Tag Archives: fiddlers

Stories From Fiddler’s Hill

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Stories From Fiddler’s Hill
Fiddler’s Hill

I have written stories about Fiddler’s Hill yet I had never seen it before. I guess I had this romantic vision of this hill on the 3rd concession of Dalhousie of a fiddler named Alexander Watt keeping the settler’s safe that night from the wolves. Not only did he fiddle for safety but everyone knew the land was scarcely usable for agriculture. Seeing the vast expanse of untamed wilderness ahead of them from the top of the hill, they became discouraged. They did press on the next day, and came to another hill the following night where some settled and founded the community of Watson’s Corners, visible in the distance from this hill. Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

So when Jennifer Ferris turned the corner off the highway she said,”|Oh by the way this is Fiddler’s Hill!” I said, “What?”

It is definitely a hill when you coast down the hill away from it or drive back up– but it was not what I was expecting. But still another thing off my bucket list.

I found this very tragic story about Fiddler’s Hill.. but there is so much love I put it here for posterity

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 May 2004, Wed  •  Page 25

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Apr 1999, Fri  •  Page 81

Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

The Preaching Rock of Lanark County

A Giant’s Kettle in the Middle of Lanark County

Something I did not Know About –Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust — From High Lonesome to Blueberry Hill

Where Are They Now? Paul Keddy of CPHS 1970

Notes of Lanark County Dances and Fiddlers

Notes of Lanark County Dances and Fiddlers

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Carleton Place Farmers Market-Photo by Linda Seccaspina

Perth Courier, Jan. 23, 1885 

On Tuesday evening of last week Mr. Robinson Lyon of Lyon’s Hotel, Arnprior, celebrated his 74th birthday.  After his usual custom he entertained his numerous friends.  Though beyond his allotted span of 3 score and 10 the old gentleman is still hale and hearty and draws his bow over his fiddle as vigorously as he did years ago when the name “Bob Lyon the fiddler of Bytown” was well known from Quebec to the headwaters of the Ottawa.

Leahy Music Camp – July 2009
Dancers: Samantha & Katie Harvey, Sarah Robinson, Emily Flack

Perth Courier, Jan. 15, 1909

The good father who celebrated the nuptial mass has long since gone to his reward. Richard Hogan of Bathurst who played the old fashioned fiddle fifty years ago for the young couple and their friends was present on Monday and again displayed his skill with the bow taking keen delight in playing for one set, formed of the bride and groom, bridesmaid and groomsman, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Brady and Mrs. And Mrs. James Balderson(?), all of whom are relatives of the principals and were present at the wedding.

Perth Courier, September 21, 1934

Mr. Quinn could recall many of the old barn dances in Westport which were “great affairs”.  In those days there were some fine clog dancers in the district.  These included John McGlade and his sister Rosie.  Then there was a Miss Trainor who was a splendid fiddler.  She was a blind girl and her services were always in demand.

A story by Harry J Walker

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The Ottawa Journal28 Dec 1946, SatPage 17

 

 

Gilles Roy-Step Dancer Extraordinare

He was a Step Dancing Legend from Up da Line..

Good Old Lanark County Music–From the 70s to now

The Musical Talents of Dave Brown

Fiddling in Lanark County by David Ennis

Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

 

Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

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There is now a Happy National Fiddling Day in Lanark county. From now on; a day in May will be set aside to commemorate the cultural significance that fiddle music plays in Canada. The bill, introduced by Liberal PEI Senator Libbe Hubley was unanimously passed in March 2015. This year marks the first of many Fiddling Day celebrations to come!

Did you know we have a Fiddler’s Hill in Lanark County?

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View from Fiddler’s Hill-google image

 

Alexander Watt was one of 300 settlers, from 33 families, who came to settle the area of Dalhousie in 1820 as part of a group of settlers known as the Lesmahagow Society. They were named after their native home near Lanark, Scotland. In July 1820, Alexander and the entourage left Scotland and ended up in Brockville. They slowly made their way to Perth, and then on to the Village of Lanark on foot. Of course the terrain wasn’t much to look at and they didn’t know how to deal with the dense brush. Nailed to a tree overlooking the Clyde River, was a sign reading “This is Lanark.” From here they had to hire a guide for the rest of their journey to Dalhousie.

From the top of a hill they discussed how unusable the land was for farming and they quickly became discouraged. To keep the wild animals at bay Alexander was in charge of keeping the fire lit at night. To stay awake he would pick up his fiddle and play Scottish tunes to the future community of Watson’s Corners, which was visible in the distance from this hill. Alex’s fiddle tunes were so encouraging to the rest of the settlers the name “Fiddler’s Hill,” was given to that very hill south of Watson’s Corners, in Lanark County, Ontario, which it is still known as today.

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Singer: Mac Beatie Fiddler: Reg Hill Step dancers: Donnie Gilchrist and a young Buster Brown in Lanark County. Video from 1963. 

Photo from the Carleton Place Farmers Market

Map from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Research from Lanark and District Museum