Tag Archives: drinking

No Drinking in Delta! Did You Know this About Delta?

No Drinking in Delta! Did You Know this About Delta?

 - Did the Pioneers Drink to Excess? Dr. Schofield...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 14 Jul 1928, Sat,
  3. Page 32

I posted the above newspapers clipping yesterday and folks wanted to know who Dr,.Schofield was.

So who was Dr. Schofield?

In 1828, the temperance movement in Upper Canada got its start in Delta with a 4 hour sermon delivered on June 10, 1828, by Dr. Peter Schofield, an eminent medical doctor, distressed by the impact of drunkenness on society. Dr. Schofield delivered the sermon in the Old Stone Mill, a highlight of which was his rather vivid description of death by ″spontaneous combustion.″ He noted that ″it is well authenticated, that many habitual drinkers of ardent spirits are brought to their end by what is called spontaneous combustion″ and then went on to describe in some detail an event he’d witnessed.

Delta (used to be called Beverly) was the first place for a temperance address in Ontario. About 208 years ago, when the Americans were planning the strategy they figured would land them a sizeable chunk of Upper Canadian real estate. The boys around Delta, Ontario, were mortaring in the last stone of the new grist mill. Two years later when the War of 1812 became official the mill was in full swing action, its great stone grinding the government gift of grain and wheat into pure white flour. The Loyalists had arrived by then and the benevolent Upper Canada government was paying them off for their loyalty to the Crown with three years’ free supply of basic foodstuff.


The grist mill business was a booming enterprise in those days when, with a little government assistance, a man could build a reasonable good mill for around $2,400. Demand was high and it was not uncommon for a man to have to wait in line several days for his turn at the millstone. The government had provided, also us a Loyalist gift, portable steel mills that were hand operated and turned out a rather coarse, unrefined flour. They resembled coffee or pepper grinders and proved unwieldy and of little value. So most, flour demands had to be met by mills like the one at Delta, a small community 20 miles west of Brockville. The American flag never did fly as the conqueror’s banner over Upper Canada but the Delta grist mill still stands where the men of that day gathered to grind and talk of the war. But, Delta was still the first place that marked the first Temperance foundation.


 - but Yan Tso-Lin, from Field as military after...

Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 05 Jun 1928, Tue,
  3. Page 2


Photos from the McRae Family


Photos from the McRae Family

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 and The Tales of Almonte

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Did you Know that Temperance Drinks Are all the Rage Now?

Taverns the Press and the other End of the Valley

Reckless at Ottway Lake



Perth Courier, September 7, 1877

On Saturday last two men, Mr. James Richardson and Mr. James Taylor, both of North Elmsley were out in a rowboat on Ottway Lake about three miles from Perth.  Taylor was rowing and Richardson, who was rather the worse of liquor at the time, was standing up in the bow holding a bottle of liquor in his hand.

While in this position the latter lost his balance and fell overboard and his companion being unable to render him any assistance, poor Richardson was drowned.  The lake at this spot was searched for his remains but at the time of this writing, the body has not been found, though the destroyer of poor Jim—the bottle of whiskey—was picked up floating on the water nearby.

The deceased was a labouring man, hard working when sober, good natured and reckless when inebriated, in which state he was found very often, it turns out.  When will men take warning and society banish the demon of alcohol from its limits.


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

Boomers of Carleton Place










Jack Dawes and Zab Vanderhyden opened up Boomers (Now the Thirsty Moose) in the hopes of offering the community a good eatery and a place for a night of  music and dancing. Vanderhyden worked the morning shift and Dawes covered the evenings.

How did Boomers get their name? Well they hoped it would appeal to baby boomers, but in reality, it was a tribute to old log boomers that once filled this town. Their lunch menu had nothing that was over $5.95 and they also offered a Sunday brunch. There was some speculation that a hot dog cart would soon end up on their patio as an added summer attraction. Did it?


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My granddaugher Sophia wearing Angie Hastie’s vintage Boomers sweatshirt

Does anyone still Have Fun at the Moose?



Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Good Lord, I found this question on a Carleton Place subreddit in a  “Controversial” topic today. Yes boys and girls, I am everywhere, you can’t hide, I will eventually find you.:)


Of course it was right under the question: Is there anywhere in town to get custom zippo lighters? 

The title of the post was:

Does Anyone still have Fun at the Moose in Carleton Place?

The shocking comments made by anonymous posters behind a computer screen were:

1.Or is it just kids %%%&^%$ in the tiny ass bathroom & cougars waiting outside for them like tabby cats in heat?

2.Cause last time I was there… made me want to blow my brains out. WTF happened to the good old’e Moose 😦

3.Depends on the time you go in. I’m in there for lunch at least once a week, and fairly often around 5ish, never have any problems.

What are you talking about??? That sounds like an awesome time!!! After all it’s not your average watering hole.

Welcome to the jungle Carleton Place!



Don’t Forget!!–SUPERBOWL SUNDAY FEBRUARY 7th only at the Thirsty Moose! Be here for the game and you could be the winner of this amazing vintage Molson Canadian fridge!

Your one restaurant for all sports action, great food and great drinks!!

The Thirsty Moose Pub & Eatery's photo.


Related reading:

Before The Moose in Carleton Place There Was—

The Day The Moose in Carleton Place Burned Down

How to Paint “The Moose”



Be Very Proud Carleton Place — Postcards and Booze




I found this postcard today from Longley Auctions–Inventory # 100154– 1899 Mississippi Hotel Carleton Place- Numeral tied by RPO cancel to Buffalo. Nice illustration in green, slightly reduced at right. It is on sale for $45

Yowsers says Linda! Carleton Place is on the map!

In 1883 the hotel was purchased by Walter Mcllquham who doubled the room capacity to 56. Walter’s son, Clyde Mcllquham and his family ran the hotel from 1907-1959 and according to history his son Watty was quite the character and would sell bottles of booze right out of his dad’s hotel bar. Ever so often he would get caught red-handed by the local police and would be sentenced to 30 dollars or 30 days in the Perth jail. Watty didn’t really care for being the cook in the family hotel so he would always choose the 30 days in jail to rest up and avoid working.


I also found this in the Almonte Gazette and had to laugh. Cartoon Place indeed!

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

Ten places?

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Photo by Linda Seccaspina



They Tried to Make Me go to Rehab

They Tried to Make Me go to Rehab

I found this ad the other day in an old Carleton Place newspaper from 1911 in the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum archives and wondered if it was an ad for what I thought it was. Good gracious Miss Molly it was! People did go to rehab.. well of some sorts!  Father Nugent guaranteed three days to cure you! Hail Mary!



The Neil Institute

Tucked in between the Dominion Chalmers United Church and a garage, is an unassuming, two storey home located at 373 Cooper Street. For a brief time, starting in 1910, it housed the The Neil Institute a rehab centre for the Capital’s “respectable” alcoholics.

In his book, “Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in American”, William L. White notes that “business-oriented addiction cures” like those offered by the Neil Institute, became so popular in the late 19th century, “that they developed into what today would be called ‘chains’ or ‘franchises.’

The Neil Institute had eight franchises in Canada including the one in Ottawa. Like it’s main competitor, the well respected Keeley Institute, the Cooper Street location was either owned by a private citizen or some investment group. The head office in Des Moines, Iowa charged owners a one-time fee and collected a percentage of fees billed to patients. It also made money on the sale of it’s three day vegetable medicine.

A High-Class Hotel For Ottawa’s Alcoholics

The Neil Institute was a comfy, cozy kind of a place. An ad that ran in The Ottawa Journal on March 23, 1912 features four large photographs of the interior of 373 Cooper Street with the following comments:

Throughout its twenty-two rooms, the Neal Institute is furnished in the most modern manner. It’s decorations and quietness suggest home. Its service suggests a high-class hotel or club.

Today, looking at this house from the outside, it’s hard to imagine it having 22 private rooms. The advertisements suggested that these rooms were quite large, each equipped with a bed and large dresser with mirror.

In keeping with it’s theme of a “high-class hotel”, the Neal Institute also offered meals tailored to the tastes of individual clients, as well as physicians and male nurses around the clock.

Kick Your “Drink Habit” In Only Three Days!

The Ottawa branch of the Neil Institute boldly proclaimed that anyone could kick their “drink habit” in only three days! The claim was made even more remarkable by the fact that a signed contract was handed to each incoming patient guaranteeing a cure! In the highly unlikely event that a patient didn’t kick the drink habit, E.L. Plumber, the manager of the Institute on Cooper Street, would refund their money.

The Neal ads suggested that treatment was so painless and quick, a businessman could slip away from his office for three days without his absence hardly being noticed!

A Painless Cure

The Neil Institute was fond of emphasizing in their ads that patient’s were not required to inject medicine. One such ad, appearing in The Ottawa Evening Journal on March 23, 1912 stated:

Instead of the use of some metal which is daily injected into the blood of the patient and gradually acts on the tissue cells in such manner as to take the place of the hardening action of alchohol, and too often leaves the patient a wreck, there is employed a substance which directly neutralizes the immediate effect of alcohol, and so in the short period of three days the mucous membrane of the stomach is practically renovated…

Back in the day, any doctor or keen observer reading such an ad, knew this to be a swipe at their main competitor, The Keeley Institute. Patients checking into one of those facilities were subjected to daily injections of a controversial, but popular remedy called the “Double Chloride of Gold”.

Many Painstaking Years Spent Concocting 3 Day Cure For Alcoholism

So, what did Ottawa’s “high class” alcoholics get for what must have been a costly miracle cure? Vegetables.

In 1910, the Boston Evening Transcript revealed that Dr. Benjamin Neal, had spent many “painstaking” years concocting his own “purely vegetable medicine taken only internally…”

It goes on to report that Dr. Neal’s research demonstrated “that the drink habit, instead of being a disease or an inherited affliction, is due to the stored-up poison in the system, coming from the continued and excessive use of alcohol.”

Dr. Neal’s former employer, the Gatlin Institute of Colorado, launched a law suit on September 11, 1910, claiming the three day cure for the “alcohol habit” was stolen from their labs. It sought $100,000 in damages and an injunction preventing the further treatment of patients.

The outcome of this law suit is unknown, but the Neil Institute was still placing ads in major U.S. publications like The Rotatian in 1914 and the outfit at 373 Cooper Street was still in business in 1916.

Think Twice Before Lifting A Glass To Your Lips – Run up to 373 Cooper Street

It was probably not the vegetable concoctions being doled out at 373 Cooper Street that “cured” the alcoholic, but the twin forces of positive and adverse conditioning.

Ads, like the one seen below, admonished the alcoholic to “think twice” about taking a drink.

From an ad in Ottawa Evening Journal, March 23, 1912

Likewise, positive conditioning could be found in the cozy atmosphere of 373 Coopers Street, the camaraderie of fellow addicts and even the doctors who were, in some regards, counselors.

Was the Neal Institute a success? It’s difficult to say. It had a presence in Ottawa for at least six years and possibly longer, but disappeared as early as 1921 when John G. McGuire and his wife Kathleen operated 373 Cooper Street as a rooming house.

July 23, 2014—Categories Architecture–Forgotten Ottawa

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Mar 1913, Thu  •  Page 13
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Oct 1911, Thu  •  Page 11
373 Copper Street Otawa Now

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Mar 1913, Wed  •  Page 5

Related reading

The Lost Brading’s Brewery Railway Tunnel

Life in The House of Industry

Canned Heat — On the Road Again– to Poison Booze 1920s

Are You Sure that Isn’t Fusel Oil?

Did You Know Where Happy Valley was in Carleton Place?

Not Happy in Happy Valley? Head up to the French Line for some Sweet Marie

The Reasoning of the Liquidly Exuberant Wobbly Boots of Carleton Place


I have written a few stories on the drinking festivities in Carleton Place in the 1800’s- but it was like that everywhere. To raise a convivial glass with friends and family neither needed nor waited for any excuse. Most physicians believed alcohol could cure the sick, strengthen the weak, enliven the aged, and generally make the world a better place. They tippled, toasted, sipped, slurped, quaffed, and guzzled from dawn to dark.


Most of the heads of household began the day with a pick-me-up and ended it with a put-me-down. They also might enjoy a midmorning whistle wetter, a luncheon libation, an afternoon accompaniment, and a supper snort. If circumstances allowed, they could ease the day with several rounds at a tavern.

You have to remember that they thought that alcohol was healthful. It kept people warm, aided digestion, and increased strength. They took a shot of whiskey for colic and laryngitis. Hot brandy punch addressed cholera. Rum-soaked cherries helped with a cold. Pregnant women and women in labor received a shot to ease their discomfort. Heck, the British Navy gave their sailors a shot first thing in the morning.


Water, on the other hand, could sometimes make you sick. Even if there was plenty of fresh, unspoiled water, some got sick and sometimes died by drinking from polluted sources until they created piped water supplies. But I tip my glass to them all. If no one drank a lot of these stories I write would have never happened. After all, no great story ever came out of someone eating a salad!

yes2Buy 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

The Drunken Desperados of Carleton Place



I have written how Carleton Place got the name Cartoon Place– and it seems the tales of disorderly conduct go way way back to the beginning of time in our fair town.

The newspapers of Carleton Place in 1870 blamed the increase in drinking and debauchery to the increasing new immigrants arriving in town. The tide of evil was quickly infiltrating the town as the bars were open until all hours. They lamented that the beautiful new places of worship and Christian fellowship were being marred by intoxicating drinks being sold on a Sunday. It was a common sight to see men laying on the sides of the main streets drunk by high noon. Fighting, unlawful weapons and challenging those in authority were high on the list. Then there was the issue of Wild Jack.

John Robinson was known in Carleton Place as Wild Jack because he assaulted a town councilman under the influence.  In August of 1871 he was arrested and fined nine dollars for his terrible deed. The population demanded a lock up so they would feel safer from the low life of the town. Not that that helped if you read my story about Russell Perrin– the one legged bandit in town.

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December 1968

In 1968 a 42-year-old employee of the Carleton Place Liquor Board Control Board was sought by the local police. It had something to do with the disappearance of $2500 from the town’s LCBO outlet. Chief Herb Cornell and Constable George McDonald arrested William McLaren at the Malton International Airport on a charge of theft. A warrant had been issued for McLaren’s arrest on November 18th charging him with theft over $50 from liquor store funds Nov 17. Carleton Place police said the liquor store’s night deposit bag was found in a bank night depository Nov 18. It had been opened and its contents estimated at $2500 were missing. McLaren was deported by American immigration authorities before extradition proceedings began. He was expected to appear in Carleton Place magistrates court that week.

Nothing but desperados under the eaves of Carleton Place– and there is more where this came from.

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

Drinking in the Rain — Hand Me the Booze and Watch Me Get Fabulous— Photos of Carleton Place



Wine’d Around Downtown – Carleton Place –Saturday May 30th, 2015!  It was  a great way to visit local restaurants, sample wines and delicious appetizers too! Sadly Mother Nature didn’t co-operate but no one was complaining. This woman biked from Ottawa to Carleton Place for the event in two hours. When asked why she said,

“It’s just what I do!”

I bow to this woman I really do.


At the Generations Inn kiosk on Bridge Street! Look at those smiles, even with the rain!


Generations Inn serving up the yummies!


One of my favourite pictures. Sandy and friends!


Waterfall Catering serving up the yummies behind Moore House. Yes, the Chamber of Commerce is there but it will always be Moore House to me.


A good pair of legs will get you in anywhere.


Beckwith Butcher over by the town hall.


Penny Foster and friend at Slackoni’s


Rob from Slackoni’s- Love that smile!


The Gastro Pub across the river.


Everyone was nice and dry here at the Gastro Pub


Ballygiblin’s was packed and I had a picture of Derek but he kind of looked like a blowfish. I like Derek and understand bad pictures, trust me, so only Chef Dusty has a copy.:)


Our gal Sherry and friend.


Da Moose!


The incredible delightful ladies of the Moose.


The Queens


Trying to convey words of wisdom at the Queens over the roar of the crowd.


The Queen of the Queens


THIS was what it was all about.:)


Her Father Was a Local Drunkard



Last year I reading old newspapers in the archives of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum trying to find local tidbits. I came across an ad circulated in the local newspapers in 1901. A plea of help had been written by a lady barely 19 about the dilemma of her father. He had become a slave to the drink and was creating chaos within the family unit.

“My father had often promised Mother to stop drinking and would do so for a time and then return to it stronger than ever. One day after a terrible spree he told us he could not stop drinking,” she said.

Their hearts turned to stone with his predicament, and mother and daughter both realized their only solution was to try the tasteless Samaria Prescription which they had read about in the newspapers. They got dear old Dad to consume this potion without his knowledge in his tea, coffee, and food. Either his tastebuds were gone or so was his mind, because only one packet was needed to cure her father of the liquour habit. Miraculously his appetite and zest for life immediately returned for the good.

Fifteen months later dear old Dad remains a sober dear old Dad. The young lady was so elated she requested the elixir company to send her another booklet for her friend whose Mum and Dad were also floating down that same river of sin. Not to fear because the Samaria Remedy Company of Toronto was offering anyone and everyone free samples in plain sealed envelopes and any correspondence was to be sacredly confidential.

In 1915 another advertisement for the miraculous cure was advertised in the Toronto Sunday World and Roy Blanford from Michigan City offered his home address to anyone that was curious to what Samaria did for him, his wife, and his blessed four children. By this time it claimed not only to cure alcoholism, it was also now the end-all cure for nail biting. No word if readers dropped in on Roy to hear how he beat his habit– or even chew the fat about “Equisine”!


In the early 1900s, two scientists theorized that addicts built up antibodies to alcohol when drinking heavily. Emboldened no doubt by the advent of vaccines in various other areas of medicine—Louis Pasteur had invented them 30 years earlier and they were the subject of intense medical study—they created “a vaccine for alcoholism.” They did this by administering alcohol to horses until they became dependent on it, and then injecting their blood into other horses. The scientists’ reports claimed that, after being vaccinated, the second batch of horses would not drink alcohol. This led a San Francisco-based company to attempt to isolate antibodies from the horse blood and apply them to the cut skin of addicts to vaccinate them against further alcoholism. The treatment was ineffective.

This story was from my book “Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers from Carleton Place” available on Amazon and at Wisteria 62 Bridge Street Carleton Place.