Tag Archives: Claudia smith

Whatever Happened to the Lanark County Greening Apple?

Whatever Happened to the Lanark County Greening Apple?


From the Perth & District Historical Society–CLICK HERE

Did you know one of the oldest Canadian varieties, known since the 1650s, and widely planted in Canada and the USA. Its main use is in cooking.
Our local mystery this month concerns the Lanark Greening apple, which was developed in Fallbrook, Bathurst Township, and became famous early in this area – and yet there are no known trees remaining here today. Perhaps, the old green apple tree on your property is one?

The Lanark Greening apple was developed by Robert Anderson, at his Fallbrook nursery, located on Concession 8, Lot 21, in Bathurst. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Robert and his son John provided fresh fruit – and fruit tree seedlings, including the Lanark apple – throughout Lanark and Renfrew Counties. The apple is said to have been large, hard, sweet and long-lasting.

In her book, Claudia Smith relates: “The local fruit salesmen (Robert and John) delivered saplings around the countryside, in the spring. They peddled the rootstock for their newly developed apple, the Lanark Greening, from the back of a wagon. This new apple was a fine hard-cooking apple and a ‘a good keeper’. To this day, Lanark Greening apple trees can be found in orchards or gardens near abandoned farm buildings or next to the stone foundations of a log house long fallen through time.”

There were other greening apples on the market in the 1800s, perhaps some of which might also remain on our local properties today. The Rhode Island Greening was the second most popular apple in Ontario orchards, prior to 1875 (later lost market due to disease susceptibility). It was a hardy, crooked tree, with hard, large, round, light green fruit.

Agriculture Canada has not lost the apple – it is listed in their Gene Resources archive as ‘CN 102945 Lanark Greening’. Seedlings for the Lanark are still available, in at least one southern Ontario nursery.

Do you happen to know where a local Lanark Greening apple tree exists?

Thanks to Claudia Smith, for part of this information, from the book ‘Gypsies, Preachers and Big White Bears: One Hundred Years on Country Roads’.

Please email us your thoughts about this mystery: perthhs@gmail.com

  • Barrie and Pat Crampton advise that they have a green apple tree on their property that might be a candidate for the lost Lanark Greening apple. Barrie was the person who raised the question of what had happened to this local apple, examples of which seem to have been lost in our community. Their tree is located in Chaplin Heights, which was part of the Chaplin Dairy farm in Glen Tay (a Bathurst business that served this area for many decades – the story of which we hope to eventually have on our website).
  • Bill Barratt has a tree on his property near McDonalds Corners that is a major producer of a very large, tasty and long-lasting green apple. The apple was said by an orchard owner in Picton to make the best cider he had ever tasted that was not produced by multiple varieties. One source thought it might be a ‘Gibson’ variety which was apparently grown in a McDonalds Corners area.
  • The McFarlane family in north Drummond/North Elmsley Township have a greening apple tree on their property in an old orchard, that produces apples with some of the Lanark Greening characteristics – fairly large, and best when harvested after frost. They also make great pie and crisp, which will probably attract the apple judges.




4 c. green apples cored, peeled and sliced
1 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Combine sliced green apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Place all ingredients in an unbaked pie shell. Add a few dabs of butter. Top with unbaked pie crust. (Be sure to cut slits in top crust to let steam escape.) Bake in preheated 375 degree oven until top crust is a golden brown.


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

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




Hobos, Apple Pie, and the Depression–Tales from 569 South Street




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

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?


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Ye Olde Tea and Concert 1888 in Perth- LCGS Annual Potluck




Perth Courier, Nov. 23, 1888

Ye Olde Time Tea and Concert—This unique entertainment long looked for by tender youth and those of riper age, came off as announced in the “Great Hall” of the town on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, 13th inst.  It was got up by the members of St. Andrew’s Church Mission Band, their objective was to add to their ordinary funds so as to raise $150, the sum required to support one missionary for one season in the Rocky Mountain District of British Columbia.  This amount for this purpose, with the Mission Band, had been guaranteed the Presbytery.


The hall was packed to the door and it was estimated that 500 people had been in the building partaking of the old fashioned cakes, pumpkin pies, etc., and listening to the old time songs and recitations.  A good share of the space in the hall was taken up by 6 tables for the evening meal which lasted from 6:00 until about 8:00, the hostesses and the waiters being kept as active as the little busy bees attending to the relays of guests who thronged the hall and filled the tables as their turn came.  It is no light task feeding 500 people but there was no scarcity of food or drink and when the time came for the concert everybody was ready for it.


Not only had the meal been unique in itself but the costumes of the young ladies were equally so.  Their hair was powdered and their dresses got up to conform with the styles a century ago and many were distinctive in cut and material that would not have been strange to our great grand dames had they been there in the flesh to behold the living panorama of the long ago.  The scene altogether was very pleasing and the large gathering of guests were vastly pleased with the treats passed before their eyes or palate.  The concert at 8:00 comprised songs, glees, etc which were the favorites of the “Olde Folk” in the “Year One” and were sung by the young ladies in powdered hair and 1799 dresses to which was added in the case of one young lady, Miss E. Meighen, a regular “poke” hat and six gentlemen in white whigs and knee breaches.


LCGS Annual Potluck

A very old spinning wheel graced the stage and was operated by Miss Dobbie when singing the old favorite song “Auld Robin Gray”.  Miss Edie Drummond in grandma’s specs and cap, hair white as snow, sang “John Anderson, My Jo” and Miss Lizzie Walker rendered “Miss Barbara Ailan”.  Wee Alick Issett, frae glasen, gave three of four songs and recitations in the broad Scotch and was immensely popular with the audience and various ladies and gents contributed songs and duets, choruses, etc. till about half past 9:00.  Mr. H. Taylor’s “Scots Wlan Han” and “Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep”, bringing out his fine bass voice in its richest style was greatly appreciated by the audience.  Mr. W. J. Pink, mayor, presided and did his part well.  The gross proceeds were about $168 of which the mission band will clear about $130.


Claudia Smith– Author of Barns and Snowdrifts and Sleighbells


Perth Courier, Jan. 4, 1889

Municipal Matters

Mr. Pink retires from the Mayor’s Chair at the close of the present term with the reputation of having served the town to real advantage and having presided over its affairs during his two years stay with no mean share of fitness.  His administration has been characterized with a great deal of common sense and business capacity and as far as a single person could manage it, the town has been the better for his occupancy of the civic chair. There is no doubt a very large number of our very best citizens wished him to stand for a third term and witness as mayor the completion of the Canal extension begun during his term but after some hesitancy himself and unwillingness to launch into a contest which might evoke some bitterness he thought it better to retire and so the town loses for the present the advantage which his shrewdness and solid abilities lent it.  Henry Taylor, another retiring member of the civic board, will be an additional loss to the public administration of the town.  He has shown himself to be level headed and an efficient Councilor and had the best interests of the town in view, therefore ratepayers will look upon his retirement with surprise and regret.  Another good Councilor is lost in the refusal of John McCann to serve longer on the municipal board.  He was always a wide awake and zealous advocate of his ward’s interests and there were times when that section of the town in recent years needed a sturdy advocate.  We are glad that two of our ex-mayors, William Meighen and F.A. Hall have been elected to serve on the Council “on the floor of the House” this year.  Both gentlemen were wise and efficient Councilors in times past and they are none the worse for their lapse for a time into private life.


Mr. George Pink, manager of John Elliott and Son Agricultural Implement Manufacturing Co., London, was in town New Year’s Day staying with his brother W. J. Pink, mayor.

Glen Tay Social 1887 LCGS Potluck




LCGS Potluck

Perth Courier, December 24, 1897


Glen Tay Social

One of the greatest events of some time past and which was in the form of a “social” was held at the little “kirk” on the hill on Tuesday evening, Dec. 21.  The church was crowded to its utmost capacity to listen to the splendid program which was given mostly by the children.  To see such a crowded church in Glen Tay makes one’s heart leap for joy and as some people remarked it brought back very vividly the good old “socials” that used to be held when the woolen factory, the cheese factory, the saw mill, and the grist mill and the tanner were in full operation.  Rev. Mr. Currie of Perth occupied the chair and the choir consisted of some 25 trained children who acquainted themselves splendidly.  The chairman in his happy style made a short and appropriate address after which the choir sang “We Are Marching On”.

Miss Jennie Dodds then recited after which a duet was rendered by two little tots “Jesus Loves Me”.  This duet drew forth loud applause for to see the two little girls one of whom was only three and a half years old, was a real treat.  Master Bertie Menzies recited “Our Christmas”, a solo and chorus followed.  A recitation was given by little Ethel Imeson.  Master W. Collins then followed with a Temperance lecture.  Master Everett Adams recited “Great Men” and the choir sang “Soldier and  Pilgrim.”  Bessie Cuthbertson recited “While I am a Girl”.  Louise Rudsdale, a little tot of three and a half, sang a solo “When He Cometh” which delighted the whole and her sweet little voice being heard to great advantage.


LCGS Potluck


Albert Chaplin recited “Somebody Asked Me”.  Then followed one of the chief features of the program.  Tea, sandwiches, fancy cakes and lots of good things were handed round to the evident enjoyment of all.  After the repast, order was at once restored and James M. Barber recited in great style “Prohibition”, which was exceptionally well rendered, he has a fine voice, well adapted to speaking and if he were to study elocution he would excel as a speaker.  Misses Lean Dodds and Mean Hossie gave a duet “Little Eva” and Laura Jackson recited “The Way That Harrison Does” and a dialogue and chorus followed.  Willie Hossie recited “The Minister’s Wife” which took the audience by storm.  A dialogue was given by Misses Laura Jackson, Jennie Dodds and Maude Wrathall.  The choir sang “God is Love”; James Chaplin gave a recitation and the choir gave another chorus “There’s A Friend For the Little Children”.  Master Ernest Dobbs recited “The Boy Of It” which was well rendered.

The closing chorus “Come To The Saviour” was well rendered by the choir and after the singing of the Doxology the meeting terminated.  It is rumored that some of the older ones may, in the near future, get up one of their old time socials and if they do, there is no doubt but that the church would be crowded as was the case on Tuesday evening.  Great credit is given to the ladies of the village who helped to make this such a success.  The affair realized over $26.00 which goes to the library fund of the Glen Tay Sunday School.


LCGS Potluck


Perth Courier, December 29, 1899.

The prisoners of the Perth gaol enjoyed a royal banquet on  Christmas thanks to the kindness of several of our townspeople.  Sheriff Thompson contributed a fine turkey; Mrs. Young of the Albion Hotel gave a large roast of beef; roast pork came from Messrs. G. & G. Findlay and a nice currant loaf from Mr. W.A. McLaren’s bakery.  Rev. Mr. Muckleston made many contributions for the old ladies in the gaol.

McDonald’s Corners Party 1888-LCGS Potluck


Perth Courier, Dec. 28, 1888

McDonald’s Corners News—The Christmas tree on the 24th was a grand success.  The church was crowded so as to be almost uncomfortable.  A great many could not find seats.  The large evergreen was loaded down with costly presents for the Sunday School Scholars and visitors.  The chair was taken by Mr. Brownlee at 7:00 and the proceedings consisted of readings, recitations, and singing by the young scholars and the choir, Misses Alice and Lizzie Donald playing the organ in a manner which gives credit to themselves and pleasure to the audience.


LCGS Potluck

Mr. McLeish made a very appropriate speech in reference to Miss Minnie Burns, as organist, which she has played in the church for several years and at the close of this speech presented her with a $20 gold piece along with other costly presents which were taken from the tree and given to her by Mr. Brownlee.  Mrs. Kilborn, C. and Katy McLellan, Mrs. S. Burns, Agnes Purdon, Mrs. Knowles and Alice Donald, teachers of the Sunday School, were the recipients of presents from the scholars and their classes.  The Rev. Mr. McAuley also received some fine presents.  Before lunch was served around (which was superb in the extreme) John Playfair, newly arrived from Manitoba, gave a short but stirring speech in regards to that province both temporal and spiritual.  The proceedings then ended by the audience singing hymn 428.  The net amount received at the door was $56.

The Annual LCGS Potluck Luncheon-December 3



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Saturday, December 3 at 12 PM – 4 PM

CENTENNIAL HALL, 152 Church Street Franktown, Ontario 

Guest Speaker: Claudia Smith

Also a Christmas tale by Linda Seccaspina

 If you are fascinated by old barns, or have fond memories of being in a barn, you won’t want to miss Claudia Smith’s presentation of her book: Barns — A Reflection of Changing Times on Saturday, December 3 at the meeting  in the Centennial Hall @ Franktown

 Claudia’s presentation will celebrate and honour the wealth of heritage barns in Lanark County. She will share farm histories and anecdotes collected over the past 25 years, as well as photographs from her book that document the changes in agricultural life over the decades from early settlement to the 1950s. Learn about different barn styles and  how people went about getting a barn constructed, how barns were filled and how they were used on a day-to-day basis from choring, to milking, to getting cows used to the brightness of electric lighting.

Claudia will also have her most recently publication: By Word of MouthSnowdrifts and Sleigh Bells captures the challenges of long ago winters in rural Lanark County and you into seasonal celebrations. This charming book is a collection of winter and Christmas articles written by Claudia, over the last 26 years, for the Lanark Era. She will have both books at the meeting for those who just like to read or need to fill a Christmas Stocking. Remember to put December 3rd on your calendar.

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