Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The original Grist Mill Burnt down
1921-04-22– Almonte Gazette
A feed mill belonging to Chas. F. Burgess was completely destroyed by fire, Tuesday night. The damage is estimated to be in the vicinity of $15,000. The cause of the fire is unknown, but it started in a shed where a small quantity of hay was stored adjoining the mill. No one knew the building was in trouble until all of a sudden fire broke out with a rush and in a few seconds the entire shed was a mass of flames.
The fire spread to the mill, which on account of its frame construction fell an easy prey. For nearly two hours the buildings were a raging furnace, and although tons of water were poured into them by the Carleton Place fire department. The fire had gained too much headway and could not be got under control till the buildings were completely gutted.
With the buildings were all there was also destroyed stock and machinery which included a carload of flour that had just been unloaded. Nothing was saved but a small quantity of office equipment and a few bags of flour. At no time was there any danger of the fire spreading beyond the Burgess buildings, as these were somewhat isolated from the rest of the town.
On account of this no outside help was asked, but the town firemen under Fire Chief Wm. McIlquham fought the fire gallantly, though were unsuccessful in their efforts. The burned buildings were among the old landmarks of the town. They were erected many years ago by a Mr. Merrick, an old pioneer of Carleton Place.
Lanark was a provincial riding in Ontario, Canada, that was created for the 1934 election. In 1987 there was a minor redistribution and the riding was renamed to Lanark-Renfrew. It was abolished prior to the 1999 election. It was merged into the riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke.
In 1933, in an austerity measure to mark the depression times, the province passed an update to the Representation Act that reduced the number of seats in the legislature from 112 to 90. The riding of Lanark was created from parts of Lanark North and Lanark South and consisted of the townships of Beckwith, Bathurst, Burgess North, Dalhousie, Darling, Drummond, Elmsley North, Lanark, Lavant, Montague, Pakenham, Ramsay, Sherbrooke North and Sherbrooke South. It also included the towns of Almonte, Carleton Place, Perth, and Smith’s Falls and the village of Lanark
W H A T ’S in a Name? Sometimes very little. Scores of townships in On- ” tario are called after old-time members of the Provincial Legislature big frogs in the little political puddles of their day—whose names mean nothing to this generation. Sir John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, gave his own name to one of our counties. Lady Simcoe claimed a share in the work; and to this day three of the townships in that county bear the names of her pet spaniel puppies, Tiny, Tay and Flos. •
But often in the place names of a community there are suggestions of its ” early history and the origin of its pioneers. The Highlanders who settled Glengarry county have left proof of their love for the old land in the names we find there—Lochiel, Dunvegan, Lochinvar, Dalkeith, Athol, Glen Roy and a dozen others. The Highland emigrant never forgot.
Lowlanders who came to our own country in 1811-1822 for- or fail to renew in Canada the names of shires and streams and towns which they had known a t home. Lanark, county, township and village,—the Tay, the Clyde, Kilmarnock, Clyde Forks, Glen Tay, the Scotch Line, all remind us of the districts in Scotland from which thousands of our first settlers came. But now our townships, for the most part, preserve the names of the great or near-great men then concerned, in their colonial government or their friends.
DARLING, after Col. H. C. Darling, Military Secretary to Lord Dalhousie for whom he made an inspection and report regarding the Perth and Rideau settlements in 1822. By the way, many years ago I was told by one of the ‘oldest inhabitants’ that this township was named in honour of Grace Darling, the heroic lighthouse girl who, alone in her frail skiff, rescued nine sailors from the wrecked schooner, “Forfarshire” in the storm swept North Sea. Every school reader fifty years ago contained the story of that braV’e deed. One would like to : believe that the township owed its name to her; but she was only eight years old when the survey and naming were completed, and the more commonplace explanation must be accepted. Read-People are Afraid to Work– Jennie Majaury- Darling Township
SHERBROOKE—Sir John Cope Sherbrooke followed Drummond as Governor. Perhaps in Quebec he might have worked out some peaceful solution of the troubles and conflicts, even then becoming acute, between the French Canadians, and the British minority there. But the shuffling policy of the British Colonies office convinced him that the task was hard, and his failing health hastened his resignation. Read-What’s Happening at Christie Lake June 23, 1899
LAVANT—Sherbrooke was succeeded as Governor by the Duke of Richmond. Richmond Village, the Goodwood river (commonly known as the “Jock”) and the townships of Fitzroy, March and Torbolton in Carleton county get their names from the Duke’s family or estates, and our township of Lavant recalls a village near the Goodwood racetrack on the Duke’s estate in Sussex, England. Read-The Lavant Station Fire 1939
Driving between Ottawa and Franktown one passes a cairn on the roadside in memory of the tragic death there of Charles Lennox, fourth Duke of Richmond.
The story has been often published with varying details. But the account written by his son, Lord William Pitt Lennox, has not, I think, been reproduced in recent years. It may be of interest to read his own words:
That a far cry from the glitter and glamour of his vice-regal courts at Dublin and Quebec, from his sumptuous entertainments at Goodwood, from the gorgeous ball at Brussels where the Richmonds entertained Wellington and his officers on the eve of Quatre Bras and Waterloo, to this poor crazed Charles Lennox, running madly through a Canadian swamp, and dying at last on a pallet of straw in a back-woods cow byre. “He was born in a barn, and he has died in a barn” said the gossips, when the news reached England. Which was true. Read-The Haunted Canoe from the Jock River
Things were different in the old days. People lived by values, and when they felt the world’s values were not tough enough they created their own. Inside the beautiful home down at the end of Lake Avenue East once lived the Burgess family. George Arthur Burgess was a wealthy local businessman, who also served as Mayor of Carleton Place in 1903 and in 1922. Burgess was also farmer who once operated a large dairy mill, sawmill and of course the brickyard. But, he also had another side to him some were not aware of. Well, maybe they were. It wasn’t only Dr. Howard in the town of Carleton Place that had tongues wagging.
Burgess was also an eccentric who expressed his views in guest speaker appearances to anyone who would listen. In a flyer that was given out at an engagement in Las Vegas he stated many things that today might be considered controversial. Burgess wanted everyone to know that he was a truthful, honest, sober, and a bodily-peaceful person. But, he was also a mental fighter for what he believed to be right, and was totally against what was wrong.
In the same sentence he said he had travelled ‘This Great World’ at least six times but refused to “accept a lease” (refuse to consent to the sublet if there are reasonable grounds) of every restaurant in Carleton Place.
The eccentric said he had been cruelly and unjustly charged in the Supreme Court of Ontario as a supposed lunatic, by a greedy untruthful wife aided by bigoted, untruthful, jealous persons. Those would be the solicitors for his ex-wife Marjorie Burgess-Stewart, Hope and O’Donnell of Perth, Ontario.
So why not screw up a will? Alright Mr. Burgess– welcome to Carleton Place’s Whimsical People lineage. Please stand right next to Dr. Howard of Carleton Place if you please. I am sure I will be joining this list when I pass on– in fact I am quite certain! After all, life is all about finding people who are your kind of crazy.
The asizes open in Perth next week. Carleton Place will figure conspicuously this time. There is the case of Dr. Preston against the Ontario government, who questioned the validity of the Burgess will. He will seek to establish its bonatides. April 10 1903- Dr. Preston and Mr. Burgess were best friends.
The case of the attorney-general against Dr. Preston of Carieton Place, contesting the Burgess will, reached a settlement this week, the will being allowed to stand as it is, in favor of Dr. Preston– April 17 1903—-
I never thought much about it and knew that in 1906 the first car fatality in Carleton Place occurred when Samuel A. Torrance’s automobile collided with a locomotive at the railway station crossing. One of his passengers was killed.
Then yesterday I found the article about the accident as I was looking for something else.
“Mr. W Snedden whose hotel was just at the crossing” Snedden Hotel and the Grand Central Hotel in the background.
photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-Edwards store
There was lots of commercial activity on Arthur Street during my boyhood years. Right at the corner of Arthur and Moore Street, the Nichol’s Lumberyard maintained a satellite office and there was a cast iron watering basin for horses with a roundabout. Further up Arthur, alongside the CPR tracks was a small stock yard where every Saturday morning local farmers brought livestock to be auctioned off by H.B. Montgomery which were then loaded into cattle cars on the siding abutting the stock yard.
The Nichols lumberyard also had coal warehouses lining Arthur Street while alongside the tracks the railway maintained a freight shed. I have a vague remembrance of Russ Mill’s Feed and Seed and as his son is in the Carleton Place area he might be able to shed some more personal reminisces of his father’s operation.
Another activity that I remember was the refrigerated cars laden with fruit and vegetables that were placed in the siding north of the Wool Growers to be unloaded by the Rubino’s and taken to there warehouse at the corner of Mill and Beckwith Streets. All this activity captured the attention of me and my contemporaries and we spent many hours roaming through this area, often ignoring our parents caution of how dangerous this area could be for us!
Thank you Ray for all you send to us and keeping history alive. We can’t do this without any of you so send those stories in!
It was bought by A. C. Burgess in 1887 and after improvements, was leased again as a sawmill. The name Arklan was provided by Mr. Burgess, who a little earlier had begun developing his model stock farm on the adjoining farm land. His brother, G. Arthur Burgess, mayor of Carleton Place in 1903 and 1921, and at times a stormy petrel in municipal affairs, installed a small hydro electric plant at Arklan in 1909 and for about a year supplied a part of the town’s power for electric lighting purposes, leasing his installations in 1912 to the town’s other supplier of electric power.-More Notes about the Mysterious Arklan Farm
Along with Dr. Howard and a few other personalities in Carleton Place- Arklan Farm is on my bucket list of finding out interesting tidbits. Here is some more things I found today.
Ottawa Journal June 1 1889
Through the years George Burgess had bought bits of pieces of land until he accumulated over 200 acres and began what he called: “an industrial or model farm of his own called Arklan”. In June of 1889 Mr. Burgess was noted in the Ottawa Journal for his stock of Jersey Cows and every October he would have an auction for jersey cattle and the folks would come for miles.
On Arklan Island he had a sawmill where he cut all the lumber for building and fencing. Burgess also had a stable with some thirty head of cattle of very choice stock. He was also a horse enthusiast and along with Carleton Place’s very own Dr. Preston had an interest in the “colt stake” and Arklan was also home to Dr. Preston’s trotters and thoroughbreds. It was said there was no finer group of horse flesh than right in Carleton Place. He told the journal he was surrounding his farm with wire fence and planting both maple and elm trees.
October 1900- Note: Arklan Farm is only ten minutes walk from town.:) Ottawa Journal
Ottawa Journal January 1910
In 1912 he tried to sell Arklan Farm with J. T. Devlin as the auctioneer.
“The sale at Arklan on Monday gave astonishment to Mr. Burgess—it exceeded his calculations, the crowd was the biggest at any sale in years– tramp tramp a tramp, the farmers are marching all morning. At noon the multitude was served refreshments bearing the genuine Burgess signet, which is the seal of supremacy. Mr. Devlin rang up his voice at 10 am and did not stop until 5 pm.
The Arklan Farm nor the Doherty farm did not get a bidder, but the Hillside domain went over to Mr. C. F. Burgess. All the minor stuff advertised was sold at good prices, a vast quantity of machinery, harness, wagons, etc., cattle, and so on— with a sense of relief going wave like over the soul of the owner as he saw the encumbrances moving off in glad hands. Burgess still had enough equipment to make the Arklan and Doherty farms earn their living in good shape”. April 12 1912
Several piles of lumber caught fire at the Arklan Saw Mill, about a half mile from Carleton Place. The origin is unknown and it had gained considerable headway before it was noticed. The local fire brigade was called and with the water supply on Arklan the fire was soon under control- Mr. E.M. Baker Proprietor of the Arklan Mill is covered by insurance.
A very interesting wedding took place on Monday evening at 8.30 at the Arklan Farm, when Miss Sadie Foster MacDougall, only , daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John MacDougall, was united in the bonds of holy matrimony to Mr. Frederick Nelson MeNeely, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex S, MeNeely, of the 7 th Line, Beckwith--ALMONTE, ONTARIO, FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 1924 –Almonte Gazette
Arklan refers to the vicinity immediately east of Carleton Place, ON and includes an island. This island was formerly utilized as a water power site and was first called Bailey’s Mills, then Bredin’s Mills and later Arklan Mills.
Land in this area was purchased by A. C. Burgess and his brother, G. A. Burgess (who was the mayor of Carleton Place in 1903 and 1921). The name Arklan was given to this property by G. A.
G. A. Burgess also started a dairy around this time but since there was already a Lanark Dairy in existence, Mr. Burgess called his enterprise – Arklan Dairy (the last three letters of LANARK placed at the front!). This little twist of fate solved Mr. Burgess’ problem back then and at the same time created a much sought after milk bottle for modern day collectors.
Dairy bottles especially ones with colourful silk screening on them continue to be popular with collectors although their container cousins: earthen stoneware and redware today rule the roost in terms of highly sought after objects.
Thanks to DM for bringing this example of a very interesting piece of Ottawa Valley history to our recent Club meeting.
The photo on the left is the Quinn home as is was in 1967. The photo on the right of a number of personalities who made the “Burges Ghost” come to life in 1935. (L-R.) John Quinn, Mrs. Quinn, Inspector Oliver, Patrick Quinn, Sergeant Story and James Kinlock. Photos and story The Perth Courier.
From a story by Don Rennie, The Perth Courier 1967. Strange occurrences were happening in 1935 at a farm in North Burgess just off the Narrows Locks road. Mr. John Quinn, his wife and two children, Michael, and Stanley, ages 13 and 11, reported innumerable phenomena taking place in their home. Stove lids, according to the Quinns, “danced” in the air, the teapot “jumped” off the stove into the wood box, three flat irons “walked” down a staircase and dishes “pranced” on the dining-room table. Word of this mysterious goings on spread quickly throughout the district. Although, perhaps skeptical, hundreds of persons from miles around flocked to the Quinn home. On the Sunday after the reporting of the “ghosts” more than 100 cars arrived at the Quinn farm. Along with the cars a flotilla of cutters and sleighs dotted the white-capped farm. The snow fell incessantly and the thermometer dipped way below the zero mark. Newsmen from across the country arrived and the CBC news from Toronto reported the strange events. Although the strange occurrences could not be readily explained many held doubts in their minds as the credulity of the phenomena. Believing that there had to be a reasonable explanation behind the occurrences the Perth detachment of the OPP decided to hold an investigation. On a Saturday afternoon members of the force motored to the Quinn home and inspected the building. Nothing strange occurred while they were there. That same evening Inspector Storey returned to the house. He remained there until Sunday morning along with about a dozen district men sat in the house speaking in hushed tones but again nothing happened. Mr. Quinn was unable to explain the strange occurrences that had been going on for the past couple of weeks. Pieces of beef he had placed in a barrel had been found littered throughout the house, he said, and the Wednesday before a window pane crashed for no apparent reason. He had not thought that too odd until it happened the very next evening. Andrea Burke, a neighbouring farmer, declared that a bone thrown out of the home time and time again had always returned to the house for no explicable reason. Another neighbour, William Cordick, swore that he had seen three flat irons descend the Quinn’s staircase one after another. For almost two months the mystery remained unsolved. Then in March the “ghost” was discovered. Michael Quinn, the eldest son of Mr. Quinn, was arrested by the OPP and charged with the burning down of a barn belonging to Mr. M. McParland. The boy, while being questioned in the arson case, readily admitted that he was the “ghost” of the Quinn ho me. The youth was examined by a Kingston doctor and was found to be in no way insane and the boy subsequently spent time in an Ontario reformatory. The accepted reason, by most, behind the creation of the Burgess “ghost” was that Mrs. Quinn wanted to leave their farm and move but her husband was quite happy there and was unwilling to move. Therefore his wife canvassed the help of the “ghost”. The Quinn family was long gone by 1967 but the farm house, seen here, still stood on a knoll overlooking the district reminding all who remember about the “Burgess Ghost”.
Charles Burgess “Grist Mill” at CPR siding (between The “Mews” and Wool Growers – 2005). Photograph circa 1900-1920. A grain silo can be seen in the background and there are two wagons being drawn by horses. This photo loaned to museum by AB. Hurdis. Taken 1900-1920. The Mill was sold to to Russell Munro and torn down about 1950.
Kenneth Jackson== yes long before the Mews ,a Mr. Munro had a feed store there and a Mr.Stontan Stanzel delivered freight out of the freight shed that used to be there.
I have written about Mr. Burgess of Carleton Place and the artists that painted the walls of our local hotels such as the Mississippi and Queen’s Hotel but the stories increase. Here is what was under the years of wallpaper at the old Burgess house on Lake Ave East.
Some day I hope to be able to see the interior of this home as there are so many stories that I would like to document. Llew Lloyd, a local wallpaper hanger who worked for J. G. Voyce that lived near St. James Anglican Church autographed the wall in the Apt. 3 ktichen in February of 1948. This may have been the time the house was broken down into apartments.
Picture of: J G Voyce painter and paper hanger of Carleton Place— Date is April 17/1916- grandfather of Joann Voyce- photo courtesy of Joann Voyce
The owners found his autograph after they stripped down some layers of wallpaper. There was also a signature of Mr. Voyce from 1916 under 4 layers of wallpaper.
It was popular to paint scenes of the countryside because it was the point of view for most rural folks. The emotional tendencies of that era was reflected in residential wall art and murals in local business establishments like our local Carleton Place hotels.
Since I began writing about the town of Carleton Place last March I have found out all about the cisterns of Carleton Place- now this. What other secrets do we have in town?