Tag Archives: Almonte Fair

Almonte Fair 1890 —-Alex Currie — The Country Fair

Almonte Fair 1890 —-Alex Currie — The Country Fair


By Alex Currie

As the time for the fall fairs draws near my mind goes back to the fair as it was in the late 1890’s, now crowded 60 years ago. Almonte was a lively town in those days, with six mills running full blast and employing mostly young people. With no automobiles, the town was the marketing and shopping centre for the large surrounding farm community, adding to the local business.

Though mill wages were always below par, and measured by the yard stick of present day prosperity, the standard of life in those days was pretty low, still, no one knew anything different, pleasures were simple and people were probably more contented than they are now. The fair ran for four days then and was rated the best in Eastern Ontario.

Special trains came from both directions, bringing the bands and the crowds who jammed the station platform and the red station, now used as a freight shed across the tracks. The sidewalks on Mill and Bridge Streets could not accommodate the crowds, who jostled each other good-naturedly on to the road. The fair was an exciting time for us small fry.

The balloon ascensions, the fireworks, the steam calliope on the merry-go-round playing “The Sidewalks Of New York,” the cacophony of the midway, with the barkers calling their wares in raucous voices, “the cane you ring is the cane you carry away’ throw them high and drop them low and over the canes they are sure to go,,’ the two-headed calf, the horse with the crab feet, the man with his head through the canvass had difficulty dodging pitcher “Chibby” McGrath’s fast in-shoot. The direct hits would ricochet off his head.

At the fair we first heard Edison’s new phonograph, (listening to the tinny music from the cylindrical record through ear plugs, similar to a doctor’s stethoscope0. In a few years we were to see our first silent movies as a grandstand attraction, with the effect of rain pouring down the screen. In the wild west show, with its trick riding and its barroom shooting scene, the horse thief was dragged across the show ring on a long rope attached to the saddle horn of the bronco cow-pony and hanged in a realistic manner, with feet kicking, on the far side of the ring.


We kids lassoed everything in sight for months and gave our bloodcurdling cowboy yahoo. The farm folk attended the fair enmasse, interested in everything but particularly the livestock display and happy to visit with friends not seen for a year. The young farm boy eating his first banana remarked: “There is not much left after you take the core out.”

My most vivid recollection is of the sideshow with the wild man from Borneo, who ate snakes alive. The banner in front of the show bore the legend, “He eats ’em alive,” and depicted a ferocious looking savage surrounded by snakes, all with their fangs out. Inside the tent, this individual was exhibited in a deep, square, wooden pit, the top of which extended about four feet higher than the raised platform which surrounded it, and on which the customers stood, looking down at the wild man standing at the bottom of the pit, in straw above his knees and loaded down with chains.

This set-up was a tactical error on the part of the promoter, as will be seen later in this narrative. Though, of course, the wild man did not understand English, when urged to get busy eating these live snakes, he would reach down in the straw and bring up a very dead snake, skin it back and chew off a piece of its innards. Likely, he surreptitiously spat it out, later. A man with a peg leg was noticed sauntering around the town’s main streets, nonchalantly smoking a very civilized tailor-made cigarette and in the Davis House bar having a drink. (Incidentally, these drinks could be called civilized or otherwise depending if you were wet or dry). The liquor question, then, as now, was a live issue. The town was divided between those who patronized the bars and those who did not and who criticized those who did and the hotel-keeper who sold the fire water.

The drys had us kids of 8 or 10 sign the pledge and paraded us around town in a body, wearing our Band of Good Hope ribbons, chanting slogans. We hadn’t the foggiest notion as to what it was all about. But I digressed. The man with the peg leg was recognized as an Ottawa black man, and he looked suspiciously like our friend, the wild man.

At that afternoon and evening’s shows, he had a rough time of it and likely wished he were back in his Borneo jungle. The boys tormented him in various ways and tried to trick him into speaking English. He stood up very well under this for a time, just talking gibberish, snarling and rattling his chains, but when the boys started spitting mouthfuls of tobacco juice (tobacco chewing was a universal practice) on his defenseless head, his control broke and he swore at his tormentors in English and a couple of other languages, using good, round, Ottawa bowery cuss words.

The next day this sideshow was missing from the grounds. “They had folded their tents like the Egyptians and silently stolen away.” This sophisticated modern age, with its many attractions and amusements, cannot capture the thrill we got at the Almonte Fair in the horse and buggy days.


We Don’t Need the Almonte Fair 1897 – “Admission to the grounds is 25 cents, which is twice too much!”

Clippings and Photos of the 1958 Almonte Turkey Fair

HISTORY OF LANARK TOWNSHIP AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION –Laurie Yuill Part 4-“the proprietor of a merry-go-round was paid a bonus to bring his machine to the Fair “

Are You Ever too Old to Go to The Rural Fair? — Almonte

Who Won the 1950 Austin Sedan?

Who Won the 1950 Austin Sedan?

Wilfred Garland of Carleton Place was the lucky winner of the new 1950 Austin Sedan at the Almonte Lions Club Monster Games Nite held in the Almonte Arena on Friday evening last. A capacity crowd was in attendance to play for prizes amounting to $2,400.00.

The evening’s program was handled efficiently by Lions President Archie Levitan and Lion W. F. Thom, assisted by the members of the local club.

Prize winners were as follows: James Duncan, Ashton; Mrs. Howard Edwards, Carleton Place; Mrs. Thos. Levere, Smiths Falls; Mrs. Sadie Low, Almonte; Gerald Brown, Almonte; Lois Proctor, Almonte, Wilbert Wallace, Almonte; Mrs. Harvey Andrews, Almonte; Mrs. J. L. Tinsley, Pakenham; Mrs. Mel Lockhart, Almonte; Mrs. Chas. McGregor, Almonte; Mr. James Moncur, Almonte; Mr. Dan McLauchlin, Ashton; Mrs. Chas. Finner, Almonte; Jas. Abram, Almonte; Special game winners: Mrs. Mrs. John O’Keefe, Corkery; Mrs. Gordon Elliott, Almonte; Mrs. J. E. Bisseault, Smiths Falls; Mr. Leo Chabot, Arnprior; Mrs. L. Bucklan, Carleton Place– August 1950

The Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
15 Apr 1979, Sun  •  Page 58

Carleton Place 1940’s —- The Popularity Contest

Canada Packers’ September Domestic Shortening Contest 1948 — I was DUPED again

Rah Rah Rah 1971– Renfrew-Lanark Elementary Cheerleading Contest PLUS

Who Won the Baby Contest in 1889?

Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974

The Publicity Club Coupon Contest of Smiths Falls 1931

Win a House in Carleton Place!

Irish Sweepstakes 1948 Two Men Stood to Win 100,000!!

Sixteen Tons–Carleton Place Man Wins Big!

The Story of Henry Marshall and his Inheritance

Kay McPhail — Lottery Winner– The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

Hal Kirkland –A Machine for Making Money

The Out-Of Luck Mr. Strang of Smiths Falls

The Wintario Bedroom of Lanark County

Howard and Olive Giles– Clippings

Howard and Olive Giles– Clippings
Adin Wesley Daigle Collection

Adin posted the photo of the can in his collection and today I began to put the story together. Give me a name and I will try and find their story..LOLOL

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Sep 1960, Fri  •  Page 2

1997, Wednesday May 7, The Almonte Gazette page B3
Howard P. Giles

A life-long area resident, Howard Giles, passed away peacefully in the Rosamond wing of the Almonte General Hospital April 5, 1997. He was in his 90th year. Born on Sept. 24, 1907, Mr Giles was raised on a farm on the Clayton Road by his parents, the late William Giles and his wife Margaret Pritchard. he received his education at Ramsay S.S. 6 and 7, Almonte High School and Guelph Agricultural College. During his life time, Mr Giles was a beekeeper and operated a honey-making business, was a linesman and installer for Bell Telephone and later, operated a business, Giles Auto Parts, on Mill Street in Almonte. He also served terms as property assessor for Almonte and building inspector for Ramsay Township. Always and active in the community, Mr Giles had particular involvement in the North Lanark Agricultural Society, the Ottawa Winter Fair, Almonte United Church, the Auld Kirk Cemetery Board, Almonte Lions Club, Almonte Business Association, Almonte Credit Union, Almonte Fish And Game Association, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, and the Department of Lands and Forests. In later years he particularly enjoyed his involvement with the Renfrew County Old-Time Fiddlers’ Association and various senior citizens’ groups. Mr Giles married the former Olive H. McKay in Arnprior Sept 4, 1935. They resided in homes on Martin Street in Almonte until 30 years ago, when they moved to their home that Mr Giles had built on the Clayton Road. Mr Giles will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by Olive, his wife of 61 years, his children, Beverly (Steve) Summers of Etobicoke, Harold (Rosalyn) Giles of William’s Lake, B.C., David (Diane) Giles of Dorchester, Ont., and Donald (Roxie) Giles of Vancouver, B.C. Also sharing in his loss are nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A private family funeral service was conducted by Rev Ted Colwell at the Kerry Funeral Home in Almonte April 8, followed by cremation. Interment will take place late in the spring at the Auld Kirk Cemetery.

he Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 May 1965, Sat  •  Page 22
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
07 Jun 1972, Wed  •  Page 5
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Jun 1942, Thu  •  Page 23
The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
27 Feb 1959, Fri  •  Page 20
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Nov 1968, Thu  •  Page 47

GILES, Olive H. (Nov. 23, 1908 – Dec. 19, 2004) Of Almonte Peacefully at Almonte Country Haven, Almonte, Ontario on Sunday, December 19th, 2004 at age 96. Olive H. McKay, beloved wife of the late Howard Giles. Dear mother of Beverley (Mrs. Steve Summers), Forest, Ontario; Harold (Rosalyn) Giles, Williams Lake, BC.; David (Diane) Giles, Dorchester, Ontario and Donald (Roxie) Giles, Vancouver, B.C. Also survived by 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Predeceased by one brother Thomas McKay and by two sisters Laura Baker and Ethel Duncan. Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service in the Kerry Chapel on January 19th, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Barry Goodwin officiatinog. Cremation has taken place. Inurnment at Auld Kirk Cemetery, Almonte with Howard in the Spring. Donations made in memory of Olive to Almonte Country Haven or charity of your choice would be most appreciated by the Giles family.Published on December 21, 2004

Stuart McIntoshHoward and my dad were good friends.. have a good story for you about a hunting trip up the Little Blac Donald. Olive supplied teaching at ADHS when I attended. Sorry to learn of your mom’s passing.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Sep 1934, Sat  •  Page 20
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
20 Feb 1959, Fri  •  Page 17
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Oct 1958, Tue  •  Page 12
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Aug 1966, Mon  •  Page 18
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Aug 1966, Mon  •  Page 18

Kim Dean–My mom grew up in Almonte and I have many, many memories from there, have enjoyed following your page for a little while. Mom was known growing up as Beverley Giles, daughter of Howard and Olive. She passed away just about a year ago and in going through her belongings, there is an album with photos she kept from years past before meeting my dad (Allan Valkonen) and marrying. I thought I’d pass along these labelled ones to share if any other family might see here and enjoy. I do have more but will need to decipher the names first, if I can, as they are not so easy to read. Mom is not in these photos but in several of the others…

Karen LloydBob Morton was Stan Morton’s son, and went on to be a highly decorated and highly ranked RCAF officer.

Alan ClouthierI noticed Ken is wearing white buck shoes. The photo from 1957 takes me back to grade school and all the rage at the time was white buck shoes made popular by Pat Boone.

Marilyn Lindhard-Would love to see more pictures of your Mom Bev.I think she and Ann may have been my classmates ,along with Bev Smithson.Marilyn Cox Lindhard.

The Robbing of the Honey Pot- Andrew Cochrane Ramsay Yuill

Honey and the Andersons of Hopetown

Inside the Old Honey Pot — The Henderson Apiaries Carleton Place

We Don’t Need the Almonte Fair 1897 – “Admission to the grounds is 25 cents, which is twice too much!”

We Don’t Need the Almonte Fair 1897 – “Admission to the grounds is 25 cents, which is twice too much!”

The special train which is run generally from Carleton Place connecting the Ottawa and Perth trains, arrives in Almonte at 1:30pm. On leaving town the train goes at 7 or 7:30pm, so that the majority that come never see the town or leave one solitary cent, only what they paid to the society for admission.

September 1897–almonte gazette

They have lunch before they come and arrive home just In time for supper. The admission to the grounds is 25 cents, which is twice too much. The poor farmer, which this society professed to befriend and encourage, sees but little for his hard-earned 25 cents.

He cannot, bring his wife and eight or nine children, for that means a week’s hard earnings. The mechanic in town finds nothing in his line of business, the artist but little-in his. In fact, the money of Almonte, which could be put to better use than granting to the N. L. A. S. Fair, unless they make a public statement and show their indebtedness, should be carefully guarded. Even if Almonte saw the need of such a grant, let a councillor ask it Independently of a society director.

15 Sep 1897, Wed  

September 1897–almonte gazette
September 1897–almonte gazette

Rossow’s Midgets in vaudette, February 1910
February, 1910
Rossow’s Midgets was a vaudeville boxing act that pitted German brothers Franz and Carl Actermeier against each other. The brothers, both little people, were managed by Herman Rossow. Collection of studio portraits of entertainers, actors and actresses who performed on the American and British stage in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

THE BARRETTS- -I worked with Harry “POP” Barrett for a period of four weeks in the year of 1908. Somehow or other I didn’t fit in Harry’s act and was let out after four weeks, three of them having been spent in rehearsals. Harry Barrett if still living–and I hope he is–was a fine old juggler. He started off his career as a club juggler. Club jugglers of that day did not do the routines presented at a later date. In those days it seems that swinging clubs was in vogue and after a few deft moves with the swinging clubs he would go into a routine with one club, snaking it through the arms over the back and around the neck, from that he would go into a two club routine duplicating the same moves only with two instead of one club. His clubs for this routine were made somewhat like the present day clubs except that they were much heavier and the butt ends were bell shaped, the bell bottoms taking to some extent the place of the knobs on the handle end. Many of the intricate moves of snaking the clubs were done by grasping the butt ends, necessitating the bell bottoms. Someone at that time thought up the idea of juggling three clubs. Undoubtedly it was considered at that time to be sensational. Harry and his brother Joe did a two man juggling act. Later, Harry’s son Charles joined the act -making it a trio. While playing an amusement park date at Syracuse, N.Y., Pop bought a cheap straw hat such as farmers used in that period. While back stage he idly tossed the hat in the air. He noticed a tendency of the hat to return to him boomerang fashion. In the course of his act that day without any practice Pop tried out the stunt on his audience. They were amused and encouraged him. The stunt became a principal part of Pop’s act from that time on. After many months of trial and error he developed numerous tricks new to the juggling field. A good many of the tricks must be given credit where credit was due. Pop had a habit of changing partners quite often, these partners were instrumental in developing new tricks for Harry’s act. I believe

Moran and Wiser worked with Barrett and if I’m wrong forgive me. To the best of my recollection Moran and Wiser developed the spinning hats for which they are still famous. Spinning the hats was done by placing the index finger in the inner rim of the hat– where the sweat band is –and tossing them boomerang fashion over the head of the audience and returning to the fingers again. After all these years it is still something to see.

Jim Baggett of The Elgins was a partner of the Barretts and also contributed his share of hat tricks. There are many ways of juggling straw hats and while Barrett was the first one to use them in a juggling act, Moran and Wiser set the fashion in hat spinning, THE HARDDIGS, now deceased, invented the head to head passing of hats tossing them to each other in a forward and flat motion to each other’s head and lighting there, being off with the left hand and passed to the right and then to the partner again. A very fine applause getter and good for laughs. Frear, Baggett and Frear also used hats in their baseball act. The Dewey Bros. To the best of my knowledge were the first to use derby hats as means of getting tricks out of them, using them in somewhat the same manner as straw hats.

Well someone had to start the ball rolling, and some one did originate this and that trick and bits of comedy.

But each trick -and each bit of comedy has been suggested by someone or something that has been done before by someone else. In other words, one idea suggests another, and presto- A new baby is born- perhaps twins. I think it little behooves any of us to say, “That fellow stole my stuff. I originated that trick or piece of business. Wait till I see him”. And it may be that you did originate that trick. So what? Are you not using some trick originated by someone else also? So, steady boys, think back— where did you get your original idea?

Getting back to Pop Barrett. Pop used to have a happy time in telling of the jumps of his day. After working in a Wine room – equivalent to our present day nightclubs – for four or five weeks of months at maybe fifteen dollars a week, he would jump to Syracuse, do the same stunt there for a few weeks, then to Chicago, and then San Francisco. After playing Frisco they would hop a freight back East, lay around till all the money was gone, go to work making cigars, getting tired of that they would get the act ready again and repeat the same routine. Great stuff, sez I.

September 1897–almonte gazette

Prize for a farmers daughters pie..:)

The Almonte Fair has a long  history that is older than Almonte.–click- http://almontefair.ca/jpb/history/

Clippings and Photos of the 1958 Almonte Turkey Fair

Are You Ever too Old to Go to The Rural Fair? — Almonte

The 1947 Almonte Flood

Nellie Thurston –Balloonist Maiden Voyage in McFarlane Grove

The Lumsden Family at the Ottawa Exhibition 1899

HISTORY OF LANARK TOWNSHIP AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION –Laurie Yuill Part 4-“the proprietor of a merry-go-round was paid a bonus to bring his machine to the Fair “

Did You Know the North Lanark Fair was Once in Carleton Place?

Did You Know the North Lanark Fair was Once in Carleton Place?
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Nov 1899, Wed  •  Page 2

by Edna Gardener Lowry
Who is there that doesn’t like to go to
the fair? We think of the old song
which says ‘Hi Ho, Come to the Fair’.
There is excitement in the air, there is
so much to see and to hear and so
much going on all around you.
We cannot but look back to those
early days so far in the distance
when the pioneers of the area felt the
need to get together each fall, and
show with pride some of the
highlights of the year’s work; “where
old friends could meet, to meet new

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Oct 1891, Tue  •  Page 4

The annual fair of the North Lanark
Agricultural Society is one that we
should enjoy. It is one of the oldest
fairs in the Ottawa Valley,
continuously in operation each year
without a break. It began in Carleton
Place, not Almonte, away back in
1840 when the Bathurst District
Agricultural Society was formed.
The Bathurst District included Lanark
and Renfrew counties and that part of
Carleton County which included
Bytown. It had Perth as its judicial
centre, here all property was
registered and all court cases tried,
even for Bytown. However, the
Bathurst District gave way to the
riding of Lanark and Renfrew and
finally the North and South ridings of
Lanark were created in 1848.
The North Lanark Agricultural Society
continued from the former district

The annual “Show Fair” was held for
a number of years in Carleton Place.
Then because many more Ramsay
people were exhibitors, a meeting
was held in the Ramsay town hall, on
the 8th line near the Auld Kirk, Jan
22, 1858. There the Constitution was
drawn up for the North Lanark
Agricultural Society which was to
hold its annual fair at Ramsayville,
now Almonte.

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Nov 1879, Thu  •  Page 4

For a few years the fair was held on
the McFarlane Farm where Boyd
Jamieson now lives. An annual picnic
was also held there by the society.
However in 1862 three acres of land
were purchased in the town beside
the river where it has remained.
An agricultural hall and drill shed was
built in 1865 for this was the time of
the Fenian Raids. In 1868 the roof fell
in from the great weight of snow so the present agricultural hall had to be
built the next year. It provides space
for exhibits of fruits and vegetables,
flowers, grain, baking, canning,
sewing and children’s exhibits, as
well as commercial displays and
refreshment counter and tables.
In 1868 the spacious grand stand
was erected where over the years
horse lovers have witnessed races,
hurdle jumping and high stepping
beauties, massive draft horses and
parades of horses and cattle in the

There were always several bands in
attendance, brass bands and
highland pipe bands and military
bands. It was here that many people
saw their first moving pictures and
watched balloons ascend and float
away. Their passengers would land
somewhere, sometimes near,
sometimes far away. Usually there
was a display of trapeze work when
you held your breath in fear lest the
performer crashed to his death.
There were wonderful shows with
elephants walking on milk bottles,
trained seals, playing drums and
throwing blazing torches to each
other to be caught in their mouth.
There were clowns and trained dogs.
The acrobats and performers were a
great thrill. Boys and girls went home
determined to try the same stunts or
train their dogs or horses to perform
like those at the show.
The climax came on the final night
when a great delight was the
marvelous display of fireworks which
lit up the sky with rockets and
sparklers such as we have not seen
for many years.
In earlier days the agricultural society
not only put on the annual fair but
sought to improve livestock and
farming practices. They imported fine
herd sires and made them available
to livestock breeders.

They held field

crop competitions and annual
ploughing matches which attracted
many farmers. They even had
mowing matches where machines of
different makes were in competition
so that farmers could see which
could do the best job. Cash prizes
were awarded at the fair for ploughs
and other farm implements
manufactured in the area, prizes
were given also for homemade cloth,
blankets, carpets, homemade cheese
and maple sugar.

We have reason to respect and
admire the foresight and determination of our forefathers in
promoting improved agricultural
practices through competition and
encouragement to stimulate a desire
for the best. Only good farmers can
succeed now as then. The social
aspect of the fair was also very
important. It is good for the rural
people to get together and meet with
both their rural and urban friends and
acquaintances. It is bound to create
better understanding.


We also have reason to thank the
present officers and workers for their
untiring efforts and endless labour in
building up this fine organization.
As the scope of the work grew, it was
found necessary to expand the area
and make additions to the property.
The society has been able over the
years to purchase and pay for
expansion. Indeed it has the deeds
for eleven parcels of land needed for
its wider scope of activities.
The NLAS buildings have been a
great asset and have been kept up to
date. There are now new buildings for
all of the livestock.
A fine commodious dining hall where
the best of meals are served is
another great asset, as well as further
provisions for refreshments in the
main hail and under the grandstand.


The main hail is a very superior
building in which to house exhibits.
The society has been very gracious
over the years in sharing its facilities
with the people of the town and
community. The grounds have been
used as a ball park and many
spectacular games of baseball,
football and lacrosse have been
played here over the years. They
have also shared the fine beach
which has made it possible for the
children to learn to swim under
supervision. The main hail is used for
wedding receptions and dances.
This NLAS Fair at first was a one day
affair. In 1868 it became a two day
fair and the attendance rose that year
to between five thousand and six
thousand people. Now a three day
fair is held with the first day being the
day on which exhibits are prepared
and placed and Friday and Saturday
for the crowd. Here’s hoping that the
weather is fine this year and the
crowds are big.
Hi, Ho, Come to the fair–by Edna Gardener Lowry


Bert Thom Culinary Genius – Mary Cook News Archives 1980

Bert Thom Culinary Genius – Mary Cook News Archives 1980

img - 2020-02-01T160208.730





The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
03 Sep 1980, Wed  •  Page 3





Entered into rest at the residence, of her daughter, Mrs. George W. Jones, 321 Ottawa St., Almonte, Ontario, on Tuesday, November 21, 1972, Edith Ethel Thompson, widow of David Munro. Born in Lanark Township on August 13, 1884, she was the last surviving member of the family of John Thompson and Mary Bain. Deceased sisters and brothers were; Martha Jane, Thomas, Daniel John, James, Welland, Laura, (Mrs. James Affleck) and Hilton. Endowed with a beautiful voice, she was a member of the Rosetta Church choir, while her sister Laura played the organ. On September 29, 1909, Edith married David Munro; they farmed on the third line of Ramsay Township. Mrs. Munro was an active member of the W.I. Her faith and outlook in living a life were such that she was always aware of others and anxious to render assistance in times of distress beyond the call of personal duty. Upon retirement in the Spring of 1952. Mr. and Mrs. Munro moved to the farm of their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Thom. From 1962 on, she spent her remaining years with her daughter Ila. She is survived by daughters Ila (Mrs. George W. Jones), Almonte; Kathleen (Mrs. Gordon Thom), R.R. 2, Almonte; and Lottie (Mrs. Wilbert Belford), Pakenham; and one son, D. Raymond, Toronto; also seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Her husband and one son, Hilton Elswood, predeceased her. Funeral services were conducted by the Rev. R. V. Brown, Almonte Baptist Church, from the Comba Funeral Home, with Mr. Charles Tate rendering the solo “How great thou art.” Interment Clayton United Cemetery. Pallbearers were five grandsons; Bill Belford, David Thom, Donald Thom, Mac Thom and Bert Thom, and a former neighbour’s son, Charles Rath. The messages of sympathy, floral tributes and donations to the Bible Society and Heart Fund were an expression of the esteem in which she was held.

Mary Cook Archives

Mary and Walter Swinwood — Mary Cook News Archives 1981

The Evolution of the Women’s Institute — Mary Cook News Archives 1982

Bob Sadler’s Boat Rides –Mary Cook News Archives 1982

Carleton Place Ladies Auxiliary — Chamber of Commerce 1987– Mary Cook Archives

It’s Hard for Women to get into Office in Carleton Place — 1974 –Mary Cook

Mary Cook Archives —Philip Mailey — January 25 1983

Carleton Place a place for Mad Scientists! Mary Cook News Archives 1983

Mary Cook Archives — Rifle Ranges and Nursery Schools — September 1980

Mary Cook News Archives — The Wool Industry 1982

The Moldowans —- Mary Cook News Archives 1982

Unknown History — When the Balcony Fell

Unknown History — When the Balcony Fell


1894-10 years after the accident.

They had another accident previous to the 1884 one also.. but this is the one that I had not found documented from 1884.



Buffalo Evening News
Buffalo, New York
04 Oct 1884, Sat  •  Page 1






The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
04 Oct 1884, Sat  •  Page 1

Much as I searched on the Almonte Gazette site I could not find this story and I have understanding of why. This was pretty major.


Detroit Free Press
Detroit, Michigan
04 Oct 1884, Sat  •  Page 2


05 Oct 1884, Sun  •  Page 1


One of the injured:

Miss Elmsley, it should be noted could read and write. On the 1891 census she was 18 years old, so she was 11 when the accident happened. She went on to become a weaver in one of the Almonte mills. Her mother Mary who became widowed at a young age also worked in the Almonte mills She had two brothers Edward and William and they had an older woman live with them named Routh Pearson who probably helped look after the family. Staunch Methodist family.



The first agricultural hall and drill shed was built in 1865 for this was the time of the Fenian Raids. In 1868 the roof fell in from the great weight of snow so the present agricultural hall had to be built the next year. There was no mention of this accident at all. CLICK


Photo above is after the accident in 1884 in the year 1894. Here are some moments from the 1894 fair.



Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Oct 1894, Thu  •  Page 8

 - Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Sep 1894, Thu  •  Page 3


Did you know the Almonte Fair Began in Carleton Place? CLICK here.



The Lanark Fair 1904 Names Names Names

“Around the Local Fairs in 80 Days”? Lanark County Minor Steampunk Story

The Country Fairs 1879


Remembering Rosy Robertson

Remembering Rosy Robertson


W. M. Gladish May 1964
A scholarship tour to the United Kingdom, covering a period of 11 weeks, lies in store for a talented and personable young lady of Lanark County Rosalyn Robertson of Almonte. Miss Robertson is the eastern representative on the four-member team of the Junior Farmers Association of Ontario which leaves May 15 on Remarkable Lufthansa extra for Europe-bound travelers.
A wonderful weekend at the World’s Fair LUFTHANSA’S Economy excursions (up to 21 days) leaves Monday through Thursday with a tour of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland under sponsorship of the provincial department of agriculture.
Because of prowess in 4-H and Junior Farmer work apart from scholastic ability, the Lanark County girl has become accustomed to travelling. The overseas exchange visit will be her third award trip. Previously she won a United Nations Tour and was a chosen delegate to a Rural Youth Conference in the United States.
Miss Robertson lived on a farm near Pakenham until the family moved to Almonte where she graduated from high school in 1959. Rosy, as she is known to her friends, has won Provincial Honors in homemaking and has eight agricultural projects to her credit, having represented the Almonte Calf Club at Ottawa, Richmond and other fairs.
Miss Robertson is the Sunday School treasurer and a member of the Young People’s Union at Almonte United Church. In her last year at high school she was treasurer of the Students Council. In school sports she was active in basketball, badminton, volleyball and curling. As a Junior Farmer, Rosalyn invariably serves in an official capacity. At present she is on the executive board of the Lanark County association and a director of the Appleton club, one of her specialties being the drama festivals. She has been a Dairy Princess competitor.

Did you know Rosy is Marilyn Snedden’s sister? And Fern Martin too?


 -  Arthur Toshack, Marjorie Grant, James Tims,  Carol Kellough. Rosalyn Robertson, Mary Snedden and Donald Miller with their, entry calves

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 09 Sep 1957, Mon,
  3. Page 31


Almonte Fair Women’s Institute Tea Booth- Mrs. Harold More and Mrs. Sam Arthur

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 09 Sep 1957, Mon,
  3. Page 31


    Butter in pails, 17 to 18c-The Almonte Farmer’s Market 1898

  4. Eggs 10 Cents a dozen–Farmers Markets of Smiths Falls and Almonte 1880

    Lanark Farm Life is Not so Bad- 1951

    Once Upon a Time on the Farm

    Farming Could be a Dangerous Business in Lanark County? Who Do You Know?

    She Doesn’t Think My Tractor is Sexy–The Farmer’s Wife 1889

    and 1889

  5. Looking for Information on the Native Fort Farm of Fred Sadler of Almonte

“Around the Local Fairs in 80 Days”? Lanark County Minor Steampunk Story

“Around the Local Fairs in 80 Days”? Lanark County Minor Steampunk Story



September 22 1899 Almonte Gazette

Mr. J. J. Frisbie, the aeronautic gentleman who has given a number of balloon a sessions at the Almonte and Lanark fairs in recent years, was on the bill for an ascent at the Almonte exhibition here last Friday, and it proved the most exciting and dangerous in Mr. Frisbie’s experience.



Photo by www.almontefair.ca  1894–Almonte 

Being anxious to give thorough satisfaction, he instructed his assistant to fill the air-ship to its capacity with hot air, his aim being to rise to an unusual altitude, the day being favourable for a high ascent. The assistant did so, and when all was ready, and the word was given to “Let go, all!” the balloon rose rapidly, the daring sky sailor hanging on to the parachute beneath and waving a flag as he left Mother Earth.

He had reached a height of about one thousand feet when the balloon struck a current of cool air and collapsed in a jiffy, to the horror of the spectators, all of whom were straining their eyes to see him make the descent. His assistant saw the danger and yelled to the aeronaut to ‘Cut loose!” Mr. Frisbie heard him and in the nick of time he reached for the cord that is used to let the parachute free just as the immense balloon fell in a limp mass on the side of his parachute and. tumbled off to the earth

Mr. Frisbey did not lose his nerve in the trying circumstances, and soon found himself waist deep in the swamp near the fair ground, none the worse for his narrow escape, about $50 poorer in pocket owing to the mishap, but thankful that his life was spared. He admitted it was the closest call he ever had.

The balloon on being examined later was found to be so rotten that a number of our townsmen expressed surprise that any man would risk his life with it. However, the nervy Frisbie patched up the air-chariot and took it to Prescott, where he was down for some ascensions this week. Mr. Frisbie is now a conductor on the railway from Oswego to Buffalo, and is ballooning during his holidays for the fun of the thing and to get some of what the ladies call “pin money”.



frisbiegroup1911sloanegallery (1).jpg


IRSHOW, Houston, Texas 1911
Sitting, l-r: Joseph Seymour, John J. Frisbie, Rene Simon (‘flying fool’),
Edmund Audemars, Rene Barrier, Roland Garros, Peter Young (manager),
and Charles Hamilton (standing)
From AIRSHOW, Houston, Texas 1911

Photo-Story Sloane taken from John J.s biography


In September 1911 I found out that John J. Frisbie had expanded his ballooning adventures to flying and it appears that his flying machine was in the same condition as his balloon. Frisbie died in an aviation accident at the Norton County Fair all due to pride by the looks of it. (see history below)






Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune02 Sep 1911, SatPage 1




Clipped from The New York Times02 Sep 1911, SatPage 1




Clipped from The New York Times02 Sep 1911, SatPage 1



AKA J. J. Frisbee
John J. Frisbie
John J. Frisbie flying at Genesee Valley Park during the summer of 1911


Front Covers of the Almonte Fair– Click Here




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)




The Country Fairs 1879

Where was Almonte’s Military Headquarters?

Are You Ever too Old to Go to The Rural Fair? — Almonte

It Happened at The Richmond Fair 2012 – Photo Memories

Doin’ the Funky Chicken in Lanark County