Tag Archives: 1959

The Village That Wouldn’t Die — Verna (McEwen) MacRae Unseen Photos and Poem – Buchanan Scrapbooks

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The Village That Wouldn’t Die — Verna (McEwen) MacRae Unseen Photos and Poem – Buchanan Scrapbooks
With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here.
Complete fire map-NRC Publications Archives
NRC Publications Archives
NRC Publications Archives

NRC Publications Archives

NRC Publications Archives

Related reading

More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

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

Herriott Street History — Rachel McRae Joann Voyce

Rhonda McRae Landriault — McRae Genealogy

The Henry Family — Rachel McRae

The 12 Hardships of Mr. McRae

Down at the Farm –9th line Beckwith. McRae Family Photos

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Benson McRae

More on Those “Glads” of Carleton Place

The Mystery of the W.G. Hill Store Continues….

What Did it Cost to Stay in the Hospital?

June 16 1959 The Day After in Lanark

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June 16 1959 The Day After in Lanark

 - The Ottawa Journal MklttkaS Th Jourtwl...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 17 Jun 1959, Wed,
  3. Page 6

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  4. Margaret Ann Cornell posted the information about this photo from Public Archives when we posted it on the LCGS.
    ‘The three men in the picture are my grandfather Alden Affleck, Frank Mitchell and my dad Murray Affleck”. Day after the fire June 16, 1959.

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  1.  photos below were taken by Ileen Sheard and submitted by Candas Price.

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

  2. More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

    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

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

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

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Margaret Ann Cornell posted the information about this photo from Public Archives when we posted it on the LCGS.
‘The three men in the picture are my grandfather Alden Affleck, Frank Mitchell and my dad Murray Affleck”. Day after the fire June 16, 1959.
authorsnote)
On June 18th of 1959 the fire inspectors conceded that the cause of the fire in Lanark Village on the 15th of June of that same year might be never known. A few days later a family by family survey by the Ontario government was determining the losses of the 3.5 hour fire.

Aid for the stricken village was pouring in by the 18th of June 1959 and the Lanark disaster relief fund had reached $11,152.00. Workers were continuing to clear up the mess left by the fire and families were staying at the local Odd Fellows Hall. There were tales from people who had lost everything, but all were confident that all would turn out well. The Canadian Red Cross had set up in the hall and nobody knew exactly where the food was coming in to feed these folks, but it kept pouring in since the night of the fire.

The photos below were taken by Ileen Sheard and submitted by Candas Price.

“The following is what my mom has written on the back of each photo: All photo’s taken June 16/59; day after the fire. My mom and dad and my two sisters lost everything and mom was pregnant with me at the time”.

Thank you Candas for sharing photos with all of us- we are documenting history because of these photos.

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“Down Main street at Drysdale’s Store”-June 16/59; day after the fire–All photos below were taken by Ileen Sheard and submitted by Candas Price

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“Miller’s Store 5¢ + 10¢ where fire stopped”–June 16/59; day after the fire

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“Sargeant Apartments, Eric Hornell’s Store-June 16/59; day after the fire

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Lanark Village Town Hall Before-Postcard

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Lanark Town hall After the fire–June 16/59; day after the fire

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Lanark Town hall (side view) after the fire-June 16/59; day after the fire

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“Eric Hornell’s Store up to Mrs. Maude McCurdy’s–Hornell’s, Sam Rathwell’s”

June 16/59; day after the fire

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“Dowdall’s Sash & Door, and Trails” –where the fire started.–June 16/59; day after the fire

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“Down by Kelly Sargeant Apartments- up to the Sash & Door” –June 16/59; day after the fire

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“Sargeant Apartments & our car”–June 16/59; day after the fire

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“Street up by Strang’s Drug Store”–June 16/59; day after the fire

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“Taken from Marion Stewart’s to Strang’s Drug Store”–June 16/59; day after the fire

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CLIPPED FROM

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

16 Jun 1959, Tue  •  Page 7

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More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

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

June 17 1959– The Day After the Fire in Lanark Village

More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

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More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

I found these clippings yesterday and had never seen them– so I have scrapbooked them here for future reference.

 

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Jun 1959, Tue,  Page 17

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Jun 1959, Tue,  Page 17

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Jun 1959, Tue,  Page 17

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Jun 1959, Tue,  Page 17

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Jun 1959, Tue,  Page 17

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Jun 1959, Tue,  Page 17

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Jun 1959, Tue,  Page 1

 

 

comments

 

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Earl Alexander Donaldson I worked for A.L (Jim) Charlton , as a grocery delivery boy , who operated the grocery store just to the right of the town hall . One day with little to do , the Police Chief Bill Trail , asked me if I would like to go up in the tower . The clock had to be wound , so up we went . Quite a venture getting around the bell , and up into the workings . Lanark has never been the same , since the fire of 1959 

 

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)

 

  relatedreading

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

 

 

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Lanark Village January 6 1961

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal06 Jan 1961, FriPage 36

 

 

Related reading

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

 

 

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 The Townships Sun

Miracle at Mississippi Lake-John Brown Jr.

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                                          Photo-The Ottawa Journal August 26, 1959

 

If it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of John Brown that day in August 1959 his two-year-old son  John Jr. would have drowned in Mississippi Lake. What he thought was a floating log that day 10 feet offshore was in reality his son, that had just gone missing.

Brown immediately plunged into the water, pulled the unconscious child out of the water and began to breathe into his child’s mouth. Mrs. Brown who had been attending to her other 4 children at the time became frantic, jumped into the car and made the 5 mile journey to Carleton Place to get help.

After the child began to breathe slowly George Young, a passerby, wrapped the small child up and drove them to the Carleton Place Memorial Hospital. A mile from Carleton Place they met Mrs. Brown who was  in tow with Constable George MacDonald and fire chief Cal Wilson who was equipped with an inhaler. Dr. Dobb immediately upon arrival st the hospital put the child in an oxygen tent where he remained for the next day.

The Browns had no doubt been lucky that Johnny Jr. had pulled through as the child had been found floating face down with his arms cramped under his chest.What had kept him alive? His father John wondered if an air pocket in his shorts had kept him at the surface.

 

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

 

A Carleton Place Tale to Send Shivers Up Your Arm — The Sad Tale of Margaret Violet King

Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

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You have read the newspaper reports of the 1959 Lanark Village fire and the posting I did this year. Yesterday I found an article written by the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL CANADA DIVISION OF BUILDING RESEARCH in 1959. It answers some of the questions I always had and is basically a minute by minute report.

 

REPORT ON CONFLAGRATION IN LANARK, ONTARIO 15 JUNE 1959 M. Galbreath and C. G. Burnett

6845
1114
NPARC number 20386279

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The conflagration which occurred on 15 June 1959 in Lanark, Ontario, destroyed approximately 33 buildings representing almost the entire business centre of this village of 950 people. The fire started in the Campbell Sash and Door Factory at the corner of Owen and George Streets shortly after noon and spread rapidly down the main street in a southerly direction. It was brought under control at about 3:45 p.m–after involving both sides of the street for one and a half blocks and having started a large number of smaller fires throughout the village. The Town Hall, Fire Department Headquarters, Telephone Exchange , Hotel, stores and apartments were among the buildings lost. The Dominion Fire Commission report on Fire Losses in Canada gives $738,420 as the estimated total loss.

At approximately 12:20 p.m a resident of the village discovered the fire burning in a one-story wood-frame building located at George and Owen Streets and used as a woodworking plant. Machinery in the plant had been closed down, and the employees had left for lunch at noon. The fire seemed to have made considerable headway in a pile of wood shavings and was extending to the interior of the building. He sounded the alarm to call the volunteer brigade.

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Photo- Ottawa Citizen- Lanark Era

By the time the fire fighters had assembled and returned to the factory, the fire had broken through the roof and the adjacent florist’s shop was on fire. The fire chief said that when he was called out by the alarm the house facing his on George Street was on fire. This was the building on the south side of George Street near the place where the conflagration was brought under control.

At the arrival of the fire-fighting equipment, an attempt was made to extinguish the fire with the supply of water carried with the apparatus; this attack soon had to be discontinued and the apparatus moved to the river to start pumping water into large hose lines,as the fire had attacked the roof of the building. Live embers were being carried by the strong winds to the opposite end of the village igniting a number of wood shingled roofs, causing considerable concern to the residents who were attempting to extinguish the fires with water from their wells.

The fire began to spread very rapidly from the building of origin in an easterly and southerly direction to ignite wood and masonry buildings in its path for a distance of approximately one-half mile. A mutual aid system is arranged with the various township fire departments, and with the occurrence of this fire, assistance was requested by telephone from the township fire coordinator at Smiths Falls 50 miles away, and the Town of Perth, 12 miles from Lanark.

 

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A former resident of the village, just a young boy at the time of the fire, was recently quoted as saying, “People didn’t just lose their homes and their livelihoods…we lost the fabric of our community”. —Lanark & District Museum

 

As the fire progressed, the telephone exchange and communications were destroyed leaving the village isolated. It became necessary to use the car radio facilities of the Ontario Provincial Police to request other assistance to control the fire. Lanark’s fire-fighting apparatus, consisting of one 500-gal pump, one 420-gal pump and one portable pump, were now drawing water from the Clyde River that flows through the east end of the village, and relaying it to the fire which now had involved a number ,of buildings on the north side of George Street between Owen and Clarence Streets where an attempt was made to check the fire.

The strong north winds which had carried the fire in an easterly direction now began to change direction and the fire was carried across George Street to attack buildings on the south side where it continued to spread. It was estimated that within one-half hour from the start of the fire, many of the buildings bounded by Owen and Clarence on George Street which compromised the business section, were ignited or in the line of fire, and fires were occurring in various parts of the village from flying embers.

The Perth fire brigade with a pumping unit and equipment were the first to arrive on the scene at approximately 1:00 p.m. On approaching the village it was reported that live embers were flying in all directions and the main fire seemed to be centred in the business district on George Street, with a number of wood-frame buildings ignited from flying embers on the south side of the Clyde River in the vicinity of Mill Street. In an attempt to control the fires in this area, pumping operations were carried out from the bridge crossing the Clyde River, and hose lines were laid to the various buildings which had been ignited by flying embers and were threatening to spread the fire.

The action of the Perth brigade no doubt was a factor in the control of this fire. Fire brigades with men and equipment continued to arrive at intervals throughout the afternoon from Smiths Falls, Bathurst, Carleton Place, Almonte, Arnprior Civil Defence College and Brockville. The City of Ottawa, while not a participant in the mutual aid arrangement, was requested for assistance and dispatched a pumping unit with men and equipment.

By 3:45 p.m., the wind began to die down and the fire was brought under control half-way down the block between Clarence and Hillier Streets. Apparatus from the various municipalities was gradually released after 6:00 p.m. The Perth brigade remained on duty until 7: 00 a .m. , 16 June, and the Lanark Village brigade worked throughout the day to extinguish smouldering fires. A high wind variously reported as being from 30 to 55 mph rose during the morning and continued throughout most of the afternoon. A press photographer and his pilot who flew over the village at the height of the fire estimated the speed at about 30 mph.  Light rain began to fall in Lanark later in the afternoon when the fire was being brought under control.

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Carleton Place Canadian files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-

Just read the story on the Lanark Fire. My husband Bill McNeely was one of the firemen from Carleton Place who fought this fire. There is a pic that was donated by C. Wilson and it had three firemen in it and it was Cal Wilson, Bill McNeely and Bob Bennett in it.– Margaret McNeely
 
 
 
 
 

 

The fire completely destroyed all the buildings within an area approximately 1100 ft long and 600 ft wide. Beyond this area many smaller fires started but they were put out by fire fighters and householders. The damage varied from superficial damage of roof shingles, to the complete destruction of  sheds behind the Knitting Mill.

 

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Lanark & District Museum–These bars are from the former Lanark Village lock-up! It was located behind the former Town Hall until it burnt in the Lanark Fire in 1959
 
 

 

With the exception of the incidents otherwise noted on the plan, all ignition in this peripheral area occurred on roofs. Where the buildings were completely destroyed the information was obtained from local residents. On the day following the fire a large number of large cinders were observed on both sides of the river. One piece weighed 50 gm and it is estimated that in its original state it would have been approximately 8 by 5 by 1 in. The piece was completely reduced to charcoal.

Small fires were also reported as having occurred in the lumber yard across the river and on the roof of the Anglican church. These were extinguished, however, before much damage was done. The fire completely burned out the centre of Lanark and it is impossible to state with any certainty how the fire spread from building to building in each individual case.

 

comments

Nancy Hudson–
I remember my Grade 5 teacher asking us to pray for the people of Lanark that afternoon. My parents took my brother and I to see the aftermath of the fire a few days later. Had never seen anything like it in my life.
 
Keitha Napier Price
I was six years old at the time. I had just gotten home from the grocery store with a loaf of bread. Once home we heard the fire siren. Kitty corner from our house on Owen street was the mill on fire. I remember my mother gathering pictures and placing them at the front door. The heat from the fire bubbled the paint on our house. I remember everyone running with pails of water. Soon the children were taken outside of Lanark to Halls farm. I remember returning home that night. It was a frightening scene for a child. I remember my Mom and neighbours making sandwiches and serving them to the firemen and the people who lost their homes. Even at the age of six that memory will be with me my entire life. Lanark was a beautiful village which was destroyed by fire and has never been quite the same since.

Also read

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

The Lanark Fire of 1895

 

Video–

Thanks to James Leverance for sending these photos.

Hi Linda I found this photo of Lanark from 1959 and was wondering if this is the old Lanark Skating Rink built in 1900?