Tag Archives: clayton

DUNCAN EGG GRADING Fire — 1956

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DUNCAN EGG GRADING Fire — 1956

May1956

It took only three quarters of an hour for fire to destroy the modern egg grading plant of Hugh Duncan, Clayton Road, Ramsay, on Monday afternoon. It is located about two miles from this town. Flames were seen by an employee at 4.45 and by 5.30 the building of cinder blocks, which was only two years old, had been consumed together with machinery, other equipment and 150 cases of eggs—30 doz. to the case.

It appears that rubbish had been burned in an outside incinerator located some distance away from all the farm buildings. But a high wind was blowing and after it was thought all life was out of the ashes, sparks must have been wafted to the egg grading building.

The Almonte Fire Brigade was sent for by Mr. Duncan, who was at home at the time and it responded with one of its pumpers and the township pumper which is carried with the large one. The town machine used water in its 300 gal. storage tank to thoroughly wet the wall of the house next to the blazing building and thus protect it from the fire.

The smaller machine was hooked on with its sucker in a creek and it helped protect the house although it was apparent little could be done to stem the flames that were consuming the grading station. Furniture was moved out of the house as it looked as if it was doomed. Windows were cracked by the heat. The loss is partially covered by insurance.

Meanwhile, the North Lanark Co-op has placed its egg grading equipment at the disposal of Mr. Duncan to help him out until he gets re-established. Among his customers are the Ontario Hospital at Smiths Falls, the Chateau Laurier, Ottawa and Perrault’s Gardens, Ottawa.

About 6.30 another alarm was received in town for a grass fire in the Burnt Lands, Huntley Twp., a t the top of what is known as the ‘Big Hill’ on Highway 44. This was not menacing any buildings but it was spreading through the dry grass and the scrub bush. It was fairly well under control when the town firemen arrived but they finished it with water from the storage tank on the pumper.

Also Read

The Egg House on the Hill — The Duncans

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

We Didn’t Throw the Eggs said Carleton Place!

Sweetest Man in Lanark County — Harry Toop Honey Maker

Clayton Schoolhouses had No Insulation— Warm Memories

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Clayton Schoolhouses had No Insulation— Warm Memories

Clayton Ontario History

A report card from Clayton School from 1912. Thanks to Allan Bellamy for sharing

In the fall of 1927, he arrived at the one-room schoolhouse as a 20-year-old fresh out of teachers’ college. He had no experience and 42 students spread out over Grades 1 to 8 to teach. “Sometimes I have no idea how I got through it,” Lloyd Sutherland, now 91, of Toronto said yesterday while attending the S.S. 4 Ramsay reunion in the Clayton Community Centre. “It was a lot of work, but I got through it.” By the next year, Mr. Sutherland had moved to a better-paying job in Pakenham in these early days of his 44-year career in education across the province, with a gap of four years when he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.

And even though he spent only one year at the school, Mr. Sutherland says the lessons he learned in the village of Clayton, about 60 kilometres west of . Ottawa on the Indian River, were among the most valuable in his career. “You had to be a master at problem-solving, and you had to be good with , your time,” he said. “There were all those kids and just me. It was some of the hardest work I ever did, but some of the most rewarding, too.”

Clayton Ontario History
April 19 ·
Effie Dunlop and Lloyd Sutherland 1925. Thanks to Fran Cooper for this photo.

Mr. Sutherland was one of about 100 former students, teachers and administrators who attended the reunion at the village community centre. They couldn’t hold it in the schoolhouse because it’s now a private residence. The village of Clayton is a collection of houses, cottages and businesses clustered around the eastern end of Clayton-Taylor Lake. It is rich in Canadian cultural and social history. Much of that history could be found in the two, one-room schoolhouses that made indelible marks on the memories of teachers and young Clayton residents who passed through their doors in more than a century of learning.

The first schoolhouse was built in1849 and a second, slightly larger one was erected in 1876 to cope with a deluge of new students. Now, 29 years after the village closed its last one-room school in 1969, former teachers and students remembered minute details as if only days had passed since their time at each of the two tiny schools. “In the winter, you always hoped you got a seat close to the stove because the further you got away from it, the colder it got and the building wasn’t insulated,” said Rose Mary Sarsfield, who attended one of the schools from 1952 to 1956 before graduating to the high school in Almonte.

Clayton School 1913-1914. Teacher Lottie Blair. If you enlarge, the names are there.–Clayton Ontario History

Many of the memories were sparked by a table with old notebooks, textbooks, a small chalkboard and newspaper clippings about the school. There were also a couple of report cards from 1933. One had straight As, the other was not so good. But what drew the eye were several pictures of children sitting cross-legged in front of a schoolhouse. One, from 1898, was particularly interesting.

Some former Clayton School teachers: Lloyd Sutherland, Sadie Gardiner, Doris Camelon, Evelyn Kettles, Emily Moulton, Dana Featherstone-Clayton Ontario History

Although the children were dressed differently some without shoes, some in waistcoats they looked like any group of schoolchildren today. One rapscallion, all but his head hidden in the back row of students, was even sticking out his tongue at the camera. The pictures spoke of a different time that ended in 1969, when rural one-room schools were closed across the province to make way for a new vision of education housed in larger schools in the larger centres of Ontario communities.

In Ramsay Township, 10 small schools were closed and many students including those from Clayton were bused to nearby Almonte to 1 pursue their education in single grades. It was an unceremonious end to a school that was once the pride of the village. Before the first schoolhouse was built, reading, writing and arithmetic were taught out of private homes. Clayton trustees borrowed $450 a overcrowded ‘ at hefty sum in 1849 to build their village’s first school, a debt that had to be paid back within three years. Soon, the one-room was overcrowded with students.

In 1876, a slightly larger school that measured 28 feet by 38 feet (eight metres by 11 metres) was built beside the original. “It had a cloakroom across the back where we could hang our coats,” remembered Ms. Sarsfield. “And bathrooms. There were two bathrooms at the back, one for girls and one for boys. “There was no running water.” At the smaller school, bathroom breaks were even less high-tech. One side of a bush was an outhouse for girls and the other side was for boys.

The next addition to Clayton’s school system was the hallmark of any rural school from that time period: a bell. In 1886, students, teachers and parents hosted concerts at which they charged 10 cents until they raised enough money to buy a bell. The final cost of the bell is unknown, but it hung at the larger school until closing. The bell now hangs at the front of the Dr. James Naismith School in Almonte, about 10 kilometres east of Clayton. During Clayton’s heydays in the late 1880s, there were some 140 pupils shared almost evenly between the two schoolhouses. The smaller building housed the primary grades and the larger one, the senior grades.

Clayton School 1949–Clayton Ontario History
Front row: Gary Hudson, Clarence Drynan, Louie Ladouceur, Howard Wark, Keith Drynan, Bruce Anderson, Leslie Ladouceur, John Bellamy
2nd row: Dawna Mather, Marion Drynan, Esther Wark, Margaret Godwin, Elizabeth Ladouceur, Anita Murray, Elizabeth Drynan, Isobel Wark
Back row: Russell Wark, Harold Barr, Norma Mather, Anne Rath, Dorothy Craig Reid (Teacher), Shirley Hudson, Alice Murray, Ray Rath
Thanks to Allan Bellamy for the photo and Fran Rathwell for having a copy with the names as confirmed by Dorothy Reid.

Teachers came and went. Their stints generally lasted two or three years. Margaret Bellamy, a longtime resident in the community, figures probably 100 teachers taught in the Clayton schools. “In the start, it was mostly men, but then mostly women by the end,” Mrs. Bellamy said. By the early 1900s, the village population couldn’t sustain a school for primary grades and a second school for senior grades. Down from historic highs, only 60 students attended classes between the two schools. In 1907, the smaller schoolhouse was taken down meticulously piece by piece and moved to Almonte, where it was rebuilt.

Heading into the 1960s, the wave of consolidation began to sweep through the Ottawa Valley as students began moving to larger schools in the region. By 1969 there were perhaps 30 students at Clayton’s remaining school. “Bigger was better, they thought. Truck them all to town and then they’ll all be in single grades. It was a sign of the times, I guess,” *Mrs. Sarsfield said. But for many at the reunion, bigger isn’t better when they reflect on the time they spent at the school. “A lot of people started their education in schools like S.S. 4 Ramsay,” Mr. Sutherland said. “And because they were small, people learned differently. The older students helped teach the younger ones. It gave people more of a sense of community you don’t get in larger schools. “I liked teaching in schools like that, but they’re gone now. Oh well, we’ll just have to remember.” The Fight Over One Room Schools in 1965!

Clayton schoolhouses had no insulation, but students’ recollections are warm arid fuzzy. Jake Rupert and Dawn Walton report.–CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada21 Jun 1998, Sun  •  Page 15

*Rose Mary Sarfield

Rose Mary Sarsfield
 There are still a few copies of my book available for those who haven’t gotten a copy yet, or as a Christmas gift to someone with ties to Clayton. They are available at the Clayton Store, the Mill Street Books or from me. rose@sarsfield.ca

Another House/School that Moved and Move

Norman Paul Talks About the Little Red School House- The Buchanan Scrapbook

So Which One Room School House Became a Pig Barn?

Suspended Teacher —Appleton School 1931 — Miss Annie Neilson

Ladies & Gentlemen- Your School Teachers of Lanark County 1898

School Salaries of 1918

The Fight Over One Room Schools in 1965!

Another Fish Tale- Clayton Lake and the Minnow Can — Fred Blake, Dennis Nolan and George Comba 1934

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Another Fish Tale- Clayton Lake and the Minnow Can — Fred Blake, Dennis Nolan and George Comba 1934

I have a couple of snake stories today found in the Almonte Gazette. Here is one of them.

From the Almonte Gazette July 26th 1934

Two weeks ago it was announced In these columns that Messrs. Fred Blake and Dennis Nolan had gone on a fishing trip to Clayton Lake. It will be recalled that before starting on that famous expedition Mr. Nolan made the dreadful threat he would cut the ends of his moustache unless he broke all fishing records for the season.

Both Mr. Blake and Mr. Nolan are back in town and, as the last mentioned gentleman’s facial adornment is unimpaired his friends have concluded. In notation he caught about all the fish there were to catch. But in jumping at this conclusion people are a trifle hasty. Where these modem Isaak Waltons are concerned it is always well to peer below the surface—to do a little proving as it were. We have done the probing this week and now propose to unfold the results—which are quite interesting— for the benefit of our readers.

In telling a story of this kind it is always well to begin at the beginning. It appears that Mr. George L. Comba kindly agreed to transport Messrs. Blake and Nolan to the scene of their fishing exploits. On their way to the lake they paused for an hour at a convenient creek to stock up with minnows. Plenty of minnows in this junior part of their fishing activities and they were quite successful and soon had their minnow can well filled with bait.

They then proceeded to the foot of the lake where Mr. Comba saw them aboard a motor boat and waved them a tender farewell as they chugged-chugged toward the cottage. As this story hinges largely upon the minnow can —a description of that utensil is in order at this point in the narrative.The can was one of those affairs built with screened sides to allow a free flow of water. Fitted to the top of it was a tin lid such as covers the average kitchen pot but this one had numerous holes punched in it about the size of quarters.

On reaching the fishing grounds the two sportsmen placed the can of minnows in the lake so the bait would be kept alive during the night. Having done that they retired to bed at an early hour with the intention of starting to fish at the crack of dawn. When the first streaks of light appeared on the eastern horizon Messrs. Blake and Nolan leaped out of bed as bright and spry as the crickets that didn’t keep them awake all night.

After taking a preliminary plunge in the lake and vowing that there was nothing like this life in the great open spaces they held a conference on the beach as to whether they should fish first and breakfast afterward or breakfast first, and fish afterward. This weighty problem was finally solved when the anglers came to the logical conclusion it would be foolish to eat bacon for breakfast when the lake was full of fish ready and willing to jump at their hooks. As Mr. Nolan observed on that occasion “Who has a better right to eat the first fish that fall to our rods than those who catch those fish?”

This was unanswerable logic so they straightway seized their trusty gear and headed for the minnow can and the boat. Having shoved the boat into the water and noted that the oars had not disappeared during the night, the anglers reached for the minnow can with that air of calm expectation that is always associated with something dead sure. Like the oars and their hopes the can had not vanished during the night. Up it came in answer to a hefty pull, distributing little streams of water from all its many pores. The anglers then placed It in a larger vessel of water, clambered into the boat and proceeded to the best fishing spot on the lake.

Having reached the desired place they heaved an anchor overboard, lit their pipes and prepared to break all piscatorial records established on Clayton Lake or any other body of water in this section. Leaning over in a leisurely manner Mr. Nolan opened the perforated top of the minnow can and reached into the water for a minnow to bait his hook. As there had been several dozen of these little martyrs to the sportman’s art swimming about in the can the night before he felt he would have no trouble in grabbing one at random. What was his dismay, however, as he felt about in the water to find his fingers clutching nothing but aqua pura. A look of dismay overspread Mr. Nolan’s face and he began to splash about madly with his hand in an effort to capture one of the elusive minnows. Finally his fingers clutched something slimy that slithered away and filled him with an odd feeling of loathing.

Closing the lid he pulled the can out of the water and as it emptied the astounded vision of the two fishermen rested upon the sole denizen of the cage—a large black snake. The dreadful import of the situation rushed upon their minds simultaneously. The snake, they figured had crawled through one of the holes in the lid while the can reposed in the lake, and had devoured all of the minnows. The gluttonous reptile bolted its food in the usual reptilian manner and swelled itself to such proportions that it couldn’t get out of the can.

We will draw a veil over what was said by the disappointed anglers at this stage in their activities. Picking up the broken thread of the story we find them hastening to shore with long, hefty strokes that threatened to break the oars. Having landed on the beach they departed from such a short time before they dumped the snake out of its happy home and killed it. After that they performed an autopsy and recovered the two dozen minnows. The minnows, unlike Jonah, were dead as the proverbial dodo bird but that didn’t hinder the fishermen from trying them out after they had eaten a prosaic breakfast of bacon, and toast washed down with coffee.

Now fish in Clayton Lake are very particular about their food. Dead minnows do not appeal to them at all. The two fishermen soon discovered this fact to their sorrow and though they stuck to the sport with a perseverance worthy of old Walton himself their efforts received but a meagre reward. As they looked at the results of their fishing they bemoaned the fate of the minnows and speculated on how much greater the catch would have been had they used proper bait. Knowing he had not succeeded in breaking the fishing record of the season—-which is probably held by Louis Peterson, W. M. Pimlott cr some other fish-conscious citizen of Almonte—the question of Mr. Nolan’s dreadful resolve arose before his tortured mind like a spectre at the feast.

Tugging thoughtfully at the ends of his moustache, Mr. Nolan paced up and down the beach and resolved that rash bets were the curse of creation He thought of all the expedients fishermen usually think of under such circumstances—buying a bag of fish from some unfortunate but mercenary minded “sportsmen, for instance. At last he reached the manly conclusion that fish stories were out of bounds and that it never pays to deceive anyone.

“We will go back to town and tell the truth,” said he. “By doing that we will shame the devil which is always worth while.” “But how about your bet?” expostulated his companion in misfortune “I am going to disregard that hasty wager,” said Mr. Nolan. “It took me a long time to train up this moustache in the way it should go and I am not going to destroy it because of the hoggish appetite of a snake in Clayton Lake.”

And that is the true story of an eventful fishing expedition that was marred by an unfortunate incident which might never happen again in a hundred years. The lesson for other anglers is this: “If you most punch holes in the top of your minnow can don’t make them large enough for a black snake to crawl through,”

1934 Almonte Gazette page 1

In looking for photos of the lads I came across this page about Fred Blacke from Rose Mary Sarsfield’s book. She also had an account of the fishing trip— “Whispers from the Past, History and Tales of Clayton” — If you want to purchase a book please email at rose@sarsfield.ca or call me at 613-621-9300, or go to the Clayton Store, or Mill Street Books in Almonte

Where Is Clayton Lake?

Clayton Lake is located in Zone 18 (Eastern Ontario) Region, Ontario, Canada. The size of Clayton Lake is 471.2ha (which is equivalent to 1164ac or 4.7sqkm) and the coordinates are 45.1769, -76.3436.

Which Fish Can I Catch At Clayton Lake?

The most popular species caught here are Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, and Smallmouth Bass. Please use your best judgement when determining where you can fish, and make sure you follow local rules and regulations.

What Does Clayton Lake Have?

Our members have marked 5 Hotspots and 1 Boat Launch at Clayton Lake. You can view these markers on the map.

Welcome to Clayton click here..

Muskrats on Clayton Lake 1928

Remembering John Drummond Sr. of Clayton

The Bear in the Middle of Clayton November 1944

Charles McNeil Tanner in Clayton

George Sadler — Clayton Doctor

Do You Remember Yoshiba’s Retreat? Clayton

Clifford Stanley May 4 1933 — Rescued Photos from Clayton Hall

Silas Shane Shoemaker Lanark, Clayton, Almonte

J. Paul’s Store in Clayton –Putting Together a Story — Joseph Paul and Margaret Rath Paul

Remembering John Drummond Sr. of Clayton

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Remembering John Drummond Sr. of Clayton
The sawmill was rebuilt after the great fire at Clayton in 1875 when the mill and all the lumber piled next to it burnt.  1959 was the final recorded year of operation of the saw mill. Photo– 1955.

Almonte Gazette

November 24 1881

Another Ramsay Pioneer Gone to His Rest – On Monday last Mr. John Drummond, of Clayton, passed away to his final rest, at the very advanced age of 87 years. He was born near Stirling, in Scotland in the year 1794, and emigrated thence to the township of Ramsay in 1822, and was thus one of that band of hardy pioneers of whom but few are now living, whose steady perseverance, unceasing industry and strong common sense raised Ramsay to the position it long held as premier township of the county.

As an illustration of the difficulties met with by those men, and the manner in which they were overcome, it may not be amiss to relate the following anecdote of Mr. Drummond: During the summer of 1822 he unfortunately broke his axe, and set out on foot to Perth – 20 miles distant – to buy another. On arriving there he found that the merchants (or merchant) had none in stock, but expected a supply within a week.

This, however, did not suit Mr. Drummond, who started for Brockville , bought his axe and returned home, walking the whole distance! In 1864 he removed to Clayton bought the Bellamy property and rebuilt the mills, but retired from active life, leaving the management of the business to his son, D. Drummond, Esq. late Reeve of Ramsay.

Before the formation of county councils he took an active part in the management of local affairs, but since that time he has always declined public office and manifested little interest in politics beyond voting for and steadily supporting the Reform party at every election for a member of either House. Mr. Drummond was well known as an honest, industrious and straightforward man, and the esteem in which he was held was fully exemplified by the large number who attended his funeral, which took place on Wednesday to the Clayton cemetery.

From Rose Mary Sarsfield’s book

“Whispers from the Past, History and Tales of Clayton” sold out the first printing of 200 copies during the first week. If you want to purchase a book please email me at rose@sarsfield.ca or call me at 613-621-9300, or go to the Clayton Store, or Mill Street Books in Almonte.

Snippets– The Drummond Farm — Aida Drummond

Then and Now Bowland Road-Community Memories of the McIntosh’s–Stuart McIntosh

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Then and Now Bowland Road-Community Memories of the McIntosh’s–Stuart McIntosh

Same place..different times. Approximately 1914..Lillian, Ethel,Dave,Alec and John R. McIntosh.

Photo from Whispers from the Past, History and Tales of Clayton” If you want to purchase a book please email at rose@sarsfield.ca or call at 613-621-9300, or go to the Clayton Store, or Mill Street Books in Almonte.

Approximately late 1970’s…Dave and Alec. The original log house had been covered in board and batten. The wood shed was later removed and used as the sugar camp on what is now Bowland Road.

Clayton Ontario History

March 31, 2018  · Ed and Becky Rath Pelletier, Ethel, Lillian, Alex and Dave McIntosh. Thank you to Stuart McIntosh for sharing.

Clayton Ontario History
November 14, 2017  · 




Again we are looking for help with identification on this group of ladies outside Guthrie United Church in Clayton. They are Mrs. Cochrane, Mrs. Penman, Mrs. Wm. Dunlop, Mrs. John McIntosh, ?, ?, Mrs. Bob Paul, Mrs. Charlie McNeil, Mrs. Rintoul. Thanks to Allan Bellamy and Stuart McIntosh for the photo.


Clayton Ontario History

June 28, 2021  · Writings from the autograph book of Eleanor McIntosh 1934. Thanks to Stuart McIntosh for sharing. Mrs. M. S. Code was Mrs. Matthew S. Code, (Mabel Penman, later married Thos. Price). Mrs. Jimmy Shane was the first Mrs. Shane, Violet Moore. Notice how these ladies signed their names. It was common at the time to go by the husband’s name. Even when I was first married in 1971 my mother used to write to me and address the letters to Mrs. Brian Sarsfield.

Photo from Whispers from the Past, History and Tales of Clayton” If you want to purchase a book please email at rose@sarsfield.ca or call at 613-621-9300, or go to the Clayton Store, or Mill Street Books in Almonte.

Community Memories of the Lorimer’s–Stuart McIntosh

Documenting Ed Pelletier -Photos- Stuart McIntosh

What’s in a Photo — Stuart McIntosh

McIntosh Clan 100 Strong Holds Picnic at Family Homestead 1953

David McIntosh –Front Desk Man at the Mississippi Hotel

Another House/School that Moved and Moved

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Another House/School that Moved and Moved

Photo from Whispers from the Past ( see below)

Mr. Murray Manson can boast of owning the most travelled house in this part of the country at least. Recently he purchased the house from Willard Kellough at Union Hall and Harry Metcalfe moved it with his bulldozer to its present location on the 9th line. But this is not its first trip and we are indebted to our Clayton correspondent, Mrs. Geo. Bolger, for the history of the building. 

It was originally the school house in Clayton Village built in 1866 measuring 22×32 and it stood beside the present school. It was idle for some time and finally Wm. G. Robertson bought it and in those days buildings were torn down and rebuilt. Levi Blair of Pakenham assisted by Geo. Bolgetr took the house down and the materials were drawn by horses to the 3rd line of Ramsay where it was built on a foundation made by Thomas Munro and J. R. Drynan. It made a fine residence. 

Then Mr. Robertson moved to Manitoba and the farm was sold to J. A. Erskine, then to Elvin McKay and recently to Willard Kellough. He sold it to Mr. Manson and it is to be hoped that the poor old school is allowed to rest in peace. In its day as a school, the pupils sat 10 to a bench: there were no black boards and the pupils used slates. The only men in this district who worked on the removal of the school are John R. Drynan and Geo. Bolger. 

Jan 24 1952 Almonte Gazette

Rose Mary Sarsfield

Rose Mary Sarsfield
 There are still a few copies of my book available for those who haven’t gotten a copy yet, or as a Christmas gift to someone with ties to Clayton. They are available at the Clayton Store, the Mill Street Books or from me. rose@sarsfield.ca

The Name of the Man that Moved the Kennedy House

The House that Skated to Carleton Place — Kennedy House

An Update to the Kennedy House — Harold “Ozzie” McNeely

The House on the Cliff and the Old Bridge

The Bear in the Middle of Clayton November 1944

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The Bear in the Middle of Clayton November 1944

In the old days a farmer was liable to find his wagon sitting astride the roof of his barn when the sun came up the morning after Halloween. This entailed more work than the boys would have cared to do in a legitimate cause. Many a young man who shined at hoeing potatoes didn’t mind doing a lot of heavy work in the interests of hilarity. The mysterious occasion—Halloween—passed off quietly in Almonte. The weather was good and the children indulged in the modern pastime of calling on their neighbors looking for treats. Owing to wartime conditions they did not fare so well this time. It was difficult for people to get candies and the old standby—peanuts —were out of the question. 

Those who were fortunate had a store of apples on hand but they were expensive this year and it was impossible for most people to hand them out with the old time prodigality. So far as is known the town was free from the old time tricks—tricks of a destructive nature. In years gone by it was the practice for the town constable to swear in a number of deputies to keep down rowdyism. Nothing like that was necessary on that Saturday night. Chief Wm. Peacock had no trouble coping with the situation because, as it turned out, there was no situation to cope with. The Clayton Bear in Clayton however was one funny incident that people there were still chuckling over. 

A well known practical joker of the village decided he would give the children a scare. In town they were going around visiting the various houses. This young man got under a buffalo robe and walked on all fours down the Road accosting the crowd of youngsters. He growled like a bear and hoped in the darkness he would be mistaken for the real McCoy. The boys and girls listened to the ferocious grunts emanating from under the buffalo robe and then they got wise. 

Arming themselves with sticks and stones they chased the bear off the road helping him along by applying kicks to that part of the robe under which they surmised a certain part of his anatomy showed. The growls of the bear changed to genuine howls of pain as the robe and its contents sought safety in flight. It is said one of the sad experiences of the bear was that his forepaws passed over a spot where cows had recently mooched along in their homeward journey with consequences that can better be imagined than described. 

And that wasn’t all. A vicious dog decided to take a hand in the game. That was the last straw so far as Bruin was concerned. He suddenly emerged from under the robe and the last seen of him he was going over a fence with more speed than any bear ever could display. 

Taking it generally the war had its effect on the observance of Halloween this year. There were fewer entertainments on that night than of yore and in the towns the absence of young people in the armed forces and in positions -which made it necessary for them to Jive, in the city was painfully apparent. 

Photos from

Rose Mary Sarsfield

 There are still a few copies of my book available for those who haven’t gotten a copy yet, or as a Christmas gift to someone with ties to Clayton. They are available at the Clayton Store, the Mill Street Books or from me. rose@sarsfield.ca

This is Ramsay –History of 1993

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This is Ramsay –History of 1993

John Ibbitson Citizen staff writer

No one would want to spend a glorious spring Saturday cooped in a church hall debating planning issues. So the 70-odd people who gathered at Almonte United Church to tussle with the question of Ramsay township’s future may all have been a little mad. But then, the people of Ramsay Township care about the place. And Ramsay Township must soon choose its fate: to preserve itself, or let itself be transformed into a suburb.

It is an old township. People started coming here in the 1820s; people still live in houses built more than a century ago. Part of the land valley farmland: fairly flat, criss-crossed with concession roads, dotted with farmhouses and barns. The rest to the west is Shield: the roads meander over hills and around rocks and through the maple bushes that are the only crop. It is a place of split rail fences, dirt roads, stone houses; of tiny villages created around the grist and saw mills that once exploited the rivers but now have vanished or are in ruins; of families that go back seven generations and remember all of it.

It is also a place of ranch-style bungalows that look as though they were plucked from Barrhaven and tossed, haphazard, onto the protesting landscape. It is the place of Greystone Estates, Mississippi Golf Estates, Hillcrest, Carlgate, Ramsay Meadows suburban subdivisions of monstrous homes on big lots. There’s no place in Ramsay township that’s more than an hour’s drive from downtown Ottawa, and that fact has started to sink in.

“If you have a house going up here, a house going up there, that’s one thing,” protests Clarence Gemmill, who has run the Gemmill’s General Store in Clayton with his wife Betty for nearly 19 years. “But you get these subdivisions, they’re different. People are just there to sleep between trips to the city.” Ramsay Township, like so many within driving distance of Ottawa, is in danger of losing its identity as a rural Valley place, and turning into something of which only ; a Nepean politician would be proud.

The township needs to update its official plan. Two years ago, a planner hired by the township proposed a new plan at a public meeting. There was so much anger and criticism that the township council promptly scrapped the plan and started again. “It was presented as ‘Here’s what we’re going to do to you,’ ” remembers Cliff Bennett, one of the organizers of the Saturday meeting. ” ‘Over our dead bodies.”

People were angry, not so much with what the planner had planned, but that no one had asked them what they wanted. So now there are committees, and subcommittees of committees, and there are forums and discussion papers and polls and presentations. ; “You’ll have as much public participation as any municipality in the area,” promises Ben James, a township councillor. This time the people are going to be heard. Some people at the planning seminar talked about ending strip development single houses on lots along the concession roads. Some talked about clustering houses together, off the road and out of sight to protect the natural look of the place.

Some talked about imposing rules on what houses should look like. Julian Smith, a heritage architect who lives in Appleton and works in Ottawa, pleaded for a re-thinking of the planning philosophy. Forget about zoning, he argued: Forget about densities and land uses. Simply apply this rule: “Any development should be shown to improve what’s around it.” But little of what the group proposed sat well with Brian Keller. Keller is a truck driver who lives in Clayton. He came to the workshop because “I wanted to see that it was more of a full consensus of the whole population.” Everyone was going on about housing clusters and setbacks and protecting this environment and that environment.

“They’re all typical city ideas, that people are saying can work rurally,” said Keller, dismissively. The last thing he thinks Ramsay needs is more restrictions on the rights of property owners. His wife’s father has been trying to sever his farmland for years, so the children will have a place to live. But the township won’t let him. “He told me, I can’t give my land to my own family. I’ve got to wait for a politician to tell me.’ ” Councillor James understands Keller’s concerns. “Over the past hundred years, individual landowners have had autonomy in what they do with their land. And you don’t want to curtail that too much. You have to let people do what they think is best, within certain limits.” But if some people want to see controls on development, and others want to protect the rights of property owners, can there be any real hope for consensus? “Not likely,” James acknowledges. “Not in total.”

The Duncan family has been farming on the Ninth Concession since 1821. But no more. There isn’t any money in it, and the latest batch of kids are pursuing different careers. The Duncan home, built in 1870, is being turned into a bed-and-breakfast. But Don Duncan doesn’t feel like offering any heart-in-the-throat eulogy to a dying way of life. “The Ramsay township of the past doesn’t have any future. The question is, what kind of future will there be?” The township council hopes to have its new official plan by 1994, maybe 1995. There will be more meetings and more presentations and more groping toward consensus. Three new subdivisions were recently approved.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada12 Apr 1993, Mon  •  Page 17

Ramsay W.I. Tweedsmuir History Book 1—SOME EARLY RAMSAY HISTORY

Stories of Ramsay Township– Leckies Corner’s – James Templeton Daughter’s 1931

Conversations with Brian McArton– Henry Wilson of Carleton Place and the McArtons of Ramsay

A Trip Along the Ramsay Sixth Line –W.J. Burns

Charles McNeil Tanner in Clayton

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Charles McNeil Tanner in Clayton
Photo from-Almonte Gazette Fake News- Rosemary Sarsfield Sets it Straight

On Thursday, November 13, death claimed one of the oldest and most esteemed citizens of the village of Clayton, in the person of Mr. Charles McNeil, aged 87 years. He was the eldest son of George and Jane McNeil of Arbroath, Scotland, and was born in the year 1813. He came to Canada with his parents when he was a lad of 12 years of age. They settled in Quebec for some years, later moving to Renfrew where Mr. McNeil received his education. During his early manhood years he went to Kingston where he learned the trade of a tanner and currier. At the age of 21, he with his parents came to Clayton and purchased the property on which he resided during the remainder of his life, from the Jno. Sutherland, of Union Hall. –Almonte Gazette, 1930

From Rosemary’s book-Almonte Gazette Fake News- Rosemary Sarsfield Sets it Straight

George McNeil bought the Tannery property on 2879 Tatlock Road from John Sutherland Sr on June 4, 1866 and was a widower. In the 1871 census it states he was born in Scotland as was his son Charles , age 27. Charles was also a tanner and this was a long established business by the McNeil famil in Clayton. By 1882 only Charles is listed as George is now an elder in his 70s. Charles advertised The Tannery for sale in 1882 which included 2 acres of land. For some reason the Tannery was never sold and the McNeil family lived on the property until the 1950s.

Charles’s wife’s name was Anne and they had 10 children: George, Archibald, William, Thomas, Charley, Mary, Ann, James, Agnes,and Robertson. By the time Charles died 6 of his children had predeased him. Charles was also heavily involved with the Presbyterian Church involved with the selling of the old one and building of the new one. He was a strong man of temperance and when Union Chirch came he joined it without question. He was secretary treasurer of the Guthrie Unied Church for 27 years and served as the janitor for 52 years. He worked on providing sidewalks along with others for the village of Clayton and was instrumental in securing telephones for the hamlet.

Related reading-

George Sadler — Clayton Doctor

Do You Remember Yoshiba’s Retreat? Clayton

Clifford Stanley May 4 1933 — Rescued Photos from Clayton Hall

Silas Shane Shoemaker Lanark, Clayton, Almonte

J. Paul’s Store in Clayton –Putting Together a Story — Joseph Paul and Margaret Rath Paul

Eldon Ireton Talks About Joe Baye- Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

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Eldon Ireton Talks About Joe Baye- Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

Joe Baye

Joe Baye — Donna Sweeney Lowry

The Legend Of Big Joe Baye — How Much Do You Know?

The Baye’s Of Lanark County

Eldon Ireton

Documenting Eldon Ireton — The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

Innisville Crime — Elwood Ireton of Drummond Centre

Drummond Centre United Church — and The Ireton Brothers 38 Year Reunion–Names Names Names