawa, spent the holidays at the home of Mr. H. McDonald.

Miss Gertrude Fulton spent this week with Mr. and Wilbert Fulton at Cedar Hill.

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                                                 May 27 1921-Almonte Gazette

 

Messrs. Gordon .McDonald and Gordon Exford went west on the harvest excursion on Monday.

Mr. and Mrs. R Taylor and family spent Tuesday evening with Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Campbell at Breezy Knoll.

 

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Photo from bytown.net

In 1890 the Exhibition Grounds in Ottawa were renamed Lansdowne Park after the Marquess of Lansdowne, Governor General from 1883 to 1888. Even then calling the exhibition ground a park was a misnomer since it was only an indifferent collection of quaint mainly wooden buildings set in worn out grass with few trees except in the north east corner together with a small stagnant lake which was the remains of the canal inlet. Many people questioned the location of these grounds so far out into the country – with the city only extending as far as Stewarton, on the other side of the railroad tracks, built in the 1870’s where the Queensway now runs, three quarters of a mile away.

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In 1833 William Stewart purchased lot F to the north of the present Queensway, which would later become Stewarton, the southern edge of future Ottawa by the end of the nineteenth century.

 

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Photo from bytown.net

Stewarton Bridge was a wooden swing bridge over the Rideau Canal located at the end of Archibald Street (continuation of Argyle Avenue).  It was built in 1890 and joined the village of Stewarton on the west side to the village of Ottawa East.  Stewarton was named after William Stewart who had a large tract of land on the west side and whose house was located at the present side of the Victoria Museum Building. These villages
were later incorporated into the City of Ottawa and the bridge was later referred to as the Ottawa East Bridge.  —bytown.net

 

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

The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls

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Author’s Note–A 12 foot cross was erected near Chambers Street on April 28,1926. A month later a second cross was burned on the outskirts of town and a third cross a week later at Rideau Heights. In mid June a  fourth cross was burned on Franktown Road, a mile and a half north from town.–These notes are files from —Smiths Falls by Glenn J. Lockwood–also available at Heritage House Museum in Smiths Falls ( open seasonally)

CROSSES BURNED AT SMITHS FALLS

Ku KIux Klan Demonstration Attended by Several Thousand

With files from the Almonte Gazette– Sept. 24 1926

That the Ku Klux Klan- of Canada is strongly organized in Smiths Falls was evidenced at a mammoth Klan demonstration there Sunday afternoon and night in *McEwen‘s open field. Impressive demonstrations were given, concluding before midnight. It is estimated that between *six and seven thousand people were in attendance at the demonstration, Hundreds motored to Smiths Falls from Kingston, Belleville, Brockville, Perth, Ottawa and the whole countryside. Klansmen and Klanswomen were also from Kingston, Brockville and Smiths Falls which exemplified the degree work in initial meetings.

The celebration was given over the initiation of 22 local candidates.  During the ceremony 6 huge crosses burned while the demonstraton proceeded. Programs held both afternoon and evening were under the chairmanships of a Klan’s knight leader from London, Ontario. A brother Klan leader, who is known with the local movement gave the addresses and told them that the Klan was part of Scottish legacy and insisted that only the stores of white Protestants be patronized.

The square in which the services-were conducted were marked off with British flags, as well as an elevated platform for the speakers. On another platform was stationed a twelve piece orchestra under the leadership of Mr. Wm. Yarwood which led in the singing of sacred and patriotic selections.

All taking part in the ceremony were gowned in white, with white hoods and masks. The horses used were likewise draped. A noticeable feature was the omission of names of knights or those taking part. Against a beautiful moonlit sky the evening service was most impressive and included the full initiation and obligation. For the evening service crowds most were assembled before six o’clock and automobiles formed a long procession from the town to the field.

An impressive part of the service was the announcement given by the London speaker about a railway accident the previous night. A former Smiths Falls resident, a C.P.R. engineer, and one of the first to join the Klan in western Ontario, had been dangerously injured.  A two minute silence was observed and prayers offered. The injured man, whose three comrades were killed outright, had expected to be at the Smiths Falls demonstration that day.

At the afternoon meeting the speaker informed thousands that the Klan had received 150 new local members of which 22 members were women. At its first meeting in Smiths Falls some time ago,  the Klan had steadily grown in numbers until today- with a large membership of several hundred. A cloud of secrecy entirely surrounded all proceedings and numbers of Klansmen fully robed from out-of-town stationed themselves among the crowd. The Vice Wizard spoke to the crowd many times on the evils of white women marrying outside their race and contaminating the blood line.

Author’s Note–So what did it bring to the then depressed town of Smiths Falls?  They received more than their share of sensational media and Protestant unhappiness with the local Orange Lodge. Half the folks were from out of town and the only reason it was held in Smiths Falls was because it was easily accessible by train as it was a hub. There never was another Klan meeting that anyone knows of in the area, and no evidence to say how long the Smiths Falls membership met in secret. Luckily, the Klan was on their way out in Canada by 1927.

historicalnotes

*McEwen‘s Field became the Rideau Regional Centre now OPP Centre

*It was estimated there were actually 12,000-15,000 people not 5 or 6 thousand.

comments

Hannah Munro-Wright– Growing up in Smiths Falls this was something not taught to me by teachers in school but by class mates who found it in history books… also my parents and their friends knew of this. A lot of them believed the burning of the crosses at the 4 corners of town put some bad karma on the town.

Larry Cotten–I found the picture of the KKK in Smiths Falls interesting. Many don’t realize that the Klan was well organized across Southern Ontario in the mid 1920s. There are similar pictures of parades in Collingwood, Barrie, Penetanguishene and Owen Sound in Central Ontario from the 1920s. A Catholic Church in a major city in Ontario was torched … allegedly by the Klan during that time period.

 

Related reading

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Knights of the Ku Klux Klan standing in front of a cross in Kingston–DateAugust 31, 1927

The Ku Klux Klan Rally in KingstonThe Ku Klux Klan Rally in Kingston

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

 

October 1926