Tag Archives: 1940’s

Almonte at Night — 1946

Almonte at Night — 1946

Image result for almonte post office


Watching a small town come to life after “the supper hour” and prepare itself for the night life to come is an interesting experience. Take Almonte for instance. The hands on the post office clock stand at 6.30. The red neon sign on the O’Brien theatre has not yet been lighted, and the last of the late workers has left the service station across the street. His car roars into second as he ascends the steep hill on the main street. He’s in a hurry to get home for an evening meal.



The beverage room in the Almonte hotel is emptying itself of the last of its patrons. Talkative and noisy they stumble out of a side door and laugh their several ways home. Up at the corner, a storekeeper sells a pipe and tobacco to a fellow from Ottawa. The slicker helps himself to a “coke” from the vending machine and stares through semi-clean windows at the almost deserted street. The clock strikes the half hour.


The girls in the Bell Telephone office behind half-closed Venetian blinds seem to be the only animated figures to be seen. A man stands motionless in a darkened doorway. He lights a cigarette and its glow fades into the brilliant glare of a drug store window adjoining. Here a group of men are buying copies of the Ottawa evening newspapers. Citizens are all sold within a few minutes. The druggist eats a lunch from a black metal pail set on a stool behind the counter. A girl of 14 comes in. She buys a comic book and a stick of rouge. “She’ll soon be as big as her mother.” one of the newspaper buyers remarks.


Inside the post office, mail is being picked up by stragglers homeward bound for supper. The Huskey Grill is cooking up ‘burgs’ and hot dogs but the windows of the Almonte Gazette are dark and no sound of the linotype is heard from within. The O’Brien theatre sign comes on as if signalling patrons. The town’s young people begin to gather at the door. The ticket wicket is still closed, but the projectionist is having a last minute smoke on the steps with a crony outside the theater. They’re talking about the Arnprior hockey team. To judge by their conversation Arnprior’s chances are not so hot. Not like the great Greenshirt Team  with no Tudin and no Marshall.



The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 Feb 1947, Tue  •  Page 16


A youngster comes yelling up the street on a bicycle. He sounds like a hoot owl gone berserk. A lady in an apartment across the street pushes aside a curtain to look out. She decides it’s not an owl and goes back to supper. Elmer arrives. He is greeted enthusiastically by the hangers-on about the theater. His arrival is the signal for a couple of urchins to start wrestling at the main corners of the town, right in the middle of the street. There isn’t much traffic anyway. Elmer watches, his good-natured face wreathed in a grin.

Some young girls reach the scene — Almonte high school youngsters. They enter the theater, after pausing at the wicket. Elmer too disappears within. He doesn’t stop at the wicket it’s complimentary for him. The whirr of the projection machine can be heard in the street. Then comes the blare of the news. Couples are arriving in greater numbers now. A muddied car from far in the country arrives at the curb. It disgorges a shy-locking boy with big hands and feet and a demure country girl whose arm he takes gently. They each buy a ticket.

The juke box in a nearby cafe stops playing “To Each His Own” and starts mournfully on “Blue Skies.” An aged gentleman in an ancient Ford comes up the hill past the Almonte Hotel. His bus fails to make the grade and stalls at the main corners. Husky loiterers rush to his aid. Sitting grandly at the wheel the old man guides the ancient jalopy to the curb. An attendant comes out of the service station. Soon he and the old man have their heads together under the hood of the car. Their posteriors stick out in the road. It doesn’t matter, traffic is light. There’s no danger.

“Hurry up, the feature’s started.” says a lady entering the theatre. So has night life in Almonte.

What would you add to this???




Almonte in the 1950s

Hand Typed Almonte History Notations Part 1

Austin F. Cross


Austin Cross was born in July 1898 and moved in his early childhood to Ottawa. He attended Queen’s University and began a career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen.  In his day he worked for the Hamilton Herald, the Montreal Star and the Toronto Globe and but his columns entitled “Geography Lesson” continued to appear in the Citizen.  He returned to the Citizen and began a daily series called “‘Cross Town” on 2 January 1946.  Mr. Cross had a strong interest in railways and wrote many commentaries. He also wrote under the titles “Cross Country” and “Under the Reading Lamp” and he also had a radio series.
The Ottawa Citizen announced his early retirement, through ill health, on 30 September 1961. His death was announced on 26 December 1961.

Frequently amusing, always entertaining, forthright and often controversial

Carleton Place Memories 1930s and 1940s

Carleton Place Memories 1930s and 1940s

17310997_1387371974653026_5719382261551101259_o.jpg17240604_1387371977986359_7480365774636335226_o.jpgCarleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

This poem was written in 1996 by Harold R. Drummond and recalls his youth in Carleton Place in the 1930’s and ’40’s.




Almonte Poetry —- Agnes Whitelaw Boyce Almonte

A Poem about Innisville–By Mrs. Edith Bolton

Alice Katherine Gould– Smiths Falls — Gould Family

A Beckwith Poem — Beckwith in the Bushes — J.W.S. Lowry 1918

Annie Patterson — Descendant of John Gemmill

Did you Know Mother Goose Came from Blakeney and Union Hall ?

Genealogist Christmas Poem

The Old Saw Mill Poem – Lanark County

Was the Rhyme Ring Around the Rosie Connected to the Plague?

Postage Stamp Flirtation 1903

Come on and Feel the Noise –Last Night’s Mini Poetry Slam

Saddle Shoes –Did You Walk a Mile in Those Shoes?

Saddle Shoes –Did You Walk a Mile in Those Shoes?



I was a child who missed the saddle shoes of the 40s and the 50s by a few years, but my older Albert Street friend and neighbour Verna May Wilson made up for me. There were those of of my friends who thought the return of saddle shoes in 1972 was the best thing since Lucky Charms and Lava Lamps. Then there were two or three and myself who said they hated the entire situation with I believe we said, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”. And, as would be expected, there were a few old timers that had to throw in their two cents and tell “us kids” about the “olden days”. One of my friends launched the conversation, and her first words were, “Hey, saddle shoes are coming back, and my Mother thinks that is great!” For her Mother it was like smelling wine and roses— no, more like winning a sweepstakes contest.

Some of you some will remember the old days of saddle shoes when you bought them sparkling white and clean, and then you tried your very hardest to get them dirty before the kids at school got the chance to do the job for you. Seems nice white saddle shoes just wasn’t the thing in those days, and it was very painful to have your friends trying to take every inch of bark off the uppers of your saddle shoes.



I really don’t wander around beginning conversations about saddle shoes these days, but when the subject has come up  I once again have always always expressed my displeasure with them. 

I do remember hearing Verna telling me her Mother became hysterical at the sight of the new saddle shoes when she returned home after her first day at school. They were scuffed and gave the appearance of having gone through a small war, but that was the “in” way to wear saddle shoes.

Day after day a bit more wear and tear became noticeable, and just about the time you really got the uppers of your saddle shoes to the point where they were socially acceptable with the “In” crowd things started happening to the rest of the shoes, and it was time to get a new pair.




There were all sorts of things Verna Wilson did with saddle shoes. She would change her laces to match an outfit and I swear some peaked out of their Albert Street Venetian blinds on a daily basis to see what she had done. But, this was a girl that came home at lunchtime to change into another fresh white blouse that she wore with her navy blue school tunic, and she was perfect in my eyes.

She mentioned there was a professional scuffer at Cowansville High School that would scuff your saddle shoes for a nominal price. I heard that his scuffing business was so popular that you had to wait as long as three or four days to get his attention.

My style once older never followed Verna, but it involved my Grandmother’s borrowed pearls, penny loafers, with a scent of Evening in Paris. I was also so mesmerized with tap dancing that sometimes I taped nickles on the bottom of my shoes. The coin sometimes came in handy for a call on an emergency payphone. Can you even imagine– a penny! But after months of wearing them my father began calling them “clodhoppers” as that’s what they used to call big shoes that just didn’t fit well anymore.



Shoes have always been part of everyone’s lives and they can either afford you the adoration of your peers, or jeers from the cool kids table in the lunch room. Should we get into the Hush Puppies era, or can we just stop now at Saddle Shoes and Loafers and suppress those memories?

Did you know that all these shoes we wore actually changed the shape of our feet over the course of our lives? As Leonardo DaVinci once said, “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”  Maybe so, but after a lifetime of fashionable shoes, my feet are no masterpieces– they in fact looked like very scuffed Saddle shoes that no one would want– and that my friends are going easy on them.




I was Linda Knight, Junior bridesmaid at this wedding.:)

 - J. Dunn, Hadlock -Wilson -Wilson Wedding Held...

Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 08 Sep 1959, Tue,
  3. Page 26

lindaaa.jpg - Youngsters Bid Saddle Shoes 1 . I I i I l 1 L I...

Clipped from

  1. Asheville Citizen-Times,
  2. 16 May 1943, Sun,
  3. Page 20
  1. 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 and The Tales of Almonte

Carleton Place Commencement Concert 1943

Carleton Place Commencement Concert 1943


Screenshot 2018-02-26 at 17


Thanks to David Tosh on Twitter.. February 19, 1943

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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. 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)




1940s Basketball Gals — Carleton Place High School


Graduation Names- Carleton Place High School 1949– Names Names Names

Carleton Place High School–“Running CPHS Bears” 1948

Any of These CPHS Students Your Grandparents?

1940s Basketball Gals — Carleton Place High School

1940s Basketball Gals — Carleton Place High School



Photo from Hannah White’s Collection


Hannah White very graciously sent in these photos of life in CPHS years ago– most likely the 40s.  This note came with it:

Hi Linda,

I wanted to send you this picture I found of my grandma. I only know of her on it but I don’t know anyone else.

My grandma’s name was Lois (Macdougall) Stanley. The two basketball pictures are from CPHS. I want to say they are from around 1946ish

Thanks again Hannah!!



Sandra Sanderson My mom….June (Illingworth) Lay….back row, first on the left.

Carole Flint It looks like my sister Milly Reid bottom row 2nd from right.

Karen Dorman Second from left on the top row is my mother. The coach is my father Mac Saunders. The person beside my mother is one of the Healey twins. I think Mom has this picture with all the names. I will try and get it from her. The other Healey twin is at the end of the top row on the right.
Who were The Healey Twins?

Donna Sweeney Lowry-– They were Dora and Doris Healey twin daughters of William Healey and Isabell Hutchinson, born about 1930. Dora never married. Doris married Gerald (Gerry) Willows born about 1928, son of Russell Willows and Hattie Walker from Boyd’s settlement just off Highway 7 on the way to Fergusons Falls. When Hattie died, Russell married Merle Tennant. Doris and Gerry’s farm was next door to my Dad and Mom’s place on the first line of Ramsay, not far from Boyd’s Settlement. Gerry died in 1997, Dora in 2002 and Doris in 2011. Doris worked for Scotiabank in C.Place. I remember the Twins dressing alike, perhaps a different colour, but the clothes were the same, same skirt, same blouse, same sweater, same coat, same shoes! I am uncertain when Mr. and Mrs. Healey passed. I seem to remember Dora living on Miguel Street across from the train station in Carleton Place. I don’t know where Dora worked. Probably in a bank the same as her sister!!


Donna Sweeney Lowry Ray Paquette, on Mac’s other right!😁 On Mac’s left, our right looking at the photo, I am fairly confident it is Betty Dugdale who married Jim Paul of Mountblow Farms on Rae Rd near Almonte. I agree it is Dora Healey on Mac’s immediate right with Doris at the far left on the end of the same row.
Heather White Betty Paul is beside Mac.My mom Lois MacDougall (Stanley) is 2nd from the right on the bottom row.  🙂




Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Jennifer Fenwick Irwin —This jersey in the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum was donated by Mary Cook.. It’s got number 9 on the back and  Karen Dorman said it belonged to her mother’s.



Photo from Hannah White’s Collection– Carleton Place High School 1940s

Karen Dorman– I know the far left is Lois MacDougall Stanley and beside her is one of the Healey twins.



Photo from Hannah White’s Collection






Photo from Karen Dorman

The second photo is the 1946-47 basketball team. Starting top row left ?, Mac Saunders, Art Ferguson, ? Hamilton, Front row Murray Kilpatrick, Vince Giles, ? Newest, Don ‘Spud’ Hamilton

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)




U Can’t Touch This! St. Mary’s Basketball Team 1990

Carleton Place High School–“Running CPHS Bears” 1948

Carleton Place High School–“Running CPHS Bears” 1948



Photo thanks to Karen Dorman– “Got this picture from my Mom. This photo was Grad basketball and father was 23 in this picture. My father is in the back row and his nickname was “Dink” and it came from Dinky Dooley island which his father once owned with another man”.



Front Row Left to Right- Murray Corky Kirkpatrick, Vince “Arnie Giles”, Bill “Bugs” Buse and Don “Spud” Hamilton

Back Row Left to Right- Gordon Shultz, Gordon “Dink” Saunders, Art Eerquson, captain, Roger  Hamilton.





Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Jul 1947, Wed,  Page 20


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  11 Sep 1947, Thu,  Page 17

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  10 May 1947, Sat,  Page 25



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  15 May 1948, Sat,  Page 11



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.


Tales from Dinky Dooley Island

Don’t Have a Cow Man!– Tales from Squaw Point

CPHS Students Declare War on Mississippi Lake – 1973



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1967 Carleton Place High School Grads..

High School Confidential — More Vintage Shenanigans at Carleton Place High School

Reefer Madness at Carleton Place High School

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School–Cheerleaders and Things

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School–Prom Tickets

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School –Hurdis–isms

Doo Wah Diddy Diddy —The 1964 Royalty? Straight Outta Carleton Place High School

Who Were These CPHS Students? Straight Outta Carleton Place High School

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School — Wava McDaniel Baker

Straight Outta Carleton Place High –Teachers 1963

The Improved Stereo Remix of 1963 –Straight Outta Carleton Place High School

If You Ever Smoked in the Boys Room—– Straight Outta Carleton Place High School

1963 Rule of Thumb for a Strong Physique — Straight Outta Carleton Place High School

The History of Mom Dancing –Straight Outta Carleton Place High School

Dissecting a Rat- Straight Outta Carleton Place High School

Name them?

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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!–




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!!!

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

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Guess What I Found?–A Purchase from the Yard Goods Store




You’re rummaging through an old tub of clothes from your childhood that your parents had stored away in their attic. As you search, you find one particular piece that you remember as your favourite. When you hold it in your hands, you’re magically transported back to the moment remembering that particular time and space when someone bought a few yards of fabric to make something.

Michael Rikley-Lancaster– curator of the Mississppi Valley Textile Museum showed me a piece of fabric from the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum collection a few days ago–and well— I went way back in time. Even though I was born in 1951– this fabric still brought back memories. (Photo at the bottom of the page)

The 1920’s and 30’s saw change in the design of children’s clothing and it became increasingly more casual by the 1950’s. This was partially due to the introduction of synthetic fabrics but also fabric design had become more cheerful.


Fashion in the 30s and 40s

By the time the United States emerged from the Depression, Europe and much of Asia were already at war. Paris under Nazi occupation was a disaster for Haute Couture and one that gave great opportunity to the growing fashion industry in the United States.

Women who were deprived of the latest fashions from Paris began to look to homegrown talent. Designers such as Norman Norell and Claire McCardell soon built a following. Mainbocher and Molyneux fled Europe and set up shop in the United States. This development profoundly changed America’s fashion profile and the market continued to gain momentum after the war ended.


Wartime regulations such as L-85, which regulated how much fabric and what garment types could be manufactured, were applied to both men’s and women’s clothing. Materials that were needed for military purposes were restricted for civilian use. Though the restrictions were not difficult to heed, manufacturers over-complied in support of the war effort. Utility and practicality became more fashionable and “Rosie the Riveter” was created as a role model. Frivolity and extravagance were put on hold. The emblematic wide-shouldered, slim-waisted, narrow-hipped silhouette of the 1940s was established.

The war also brought social and cultural change as greater numbers of women entered the workplace. Slacks, once considered scandalous and fit only for the boudoir, gained popularity. For many years however, even into the 1960s, it was to be a subject of debate as to whether they were appropriate in the workplace or not!


February 1947 brought one of fashion history’s most dramatic events – Christian Dior’s explosive first collection hit the runway. He called it the Corolle line but the American press, which referred to the collection as “New Look”, ignored this. The media’s chosen name stuck and so did the fashion.

The New Look called for rounded shoulders, exaggerated bust lines, wasp waists and padded hips and long, often extravagantly full skirts that required an exorbitant amount of fabric. This was a strident comment on the end of wartime asceticism.



While fashion writers loved the New Look, initially it met with public resistance. Many viewed it as frivolous and wasteful after the rationing and deprivation of World War II – especially when the economic hardships of war were still very much a reality in Europe. But ultimately, the New Look became a symbol of the return of prosperity, femininity, and glamour. Women who had for years worn the more austere fashions of the 1940s (and were fatigued at reading endless articles on how to extend the life of old garments) began to see a distinct appeal in the swish of long skirts and the allure of curvaceous shapes. The “New Look” was essential in restoring the French couture industry and was the cornerstone of the following decade’s predominant fashion aesthetic.

The Vintage Fashion Guild


And here is what I saw and marvelled at the Mississppi Valley Textile Museum— Thanks Michael!!



1940s fabric from the Mississppi Valley Textile Museum Almonte Ontario


Want to see more? 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

Related Reading:

Was Working in One of Our Local Mills Like Working in a Coal Mine?

Babies in the Textile Mills

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

Tears of a Home -The Archibald Rosamond House

The Exact Reason Rosamond Left Carleton Place

How to Deal With a Garter Belt Emergency! – Actual 1940’s War Bride Letter




A long time ago we women wore garter belts with stockings, and believe you me, it was not really associated with with eroticism–the garter belt was nothing but a functional garment. I remember wearing fishnet stockings and garter belts with mini-skirts in the 60’s and one disadvantage of the garter belt was that a tight fitting or short skirt generally showed the bumps and ridges associated with the connecting straps. Today, they’re generally considered a lingerie accessory rather than a necessity and I’m sure every woman in my age-range has a story or two on “how they got through the perils of a garter belt” with some sort of dignity.

The Love Letters from Betty L – January 23, 1943.


First of all did I tell you that Mrs. Benelics is expecting another baby? Gosh, that woman sure has ambition! I just happened to think of a most embarrassing moment while I was in San Francisco the other night. Just across from the library I heard something snap, and felt something slip. It seems that my garter belt had ‘given” and was just about ready to fall off.
Clutching at my skirt I managed to make my way into the library on 14th street convincing the girl at the desk it was imperative I used their private bathroom to make some every essential repairs. She agreed and one of the librarians gave me some helpful information on how to fix it. Darling, I do believe you know how a garter belt works, so if I had made a run for it, it would have fallen off in the middle of the street, pulling my stockings down with it. Well, I finally managed to reach San Francisco and when we climbed into the streetcar and sat down,  I heard another snap! The damn thing broke again!

I sat there perfectly helpless and wondered how I was going to get off without causing a riot. Time passed and I finally had to get up and attempt as grateful an exit as possible under the circumstances. Grabbing my skirt like I was trying to keep my pants from falling down I climbed off the streetcar and made a dash for the nearest apartment building. I pressed a multitude of buzzers and asked anyone that answered permission to use the bathroom. Luck was with me–two women understood my predicament, and not only did they lend me the privacy of their bathroom, but also showed me how to use two huge pins to fix it! Honestly I thought they would die laughing! Please write darling, I haven’t heard from you in three whole days, and I am hoping this letter makes you smile and gives you some how-too information in case you need it! Just joking my dear– stay safe!

All my love,


This was an actual letter from a collection I found  consisting of 30 letters and telegrams from 1942-1943. Betty was pregnant as she wrote this but had no idea. Her husband who was a sailor died at the end of 1943. How someone could have thrown these letters out is beyond me, and now it is up to me to  keep them safe. These letters are a “how-to” on cherishing life.

 - DEAR MISS DIX: A year ago j I met a very nice...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  23 Jan 1953, Fri,  Page 16