Tag Archives: chaos

The Notorious Bridget McGee of Perth



From Perth Remembered–*see description below.Lots of snow on Foster Street c. 1880. Foster Street looking West from Gore Street to Wilson Street showing the north side of the street

Perth Courier, October 20, 1871

The “grocery” of Mrs. Bridget McGee near the post office has lately acquired the reputation which may be justly termed “notorious”.  This has been principally owing to the frequency and magnitude of the rows which have during the past fortnight developed themselves around that little nook.  One time, the windows were smashed from within by some missile of war hurled by the fair hand into the window at some rowdies outside; another time the glass was shivered from the outside by excited and indignant prowlers.  Last Sunday evening when people were returning from church, a lighted lame was seen sailing through the window like a falling star from the interior into the river below, aimed at some outside foe.  The damages to the windows are always promptly repaired the next morning.  The hotel de McGee has decidedly a hard name and must be a pleasant neighbor to others in that vicinity.

Perth Courier, August 9, 1872

On show day, a misunderstanding arose between Mrs. Kane, proprietor of a grocery stand at the entrance to the circus grounds, and the well known Mrs. Bridget McGee—the latter being the aggressor.  The affairs had to be finally settled by blows which was speedily done with the aid of a ginger beer bottle by Mrs. Kane.  Mrs. McGee, being expelled from the stand ingloriously,

Perth Courier, August 23, 1872

George Bourke, charges brought by Bridget McGee, fined 20 cents

Michael Bourke, charges brought by Bridget McGee, fined 20 cents

Bridget McGee, charges brought by Eliza Bourke, Jr. and Eliza Bourke, Sr., fined 20 cents

Perth Courier, Feb. 14, 1873

Maurice Enright, charges brought by Bridget McGee, fined $1

Perth Courier, June 11, 1875

Bridget McNee—The irrepressible Mrs. McNee, after raising a row in the streets a short time ago, for which she was sent to the lockup until she sobered up, was shipped off by the Corporation to other parts on Saturday last.  Chief Constable Corry was employed as a shipping agent and accordingly escorted his fair charge as far as Brockville but farther than that Mrs. McNee positively refused to go.  Accordingly, he had no other alternative then to let her stay where she was.  As all her earthly possessions—furniture, clothing, baby, etc., were shipped off with her, her return here is not anticipated for two or three days at least.  Since writing the above, sure enough, Mrs. McNee has got back again bag and baggage, and baby, having been taken with an attack of homesickness which necessitated her early return.

*Foster Street looking West from Gore Street to Wilson Street showing the north side of the street. The horse drawn sleigh/tram is for the Hicks House later the Perth Hotel, John WIlson, Prop., which was one of 7 hotels in Perth around this time between 1898 and 1899. There was the Albion Hotel on the north west corner of Gore and Craig Streets, Jas Young Prop., The Allan House on Cockburn Island, A Robinson, Prop., Barries’ Hotel south east corner of Wilson and D’Arcy Streets, John Wilson, Prop., Jackman House, north of Lock’s Bridge, George Jackman, Prop., Queen’s Hotel, south side of Foster between Wilson and Gore Streets, Frank Lambert, Prop. and the Revere House, south east corner of Foster and Wilson Streets, W.J. Flett, Prop.
In the distance where the Perkins Building is now situated could be Charles and James Gent’s Furnishings. To the right is A. Meighen & Brothers Gent’s Furnishings (men’s clothing). Between 1898 and 1899 other business on Foster Street: Sutherland’s Restaurant would be here on the north side of Foster Street near Gore Street as well as Rudd and Neilson Watchmakers this picture. Dr. R V Fowler’s office would be located on Foster Street. The Perth Expositor Newspaper was on the south east corner of Gore and Foster, C.F. Stone Prop. H T Noonan Grocers south side of Foster near Wilson. James Paterson Grocers south side Foster between Gore and Wilson Streets. Doyles Flour and Feed, Dickenson Brothers Dry Goods and Groceries south side Foster between Gore and Wilson Streets, F.L. Hall Chemists north side Foster Street and A Wilson Boots and Shoes on the north side of Foster.

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

How Did Carleton Place Get the Name Cartoon Place? Linda’s Mailbag


Like Uncle Ralph’s Mailbag that I wrote about the other day- I get letters too:)

This is from Steve VanVeit:

Hi Linda you came up in conversation yesterday as we all felt you would know how and when Carleton Place got its nick name “Cartoon Place”

Right LOL…..

I try boys and girls, but I am not even close to the bottomless well of information. But, I do like to solve things. If you saw me over by the Hawthorne Mill the other day I am gathering clues for that floating bridge we had. Or, if you see my Burgundy SUV on some back road going real slow, you had better pass me as I am looking for something like the log house on Scotch Corners or a cemetery. So, after a few days here is what I have got for you Steve.

I did a lot of research online, and at first I thought it was because the Carleton Place Canadian won many yearly news achievements and maybe it had to do with one of their cartoons they used to have. Or did they? Then I wondered if it had anything to do with a famous cartoonist that came to town in 1909.

J. W. Bengough, noted Canadian cartoonist, entertained a Town Hall audience with his skill, making such sketches of local celebrities as Reeve William Pattie at his desk, Dr. J. J. McGregor extracting a horses’ tooth, Arthur Burgess in his automobile, William Miller in a horse deal, and Tom Bolger with his hotel bus at the railway depot.”
But, they were called the funny books in those days, so nope – not that.


First place I went to was the Post Office, and they knew about it, but had no idea why. Sometimes I go see Ms. Krista Lee on Bridge Street for information. Her store Apple Cheeks is ground zero for pop-culture in Carleton Place. She IS Miss Carleton Place as far as I am concerned. Barbara Plunkett was in there too, so I might possibly have some back up information.


Krista agreed with my thoughts that the whole Cartoon Place name began in Almonte, as there has always been a long standing rivalry between the two towns. Krista also thought that the town had been labeled because of all the drama that came out of the hotels. In the old days there was a grove of trees where Valley Paint was on Lake Ave East and people used to sit there and watch the drunks come out of the Mississippi Hotel and fight in the parking lot.


Downtown Carleton Place was hopping then, as you came downtown to cash your cheques at the bank and get your mail. Things got so entertaining she said, that for a few weeks, someone left a couch in the middle of that grove of trees. They all used to sit on it and watch the entertainment across the street. The four corners was a hub of spectator parking similar to when the old Tim Horton’s was open to catch the downtown entertainment coming out from the hotels.

So next stop was Almonte to get a few opinions, and one 75- year-old gentleman who wanted to remain nameless, less someone drive down from Carleton Place to confront him told me the cold hard facts. Carleton Place was the place you came to drink and play craps in the back rooms of some of the Bridge Street stores. You didn’t do that in Almonte! (see the Carleton Place High School drug story) You sure as hell didn’t want your parents finding out, so you did “your business” in Carleton Place. He said there was so much fighting and nonsense going on at the hotels– it was right out of the cartoons. Hence the name Cartoon Place.

Almonte Gazette April 1897. The town of Carleton Place must be a drouthy lot as it takes ten places licensed to sell liquour to supply their wants

As Steve VanVeit commented today:  Free admission bring your own popcorn! Only in Carleton Place!



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 Canadian Drinking Song by the Dropkick Murphys