Tag Archives: drunks

Getting Rid of the Demon Rum- “Flies Flew Drunkenly Away”

Getting Rid of the Demon Rum- “Flies Flew Drunkenly Away”


I haven’t touched a drop of liquor in 48 years, and I’m not going to start now,” he said. But at one time, he admitted, he drank so much whisky he perspired grain alcohol. “When I was a young man out west. I used to be the first person in the bars in the morning and the last on to leave at night.” It got so bad that flies, landing briefly on his person, flew drunkenly away’ after the contact.

His companions were even afraid to light matches near him. “I came to Lanark about 49 years ago with so much alcohol in my system I never thought I’d get it out. But I took the cure from Dr. Frank A. Munroe, and within five weeks I couldn’t even take a shot of scotch, drowned in water. Financed by his mother, he bought the recipe for the cure from Dr. Munroe and started up in business here. Since then, thousands of people have paraded their delirium treatments through his front parlour.

Patients have floated in on an alcoholic cloud, and walked out with their feet treading the narrow path of sobriety. “In 95 per cent, of the cases. I’ve made complete cures,” he said. “A few of the men have slipped, but not many.” Some of his patients vibrated like tuning forks when they started to take the cure. They shook so much. Mr. McKay had to back them up against a wall and tie them with towels to give them a drink. It was hard work, because most of them were trying to lick an army of pink demons and purple dinosaurs at the same time.

“I’ve seen some bad cases.” he admitted, “but the women were the worst. They were terrible.” He shook his head sadly, but didn’t elaborate. While he said drinking is on the increase, his business has fallen off terrifically. Instead of financing a cure, people are spending their money on drink. Twenty years ago he had as many as five or six new patients a day. but now all the drunks do is weave past his door.

In 48 years residence Mr. McKay has found time to do more than just fight Demon Rum. He is also busy in the community. You can’t advertise your own business too much, in the opinion of Mr. McKay. He has personally presented his “Drunkenness Is a Curable Disease” cards to many local town councils of which he said had no interest at all in a cure.

Also read

Drunk and Disorderly in Lanark County

Her Father Was a Local Drunkard

They Tried to Make Me go to Rehab

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

Middleville 1938 and Things

Women Gave Police Lots of Trouble in the 1800s





The Almonte Ladies Barber

Women in Prison 1900s

Women Arrested for Wearing Pants?

Lanark County “Bad Girls”– Bank Street 1873

“Wenches” in Almonte??

How Did Carleton Place Get the Name Cartoon Place? Linda’s Mailbag


Like Uncle Ralph’s Mailbag that I wrote about the other day- I get letters too:)

This is from Steve VanVeit:

Hi Linda you came up in conversation yesterday as we all felt you would know how and when Carleton Place got its nick name “Cartoon Place”

Right LOL…..

I try boys and girls, but I am not even close to the bottomless well of information. But, I do like to solve things. If you saw me over by the Hawthorne Mill the other day I am gathering clues for that floating bridge we had. Or, if you see my Burgundy SUV on some back road going real slow, you had better pass me as I am looking for something like the log house on Scotch Corners or a cemetery. So, after a few days here is what I have got for you Steve.

I did a lot of research online, and at first I thought it was because the Carleton Place Canadian won many yearly news achievements and maybe it had to do with one of their cartoons they used to have. Or did they? Then I wondered if it had anything to do with a famous cartoonist that came to town in 1909.

J. W. Bengough, noted Canadian cartoonist, entertained a Town Hall audience with his skill, making such sketches of local celebrities as Reeve William Pattie at his desk, Dr. J. J. McGregor extracting a horses’ tooth, Arthur Burgess in his automobile, William Miller in a horse deal, and Tom Bolger with his hotel bus at the railway depot.”
But, they were called the funny books in those days, so nope – not that.


First place I went to was the Post Office, and they knew about it, but had no idea why. Sometimes I go see Ms. Krista Lee on Bridge Street for information. Her store Apple Cheeks is ground zero for pop-culture in Carleton Place. She IS Miss Carleton Place as far as I am concerned. Barbara Plunkett was in there too, so I might possibly have some back up information.


Krista agreed with my thoughts that the whole Cartoon Place name began in Almonte, as there has always been a long standing rivalry between the two towns. Krista also thought that the town had been labeled because of all the drama that came out of the hotels. In the old days there was a grove of trees where Valley Paint was on Lake Ave East and people used to sit there and watch the drunks come out of the Mississippi Hotel and fight in the parking lot.


Downtown Carleton Place was hopping then, as you came downtown to cash your cheques at the bank and get your mail. Things got so entertaining she said, that for a few weeks, someone left a couch in the middle of that grove of trees. They all used to sit on it and watch the entertainment across the street. The four corners was a hub of spectator parking similar to when the old Tim Horton’s was open to catch the downtown entertainment coming out from the hotels.

So next stop was Almonte to get a few opinions, and one 75- year-old gentleman who wanted to remain nameless, less someone drive down from Carleton Place to confront him told me the cold hard facts. Carleton Place was the place you came to drink and play craps in the back rooms of some of the Bridge Street stores. You didn’t do that in Almonte! (see the Carleton Place High School drug story) You sure as hell didn’t want your parents finding out, so you did “your business” in Carleton Place. He said there was so much fighting and nonsense going on at the hotels– it was right out of the cartoons. Hence the name Cartoon Place.

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

As Steve VanVeit commented today:  Free admission bring your own popcorn! Only in Carleton Place!



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

A Canadian Drinking Song by the Dropkick Murphys