During the big storm of Wednesday last, considerable damage was done in this neighbourhood by lightning. Mr. Patrick Kelly, Huntley, had a barn, stable, and shed burnt, and along with them a horse, 3 pigs, 100 bushels oats, 25 bushels wheat, 3 tons hay, a plough, some harness and a sleigh. There was no insurance on the premises, and great sympathy is felt for Mr. Kelly in his misfortune. In town a man named Gleason was knocked to the ground by an electric shock, while another, who was standing near to him, was thrown up against a wall close by. We hear that a woman also was , stunned by the same shock. Mr. John Kearny had a horse killed by lightning during the storm last week, while out in the field harrowing. There was also a water spout in the river nearby the town hall to the amazement of many.
The remains of five twisted box cars stall lie scattered about at the scene of the spectacular train wreck which occurred at tile half-way crossing between Almonte and Garleton Place on Tuesday. Clean-up crews of the C.P.R. Mechanical Department estimate it will take another week to clear the area of the remaining debris.
They are now in the process of burning out the wooden interiors of the boxcars, following which they will be cut up with torches and hauled away. Meanwhile, another crew is busy replacing, all the rails on the east side of the track from the halfway crossing all the way back to Almonte. A broken wheel apparently spread the track at about eight foot intervals for the entire distance and trains have been on a go-slow order along that stretch since rail traffic was resumed the day following the accident.
A telegraph pole beside the crossing which had the bottom portion sheared off leaving the top dangling on its wares has yet to be replaced. Traffic on Highway 29 was disrupted for several days while heavy cranes removed most of the 30 cars which left the rails during the pileup and had to be rerouted along the 8th line and the Appleton road. Marks are clearly visible where derailed box cars rolled across the highway adjacent to the crossing gouging deep ruts in the asphalt. Some are even evident several feet back of the white line on the south side of the track where vehicle traffic is required to stop. Occupants of a car and a Bell Telephone truck who witnessed the derailment from that location were fortunate they had stopped well short of the crossing.
Ottawa Citizen 22 January 1969
CARLETON PLACE Attempts to clear the $500,000 wreckage of 34 freight cars piled up at a level crossing near here Tuesday continued this morning under the threat of an explosion from two overturned propane gas tankers.
Provincial police kept guard over the area, about three miles north of here on Highway 29 at the CPR crossing, as about 50 men and two giant cranes hauled twisted box cars from the clogged line. The highway remained closed to traffic today while other trains were rerouted.
The two tankers were not ruptured in the massive 3.30 p.m. derailment, but police kept hundreds of curious spectators well back from the scene in the event leaking gas might explode. Both police and railway officials were astonished that there had been no injuries. One of the first cars to derail left the tracks just before the level crossing and sliced across the highway only a few feet in front of a waiting school bus.
Other cars ripped up sections of the highway, railway lines and wooden ties as they piled up, and in some cases, landed on top of one another. One freight car landed with its steel wheels on top of a tanker. Two hydro poles were sliced through by other cars. The top section of one pole was left dangling over the line supported only by the high-voltage cables. Complete wheel assemblies of many cars were torn off as they piled into one another and lay strewn along the tracks among sections of line, twisted cars and splintered ties.
A crack which caused the leading wheel of either the fourth or fifth car to come off is believed to be to blame for the $500,000 freight train crash near Carleton Place yesterday. It is known that at least eight rails between Almonte and the accident scene were broken.
This could have been caused by the faulty wheel running out of line and pounding against the rail as the east bound train headed for Carleton Place, said one railway employee. The 60-car freight train left Chalk River several hours before. Its speed at the time of the accident was estimated to be about 45 m.p.h. George G. Sayer, assistant superintendent for the Smiths Falls division of CPR, said work crews were concentrating their efforts to pulling cars away from the tracks and repairing breaks so regular traffic, which had been diverted to other lines, could again travel the main line.
Mr. Sayer said he hoped the two cranes, one brought in from Smiths Falls and the other from Sudbury, could pull the two tankers back on to the tracks and pull them away by sometime this afternoon.
“The line should be open again by about 5 p.m. today,” he said, adding that the general freight being carried by the train could then be hauled away and the other cars righted and moved later this week.
Mr. Sayer said there was, as far as he could tell, little damage to the cargo. One eye-witness, Bill Ritchie, 32, a Bell Telephone employee from Almonte, was driving north toward the level crossing when he saw the red signal lights begin flashing.
“I saw the train swaying so I stopped about 500 feet from the tracks,” he said. “The next thing I saw were freight cars flying through the air like cardboard boxes in a high wind. It was terrifying.” He said a couple of cars shot across the highway “while the others piled up on the north side like magazines thrown on the floor.”
“There was a hell of a crash and snow flying in the air. A lot landed on my truck so I jumped out and after a minute or two ran up to the tracks. I thought people would be hurt,” said Mr.Ritchie. He said that by the time he got there, people from the locomotive, that had shot through the crossing pulling three cars and dragging a fourth without wheels, met him.
“One box car just missed the school bus, which luckily didn’t have any children aboard, and another cut into the hydro poles and the warning flashers,” said Mr. Richie. “There was a ball of fire in the sky when one hydro pole was cut off,” said Mr. Ritchie, who added that he and a work-mate then flagged down cars until police arrived.
The new stone bridge was built in 1901-to replace a rickety old wooden structure. The old bridge was so unsafe that it was illegal to cross at a faster pace than a walk.
Editor Almonte Gazette: — April 11, 1873
At last our bridge is covered, and such a covering. It reminds me of the Old Scot’s experience o f Canada’s roads, when he exclaimed, “Roads— ‘McAdam’ fear and tremble, of infernal corduroy.” Of all the coverings ever put on a bridge surely that at Pakenham village is the most villainously rough and rotten. Our Council must surely be demented if they will take the work off the contractor’s hands in present state.
Small, hollow, intricately twisted cedars, a third at least of which are specific to cover the smallest country culvert, are made to do duty on this bridge, over which, on an average, lor six months of the year, 80 or 100 tons of lumber or other traffic may be expected to pass daily.
Any man, who knows anything about such matters must, on examination, pronounce it a most unsafe and faulty covering, and a most expensive one too, as it could have been covered with three inch pine for a little more than half the money.
Our municipal body were so fearful of failing in their re-election that they would not ask for tenders last September when people could have made arrangements to take out the necessary logs for such a purpose. Tenders were asked for in February for either plank or cedar, when it was well known that no such length of plank could be procured on such short notice.
Patties desirous of tendering could not do so, as there were no plans or specifications prepared, and the chosen five could not even tell the length and width of the bridge. One tender was sent in at the time specified, and on being opened was rejected, and a party was urged by the Council to put in a tender after the opening of the other—surely an unwarrantably irregular proceeding, to put it in its mildest shape.
Parties desirous of proving the truth of my assertions had better take a walk over the bridge, if not afraid of breaking through the rotten cedars or dropping through the crevices Pakenham, April 10th, 1873.
The bridge was built in 1901 by O’Toole & Keating, Scottish masons from Ottawa, for a cost of $14,500. The stones, the largest of which weighs 5 tons, came from a local quarry. As a result of local pressure to preserve it, the bridge was never replaced with a newer one and restored in 1984. At that time, the bridge was also strengthened with reinforced concrete to accommodate car and truck traffic.
During the Great Famine (Black ’47), Irish families were sent from Grosse Isle, Quebec to Montreal and then on to local communities in Upper Canada which were either on a canal system or where industrialization was taking place and jobs were opening up.
In Pakenham, Ontario there was an already established Irish community to assist the new arrivals to integrate into life in Canada. Some of the famine emigrants stayed here in Pakenham and others moved westward into Renfrew County. Here are names of two families who came from Montreal to Pakenham between 1845 and 1847:
Years ago a drive was made by the pupils of St. Mary’s School to send food to the needy people in Europe during World War II. The plan was that each boy and girl would bring as many canned goods as the family household could spare. It all was sent over in a general hamper.
One of the students, Miss Mary France Agnes O’Neill wondered where her donation might end up— so she put her name and address on one of the cans. Months later she received a reply from one of the families in France.
Dear Mademoiselle O’Neill,
We have received a box of ‘conserves’ from your town and thank you very much. I have three children, Pierre, Colette and Joel. It is very hard in France to get food. I would be happy to get a letter from you.
When Mary Frances Agnes O’Neill was born on July 13, 1931, in Almonte, Ontario, her father, Daniel, was 29, and her mother, Mary, was 28. She had two brothers and one sister. She died on December 2, 2018, in Carleton Place, Ontario, at the age of 87, and was buried in her hometown.
Did you know?
More than a year after World War II concluded in Europe, the residents of Le Havre, France, continued to struggle for survival. Their homes remained leveled, their stomachs chronically empty.
On May 11, 1946, relief arrived from across the ocean as the cargo ship American Traveler steamed into the war-torn city’s harbor with a shipment of food—and hope. Aboard were 15,000 brown cardboard boxes paid for by the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE), which had been founded the previous year to bring humanitarian aid to millions starving in post-war Europe. These first “CARE Packages” contained everything from whole-milk powder and liver loaf to margarine and coffee. The contents of CARE Packages soon expanded to include soap, diapers, school supplies and medicine as well as fabric, thread and needles to allow recipients to make and mend clothes.
Story of How Clayton Village Got Its Name Is Copied Out Of Gazette Files Of 25 Years Ago
Place names in Lanark County usually are derived from original settlers in the localities or from points in the Old Country where the pioneers lived before embarking for the wilds of Canada.
Another example of this was I brought to light, recently, by Mr. Abraham Evans of Clayton. He noticed in an article written for The Gazette by Mr. W. H. Black of Toronto, that a question was raised as to how Clayton and Rosetta got their names. He claims that Clayton was called after Colonel Clayton, an original settler in that district, and that Rosetta got its name from a Miss Rosetta McFarlane or Rosetta Craig, who were among the first to live in that part of the County. The Bellamys went to Clayton after the Colonel had been there for some time. It was they who built the grist and saw mills. Up to the time of their coming, pioneer residents like Mr. Evans’ grandfathers, had carried their grist to Perth on their backs, to have it milled. Bellamys offered to build the mills provided the farmers around what is now known as Clayton Lake, agreed to let them dam the stream emptying out it thus raising the level of the water by 12 feet. Anxious for the facilities offered the people came to terms with the Bellamys and as a result of this agreement the lake was first known by the name of Harmony. It appeared that way on old maps but as time passed and the reasons for this rather fancy appellation faded into the distance, the body of water above the Village became known variously as Watchorns Lake, Evans’ Lake, Thompson’s Lake and Clayton Lake. Finally the last label stuck, and today, Clayton Lake is famous for its pike fishing. Mr. Evans, maternal grandfather, Donald Munro, came out from Scotland and settled in the Clayton district 140 years ago. His paternal grandfather, Richards Evans, was a native of Wales, and carved out a home for himself on the shores of the lake about the same time as the Munros.
The Name of the Village From the very early days the settlement seems to have been known as “Bellamy’s Mills”. It was also called “Bellamyville”,1 or “Bellamy’s” by those outside the community. The river was named the Indian River on the map made by the surveyors in 1821.
The difficulty with the name Bellamy’s Mills was there was another community with the same name in Augusta Township, Leeds County. The village now known as North Augusta was settled by Edward Bellamy’s brothers. Imagine the confusion of trying to deliver letters to the correct persons with only the address of Bellamy’s Mills.
In October 1855 advertisements for businesses in Bellamy’s Mills began to appear as “Clifton”.2 This carried on until late 1858 when the name “Clayton” started to appear. But often the names were used interchangeably for a few years. The name Bellamy’s Mills was what people were used to using. It seems that it may have been the Post Office department that changed the names. While the name of “Almonte” was made official by a bylaw passed by the Bathurst District Council, nothing similar can be found for Clayton. The name “Clifton” was probably removed for the same reason as “Bellamy’s Mills” because there was another town called “Clifton” in the western part of the province.
Where did the name Clayton come from? There has been a story that has been repeated in the Almonte Gazette over the years, which now must be corrected. My mother, Mrs. Kate Richards, told the story of an old gentleman coming to visit my father, Harry Richards in 1938. The conversation got around to the subject of how Clayton got its name. My Mother, being young and brash, said, “Oh there was probably some old Colonel Clayton around that they named it after.” The next week, to her horror, the story appeared in the Almonte Gazette that this gentleman had reported that Clayton was named after a Colonel Clayton, a settler in the area.
My Mother, not wanting to cause embarrassment to the old man, said nothing. And so, the myth continued. It was even repeated at the opening of the Clayton dam in 1970. I have done a lot of research to see if there was any possibility of this having even a shred of truth, and there is none. There never was any Colonel Clayton anywhere in Lanark County. The truth is we don’t know where the name Clayton came from. It was most likely chosen by someone in charge of Post Offices at the time.
A Few Words Concerning the Smartest Town in the District, and Something About the Palatial Home and Grounds of B. Rosamond, Esq., II. P.
That readers at a distance may get an idea of the appearance of some of Almonte’s finest residential properties the Gazette at times prints engravings of them. If this town has made marked progress in the past ten or fifteen years in any direction over another it is in the improved class of buildings that have been erected. We have the busiest and prettiest town in the district, and the steep banks of the Mississippi, with its magnificent falls, as well as its ‘windings past the islands formed in its efforts to find a way into the Bay below, have given the town a natural system of drainage that renders it more than ordinarily healthful. For the above reasons, and others that might be mentioned—its hive of industries, its fine churches and schools and mercantile establishments, its public library, market* etc.—
Almonte is a model place for those who wish to retire from the activities of farm or business life and enjoy the advantages and conveniences of a live town. In recent years it has attracted from the fine agricultural district surrounding it not a few of those who had amassed a competence and earned retirement. These wanted comfortable homes, and created a demand for residences of the better class ; and the demand has been met. The result is that the residential part of Almonte has improved wonderfully in appearance, while our public buildings are of a strikingly substantial and handsome type— December 23, 1898-Almonte Gazette
The historic waterfront residence was built in 1890 by the Rosamond family, owners of the largest textile mill in Canada.
Probably the first place among Almonte’s points of beauty and attractiveness is “ Pinehurst,” the residence and grounds of B. Rosamond, Esq., the representative of North Lanark in the House of Commons. We give a cut of it above. This is one of the finest residences to be found between Montreal and Toronto. It is situated between the C.P.R. track and the Mississippi River in the western part of the town. The residence, built in the finest style of English domestic architecture, is about 45×45, two-and-a-half stories high, the first story being built of the beautiful Perth sandstone, trimmed with Nova Scotia red sandstone, and the upper story being of wood covered with red tiles.
It is roofed with slate. It has its own system of waterworks, water being supplied by means of a hydraulic ram. The interior is especially handsome in regard to both architecture and appointments. It is fitted up with bathrooms and every modem convenience. Numerous-outbuildings have been erected, including a fine conservatory, carriage-house, hennery, etc.
The grounds— in former times known as “ The Point ”— comprise about twenty-five or thirty acres, covered with magnificent original forest trees. It is approached from Union street by a solidly made gravel roadway, and from the Island by a similar roadway, passing, near the entrance, a stone cottage of neat design— the residence of the caretaker of the grounds. An offshoot from the Mississippi runs through the park, and one of the roads follows its banks as it winds its sinuous way to the Bay below.
A pretty waterfall half-way down (across which a rustic bridge is built) adds immensely to the beauty of the grounds. Other roads and paths run through Mr. Rosamond’s demesne, giving at every turn pretty views of the falls and river. These roads are bordered by beautiful hedges of spruce, cedar, etc., and in the summer season many rare exotics, as well as choice home-grown plants, are to be seen lining the roads or adorning the tennis court.
The tennis ground occupies the fiat part of the lawn below the sloping hill in front of the residence. Handsome flower-beds are also to be seen. Besides being a man of means, Mr. Rosamond has been endowed by nature with good taste, which he displayed in an eminent degree in laying out his grounds. No expense seems to have been spared in beautifying “ Pinehurst,” and its owner is generous in the matter of allowing locals on his property.
Pinehurst Manor is in the beautiful town of Almonte, 20 minutes west of Ottawa.
The historic waterfront residence was built in 1890 by the Rosamond family, owners of the largest textile mill in Canada. The Manor has been featured in films and graced the presence of many famous Canadians including 2 Governor Generals. The 7500 Sq Ft mansion features grand rooms with original woodwork, stained glass and 10 fireplaces. Enjoy the mature trees and the incredible sound and views of 2 waterfalls!
Have you ever wanted to step into yesteryear? Guests have called Pinehurst Manor the “Downtown Abbey” of the Ottawa Valley. The Manor is ideal for entertaining and events. The “butlers pantry” separating the dining room and kitchen is perfect for serving food for large groups. The library features a custom card table and was once the office of Bennett Rosamond who served as a Member of Parliament when Sir Wilfred Laurier was Prime Minister.
Relax in the sunroom with original stained glass and incredible views or the screened porch where you can hear the waterfalls. Bedrooms with fireplaces and incredible detail including soaker tubs the way they were meant to be.
There are 4 large bedrooms on the second floor with 2 King and 2 Queen beds. For large groups we have additional beds as follows: Queen sofa bed in Victoria Suite. Queen bed in upper sunroom (not winter)) accessed through the Rosamond Suite and Queen sofa bed in main sunroom (not winter). For additional guests you are welcome to bring your own air mattresses and bedding. The home is very large and can accommodate
20 + Guests. The grounds are magnificent and include the original Carriage House, Ice House and beautiful flower gardens. A large stone patio with fire pit and bbq overlook the waterfalls and river with post card pictures of 100 year old oaks and maples.
Lots of great activities. Practice you short game with a 95 yard golf hole or enjoy a game of bocce ball, basketball, badminton or try your luck at fishing. Use the binoculars and get close up views of our resident blue herons, red tail hawks and wood peckers. On hot days cool off sitting in the falls!
Brian Hand, eleven-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Hand, Union Street was saved from drowning in the Mississippi River not far from his home by the prompt action of Mrs. Wm. Tuffin and Constable A. R. Mitchell.
Brian had tried to rescue a boat but the current was too strong and the boat went over the falls. He clung to a rock and his shouts for help were heard by Mrs. Win. Tuffin who was crossing the back bridge. She called Constable Mitchell who went into the water with a rope to bring the boy to safety. He was at the point of exhaustion by the time he was brought to shore. The current is very strong at this point especially this year when the water is high. Further, it is no place for boating. June 2-1960 Almonte Gazette
The community was shocked’ at the sudden death by electrocution jon Thursday evening, May 26th, of Floyd S. Dennie, 27-year-old resident of Blakeney. An employee of the Producers Dairy, Almonte, he was assisting Joe Sensenstein, local electrician in erecting a TV aerial on a trailer owned by Jim McMillan on Mr. Thos. Fulton’s farm in Pakenham Township.
When raising the aerial, it came in contact with a 4500 volt Hydro electric wire and Floyd who was nearest the serial received the full jolt. Both he and Mr. Sensenstein were thrown to the ground. Both men quickly recovered and sat up. Floyd spoke a few words asking if his companion was alright and then collapsed and died. Dr. M. Spacek of Pakenham attended and found Mr. Dennie dead on his arrival. Dr. A. A. Metcalfe, coroner, was called and after consultation with Crown Attorney, Mr. J. A. B. Dulmage, Q.C. of Smiths Falls, announced that no inquest would be held.
O.P.P. officers investigated the fatality. Mr. Dennie was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dennie of Almonte. Besides his parents, he leaves his wife, the former Rita Larkin and three small children. Also surviving are four brothers, and one sister, Carmen and George of Almonte; Earl of Carleton Place, Clarence of Smiths Falls and Verna, Mrs. Mike Cardinal of Newboro. June 2-1960 Almonte Gazette
OK It was Grandpa-not Gr Grandpa that had the cheese in his pockets! Miss-read that! Love the story! (GR Gramp wore the suits-no Granpa.
Frank was my Grandfather! Never heard that story! lol I know Grandpa used to take cheese sandwiches on his lunch all the time! Gr. Grandpa always wore a 3 pc suit-Wonder what Gr. Grandma thought of cheese in the pockets!? lol
Grandpa (Cheeser Sr.’s sister, Vi Larose will be 104 in Monday!! She lives at Country Haven in Almonte.
John Hudson-The Cheeser I knew worked for the Gazette (Stuart Hanna) and also was a bartender waiter at Almonte Hotel (Whitten). I also played hockey with his son Chesser , along with Jack Peterson, Clarke Larocque, Gerry Bolton, Donny Newton, Bordie Campbell, Delmer Royce, Cheeser, Gerry Fluery. If memory serves me, Cheeser’s daughter was Marilyn married to Merril Elliott.
Susan Elliott ToppingCorrect-my Mom and Dad
Kim DavisMy dad too 😏 My grandpa Frank (cheese) my mom Marilyn and little cheeser…Gerald. Daisy came along a little later
L-R Front Row-Marie, Gr. Grandma Clement,Gr. Grandpa Clement,Beatrice,Edna–Back Row-Pat, Frank (Cheese-my Grandpa),Della,Trixie,Vi and Orville.–Photo from Susan Elliott Topping