Tag Archives: fire

Campbell Woolen Mill Fire 1928

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Campbell Woolen Mill Fire 1928
Campbell Mill C1920 Almonte.com
James H. Wylie – leased the mill at Lot 20 Mill St Almonte and operated it as Elmsdale Flannel Mill (established in 1881) until he purchased the property in 1897. In 1887 at the Campbell Woolen Mill on Water St in Almonte, James Wylie installed a one set flannel mill in the building, added two more sets over the next two years, and operated it also under the name of the Elmsdale Flannel Mills. In 1897 Wylie purchased the mill on Lot 21 Mill St Almonte and operated it as the Golden Fleece Woolen Mill past 1910. __MVTM–https://mvtm.ca/biographies/

The worst fire that has occurred Almonte in many years broke out in the mill of the Campbell Woolen Company shortly before midnight on Monday evening. The mill was completely gutted, and Mr.. P. J. Campbell estimates his loss at $50,000, partly covered by insurance. The origin of the fire is unknown.

It would seem to have started in a frame addition to the mill which was used for the storage of wood and coal. The blaze was first noticed by a young lady shortly before midnight. She immediately telephoned the alarm in. By that time, however, the fire had made considerable headway and the flames were shooting high into the air. It was just about 12 o ’clock when the siren awoke the sleeping town. The fire brigade was quickly on the scene but it was found it impossible to save the mill. By 3 a.m. the building was completely demolished.

The building was formerly owned by the Kirben Company, makers of furnaces. It was taken over about eleven years ago by Mr. P. J. Campbell who had for a number of years been operating asuccessful textile mill at. Blakeney. Mr. Campbell states that, he will not rebuild the Almonte factory. He has had offers from several towns to relocate and he is considering these. The loss of the Campbell mill to the Town of Almonte is a serious one. Although it had not been in very active operation of hue there were prospects of a busy season in the near future. The loss to the owners is also a serious one and the deepest sympathy is expressed for Mr. Campbell and his associates.

The former Campbell Woolen Mill building originally was built in 1872 as the Almonte Furniture Com­pany by Messrs. Kirby and Bennett and was known locally as the Kir­Ben Building. In September of 1876 The Almonte Furniture Factory had a large fire and the town wanted it to be rebuilt even if it was thought due to indifferent management and heavy loss the furniture factory would have to close down. The shares in the company were so low that shareholders were willing going to dispose them for 30 cents on the dollar- Read-The Sad Saga of The Almonte Furniture Factory

Darlene MacDonaldLocated at south east end if Water St. Next to C.P.R. tracksWhere Drynans was.Who knew❗🤔

Allan StanleyGrowing up my father’s house was the last one on Water Street before the Campbell Mill, where my Grandfather was a night watchman at one time. The mill burned down under mysterious circumstances after the owners lost “water rights” access to the Mississippi river. There was a lot of suspicion regarding the final fire… just some gossip perhaps that I had heard from elders when I was young.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Mar 1928, Mon  •  Page 13

The Campbell Mill almonte.com

Recently, Marjorie Campbell, a resident of Almonte, donated a painting of the Campbell Woolen Mill to the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. The picture was painted at the request of Marjorie Campbell by Mr. D. R. Faire in 1979 from a photograph taken in the 1920’s. It was a gift for her husband Donald M. Campbell whose father had owned the mill. The picture had, hung in Mrs. Campbell’s living room for many hears, but she felt the picture and the story of the Campbell Mill should be hanging in the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum as a reminder of when Almonte was the center of Woolen manufacturing in Canada. The Campbell Mill was located at ‘the south-east end of Water Street, next to the C.P.R. tracks, where Brian Drynan now has his automo­tive repair shop. It was the only local mill that was located away from the Mississippi River, the source of power for all early mills. It was one of the earliest mills driven by steam power.

Our Heritage By Gerry Wheatley

Campbell Wollen Co.

The building originally was built in 1872 as the Almonte Furniture Com­pany by Messrs. Kirby and Bennett and was known locally as the Kir­Ben Building. The factory operated for many years, then had financial problems. In 1887, James H. Wylie, who owned other mills in Almonte, installed a one set flannel mill in the building, added two more sets over the next two years, and called it the Elmdale Flannel Mills. In March, 1919, Mr. P. J. Campbell of the Blakeney Woolen Company purchased the Kir-Ben building and started moving the looms and other machinery from Blakeney to the Kir­Ben building to produce flannels. In March, 1928, a Saturday fire heavily damaged the building. The Almonte Gazette. reported that “spontaneous combustion in the dryer room’ was suspected as the cause. “An alarm was I given and the fire brigade did effective work and succeeded in confining the blaze to one department.” The damage amounted to $12,000. Later in 1928, the picture of the Kir-Ben building was printed in The Almonte Gazette with the following report below it.“Campbell Woolen Company’s Mill at Almonte which was destroyed by fire in a Monday midnight conflagration. The loss is estimated by P. J. Campbell at $50,000, partially covered by in­surance.” The Campbell Woolen Mill ceased operations, the remainder of the building was demolished i and the Company was closed a few years later. I wondered whether there was any evidence left of the old Campbell Mill so I drove down Water Street to Brian Drynan’s Garage. Brian had found considerable evidence of the Campbell Mill while building his garage, house and other structures. The railroad siding to the Mill is still in place. He found stone foundation walls; a six inch cast iron pipe from the river to the Mill, thought to bring water from the river; and two large concrete slabs, one now serving as a base for propane tanks. And bricks’ lots of bricks. Brian remembers the bricks had markings on them and was told they were made in Almonte. He will try to find some of the old bricks for the museum. I am not aware of a brick factory in Almonte.

Unexpected Almonte
March 4, 2020  · 
This photograph of the Campbell Woolen Mill was taken in the 1920s (perhaps earlier). The mill was located at the south-east end of Water St., next to the CPR tracks. The mill burned in 1928.
This painting of the Campbell Woolen Mill by artist D. R. Faire in 1979 currently hangs in the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Marjorie Campbell, a resident of Almonte, donated the painting to the Museum. It was originally a gift for her husband Donald M. Campbell whose father had owned the mill. The picture had hung in Mrs. Campbell’s living room for many years, but she felt it and the story of the Campbell Mill should hang in the Museum as a reminder of when Almonte was the centre of Woolen manufacturing in Canada.

The Campbell Mill was the only local mill that was located away from the Mississippi River, the source of power for all early mills. It was one of the earliest mills driven by steam.
FURTHER HISTORIC BACKGROUND / ANECDOTE:
Reported Gerry Wheatley, “The building originally was built in 1872 as the Almonte Furniture Com­pany by Messrs. Kirby and Bennett and was known locally as the Kir­Ben Building. The factory operated for many years, then had financial problems. In 1887, James H. Wylie, who owned other mills in Almonte, installed a one set flannel mill in the building, added two more sets over the next two years, and called it the Elmdale Flannel Mills.
“In March, 1919, Mr. P. J. Campbell of the Blakeney Woolen Company purchased the Kir-Ben building and started moving the looms and other machinery from Blakeney to the Kir­Ben building to produce flannels.
“In March, 1928, a Saturday fire heavily damaged the building. The Almonte Gazette reported that “spontaneous combustion in the dryer room” was suspected as the cause. “An alarm was given and the fire brigade did effective work and succeeded in confining the blaze to one department.” The damage amounted to $12,000.
“Later in 1928, the picture of the Kir-Ben building was printed in The Almonte Gazette with the following report below it: “Campbell Woolen Company’s Mill at Almonte was destroyed by fire in a Monday midnight conflagration. The loss is estimated by P. J. Campbell at $50,000, partially covered by in­surance.” The Campbell Woolen Mill ceased operations, the remainder of the building was demolished and the Company was closed a few years later.”
(source: rootsweb and painting at MVTM and mvtm.ca) #Almonte #ArtMatters

Listen to the noise..During those years Almonte was known to travelers on the trains as The Woolen Town, because the Rosamond Woolen Company, the Old Red Knitting Company, the Penman Woolen Mill, Campbell’s Woolen Mill, the Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill and Wm. Thoburn’s Woolen Mills all made the flat metallic clacking of the looms as familiar a sound of Almonte as the whistle of the CPR steam locomotive. (from roots.org)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpjqOD836y4

Related reading

The Sad Saga of The Almonte Furniture Factory

MIDNIGHT FIRE DESTROYS THE YORKSHIRE WOOL STOCK MILL 1923

Laurysen Kitchens Fire 1987

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Laurysen Kitchens Fire 1987
Clipping from Sarah More and an unidentifed donor
$5M factory fire may leave 65 out of work —-A fire Saturday destroyed a West Carleton kitchen factory, causing an estimated $5 million in damage and leaving a cloud of uncertainty oyer the future of its 65 employees. The blaze at Laurysen Kitchens on Carp Road, north of Hwy. 417, started at 10 a.m. Within minutes, the flames engulfed the 4,050-square-metre building where kitchen cabinets, cupboards and shelves were custom-built and stored. “Seventeen years of hard work, all lost in 20 minutes,” said business owner John Laurysen.

A native of Holland who emigrated to Canada in 1960, Laurysen said he was to meet his employees today to discuss plans for the family business he has operated since 1970. He said he did not know if any workers would lose their jobs. Firefighters from West Carleton, Almonte, Beckwith and Goulbourn townships worked throughout the night Saturday to prevent the smouldering debris from igniting and spreading to the Laurysens’ nearby home and warehouse. The warehouse contained such flammable’ materials as varnish and paint thinner. The company’s showroom, located in the owner’s house, was not damaged. The cause of the fire is not known. Ontario fire investigator Marcel Lalonde continued his investigation today, said Terry Kelly, chief of the West Carleton fire department.

Lalonde interviewed witnesses this morning and he and Kelly were to begin examining the debris in detail this afternoon. Kelly said there is no indication how long it will take to determine a cause. Laurysen said he lost about $5 million worth of equipment and supplies in the fire, which left nothing but heaps of twisted, charred debris in its wake. Chemical products were not stored at the plant and smoking was prohibited inside the building, said Laurysen. One employee was inside the building when the fire started and escaped without injuries. About 15 shift workers were outside on their break when the blaze broke. Laurysen said he hopes to rebuild.

He said a nearby lumber company has al- Wayne Hlebert, Citizen Firefighters worked throughout the night Saturday at Laurysen Kitchens ready offered an empty warehouse as a temporary place to house the factory. If all goes well, he said, he would like to. start re-establishing the business in the donated building within a week, then rebuild the the factory during the next month. “But most of the equipment came from Europe,” he added. “Replacing that will be the hardest part.” “We’ve looked after our customers for the past 17 years. Now I hope our customers will look after us and wait until we rebuild.” , Bruno Joppen, a cabinet-maker who has been working at factory for the past 10 years, said the employees will have a better idea of what their future holds after today’s meeting. “I’m not really worried, but I am concerned,” he said. “You can go on unemployment insurance and look for something else, but I’d rather go back to Laurysen’s because he is good to his employees.” Joppen, 58, said it won’t be easy whatever happens, but he hopes the owner will decide to rebuild. “It’s our livelihood and I hope he is going to get back on his feet,” he said. “The problem is the ongoing contracts: he is going to lose them.”

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada10 Aug 1987, Mon  •  Page 6

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
15 Aug 1987, Sat  •  Page 87
CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Aug 1994, Mon  •  Page 17

The Almonte Mississippi Fire Dept. 1998

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The  Almonte Mississippi Fire Dept. 1998
Thanks to sarah more and our donater who wishes to remian private
photo from almonte.com

Things About Bill Lowry 1998

Remember The Almonte Fire Truck Company?

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Mar 1970, Mon  •  Page 5
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
24 Aug 1931, Mon  •  Page 4
Thanks to sarah more and our donater who wishes to remian private

The Village That Wouldn’t Die — Verna (McEwen) MacRae Unseen Photos and Poem – Buchanan Scrapbooks

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The Village That Wouldn’t Die — Verna (McEwen) MacRae Unseen Photos and Poem – Buchanan Scrapbooks
With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here.
Complete fire map-NRC Publications Archives
NRC Publications Archives
NRC Publications Archives

NRC Publications Archives

NRC Publications Archives

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More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

The Lanark Fire of 1895

Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

Herriott Street History — Rachel McRae Joann Voyce

Rhonda McRae Landriault — McRae Genealogy

The Henry Family — Rachel McRae

The 12 Hardships of Mr. McRae

Down at the Farm –9th line Beckwith. McRae Family Photos

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Benson McRae

More on Those “Glads” of Carleton Place

The Mystery of the W.G. Hill Store Continues….

What Did it Cost to Stay in the Hospital?

Remembering Homes — The Wood Home

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Remembering Homes — The Wood Home
ll Photos from-Celeste Reisinger from Abandoned – Ottawa/Gatineau & The Valley
ll Photos from-Celeste Reisinger from Abandoned – Ottawa/Gatineau & The Valley
ll Photos from-Celeste Reisinger from Abandoned – Ottawa/Gatineau & The Valley

All Photos from-Celeste Reisinger from Abandoned – Ottawa/Gatineau & The Valley

So what can we find out about the house? Every house needs to be remembered.

Gail BarrDan Grace purchased it last year – uses the farm land. This farm was the Woods family homestead. Was burnt several years ago when we had a fire arsonist. Read-Fires of Lanark County 2002

Joan Armstrong-Mary Young born June 11, 1809 married Walter Wood June 18, 1832 and in 4 days they immigrated to Canada from Lanarkshire, Scotland and settled on Lot 2, Conc. 9 ,(Hwy 29) in Pakenham Township.Their 4 children were born here.My mother’s notes say that her Grandmother Margaret must’ve been the oldest as her year of birth was 1833. There were 5 girls and 1 boy William who stayed on the farm. There’s no mention of the girls names.Looking through the names I didn’t see Rita.

Jenny DunslowJoan Armstrong ok. I’m not sure Rita’s name was Wood. That arsonist did burn her family home. When she went to visit, strangely enough, she showed me what she found in the yard. It was burnt pages from the book Faces of Fire. I always thought that was the house she was referring to. She was a very sweet lady who lived in Constance Bay and married to Don Dolan. She unfortunately passed away in 2004 I believe was the year. Since then, Don also passed.

Joan ArmstrongJenny Dunslow I’m sorry to hear that. Yes, that was the house the guy tried to burn , sad to say.

Catherine CochranYes, but Don Dolan was her second husband. She was married to Gerry Timmons first but he died in a car a car accident when their four children were fairly young

Catherine CochranThis is where William and Claire Wood raised their family. My former mother in law , Jean Cochran, (Robert Cochran) was born and raised here. Jean’s brother, Edward (Ted) took over the farm after William .There were four children in Claire and William’s family. They were William (Bill, Jean, Edward (Ted) and Rita.Jim Wood took over the farm after his dad, Ted, and subsequently sold it a few years ago.

Joan ArmstrongThis was my Great Grandmother’s home, Margaret (Wood) Buchanan.

Helen N LeviDelightful happy family lived there when I was first introduced to that beautiful old home

Walter Wood– thanks to Rose Mary Sarsfield

BIRTH1801Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, Scotland
DEATH20 Aug 1894 (aged 92–93)Pakenham, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
BURIALAuld Kirk CemeteryMississippi Mills, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
MEMORIAL ID204059982 · View Source

1894, Friday August 24, The Almonte Gazette front page
Almost a Centenarian

Another of the early settlers of Lanark County passed quietly out of life on Monday last, when Mr Walter Wood, of Upper Pakenham, was summoned across the mysterious bourne whence none return. He had been ill but a week, though bedfast for a year prior to his death, and blind for the past six years. He was clearheaded to the last. Before he reached the closing decade of the century he had always been hale and vigorous. The late Mr Wood was born in Dundivan, near Airdrie, Scotland, in the year 1796, and therefore attended the great age of 98 years. In 1832 he married Mary Young, sister of the late Peter, Robert, and William Young, of Ramsay, and four days after the marriage they sailed from Scotland for Canada. A few months after their arrival they settled on the farm on the ninth line of Pakenham on which they lived the balance of their long lives, doing their full share of the pioneer work and enduring hardships incident to life in Lanark County in the thirties and forties. Mrs Wood died seven years ago. Seven children were born to them, viz.: Mrs Buchanan, Miss Janet Wood, W.Y. Wood, on the homestead; Mrs James Barker, Ramsay; Mrs Taylor, Mrs Edwards and Miss Jane Wood, of Ottawa. Fourteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren also mourn the loss of the venerable gentleman. Deceased possessed qualities that won for him the warm friendship of all who knew him, and he will be long and favourably remembered in the neighbourhood. His was a quiet disposition. He never sought public office. To the last he had a good memory, and was fond of relating incidents of life in these parts in the early days. He was an ardent Reformer, and a Presbyterian. The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon, to the eighth line cemetery, when a very large procession followed the remains to their resting place – a fitting testimony to the worth of the departed.

Keyes Building Fire Bridge Street 1897

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Keyes Building Fire Bridge Street 1897
Photo Before- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
07 Dec 1897, Tue  •  Page 8
After-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Alternative reading

Keyes Building Then and Now

Have You Been to the Keyes Building? Here is Your Chance

Under Lock and Keyes- Keyes Building

The Old Grocery Counter –Calvin Moore

Memories of Argue’s Food Market?

The Pembroke Lumber Company Rare Photo

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The Pembroke Lumber Company Rare Photo

This is a pretty old photo taken before the fire in 1927– Id say it us the early 1900s-The historic sawmill of the Pembroke Lumber Co. built in 1860. I found it in a lot of photos I bought.

Kevin PercyLooks like “The Pembroke Livery Company” to me.

Jeff BrennanI see Pembroke Lumber Company.

.Brian SarsfieldProbably the Pembroke Lumber Company, beside the Ottawa River . Make be take prior to the fire of June 1918.

It’s the Pembroke Lumber Company pre 1918.. and all the photos will go back to the family but this one will go to the Pembroke Historical Society.. Thanks to everyone who identified the photo.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Dec 1899, Tue  •  Page 6

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 May 1900, Thu  •  Page 7
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Apr 1902, Tue  •  Page 2
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Sep 1913, Wed  •  Page 20
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
19 Apr 1916, Wed  •  Page 13

Fire June 12,1927

PEMBROKE, Ont., June 12 1927– Fire, which it is estimated caused damage to the extent of a quarter of a million dollars Saturday, threatened to wipe out the entire industrial and business section of the town, and many buildings were saved from possible destruction only by a timely change in the direction of a stiff wind when the blaze was at its height.

The flames were fortunately confined to the yards of the Pembroke Lumber Company, where millions of feet of lumber were reduced to ashes. The cause of the fire is attributed to a bathing party of boys who used part of the lumber yards in which to dress and smoke. Between five and six million feet of lumber was destroyed. The burned area covers between twelve and fifteen acres and is flanked on either side by woodworking industries, including the yards and factories of the Canadian Match and Splint Companies, immediately to the west, but behind the path of the flames.

The scene of the fire parallels the main business street of the town only two blocks away. For three hours millions of dollars of property was in jeopardy. Scores of people removed their household effects from their homes and an hour after the alarm sounded the town generally prepared itself for the worst. It was a spectacular fire. Driven by a high northwest wind, the flames leapt from one lumber pile to another, until over three hundred were on fire. The air space used for drying purposes only served as a vacuum for the flames and the ordinary hydrant stream vanished into steam immediately it struck the outer edges of the fire.

Flames shot up hundreds of feet into the air and heavy clouds of smoke hung over the entire town and countryside. Historic Sawmill Saved. The historic sawmill of the Pembroke Lumber Co., built in 1860, and which has cut millions upon millions of feet of virgin pine of the Ottawa Valley, was saved, owing to the heroic efforts of the Pembroke and Renfrew fire departments, and of the mill workmen using their own fire-fighting equipment. This mill and other buildings and wharves along the river front repeatedly caught fire but were quickly put out.

The whole area for blocks around was thoroughly drenched, records showing that over two million gallons of water was pumped at the municipal station, not taking into account what was taken from the river by the gasoline pumpers of the Pembroke and Renfrew fire departments. It was early realized that it was a fruitless task to fight the fire proper and that efforts should be confined to saving adjoining property.

The news of the threatened conflagration spread rapidly to adjoining towns and proffers of aid came from almost every town between here and Ottawa, including Ottawa City. At five o’clock, half an hour after the fire started, Mayor Duff phoned Renfrew for assistance and the creamery town fire-fighters immediately responded, making the forty-four mile trip here in an hour and twenty minutes.

The firemen did not let up until seven o’clock this morning, meals and hot drinks being served at the scene of the fire. Several of the firemen were overcome, but were able to resume. The intense heat could be felt for blocks away. It is believed that a bathing party of small boys who used a lumber pile as a dressing shelter and smoking place, was responsible for the fire which for three hours threatened the entire town.

A high northwest wind which carried the covers off the lumber piles for hundreds of yards through the air and which blew directly into the business section, suddenly veered to the southwest at seven in the evening and the situation was saved. Loss Put at $350,000. E. Dunlop, president or the Pembroke Lumber Co., today stated that the lumber was all of export number one grade, cut over the last four seasons and which had not moved owing to stagnation in the lumber industry.

He placed the loss at a quarter of a million dollars and stated that his company was one hundred percent, insured. Some of the lumber destroyed had recently been sold, Mr. Dunlop said, and he did not know whether or not insurance had been placed on this by the purchasers. He corrected a report that a section of the lumber burned was the property of the J. R. Booth Company.

Sawing for this company was due to commence tomorrow morning and would be proceeded with. Sawing operations would not be interfered with by the fire, he said, his company having between six and eight weeks piling ground available outside the fire area. The burned-over yards are a mass of wreckage, the steel rails being twisted in every conceivable form by the intense heat. The fire will smoulder for days.

The Canadian Match and Splint Corporations, with an investment of over two millions, only a stone’s throw away from the origin of the fire, took every precaution. Streams of water played constantly’on their plants and lumber exceeding ten million feet of matchwood. The chemical building was emptied of Its content, which were taken out of danger. The general opinion in Pembroke today is that the town is very fortunate in having escaped a repetition of the conflagrations which visited the town In 1908 and 1918.

Both Mr. Dunlop. of the Pembroke Lumber Co., and Mr. Woodruff, general manager of the Canadian Match Co., are high in their praise of the manner In whim the situation was handled by Fire Chief Dry and his men, assisted by the Renfrew fire department.

Read about the Stewart family click here..

THE WHITE FAMILY.

The town of Pembroke, about one hundred and twenty miles up the river from Ottawa, was founded in 1828 by Col. Peter White, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, who was for many years one of the principal timber merchants of the Ottawa Valley. His sons have been actively engaged in the lumber business and by their enterprise have done much to build up their native town. Hon. Peter White, born at Pembroke August 30, 1838, after receiving a business training from an Ottawa mercantile firm, entered into partnership with his brother, Andrew T. White, now deceased, as A. & P. White, and for many years carried on an extensive lumber business which is still continued under the firm name. Mr. White is known best, perhaps, as an active politician. He was elected to Parliament in the Conservative interest for North Renfrew in 1874 and, with the exception of a brief interval, represented the constituency steadily until 1896. He was chosen Speaker of the House in 1891 and held that position during a parliamentary term, until 1896, in which year he was defeated in the general election. He carried the constituency again in 1904. Mr. White is a member of the Privy Council of Canada, to which he was called in 1897. He is a director of the Pembroke Lumber Company and is prominently identified with many local commercial enterprises. His brother and business partner, Andrew T. White, was also in public life and for some time represented North Renfrew in the Ontario Legislature.

MIDNIGHT FIRE DESTROYS THE YORKSHIRE WOOL STOCK MILL 1923

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MIDNIGHT FIRE DESTROYS THE YORKSHIRE WOOL STOCK MILL 1923
Unexpected Almonte
November 21, 2019  · 

This is a “general view of Almonte textile mills.”
From left to right, the mills include the Almonte Knitting Co., Rosamond Mill No. 2 (left of the tall building), Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill (tall building), J. M. Haskins’ Cataract Grist and Flouring Mills (foreground), and the 1858 timber slide on the right, used for moving timber from the upper level of the Mississippi River to “The Bay”.
Photo from the book, Lanark Legacy, no specific date given for this photo, but would be sometime circa 1863 (when Haskins had a grist mill) #Almonte #MillHeritage

During those years Almonte was known to travelers on the trains as The Woolen Town, because the Rosamond Woolen Company, the Old Red Knitting Company, the Penman Woolen Mill, Campbell’s Woolen Mill, the Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill and Wm. Thoburn’s Woolen Mills all made the flat metallic clacking of the looms as familiar a sound of Almonte as the whistle of the CPR steam locomotive. (from roots.org)

ALMONTE ESCAPES GREATER DISASTER BECAUSE OF CALM Even At That Burning Cinders Fell Half a Mile Away

September1923

The buildings of the Yorkshire Wool Stock Company on Mill street were gutted in a fire which raged in the early hours of Tuesday morning in 1923. It was the most serious fire which has occurred in Almonte for many years. It had not been the first fire for the mill as it also had a fire in 1919 a few months after opening.The loss is probably about $ 200,0 0 0, partly covered by insurance. It is understood that over $ 100,000 worth of new machinery had been installed during the past fifteen months and further expansion was contemplated The Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill is owned by Julius Cohen.and Joseph with headquarters at Bradford, England, and branches in the United States.

Dr. A. Metcalfe, who lives across the river directly opposite the mill, rang the alarm a t 12.25 a.m. and immediately the fire bell started ringing. In quick time Mr. Hugh Martin and the fire brigade had the engines out, and were assisted by hoses from the adjacent garages and Penmans Limited. The flames were soon burning fiercely and the gravest anxiety prevailed as to the safety of the nearby buildings.

While the favourable elements contribute to this result, the work. of the local fire brigade cannot be too warmly commended. The new gasoline fire engine which the town council had the enterprise to purchase last year did splendid work, while the old steam engine broke down under the strain, Hour after hour  the new engine kept up a steady pressure of 125 pounds, at times forcing water from the river to a height of over 60 feet.

There were twenty-two men employed in the mill. Mr. N. H. Nicholson. is the local manager and Mr. John Blakeley, the mill superintendent.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Sep 1919, Tue  •  Page 8– first fire in 1919

The disastrous fire which destroyed the Yorkshire Wool Stock – Mill on Tuesday of last week, was not entirely quenched until Monday morning of this week. During the five days it smouldered, the conflagration broke out anew several times and there was danger with the heavy winds that prevailed at times that the disaster might assume larger proportions than it did. The municipal fire fighting equipment was withdrawn in the morning following the fire. Since that time the quenching of it was left to the Penmans.

Mr. N. H. Nicholson the local manager of the Wool Stock mills says: “We had great difficulty in fighting the fire after the municipal motor pump was taken away, and although several times we asked for protection we did n o t get it, and we had to rely on Penmans for putting out the fire. “Several times the conflagration broke out again*, and  there was grave danger of it spreading. We had finally to go to Penmans for protection and they took care of the subsequent conflagrations. We are grateful to Penmans for their assistance during the fire, particularly to Mr. B. K. Gunn, the manager, and Mr. M. N. Playfair, their engineer. “The town of Almonte is apparently a t the mercy of Penmans. Surely it is the duty of the town to take care of its fires instead of Penmans.”

–Penmans Mill Street– almonte.com

 Today the Gazette asked Mayor Thoburn if he had any statement to make regarding the foregoing and he replied that he might have something  to say later. It is not yet known if the Yorkshire Wool Stock Company will rebuild its property in Almonte, but  there is no doubt it will be a serious loss to the town if it moves elsewhere. It is understood that the company has received offers from many towns of good sites and good privileges to move the plant to these places. If the plant is taken away it will mean loss of work to about thirty people, affecting about one hundred and fifty persons.Mr. Nicholson states at a special meeting of the town council was to be called to consider the matter, but he has not heard that anything has been done. ” It is up to the people of Almonte to consider whether they wish to keep the town alive, by offering reasonable privileges to commercial enterprises to stay in the district, or whether they would rather see Almonte as one of the has beens.”

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Sep 1923, Tue  •  Page 1

So what happened to the company? A few weeks later this appeared in the Gazette

The property of the Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill which was gutted by fire some weeks ago, has been sold, and the English company which owned it will leave Almonte. The purchasers are a company headed by Mr. P. J. Campbell, of the Campbell Woolen Company. The purchase price h;is not been stated, but the new company is capitalized at 100,000. This is the result of negotiations which have been under way for the past three weeks and only awaited the arrival of the principals of the Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill from England to complete.

Campbell and his business associates will make another change. It is no secret that he had intended to run for Mayor at the coming election. The Gazette asked him about this also, anti his reply was: “I had intended to run for Mayor, but I guess I can do more for the people of Almonte down at the mill than I can as mayor, meanwhile at any rate. I hope we have a good council next year.”

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Collie Mill Fire Almonte October 1, 1965

The Abandoned Appleton Mill

Almonte Fire 1903

1906 — 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

Keyes Building Then and Now

Standard
Keyes Building Then and Now
Before- Photo from Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
07 Dec 1897, Tue  •  Page 8
After-Photo by Linda Seccaspina- Jennifer Fenwick Irwin and Mark Lovell

Related reading

Have You Been to the Keyes Building? Here is Your Chance

The Old Grocery Counter –Calvin Moore

Memories of Argue’s Food Market?