Tag Archives: fire

The Clyde Woollen Mill Fire — Hour By Hour 1917

The Clyde Woollen Mill Fire — Hour By Hour 1917

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada27 Jun 1917, Wed  •  Page 1

The was completely destroyed by fire late Thursday night. Of the large main building in which all the manufacturing was carried on nothing remains except a lint portion of the inactive stone wall and a great heap of smoking debris.

Part of Mr. Crierson, the Superintendants home, also fell prey to the flames, but the office and shipping room, store houses and a few other outhouses wore saved by the excellent and effective work of the firemen. The damage amounts to one hundred thousand dollars, covered by insurance to the extent of 50 thousand dollars. The fire originated at about 9.4.1 p.m. in the boiler room, and was first noticed hy Mr. Cardinal, nightwatchman, on his return from one of his hourly rounds.

A time clock is used and registered upon every hour as the watchman makes a complete inspection of the entire plant. He had just returned to the waiting quarters in the boiler room and had gone to the adjoining department for a handful of waste when the fire was spotted.

Though at times it seemed that the flames would get beyond the rear of the main building where there were a number of storehouses in which are kept large stocks of wool and other raw material it did not. The cloth from the shipping room was all removed to places of safety. Danger to the wool was immediate and serious, and, and the firemen did all they could do to hold down the danger at the east and north ends, the chances of cutting off the -wool losses seemed’ remote.

Extra precautionary measures were taken in this direction and all put in readiness with men and teams to remove the wool in short order. The arrival of the Perth Fire Brigade relieved the situation. They had been summoned and made the journey from Perth to help. When they came they saw a small smouldering fire in a wood pile which stands in the boiler room. Deciding that they could extingnish the blaze quite easily with a sprinkling of water, they went to procure pails and found upon their return that the flames had developed out of control, reaching high up the wells and all around the boiler room.

The alarm was given and quick help at hand, but so sudden and furious had the burning grow that it was impossible to do anything of an efficient nature. The mill firefighters were situated inside the building, but the raging flames prevented this being brought into service.

In a few minutes devastation hail spread east and went to the spinning and carding departments and westward into the finishing room. The last room of all to come to ruin was the weaving. Bursting from their confinement it hit the interior of the building, the flames passed out and over to the dye room and curled in the direction of Mr. Grierson’s house.

The situation was one of keeping control with Perth by means of relays of teams at points along every few feet. The Fire Captain (placed his engine at the Clyde Bridge on George Street), laid hose along Hillier St., caught up around the rear of the building anil joined with Captain White’s Lanark men in forming a complete barrage which cut off the danger from the wool stock anil outbuilding.

Stubbornly the flames shot and roared towards the superintendent’s home, lint equally stubborn and the ascendancy ebbed and flowed for nearly two hours before the flames showed signs of subsidence. In the mill itself large quantities of wool were stored amongst quantities of goods throughout the mill in various stages of fire.

In the scouring house downstairs a miscellaneous assortment of goods were ready for the machines and these were recovered. Thousands of dollars were in stock everywhere and had a strong wind prevailed even this might have been a vain effort, and when the fire spots came along they were quickly extinguished.

Precautions taken in this way saved the fire from spreading and the Fire Brigade was doing splendid work The fire engine stationed at the bridge, no more than one hundred feet distant from the burning building, worked along at full capacity and sent four strong, steady streams of water, distributed to the heat advantage, along the north sides of the building. This was a great task that demanded courage and perseverance.

About an hour after the first alarm the roofs began to weaken and fall, cracking and splitting with the terrific heat, broke off in sections and came down. The centre section of the mill was raised to the ground, disclosing fantastic shapes in twisted and gnarled machinery. A few years ago a brick storey had been added to tho mill, which is all gone, as well as about one-third of the eastern and western sections of the substantial old stone walls which enclosed the plant.

The destruction is so complete that all the order and form of this industry, which was Lanark pride and main support, has passed into the elements, and nothing remains but the slag of the ruin. The fire was all around and as far away as Smiths Falls the glare in the sky was noted. Crowds of people gathered from all quarters. Scores of automobiles came from the towns and villages and countryside. The fire alarm rang in Perth as soon as word was received there, end in a short time the engine and hose were ready end on the way.

Many of Perth’s folk came along in cars and other rigs.The building was originally a store owned by tlie Main, at that time a prominent business family in Lanark. A few years later the property was acquired by the late Boyd Caldwell and converted by him into a Woolen Mill. From time to time improvements end additions have been made.

When the wheels first turned that gave Lanark a standing as an industrial village there was general rejoicing. Caldwell’s Tweeds have honored Lanark for as long as it has existed. At the same time, it seems unthinkable that the place which has been the voice of inspiration for fifty years of successful effort and uninterrupted business policy, should be abandoned lightly. In the meantime plans have been in motion for recovering as fast as possible.

Appleton will take care of the finishing until machinery can be installed in the Perth plant. The Aberdeen Mill in Lanark will be doubled up in capacity by overtime.

Also read–100 Hands Thrown Out of Work –Lanark Village

The Weekly British Whig
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
25 Jun 1917, Mon  •  Page 8


Click here

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
16 Nov 1910, Wed  •  Page 8

Clyde Woolen Mills
  • Lot 2 George St.
  • Clyde Woolen Mills (Caldwell and Watchorn, proprietors; subsequently Boyd Caldwell and Co.) established a woolen mill in 1867.
  • The building was destroyed by fire in 1917. (the Glenayr Kitten Outlet Store was later situated in the Boyd Caldwell store).

Aberdeen Mills
  • Lot 2 George St.
  • William Clyde Caldwell, proprietor, built and began operating a woolen mill by 1890.
  • There was a fire at the mill in June 1901.
  • It was still operating under the Caldwells until 1930.


100 Hands Thrown Out of Work –Lanark Village

A Walk through Lanark Village in 1871

Revolutions of Death at Caldwell & Son’s

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

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

William Craig Smithson Barn Fire 1950

William Craig Smithson Barn Fire 1950

Fire destroyed Mr. Wm. C. Smithson’s bank barn, 10th line of Ramsay Township, on Sunday afternoon in a very short time. The barn and farm were leased to Mr. Kenneth Fee, local livestock dealer, and he lost 17 calves ready for market, a Hull valued at $250, four young pigs and about 20 tons of hay and baled straw .

Mr. Smithson lost about 30 tons of hay and all sorts of farming equipment that he had assembled since he moved to the farm on the edge of town from Pakenham 21 years ago. The horse stable, which was an annex of the barn, was burned with a large quantity of work and show harnesses, blankets, etc. The pump house which was separate also went up in the blaze. Five calves and a show horse were saved.

Mr. Smithson’ carried $2,000 insurance with the Lanark County Farmers’ Mutual and Mr. Fee had no insurance. The fire was first noticed about 2 p.m. by Gregory Smithson, 11- year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Smithson, who was in the barn at the time with Donald Reynolds of Carleton Place. At that time the hay on top of the granary was burning and as the barn doors were open, the fire spread in a matter of seconds.

The Almonte Fire Brigade was called and a thousand feet of hose had to be laid from the High School and the pumper connected. It was too late to do much good but the firemen stayed on the job until 6 p.m. and poured water on the ruins. When Gregory gave the alarm, Mr. and Mrs. Smithson and their daughter, Mrs. Millie Stokes, were at home. Mr. Smithson rushed to the cow stable but was unable to enter because of the extreme heat.

Mr. Fee usually visited the farm on Sunday but on this occasion only arrived when the fire was nearly over. In addition to the stock in the barn, he had 24 milk cows which were out on pasture. On Wednesday, the remains of the livestock had been removed and buried but there was still a big job of cleaning up. Mr. Smithson plans to rebuild. It is estimated the total loss will run around $25,000. 

August 1950

1956, Thursday August 23, The Almonte Gazette page 8
William C. Smithson

Following a month’s illness Mr William Craig Smithson passed away in Ottawa Civic Hospital on Wednesday, August 15h in his 70th year. Born at White Lake, he was the son of James Smithson and his wife, Barbara Craig. As a young man he worked at Cochrane for a few years and then settled in Pakenham Township.

Twenty-four years ago he purchased the farm on the outskirts of Almonte on the 10th line of Ramsay Township where the remainder of his life was spent. He was twice married. His first wife was Isabel Raycroft and following her death he married Jessie Ethel Armstrong in 1937. Surviving are his wife, and three sons and two daughters, William of South Porcupine; Dorothy, Mrs Peer Larsen of Kingston; Mildred, Mrs Dick Kitley of Regina; Douglas of Braeside and Gregory at home. There are also three brothers; Tom, Indian Head; Chris, Arnprior and Richard, Pakenham.

The funeral was held from his late residence, Martin Street on Saturday afternoon, August 18 and was largely attended. Rev Wm D. Reid of Carleton Place officiated and interment was in the Auld Kirk Cemetery. Among the tributes to the deceased were flowers from Circle No 2 of Almonte United Church and the employees of the Rosamond Woollen Company. The pallbearers were: Messrs Ted Sonnenburg, Kenneth Fee, William Hanson, Garnet Potter, Orval Peaver and Herman Ziebarth.

Three Years of Barn Swallows– Signs of Spring–Stuart McIntosh

Patrick Doyle Lanark County Barn Raising Ireton

The Lowry Barn on Highway 29

The Bank Barn of William Goth

Did We Find Henry Lang’s Barn?

The Day a Barn Raising Went Wrong- Meredith Family Genealogy

The Barn on Lot 25 Concession 10 Beckwith –Donna Mcfarlane

So What are the Mysterious “diamond cross” cut-outs seen on barns in Lanark County?

Stewart House Clippings and Memories

Stewart House Clippings and Memories

Name of creator

Stewart House Incorporated (Pakenham, Ont.)


Administrative history

Stewart House Incorporated was a United Church of Canada learning centre located in the Village of Pakenham, Ontario. In 1962, Art and Elsa Stewart offered their home in Pakenham to serve as a learning centre since the other learning centre in Ontario, Five Oaks, was seen as too far away for the eastern presbyteries of the United Church of Canada. A joint committee of representatives from Renfrew and Ottawa Presbyteries was named to administer the project. The Stewarts then donated the property to the Renfrew and Ottawa Presbyteries in 1966 to serve as a permanent Christian Education centre or “retreat house” for Eastern Ontario. Stewart House was officially incorporated on February 6, 1965 and the operations were overseen by a Board of Directors. It was an accredited educational centre of the United Church of Canada. Stewart House closed in 2006.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
31 Oct 1962, Wed  •  Page 50


Turning over of Stewart House at Pakenham to United Church Sunday took place when Mrs. Elsa Stewart, ( read-History Clippings of the the Centennial Restaurant – Pakenham)

left, hands Rev. Murray McBride case containing golden key, while he already holds deeds given to properties. Other property is White House next door to shelter those on lay retreats and conferences. Photo by Peter Greene

At largely attended ceremony, – **Church accepts Stewart House **- Stewart House, spacious lay retreat house in Pakenham, and its adjoining White House, used for overnight accommodations, were formally turned over to the United Church of Canada in a largely attended ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Chairman of the Board, of Stewart House Inc., Rev. Murray McBride of Arnprior accepted the deeds and a gold key from the donor, Mrs. Elsa Stewart. “I’m told that my idea of Stewart House is 25 years ahead of its time,” Mrs. Stewart said, and I nevertheless feel very moved at this time to see so many who have turned out for the occasion from which quietness and fellowship in small groups of those to use the project will derive much inspiration and spiritual joy.” 85,000 say thanks.

Mrs. Stewart wanted credit to go to all concerned, but she did want to mention the names of Mrs. Errol Amaron, of Admaston, who could not be present, and Rev. Lloyd Shorten and Dr. Norman Coll of Ottawa. Receiving thanks from Mrs. Stewart for caring for the reception part of the occasion were the Church ladies of Pakenham Cedar Hill and Blakeney. Rev. McBride, in reply, said that Mrs. Stewarts gift was “no ordinary act, on no normal day, and it gives me great honour when I speak for all our Church people in the Ottawa and Renfrew Presbyteries to extend 85,000 thank you’s.” It was said that Art and EIsa Stewart had given their personal dimension of generosity and dedication to the gifts, and that the salutary benefits from the retreat center would “have value to the extent of the imagination of those using it.”

Rev. McBride recalled that the project idea had been formed eight years ago by the Stewarts and has been fostered by many in the interval to make it “a vision made real”. The opening invocation was given by Rev. John Angus of the Renfrew Presbytery, and the closing benediction was said by Chairman of the Ottawa Presbytery, Rev. Richard Carson. Leisurely spur. The guest speaker was Rev. George Young, Director of the Five Oaks retreat and leadership center, Paris, Ont.

Rev. Young reviewed the Church’s first project in retreat houses in British Columbia some 20 years ago, and traced their growth down to the splen­did Stewart House complex in so beautiful and inspirational a setting. The speaker said increased leisure these days has stimulated thoughtful people to avail themselves of lay training centers from which foundations of hope grow anew. “Those who come to Stewart House will be transformed people, and transforming disciples,” Rev. Young assured his numerous listeners, and to show the extent of the continuing challenge he said “with the birth of every new child, God hath not yet despaired of man.” “Stewart House will be a place of renewal, and a core of mission, in a fearless confrontation of a secular world more and more exposed to Christ,” the speaker confirmed.

Rev. Young closed with the words “Lead on, oh King Eternal, the days of March have come.” Directors noted. Rev. McBride, Stewart House Board Chainman, asked the other Directors to step forward and receive recognition for their contributions and sacrifices. They are: Mrs. John Harrington, Rev. Hank Weiler, Secretary, Al Monaghan, Rev. Ken Robinson, Mrs. Errol Amaron (absent), Jack West, Miss Jean Connery, Treasurer, and Mrs. Elsa Stewart. The presence was noted of Anglican Pakenham Rector Rev. C. C. Conliffe. Those attending the function numbering 600, were shown through Stewart House, and the 9-room White House.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Apr 1966, Sat  •  Page 26

Alice Paige

The Stewart family did so much for Pakenham and area. Humble, modest and generous!

Andrea MacFarlane-Grieve

January 21  · 

I found this picture in a collection of photos that Danny Paige had put together several years ago. It shows Austin Stanton and a friend in front of a gas station/garage and I believe the location was in what is now the empty parking lot across the street from the once-upon-a-time Stewart House.
It would be interesting to know the history on this building and who owned it over the years …. although I am sure it is in the Tweedsmuir History if I went and looked.

Having said that though and if I am correct on the location, then have a funny story to tell that most people of my age group would remember. After the garage was torn down, the only thing left was a cement retainer wall at the back of the proper to stop the hill from collapsing. One Halloween, someone (whose name I know but won’t tell) wrote F*** OFF in big block letters on that wall. Well, it only took a few days for someone to come around and paint over it ….. however …

For about 15 years afterwards, every spring after the thaw, the cover-up paint decayed and lo-and-behold, the wonderful message would reappear as clear as day on the wall.
And every time it did, it got a chuckle from most of the youngsters in town. 

Peter Stanton

My dad is in photo and I am in the baby carriage. Winter of 54- 55. He had garage along with drill but the drilling business got much busier so he stopped garage about 56.

Shirleen Duncan

Hi, my husband says it was originally Allan Scotts garage, he remembers it being there. The Scott’s lived across the road from the Cedar Hill school house. Both of Allan’s sons are listed on the cenotaph in Pakenham. Mary Shaw (née Scott) is 105 years young and lives in Arnprior, so say’th Bill.

Andrea MacFarlane-Grieve

Bonnie MacFarlane Take a closer look Bonnie. This is not the garage that was beside the Stanton’s house. Check out the house at the top of the hill to the right …. it is Ralph McKenzie’s place.. That is why I said it was the garage that used to be in the Stewart House parking lot.

Cathy Lyon

Brian Kenneth Needham Yes, you are right it was Allie Scott. Maybe he sold the garage and property to Austin Stanton after he retired. He and his wife Laura lived up on the hill beside my Dad, Wm. Y. Wood. I remember them both very well. I lived with them for awhile after my Mother died.

April 11,2022 

Robert GardinerPakenham History: 1823-2023

In light of last night’s devastating fire on the main street, it’s worth pointing out the heritage value of the property. This building dated back to at least the 1870s-80s, if not earlier, when Benjamin Dunnet built a large limestone store at the site (see circled image below). Over the years it was used as a general store, residence, office, and service station.

In 1957 Art and Elsa Stewart bought the property and demolished the stone building with the exception of one wall at the back. They built themselves a house on the site, which was later used as a church building and more recently as a restaurant. Even until recently many people still referred to it as “Stewart House”-Pakenham History: 1823-2023

Pakenham History: 1823-2023

Kelsey Braendli

My husband and I are the current home owners of “The White House” and to see the fire last night was devastating. We are extremely thankful to all of the fire departments who arrived quickly and stayed throughout the night to prevent anyone from getting hurt.

Alice Paige

How awful! Stewart House ( and the White House next door) were run by the United Church. I used to stay there in the late 70’s when Art and Elsa Stewart were traveling. I would stay in the office to help with any needs while groups were there. It was a busy place. Marguerite Millar and Lois Grainger were the cooks. I even got a few cooking lessons from them. They often made meals for 10-50 people. Meetings, youth programs, marriage renewal classes, spiritual retreats and more were run and I always thought well attended. There was a beautiful Findlay oval cookstove in the rec room which was in perfect condition. It was a fine place! I believe the United Church sold it because they didn’t have the funds to run it. Maybe others know more?

History Clippings of the the Centennial Restaurant – Pakenham

The Pakenham Fire of June 1939 –Names Names Names

Mayne Store–Memories of the Pakenham Fire 1940

  1. The Pakenham Fire of 1940
  2. July 8, 1940 Fire at the Mayne Store Pakenham
  3. Dickson Hall Fire Pakenham-H. H. Dickson
  4. Fire at Pakenham Woollen Factory with Town Directory
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Sep 1973, Sat  •  Page 27

Original Burgess Buildings Burn 1921- Burgess Merrick History Carleton Place

Original Burgess Buildings Burn 1921- Burgess Merrick History Carleton Place

It’s Charles Burgess built this grist mill at the CPR siding in the 1890’s. It was located about where today’s Mews mall is on Landsdowne Avenue. ( these were the newer buildings built after the fire)

It was run by Ab Hurdis’s grandfather William Hurdis– and later still by Russell Munro, whose son Keith remembers it burning down about 1965.–Before The Carleton Place Mews?

Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

The original Grist Mill Burnt down

1921-04-22– Almonte Gazette

A feed mill belonging to Chas. F. Burgess was completely destroyed by fire, Tuesday night. The damage is estimated to be in the vicinity of $15,000. The cause of the fire is unknown, but it started in a shed where a small quantity of hay was stored adjoining the mill. No one knew the building was in trouble until all of a sudden fire broke out with a rush and in a few seconds the entire shed was a mass of flames.

The fire spread to the mill, which on account of its frame construction fell an easy prey. For nearly two hours the buildings were a raging furnace, and although tons of water were poured into them by the Carleton Place fire department. The fire had gained too much headway and could not be got under control till the buildings were completely gutted.

With the buildings were all there was also destroyed stock and machinery which included a carload of flour that had just been unloaded. Nothing was saved but a small quantity of office equipment and a few bags of flour. At no time was there any danger of the fire spreading beyond the Burgess buildings, as these were somewhat isolated from the rest of the town.

On account of this no outside help was asked, but the town firemen under Fire Chief Wm. McIlquham fought the fire gallantly, though were unsuccessful in their efforts. The burned buildings were among the old landmarks of the town. They were erected many years ago by a Mr. Merrick, an old pioneer of Carleton Place.


The Merrickville Star
Merrickville, Ontario, Canada
18 Apr 1901, Thu  •  Page 8
The Weekly British Whig
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
26 Feb 1891, Thu  •  Page 4
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
01 Feb 1898, Tue  •  Page 8
The Kingston Whig-Standard
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
25 Feb 1887, Fri  •  Page 8

The Burgess Will and Other Burgess Oddities

When Things Come 360 –The First Automobile Fatality in Carleton Place– Torrance, Burgess, and Names Names

Arthur Street The Burgess House and Dangerous Places- Ray Paquette

A.C. Burgess “Dining Hall Carleton Place” 1885

Arthur Burgess Closes Carleton Place C.P.R. Restaurant

The Crazy Town World of Mr. George Arthur Burgess of Carleton Place

Before The Carleton Place Mews?

Who Was John Boland? Chatterton House/Queen’s Hotel Registry — The Burgess Family Dynasty

The Auction of the Year in Carleton Place

The Wall Mysteries of Lake Ave East -Residential Artists

More Notes about the Mysterious Arklan Farm

Fire at the Manse in Watson’s Corners

Fire at the Manse in Watson’s Corners
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
26 Aug 1908, Wed  •  Page 1

During Rev. McConnells’ ministry, the first manse at Watson’s Corners was built in 1893, and the next year the Zion Church was built at Watson’s Corners. During Rev. McLean’s ministry in 1908, the Manse was burned to the ground on August 20, but was rebuilt immediately after the fire.

Perth Courier, November 10, 1893

Watson’s Corners:  On the night of 31st October the minister and his family, who lately moved into the new manse at Watson’s Corners, got a very pleasant surprise by the ladies and their friends of that section of the Dalhousie congregation.  On the evening named Mr. and Mrs. McConnell were invited out to tea and while at the house of their hostess and before the hour for tea had come, two messengers arrived announcing that visitors had come to the manse and Mr. and Mrs. McConnell were wanted.  On retracing their steps they found the ladies and gentlemen to the number of 36 had taken full possession and on being ushered into the dining room they found the table loaded with everything inviting to the appetite and they were invited by the president of the Ladies Aid of Watson’s Corners to take their places at the table.  After supper, Mr. McConnell was called to take the chair for the evening and a very pleasant hour was spent in religious exercises.  Congratulatory addresses were made on the work done since the minister’s labors began in this part of the Dalhousie congregation to which the minister replied and thanked all who were present for the earnest and zealous aid he had received since his arrival at Watson’s Corners.  The ladies not only brought ample supplies for all present but enough to make a good beginning in the way of supplying the manse for some time to come.  Nor was the minister’s horse forgotten for several bags of oats were brought and stored away for him. Such a visit as this of which we have written is stimulating and helpful both to the minister and the people; and we trust the kind words spoken by those present on this occasion and the response returned by the chairman will long be remembered by all.  In concluding this brief recital of what happened at the Presbyterian manse on the night of the 31st October we may add that besides the representatives of our own church and congregation we had male and female members of the Methodist Church who were as liberal and cordial in their gifts and kind words as others.  At about 10:00, after singing “God Be With You Till We Meet Again”, etc., the chairman pronouncing the benediction the company dispersed well satisfied with the entertainment of which they were the originators and active agents.

The Landmark Pine Tree in Watson’s Corners– Gloria Currie

When Researching — Tragedy Somehow Shows Up- Fair Family- Watson’s Corners

More Photos of the Watson’s Corners Kangaroos – Thanks to Connie Jackson

The Valley Calendar 1976– Cindy Duncan–Watson’s Corners

Watson’s Corners School

Watson’s Corners

It’s the Watson’s Corners News 1895!

Social Notes from Watson’s Corners

All the Single Ladies?

It’s the Watson’s Corners News 1895!

The Miserly Woman From Watson’s Corners 1903

The Deserted Fireplace at Watson’s Corners


Watson’s Corners And Vicinity 1891–Shetland Ponies and Cheese

So…. We drove by Kangaroo Crescent

Tie Me Jackelope Down Boy–Tie Me Jackelope Down!

More about Cindy Duncan – Thanks to Connie Jackson

The Taylor Brothers from Carleton Place — Lanark Village Fire 1911

The Taylor Brothers from Carleton Place — Lanark Village Fire 1911
Lanark & District Museum
September 30, 2020  · —
Our beautiful “Village Queen”, the retired fire truck that looked after our village for so many years, will be on display in honour of all first responder– read-Remember the Village Queen in Lanark?

Taylor Brothers were very popular hardware stores with its home base located in Carleton Place and they other stores in Almonte, Lanark and Perth

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada17 May 1911, Wed  •  Page 1

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
07 Jun 1911, Wed  •  Page 4


Taylor Bros. Warehouse and Contents Destroyed Mrs. McGuires Block

Lanark narrowly escaped destruction last Saturday morning when fire broke out in the workshop Messrs. Taylor Bros. Limited, spread with rapidity to the storehouse in front and wiped out of existence the big frame building, together with a large stock of hardware and pipes valued at over 4,000.

At time the roof of a score of buildings close by ignited, aud it looked as though it would end in a general conflagration and the village would be wiped out. But the brigade stuck unflinchingly to their task, and after hours of stubborn fighting it could be seen that the fire was under control.

Next to the building the greatest damage was sustained in the building owned by Mr. Thomas McGuire, and used by Mr. A. J. McDonald as a storehouse. Here were stored quantities of feed, of which was removed in lime to safety. But the building itself presented the greatest danger. Only separated from the burning building by an alleyway not more than ten feet wide, time and time again it burst into flame only to be beaten out by three streams of water that swept the flaming walls.

The first seen by Mr. T. Lett Simpson, Manager of the Lanark branch of Taylor Bros., Limited. He got up out pf bed to put down the window, and was awakened by the flash and crackling like an approaching thunderstorm. He attended the fire at once, and, without so much aa taking the time to change into conventional attire. He sped to the fire alarm in a nightshirt and bare feet.

The tolling of the bell was heard in a hundred homes, and instantly there appeared men and women pouring from all quarters. The Clyde Woolen Mills, situated not more than one hundred yards away, had a splendid stream of water going in a twinkling, the town brigade followed shortly with a second stream.

A volunteer pail brigade meanwhile stationed themselves on the housetop, east of the tire and by incessant watching succeeded in stopping some of the fire that would catch now and again by floating embers. Shingles and pieces of wood carried a far as Jas. Bair’s farmhouse, nearly a quarter of a mile away.

Photo- Laurie Yuill

The fire was too far advanced to save much of the contents after the men arrived, only a few rolls of wire and sundry small sides were withdrawn unharmed. The great task was to keep the blaze confined, which in itself called forth the very best efforts of the brigade.

Captain T. Lett Simpson directed his men with good judgment and succeeded in stopping the fire zone enlarging. Barrels of oil, cylinder oil, tank of coal oil, a full line of house paints fed the flames which leaped a hundred feet in the air and reared with a mighty noise. Two thousand live hundred rounds of ammunition, owned by the local Rifle Association and stored away, rattled like a cannonade, like a score of guns.

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
25 Sep 1912, Wed  •  Page 1

The hose played here and there where the most effect could be had. Holes were cut in the roof next door und a stream sent in that held the fire back. The fire engine wordked under pressure and halted not for a single second through all the exacting demand. In perfect running urder, the shining Clyde proved itself one of the very best engines through hours of heavy work.

The scene presented an exhibition of effective fire fighting. Considering the danger to the town, very little excitement waa displayed. The gallant firefighters moved from point to point grimly beating the flames inch by inch, stand by stand, until finally they got control of the situation well in hand. It might be surmised that a fire occurring at such an early hour not many citizens would call to the source. All sorts and conditions of men appeared in ail sorts and conditions of attire, mostly of the deshabille order. It did not matter if a professional gentleman who I have seen usually groomed with the greatest care should jump from the fray garbed like a tramp. No one noticed anything like that.

Nor should a lady come alung with dishevelled locks and swathed in a blanket. They were there to fight fire, and it did not matter if collar and cuffs wore lacking. It wa just that the alarm had rung, the village alarm ringing, then the sawmill joined in the awakening.

The village engine was rushed to the river at the bridge and from that point forced the water up hill. The men were completely exhausted when safety was declared and the charred, smoking heap of ashes gave strong testimony to the great work they had done. Some had escaped by the skin of her teeth, and to the gallant men to whom we owe our safety we are deegily grateful.

Injuries were light–: in several eases men fell off roofs, but luckily all managed to avoid serious hurt. A few sore shins compeled men to limp slightly, but these minor injuries are borne cheerfully. The town is safe and that is everything. Farmers from all the surrounding country streamed into th evillage alarmed by the steam whistles going.

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
25 Sep 1912, Wed  •  Page 4

So What Happened To The Taylors?

William Taylor operated his business along with all of his sons until he turned the operation over to sons John and Frank. The other brothers moved on to different places throughout the country. For example Alexander moved to Winnipeg along with his new wife Marion Brown who was the aunt of WWI flying ace Captain Roy Brown.

During the late 1800’s the Taylor Family along with other families such as the Browns, Gillises & Findlays were the creme’ de le creme’ of high society in the town. There was a rich level of culture, privilege, recreation and art that was very much alive and well in Carleton Place at that time. These families not only socialized but inter-married with one another.

John and Frank ran successful hardware businesses in both Almonte and Carleton Place until the depression occured in 1929. By then they had gotten HERE into the automobile industry and had extended credit to many of their customers and members of both communities. As the depression dragged on these dedts were never paid and by the late 1930’s the brothers could hang on no longer. The Taylor Block in Carleton Place was eventually sold in 1945. from CLICK HEREand read-Sir Malcolm Campbell Bluebird for Sale at Taylor’s Garage?

Read—The Story of the Taylors in Almonte & Carleton Place
by Lyle Dillabough CLICK-

Remember the Village Queen in Lanark?

Wilbert Foster Garage Fire —Lanark

Images of the Day After the Lanark Fire June 16 1959–

Lanark 1962 Centennial Photos

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


The Safe Cracker Comes to Taylor’s in Carleton Place

Memories of Taylor’s Hardware — Mohra Taylor –

Sir Malcolm Campbell Bluebird for Sale at Taylor’s Garage?

You Didn’t Go to Taylor’s Hardware Store for Milk

There were Spies Among us in Carleton Place

The Day the Comba Building Sold-Taylor Block

Sir Malcolm Campbell Bluebird for Sale at Taylor’s Garage?

Central Canadian Fire January 1923

Central Canadian Fire January 1923
1898 Toronto Star corner Emily and Bridge

present day

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum..photo

In 1861, the McLean’s owned the building. In 1877, William McDiarmid gained
ownership of the premises after Struthers owned it. William McDiarmid took over
William Neelin’s general store in 1870 – the Golden Lion Store on the North West
corner of Bridge and Emily Street. By 1882, the store had gas lighting.

At 120 Bridge Street between 1882 and 1905 Duncan and William McDiarmid operated a store together. Later Mr. Pollock operated a music store at this location. The Central Canadian’s Office was located at 120 until the 1923 fire prior to merging with the Herald.

The Central Canadian’s editor was W.W. Cliff. In 1876, Cliff started the Canadian. Cliff was at the helm of the Central Canadian for thirty five years until F.A.J. Davis took over. In 1927 the name of the Central Canadian was changed to the Carleton Place Canadian.

The photo of the burned out building was taken on January 7, 1923, this photo shows the aftermath of a fire at the Herald/Central Canadian Newspaper office located on the north-west corner of Bridge and Elgin/ Emily Street in Carleton Place. This is now the site of Body Graphics Tattoo.

It was 10 pm when the fire was discovered in the office of the Central Canadian. It took over two hours to get the fire under control-but in no time the roof had fallen in and the floors collapsed in several places.The newspaper plant and stock valued at $13,000 was destroyed, and the building frame veneered with brick was a wreck estimated at $5000 in damages.

The flames had spread upward to the second floor where the heavier type of metal machinery was and it became too dangerous for the firemen to enter, less the floor give way. Mr. F.A. Davis the owner had insurance of $6000 on the plant and the Wm. McDiarmid estate owners of the building $2000, so the loss was a heavy one to both parties. The brick building adjoining the burned building was saved intact –so the Central Canadian moved next door and Mr. Davis determined what arrangements he could make to get the town’s newspaper out the next day. No word if that paper did come out.

After the 1923 fire, the new building housed Leo. McDiarmid’s Sports.  Guns could be purchased or repaired, and ammunition and decoys were sold. Later Cliff Caldwell and his wife Edna operated a hair salon and lived on the second floor. About 1950 George H Doucett bought the building and his insurance company operated there until the early 70s. Mr. William S. Rowat was his office manager and after he lost an eye and could no longer drive, Mr. Doucett’s nephew Allan joined the staff. Mr.and Mrs. Dan Nichols occupied the upstairs apartment and the building was later purchased by Howard McNeely who operated a barbershop at 120 Bridge.

Almonte Gazette January 12 1923

The LeMaistre Garage Fire

The LeMaistre Garage Fire

1936 Almonte Gazette

Fire thought to have resulted from electric wiring or a v-belt on a motor, did damage estimated at $1,000s of dollars early Monday morning at Ed’s Body Shop, which is located in the former LeMaistre garage building.

The blaze was discovered at 4.30 in the morning by Thomas Dean, night man at Hotel Almonte which is located next to the structure where the fire broke out. Mr. Dean said he noticed smoke, heard something like an explosion and then saw the ruddy glow. He turned in the alarm. It was a tough assignment for the fire- brigade as the thermometer was hovering around six below zero .

There were hydrants close to the building and the hose was hooked onto the one of High Street next to the hotel. The fire started In a narrow wing of the building that comes out to the sidewalk. Materials such as paint used by auto body workers are very inflammable and apt to explode. The smoke and fumes were dense and the firemen fought the blaze for a considerable time in the bitter, frosty air.

An examination of the premise in daylight showed considerable damage but the blaze had not broken through the walls or the roof and seemed to have been confined to the upper part of the section affected. The only explanation was defective wiring or a motor which came on automatically from time to time to keep up air pressure for spraying machinery.

The fire chief, Durward Washburn on looking things over, thought a v-belt might have done the damage through friction due to slipping when worn. At any rate an examination of the area around the stove showed the fire did start there, so electricity seemed to be the logical answer.

Mr. Gosset, who rents the building from Mr. John LeMaistre had some insurance on part of his equipment, it will be several days before he is operating’ again. A Cadillac car and a newly painted truck will require new paint jobs as a result of the heat, otherwise they were not damaged. Damage to the equipment was not too serious, according to the owner. It is a good thing Mr. Dean happened to see the fire because at 4.30 in the morning there is little or no traffic on that part of Bridge Street and the garage is flanked on either side by the O’Brien Theatre and the Hotel Almonte. Harry Gunn.s Clover Farm groceteria Is located across the street.

January 1957

Lots of queries this morning. Pete Brunelle asks- Hi Linda would like to know if you found any pics of my grandfather garage , LeMaistre and son , and also my great Grandfather blacksmiths shop , which he ended up bring in an automobile at the time to tera down and rebuild ,, Would love to have something of that nature ,, My grandfather garage is now HB Auto– Anyone have anything?

Steve Nelson Though I am not from Almonte…I really enjoy and appreciate your efforts on this Facebook page. I have great memories of summer holidays spent there as a child visiting my grandparents (Jack and Flo LeMaistre on Water St). Our family goes back to the late 1800’s in Almonte. Thanks again for all your efforts in helping to recall those happy times

A piece of LeMaistre history on Pete Brunelles page.. Love this photo-Steve Nelson Love this picture. That was my great grandfather Edward LeMaistre. Although I didn’t get to meet him as he died 10 years before I was born, my mother always speaks of what a nice man he was.❤️

A piece of LeMaistre history on Pete Brunelles page.. Love this photo–John Armour —The picture was taken at my grandparents (George and Mae LeMaistre) in the dining room at 93 George Street, C.P. The dining room table (extended in original photo with a card table or two) was in the house when my great grandfather bought five house for back taxes, for each of his children. This dining room table (in original picture), now resides in my dining room here in Kingston, Ontario and is still used today by Annie and me for dinners.

From Pete Brunelle— Linda Seccaspina I believe it is on water street in Almonte–the boy is my grandfather , with his 2 sisters and mother and father ,

Break In! Thurston’s Garage and Lunch Bar

Clippings of the Winslow-Spragge Name and the Local Garage

Sir Malcolm Campbell Bluebird for Sale at Taylor’s Garage?

Wilbert Foster Garage Fire —Lanark

Almonte Genealogy– LeMaistre’s or Currie Family — Steve Nelson

Celebrating Christmas in July — Mary Cook Archives — LeMaistre

Caldwell Public School Evan Greenman Ted LeMaistre – Thanks to Pete Brunelle

Stafford House History – Fire 1950


January 26,1950

Fire of undetermined origin did damage to a garage and shed located at the rear of the Elgin Street residence of the Stafford family early Sunday morning. The alarm was phoned into the town hall about five o’clock by Mr. Reggie Salmon who resides or. Country Street to the rear of the Stafford property. 

The brigade had its equipment on the scene in less than five minutes. Firemen found flames breaking out in several places in a shed and a garage behind the residence. The house itself is of brick construction. In the rear is a kitchen of frame construction and connected to that is a woodshed. Built out from the shed to form an L, is a double frame garage. 

The fire was confined to the woodshed, the garage and the attic over the kitchen. Some smoke got into the main part of the residence through the open door from the kitchen but no damage was done of any account. Two cars in the garage were damaged. Two streams of water were played on the fire and the pressure was excellent. 

There are four members in the family, three sisters and a brother. Several of them are in rather poor health and had to be assisted to the home of their next door neighbor, Mrs. P. J. Campbell. In this connection Constable Osborne of the local Provincial Police detail who was on night duty that week and one of the first on the scene, rendered great assistance. 

Fire Chief Houston and others who investigated the fire are at a loss to account for it. Heat was provided by oil and electricity so hot ashes are ruled out and electricians say it couldn’t have been the wiring. Incendiarism to cover up theft of goods stored in the outbuildings is a theory that is entertained by the authorities although proof is lacking.

Stafford Genealogy

Outside Looking in at The Eccentric Family of Henry Stafford — Our Haunted Heritage

More About the Eccentric Stafford Family in Almonte