Tag Archives: bytown or bust

Hogging Buffalo Robes will not be Tolerated on a Stagecoach

'Oh no - a Highwayman!'

‘Oh no – a Highwayman!’


There is certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position, and be bruised in a new place

Washington Irving


If you wanted to a direct line to Kingston by stagecoach you had better get yourself to Brockville, as the main stagecoach line ran from Montreal to Kingston. It was situated on the King’s Highway along the banks of the St. Lawrence where cars whizz by each other these days at death defying speeds.  

You have to remember Morphy’s Falls, Perth, Almonte, Smiths Falls and other small towns  were fairly isolated with the closest large settlement being Brockville. The route to Brockville said some was like a large travelling wolf pack with as many as 200 wagons journeying along the roads each day. The road was narrow because of the trees and swamps, and it was literally more than just a trail through the dense woods.

At first, this was the only land route from Montreal to Kingston and in the winter it  really wasn’t that bad for travelling, but in the summer it was just awful. In low and swampy places round trunks of trees were laid to prevent the wheels sinking into the mire.

In 1837 a local Lanark citizen described his travels as “ A heavy lumbering vehicle reeling and tunblin along pitching like a scow among the breakers of a lake storm.”


Photo- Lanark County by Linda Seccaspina


When a bad spot was reached and had to be passed, travellers were frequently compelled to get off the stagecoach and trudge ankle deep through the mud. The rate possible to travel in stage coaches depended on the elements. In the spring and fall no more than  two miles per hour was all that could be accomplished.

The cost of travelling was three times that of a first class fare charged later on the Grand Trunk Railway. However, stories of great speed on occasions are related to stage coaches depending who it was and how many horses they had. It was customary at one time for the governor of Ontario to proceed up and down the St Lawrence in a large bark canoe rowed by 12 men and followed by another boat in which tents and provisions were carried.


Adherence to the Following Rules Will Insure a Pleasant Trip for All
  1. Abstinence from liquor is requested, but if you must drink, share the bottle. To do otherwise makes you appear selfish and unneighborly.
  2. If ladies are present, gentlemen are urged to forego smoking cigars and pipes as the odor of same is repugnant to the Gentle Sex. Chewing tobacco is permitted, but spit WITH the wind, not against it.
  3. Gentlemen must refrain from the use of rough language in the presence of ladies and children.
  4. Buffalo robes are provided for your comfort during cold weather. Hogging robes will not be tolerated and the offender will be made to ride with the driver.
  5. Don’t snore loudly while sleeping or use your fellow passenger’s shoulder for a pillow; he or she may not understand and friction may result.
  6. Firearms may be kept on your person for use in emergencies. Do not fire them for pleasure or shoot at wild animals as the sound riles the horses.
  7. In the event of runaway horses, remain calm. Leaping from the coach in panic will leave you injured, at the mercy of the elements, hostile Indians and hungry wolves.
  8. Forbidden topics of discussion are stagecoach robberies and Indian uprisings.
  9. Gents guilty of unchivalrous behavior toward lady passengers will be put off the stage. It’s a long walk back. A word to the wise is sufficient.

Historical Note:

The WATT family ran a line from their store to Bytown (see below by Taylor Kennedy).
Other early (1830’s) stage coach lines went from Bytown to Aylmer, Quebec to take people
to the steamboat docks for travel westward up the Ottawa River

Read More on: Bytown or Bust

Also read: The Lanark Heritage Transportation Project- Phase 1


Living In Constant Sorrow in a Lanark Swamp



Mississippi Hotel Beer — Brading’s Beer



Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum Instagram Page

Alan Lewis from Bytown or Bust added this information about the beer bottle from the Mississippi Hotel in Carleton Place.

This beer, Bradings , was brewed in an old brewery near the  downtown of Ottawa. After WWII, most of the beer sold in Ottawa was brewed by Brading’s. I remember seeing many of these bottles when I was young. Brading’s must have been swallowed up by one of the large breweries, maybe Molson’s or Labatt’s. For Chaudiere Falls / Lebreton Flats history see www.bytown.net/chaudiere.htm. … Allan Lewis- Bytown or Bust

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Dec 1942, Thu  •  Page 14

Leo Doyle of the Leland Hotel in Carleton Place –Calling All Doyles


This information was sent to me from Allan Lewis from Bytown or Bust that he has asked me to share. Please visit their site and their Facebook page.

NB–With files from the (Ottawa Branch) Ontario Genealogical Society, and Michael W Doyle 



Al sent me an email this morning about Michael W Doyle in Arizona who is researching the Lanark Doyles. So, I thought this might be of interest to quite a few people in and outside the area.

The notes I have collected include the following about Leo Doyle. Leo G. Patrick (1894-1955) was the last child of Michael J., and he operated the Leland Hotel in Carleton Place.

Doyle was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Carleton Place and lived in the Leland Hotel with Bridget Duggan for the rest of his years after his father died, although there is doubt of any personal relationship between them.

Leo was 22 when his father died and Bridget was 34. Bridget predeceased Leo when she was 69 and is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery beneath a lovely head stone that informs us she was born on June 6th, 1882, at the ‘Leap Enniscorthy Co, Wexford, Ireland’ and died on November 17th, 1951. (In fact, what should probably have been inscribed on the head stone was ” Born at The Leap, Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland”.



There are some interesting stories told about Leo and Bridget and the Leland Hotel. It seems that Carleton Place continued to be dry after the prohibition period of the 30′ s, right through until after WWII. Yet the Leland Hotel continued to operate, serving liquor to the population at large and certainly to the Findlay Foundry workers, who used to come in the back door of the hotel (the Foundry was located on High St., right behind the Leland, which is on Bridge Street). Part of the cost of doing business for Leo and Bridget were the fines they had to pay, and the occasional jail time served for the illegal sale of liquor. The few days ‘time’ would be served by Leo in the Perth jail.


Leo served in the Canadian Army during the war and received a full military funeral when he died. Leonard Doyle, his nephew, who was a pallbearer at the funeral, remembers that it was raining and one of the Honour Guards slipped and very nearly fell in the grave before they got the coffin in, in spite of the fact that Leo was a relatively small man, as the Doyles went.

Leo is also remembered as having worn glasses and keeping his hair slicked straight back, not unlike his nephew, Roundy. The Leland Hotel was sold in an estate sale after Leo’s death to Vic Bennett (who owned a garage on the corner of High and Bridge Sts., and it still stands today, housing  Lanark Conservative Rep Scott Reid on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors.

Carleton Place Historical Notes



This is a photograph of Bell Street heading towards Bridge Street c.1870. The photograph features some of our first hotels in Carleton Place! On Bridge Street facing the camera is the “Waterloo Hotel”, which was built in the late 1830s for innkeepers Robert and James Bell.

Napoleon Lavellee took over in 1846, later renaming it the “Carleton House Hotel” after building a third floor in 1856. He operated until 1870. It was then renamed the “Leland Hotel” by Peter Salter in 1900. Levi Brian then bought the hotel and sold it to Leo Doyloe in 1907.  In 1904 Michael Doyle managed the hotel and his son, Leo, took over in 1916. On the right side of the street is “McCaffrey’s Hotel”, operated by Absolam McCaffrey from 1863 to 1870. Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  11 May 1907, Sat,  Page 20

 - Mr. M. Doyle became proprietor on Friday last...

The Queen Versus Howard –Abduction with an OJ Defense?



Unmarried or widowed single women, such as a sister of the father or mother, sometimes lived with the family like The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton I wrote about. Often grandparents lived with their son or daughter’s family. Sometimes the only way poor families could fend off starvation was for the children to either work or be sent off to another family. Such is the case of young Margaret Moore. If this had happened today Mr. Howard would not have gotten off lightly.


Photo from Pakenham Ontario Pictures

The Queen Versus Howard –Abduction

Perth Courier, March 29, 1872

The prisoner was indicted for the abduction of Margaret Moore, a girl under 14.  The girl some three or four years ago had been placed by her mother in charge of Mr. Howard’s mother to bring up.  The latter died a short time ago and the girl’s sister, who resides in Pakenham, wished to take her sister with her to the States and the girl was given up by Howard to one James McKeon who proposed sending her to her sister.


Howard afterwards went to McKeon’s and got passes of the girl on the plea that he would take her to her sister’s in Pakenham.  Instead of doing so, however, he took her home and refused to give her up.  The judge thought the girl old enough to decide for herself and she was called to take the stand and asked whether she would go back with Howard or go with her sister.  She decided to go with her sister and they settled the case and the prisoner was discharged.

Howard was let off because of complaints of low water in the Mississippi. At Pakenham the factory had been “shut down,’’ and there were whispers of contaminated water. His representatives said he had drank some bad water and it had affected his mind. Was this an OJ Simpson type defense before its time?


Amazing Photos of Pakenham

Information about Pakenham etc. can be found on Bytown or Bust site ot

Bytown or Bust Facebook page

You can read the Perth Courier at Archives Lanark