Tag Archives: ashton

The Stewart Drummond Family- Kyla Baron



Photos from Kate Telecki’s Collection

This photo is from the wedding of David Drummond and Lois Lowry. It was taken on the front lawn of the Lowry homestead. From left, back row: William (Bill) Drummond, Gilmour Drummond, David Drummond, Doreen Drummond, Stewart Drummond, Bruce Drummond, Peter Malcolm (Mac) Drummond, John Drummond. Front row from left: Gloria D Drummond, Janet Drummond, Mildred (Millie) Drummond, Allen Drummond


Photos from Kyla Baron’s Collection

A photo of my grandparents Doreen and Stewart Drummond in 1942 with their firstborn sons, the twins Gilmour and David.
they would go on to have a total of 10 children–


Photos from Kyla Baron’s Collection

Doreen Simpson to Stewart Drummond.. Beautiful invitation..


Photos from Kyla Baron’s Collection

This is my Grandparents’ wedding day in Ashton, ON. Doreen Mildred Simpson married Stewart Drummond. Behind them is my grandmother’s sister and my great aunt Audrey Simpson.

Also read-

Did You Know This? “The Rest of the Story”


Family Photos– Mississippi Lake– Darlene Page

Edwards Genealogy– Family Photo Album

Photos of Austin Bain Gillies— Gillies Family Genealogy

Barnes Buchanans and McCarten Family Photos–Doug B. McCarten

Family Photos of Arthur Williard Toop & James Henry Martin

Another Lanark County “Murdoch Mystery” –Elfreda Drummond of Ashton

Another Lanark County “Murdoch Mystery” –Elfreda Drummond of Ashton

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If the Murdoch Mystery folks ever came to Lanark County we have some real odd stories that might suit them here. Last night going through the newspaper archives I found another dilly. The trial of Merrick Drummond from Ashton.

I never thought he did it– but the neighbours put their three cents in, and there were so many questions I had after reading it. Did the farm hand who left abruptly do it? How could a man that gave up his life for his mother and two sisters that could not care for themselves kill some one? Was it an accident of anger?  Did Elfreda Drummond really crack her skull on the families apple tree because of her *St. Vitus Dance condition? Read the articles and judge for yourself!


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  03 May 1922, Wed,  Page 1

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  10 May 1922, Wed,  Page 3

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  17 May 1922, Wed,  Page 5


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  18 Oct 1922, Wed,  Page 1


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  19 Oct 1922, Thu,  Page 5



*St. Vitus’s Dance is a disorder of the nervous system that occurs following an A beta-haemolytic streptococcal infection. The condition is usually latent, with the symptoms presenting up to 6 months after the initial infection. It normally occurs between 5-15 years of age, but can also appear later in life, and affects girls about twice as much as it does boys. St. Vitus’s Dance is characterized by involuntary and uncoordinated movements of the face, hands and feet.


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)





Bigamists? How About the Much Married Woman? One for the Murdoch Mystery Files

For the Love of Paris Green –Another Local Murdoch Mystery?

Another Lanark Mystery– Paris Green

Mystery Solved of Who Killed the Red Baron — Again???

The Mystery of My Smelly Car — Seinfeldism

Bitten by the Kissing Bug — A Shocking Conclusion to the Life of Carleton Place’s Daniel E. Sheppard

The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton Place

So What Really Happened to Samuel Cram?

A Local Handmaids Tale? What Happened ?

A Smith’s Falls “Frustrated Young Love’s Dream” Purdy vs Lenahan


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Who Won the Baby Contest in 1889?

Who Won the Baby Contest in 1889?




North Lanark Regional Museum—-This photograph of a sweet little boy and his teddy bear was part of a recent donation of items belonging to Winnifred Lamrock, a school teacher at S.S. #5 and S.S. #9 in Pakenham during the 1930s.



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  28 Sep 1889, Sat,  Page 4




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Read the rest here.. CLICK


Dr. George Groves, Carp, Ontario was born in Fitzroy, Carleton County, Ontario on June 6, 1851. His parents were Richard and Ann (Hodgins) Groves, natives of Ireland who came to Canada in 1834 and were pioneer settlers in Fitzroy Township. Dr. Groves received his early education in the public school and took a private course for matriculation with the Reverend Benjamin Franklin. He also obtained a first class certificate at Richmond for the County of Carleton at the age of eighteen and taught school for six years, being principal of the Carp Public School for three years of that time. He then entered McGill University, Montreal, graduating M.D. in 1879.

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, holding membership in the Almonte and Richmond lodges. He has been District Master for March and Huntley in the Orange Order, is a member of the Scarlet Chapter and Royal Black Preceptory of Ireland, is a Past Preceptor of Carp R.B.P. No. 305, and has obtained the Red Cross Certificate from the Grand Lodge of Ireland. He is president of the Liberal-Conservative Association of North Lanark, and was nominated for the Commons in 1882 but declined the honor. He was married in 1883 to Fanny Monk, eldest daughter of G. W. Monk, M.P.P. for Carleton County for twenty-three years. The doctor was a director of the Central Canada Exhibition of Ottawa, and has been president of the Huntley Agricultural Society for twelve years. He is a member of the Bathurst and Rideau Medical Association, of which he was vice-president for a number of years. In religion he is a Methodist.

The above biographical sketch was written in 1895.



One of the Oldest and Best Known Men of the Ottawa District

      Richard Groves, one of the oldest and most respected residents of Carleton county, died at the residence of his son, Dr. Geo. H. Groves, of Carp, yesterday.
      Deceased, who was in his 83rd year, was born in Ireland.  He came to Canada when quite young and settled in the township of Fitzroy.  Until about eight years ago he followed agricultural pursuits with an enviable degree of success.  Then he sold his farm and took up his residence at Carp.  Three years ago his wife died, and he went to live with his son, Dr. Geo. H.  He was a staunch Conservative and a member of the Methodist Church.
      He leaves five sons, three daughters and many grand children.  His sons are Dr. Geo. H. Groves, of Carp; Dr. Wesley Groves, of Quyon; Wm. Groves, of Kinburn; Richard Groves, of Fitzroy Harbour, and John T. Groves, of Cincinnati.  Deceased’s dauhgters[sic] are Mrs. James Baird, of Fitzroy; Mrs. B. Hodgins, of Huntley, and Mrs. W. Green, of Mohr’s Corners.  Two grand children live in the city.  They are W. E. Groves and F. S. Groves.
      The funeral takes place to-morrow morning to Pakenham cemetery.


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.



Perth fair Winners 1949 and The Perth Fair Story

The Winners of The Lanark Fair 1913

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

The Country Fairs 1879

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

It Happened at The Richmond Fair 2012 – Photo Memories

Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974

The Publicity Club Coupon Contest of Smiths Falls 1931

Carleton Place 1940’s —- The Popularity Contest

Win a House in Carleton Place!


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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?


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When Trains Crash —Ashton Train Accident 1950

When Trains Crash —Ashton Train Accident 1950
Extract from an article by Duncan DuFresne Bytown Railway Society,, Branchline, January 1982, Pages 10-11-12.--Colin Church’s page


But Travie Short is remembered better for another story. Ironically train number 83’s return from Smiths Falls as an extra is involved, as is Fourth Class train number 89 3 another Ottawa West – Smiths Falls via Carleton Place job that also handled much of the CIP production from Gatineau. On the night of March 18, 1950, 83’s extra and 89 were to meet at Ashton, Ont,  The extra had a car to set out at Ashton anyway, on the business siding parallel to the passing track. The extra planned to pull their train into the passing track, cut off head end cars to the one they had to set out, pull out through the east end switch and then back into the business track. It was a bad night, a heavy March snow storm with very high winds was lashing the valley.  The extra pulled slowly into the passing track, 89 was west of Stittsville and eating away the time and distance over to Ashton. The crew of the extra had correctly left their headlight on as they were not “in the clear”. The story goes that the wind was whipping the smoke and exhaust, as well as the snow, around the extra’s front end. As westbound 89 got the extra’s headlight in sight the wind caused the smoke, steam and snow to obscure the light, then clear up, then obscure it again. In the cab of the onrushing 89 this was mistaken for a deliberate “highball” signal indicating (illegally) that the extra was “in the clear”. The hogger on 89 opened, up his throttle and roared past the east passing track switch not knowing that just ahead, obliterated by the flying snow, was the tail end of the Extra, still foul of the main line. Standing on the west switch was a ballast car of rock. The 2624 plowed into it, rolling over in the process, cars piled up in all directions. The little station on the south side of the main was demolished. When all motion had ceased, 89’s engine crew were dead and her head end brakeman, Tom Gilmer, had saved his life by jumping just before the collision. The dead fireman was George Hannam, – the engineer was Travie Short.

From an Ottawa paper 19 March 1950:

Like the Toys of an Angry Giant (with picture)

Smashed and tossed by the tremendous impact of tons of steel, the wreckage of CPR freight No. 83 lies scattered across the main transcontinental line at Ashton, 20 miles southwest of Ottawa.  The broken cars spew their cargo across the snow, the one in the right upper background spreading hundreds of cases of beer about.  Seven cars, the engine and the tender are spread around in much the same confusion as would result if a small boy in temper had upset his toy train.  The early morning collision Saturday of No. 83 with the rear end of an eastbound freight affected train schedules and connections from Montreal to Sudbury, while dispatchers rerouted freight and passenger to by-pass the smash-up in which two crewmen died and two others were injured.  The wreckage was cleared, 250 yards of ripped up track replaced and the line opened for traffic again late Saturday.  At either end of the torn right-of-way, the railway wreck-clearing cranes can be seen beginning the job of working their way to the centre of the pile-up.

From Stittsville/Richmond Region EMC 22 March 2012


Collision of Freight Trains at Ashton on 18 Mar 1950

Ashton Ontario – March 18 was unseasonably warm this year, one day in an extended warm period that has seen most of the snow disappear from the landscape. But March 18 has not always been so lamb-like. Indeed, back in 1950, it was a March lion, with a blinding snow storm hitting the Stittsville and Goulbourn area.

And it was in this blinding snow storm that a fatal and tragic collision between two freight trains happened right at the Ashton train station. Two of the freight cars were thrown into the Ashton station, track was torn up for more than 200 yards, the area was littered with splintered ties and twisted steel rails, and, most tragic of all, two railway employees died.

This all happened about 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, 18 Mar 1950, with a blinding snowstorm taking place.

An extra eastbound freight train from Smiths Falls was pulling into the passing track at Ashton. At the time of the collision, its engine, tender, and several freight cars were already on the siding but the remainder of the freight train, some 15 cars, was still on the main line when a westbound freight train on that main line sliced into these freight cars.

The impact from the westbound engine slamming into these cars threw two of them against the Ashton station, after which the engine toppled end over end, tearing up track.

Two men on this westbound train died in the collision. One was the engineer who was found half buried in the snow while the other was the fireman who was found in the wreckage of the cab. Two others were injured.




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  07 Dec 1953, Mon,  Page 20

The contents of the damaged freight cars were scattered about the site. One had a cargo of beer while another had a load of ladies’ sample shoes, all for the same foot.

A later coroner’s jury, held in Carleton Place to look into the cause of the collision, did not declare any identifiable cause for the crash. However, confusion in the orders to the crews of these trains and poor visibility due to the snowstorm were both cited as contributing factors.

And the situation could have been even worse, and possibly more tragic, had it not been for quick action taken by Percy Illingsworth, the station agent at Stittsville, that night.

A westbound Montreal-to-Vancouver passenger train had left the Ottawa West station before news of the collision was received there. It was thus racing toward Stittsville and beyond that Ashton, with its operators unaware of the fright cars littering the track there.

Mr. Illingsworth, who had been notified by phone of the situation with regards to this approaching train, pulled some clothes over his pyjamas, grabbed a flashlight, and dashed through the snow drifts to reach the train track. Visibility was poor because of the heavy snow storm but when he saw the glimmer of the headlight of the approaching train through the swirling snow, he started signaling with his flashlight for the train to stop. Fortunately, the engineer on the train saw and understood the signal and the passenger train stopped. Had Mr. Illingsworth not taken his action or if his signal had not been seen, this passenger train would have roared into the Ashton station and its carnage with who knows what kind of disastrous and tragic results.

Percy Illingsworth served as the station agent at Stittsville for about 20 years, succeeding the famous A.G. Appleby who was termed “the governor” for his leadership in the community.

Craig Hobbs was the last station agent to serve at Stittsville, holding the position from 1962 to 1968. After that, the station was closed, the land sold, and the building was removed in 1969.

There were extensive tracking systems for the railway at both the Stittsville and Ashton stations. The station at Ashton was on the south side of the track, just west of the Goulbourn/Beckwith town line road. Indeed, the station platform extended to within a few feet of the townline road.

There were switches and a siding at the Ashton station as well as stock yards used by local farmers for when they shipped their cattle to market. In the early 1900’s, horses were frequently housed in these stock yards as farmers shipped them out west.

The Ashton station at harvest time also witnessed lineups of farmers with their teams of horses and wagons full of grain, waiting to deposit their loads in waiting freight cars.

The Ashton station handled both passenger and freight traffic and was as telegraph office as well.

The train was a vehicle for travel, not only by individuals and by students attending high school in Carleton Place, but also for groups such as Loyal Orange Lodge members travelling to special events. In 1872, for instance, just two years after the rail line was opened, members of the Stapleton Orange Lodge No. 471 west of Richmond travelled to the Ashton station in order to catch the train into Ottawa for a 12th of July celebration.

The 1981 book “Remembering Our Railway” by the late Grace Thompson of Stittsville, which outlines the history of the railroad in Stittsville and also Ashton, features a cover photo of the 1950 Ashton train wreck as published in the former Ottawa Journal on 20 Mar 1950. This book, which can be found in the reference section at the Stittsville branch of the Ottawa Public Library, remains the most authoritative published account not only of Stittsville’s railway history but also this tragic train crash at the Ashton station on 18 Mar 1950.

John Curry






Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  18 Mar 1950, Sat,  Page 1




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  22 Mar 1950, Wed,  Page 32


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.



Clippings of The Old Perth Train Station

The Glen Tay Train Wrecks of Lanark County

Did You Know About These Local Train Wrecks?

Tragedy and Suffering in Lanark County-Trains and Cellar Stairs

I was Born a Boxcar Child- Tales of the Railroad

The Lanark County “Carpetbaggers”–Lanark Electric Railway

The Titanic of a Railway Disaster — Dr. Allan McLellan of Carleton Place

What Happened on the CPR Railway Bridge?

Memories from Carleton Place–Llew Lloyd and Peter Iveson

Linda’s Dreadful Dark Tales – When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling — Our Haunted Heritage

So Which William Built the Carleton Place Railway Bridge?

The trial of W. H. S. Simpson the Railway Mail Clerk

55 years ago–One of the Most Tragic Accidents in the History of Almonte

The Kick and Push Town of Folger

Train Accident? Five Bucks and a Free Lunch in Carleton Place Should Settle it

The Men That Road the Rails

The Mystery Streets of Carleton Place– Where was the First Train Station?

Memories of When Rail was King- Carleton Place


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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?


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Mrs Crigger’s House in Ashton?



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These photos are from Google Earth. I never seem to get away from the computer long enough to take pictures.

Looking for any information on this woman and house so we can document it. Please leave comments or email me at sav_77@yahoo.com.


Ashton Winter Carnival– late 70s- Donna Farrell right- Mrs. T. Crigger (Ashton) middle





Faye Campbell–
Mrs. Crigger turned 100 last year and remained in her home until a few months ago… Her daughter Marion Jones who lives on the Dwyer Hill Road has been helping her maintain her home. Mrs. Crigger belongs to the ladies Orange Lodge out of Munster. She belongs to the Ashton United Church and has been very active in the church, as well as being a member or our United Church Women’s group. She is now in Fairview Manor in Almonte.
Debbie Casey-Jones
The house belongs to Thelma Crigger she celebrated her 100th birthday last October. She raised her children there. She is a grandmother, a great grandma and a great great grandmother. I am the wife of one of her grandsons.

Thanks.. and now for your Ashton enjoyment…




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  24 Feb 1897, Wed,  Page 2


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.





The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes

McFarlanes –Stewart’s Fire– and Other Things in Ashton

Somewhere in Ashton-The Ashton Curmudgeon

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

Did Anyone Ever Have Fun in Ashton? Ashton 101

Did Anyone Have Fun in Ashton? Part 2- The Fleming House



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Photo from Larry Clark

Her son Gordon and I were good friends growing up and later spent times at each others houses (his in Winnipeg).There were 3 boys, Ellard is deceased; Harold out west somewhere. I just reestablished contact with Gordon when I realized it had been almost 20 years since we were in touch-Thelma other than she put up with our shenanigans. She liked to garden and spent quality time there. Spring was an important time as she planted several very long rows of Gladioli (perhaps for the church) and of course veggies…..

The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes

The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes


Donald Mcfarlane Ashton.. believe it is the bookkeeper…. not old enough to be the innkeeper one. They were the only two Donalds in Ashton.18142949_10213068947062126_1617900078_n.jpg

Yesterday I heard from historian Jaan Kolk who also helped us on the Cohen’s in Lanark Village. Anytime I hear from Jaan is a good day as he always has great tidbits.

Hi Linda,

Your note on Ashton caught my eye. The 1864-5 Mitchell & Co. County of Carleton directory lists 2 hotel keepers in Ashton – Daniel Fanning (misspelled Fenning) and Donald McFarlane – and the Ashton inset of the 1863 Walling map of Lanark & Renfrew show 2 hotels – one what is now Old Mill Rd. in Beckwith, and on on the north side of present-day Flewellyn.

I did not pay much attention to the D. McPharland marked on the road now known as McCaffrey Trail. But the map shows 2 hotels and we know there were 2 hotel keepers. So my question is: which was McFarlane’s and which was Fanning’s? And how do we know?



Oh, and here is a clip from the 1863 Walling map of Carleton, showing D. McFarlane and “N. Stuart” in Concession IX, lot 1. I believe that was Neil Stewart (later Reeve of Goulbourn) who was the son of early Ashton settler John Stewart. The 1879 Belden atlas shows Neil Stewart in the west half of lot 1 and Thos. McFarlane, who I take to be Donald McFarlane’s heir, in the east half.

Text and Photos–Jaan Kolk

From Donna McFarlane- ( about the map above)


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The D Mcpharland( goulbourn side) shown is not our Donald brother of James– but a younger gentleman who is a bookkeeper and although I do not have proof I feel he is son of Wm of Goulbourn. Donna Mcfarlane photo

The hotel shown could potentially be our Donalds right across from the old mill pub…  The P Drummond shown is the one married to Catherine Mcfarlane d of our James… his father Malcolm Drummond was also grandfather of Mary Whyte Cram  my husbands great grandmother..

Thank you Jaan and Donna for this great information

If you have any answers please email me.

Does anyone know about these hotels? 




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal28 Sep 1896, MonPage 8


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal13 Nov 1896, FriPage 5

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)

McFarlanes –Stewart’s Fire– and Other Things in Ashton

McFarlanes –Stewart’s Fire– and Other Things in Ashton

Donna McFarlane sent me this note yesterday:

“Sometime before 1874 the old log house across from the mill pub in Ashton was a hotel or stopping place operated by Donald McFarlane. I noticed that it was now restored to log.. Donald’s son William later opened a hotel at Youngs Point”.

So I am looking for information about the hotel. If anyone knows anything or has heard stories- leave comments, PM me, or send me an email sav_77@yahoo.com




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal15 Apr 1887, FriPage 3


Meanwhile I found this..



In the old days the more outside buildings you owned around your home or farm- the more prosperous you were.  Or people thought you were. The complex at the old McFarlane farm in Ashton as it came to be known consisted of many log buildings scattered around the property.

The first building was a log shanty, and they threw it together quickly because they had too. Those buildings were the one with the large spaces between the logs that blew in the cold air in the winter. However, those shantys grew too small for growing families, so they were abandoned and usually a new frame house was built until the ultimate home could be achieved. That would be a stone home–meaning: they were now at the top of the heap in prosperity and social stature.

The McFarlane’s finally added a stone home to their complex and it had everything from the newel posts at the bottom of the stairs to the square fanlight and side lights. These were all the signatures of a master builder. But, it is the outbuildings that are a fascinating part of this farms history to me. Small medium and large log buildings frame the vista of meadows, flower and vegetable gardens making it a rich overall feel of rural contentment.

The Crown deeded the property to James McFarline in 1828. Similar to a lot of misspellings in those days his last name was later changed to McFarlane. When he died in 1867 the farm was given to his children and in 1891 his eldest son, James McFarlane was listed as the owner. James Lorne McFarlane was the last of the family dynasty to own the property obtaining the title in 1949.

In 1966 the McFarlane family ceased owning the property.



Updates from Donna McFarlane– Thanks Donna!

The comments in the article above are not all accurate as the information was given by the owner at the time of the open house.
The farm lot 24 conc 10 was settled by James Mcfarlane in August of 1820
and settlement duties completed it was deeded in 1828. After his death
his youngest son James bought out his siblings (Catherine Drummond, Grace
Mccuan, Ann,Elizabeth,Janet, Martha and William) and retained this
property. James sr also owned Lot 23 conc 9 Beckwith which oldest son
William bought his siblings out and retained.
The log home was burnt and replaced by the stone home. The small two
storey log home that was used by the Mcfarlanes for a hen house was
actually moved by Lorne from lot 25 conc 10 (property that Lorne owned)
In Feb 7 1964 the properties were deeded to John Mcfarlane with Lorne and
Gladys having a life interest however because the farm could not support
two families John went to work off farm and it was sold.
Donald of Ashton and James of Beckwith and William of Goulbourn were
three brothers from Comrie Perthshire Scotland.




Joseph Arthur Mcfarlane who was dean of medicine at
U of T was born on the Gordon Bourne property that his father Joseph son
of William of Goulbourn owned. He attended the Derry School.–Donna McFarlane
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Ashton Choir no idea of year–I’d say 50s??
Photos sent to me by Donna McFarlane



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal19 Feb 1897, FriPage 5


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal10 Mar 1945, SatPage 18



Mary Jane was daughter of Donald of Ashton.. the other was granddaughter of James of Beckwith–Donna McFarlane

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal03 Jan 1929, ThuPage 22



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  10 Feb 1900, Sat,  Page 7


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)


Related reading:


The Ghost of the Lanark County Old Log Cabin

Home and Garden Before Home and Garden Magazine





Somewhere in Ashton-The Ashton Curmudgeon




Photo Linda Seccaspina 2013


I took this photo a few years ago and thought it was lost with 100s of other local photos of the area. Then- I clicked on one of my photos on Pinterest and it had about 30 others and this was one of them. So I asked on The Tales of Carleton Place if anyone knew about this cat.

Jim Amy Kirkpatrick came forth with some great information which I thank him for.

“The cat was made by the late Henry Darvell a.k.a. ‘The Ashton Curmudgeon’. Henry was also the creator or the gourd head creations some 10 years ago. The resident of the house had several cats.

He wanted to label the sculpture ‘the cat house’ but was persuaded that it would not be appropriate. We lived across the street for 15 years and had many encounters with Henry. The cat is located on the north side of Flewellyn Road just across from the Anglican Church and rectory”.

Henry was a father, husband, grandfather, friend, neighbour, gardener, outdoors man, engineer, self-declared curmudgeon. Born March 26, 1931, in Glasgow, Scotland. Died July 27, 2007, in Carleton Place, Ontario, of heart failure, aged 76.

So anyone that has a name like the The Ashton Curmudgeon’  there has to have a story right? Well Henry Darvell does, and after digging I found a story from The Globe and Mail that was written by SHAYNA WATSON, ROB JENNINGS AND GILES DARVELL in January of 2007


(Shayna Watson and Rob Jennings are Henry’s friends, and Giles Darvell is his eldest son)

It is fitting that Henry, born in Scotland and raised in England, would find himself in a Canadian hamlet of 100 people most famous for its pub. He claimed status as the Ashton Village Curmudgeon with a self-published book by that name. The book was atlas, architectural document and love song to the village and life he adored.

He left Ashton, near Ottawa, adorned with sculptures made of gourds, daffodils, trees, garden gates with sunflower designs and unlikely connections between people.

Henry cultivated relationships. He was married twice, first for 26 years to Betty, with whom he had three children – Giles, Karen and Tim (Henry Darvell was married to his first wife, Betty, for 30 years) and then for 20 years to Susan, who predeceased him in 2003.

Susan and Henry found great joy in their large garden. Henry designed and built additions to his barn and home. He traded lumber for copper and began building fountains; this gave way to gourd sculptures and then to painting and life drawing.

Henry accommodated, though didn’t give in to, his failing health. He had cardiomyopathy.

Henry enjoyed drinks at the Ashton Pub on darts night, ice cream at the General Store, a good meal and the perfume of a beautiful flower.

Behind his big gruff exterior was a gentle man who easily fell under the spell of small children, delicate garden creatures and the promise of seeds.

He spoke with great pride of his children and grandchildren. His friends were a group of people as eclectic as his interests. The extent of his social circle was evident at his 70th birthday party – toddlers, retired farmers, academics and artists joined the celebration.

Although he was unable to walk more than a block or two, Henry headed for Mexico with his dog and camper van. This was preceded by trips to northwestern Ontario, Yukon and James Bay, and followed by a trip to Newfoundland.

In the later stages of his illness, he complained that he was “dying too bloody slowly,” but Henry lived independently until a few days before his death, in his home surrounded by Dougal, his canine companion, sports on the telly and a book by his side.

When he died, he left an ambitious five-foot canvas with the beginnings of a farm scene, gourds partly carved, fish to feed, plants to tend and frogs to show to visiting children. These were the signs of hope and the love of life that desired one more day.

Author’s Note- That day when I stopped to take the picture of the cat I knew someone special had done this. Over the years I kept looking at the photo and wondering and now it has come 360. You were a special man Henry Darvell and I wish I had known you. Sometimes it’s just hard to be a square peg in a round hole, but I think every person has their own identity and beauty. If we were all the same, it would be boring.


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Photo-Goulburn Historical Society

“Looking through the Reference Boxes of Goulbourn material now located in the Local History section of the Stittsville Library, I came across this treasure. It’s a beautiful little booklet entitled “The Ashton Village Curmudgeon.” It was written and illustrated by Henry Darvell and it has beautifully detailed coloured drawings of Ashton buildings and tells a simple and personal story of Ashton. You can go and see it for yourself. It’s not a circulating book but it’s worth a look just to admire Henry’s beautiful drawings” Goulburn Township Historical Society 2012

Goulbourn Township Historical Society Facebook page- click here..

NEWSLETTER: The GTHS newsletter, The Goulbourn News, is published quarterly and sent to all members free of charge. You can help the GTHS keep costs down by having your copy be sent to you via e-mail. METHODS OF PAYMENT: Cash, or Cheque made payable to the “Goulbourn Township Historical Society”. Please mail to: Goulbourn Township Historical Society PO Box 621, 2060 Huntley Road Stittsville, ON, Canada K2S 1A7

DARVELL, Henry S. Peacefully at the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital on July 27, 2007 at the age of 76 years. Beloved husband of the late Susan Darvell. Loving father of Giles and wife Laura of Ottawa, Karen of Moose Creek, and Tim of Delta B.C. Fondly remembered by grandsons Brian Darvell (Tanya) and Alex Darvell. Also remembered by his first wife, mother of Giles, Karen & Tim – Betty Darvell. After serving in the British Merchant Navy, Henry became a Professional Civil Engineer in England. His career then brought him to Canada where he worked on both private and public sector projects in Montreal, Winnipeg and Ottawa.

His lifelong passion for gardening turned into a second profession, working as a Horticulturalist until retirement. The family wish to extend their genuine appreciation to Dr. Walker and the nursing staff of the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital. They are also thankful to dear friend Brian Jarman for his care and support over the past number of months.

 Private cremation will take place at Pinecrest Crematorium. Reflecting Henry’s passion for plants and flowers, the family welcomes floral tributes, or donations may be made to the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital.

Related reading

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

Did Anyone Ever Have Fun in Ashton? Ashton 101

Did Anyone Have Fun in Ashton? Part 2- The Fleming House




The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals



Local news items of the 1880’s and 1890’s, preserved in the late Victorian style of writing of William W. Cliff, first editor of the Canadian, include a record of minor events unlike any told in the personal columns of later day newspapers. An assorted selection of Editor Cliff’s writings has been gathered for second publication, purporting to picture the ordinary life of the town and the times as he saw it— Howard Morton Brown

The Funeral at Ashton

“In speaking of our article last week on delays at funerals, the undertaker enlarged upon it in the following illustration. A number of years ago there was a funeral at Ashton ; one Crozier had died. The day was of piercing strength noted at the Wilkie funeral ; the house small ; the attendance large ; the hour 11 a.m. The Minister who officiated considerately remarked that as the weather was so cold and the crowd outside so large he would say but a few words. His sermon lasted one solid hour.

A brother Minister who was present arose and, after expressing deep sympathy for the shivering masses without and guaranteeing but a few words, spun a sermon two and a half hours in length! During his delivery one by one the outside public left and sought the genial hostelry nearby. All got drunk and were soon in a glorious fight, and at 3 o’clock none were left to escort the remains to the grave save the mourners and pall bearers.”

Did Anyone Ever Have Fun in Ashton? Ashton 101

Did Anyone Have Fun in Ashton? Part 2- The Fleming House

Did Anyone Have Fun in Ashton? Part 2- The Fleming House





Yesterday I posted a story about Ashton (Did Anyone Ever Have Fun in Ashton? Ashton 101) and Marla Reid very graciously sent me some photos.

I lived in the Fleming house growing up in Ashton. Just a barn and The Carruthers then us. On the east side going north from the store. Have fun in Ashton??? Who didn’t?  I think it was the safest place to be raised. It was/is a family community who took/takes care of each other.

The Flemming House circa 1969-73 my parents bought it in the summer of ’69. It got cream siding after ’92 and the blue spruce had to be taken down in the mid ’90’s due to roots ruining the foundation.


The Fleming Home in the winter


Side view of the Fleming home and wee Marla on the porch.


Greater Ashton Community Association Winter Carnival ~ The GACA


Thank you Marla for sending these. I have very little on Ashton so this just made me smile. If you have pictures please send them and I will put them up.


Related reading

Did Anyone Ever Have Fun in Ashton? Ashton 101