Tag Archives: fire dept

Two Ring Nozzles and Oil- Almonte Fire Dept 1874

Two Ring Nozzles and Oil- Almonte Fire Dept 1874

photo from almonte.com Almonte Firemen–Old Boys Reunion Volunteer Firemen

A humorous story about a trick pulled off by the Almonte firemen in a contest at Brockville in 1874, is told by Mr. Robert Young, 240 Fifth avenue, who was then a resident of Almonte. In 1874 the town of Almonte having secured a large new fire engine (hand pump), the amateur brigade decided to take part in a pumping contest at Brockville.

The new engine was larger and more up-to-date than any in the Ottawa district and great things were expected of it, particularly with the husky Almonte brigade of sixty men to man the pump. It appears that at that time the Almonters were an unusually husky lot. There was not a man of the sixty who did not tip the beam at over 200 pounds, while several went around the 240 pound mark.

The nozzle used with the new engine was a 2-ring nozzle which was something new then and had not heretofore been used in contests. Capt. J. S. Stephens expected that his use of the 2-ring nozzle might be questioned and prepared himself for the possibility by procuring a second 2-ring nozzle and blackening and scratching it up to look like an old nozzle.

It should be explained that a 2-ring nozzle had an advantage over a 1-ring nozzle, in that it caused a more solid and even stream to be thrown, thus causing the attainment of greater distance. In due time the Almonte brigade arrived at Brockville with their new engine gaily decorated and their men outfitted with fine new uniforms, making an imposing appearance. In front of the engine there was pulled bv the brigade a float decorated with evergreens and flags, setting forth the merit of Almonte as a community center or place to live.

It was the first time a brigade had attempted any propaganda, other than such as their prowess would bring, and the Idea was widely commented on. The engine and the float had been brought down on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa and Grand Trunk railways on a flat car. The people of Brockville took quite a fancy for the Almonte outfit and began to back them both morally and financially. It was Almonte’s first appearance at any contest, but the favorable Impression.

While the brigade were getting ready for the contest an American from “the Burgh” came up and said: “I like your boys and I want to give you a tip, which will help you. Before you start pumping pour a gallon of oil into your hose (rubber hose). It will make the water flow more easily. Keep it quiet though as there is nothing in the rules preventing you using oil, some of the other fellows might think you used oil.

The Almonte brigade gathered tightly around the man who was to pour the oil in. The crowd tried to find out what was going on around the Almonte engine, but did not. As soon as the oil was poured they revved up the old engine. It had so happened that the only sort of oil the Almonte men could get was what is known as engine oil of the black summer variety.

When the water came out it looked black, as though, it had come out of a mud puddle. “What dirty water!” the crowd said, but nobody, strange to say, suggested oil. Whether the oil caused the Almonte stream to go farther or whether the heavyweights of the team pumped more effectively is hard to say, but anyway the big Almonte team with their big new engine won, amid the cheers of the crowd.

Almonte got a great reception when they got home and the story now told was kept in the background for many years. Now you know the rest of the story!

The Almonte Mississippi Fire Dept. 1998

Things About Bill Lowry 1998

Bennett Family Photos — Thanks to Kelley Crampton

Bennett Family Photos — Thanks to Kelley Crampton
Hi Linda! I was just looking through my Bennett family tree book. I thought you would love these pictures from it. Re: Ocean Wave Fire Company.–Kelley Crampton

When George Albert Bennett was born on October 13, 1867, in Ferguson Falls, Ontario, his father, Edward, was 33 and his mother, Dorcas, was 31. He married Sarah Anna Vaughn on October 23, 1888, in Carleton Place, Ontario. They had seven children in 14 years. He died on June 14, 1907, in Carleton Place, Ontario, at the age of 39, and was buried there.

George Albert Bennett
Nov 1867
15 Jun 1907 (aged 39)
Saint James Cemetery
Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada  Show Map
197176450 · View Source
Name:George Bennett
Marital Status:Married
Birth Year:abt 1868
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1891
Residence Place:Carleton Place, Lanark South, Ontario, Canada
Relation to Head:Head
Religion:Church of England
Occupation:Grocer Clerk
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
French Canadian:No
Spouse’s Name:Anna Bennett
Father’s Birth Place:Ireland
Mother’s Birth Place:Ireland
Division Number:1
Neighbours:View others on page
Household MembersAgeRelationshipGeorge Bennett23HeadAnna Bennett23Wife

Kelley Crampton– in front of the town hall– the Ocean Wave moved into the town hall in 1902.

The first Fire Hall was across from the present day Maple Leaf Dairy was rented for $7.00 per month, for the period from 1st of December to the 1st of April. In 1902, the Company moved from Bridge Street to Mill Street and took up station in the Town Hall. The Company remained there until 1978, when a larger facility was built, further down Mill Street. In April of 1995, the Ocean Wave Company moved to its present site on Coleman Street.

Kelley Crampton

Around 1884, James E. Bennett decided being in business for himself would offer much more reward than looking after someone else’s cattle.  And so the first Bennett’s Meat Market opened its doors.  The store was located where Goofy’s Ice Cream use to stand.  Read–Summers of Carleton Place Past — Memories of Gooffy’s? The spot was considered a prime location.  Here some of the main businesses of the day were neighbors and a steady stream of people passed the shop each day.

He hired Charlie Devlin to help out and the two of them did all the work…and it was all done by hand in those days.  One side of the shop held a large plank anchored just down from the ceiling.  Huge meat hooks held beef quarters, where the lady of the house could come, look over the selection and make her choice.  Hand saws prepared the meat, because electricity was yet to come to Carleton Place.

A two wheel cart, hauled by horse, carried a box with a lid on the back, and a step for the driver; from the cart, deliveries were made all over town.– Mary Cook

Kelley Crampton Photo

Ocean Wave

Ocean Wave Firemen Getting Uniforms

Fire, Could End All You’ve Become — Photos of those that Protect Carleton Place

Update to the Smiths Falls Fire — Ed Larmour

William McIlquaham From The Theatre to the Fire

Fires in Carleton Place–James Gillies House

Photos of Beckwith Township Fire Dept 1970s

Beckwith Fire Department 1965 Names Names Names

The Rencraft Fire Dept Photo Brings Back a Familiar Name

What if You Had a Fire and No One Came?

Fire, Could End All You’ve Become — Photos of those that Protect Carleton Place

Help Thy Neighbour in Carleton Place- Ronnie Waugh Fire 1959

News of Butter– Fireman— and Women of Stamina in Carleton Place


Comments About Bill Bennett

Bennett’s store on William St- Community Comments

James Gordon Bennett — Know Your Carleton Place Streets

Bennett Family Photos– Thanks to Andrew Gardner‎

Holy Meatloaf! Remember the Manwich?

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series –Volume 13

Glory Days of Carleton Place–Mike Kean

Memories of Ruth Ferguson

As the World Turns in Carleton Place — Soap and Ground Beef

Glory Days in Carleton Place— Jan McCarten Sansom

Where’s the Beef in Carleton Place?

Name That Carleton Place Butcher? FOUND

Where’s the Beef in Carleton Place?

Thanksto Sheila Coyle

Stubborn Pumper Humiliates Town of Almonte Once Again!

Stubborn Pumper Humiliates Town of Almonte Once Again!



Almonte Fire Department’s Pumper : Proves Fickle on Inspection Day Citizens Are Chagrined When Machine Lets Them Down for Second Time Within Year.

November 1931

On year ago the underwriters’ Inspector came to Almonte. The fire-department’s gasoline pumper was produced. It was cranked up: it was coaxed, cajoled and threatened. But it wouldn’t work. The inspector was peeved. He told the Town Council so in his report.

The underwriters’ inspector came to Almonte once again this week. He tested the hydrants. Excellent! He tested the water pressure. Gratifying! The fire department’s pumper was produced. It was cranked up. it was coaxed, cajoled and threatened once again. And the inspector is still peeved. To the mortification of the local citizens and the raft of the inspector the machine again let the town down with a sickening thud. And now the people are wondering what the inspector will say in his next report


Almonte-Fire-Brigade-1948Almonte Fire Dept. 1948 almonte.com


1885 –almonte.com




Old-Boys-Reunion-Volunteer-Firemen (1)

Old Boys Reunion Volunteer Firemen –almonte.com






The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
03 Apr 1981, Fri  •  Page 3

 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
24 Aug 1931, Mon  •  Page 13

 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Dec 1954, Mon  •  Page 22



Collie Mill Fire Almonte October 1, 1965

The Fires in Almonte 1899

906 — Business Block is a Smouldering Block of Ruins– More Fires of Almonte

The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1903

The Almonte Fire of 1909

The Almonte Fire 1909– Bank Manager Badly Injured

lmonte Fire of Nolan’s and Wylie’s Stable

The Almonte Fire 1955– Almonte United Church

The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1903

Miss Eva Denault- Almonte 1911 Fire Heroine

Remember The Almonte Fire Truck Company?

Things About Bill Lowry 1998

Community Respects to Morley Black

Community Respects to Morley Black



Photo- Rod Black

These comments were taken from the readers of Tales of Carleton Place on Facebook- Respects made to the family and friends of the late great Morley Black.

We call various people heroes – and firefighters don’t consider themselves heroes – but if you look at their job description, they are. Their job is to straight up save people. Firefighters go where they’re needed, sometimes ignoring the dangers even when no one is inside a burning building to be saved. Morley Black was one of them and today we mourn the loss of another Carleton Place heroe. Linda Seccaspina

From the Tales of Carleton Place

Norma Jackson Deepest sympathy to the family

Ted Hurdis He will certainly be missed. I was thinking today when we would go over to the hydro office beside Carambeck school to pay the hydro bill. It was always fun when Morley was there to have a chat or tell a joke.

Susan Mary Risk Sincere sympathy to the Black family. I always chatted with Morley when I went up to pay the Hydro bill. He originally ran an actual Hydro turbine for Carleton Place, and it was because this still existed as a backup to Town Hall that I was able to enjoy Hydro in my apartment for the two weeks Ontario was crippled for energy due to a massive ice storm. I always enjoyed Morleys’ personality, even though he seemed fairly conservative. That’s because he was a friendly man with a big heart. 💕

Jane McIntosh Churchill My most heartfelt condolences to the Black family. I always enjoyed seeing and speaking with Morley. Such a nice, friendly man. 🌹

Deb Bigras Morley was a great man!!! My greatest sympathies to the Black Family.

Judy White Sorry for your loss. Morley was a great person and will be missed by all.

Ray Paquette A former neighbour on Herriott Street many years ago. My sympathies to the Black family… 😥




Margaret Martin So sorry to hear this sad news, my condolence to Morley’s family & friends.

AJ Shayla Sheppard My condolences 😦

Carol McDonald Our condolences to family and friends , he will be missed.

Lorena Turgeon So sorry to hear of Morley’s passing.

Lenore Gibson So very sorry to hear of Morley’s passing. He was a true gentleman.

Lesley Leigh Hurdis My condolences

Heather Leary So sorry for your loss . Truly was a great guy

Maureen Evans Our sincere sympathy to the Black Family!

Tim McIntyre Heartfelt prayers to all the Black family! I met Morley in the late 70’s and I was honoured when he asked me to be his assistant coach with the Midget rep team. We also coached the OVS summer minor midgets. Many great trips through the valley and a couple to Boston His big heart and great sense of humour will be greatly missed. Proud to have called you a friend. RIP Mo!!

Lynda Humfryes-McKimm A true gentleman. Condolences to the family. 😢

Dyann Hamilton So very sorry for your loss…condolences to the Black family…bless you all 🤗🙏🏻😥

Debbie McRae So sorry for your loss. Condolences to the family! 😥

Photo- Rod Black



Marilyn White Condolences to the family.

Jane Carnegie So sorry for your loss….Morley was a great lad that did alot for CP!!

Bob White Morley Black will be missed by this Community. Spent many years around Morley at the Hockey Rink When he was coaching, My condolences to the Black Family

Bill Brown Rest easy Mo. – A wonderful selfless gentleman who gave to his community. A warm and engaging sense of humour. A family friend.
As my hockey coach I can still hear him telling me “ Brownie – two hands on the sick – your out there flailing that thing with one hand like your Florence Nightingale”. Ah fond memories
Margaret Partridge I was so sad to hear of Morley’s passing. My sympathy to your whole family and extended family. We go way back, as you know! I will always remember your dad’s cheeky smile, which I think you inherited, Rod! Remember the months of the broken leg and trying to teach the impossible one!😊 Your Dad was a tremendous, well-respected fireman. I also remember his years with Linda-we were high school classmates and friends. My thoughts are with you.❤️😢

Sylvia Giles So sorry!! He was a lovely man! Condolences to the Black family!!

Rita Regimbal Brennen Condolences from the Brennens

Diane Rintoul Sorry to hear about the passing of Morley. He was a great guy.

Margaret McNeely Remember Morley when we each lived on Coleman’s Island in Almonte many years ago and when we met he always called me Toshie!

Ruth Drummond Was like the older brother I never had.

Fran Hurdis I remember making mud pies using his mother’s eggs when we lived on the island. Needless to say we got in trouble for the eggs.

Cathy Paterson RIP

Theresa Porteous Such a nice man condolences to the family

Mark Lynch My condolences to the family

Judy Churchward My condolences!

MBeth Thompson Our deepest sympathies to the family.

Reggie Gagnon RIP

Nancy C Sonnenburg Condolences from our family to yours, Morley was a wonderful man and will be missed.

Martin McNabb Our deepest sympathies to the family

Rhonda McRae Landriault Oh no. Rip Morley a great man

Roger Rattray My Condolences Rod .

Linda Ann Schmidt I’m so sorry for your loss. My condolences to the Black family.

Sandra Rattray My condolences to
the Black family from Sandra and Pete Rattray

Gary Mclellan Morley was a good fellow. I was in the same class at CPHS. So sorry to hear about his passing

Tim Campbell My condolences to the Black family.

Ralph Shaw Really great guy gone He and Corky Reynolds were two of the first guys to take me under their wing when I came to Carleton Place






kings1978 (2).jpg


More Morley Black Memories–Logan Trafford— Cheryl Claire Deforge said–he was 1 in a million..loved it when he was coaching hockey..boy his voice could be heard all over the arena..
Hi Linda
I stumbled upon this post and since it is the 40th anniversary of this team/picture, I thought I’d add a bit more insight and perhaps you would consider re-posting it.
this picture would have been taken near the end of the exhibition season in 1978. There are about 1/2 dozen people in it who didn’t actually end up playing on the team that year. The final roster team eventually went on to win the league championship for the very first time. That picture is in the trophy case at the Arena.
There’s a couple of possibilities for a couple of players, but here’s the identity of most of the people.
L-R for each row:
Row 1 (G) ???, Geoff Herbst, Bill Grease (Coach), Rusty Knight, ****Morley Black (Asst Coach), Ken Code, Garth Sculley
2nd Row Gary Raycroft ?, Martin Puckett, Pat Emon, Steve Bryce, Pat Domenico (traded mid-season), Don Vaughn, ???, Marty Sheehan, Steve Baird, Peter McGregor
Back Row – ???, Logan Trafford, Doug Riopelle, Brian Graham, Bruce McBrian, Dave Mills, Mike Bertrand (traded mid-season), Gerry Barber, John Hogg (G)

Win Again in 1981 –-CP Canadians

The 1981 Carleton Place Kings followed a familiar story line; struggling at the start of the season; but came together for the second half after a couple of minor adjustments. The Kings were having some problems on the blueline with the graduation of several players the season before, and it wasn’t until Griese and his assistant Morley Black discovered that Jimmy Ward had played some defence before the team solidified. “We put Steve with his brother Andy and Terry Mast, and moved Jimmy Ward back to defence,” said Griese. “It was about Steve’s fourth year with us. Ali that time he was playing defence with us. We moved him up to left wing, and all of a sudden they had a leader on their line. He was a good defenceman, but he was just a little too small. Everything seemed to fall into place after that.

Griese credits his former goalie John Hogg for his selfless dedication that season as the team’s goalie coach. “John had graduated; and at the start of the season, I looked up in the stands, and there’s John and his parents at the game. John was a real fans’ delight; everybody loved John. So I asked him to help out and he said sure. He never got paid either, he attended all of the practices and games.” Griese noted that one of the consistencies in his ten years as coach of the Kings was the solid netminding.. “John used to really come out of the net,” recalled Griese fondly. “I’d almost have a heart attack; but he was a good skater, and he never once gave up a bad goal doing it. He used to catch lots of teams changing on the fly.” Hogg would tutor his students well, and both Phil Powers and Glen Guenette performed admirably in leading Carleton Place to its second division title in three years.

Crowd support was at its peak in those days. “I would venture to say about 5700 people lived in town and more than 800 were in the arena every Friday night. The fans were great. The players just fed off of the crowd.” Fan support throughout the Valley up until the mid 198Os was stellar. “We beat out Arnprior On St. Patrick’s Day in Arnprior” said Griese. “They had 2,800 people in there with that darn steel floor. What a racket.

Another key to the season was Morley Black’s knowledge of Dave Ellet and what he could bring to the team, even at the tender age of 16. “Morley; he wanted to sign him after the first practice. He hadn’t really done much, but Morley was doing most of the scouting at the time, and he knew what he could do. Morley said “You sign him; you sign him now.” Ellet went on to Bowling Green University and a 16-year career as a steady NHL defenceman. “It wasn’t very long that he developed,” said Griese. “You just didn’t have to tell him a helluva lot. He was just like Donnie Vaughan; open the door and let him go. You could see at that age that he knew the game so well. He could play in his own end and he could play without the puck”. Led by Gary Raycroft and Steve McTierman offensively, Carleton Place finished in second place during the regular season, and then swept Richmond in four games in the first round of the playoffs.


Cork Reynolds on the left and Dave Brown on the right. Jaime Black holding the hose 1970s
ocean (1).jpg




Thanks to Sarah More and our donater who wishes to remain private

William McIlquaham From The Theatre to the Fire

William McIlquaham From The Theatre to the Fire

 - FATAL RUN TO FIRE Carleton Place Fire Chief Vic...


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 - FIRE CHIEF DIES SUDDENLY AFTER ATTENDING FIRE... - kor-hod afar-reret Tem-plf-Pmlrkk. mucker-mere,...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 12 Jan 1928, Thu,
  3. Page 2

The first Fire Hall was across from the present day Maple Leaf Dairy and this property was rented for $7.00 per month, for the period from 1st of December to the 1st of April. In 1902, the Company moved from Bridge Street to Mill Street and took up station in the Town Hall. The Company remained there until 1978, when a larger facility was built, further down Mill Street. In April of 1995, the Ocean Wave Company moved to its present site on Coleman Street.


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 and The Tales of Almonte

  1. relatedreading

Photos of Beckwith Township Fire Dept 1970s

Beckwith Fire Department 1965 Names Names Names

The Rencraft Fire Dept Photo Brings Back a Familiar Name

What if You Had a Fire and No One Came?

Fire, Could End All You’ve Become — Photos of those that Protect Carleton Place

Help Thy Neighbour in Carleton Place- Ronnie Waugh Fire 1959

News of Butter– Fireman— and Women of Stamina in Carleton Place

Beckwith Fire Department 1965 Names Names Names

Beckwith Fire Department 1965 Names Names Names



Beckwith Township Fire Department

You can get this book in the Local History room of the Carleton Place Library. The 50th anniversary booklet commemorating  the Beckwith Township Fire Department.

Beckwith 1965 Fire Department

Fire Chief – Robert Brooks

John McFarlane, first vice-president

Gordon Pressley, assistant hose foreman and president

Herb Butterworth, deputy chief

Duncan Dakers, captain

Orville Cook, first lieutenant

Warner McDiarmid, second lieutenant

Jack Briscoe

Albert Makinson

Arthur Nesbitt, second vice-president

Carl Lewis, hose foreman

Cornell McRae, secretary

Harold Jones, hose foreman

Herb Gardiner, treasurer

Bill McCauley

Andrew McRae

Garry McEwen

Finley McEwen

Howard Bennett

John Kidd

Keith Brunton

Percy Leach

Harold Shails

Willard Legree




Donna Mcfarlane put up this photo today –1964 at first fire practice up at Harry Mills..

21370944_10154550622171841_3286787325181948409_n (1).jpg

Donna Mcfarlane–a couple more from that practice. pictures taken by Martha Mccauley my mom


Ben MacRae– Lots of memories at the old firehall when I was a little guy. My dad, Cornell McRae and my brother, Andrew McRae were both on the department in those early days. Lots of memories for sure.
Donna Mcfarlane– Both my dad Bill Mccauley and my husband were originals .. Yes Ben lots of memories at the old hall.. those annual dances where the whole neighbourhood congregated not to dance but to socialize…Miss those day


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 (US)

Screenshot 2017-08-15 at 18.jpg

I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.




The Rencraft Fire Dept Photo Brings Back a Familiar Name

What if You Had a Fire and No One Came?

Fire, Could End All You’ve Become — Photos of those that Protect Carleton Place

News of Butter– Fireman— and Women of Stamina in Carleton Place

Smiths Falls Fire-Coghlan & Moag

Smiths Falls Fire-Coghlan & Moag


Original SFFD firehouse, fire hall, fire station Smiths Falls, Ontario Canada 11092012 ©Ian A. McCord (ocrr4204) byocrr4204 (flickr)  

June 18 1897 Smiths Falls

A correspondent sent us the following: Two small frame buildings side
by side near the corner of William and Beckwith streets went up in
smoke about midnight on Saturday. One, owned by Geo. Steele, and occupied
as a workshop by John Hannay, plumber, was not insured, but all the other damage was covered by insurance.

The other building was Coghlan & Moag’s storehouse for coffins. The fire also extended to
Coghlan & Moag’s corner building, and damaged all the furniture in the upper flat, but was speedily extinguished by the volumes of water from the hydrants and the steamer.

Everyone appreciated the prompt service of the waterworks. The building itself suffered comparatively little damage. The council will probably now hustle to increase the number of hydrants.

I read it in the Almonte Gazette



FURNITURE. Ontario Business Directory 1903

Coghlan & Moag, Beckwith street.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal13 Mar 1913, ThuPage 10

Death Notice from Coghlan & Moag

 JONES, William Stanley, m, Nov. 10, 1900, 27 years, Oxford Co, cause – nervous prostration, teacher, infm – Coghlan & Moag, Smith’s Falls (Lanark Co) 014913-00


Marsh Funeral Home in Smiths Falls–Smiths Falls & District Historical Society–???

Erratum The picture labelled as “Marsh Funeral Home” is actually the subsequent Lannin Funeral Home. George Ray Lannin purchased the business from the Marsh Brothers, sons of business founder Jay J. Marsh, about 1957 when it consisted of the stone building on the right of the picture. Ray Lannin had some older buildings (I believe a drive shed) torn down in the mid-60s and had the white brick part added. I went to school with his daughter Rhonda (now Mrs. Ted Purvis of Merrickville) and still have occasional contact with her. John Morrow.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal26 Aug 1897, ThuPage 5

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 (US


Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925

Jack the Hugger–The Reign of Albert Haley in Smiths Falls

The Publicity Club Coupon Contest of Smiths Falls 1931

Whale Sightings Outside Smiths Falls– Part 2

The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls

The Bomb Girls of Smiths Falls

Eggs 10 Cents a dozen–Farmers Markets of Smiths Falls and Almonte 1880 and 1889

Looking for Information on the Kazy Family from Smiths Falls

The Out-Of Luck Mr. Strang of Smiths Falls

What if You Had a Fire and No One Came?



On Tuesday night I stood in front of Alan Barker’s funeral home watching our local area firemen in awe. Fire Dept. Representatives had all come to attend local Carleton Place resident and fireman Ab Hurdis’s wake. Standing on that step I almost broke out in tears. I personally feel I owe the Ocean Wave Fire Dept. a lot, and so does the rest of the town of Carleton Place. Who else would come running at a moments notice when something happens to us, or our homes, if we didn’t have them?

It was a cold January day in 1995, and the kids were flooding the rink outside when I noticed our German Shepherd, Snoopy racing in from the greenhouse with a huge plume of black smoke trailing him. If there is an emergency, I am not the one to send to an EMT unit as I panic easily. I screamed for someone to call 911, and we simply thought a hose spraying a steady stream of water into the basement window was enough to contain the fire.

Within five minutes the basement was engulfed with flames and I attempted to go into the greenhouse to save the birds and ferret. Smoke quickly turns into a blackness that cannot be measured on a colour chart, and within seconds I was trapped. An Ocean Wave fireman pulled me out of that room as I could no longer find my way out.


My sons and I were sent over to a neighbour’s home while we watched the firemen try to save our house. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t, and the kids kept asking me if everything was going to be alright. In my irrational mind I thought things would return to normal once the fire trucks were gone and life would go back to the way it was.

The fight for our home was not over for another 18 hours. The firemen left at about 5 pm overwhelmed with the intensity of the smoke and one ended up in the hospital. They had done their best and thought the fire had been put to rest, but my husband Angelo and his father sat guard all night watching for hot spots. Sure enough at 1 am a wall in the living room went up in flames. Had they not been there the house would have been a total loss.

The next day the kids and I returned to our home and I knew then and there that everything was not going to be alright. The living room hardwood floor was swollen with water and raised in many places. The charred Christmas tree and all its decorations stood against silent black walls. I stood there and realized there was a long road ahead of us, and my tears began. But my family was alive, and that was thanks to the Ocean Wave Fire Dept.

The Carleton Place firemen had given us a couple of boxes that were decorated like Christmas presents. They had not wanted the kids to be upset, so they had wrapped up the perished pets as gifts. Since it was in the dead of winter I could not bury them, so I made a tiny raft and sent them down the Mississippi river.

No matter what has been done to your home, once it has been touched by fire it will never be the same. It seems to lose the original soul in the belly of its interior, and because of the destruction many pieces of emotions are lost and will never come back. But loss of life is far worse than a building or an inner soul needing to be renovated.

Firefighters are some of the most selfless people you will ever encounter. These volunteers sometimes ignore the dangers even when no one is inside a burning building to be saved. Like Ted Hurdis said about the late Ab Hurdis: “Ab wasn’t very big, but if you ever saw him coming out of a burning house you would swear he was 7 feet tall”!

Firefighters are essential to the safety and security of our local communities. We owe it to these men, and this week we lost 40-year-old volunteer fireman Ab Hurdis. Like a home rises out of the ashes, sometimes so do firemen. Last night I saw my son’s childhood friend Troy Hurdis standing in that line of firemen in dress uniform. Troy is now also part of the Carleton Place Ocean Wave Fire Dept. I know Ab and all the generation of Hurdis’s that were in the fire dept. were looking down on Troy and smiling– I know I was. We are truly blessed to have the Ocean Wave Fire Dept.


Just in case some of you did not see this — from the Alan Barker Website

Hurdis, H. Albert “Ab”
Retired-Ocean Wave Fire Company
(Carleton Place Fire Dept.)
with 40 years service and
Carleton Place Hydro
with 19 years service.

Suddenly at home in Carleton Place, Ontario on Sunday, August 23, 2015, in his 78th year.