Tag Archives: elgin street

The Old Woman Who Walked From Perth?

The Old Woman Who Walked From Perth?



A number of Catholic institutions were clustered around St.Patrick’s Church, a hall, an asylum for the elderly, and an orphans’ home.–Urbsite


Catherine Kelly of Perth was arrested in the 2nd week of May 1898. Why was she arrested? Well, here is her story.


With a faded brown shawl wrapped around her shoulders and wearing a black bonnet and dress Mrs. Catherine Kelly from Perth walked into the Ottawa Police Department that week of May in 1898. With slow steps and a feeble voice the 70 year-old  told the officers that she had walked from Perth to gain admittance to the *St. Patricks Asylum/Home.

The old woman told Constable Joliet after he had found her wandering along Elgin Street that she had walked 100 miles from Perth and it had taken her over a month to complete her journey. She said she collapsed on Richmond Road and a stranger had picked her up and taken her to a nearby farm for nourishment.
Mrs. Kelly’s husband had died 10 years previous and she instantly became penniless and had to live with distant relatives. She grew weary she said of bad treatment and had decided to make her to Ottawa to St. Patricks but they had refused her. The old woman slept in the cell over night and was provided food.

The next day her story began to unravel. Apparently the farmer from Richmond had driven her to Ottawa the day she got picked up on Elgin Street. She did indeed get admitted to St. Patrick’s before but she had made such a disturbance they had asked her to leave.  On fact she had been taken in twice before and left on her own free will.The woman was considered  by the nuns unruly and addicted to the use of bad language.

I don’t know about you but after looking at the St. Patrick’s ‘home’ and everyone abandoning me I might have used bad language too.


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MIKAN no. 3319467 St. Patrick’s Asylum, Ottawa, Ontario. October 1874, Ottawa, Ontario – corner of Maria & Kent Credit: Topley Studio Fonds / Library and Archives Canada / PA-059228




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*St. Patrick’s Orphanage and Asylum was founded in 1865 as “a House of Refuge for the Irish poor.” It was established by an Association of Members of St. Patrick’s Church (Kent St, Ottawa), and was run by the Grey Sisters of the Cross. It housed orphaned children and homeless elderly persons. The original building (corner of Laurier Avenue and Kent St) was torn down years ago, but there is still a St Patrick’s Home in Ottawa (Riverside Drive.



“Dominique, nique, nique s’en allait tout simplement”–The Pembroke Grey Nuns


I am a Laundry Girl

Women in Peril– Betrayed by Heartless Scoundrels 1882

The Home for Friendless Women



Jaan KolkCatherine Kelly was was picked up – described as “helplessly intoxicated” – on May 17, and told her story in court May 20. By her account, she had left Perth a month earlier and only arrived in Ottawa that week, but according to St. Patrick’s Home staff, she had been driven to Ottawa by Mr. Bearman of Bell’s Corners and admitted April 23.
From the Journal, May 23, 1898:
Jaan KolkIn court May 20, Magistrate O’Gara ordered her sent back to Perth.

Tammy Marion
31m  · 

Linda Seccaspina – From the Ottawa Journal – May.23rd,.1898. Something to add to her story
Jaan Kolk
18h  · 

From the Journal, May 20, 1898

Tammy Marion
18m  · 

Linda Seccaspina – I wonder what ever became of her Linda. If she stayed in Perth then, passed there? The Judge ordered that she be sent back to Perth. From the Journal – May.20th. 1898.

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada30 Dec 1896, Wed  •  Page 7

Russell’s Restaurant or Staff from the Russsell Hotel?

Russell’s Restaurant or Staff from the Russsell Hotel?

russell-rest08.jpgWith photo files from Charles Dobie

The photos on this page were found in the same envelope and were purchased at a flea market in Smiths Falls, Ontario, summer of 2004. None of the people are identified, and indeed, the only identification is the “Russell Restaurant” sign. The people standing in front of the restaurant are obviously members of the staff, and the man in the suit (second photo) must be the owner.

The sale of wine and beer in the restaurant surprised me – didn’t Canada have prohibition?

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada07 Apr 1921, Thu  •  Page 9

READ more by clicking the original post link below for new photos added and other things..

So years ago I documented these photos thinking similar to Charles Dobie— it was from Russell, Ontario, but no, it was not from Russell. There was a Russell’s Restaurant from Owen Sound, Ontario but not much else. The more I searched, the more I found nothing and I just let it go until today. I was on Charle’s site last night and it just dawned on me. Because of the era of the uniforms I would document this anywhere from 1915-1925, looking at the styles of the dresses, hair styles and footwear.

So after doing research– I will say that these photos did not come from any restaurant in Owen Sound, but it looks like these might have been taken on Elgin Street at the Russell Hotel ‘Cafeteria’ entrance. Right now I would put my last dollar on it.

With photo files from Charles Dobie

With photo files from Charles Dobie

Lost Ottawa


Postcard from Ottawa, featuring the Russell House hotel that occupied the block of Sparks Street, east of Elgin.

This was Ottawa premier hotel before the Chateau Laurier arrived and took much of the Russell’s business. The hotel was closed in October of 1925, and burned in 1928

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada25 Nov 1922, Sat  •  Page 2

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada10 Mar 1920, Wed  •  Page 4

With photo files from Charles Dobie

Lost Ottawa


Saturday Shopping: Kilt and Brophy, Gent’s Furnishings, at 32 Sparks Street in 1875 — “The Most Fashionable Tailoring Establishment in the City”. Before there were department stores, this is how you got your clothes.

32 Sparks would have been in the Russell Hotel on the stretch of Sparks *east* of the current Elgin, in a block that was demolished (after the obligatory fire) to make way for the War Memorial in 1938-39.

The pic is a bit too low res to see if the gents’ furnishing were on the second floor only. There is what look like a mannequin in the doorway —

(LAC C-002247).

Lost Ottawa


Ad mania continues, with an advert for the Russell House from 1905. Before the Chateau (and before the Russell burned), it was indeed Ottawa’s leading hotel.

Two-fifty to four bucks on the “American Plan.” That meant breakfast lunch and dinner. European plan meant no food at all.

The Russell was in the block *east* of the present end of Sparks. From the Souvenir of the Ottawa Fire Department.

The Russell House Hotel, synonymous with Ottawa and renowned across the country for elegance and fine dining, was eclipsed by the Château Laurier Hotel when that hotel opened for business a short distance away in 1912. By then, the grand old lady had become worn and shabby. In 1923, several thousand dollars was spent upgrading the main entrance and the rotunda, but it was too little too late. By that point, the hotel was rat and cockroach infested.

At noon on 1 October 1925, the hotel closed for good, a victim of rising costs and declining occupancy rates. Paradoxically, bookings during the hotel’s last summer had been strong, with the hotel attracting both tourist and convention business; the Russell was the headquarters of the Dominion Trades & Labour Congress that year. But that was not enough to keep the venerable hotel from closing. On its last night, more than 150 guests were booked into the hotel. They had to take “pot luck” for supper in the cafeteria as food supplies were limited. Today, no trace of the old Russell House Hotel remains, and it was in the location of today’s war memorial. Read more here CLICK

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada22 Sep 1923, Sat  •  Page 5

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada14 Nov 1927, Mon  •  Page 7

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada12 Apr 1928, Thu  •  Page 23 ( cafeteria had closed)

Rat–tling Stories of the Russell Hotel

The Tales of the Klondike Hotel/ Klondike Inn South March Road

Clippings of the Old Albion Hotel

Clippings from the Lord Elgin Hotel — Babysitting and The Iron Curtain

The Oldest Building on Ottawa and Opeongo Line

The Brunswick Hotel — The “dollar-a-day” Huckell Hotel — (Murphy-Gamble Limited)

From Carleton Place to “the Laff” — The Life and Times of Peter Prosser Salter

Charles Dobie just emailed me that it could be possibly be The Russell Hotel in Montreal as it was with a batch that had a Quebec license plate… We shall not rest until this mystery is solved LOLOLOL

Things That Disappear in Carleton Place — Elgin Street and The Queen’s Hotel Sign


Elgin Street?



This morning at about 7 am I found a two page spread about Carleton Place written in 1887 by a Toronto newspaper. It had many illustrations of local architecture and things I had no clue about. It also solved some other mysteries for me–but that’s another story. The Golden Lion was at Bridge and Elgin Street? Where is Elgin Street? When Ted Hurdis doesn’t know, you call in the big guns. Jennfier Fenwick Irwin from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum showed me on the Main Street Map in the Museum where it was.


It was a short street that ended at Victoria Street and it disappeared somewhere in the 40’s. When the obituaries stop quoting a street, you know it’s gone. So which building was the Golden Lion in? That would be the building that is home to Body Graphics Tattoo at 120 Bridge Street. Emily Street was named for Emily Code (1860 – ), daughter of Abraham Code, Textile Manufacturer, M.L.A. Formerly “Elgin” Street between Bridge and Victoria Streets, changed in 1950.


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The Queen’s Hotel Sign?

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Photo–Shane Wm Edwards   #MainStreetCarletonPlace in 2004….

Someone asked me where the sign went for the Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place. Did you know the Mississippi Hotel had one too? Jennifer Fenwick Irwin told me the sign had been put in storage somewhere on Industrial Avenue and like the skids of stone from the Findlay House on High Street— that too has disappeared.


UPDATE: Friday July 10, 2015.


Volundur Wally Thorbjornsson emailed me last night and said:

“It’s no secret,  you can add it to your story if you want. I was so surprised how long it sat with no one interested in owning it, truly a piece of Carleton Place. 
I took it down and Trevor MaCnamee ended up with it. It’s installed at his barn/man cave”. 

Thanks Wally!


Like the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald we can’t our pieces of history disappear. We need to keep tabs on them and make sure they are in good hands.

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

Thanks Amy Chamney for tagging me on this.