Tag Archives: biography

Mrs. James Prentice Hatmaker Milliner of Lanark

Standard
Mrs. James Prentice Hatmaker Milliner of Lanark
Photo-Kathleen Anne Palmer-O’Neil

Marion Umpherson Prentice, 1850-1918

With Files from– Kathleen Anne Palmer-O’Neil

My great-grandfather James Prentice, son of immigrant parents James Prentice and Mary Ann Fraser Prentice, was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1850.

In 1874 James married Marion Umpherson, who was born at Umphersons Mills, Poland, Lanark County, in 1850. She was the daughter of James Umpherson and Agnes Waddell. Marion was working as a weaver at the time of her marriage. (Early spelling was “Umpherston“).

Upon the sudden death of her husband, Marion Umpherson Prentice found herself with a year-old son, James “Lorne” Prentice, and a 6-year-old daughter, Agnes Kathleen Prentice, to raise. She had received no money from her mother-in-law’s large estate: since her husband had died, his share of his mother’s estate went into trust for his children (James Lorne and Agnes Prentice) until they were 21 — despite the fact she was left with $1,736.72 worth of unpaid promissory notes along with many other unpaid bad debts from her husband’s business.

Obviously a stalwart woman ahead of her time, she did not immediately remarry to have the help of a husband to raise her children. No doubt with the help of her family raising the children and working at her old weaving job, she persevered for about 10 years until about 1890 when she purchased a millinery shop on the main street of Lanark Village. An early female entrepeneur, she and the assistants she hired kept up-to-date with millinery trends by attending regular fashion shows in the cities. In the big window of her shop she displayed her collection of hand-made hats — further back in the shop one could find “ladies delicate things” — intricately hand-sewn.

While business boomed, she raised her children, ran a successful business and, when her son James Lorne’s young wife Katie Jane Molyneaux (1882-1915) died leaving three young children, she raised them as well for four years until Lorne remarried. When daughter Agnes “Minnie” married James McLean, a tailor, she moved them into the house beside her own home/shop where Agnes obviously was still available to assist her — and her husband. Agnes had become a formidable seamstress in her own right, (her wedding photo shows some of her beautiful handwork); both she and her mother Marion passed their considerable sewing and hand-work knowledge down to Lorne’s young daughter, Jessie Marion Prentice, my mother, and to the nieces of James’ brothers, several of whom became “town seamstresses” both in Lanark County and in the wilds of the new Red River Settlement of Manitoba where some of James’ brothers settled in their middle years.

When she died in 1918 Marion left a considerable estate including several unpaid promissary notes showing she had continued her and her husband’s earlier practice of lending money over the years to family members. She never “retired” from her business and she never remarried. Her official cause of death in 1918 was “exhaustion”. She is buried beside her husband in Lanark Village Cemetery.

Marion Umpherson Prentice in front of her shop.

Lanark Era, 9 Oct 1895: “Mrs. James Prentice has returned home from a prolonged trip throughout Western Ontario.”

Perth Courier, 10 Apr 1896: “Mrs. James Prentice, having purchased the millinery business of the late Mrs. Dougherty, and engaged the services of Miss Pepper as Milliner, will have her “Millinery Opening” on Friday and Saturday, 10th and 11th of April.”

Lanark Era, 23 Nov 1897: “At Mrs. Prentice’s you will find the latest and most fashionable styles in Millinery and the lowest prices. . . . etc.” (Advertisment).

Lanark Era, 16 Mar 1898: “Mrs. James Prentice and her milliner, Miss Rice, are in Ottawa this week attending the spring openings.”

Lanark Era, 1 Apr 1898: “Clydesville – Mrs. Prentice displays beautiful millinery.”

Lanark Era, 29 June 1904: “Ladore – Mrs. J. Prentice and Mrs. J.G. McLean (Agnes Prentice McLean, dau), were the guests of Mrs. Wm. Umpherson on thursday last.”

Lanark Era, 27 June 1906: “Miss Laura Manion, who has been employd as milliner with Mrs. Prentice, left for her home in Arnprior on Sat. last.”

Lanark Era, 6 Mar 1907: Local news: “Mrs. James Prentice and her milliner are attending the Millinery opening in Toronto.”

Perth Courier, 16 Oct 1903: Lanark Links: “Miss McCargar and Mrs. Prentice had their millinery openings on Wed. of this week. Their show rooms are filled with the latest creations in the line of millinery. Miss McCargar has had her rooms changed from the rear of the second flat of the McDonald block to the front part.”

Almonte Gazette, 8 Aug 1904: Lanark Links: “The Lanark Millinery houses were in full feather last Friday, the spring opening day. The displays at Miss McCargan’s, Mrs. Prentice’s and Mrs. Cohen’s excelled those of former years, and were viewed by a large number of the town’s fairer sex.”

Lanark Era, Jan 23, 1918: Obituary, “Death of Mrs. James Prentice“: There passed away to her eternal reward on Tuesday evening the 22nd inst. Mrs. James Prentice, relict of the late James Prentice, at the age of 67 years and 7 months. Mrs. Prentice was born at Umpherston’s Mills, Lavant Twp. She was the daughter of the late James Umpherston of this village and has lived here for more than 50 years. 45 years ago she married the late James Prentice who was a harnessmaker in Lanark Village, and who died in 1880. About 25 years ago she started a millinery business and fancy store and conducted the same until her death. She has been in failing health for about 2 years, but only took to her bed at New Year’s, and her death was due to a paralytic stroke. One brother, Mr. William Umpherston of Poland, surviving her. She leaves one son, Mr. Lorne Prentice, and a daughter, Mrs. Jas. G. McLean of this village to mourn the loss of a kind and dutiful mother. It is a unique coincidence that her death occurred on the same day of the same month as that of her father. In the village and community she was known as a kind and inoffensive neighbour and her traits of character had endeared her to all who knew her. The funeral takes place Thursday, the 24th inst, from Zion Church to Lanark Village cemetery, Revs. Messrs. Dustin and MacLeod officiating.

With Files from– Kathleen Anne Palmer-O’Neil


Name:Marion Prentice
Gender:Female
Marital Status:Widowed
Age:39
Birth Year:abt 1852
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1891
Residence Place:Lanark Village, Lanark North, Ontario, Canada
Relation to Head:Head
Religion:Congregationalist
Occupation:Seammaster
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
French Canadian:No
Father’s Birth Place:Scotland
Mother’s Birth Place:Ontario
Neighbours:View others on page
Household MembersAgeRelationshipMarion Prentice39HeadAgnes Prentice16DaughterJames Prentice11Son
Enumeration District:83

Related reading

Nelson R Baker- Fashionable Tailor of Lanark

McLean the Tailor from Lanark and Other News

Community Comments– Lanark Village Postcard

  1. relatedreading
    More Tidbits About Lanark Village
    1. It Raineth Every Day in Lanark County–Social Notes–July 30, 1897
    2. Please take the Devil Out of Me? Rev. James Wilson of Lanark
    3. Does Anyone Remember Cohen’s in Lanark Village?
    4. Till Death Do Us Part in Lanark County?
    5. Lanark Village 1868
    6. Lanark Village Old Boys Reunion 1913 Names Names Names
    7. Lanark Village Social Notes– Hot Weather and Names Names Names 

100 Hands Thrown Out of Work –Lanark Village

A Walk through Lanark Village in 1871

Lanark Village News 1887–The $5 Wager and Other Things

Life in Lanark Village 1820 — Bad Roads Distilleries and Discontent!

So What Did We Find Out About this Photo from Lanark Village?

Revolutions of Death at Caldwell & Son’s

Remembering a Shoemaker in Lanark Village–Thomas Wilson

Lanark Village 1913 — Clippings Old Boys Week

So What Did We Find Out About this Photo from Lanark Village?

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

The Lanark Fire of 1895

Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

UFO Sightings in Lanark County 1982 — Lanark Village

John Strang Lanark Village

Lanark Village Social Notes– Hot Weather and Names Names Names 1900

More Tidbits About Lanark Village

Lanark Village 1952

Hi Linda
Your article about the Orange lodge reminded me of a pic of my grandfather (James Lorne Prentice who you have featured a few times).  Only because some one suggested the pin on his lapel in this photo might be that of the orange lodge or something.  

Stay safe

– LeeAnne

Newmarket, Ontario

More Memories of Wave’s Inn- Julie Sadler

Standard
More Memories of Wave’s Inn- Julie Sadler

Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Wave’s Inn belonged to my “other grandmother “, Wava Armstrong- McDaniel -Baker . In 1942, Wava purchased about 12 acres of land on Franktown Road. Waves Inn was a cottage moved into town and there is not a foundation underneath it. I live in her daughter’s second house that is next door, 347. There are 7.5 acres of her land left untouched. The deer come out of the woods at night and eat all of my flowers!

My mom and Wava’s only child, Joan Hamilton, were best friends for 85 years until Joan passed away almost 2 years ago. We were family, just not biologically!

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Arnie McDaniel and his dog Rexie pose for a photo in front of Wave’s Inn sometime in the 1940’s. Arnie’s wife Wava ran Wave’s Inn, which was located at 345 Franktown Road and was THE place to host a party or reception
 -
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Apr 1955, Tue  •  Page 15

Wava also had 5 or 6 cabins in her backyard. Room for one, maybe two, to sleep. There might be one left on my neighbour’s property. She rented them out to the guys who were working in the area, ie: highway, hydro, railway, etc. She made their breakfast and dinner as well as sending them off with a boxed lunch. As a kid I thought they were so much fun!

I remember at that time Wava was on the 12 acres by herself, but the cabins were all just behind the inn. Her bedroom was downstairs at the back and Joan had a tiny one upstairs. Joan and her husband Keith built their first house at 349 Franktown road in the late 70’s. Then the mall was built, so they built another house in between Wava’s at 345 and the first at 349, hence 347 which is where I now live.

It was all fields at the time of Wave’s Inn. No neighbours to complain about noise, but she ran a very tight ship ! She was small but mighty. Everyone adored her and treated her like their mom! When I was married in 85, my wedding pictures were taken by Jeff Mills in Wava’s beautiful garden.

Mum, Doris and her baby girl Julie Sadler who is the author of this story–Photo Julie Sadler
Julie's Mother Doris's Memories

My mother Doris said there were only 3 cabins at Wava’s. The last one is still there close to the road and the owners sided it to match their house. Only room for one cot in each. I was at my mom’s this afternoon (she is 87) and she remembers two summers in a row when she was in high school and 3 university students from Toronto rented those cabins. They had a great time at the Inn.

Car crashes into Carleton Place house, driver taken to hospital click here..

Wava needed to earn money. She was widowed when her daughter was about 18 and she made the best pies anywhere and sold them. She also hosted dinner meetings for the men’s clubs in town. Obviously we weren’t into that in the 40’s and 50’s ! I asked my mom to keep thinking about the inn for the next day or two. She may come up with more. Bill Bigras was the best jive dancer in town. All of the girls wanted to dance with him!

 -
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Mar 1958, Sat  •  Page 43

BILL BIGRAS

War medals gleam away from media glare Bill Bigras click here

Canada’s Maple Leaf is the symbol of national unity.

In 1965, on Feb. 15, the red-and-white emblem was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. The late Bill (William) Bigras, a Carleton Place resident and Korean War veteran, did the honours. Bill was a 50-plus year member of Legion Branch 192. In his youth, he was a serious paddler and as an adult, he was an avid hockey coach. He passed away in 2004. Read more here..

BIGRAS, William “Bill” In hospital, Carleton Place, Ontario on Wednesday, March 24th, 2004. Bill Bigras, at the age of 73 years. Loved husband of Doreen “Dodie” Bennett. Loved father of Kurt (Pat), Jocelyn, William and Angela (Pierre Seguin). Loved grandfather of Serge, Bianca, David, Jeremy, Joshua, Jessica and Sage. Loved great-grandfather of Rei-Ann. Dear brother of Mary Frazer, Margaret Hamilton and Georgette Turner. Survived by nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his brothers Normie, Lionel, Ronald and Oswald and sister Yvette.

Wava Marguerite Armstrong Baker
BIRTH
29 Nov 1913Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
DEATH
4 Aug 1997 (aged 83)
BURIAL
United Cemeteries
Beckwith, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada  Show Map
PLOT
St. Fillans

Wava Marguerite Baker, daughter of Ernest Armstrong and Margaret Armstrong. Widow of Arnold McDaniel and Gerald Baker. Mother of Joan and Keith Hamilton, Carleton Place; sister of Lola (John) Moore, Carleton Place and Arthur (Ruth) Armstrong, Burke’s Falls. Predeceased Edith McBride, Howard and Milton “Tim” Armstrong.

By her wishes, created remains were placed with each husband– I cried when I read that..

18199188_10154861372396886_1816347887917197084_n.jpg
Julie Sadler— Originally it was a family home with 2 bedrooms upstairs at the back. The front was a dance hall ( with food, no alcohol) for the young people of Carleton Place in the 40’s and 50’s. Beautiful hardwood floors. Ask anyone in town who is over 80 and they will have some stories to tell you! Older photo-Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum- New one- Linda Seccaspina

Down At the Twist and Shout–Wave’s Inn

Interesting Tidbits — Frances Moore

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School — Wava McDaniel Baker

Documenting Franktown Road Before it Changes

Do You Know This Man? Wave’s Inn –Lorie Paul

 Is your teacher here? Thanks to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
This photo was taken in June of 1951. A teacher’s tea was held at Waves Inn on Franktown Road in honour of Mrs. Malloy who was retiring and Miss Cameron who was geting married.
Front Row (l-r): Margaret Galvin, Margaret Sturgeon, Iris Cameron, J.D. McAdam (Principal), Mary Malloy, Annie Anderson, Olive Robertson
Back Row (l-r): Dorothy Craig, Frances Churchill, Sadie Chamney, Janet Menzies, Hilda Cram, Alton Cassidy, Hector Dallamore (Music), Marray Kirkpatrick, Mary Cummings, Vivian Leach, Winnie McRostie, Verna Burnie, Stella McDiarmid, Leita Andison

Fred Dunlop 100 years old

Standard
Fred Dunlop 100 years old
Fred Dunlop and daughter Joanne Rajguru at Union Hall Almonte with his 1941 airforce photo 

Rose Mary Sarsfield Happy birthday Fred! This is the photo of the veterans from Union Hall. Fred is one of them along with his brother Nelson and sister Edna.

Joanne Rajguru sent this to me this week. Monday, June 15th is her Dad's 100th birthday. Really it is the summer of his 100th.
Sanjay with dad
Things you might not Know about Fred

Fred Dunlop still lives on Townline Rd E Carleton Place in his own home. 

He was born on Wolfe Grove Road Almonte June 15 1920

He is the 9th of 10 children 

Parents were descendants of Scottish presbyterians –William Dunlop & Annie McKay [Middleville]

He did farm labour as a teen for George Robertson and Neil McIntosh

He also spent 2 summers out west harvesting grain 

He later worked  CP Bates & Innes Woolen Mill 13 hr shifts making blankets

He worked at a Canadian Locomotive Company operating a lath

Joined Air Force in 1941, stationed in Moncton  4 years Technician for Aircraft Navigational equipment

After war jobs included:

Watch maker in Pembroke

Machinist in Renfrew

Instrument Technician in Ottawa 

Married Dorothy Smyth in Nov 1953,  built a house himself on Veteran’s Land Act  1/4 acre, Ottawa 

He built and sold two cottages  Rideau Lake, Perth & house in Ottawa

He also supervised construction of house for his Sister Alice McIntosh of Almonte

He worked many years for Computing Devices, Bells Corners while they raised a family  2 daughters and 2 sons –(Joanne,Debbie,John & Scott)

Grandchildren living in many places include Mrs.Kate Wilson in Vancouver,  Dylan Rajguru Victoria,  Darcy Rajguru Toronto, Mrs. Rebekah Depler Kansas ,  Adam Rajguru Montreal,   Anisha Rajguru of Bali Indonesia,  Shannon Alexander & Jessica Galloway,  Ottawa, and John & Katrina Dunlop in CP.

Fred is the last living of all his siblings!  

Some of Fred’s Nieces and nephews include Brian Drummond, Allan McIntosh,  Carol  Berger, Dolly Tashock , Howard  Dunlop of Almonte area , Barry Drummond of Winchester.  Wayne Drummond of Belmont, Donald Cooper  & HELEN JOHNSTON of Carp..,  Steve Drummond of Innisville–

Clayton Ontario History

Posted by R. S. Dunlop: My father, Fred Dunlop, who was born in Union Hall and now lives in Carleton Place. He was out today pruning the row of trees at the back of his yard–

One of my favourite photos May 11 , 2016.. with a 50 year promise made to the Dunlop family. A moment I will never forget in my lifetime. Fred is standing beside his son Scott holding the ribbon on the left in the brown jacket

Happy 100th Birthday: 100 Years Loved, Say Happy Birthday and Show ...
Did you know Fred? If you did can you comment with some memories? Thank you.

Real Arsenault

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'Alexander Tsang 5h Happy birthday. On behalf of Edmonton. United Services Institute and Edmonton Salutes Committee, Thank you for your services. 1'


Wayne Drummond My Uncle Fred. Great sense of Humour

Theresa Morin Don’t know Fred, but, Happy 💯th birthday to you!!

Dawn Jones Happy happy birthday!!!

Thelma Dowdall Happy Birthday Fred

Heather Moat Hi Fred; Happy Birthday great man was Mr Dunlop’s homemaker for some time,enjoyed his company! All the best

Barbara James Richardson Happy Birthday to Fred

Maureen Evans Happy a Birthday Fred!

Joanne Rajguru IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO MAIL OR DROP A CARD TO DAD for his 100TH BIRTHDAY … PLS MSG ME FOR ADDRESS. HE LIVES IN CP BUT IS VERY ISOLATED. THANK YOU. Joanne Rajguru🥳 

Sandra James Angell Happy 100th Birthday Fred !

John Morrow Fred Dunlop is my grand-uncle, the youngest brother (and second youngest sibling) of my maternal grandmother Effie Ann Robertson, née Dunlop, formerly Cooper. He is the second of the family to reach his 100th birthday, his brother Norman achieving that milestone on January 11, 2008, and dying December 27, 2010, 15 days short of his103rd birthday I was able tp arrange an honorary membership for Uncle Norman in the Dunlop Clan Society based in the United States, but was unable to make a similar connection for Uncle Fred.

Stuart McIntosh I worked with and for Norman in the sixties…nice hardworking man. His sister, Alice was married to Neil McIntosh; again a wonderful hardworking person who donated incredible energy towards church, community and family – especially the McIntosh Clan of which her son is Chieftain. I recall Norman cutting wood at Alice’s during sugar making… very proud to have known them both.

Carol McDonald Des and Jean Moore , my parents knew him.wishing Mr Dunlop a Very Happy Birthday, hope he enjoys a very special time!
Shelley Munro
 Happy birthday Fred!

Susan White Happy Birthday to you Fred, and many more! 

Louise Miles Yes i know Fred through is son John. My dad, Tex Morris knew him too. Happy birthday Fred🎂🥂. Can we say, many more.???

Real Arsenault—From soldier to soldier, have a safe birthday on your 100th survival year, Fred.
Thank you for your years of service.

Linda Nilson-Rogers Thank you Fred! Happy Birthday!

Mike Jones Happy birthday sir

David Coot-

David Coot —Happy Birthday Uncle Fred. Wishing you a great day. As we were not in touch much, I am your sister Effie’s second youngest son. It’s a great milestone to reach the age that you’re at.

Stuart McIntosh Would this be the same Fred Dunlop with the sunglasses in this pic(taken on grain excursion) standing with Bill McIntosh? Clayton Ontario History
Clayton Ontario HistoryStuart McIntosh Both men were working on the Steele family farm on the 8th line of Ramsay when they decided to head west for the harvest.
from Whispering in the Past ( History and Tales of Clayton, Ontario Rose Mary Sarsfield-available at Clayton Store, Millstreet Books in Almonte and from rose@sarsfield.ca
from Whispering in the Past ( History and Tales of Clayton, Ontario Rose Mary Sarsfield-available at Clayton Store, Millstreet Books in Almonte and from rose@sarsfield.ca
from Whispering in the Past ( History and Tales of Clayton, Ontario Rose Mary Sarsfield)–available at Clayton Store, Millstreet Books in Almonte and from rose@sarsfield.ca

Hi Linda,As I posted on the site, Fred is my 2nd cousin, 3x removed. I found out about a month or so ago that I had a set of 5G grandparents that had settled in Lanark Co in 1821, they (Andrew Smith 1778-1845 & Margaret Smith 1786-1871) came over on the George Canning and according to the published history I’ve received they settled on Lot 10, Con 5, Ramsay Twp, Lanark Co).Their daughter, Jane Smith (1805-1889) married Alexander Stevenson (1805-1888). Their oldest daughter, Margaret (1830-1897) is my GGG grandmother. Her sister, Euphemia (1842-1928) married John Liddle Dunlop (1837-1914) and they are Fred Dunlop’s grandparents through his father, William Dunlop (1873-1957) and mother, Anne Alice McKay (1878-1953).I’ve joined the Lanark Co Genealogical Society where I met Fred’s nephew, Don Cooper and his wife, Fran.All the best,Patrick LengyelWinnipeg Canadajwplengyel@shaw.caPS – Margaret married Thomas McFarlane and homesteaded in Mayborough, ON, then East Wawanosh, ON (Huron Co) and a third and final homestead in Carberry, MB (which I am going to visit in 2 days for the first time). Their oldest daughter married my great-great grandfather, John McDonald, in 1878 in East Wawanosh, they moved west with her parents to Carberry and then north to Dauphin in 1894 to their own homestead. From there the trail goes to Prince Alberta, SK and then Flin Flon, MB, where I was born in 1964 to one of their descendants.

Thanks to the town of Carleton Place for this wonderful citation.

The Band was Amazing but the Coke Driver Let Jack Hastie Down CPHS 1951- Delmar Dunlop

The John Dunlop Burial Site Almonte

The Memories of Dunlop Hill

The Dunlop House — Saturday is the End of an Era in Carleton Place

A Fond Farewell to Clayton Kenny in 2016

The Name Game —The Dunlops and the North Industrial Park

The Day the Cheque Company Bounced in Carleton Place

Update on The Dunlop- Industrial Park Issue

Sometimes When You Least Expect it– The Dunlop Issue

The “Margaret Thatcher” of Campbell Street

Standard

Muriel McNeely Simpson and her brother Howard McNeely.jpg

Photo of Mrs. Eric Simpson aka Muriel McNeely Simpson and her brother Howard McNeely—-photo donna mcfarlane

 

Dedicated to Blair White-

Years ago I used to know all my neighbours. I was lucky to have great people like Mrs. Cummings, Laurel McCann, the Johnstones, the Gordons and the Nephins live near me. Joyce and Stuart White lived across the street and Howard McNeely’s sister, Muriel Simpson, lovingly ruled us all in the neighbourhood like Margaret Thatcher. No one dared cross the line with her on Campbell Street, not even next door plumber Gerald Hastie. Especially Gerald Hastie! No matter how much he mocked her –if she yelled ‘jump‘ he would ask “how high?” and quickly at that.

When I moved here in 1981 I asked her if I detected an Irish accent. She laughed for barely 5 seconds and then looked at me like she was going to take my head off and said,

“My dear WE ALL talk that way here in Lanark County!”

After that firm answer I never disputed what Muriel said as I knew I would have a debate on my hands. No matter what year you moved to Carleton Place, if you weren’t born here- you were a newcomer for the rest of your life and that was that. No way,  no how. What would get you into the most trouble with her was if you dared ask her how old she was. That lone question was the kiss of death, as this was not a woman that just stayed home knitting. This was more of a woman who would press a life alert button to see how many firemen showed up.

It doesn’t matter how many jokes Blair White still tells to this day about Muriel Simpson, I am sure she put the fear of God in him and his brothers as she did the rest of us–only he will never admit it. Muriel was afraid of no one, and there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t ask you if she was curious- and you had better be ready with an answer. Muriel never accepted silence or making excuses in any conversation. There was never anything off the table with her and she would find out what she wanted to know at any cost. She was a walking encyclopedia of local gossip and there was nothing this woman did not know about Carleton Place. She would begin most of her stories with the words,“Well you know…” and then launch into full barracuda attack mode.

Muriel loved to reminisce about her beloved ”McNeely farmhouse” that she was born and raised in. Her childhood home once sat just about where Mitchell’s Independent’s Grocery is now located on Highway 7 and McNeely Blvd. In fact if I had money I would erect a billboard in that field  that said,“Muriel McNeely Simpson lived here” as I know that she would love that.

Each week she seemed to get more depressed as she watched the building fall apart from neglect, similar to the McCrae farm across the road. Muriel did not live to see the day of box stores and having the new road and bridge named after the McNeely’s,  I often wonder if she would be complaining about the new structures that are sitting out there now. She didn’t like new things and scolded me once when I said we were getting prices for something we were having done in my home. She gave me ‘that look of hers’ and said:

“My dear, that’s not how we do it in Carleton Place. We just pick the right man for the job and call him- and we especially don’t call strangers!”

Muriel would also probably throw in a “Hmmph” and “For Land’s Sake” in conversation every 60 seconds. She was frustrated in the early 90’s about our new addition going up at our home. It just wasn’t going up fast enough for her and she would throw her hands up in the air and say to anyone who visited her,

“Do these people across the street know what they are doing?”

Muriel would complain incessantly about the possibility of the local corner stores staying open 24 hours. Day after day I heard,

“Surely, if these places are open until midnight folks should have enough to get them by until 7am.”

In reality, her complaints always had me in a fit of giggles and I loved her.  We were as different as night and day, but she would talk about me like I was her daughter. If  my name came up in conversation she would say,

“Oh you know the gal with the ponytail on the side of her head and she wears only one earring”.

Like everyone should know a woman sporting an 80’s disco ponytail wearing one earring.

Each week I would load this elderly woman into my pink Corvette Stingray and she would wave to her subjects in a regal manner as we went to Sunday service at St. James. She never failed to tell me that she and her husband Eric had bought the cross that hangs over the altar in the Anglican church. So remember that when you walk into St. James as she would want you too.

Muriel made an impact on me and there is never ever a day that I will not forget her. You see she made me promise that I would sit in her spot in a certain church pew after she died.  If you were sitting in it when she was alive she made you move. She told me that bad things would happen to me if I didn’t sit on her spot upon her demise.  If you have seen me sit on the right hand side of the church it is for a very good reason, and– if you are sitting in her spot I will slide myself in there no matter how many people are sitting there.  After all God said she had full custody of that seat and like Muriel I always have thought that life should be Pay per Pew. 🙂

Amen!

Miss you Muriel!!

 

 

comments

Karen Blackburn Chenier —I remember her when she was also “Queen ” of the kitchen at the old St James Parish hall, I have no idea who the actual head of “The Energetics” as the Womens Council was called then, but I do know everybody hustled when Muriel spoke. As a teenager and being volunteered,by my mother, to help out I was quite intimidated by her and just stayed out of the way. Heaven forbid if I put the wrong cup and saucer on.. The kitchen ran like a well organized military operation and look out if the potato masher got put away in the wrong drawer!

 

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

Howard McNeely- I Aim to Please

H B Montgomery Auctioneer

50 cents I ’m bid–Auctioneer

Buttons and Quilts by Sherri Iona (Lashley)

The Mysterious Riddell— H B Montgomery House

In Memory of H B Montgomery

 Glory Days in Carleton Place-Sherri Iona (Lashley)

Glory Days of Carleton Place- Dear Miss Powell by Terry Kirkpatrick

Update on Miss Powell from CPHS- John Edwards

Clayton Hands

Reusing the Past of Carleton Place — The Morphy’s and the McCann’s

In the Year 1923 —- “BHM”– (Before Howard McNeely)

Somewhere in Ashton-The Ashton Curmudgeon

Standard

 

17309893_10154739363696886_6165795644739320913_n

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

Globe and Mail story by SHAYNA WATSON, ROB JENNINGS AND GILES DARVELL

(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.

historicalnotes

Screenshot 2017-03-20 at 09.jpg

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 Life and Times of Cora Yuill

Standard

July 26 1995-BY-Cora Yuill-Edited Text from the Almonte Gazette

Cora Yuill looks back on life as she turns· 90 

I was born on August 17, 1905 at Halls Mills, the third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Munro. My sisters were older, and my brother was younger. Wilbert, who lives on the old farm at Halls Mills and my brother Earl, who used to deliver mail from the post office, drove for Eddie Munro for quite awhile.

My two sisters were both gone some years ago. Eva Fulton lived above Renfrew and Florence Watt at Galbraith. I started school at Halls Mills when I was six years old and had four teachers. There was Mary Gleeson,  Aggie Lett, Luella Thompson and Mildred Royce. I tried my entrance exams in Lanark but failed, so I stayed at home and helped on the farm.

I used to work in the fields and coiled bay and stooked grain, so I know what farm life is like. Those were the good old days. We had each other and our parents were good to us but we had to work hard. I thank God they were spared to take care of us and they always saw that we got to Sunday School and church on Sunday.

Eva was married on June 22, 1921 and moved to Admaston to start her married life with Jim Fulton. I was lonesome, but Florence and I had each other and always got along well. I don’t think we ever had a quarrel. I used to go to Eva’s for holidays sometimes. If they were down home, I would go back with them. When I was small I used to love staying around with Dad where he was working. One day I fell on a hand saw and cut the left side of my forehead. I am 90 and the mark is still there, so I guess I will be taking it with me when I go.

I never worked away from home, but I was always busy. I had pen pals  and I met some and some seemed nice. I didn’t mind spending money on postage but stamps were 3 cents then. Many a time we would go down to Dave Barr’s store and maybe get some candies. Mother would do the grocery shopping, but it didn’t take much money as she baked the bread, churned the butter and made her own pies.

When Florence and I went to Hall’s Mills school Ethel Valiant would go with us and many a time we would all play together. Sometimes we would stay home from school pretending that we were worse than we really were.

Arthur and I were married in November of 1931 and we had three daughters. They are all married but the children but are scattered. Grandchildren are a great part of my life. We used to have a Model T Ford and drive to town on Saturday nights. The children would get some little treats and we would come home about 10 pm at night. We would meet a lot of dear friends but now they are gone and are just precious memories.

Today I am in the Fairview Manor and that is likely where I will spend the last of my days. Thank God he has been good to me and I have my girls –all married with children of their own. God Bless Them all.

Cora Yuill

historicalnotes

YuillCora.jpg
 
From the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page
 
 

Cora Yuill –-Cora Yuill made friends all over the world without leaving Lanark County. A prolific writer who at one time kept in contact with close to 100 pen pals, she enjoyed giving of herself while expecting nothing in return. It’s this warm and generous spirit friends and family now recall. Cora died peacefully at Almonte General Hospital with her family present Oct. 18, 1995. She was 90.
 
Born Aug. 17, 1905, at Halls Mills, Ont., Cora was the daughter of the late Robert Munro and his wife the late Ida Watchhorn. She attended Halls Mills Public School and then went to write her entrance exams in Lanark Village in 1920. On Nov. 18, 1931, she married the late Arthur Yuill. They farmed for many years in Darling Township before they moved with their family to Ramsay Township in 1947. It was during the early 1940s that Cora began reaching out to others through letter‑writing. A “friendship book” she sent to a friend made its way to Nova Scotia, initiating her first pen pal. An advertisement placed in the old Winnipeg Free Press sparked another 36 pen pals in 1948. From there, her hobby blossomed as more and more people contacted her. Until the early 1980s, she’d built up long-distance relationships with more than 100 people, most of them in North America but many in England, Ireland and even Australia. 
 
Cora also loved writing poetry. Her works were featured regularly in Gazette. She also had her favourites placed in booklets which she as she generously offered to friends. She often used her talent to look back with fondness on her life – her childhood, time spent at school in the one-room school house, growing up with her brothers and sisters, raising her own family. These were what she often referred to as “the best old days.” One person who knows Cora’s warm heart is Stephen Cotnam. He befriended her several years ago while visiting her brother-in-law on a church outreach program. Over the years, he said, they developed a friendship which just grew stronger. “She was a peaceful lady, a lady full of grace,” he said. She realized her dream of traveling “through her writing. I think that gave her some distant connections.” Cotnam said Cora was always generous with her time. “I found I enjoyed the visits as much did, maybe more,” he said.
 
During her eulogy, he referred to three of her poems. The third entitled “End of Summer” ends with the lines: We must make the best of the life we’ve been given And maybe some day we’ll have a place up in Heaven. “I had felt, in a sense, she’d been able to bring a little Heaven on earth,” Cotnam said. Cora was a devoted mother and loving friend. She was a member of the United Church in Clayton where she enjoyed singing in the church choir. Her last five years were spent in Fairview Manor after moving out of her log home on the Old Perth Road. Her daughter Dorothy Legree said she “truly enjoyed” singing in the choir and enjoyed many a happy day at the manor. Cora is survived by her five daughters Dorothy (Randolph Legree), Blanche (late Lawrence Desjardins), Alma (late Stuart Malloch), Eilleen (Dan Boothby) and Della (James Graham).
 
 
29791637_10156190029555050_4998478051412017152_n.jpg
 
 
She is also survived by her brother, Wilbert (Florence) of Clayton, Ont., sister‑in‑law Olive, 14 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her sisters Eva Fulton and Florence Watt and by her brother Earl Munro.—-Mary Cook.
 
 

The funeral took place Oct. 21 in the chapel of Alan Barker Funeral, Home, McArthur Avenue, Carleton Place, at 2 p.m. Rev. Eilleen Heppwhite officiated. Honourary pallbearers were Dave Cleary, Donald Miller, Eldon Munro, Delmer Munro, Bernard Fulton, and Logan More. Pallbearers were Cora’s grandson Richard Legree, Dale Boothby, Kelly Graham, Donald Malloch, Paul Desjardins and her great-grandson Daniel Boothby. I am going home to Heaven, To the many mansions there, Going home to be with Jesus, Free from sorrow, sin and care

Obituaries collected by the late Mrs. Isabel DRYNAN

Prepared & set up by: Keith Thompson

I found this poem today written by Cora Yuill in 1984.–Clayton Ontario History
I liked to sit in my rocking chair
And dream of days gone by
Sometimes my thoughts were happy
And often time I could cry.

When I was young and living at home
With my parents and younger brother
We had our chores and work to do
To help our Dad and Mother.

Oft times on summer evenings
And we had nothing else to do
We would take a drive to Clayton
And spend an hour or two.

The hall where the dances were held
People came from everywhere
They came in buggies or maybe a car
Without a worry or care.

We liked to hear Jack Drynan
And Clifford Stanley call
But they both are gone some years ago
With memories of the old Clayton Hall.

29791428_10156190028760050_1212747018900865024_n.jpg

 Last two photos from Steve Evans book Heart and Soul

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Related reading

Halls Mills Ghost Town- Another W. H. Wylie Connection

The Ghost Towns of Eastern Ontario

Thanks to Glenda Mahoney–A cousins trip to Bracebridge this weekend to see cuz Cindy. Barb Nairn Deb Caluori Marie Desjardin Cindy Tub man Coralee Shuttien * and Shelly Mariner. Cora Yuill’s grandaughters

Part 2 of “My Dad was an Old Thresherman”

Standard

Part 1 of “My Dad was an Old Thresherman”

 

Another episode in: They were Set Down in Dalhousie Township”– Effie Park Salkeld

It didn’t matter where you lived threshing was threshing. This story will be done in two parts and thank you to Beverly Salkeld from Winnpeg Manitoba whose family Grandmother Effie Edna Park Salkeld was born to Duncan and Mary Mcintosh Park in Lanark County in October of 1892 and died at Langenburg Hospitial in Saskatchewan April 19th Easter Sunday in 1965. She is buried in Gerald United Cemetery Saskatchewan

 

organic-farm-for-sale-eastern-ontario-94-acres-outbuildings.png

Dobbie Road in Lanark County

17035321_10211459464309606_1990087361_n.jpg

ahorsegood1.jpg

Photo- Linda Seccaspina Plowing Match on Mr. Dobson’s farm outside Smiths Falls

 

17078564_10211459466789668_67410801_n.jpg

trac1.jpg

Photo- Linda Seccaspina Plowing Match on Mr. Dobson’s farm outside Smiths Falls

17028705_10211459470469760_1643395174_n.jpg

bhii.jpg

Photo- Linda Seccaspina Plowing Match on Mr. Dobson’s farm outside Smiths Falls

 

17078553_10211459471349782_1682311534_n.jpg

cbcadghj.jpg

Photo- Linda Seccaspina Plowing Match on Mr. Dobson’s farm outside Smiths Falls

 

 

17093891_10211459474469860_913130189_n.jpg

100_1785.JPG

Photo- Linda Seccaspina Plowing Match on Mr. Dobson’s farm outside Smiths Falls

 

17028803_10211459475149877_1503038710_n.jpg

dgdgdg.jpg

Photo- Linda Seccaspina Plowing Match on Mr. Dobson’s farm outside Smiths Falls

 

17078657_10211459478229954_1431489465_n.jpg

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

 

Related reading:

Part 1 of “My Dad was an Old Thresherman”

They were Set Down in Dalhousie Township”– Effie Park Salkeld

Eggs 10 Cents a dozen–Farmers Markets of Smiths Falls and Almonte 1880 and 1889

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

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Were You Part of the Beat Generation?

Standard

I am going to write about the problem of hippies in Carleton Place next week and remember the time I thought I was part of The Beat Generation.

beat

Pictured are Blaine Cornell, Gary McLellan, Weldon Armour seated, Dave Gordon, Dale Costello, Bob Bigras, Gerald Griffith, Ray Paquette and Gordon Bassett. —Carleton Place’s Beat Generation? — photo by Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

In 1962 I officially became a Beatnik at the age of 11. There were no official notices, no immediate black clothing; I just got up one morning and started to write bad poetry, and that was that. The primary inspiration was the fact that my father said that Jack Kerouac was a bad influence on young people. That was enough for me and I admired how he angered some people in “On the Road”, telling everyone they were going to die. Kerouac was very popular where I lived in Quebec because his parents were ‘joual’*speaking French Canadians. Of course they eventually moved to Massachusetts, but his official name was Jean Louis Kerouac, and that was enough for the French Canadian people I knew.

My Beatnik outfit of choice was a green wool crew neck sweater that barely covered my derriere, red tights and a matching beret. There were no smoke filled finger-snapping caves of poetry where I lived, so I created my own. Constantly carrying a notebook I wrote silly poems about boys, the moon and love so true. Creatively speaking I had no worldly visions that my words should have been obscenity motivated instead of pink laced trimmed. I simply sat in my room that I had painted deep turquoise with a long black cigarette holder in my mouth as I wrote. Of course there were no cigarettes in it, but from the day I opened my store in 1976 until I closed it in 1997 I carried a vast variety of cigarette holders. I always blamed it on my weekend beatnik youth.

In 1964 I watched my Grandfather abandon his Reader Digest Condensed books for Marshall McLuhan. I had no idea what he was talking about after reading a chapter of the well worn paperback. Grampy would slowly try to explain all about McLuhan’s meaning of the light bulb while I talked about The Beatles. He would then playfully hit me on the head with the book and ask me to check the condition of my inner light bulb. Seeing my Grandfather was fairly conservative I wondered how he knew about this man and figured that he must have seen him on the TV show Front Page Challenge. Grampy’s interests did not venture anywhere else unless Pierre Berton talked about someone, or they were on The Ed Sullivan Show. As I write this, McLuhan still puzzles me but the words of The Beatles are still with me to this very day.

In the 60’s my friends and I took the bus to Montreal on Saturdays and would hand out flowers and words of peace at the Place Ville Marie plaza. People would come up to the “girl with the flowers in her hair” and the long winded words and ask if ‘she’ was from San Francisco. I would just smile from ear to ear– as that was the highest compliment anyone could give me.

Protest songs turned to Leonard Cohen, and I constantly analyzed his poetry. Day after day in the latter 60’s I would sit in the CNR station in Montreal and watch people go by. I would read Cohen’s poetry books over and over and wish I was his beloved “Suzanne”. In a dark smoke filled bar on Mountain Street I would sit and listen to hours of bad poetry yet performing my own was out of the question. In my mind I could never beat Cohen nor the other radical literary masters so my words remained silent. Years later I would meet Cohen on a flight to Los Angeles with his then much younger girlfriend Rebecca DeMornay. I took his hand by the baggage turnstile and told him of my love for his work in the 60’s. He smiled, and said softly,

“My dear the years have been kind to you”.


With those words I suddenly felt old but happy and never strayed from appreciating the minds of radical literary geniuses. As Herbert Huncke once said to Allen Ginsberg,

“Sure I’m old, and I’m evil, and I’m ugly, and I’m tired. But that isn’t it. I’ve been this way for ten years, and I’m all down the main line.”

And so the beat goes on…

PHOTOS BY LINDA SECCASPINA

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

A Charming Woman is a Busy Woman – Sherry Duquette

Standard

Author’s Note- As of 2016 Sherry is working for Slackoni’s now on Mill Street. Everyone who misses her from Ballygiblin’s can find her there now.:)

It’s All About Love at Slackoni’s in Carleton Place

 

Years ago I was told by my Grandfather that women should have ambition, but not too much. So what happens when you meet a woman that believes in no such thing? I had no idea that once upon a time Sherry Duquette used to shop at my former store Flash Cadilac in Ottawa. Neither did she until we had a gab fest at Ballygibin’s a week ago. If you loved the Ottawa night life of days gone by, you will remember Sherry from The Downstairs Club in Ottawa. Now there’s a flashback! When I write about someone, I like to see what they do, and this woman is so busy with everything it’s impossible to pin anything down.Technically, she waitresses at night at Ballygiblin’s and then works in management during the day at Ontario Linen Solutions in Carleton Place.

linfl

Watching Sherry work with people in both places would empower anyone. You can see that she honestly loves her job and literally kills her customers with kindness. Not only that, but she juggles her family life along with her husband and children– 6 days and 4 nights a week.

Sherry invited me to her day job at Ontario Linens Solutions as they are providing all the table linens for the Ladies Who Lunch event June 6th at our local town hall. What do I, or you, know about the linen business? We know it isn’t rocket science, it’s just clean product and service right?

lin5

Well I was shocked, just shocked, that we have this type of business right in the midst of Carleton Place. Who knew? Anyone who thinks Ontario Linen Solutions just shuffles tablecloths and napkins needs to be straightened out immediately. I was most certainly was!

lin4
Sherry explained to me that Ontario Linen Solutions are actually innovators in the laundry business. I had no idea that most companies offer poor service, and multi-year contracts, all of which are the industry norm. As I marveled at all the washers and dryers and thankful I didn’t pay their gas bills; she told me what they had was unique. Most linen services have no human contact when it comes to cleaning and use a tunnel washer system. That means if there is a rip or a stain it isn’t caught. At Ontario Linen Solutions, the quality is noticed right away and all non-perfects go into the garbage. However, sheets with the slightest of imperfections are donated to our local Lanark Interval House. Ontario Linen Solutions also replaces their older stock with new items added on a regular basis.

lin6

Did you know that Sherry, along her husband Christian, and boss Mike, also personally deliver if someone needs linen in an emergency? The bottom line is: you can always count on them and they guarantee a personal touch. No contracts and the sky’s the limit- from 1 bag to truckloads can be done by them. I was shocked to see 100’s of butcher gloves, along with the tablecloths, napkins, sheets, towels, chef coats you name it, all into the mix. I watched a woman fold a fitted sheet with such precision Martha Stewart would have give her a gold star. I suddenly thought of my ill-folded sheet cupboard and hung my head in shame.

You could see the excitement in Sherry’s eyes as she showed me all the colours for wedding linens. If I was a bride I would be overwhelmed– but never fear, Sherry unlike myself, is grounded, and can solve any bride’s dilemma’s.

wed

Sherry, throughout the two interviews was calm, cool and collected. She was much like the linen she deals with- the more changed-the sweeter. But as I got in my car I wondered. Even with the help of her husband, how does she have all this the strength and perseverance on a daily basis?

I think Dan from Ballygiblin’s summed it all up in a nutshell:
She’s Sherry.. are there any options?

sherry

Do I Really Have to Write a Bio? Christine Armstrong

Standard

ach

You have met Amanda McNeely, Tiffany Nixon, Jennifer Fenwick Irwin, Lisa Strangway and Teri White who are part of our working team for your Ladies Who Lunch date on June 6th. Here is another one of our members ready to put this shindig all together.

Christine is one of our planning ladies for Ladies Who Lunch June 6th in Carleton Place. I had asked her to write a bio, but she was hesitant. Of course any bio is easier said then done. Where do you start? Where do you end? Like me she thinks everything happens for a reason and we are supposed to learn something from it all. Does it really shape us into the person we end up being?

Christine came from a wicked combination of ancestral roots. Family gatherings were quite the event coming from German, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and French Canadian descendants. Everyone expressed their opinion the way it is, they it was, and the way it will be–and none of them ever backed down from what they believed in.

Her love of art blossomed as a child when they headed up to the family’s ancestral home in beautiful Wiarton, Ontario. Everyone in the family, and she means all the generations, spent their summers at Great-Grandma’s boarding house. The entire family spent a couple of weeks living under the same roof, and as Christine said, “If that doesn’t bring a family close, she doesn’t know what will”.

In High School she had her own style and was different from the norm. She was an outspoken member of her student council and collaborated pairing a Pink Floyd prism on the council door. Christine believed in free speech and always stood up for what she believed in. Summers and weekends were spent hanging out in downtown Ottawa shopping at Flash Cadilac and Rock Junction. She met the love of her life in High School, and they have been together ever since.

Like she said earlier, everything happens for a reason, and at the age of 16 she became a Mother. Driven, she received her High School diploma with everyone else. She studied Child Youth Work at Algonquin and worked at McArthur High School and the Robert Smart Centre at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Work became hard to come by at that time, so she went back to school and studied accounting. By that time the recession of the 80’s hit so she took whatever work was offered. Christine worked a dictionary of jobs from: taxi dispatch, receptionist, waitress, special event server at the Prime Ministers house and finally executive assistant for GTIS.

Once she had her second child she decided to stay at home with her young children. But, she still had an art space overflowing with projects, lobbied the City of Ottawa, and was a vocal member of NO DUMP, and even worked the back war room of a political campaign for a Mayor of Ottawa candidate. Of course local residents of Carleton Place will remember Christine’s store C Style Fashions on Bridge Street where she dared to sell the eclectic in a rural town.

Christine said life is too short to dwell on what you could have done, or should have done, so she has had no regrets. She is following her heart and is most happiest when she does art and finally wants to write that book she has dreamed of since High School.

What you might not know about Christine is that in 2005 she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Walt Disney once said all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. I have no doubt nothing will ever slow Christine down. Ever.. because she is no vanishing act.