Tag Archives: cold storage

Tales from the Almonte Cold Storage 1950

Tales from the Almonte Cold Storage 1950

November 1950

There are 25 deer carcasses at the Almonte Cold Storage now and as far as can be learned, Pete Syme is top man with a buck that weighed 185 lbs. Alf James is the runner-up with a buck weighing 181 lbs. Pete shot his at Long Lake and Alf was hunting above Calabogie. All in all, local hunters seem to have been successful. Harry Sadler shot six which just about looked after his party. It is too early yet to learn the inside story of what went on in all these hunting camps. Maybe someone could match the story of the hunter near Minden, Haliburton, who nosed his car into the bushes along a little-used road and threw an old fur robe over his radiator. After a wide circle in the bush, he saw a black, furry animal. Six shots later he approached the pelt hanging over his radiator, with anti-freeze spraying wildly through the six holes.

Nov 1950– Almonte Gazette

Photo-Amy Thom

Have you read? Cold Storage Plant in Almonte- Meat Locker Trivia

The Family Freezer Locker

Memories..The largely attended funeral service for the late Lester Boyd Jamieson who passed away on Friday, February 14th, 1975, was held on Sunday afternoon, February 16, at Almonte United Church. Mr. Jamieson suffered a heart seizure and passed away a short time later. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Robert McCrea of Almonte United and Rev. Ray Anderson, a former minister of the Almonte Church. Interment was at the Auld Kirk Cemetery. The well-filled church was a fitting tribute to one who had served his church as an elder for some 50 years and as clerk of the session for 35 years. Mr. Jamieson was born in North Dakota on October 23, 1890, and came to Canada as an infant. He was a son of the late Robert Jamieson and his wife, Sarah Dworkin. He received his early education at the school at Hopetown and later learned the art of cheesemaking at Kingston dairy school. He was married at Watson’s Corners in 1912 to the former Mary Euphemia McDougall, and for the next 13 years resided in such places as Perth, Prospect, Malakoff and Clayton, following his trade as a cheesemaker. The following 28 years were spent farming on the farm outside of Almonte where his son Boyd now resides. After moving into Almonte, Mr. Jamieson was for three years in the Registry Office, followed by some time in the Almonte Cold Storage plant. In later years, he worked at refurbishing old furniture at the Pinecraft shop. Besides his wife, Mr. Jamieson is survived by a son, Boyd, of Almonte; two daughters, Mrs. Eileen Russell of Kingston, and Mrs. Beryl Riddell, Cardinal; a brother, William, at Hopetown, and two sisters, Mrs. Clara Miller of Timmins and Mrs. Percy Currie of Radisson, Sask. He was predeceased by a son, Lionel. Pallbearers at the funeral were Ross Craig, Larry Command, Weldon Kropp, Wilbert Monette, and nephews Melville Dowdall and Mac Dowdall.

Cold Storage Plant in Almonte- Meat Locker Trivia

Cold Storage Plant in Almonte- Meat Locker Trivia


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Photo-Tom Edwards–My great aunt and uncle Johnny and Essie Erskine.

Sometime ago I wrote about the Carleton Place meat lockers and someone asked me about the Almonte ones.. Here you go..

The 1950s family home was very different from today. Housework was more difficult, as for example people did their washing by hand, instead of in a machine, and without fridge-freezers food had to be bought daily. It was less common for married women to work and many took on the childcare and housework, while their husbands went to work.

In the mid-1900s, individual families did not have their own freezers to store food and it was custom for rural families to take their meat to the local meat locker as there was no electricity. When they needed meat they would visit their local meat locker and take home just what they needed for a  day or two. In 1946 there were only 6 freezers sold in the country and in 1959 there was a recorded 94 sold.

One of the most important real estate transfers to take place in Almonte for some time was consummated last week when Mr. John L. Erskine purchased the goodwill, assets and building of the Almonte Co-Operative Cold Storage Company. In July of 1943 a limited company was incorporated to conduct a cold storage business in the big stone building formerly owned by the late Wesley West, general merchant. The primary object of the promoters, mostly fur farmers, was to provide feed for their business.

As a side line they installed, 486 lockers for storing perishable foods and this was a great success from the beginning. At the present time all these units are rented and it is proposed to create more of them. Mr. Milton Symington has been the manager of the plant during the years that have passed since its inception. He will be retained in that position and it is understood the new management proposes to adopt a more aggressive
policy and to expand along various lines.
Some two years ago the cold storage people added a wholesale and retail meat department to its other avenues of business. When times return to normal it is said
they will move this shop from the rear of the present building to a new structure which will be built on the vacant lot on their east side.

The Cold Storage plant has an ideal location for business in Almonte being located at the foot of Mill Street.  It has a large yard with horse sheds and other outbuildings.
It is possible to drive through this from Mill Street to Farm Street.

When the Almonte Fur Farmer’s Co-Op, out of which the IGA now operates, went bankrupt in 1947, he bought it. The stone building on the corner of the Heritage Mall parking lot and Mill Street was a cold storage plant, equipped with over 500 lockers in use for storage of meat and government butter supplies. While the purchase was made by Mr. Erskine it is rumored that he may have a few partners in the new enterprise. The reason that the stockholders wished to dispose of the plant was that it was somewhat out of their line as fur farmers and they were satisfied so long as it would be carried on in a way that would assure them a supply of properly refrigerated food for their mink, foxes and chinchillas.


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.

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



The Family Freezer Locker

The Oldest IGA Employee & Other Almonte Memories

The Edwards Erskine Family — Genealogy

Uncle Johnnie Erskine and Stewart Ferguson by Tom Edwards

The Appleton Chinchilla House