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Franktown Once Enlivened By Shouts of Lumberjacks–The word of Mrs. Frances Atkinson

Franktown Once Enlivened By Shouts of Lumberjacks–The word of Mrs. Frances Atkinson

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Perth RememberedThreshing machine with a steam engine. C.1941 Franktown Ontario. C224-6. ©Queen’s Printer for Ontario



Present day visitors to the quiet but picturesque village of Frank­town, up in Beckwith township, if they were not already familiar with the historical background of the place, would have difficulty visualizing it as a once important and thriving center of industry and commerce.

            For living proof that it was such, even back in the thirties and for a long time afterwards, we have the word of Mrs. Frances Atkinson, ninety-eight-year-old, resident of Manotick, who was born and raised in Franktown at a period when settlers in the surrounding district were still experi­encing some of the trials and tribulations of pioneer life.

Busy Scenes

            In the middle fifties, according to Mrs. Atkinson, Franktown was a village of about one hundred and fifty inhabitants, boasting a main street which was a regular beehive of industry, particularly during the lumbering season. Those were the days when the little community was enlivened by the shouts and songs of the river­men and drivers of supply wagons who stopped there on their way up from Bytown to the McLachlin Brothers shanties. As many as one hundred teams would be seen in the hamlet at one time. During the period when        the Brockville and Ottawa railway was being constructed, Franktown district supplied thousands of railway ties. All this industry brought prosperity and busy times to the com­munity. The railway was run within s mile and a quarter of the village.



            Mrs. Atkinson  recalls that in the middle fifties the village boasted two general stores kept by James Burrows and John G. Campbell. Mr. Burrows, besides running a large store, was pro­prietor of the Franktown Hotel, a hostelry which had graced the main street of the village from some time in the thirties. Ewen McEwen was postmaster and town clerk.

Many Blacksmiths

            The village had no fewer than four blacksmiths: Tom Allen, Martin Anderson, Tom Griffin and John Morris. There were also two doctors, three shoe­makers, two tailors, three coopers and two cabinet makers. William Moore conducted a tannery on the outskirts of the village. Mrs. Atkinson’s father, the late James Bowels, who came to Franktown district from the Old Country in the early thirties, was the leading carpenter and had a hand in the erection of many of the pioneer dwellings and commercial buildings.

            Long before Mrs. Atkinson saw the light of day in the little village of Franktown, the Beckwith pioneers had constructed a one room log schoolhouse a short dis­tance outside the village on the road leading to Richmond. That was where she and six brothers and sisters learned their three R’s. Two brothers. Harry and James, are still living and both residing in Western Canada.


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Newspaper Articles compiled by Grant McFarlane of Lanark.




May be an image of 5 people, people smiling and text that says 'NO RI DE HAVE MORE TANKS READY FOR HITLER CTट-'

Photo from Franktown Gas and Grocery.. Ron Irvine is in the box.

If you have ever driven down Highway 15 to Smiths Falls you have no doubt seen Franktown Grocery and Gas. Not only is it the place to get yummy homemade food and those delicious butter tarts, but it is one of the foundations of Lanark County history. —

During World War ll the Canadian government campaign attempted to drum up support for the war among Canadians. They used war posters to recruit, to encourage wartime productivity and to raise money through Victory Bonds etc.

Canadian war posters were everywhere, colourful, and with a clear direct message. Produced and displayed in a variety of sizes on buses, billboards, in theatres, in stores and even on matchbox covers. Posters as a propaganda tool, had a direct clear message.

Obviously these young lads got the message from posters around the area. This 1940s photo was given to Franktown Grocery and Gas- No one knows names, but it was taken just outside the building.


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

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.



The Mysterious World of Alexander Hastie Macfarlane of Franktown

The Franktown Inn

The Haunted Canoe from the Jock River

You’ve Got Trouble in Franktown-Dead Horses and Wives

How Franktown Got Its Name

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