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)

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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)



“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.

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.


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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.