Tag Archives: disappearance

Putting History Together — Mr. Mills Disappearance– Alexander Scott

Putting History Together — Mr. Mills Disappearance– Alexander Scott

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada28 Jul 1928, Sat  •  Page 32

I found this article in the Ottawa Citizen and decided I wanted to dig up the story. Did he really disappear?? I found out later there was no way the man could have survived but also found out some neat history about Alexander Scott from Ottawa and documented it.

Alexander Scott Confectioner First Home

62-64 John Street— Alexander Scott Confectioner first home

The Fraser School House reverted to residential use after the school closed in 1844. Photo ca. late 1940’s: City of Ottawa Archives / CA 6201

Present day- Photo from Google

Originally built as a semi-detached workman’s dwelling,this one and one half storey stone dwelling is locatedon Lot 13, John Street in New Edinburgh. It is one ofthe oldest surviving buildings in Ottawa. Built by Thomas McKay, stone mason.

MacKay sold the building in 1848 to Alexander Scott. An early City Directory lists Alexander Scott as a baker and confectioner at Sparks corner of Elgin in Ottawa.

He was also the Captain of the Central Hook & Ladder Company

Thanks to Jaan Kolk

Blair Stannard


Ottawa – 1864 (or fall of 1882) – Scott’s Confectionery and the Russell House Hotel at Elgin and Sparks looking East


Ottawa, July 11, 1866 Alexander Scott, Confectioner, aged 50 years. A native of Perth, Scotland. His obituary states that he came to Ottawa about 28 years ago (1838?) and that he was the first Captain of the Central Hook & Ladder Company (Fire Department) and at the time of his death, he was the senior Alderman of the City Council.

CLIPPED FROMThe Weekly British WhigKingston, Ontario, Canada19 Jul 1866, Thu  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada17 Dec 1866, Mon  •  Page 4

His Wife- Alison McKay Scott

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada14 Sep 1909, Tue  •  Page 12

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada16 May 1866, Wed  •  Page 3

Why Mr. Mills could not survive falling into an ice hole. Hyperthermia would be immediate, but the area was full of sawdust and debris in the water.

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada10 Aug 1872, Sat  •  Page 4

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada12 Oct 1872, Sat  •  Page 4

Timber booms, Nepean Point (& Notre Dame Basillica), Ottawa River, 1872. Arrows point to Queen’s Wharf and Ratte’s Boathouse (in Entrance Bay) respectively, left to right). (Original photo by William Notman – colourized by Ashley Newall))

Ice racing on the Ottawa River, 1902, Topley Studio, Library and Archives Canada, 3387722

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada01 Mar 1958, Sat  •  Page 35

Rideau Falls ca. 1860, with McKay and McKinnon cloth mills in the background, located a block away from the Fraser School House. Photo: Samuel McLaughlin / Library and Archives Canada / C-003853

Clippings and History of past Laundries – Kemptville Merrickville Carleton Place Almonte and Charlie Sing of Sandy Hill

Documenting Stanzel History — Community Comments — Stanzell’s TAXI and the IDEAL Candy Shop

Communicating About History with Humour? — Jim Sharp Comments

I’ve Got a Hex on You — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina –Historic Rabbit Hole Series

Particulars About Pure Spring Ginger Ale — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina Historic Rabbit Hole Series

Mrs. James Lawrie and Her Ginger Beer

What Happened to Sarah Latrace?

What Happened to Sarah Latrace?


Name:James Latrace
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence:Kitley Township
Spouse Name:Eliza (Elizabeth) Counerty
Spouse Age:25
Spouse Gender:Female
Spouse Birth Place:Ontario
Spouse Residence:Kitley Township
Marriage Date:4 Nov 1868
Microfilm Roll:1030059

I had to really dig for this… really dig.. The missing daughter’s name was Sarah

NameSerah Latrace
Birth Date17 Mar 1880
BirthplaceOntario, Canada
Birthplace (Original)Kitley, Leeds, Ontario
Father’s NameJames Latrace
Father’s SexMale
Mother’s NameEliza Conerty
Mother’s SexFemale

She was born in March of 1880 and her mother died in June of 1880– but not in Kitley — In Toronto–and her child Sarah was only a few months. I assume that family came and got the child, or he gave her away as nothing could be found. There was nothing more that could be found about her. Beside her name was just marked deceased. I figure they probably changed her name.

Just a sign of the times sad to say.

Childbirth in much of human history has been a class act. The upper classes were encouraged to reproduce as much as possible, and a woman who was pregnant or recovering from childbirth took time to rest while servants took care of her and the child. The lower classes worked right up to and soon following birth, as they had to work to eat. The upper classes also had the latest medical knowledge at their fingertips, but this wasn’t always such a good thing.

At the beginning of the 20th century, childbirth was attended to naturally without the aid of a hospital or a nurse. Especially in the country where farm houses were isolated from their neighbors, the responsibility of delivering the child fell to the eldest in the family. It was even rare that a midwife would attend. While a family would be tightly united through experiencing such an event, the lack of medical attention frequently led to health and medical complications. For every 1000 live births in 1900, 6-9 women died of pregnancy related complications and approximately 100 infants died before the age of 1 year.

Eliza Latrac

Wife and mother

NameEliza Latrace
Death Date17 Jun 1880
Death PlaceToronto, Ontario, Canada
Death PlaceToronto, York, Ontario, Canada
Death Age38 years
Birth Year (Estimated)1842
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse’s NameJames Latrace


The Disappearance of Lake Tamo

The Disappearance of Frank Bates

The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton Place

Love at Flora Lake in Hull — Disappearing Lakes- Simpson Book Collection

  1. The Boy Who Disappeared From Beckwith–Gordon Taylor
  2. Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives
  3. Whippet– Whippet Good! What Happened to Arthur Milton Gunter?
  4. The Man who Disappeared– Stories of Dr. G. E. Kidd
  5. The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton PlaceThe Man of the Walking Dead of Maberly

Do You Hate Me and My Stetson Hat?

Do You Hate Me and My Stetson Hat?

This story may be true or it may not be true, but as it appeared in The Citizen in 1853, so it is probably true– just like the internet right? It is a good story anyway and is given for what it is worth. If such an excitement as about to be described were to occur today in Walmart would anyone pay attention?

A man from Carleton Place, whose wife mysteriously disappeared, was observed making a circuit of the dry goods houses where she had been in the habit of making purchases. He also wanted to see if she had left any little debts unpaid. This man being somewhat short sighted, mistook a milliner for his wife and begged her to come home again, but the young lady became so terrified that she called for help and presently she was surrounded by a number of the clerks.


They demanded an immediate explanation from the man and elicited the following: “That this woman before them was his lawful wife, that she had left him without just cause or provocation, and he might say because she was treated too well. He also added that his wife had induced him to sell his farm stock, his furniture, and subsequently his house for her special benefit, and to satisfy her whims.

He was no in the poor house so to speak because of her her extravagance, and was bound that she should share his poverty. After relieving himself of this rhetorical rant, he attempted to take the young clerk up in his arms and portage her away. But the clerks interfered, knowing the young lady from her infancy, and ejected the deserted man from the establishment without ceremony.

This done, cold water and other restoratives were applied to the young lady, who had fainted from the shock, and business was resumed in the establishment.

The Barbarity of a Hatpin

The Man who Disappeared– Stories of Dr. G. E. Kidd

The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton Place

The Man of the Walking Dead of Maberly

Unsolved Mysteries — The Almonte Woman Abducted by a UFO (Part 2)

Saturated with UFO activity Lee Cole 1994

My Madonna Material Girl Life Disappeared Yesterday

The Disappearance of Lake Tamo

The Disappearance of Lake Tamo

Lake Tamo emptied itself in 1894. The three mile lake ceased to exist in two hours and the bottom of  the lake became fine farmland. Lake Tamo was about 18 miles north of Buckingham. We say “was” because there is no Lake Tamo now. It might be mentioned there are differences of opinion about the spelling of  Lake Tamo. The name is spelled by the geographers and government map makers, and is called bv most people at Buckingham. But up at Notre Dame de la Saliette (now the City of Buckingham) the people call it Lake Tomas as they say it was named after a man named Tomas or Thomas, who in the pioneer days  who was lost in the woods around its bank and died there.

But leaving the proper spelling aside, the lake had a strange thing happen to it. One day in the midsummer the lake, which was about three miles long and half a mile wide, was going about its business as usual and providing water power for a grist mill, when suddenly the end next the grist mill broke and the water began to pour into Lake St. Amour or Muskrat Lake.

In two hours the lake was drained clean, to the astonishment of the natives. It was the first time such a thing had been heard of.  Today the bottom of Lake Tamo is all farm land, of the richest quality, and a highway crosses it. A stranger crossing the bed of old Lake Tamo would never suspect there had once been a large lake there. The question is what caused Lake Tamo to empty? Are other lakes liable to similarly empty? The Lievre county is largely clay and gravel, making easy travelling and undermining for the underground water that exists everywhere.


During the early morning hours of April 26, 1908, a deadly landslide killed at least 34 people while sending 15 homes into the Lievre River including the residence of then-mayor Camille Lapointe. As the river was blocked by mud and land, a wave was sent into the village damaging or destroying several other structures. The toll could have been larger as a few years before the event the closure of a mine forced over 200 families to leave the village. Other major landslides were recorded in the village, twice in 1900 and in 1912 where several key infrastructures were demolished and swept away. A major fire also destroyed a large section of the village in 1903.

Leda clay landslide, such as the one that killed 34 people in Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, is a strange and frightful natural phenomenon. Carleton University professor emeritus Kenneth Torrance, a soil scientist, says he remains in awe of Leda clay landslides after more than 30 years of studying them. “They are utterly astonishing,” he says. “The material essentially turns liquid and the debris the failed material flows away.”




 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Sep 1929, Sat  •  Page 40

Now You see it, Now You Don’t: The Disappearing and Reappearing of the Tim Horton’s Subterranean

“The Tim Horton’s River” Under my House.. Is That the Way To Fraggle Rock?

Feeling Groovy by the Lake Ave East Bridge

Did You Know we had a %^&* Creek in Carleton Place?

Where Was One of the Open Air Rinks in Carleton Place?




One of the Most Baffling Mysteries of Eastern Canada

This is a story of the tragic and mysterious fate of the 8-year-old son of Thomas McGilton, of Ottawa, who was supposed to have been lost in the stoney swamp west of Bell’s Corners in the year 1870.  Thomas McGilton was a bootmaker, whose store  was on Mosgrove street, a well known and respected citizen.  One day in the early summer of 1870, during some sort of a celebration in Ottawa, his eight-year-old son disappeared.

A search began in Ottawa and as it proved fruitless and was widened to take in the roads out of the city. The only clue was found at Bell’s Corners, where the toll-gate keeper distinctly remembered seeing a few days previously: a boy of his age and appearance pass through the gate and turn up the road toward Richmond. At once a searching party of sympathetic villagers was organized. They travelled as far as Richmond, but neither sight nor sign of the boy could be had.

It occurred to some that the McGilton boy might have wandered into the great stoney swamp a couple of miles southwest of the village. It was decided to scour the swamp, and volunteers were called for. The whole male part of the village and scores of farmers turned out and the searchers kept growing till some fifty men and many boys were in the hunt. The search was kept up for days but without avail. Every bit of the dreary swamp was ransacked, but the boy was not found, nor was there the slightest indication that he had fallen a victim to wild animals of any sort of natives.

As a last resort, someone came to Ottawa and engaged a native woodsman who had a reputation as a guide and trapper. But he was not able to throw any light on the disappearance.  Sadly the searchers returned to their homes and confessed that they were beaten. Then a theory gained credence that the boy bad been picked up by some passing farmer and that he would be later returned to his home.

But whatever the facts of the disappearance were, the boy was never found. This became one of the most mysterious of the unexplained mysteries of Eastern Canada. It should be told that this happening  was just a couple of months prior to the great fire of 1870 which swept Bell’s Corners.


1872 Deaths - from the Ottawa Free Press Thomas McGilton
Oct 19, John George, and on Oct 21, Arthur, the 2 youngest sons of Thomas MCGILTON(?) 
of Mosgrove Street.
Dec 7,  Mary Jane, 24, wife of William John JOYCE and daughter of Thomas MCGILTON.


Clipped from

  1. Memphis Daily Appeal,
  2. 19 Aug 1870, Fri,
  3. First Edition,
  4. Page 1

The great fire of 1870– Leona Kidd
Ten died as flames swept 60-mile swath through Valley
By Kathy McPerson-Fox, Murphy’s Point Provincial Park
Kathy McPerson-Fox, who worked for the Ministry of Natural Resources at Murphy’s Point Park last summer, did a great deal of research through old Perth Couriers to dig out old stories of “The Great Fire”.
The following is an introduction by Kathy as well as stories about the fire written in 1870. During the summer of 1870, as a result of dry weather and high winds, a great fire swept through this region destroying land and property from Westport to Ottawa, a distance of approximately 60 miles.
Bells Corners and Ironsides, near Ottawa were completely devastated. An estimated ten people lost their lives.

The fire travelled along fences, corduroy roads and railway lines. During the peak of the fire in August, 1870, the great portion of the Canada Central Railway Line was on fire, with many station houses lost. North Burgess Township in which Murphy’s Point is situated, was one of the areas hardest hit by the fire. The absence of many softwoods throughout the hardwood stands is one loss that is evident today.

The Stony Swamp Conservation Area offers the greatest diversity of trails and activities, including: interpretive exhibits on geology and natural history; wetland boardwalks; a winter bird-feeding station; historic sites such as the Lime Kiln; and portions of the Rideau and Trans Canada trails.
Trails in the area include:
Bell Park, Bruce Pit, Jack Pine, Lime Kiln and Old Quarry trails.

In Memory of Mrs. Aubrey Ferris — Jennifer E. Ferris

In Memory of Mrs. Aubrey Ferris — Jennifer E. Ferris




Jennifer E Ferris  photos.

These photos are from my dad’s mum when she was young, my Grandma Ferris, with Grandpa Aubrey (who I never got to meet), and posing with my dad as a newborn in 1944 before coming to Canada to stay. Gran was born in Egypt, April 12, 1922 to a British soldier dad and his wife. She met Aubrey Ferris, a Canadian soldier in WW 2, and became a War bride. She came to Canada to stay, about 1946. I have many awesome memories of spending summers with Grandma at her house near St Mary’s, On. 

Today, March 7, 2018 is the 25th Anniversary of her disappearance from her apartment in Burlington, On. We had a memorial a year after, but it’s never quite the same as actually getting to say goodbye, with closure. Gran is still listed as an unsolved case, missing persons in Peel, On.

She was 71 when it happened, and spry and strong. She just disappeared.
In memory of my Grandma, who I see now and then in my dreams, Miss you, love you.

Rest quietly, in peace, wherever you are.
May you be with Aubrey, and also my dad.
It’s hard enough to say goodbye when you know they are gone. The not knowing, has always made this tough to work through.



Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ 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.


The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton Place


Carleton Place, May 23, 1893.

In May of 1893 the second daughter of Carleton Place retailer James Sumner was reported missing in the Almonte Gazette. Bertha left home at approximately 3 pm that day on her way to have tea with Miss Cram, daughter of Mr. W. Cram.

The 18 year-old was last seen knocking on the Cram’s door around 4 pm and later on seen on the bridge watching the steamer being launched. After that Bertha Sumner completely disappeared, and the next day the minister announced her disappearance from the pulpit encouraging everyone to look for her. It was reported that she was last wearing a plaid dress of a gray-greenish color and a black straw hat.


Her Mother became frantic, and so on Monday they closed the Carleton Place High School and the teachers and pupils formed search parties, but they never found her. A week later a man by the name of Thomas Houston found Bertha’s lifeless body lying under a spruce tree near her home where it was said she had committed suicide.

When Constable Wilson appeared on the scene it was reported that a bottle of carbolic acid, a bowl, a note and a glass tube was by her side. The note beside her said that she was sick of life and not to blame anyone for her demise.

Carbolic acid, also known as phenol, would’ve been commonly available as a disinfectant. Highly poisonous, when consumed it caused a horrible reaction of vomiting and purging, delirium, and convulsions. It was a popular method of suicide similar to another young woman’s story I read today. An ounce could be purchased at a drugstore for about fifteen cents.


In June 23rd of the same year in the Perth Courier, and as early as June 16 in the Carleton Place Herald were ads stating the following:

Messrs E. Hutchings and James Sumner of Carleton Place are selling out and intend retiring from business.

How odd that her father chose to close his flourishing business barely a month after the death of his daughter. After doing research in more newspapers it was reported once again that no inquest was made into her death as she was probably suffering from a bout of insanity. It seems that Bertha had suffered from time to time from short bouts of insanity. (PMS?)  The Almonte Gazette suggested maybe one of these spasms of insanity had seized her that particular afternoon.

The note found next to her lifeless body had been written in ink, yet she had transported no pen and ink (let alone a bowl, carbolic acid and a vile) and was on her way to friends. The media and police quickly brushed it aside and said she had probably written the note before she left home.

Her remains were buried in the Dewar cemetery and a large number of sympathizing friends and acquaintances came to graveside. There is no record of her gravestone at Dewar Cemetery.

Historical Notes

Image may contain: drink

A couple little cobalt poisons–

Hoop Skirts and Parasols–Carleton Place

New firm, in Sumner’s stand.  Dry goods, fancy flannel shirtings, hoop skirts, parasols, gloves, veils, gents’ paper collars, ladies’ do., groceries, crockery and glassware, hardware. –Carleton Place Herald

Name Bertha D Sumner
Gender Female
Age 7y
Birth Year 1874
Birthplace Ontario
Ethnicity English
Religion Ch England
Head of Household Name James Sumner
Event Place Carleton Place, Lanark South, Ontario, Canada
District Number 111
Sub-District H
Page Number 46
Family Number 217
Affiliate Film Number C-13233