Tag Archives: ferguson falls

A Trip to Lanark — June, 1940

A Trip to Lanark — June, 1940

Somehow I got the idea that Lanark was the county town of Lanark county. Since this would be just about the only county town in Ontario that I had never visited (always of course excepting Hali-burton, where even the train goes only three times a week!) I decided it would be just the thing to round out my day if I could make it to Lanark. Here indeed would be terra incognita. So turning my car toward terra incognita, I went out of Carleton Place and turned off at the church.

I struck a road that sometimes was paved, and sometimes was not, till I came to a spot called Ferguson’s Falls. By now the countryside had changed. Gone were the lush acres of Carleton Place. In their place was that undecided sort of country that exists between Brockvllle and Kingston, and west of Perth. It can’t quite make up its mind whether to be agricultural country or not. So you find pockets of good land, interspersed by stretches of picturesque rock lands. These same woods, good for maple syrup in the spring, pasture in the summer, and fuel in the winter, are not to be sneezed at, if you have some arable land as well, but you are out of luck as a farmer if all your land is this way.

Rock Piles CLICK

However, I was not out to sob over the steering wheel about the plight of the farmer who owned a rock pile, but to get on to Lanark town, and ultimately it came into view. I took a couple of squirms, went around a hill or two, and landed plump in front of the Lanark Era. Just about the easiest place to get acquainted, the quickest place to get Information, and the best place to feel at home for any newspaperman is a country newspaper office. Deadlines aren’t the disagreeable things there they are in such fast-moving sheets as The Citizen, and so they generally have time to talk to you.

I sat there and sniffed that lovely smell of a composing room, and plumped myself down to see if I could find out something about Lanark. First and foremost, Lanark produced the great George Mair, whose epic, Tecumseh, is regarded as one of the truly great literary things done by a Canadian. With that I might couple the fact that Managing Editor Robertson of Beaverbrook’s London Daily Express, is an old Lanark boy. So is George Mcllraith, Liberal M.P. for Ottawa West.

In with these important tidings, I would breathlessly add that the chain stores have not yet invaded this delightful place. Lanark today has only a few over 700 people, but it once had more. Its chief support in days gone by was the woollen mill, but this burned down at the end of the last war, or thereabouts. There was no other large industry to replace it, and today the largest payroll in the town is that of the school. Incidentally, I see the Lanark Era of the issue when I was in town said the teachers had resigned, and it was decided to advertise for new ones.

I went south on the road which they said was the bumpiest in Lanark and they misinformed me, for there is a bumpier one in Georgia and in due course I came to the outskirts of Perth. I was told by George Mcllraith that I had missed a most important item outside Perth, and that was the first bank established in Upper Canada. I was back two weeks later, but entering by another road, missed it again.

I might say that I had been through *Perth a good many times by rail, but had no idea it was such a beautiful place. Perth has a pretty park in its midst, and is so laid out, not only to give it real beauty, but to create the impression that the town is really bigger than it is. I have been in the original Perth in Scotland, and both of course, are on the Tay. While doubtless the Caledonian counterpart is more entrancingly located, the Canadian Perth, and Lanark’s county town, does not suffer too much by comparison.

Whoever laid the pavement between Perth and Smiths Falls did a good job, and my own concern was the proximity of a speed cop. Smiths Falls is pretty enough, and seems to change but little. I associate with Smiths Falls all kinds of emotions. I remember, for instance, sitting at a table in the dining room of the main hotel there, and learning that Doc Cook had “discovered” the North Pole. It was also during another momentous meal there that a fellow at the table said that the Mauretanla had just broken the world’s speed record for a steamship.

At a later date, I stopped off at S.F. to see a girl, between trains, and later again, used to drop into the Canadian Pacific station to have a chat with “Tex” Ricard, who went to Queen’s in my day, and later became a railway despatcher. But above all. I remember going down to The Falls one time at the behest of The Citizen to write about vaccination and some of its evils. I went around to all the locations first, and climaxed the day by interviewing a couple of indignant medical officials.

I returned on the last train, charged a heavy dinner up to The Citizen, and then was pleased to hear from Vincent Pask, night city editor, that it was the best story I had written for him up to date. That I had turned in a lot of bad ones I am the first to admit. The trip from Smiths Falls home through a sort of lane of a highway was dull, and I was shocked to see what a small place Franktown is. I was prepared for something better. I bypassed Carleton Place on the way back, and arrived safely at the Island Boulevard traffic circle without incident. Austin F. Cross June 1940

*The first Bank in Perth– read –It Happened in Canada! The Peculiar Captain Leslie Of Perth

 The City Bank was the first bank to establish an agency in Perth, the Hon. Roderick Matheson being agent. He transacted business in his own office, where Matheson & Balderson now are, but finding that his own business required all his attention he gave up the agency, as no other agent was appointed, the office was closed. Then the Commercial Bank opened an agency, with Captain Leslie as Manager. His office was kept in the small stone building, which still stands on the property near the old dwelling house. John A. McLaren now lives in this building. He farmed a little, as well as managed the Bank, and had in his employ an old man by the name of McFarlane, but transacted all his business himself.
           In order to do this, he had a bell put on the building, which was rung if he was wanted while out attending to his farm duties during bank hours, but he had no scruples about keeping people waiting. He was very exact and particular about paying out money, as even in these days, a stranger could not draw money for a cheque unless identified, or accompanied by a friend known to the Manager. He married a lady from Kingston, who was very peculiar. She never went out except to church, and very rarely there, and always dressed in the same ‘good’ clothes from the time she came to Perth until they left. Captain Leslie did not do a very large business, in fact, not enough to pay his salary which was six hundred dollars per year. He only had an ordinary iron box for a safe, which was built in the floor of his private office, the top opening upward from the floor like a trapdoor, so that his business could not have been very extensive.
           In 1856, he handed over the books to Mr. James Bell, who later became the Registrar of South Lanark, and the Bank was removed to his dwelling on Drummomd Street, where Mr. McArthur‘s house now stands. As the Bank quarters were not ready for him, a small brick addition was built for an office, which was pulled down when Mr. McArthur built his present residence.
This was from the LCGS Click here..

A Trip Along the Ramsay Sixth Line –W.J. Burns

Stace Bottema’s Ghostly Trip to Balaclava

A Trip Down the 8th Line in 1970

Trip Advisor 1834- Richmond to Perth is the “Road to Ruin”

Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925

Tips From the Almonte Gazette “Travel Section” 1874


The Rules of the Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place

Ferguson Falls 101 — The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

Ferguson Falls 101 — The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings
With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..
in to Pembroke
It was purchased in 1871 by Peter McVicar and in 1872 Peter McVicar and Richard Haley formed a partnership

and built a mill equipped to run by steam, and oatmeal mill…

Rothwell and Sheppard Genealogy Ferguson Falls

Scoundrels Ruining Ferguson Falls

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 2– Perth Mill

Business Directory for Ferguson Falls 1866

Once A Ribald River Town, Ferguson’s Falls May Be Dying

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

Thomas Hollinger Ferguson Falls Descendants Obituary

Business Directory for Ferguson Falls 1866

Ferguson’s Falls Women’s Institute

Ferguson’s Falls Never Had Any Falls

Have you Ever Seen the Praying Station? The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Have you Ever Seen the Praying Station? The Buchanan Scrapbooks

They say, and I have never seen it there is a little praying station nestled in the trees in Ferguson Falls. Inside there is a statue of the Virgin Mary with her hands folded together. Now anyone might wonder why in the world a station such as this would be out in the middle of nowhere.

Apparently, its history goes back decades and was an important part of Ferguson Falls heritage. At one time the area around Ferguson Falls was Roman Catholic and the St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church was built in 1856, the first church in town in Ferguson Falls. Read-The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

One day a number of people who were outside their homes saw lights shining on a spot along the country road. It was believed by those families to be a sign from heaven and a little praying station and a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was erected in that spot.

For years they would come and pray at that station until one day a thunderstorm split the tree in which the statue stood. The area residents were very upset and one of the families (The Quinns) took the statue home to try and repair it. Mr Quinn was able to put the statue together with exception of her one hand which had to be molded again. This time the statue was painted and put back in her station, which was now placed on a large log fence. Spring and summer flowers would appear and people would stop by and say a little prayer.

UPDATE with thanks

Doris Quinn–A lot of this is not correct. There was a statue there. Not in Ferguson’s Falls but in Quinn Settlement. It was struck by lightening and fixed by a family who lived near the Quinn’s . The Quinn family used it as a place to go and pray. It has not been there for many years.

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

Have you read?

The Preaching Rock of Lanark County

The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

The Mystery of the Masonic Rock – Pakenham

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

Ferguson’s Falls Women’s Institute

Ferguson’s Falls Women’s Institute

Ferguson’s Falls WI

Skit depicting the first meeting highlights 50th

By Inez McCoy

The members of Ferguson’s Falls Women’s Institute took their guest back in time as they celebrated the 50th anniversary of their branch last Wednesday night, May 3.

In Ferguson’s Falls Community Hall, where the first meeting took place, members, Mrs. Elwood (Jennie) Halpenny and Mabel (Mrs. Bill Rothwell), who were present and a third charter member, Mrs. Her McFarlane, Perth, who was unable to be present, but sent best wishes. In 50 years and 521 meetings, Mrs. Halpenny attended 413,  Mrs. Horricks, president said.

          A highlight of the program was the skit depicting the first meeting of the branch in 1928, with present members taking the parts of the charter members present at the first meeting. Mrs. John Hollinger played the part of the first president, her mother-in-law, Mrs. Charles Hollinger. The part of the first secretary, Mrs. Allan Ruttle, was taken by her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Harvey Ruttle.

          Others taking part in the skit were Mrs. Alphonse Badour as Mrs. Louis Badour; Mrs. Roy McEwen as Mrs. James Closs, Mrs. Henry McFarlane as Mrs. Archie Davidson; Mrs. Tom Ireton as Mrs. Elijah Giles; Mrs. Bob McFarlane as Mrs. James Hickey Sr. and Mrs. Elwood Halpenny playing herself.

Mrs. Elmer Couch took the part of Mrs. Ed Haley; Mrs. Allan McFarlane as Mrs. Herb McFarlane; Mrs. Dawson Horricks as Mrs. Thomas A. Rothwell, Mrs. William G. (Bill) Rothwell as herself; Mrs. Sam Rothwell as Mrs. William J. Rothwell and Mrs. Robert McEwen as Mrs. Michael Gray.

Other parts were taken as follows: Mrs. Reg Warren as Mrs. Findlay Ramsbottom; Mrs. Cecil Henderson as Mrs. Hayes Boyd; Mrs. Thorpe Moulton as Mrs. Margaret Stafford; Mrs. Gordon McEwen as Mrs. Ewen McEwen and Mrs. Art McCall took the part of her mother, Mrs. Alex Sheppard.

First Roll Call

“The roll call for that first meeting 50 years ago, was “Who you are, where do you live, your family, and whatever you want to tell us about Yourself”.   

One lady spoke of “ that new magazine Chatelaine”. When she asked her husband for the money to get a subscription, he didn’t think she needed it. However, she used some of her egg money, and took out a subscription. She thought the short skirts shown were ridiculous, and the new dance was undignified. Another member in the skit demonstrated the new dance, the Charleston.

Reporting on the first District Annual meeting shortly after 1928, Mrs. Halpenny, District Director, said the motto for that meeting was ”The value of the Women’s Institute in the community”. There was an exchange of gifts to the value of 25 cents each.

The motto for the first meeting carried out in the skit was “ Variety is the spice of life”. Mrs. Robert McEwen was responsible for the program for that meeting. Mrs. Henry McFarlane sang two numbers, accompanying herself on the autoharp – Dusk and the Shadows are Falling and Memories.


Mrs. Halpenny played a Minuet on the piano. This was followed a skit, a Pioneer Scene, with Tina Hollinger, as the shy boy friend, calling on Elena McCall, under the watchful eyes of Margaret Henderson, as the grandmother.

Edith Moulton  in her recitation, Mrs. Moulton’s Complaint, played the part of the husband who felt himself neglected and deserted, lamenting on everything including the holes in his socks, while his wife attended the Institute. Everyone joined in singing together “The Institute rally Song”.

Stepdancing was enjoyed, with Wendy Couch, July O’Hearn, Debbie McFarlane, Beverley Moulton and Georgette Crosby taking part. Mrs. Gordon McEwen recited “Fifty years in review” – the story of the 50 years of Ferguson’s Falls Women’s Institute.

Mrs. Dorothy Horricks, president, at the beginning of the program told of the founding of the Women’s Institute Branch, at Stoney Creek, Ontario, in February 1897, by Adelaide Hunter Hoodless. The first convention was held at Guelph sometimes called the Royal City.

She traced the 17 branches in South Lanark, to the Ottawa Area, to the Federated Institutes of Ontario, the federated Institutes of Canada and the Associated Countrywomen of the World. She drew attention to the Institute colours of Royal Blue and gold, the colour scheme used in decorating the Hall.      

An In Memoriam service was conducted by Mrs. Halpenny assisted by Margaret Henderson. One minute’s silence was observed. A card of congratulations from Mrs. Herb McFarlane and a letter of best wishes from the District President, Mrs. Garrett conveying her regrets at not being able to attend were read.

Representatives from other Institute branches present for the celebration expressed good wishes and congratulation. Bringing greetings were members from the following branches McDonald’s Corners, Drummond Centre, Bethel-Maberley, Second Line of Drummond, McIlquhams, Port Elmsley, Innisville, Lanark, Balderson, Fallbrook, Zealand, Harper, Clarendon, Snow road, Mississippi Station, Rideau.

At the end of the program, Mrs. Horricks was presented with a silver charm bracelet with one charm bearing her April birthstone and the other engraved “WI 50th”.

Everyone sang, “For she’s a jolly good fellow”.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 May 1938, Mon  •  Page 21

Scoundrels Ruining Ferguson Falls

Rothwell and Sheppard Genealogy Ferguson Falls

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 2– Perth Mill

Business Directory for Ferguson Falls 1866

Once A Ribald River Town, Ferguson’s Falls May Be Dying

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

Thomas Hollinger Ferguson Falls Descendants Obituary

Ferguson’s Falls Never Had Any Falls

Rothwell and Sheppard Genealogy Ferguson Falls

Rothwell and Sheppard Genealogy Ferguson Falls






Thursday, October 2nd, 1952         Mrs. A.M. Sheppard Mourned at Ferguson’s Falls

            The home of Alex M. Sheppard, Ferguson’s Falls, was saddened by the loss of his wife, who died on Sunday, September 21st, after a lingering illness. Deceased, whose maiden name was Eleanor May Rothwell, was born near Ferguson’s Falls, the daughter of Mrs. Rothwell, of Carleton Place, and the late Thomas A. Rothwell. She was married to Mr. Sheppard on August 27th, 1917, and the intervening years were productive of many strong friendships, which will live in memory. She was fond of company and made her visitors feel welcome and at home. In social ways, in business and in church life, she came in contact with many and it is only mete to say that she will long be remembered for her geniality and consideration of others. She was a charter member, and had been made a life member of the Women’s Institute. A member of the Women’s Auxiliary and the Women’s Guild of St. John’s church, and her helping hand will be missed in these organizations. All that medical skill and careful nursing could do was accorded, but it availed naught and death came very peacefully with her family all around her. The funeral on Wednesday was very largely attended with friends from Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston, Renfrew, Arnprior, Pakenham and Ottawa present. Funeral service at the house and church was conducted by the Rev. E. Allsopp. The hymns sung were, “Nearer My God to Thee,” “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,” “Where the Light Forever Shineth,” and “For Ever With the Lord.” The pallbearers were James Sheppard, Robert Sheppard, S. J. Rothwell, 0. E. Rothwell, 0. H. Dezell and John C. Ebbs. She leaves to mourn her loss besides her husband, two daughters, Blanche, of Ottawa; and, Elena, Mrs. Art. McCall, of Boyd’s, and one grandchild, Ruth Eleanor; her aged mother, two brothers, Harold, of Ottawa; William G. of Carleton Place; and one sister, Susie, now in Ottawa. The floral tributes were: a Broken Circle, the family; Pillow; Mabel, Mary K. Sheppard, Mr. and Mrs. 0. H. Dezell, Joan and Robert; Wreaths: mother, Susie, Harold and Gertie, William G. and Mabel; Livingston and family; L.O.L. No. 7, Drummond; Sprays: Mr. and Mrs. Warren Rothwell, Manitoba: Officers and members of St. John’s W. A.; principal and staff members of Lisgar Collegiate:; Mr. and Mrs. William McCall and Ross; Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Woods; Willingdon and Keith Munro; Mr. and Mrs. Hilliard Ebbs and Katherine;  Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Command; John and Harold Steele,  Mr. and Mrs. A. Badour, Hon. G. H. Doucett, Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Graham, Dorothy  Armstrong and Lorraine Berkley; Mildred Stead, Mr. and Mrs. Ted. Duffy, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wilson; Mrs. Ida McEwen; Mr. and Mrs. Roy McEwen; Mr, and Mrs. T. Hansen, Mr. and Mrs. Jack White,  Mrs. Jessie Montgomery, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Ebbs, Thomas and Kate Warren, Lanark and Ramsay Telephone Co., Ferguson’s Falls Women’s Institute; Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Hollinger and family; Thomas Hollinger. Baskets: Mrs. Mary Graham, John Graham and Margaret; Mr. and Mrs. George Graham and family; Mrs. Annie Smith and the Graham family; Mrs. Margaret Sheppard, Margaret,  Robert, Jim and Iva; Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Sheppard, Mr. and Mrs. James Sheppard; Mr. and Mrs. Graham Sheppard; Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Sheppard; Katie and Ella Sheppard, Mr. and Mrs. Roy McEwen; Mr. and Mrs. O. E. Rothwell and family; Mr. and Mrs. Warren Rothwell and Douglas; Mr. and Mrs. Jack Delaine, Mr and Mrs. John James and family, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Rothwell, Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Rothwell and family. Mr. and Mrs. Norman Bowland, Mr. and Mrs. W. Weir, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Bowland and Byron Bowland; The A.M.C. Steno Pool and Duplicating Pool; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Millar, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Emerson, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Patterson, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Drummond, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Cummings, Miss Mary Cummings, Mr. and Mrs. W. Kilfoyle; Mrs. Adelard Chartrand and family; Art. Sheppard, Wilf. Sheppard and Mrs. Mary Grant; Mr and Mrs. Glen Stafford, Mr and Mrs. Bert. Anderson, Mrs. Marie Sheppard, Eleanor Sheppard; the Davidson family; Boyd’s United Church W. A.; Gladys and Harry O’Boyle; Mrs. Scales and Mr. and Mrs. G. Williams; Miss Audrey Chambers; Corsage: Ruth Eleanor McCall.



The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 2– Perth Mill

Business Directory for Ferguson Falls 1866

Once A Ribald River Town, Ferguson’s Falls May Be Dying

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 2– Perth Mill

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 2– Perth Mill


Original letter typed up in 1929 and sent to Andrew Haydon from the journal I purchased.

Perth, Ontario,1929.

The subject of this narrative (Thomas Alfred Code) was born June 9th, 1854 on the banks of the Mississippi in the township of Drummond, Lanark County. He had a varied experience in the early days, principally on the farm being in full charge for our years previous to embarking in business. He received a limited education in the local village school, and spent a winter term at the Grammar school in Perth.

In the year 1876, in his 21st year, Mr. Code rented a small carding mill in Perth. A year later he removed to a  small building on Mill Street owned by the Hon. John Haggart.

Owing to the ever changing conditions in the local custom trade, it was deemed necessary to make some shift to keep step with the times. The people were gradually changing from the homespun to the factory-made article.

As the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway was in contemplation, a railway contractor, the late Mr. Hugh Ryan suggested that there was an opening for the knitted goods: Mitts, socks etc. This was adopted without any previous knowledge of the art. About the year 1880 the plant was removed to the present location, and the knitting has continued up to the present time.

In the year 1897 the Gemill Mill was taken over by the Perth Woollen Company, the principals being the Hon. John Haggart, Geo.D. Ross from Montreal, and Mr. Code. After a few years of indifferent success making tweeds, flannels, etc. a plant was installed for manufacturing pressed felts, and continued to make a limited range until the year 1920. At this time the holdings of the Hon. John Haggart and Mr. George D. Ross were taken over by Mr. Code. The Perth Felt Co. Limited and the Tay Knitting Mill were then re-incorporated and operated as one, under the name of the Code Felt & Knitting Co. Ltd.


Screenshot 2018-03-11 at 14.jpg


An addition was then added for the manufacture of fine piece felts, which greatly enlarged the field for the company’s product. The mills are managed jointly by Wellington Douglas and Allan L. Code. The former has had a life-long practical experience in every department of the mill. The latter served in the Royal Flying Corps in France. He has since taken a course at the Lowell Textile School, and has applied his time to the development of the mills.

Mr. Code, the founder is spending his fifty- third year in harness without interruption,– a feat equalled by few.

Thomas Alfred Code

This poem was on the other side of the page opposite the narrative from Thomas Alfred Code





Photo- Perth Remembered


The first industrial process on the site was operated by the Kilpatrick family beginning in 1842 and established as a tannery shortly thereafter.  In 1882 a new owner, Thomas Alfred Code, established Codes Custom Wool Mill with a range of processes, including: carding, spinning, fulling, shearing, pressing, and coloring of yarns. In 1896, its name was changed to the Tay Knitting Mill, and it produced yarn, hosiery, socks, gloves, sporting-goods, sweaters, and mitts. Another change came in 1899, when a felt-making process was introduced and the mill was renamed Code Felt. The company continued to operate until the closing of the factory in 1998.


51 Herriott – The Code Mill is actually a collage of five different buildings dating from 1842. T.A. Code moved to Perth in 1876, and bought this property by 1883. Code spent 60 years in business in Perth. The business started with a contract to supply the North West Mounted Police with socks, and continued for many years manufacturing felt for both industrial and commercial uses.

Code Felt Co today– Click here..


Screenshot 2018-03-08 at 14.jpg

In the 1883, Mr. T. A. Code established Codes Custom Wool Mill with a range of processes, including:  carding, spinning, fulling, shearing, pressing, and coloring of yarns. In 1896, its name was changed to the  Tay Knitting Mill, and it produced yarn, hosiery, socks, gloves, sporting-goods, sweaters, and mitts.  Another change came in 1899, when a felt-making process was introduced and the mill was renamed  Code Felt. The company continued to operate until the closing of the factory in 1998. The following year, John Stewart began a major restoration and introduced new uses for this landmark. This impressive limestone complex with its central atrium now has an interesting mix of commercial tenants.-Perth Remembered


How did I get this?

I purchased this journal online from a dealer in California. I made every attempt to make sure the journal came back to its rightful location. Every day I will be  putting up a new page so its contents are available to anyone. It is a well worn journal full of glued letters and newspaper clippings which I think belonged to Code’s son Allan at one point. Yes there is lots of genealogy in this journal. I am going to document it page by page. This journal was all handwritten and hand typed.

How did it get into the United States?  The book definitely belonged to Allan Code and he died in Ohio in 1969.

Allan Leslie Code

1896–1969 — BIRTH 27 MAR 1896  Ontario—DEATH JUN 1969  Mentor, Lake, Ohio, USA


Andrew Haydon.jpgAndrew Haydon- see bio below–He was the author of Pioneer Sketches of The District of Bathurst (Lanark and Renfrew Counties, Ontario) (The Ryerson Press, 1925) and Mackenzie King and the Liberal Party (Allen, 1930).


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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)



The Original Thomas Alfred Code and Andrew Haydon Letters – —Part 1

What Went Wrong with the Code Mill Fire in Innisville?

Business Directory for Ferguson Falls 1866



From Fuller’s Directory for 1866 and 1867
A small post village situated in the Township of Drummond, and County of Lanark, South Riding. It possesses a good water privilege — that supplied by the River Mississippi, on which it is built. It contains one Roman Catholic Church. Distant from Perth, the County Town, 12 miles. Population, 130. Bennett, Edward, blacksmith Blair, C. C., carpenter Blair, Robert, miller Gomersell, George, tanner and farmer ferquson’s falls — watson’s cor. — bennie’s cor. 85 Hicks, Robert, general merchant Hollinger, Charles, hotel keeper McCaffy, J ames, carpenter Stafford, John, boot and shoe maker Sulivan, Edward, boot and shoe maker WATSON’S CO RNERS. A small post village situated in the Township of Dalhousie, and County of Lanark. It has one Free Church, and contains a population of about 75, and is distant from Perth, the County Town, 18 miles, Barrie, Agnes, Mrs., hotel keeper Barrie, James, boot and shoe maker Craig, John, cooper Ford, William, blacksmith Harrow, Charles, cooper Munroe, A., M. D., dealer in dry goods and groceries Park, Alexander, millwright Park, James, millwright Park, William carpenter Purdon, Alexander, blacksmith Purdon, J ames, postmaster, carriage maker, dealer in dry goods, groceries, &c Scott, Jane, Mrs., hotel keeper BENNIE’S CO RNERS. A small post village in the Township of Ramsay, and County of Lanark. It has a water privilege. Distant from Perth, the County Town, 30 miles. Population about 100. Baird, John, miller Bredden, James, lumber merchant Cockell, George, boot and shoe maker Cummings, Robert, boot and shoe maker Glover, John, cooper Gommersall, Robert, tanner Henderson, Robert, flour and grist mill proprietor Leishman, Alexander, postmaster and general merchant Marshall, A., saw mill Philip, William, blacksmith

A post village situated in the Township of Lanark, County of 
Lanark, near the river Clyde. There are three Churches in 
Middleville, namely, Congregational, Presbyterian and Baptist. 
Distant from Perth, the County Town, 19 miles. Population 

Affleck. George, boot and shoe maker 
Aickman, George, hotel keeper 
Blackburn, John, cabinet maker and dentist 
Borrowman, John, machinst 

Croft, William, postmaster, township treasurer, general merchant 
and fur dealer 

Deachman, Thomas, blacksmith 
Douglas, James, Bev., Congregational 
Guthrie, Edward, carriage maker 
Guthrie, William, boot and shoemaker 
McLachlan, Peter, gentleman 

McLean, Donald, Bev., superintendent of schools, County of 

McPherson, John, potash manufacturer 

Milotte, Alphonse, cooper, and inspector of beef and pork 

Bankin, James, bailiff 2nd division court 

Bankin, William, waggon maker 

Bobertson, Thomas, carpenter and cabinet maker 

Stewart, James, general merchant 

Watt, Bobert, blacksmith, and cattle dealer 


A small post village situated on the river Mississippi, in the 
Township of Dalhousie, and County of Lanark* It is distant 
from Perth, the County Town, 18 miles, and has a population of 
about 70. 

Anderson, James, carpenter 
Anderson, Thomas, blacksmith 
Campbell, Duncan, tailor 
Campbell, Thomas, blacksmith 
, Erskine, James R., clerk 

Jackman, Thomas, boot and shoe maker 
McDonald, Alexander farmer 
McLean, Colin, waggon maker and carpenter 
McLean, Hugh, general merchant, postmaster, and issuer of 
marriage licenses 

Meighan, Robert, general merchant 
Paul, George, general merchant 
Scott, Thomas, hotel keeper 
Sim, Robert, carpenter 
Sock, William, hotel keeper 
Welsh, Thomas, blacksmith 

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

Once A Ribald River Town, Ferguson’s Falls May Be Dying



Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.. Do you know any of these  Ferguson Falls ladies?


Perth Courier, September 13, 1962


Ferguson’s Falls is a dying community.

It has lost its businesses, industries and much of its history.  The first to admit the hard truth are the thirty happy residents of Ferguson’s Falls.  The town is kept alive by the lazy Mississippi River, a river which gave birth to the village, converted it into a boom town, destroyed it, but with sympathy bred of long years of association keeps the town living today as a quiet and friendly tourist retreat.

Ferguson’s Falls was once the centre of a great timber war which involved the highest courts of the Empire.  It also has a ghost but nobody has seen her recently.

Ferguson’s own “California” John Pool initiated Lanark’s first and only trek to California in 1849 to stake a claim in the gold rush.

Ferguson’s Falls was once a thriving village of 500 persons with three mills, three hotels, a post office, a tannery, a meat processing firm, wagon maker and a law authority.  The town slowly decayed following the collapse of the timber trade.

The area was first settled by two families each of (word obliterated) and Douglas and one each family of Scanlon, Powers, and Carberry, Irishmen all, who homesteaded on RR1 and RR5, Lanark township.  The families had worked in Perth after walking from Brockville in 1816.

A village was eventually erected around several primitive mills at the ford and called “Millford”.  The name was changed when a Captain George Ferguson was deeded 70 acres at the ford and water rights.  He sold out to Ebeneezer Woodward in 1838 who first divided the area into two lots.

The; names of Blair, Lee, Code, McVicar and Harvey figure prominently in property rights up to 1872 when friction between loggers and farmers culminated in flooded lands and burned mills.

The “Ford” was one of the toughest places on the river.  Men fought for love, money, business and just for the love of brawling.  They fought in taverns, yard, village, street and even on floating rafts, old accounts say.

It was during these hard times that Lanark County’s famous song “The Ballad of Jimmy Whalen” was first put together by a Ferguson’s Falls bard.

But the biggest and bloodiest fight of all was the Caldwell and McLaren feud.  The entire countryside became embroiled.  Signs of trouble began in 1850 and broke into open hostility in 1878 when the powerful lumber baron McLaren of Perth declared “No man but me has any right on this river.”

Caldwell, of Lanark, another lumber baron, protested.  On March 6, 1884, the Privy Council in London sustained Caldwell’s counter claim  which established throughout the Empire the right of river usage via improvements of another party.  The judgment had far reaching consequences in gaining certain common rights of navigable streams for public and industrial use.

St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church was built in 1856, the first church in town.  The parish priest today is Father Healey of Lanark.  Protestant churches never built in the town but located on rural routes several miles away to serve a scattered population.  Anglican, Free Methodist, United and Baptist exist today serving a rural population of about 300.

The first Anglican service in town was held some time previous to 1850.  The second floor of a two storey log cabin (about 300 yards from the ford) sheltered the worshippers.  Then owned by the Gummersal family, the same cabin is today owned and occupied by A.L. Badour, his wife and family.  Behind the Badour house is the first public school, now a garage.  It was built in 1872.  James Ferguson was the first teacher.  His classes averaged about 25 students.

Mrs. Badour, an Ottawa school teacher, keeps notes on the town.  From a copy of the “Canadian Business Directory”, she uncovered the following long lost business leaders of 1857-58, many of whose descendents still reside in the vicinity today:  Hicks (post master), Gummersal (tanner), Hollinger (meat inspector), Blair (mill), Doroway (cooper), Doyle (innkeeper), “Ireton’ and ‘Stafford’ (cobblers-Thanks to Arlene Stafford Wilson). John Stafford, son of pioneer Tobias Stafford, was a shoemaker in Ferguson Falls and later expanded his business into Perth. Ireton was a fairly common name in Drummond Township.(cobblers), McCaffrey (wagons),John and M. McCaffrey (blacksmiths), Nouseau (cabinet maker) and Tennant (justice).

Ferguson’s Falls is a pioneer village with a proud history.  It has its own ghost.  Many will remember the vain-glorious poems and songs of Wilfred Lawrence Command

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls





Perth Courier, December 19, 1968

St. Patrick’s Church, One of the Oldest Mission Churches in Ontario

St. Patrick’s Church, one of the oldest mission churches in Ontario, stands on the summit of a hill overlooking the Mississippi River in Ferguson’s Falls.  If this small edifice could speak, it would tell of the changes that have taken place in the district for the past 112 years.  In 1820 the first settlers came to Ferguson’s Falls.  At that time they had to walk through the woods to Perth to worship.  It was usually a two day trip, going in one day and returning the next day.  When any member of the community died, their remains were carried into Perth and buried in the old cemetery on the banks of the Tay River.

There was no church at that time and the first evidence of a priest coming was in 1820 when Father LaMothe came from Quebec.  He came at certain times during the year to those scattered throughout the county and held Mass in private homes.  He continued these visits until 1823 when he was replaced by Father Sweeney who did the missionary work in the territory.  Towards the end of 1823 Rev. Father McDonald came as the first resident pastor and for 15 years the priest labored.  He erected a frame church in Perth and in the outlying districts “stations” were erected and services were held at suitable times throughout the year.  The next priest to be sent to Perth was Rev. Hugh McDonagh in 1836(?).  During his pastorate the present church at Ferguson’s Falls was erected on account of the twenty miles or territory included in the parish at that time and the ever increasing congregation, it was decided that provision would have to be made to take care of the spiritual wants of the people who lived in the outlying portions of the parish and who had been required to make such long and tedious journeys to Perth to attend Mass.  Accordingly, in 1836, a church was built at Ferguson’s Falls.  Logs used to make the church were cut on the farm owned by a Mr. Scantlan.

Two years after it was built it was moved to the present site.  After it was placed on its permanent foundation the present vestry was added.  It was named St. Patrick’s Church in honor of the patron saint of Ireland.

On account of the slow mode of transport usually on horseback or by ox cart, as well as the extensive territory over which he presided, it was not until 1856 that the Archbishop of Kingston was able to make his first official visit to Ferguson’s Falls to take part in the dedication of the new church.

It was a mission church being part of the parish of Perth with Father McDonagh as its first pastor.  It was filled to capacity on Sundays and in fact, for a large percentage of the congregation, there was standing room only. People came to attend mass from McDonald’s Corners and above the “float bridge” in Lanark Township.

John Quinn was the first person buried in the cemetery adjoining the church.  The people who had died previously to that had been taken to Perth for burial because there was no cemetery in Ferguson’s Falls.  Since the opening of the church, several bodies have been brought back from Perth and re-buried.  Father McDonagh passed away in September of 18??(illegible).  His successor was Rev. Dr. Chisholm who was pastor for twelve lyears before he suddenly passed away from a heart attack on May 1, 1878(?)

Priests were sent from Kingston for the next twelve months to take charge of the congregation.  On the 1st of June, 1879, Rev. John O’Connor was installed.  He was later raised to the dignitary of Dean.  During his pastorate the new church at Carleton Place was formally opened.  Ferguson’s Falls then severed its long connection with the parish of Carleton Place thus becoming a mission of that parish.  Father Michael O’Donoghue was the first pastor.  In 1869 he was transferred to Perth and Father M. O’Rourke installed as pastor in Carleton Place and its mission church at Ferguson’s Falls.  He was later transferred to Westport where he remained until his death.

In October, 1907, Father Kearney was appointed for the first resident priest of Lanark parish and Ferguson’s Falls was transferred once more from Carleton Place to Lanark.  In 1912, the present steel roof was put on the church.

Father Carey was the next pastor.  During his pastorate, which ended in 1925, the fence was removed from around the church proper and a new one was erected. In 1925 Father Sullivan was installed as pastor and he remained there until the summer of 1928 when he was succeeded by Rev. Father Whelan.  Father Whelan had the interior of the church redecorated, the statues renovated and a grotto built at the rear of the statue of St. Theresa.

The next pastor was Father Clancy who remained until 1941 when he was transferred to Carleton Place.  He was succeeded by Rev. Father Healy.

In 1944 the cemetery grounds were improved and tombstones reset in proper formation.  This work was done in the form of bees by the parishioners.  A cobblestone cross designed by Father Healy was erected in the cemetery.  In 1945 the exterior of the church was painted by Mr. Watt of Lanark who also painted the surrounding fence.


You can read Arlene Stafford Wilson’s blog on the church here.

Related reading:

Another Example of Local Random Acts of Kindness- Zion Memorial United Church

The Beckwith Baptist Church

Before and After — Auld Kirk

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976

What did Rector Elliot from St. James Bring Back from Cacouna?

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

A Sneeze of a Tune from St. Andrew’s Church in Carleton Place

Let The Church Rise– A Little History of St. James Anglican Church