This is the front piece photo of “The Canadian Mississippi River”. The book’s caption reads: ” Buttermilk Falls at Snow Road, on Antoine Creek within sight of the Mississippi River. This picture must have been taken in the early part of the 20th century because of lack of vegetation
Ryan Hunter-I drive by it everyday on the way to work. It feeds into Millar’s lake near the bridge that the 509 crosses the Mississippi. Theres a small cottage right next to it so if you visit, make sure not to trespass on thier section
Mrs. Jim Kennedy and some of her children were taking jim’s midnight lunch over to him at the mill as he was the night watchman. While crossing the birdge her wee son Bert tripped on something and rolled under the birdge railiing. He fell into the water and was drowned. The men searched all night , but there is quite a curren there and his body was not found until next morning.
Frontenac County Ontario : Collection of Glass Negatives from the Snow Road area, circa 1900
This collection of glass negatives was found in an antique store in Perth, Ontario. They were taken in Snow Road or in the immediate area. Twelve of the photos appear in Hilda Geddes’ book “The Canadian Mississippi River“, published 1988, reprinted 1992, by General Publishing House, Inc., Burnstown, ON. I’ve identified those photos according to the captions in Hilda’s book.
The source of these negatives is a mystery. The Perth antique dealer told me that an elderly couple walked in and offered the negatives for sale — they didn’t leave their names and no other information is available.
I’ve oriented the published photos according to how they appear in the book, but it is possible that some or all of the others need to be “flipped” horizontally.= Charles Dobie
This story was related to me by sister The Old Stone House at Snow Road on the Mississippi, had a lot of stories to be told. When you are a child, sweet innocence is so present and in the 1940’s this was much more prevalent. Be right back
The Stone House had no running water, electricity, the only source of light was a coil oil lamp or a flashlight. In the forties the flashlight gave off little light. If the moon was out it was not bad as you could find your way, when it shone in the window. If the stars and moon, were tucked behind the clouds, you could barely see your hand in front of your face, it was dark. The children were put to bed when darkness descended, so by the time the adults came up to bed, they had been sleeping for a while. On most evenings after the kids were out of their hair, everyone would sit and play cards or just talk and some may have beer or a drink. It would be much later when they would venture up to bed. The men would be up early so they usually went off to sleep quite quickly, after all it was a lot of work rowing a boat, fishing or cleaning the fish for dinner. When they needed to bring up a block of ice from the Ice house, it would take a bit of muscle power and a walk to the barn. Oh such groans could be heard. Now if they had already made their trip to the outhouse it meant another trip, maybe even digging out a block. One has to remember that some of the blocks were a good size, and they were on holidays. Rest was important, so they believed, after all they worked hard all year and they were on holidays. But, most important they were MEN! On occasion one would become romantically inclined and I guess maybe had been thinking of it during the day, so on their way to the bedroom the urge would once again rear its ugly little head. Now my parents, aunts and uncles were young active people and a two-week period might just be a long time to wait. It never seemed to matter that there was a few people in the house. After a week of good old country air and rest from their work a young man’s thoughts might just turn to thoughts of love.
Photo Noreen Tyers
You have to remember the house would be filled with young innocent sweet things, too young to know anything about a young man’s fancy. All of a sudden a big crash bang and who knows what the NOISE was about in the middle of the night and pitch black. It does take a few minutes for a flashlight to be found and then find out where the noise came from. As a child you can only think something wild has arrived on the scene, maybe a Big Bear or God knows what. Imagination of a child is quite vivid, at least mine was. The flashlight on, Grandpa was first on the scene into my Aunt and Uncles Room he went. The stately old bed had broken and the mattress was laying on the floor, two red faces appeared on the bed rail just wondering what had happened. Surprise the mattress is on the floor, and thoughts of love soon Punk disappear. “Foolish young people” that’s all Grandpa, said and the kids went back to bed non the wiser and still the sweet innocent children that had no thoughts other than the bed broke. Grandpa will repair the bed in the morning, he always fixes things. From the Pen of Noreen April 29, 2018 Note: I often wondered why my grandfather never gave his little talk to the adults? Who me? “You know if you want to come back next year ….” Stories from Richards Castle.
Baldwin was a butcher by trade had settled along the Laundrie road but by 1820 he and his family had all left the area. His son Stillman lived on the Frontenac road north of Swamp Creek
The story is that one night he heard a commotion in his hen house and inside with the poultry was a man handing his prize hands to another accomplice outside the door who was holding the bag.
Stillman managed to get the bag away unknown to the man inside who was still busy picking chickens. Without glancing back and skipping a beat the criminal told Still man that he thought he had all of them and that made 22 chickens they could sell.
He grabbed the man and said when he fed them last night there had been 24 and the theif got out of his grasp and hightailed it into the countryside. did this upset the poultry man? Not on your life! He simply put the hens back and went back to the house. Just another night on Frontenac Road.
Brooks Mitchell– 1865-1926
Mitchell Brooks had one son named Lester who lived out his life as a bachelor in Abinger near Mallory Hill. One day a neighbour noticed 5 round holes on the floor along one wall in the shed. He asked what they were for. Les said they were for his cats. Why were there 5 holes asked the neighbour? Les said,” I have 5 cats and when I say scat I mean scat!”
Dack John 1857-1906
Edith Dack DeLaney
John Dack was a cheese maker in Ardoch had two daughters and one of them Etha Dack became an actress on Broadway and also acted on road companies. She was also a believer in Mrs. Deacon’s Ghost. Mrs. Deacon had been murdered by her husband across from the Mississippi River and her ghost was said to be in the form of a twinkling light among the trees. No one will know if this ghost story is true, or was it just a matter of car lights coming over the hill.
Etha Dack De Laney
When you type in her name, not a lot comes up, but today I found out some more about her Etha Dack De Laney and decoded to record more of her biography. A daughter of John Dack and Julia Denna–after her father died she went to live with her Grandmother in Pakenham. Her mother never really over came the shock of her father’s passing and could never bear the thought of going back to Ardoch. Etha spent over 30 years in the US trying to become a star but when she returned to Perth she purchased the property at 18 Isabella and converted it as the Four Winds Hospital which she operated until it was sold to the G. W.M Hospital.
She left school in the beginning when she was really too young and lied about her age so she could get nursing instruction to go and aid the troops druing the first World War. She was in the service 14 months, 11 of it being in England. After the war she went to work in Detroit and during that time took some courses and ended up on stage during some stock work. She had a short mental breakdown and went into Vaudeville.
This is a beautiful January 27th, 1930 program (playbill) from the Original Broadway production of the MARTIN FLAVIN comedy “BROKEN DISHES” at the Theatre Masque in New York City. (The production opened November 5th, 1929 at New York’s Ritz Theatre, transferred to the Theatre Masque in January 1930 and ran for 178 performances.) ….. The play starred DONALD MEEK and featured future Hollywood legend BETTE DAVIS, EDA HEINEMANN, ELLEN E. LOWE, ETHA DACK, REED BROWN, Jr., ART SMITH, JAMES FRANCIS ROBERTSON, DUNCAN PENWARDEN and JOSEF LAZAROVICI ….. CREDITS: Book by MARTIN FLAVIN; Sets designed by EDDIE EDDY; Produced and Directed by MARION GERING ….
Elkington-Dr. F. R.
Dr. Elkington lived in Plevna with his family about 1897. His war experience in Crimea conditioned him to walk long distances to care for his patients. One night he set out on foot to travel 12 miles to visit one of his patients. His route crossed the Mississippi River and having no boat he stripped off his clothes and floated them across on a piece of birch bark. He reached his patient who was near death from loss of blood while cutting timber in the nick of time and saved his life. He made the return trip on a night that there was frost in the air as it was nearing winter on foot and once again by swimming the river.
Photograph and brief bio of George Ellis, for which Ellisville was named.
A photograph of the Thomas Tye house near Ellisville, Ontario circa 1885. Pictured in front are Thomas Tye (seated) with his son Thomas and daughter-in-law Patience on either side with various grandchildren.
A photograph of the 1909 class of the Ellisville Public School. Pictured in the back row are: Ethel Imerson (Teacher,) Clifford Bracken, George Snider, Mina Pritchard, and Viola Sly. In the middle row are: Edwin Argue, Donald Bracken, Leonard McConnell, Susie Snider, Jennie Bevens, Elva Dillon, Jessie Cross, and Johnnie McKeggan. In the front row are: Orville Bevens, Ada Leadbeater, Frances Lee, Geraldine Tye, and Jim Cross.
My Uncle Earl Lahey our Leader, his two children Earl and Linda. My older brother Jack, Sister Grace and my self the gangley one beside my brother, We are just so stylish and cute. Photo Noreen Tyers
Here we go another Snow Road adventure dug up from the summer holidays. Hikes in the old Cave by Noreen Tyers When I stop to think of the time we spent at Snow Road, I have to say that Uncle was the one who entertained the children. We could always depend on him to do things that were adventuresome and fun. There was an old wooden bridge that went across the Mississippi River to an island. This bridge was in bad repair and had places where the boards had broken, so one had to watch where you placed your feet. At the time we didn’t swim so that this was a challenge and maybe somewhat dangerous in today’s standards. Uncle Earl was always close by so he guided us along on so before long we were on the other side. We always had to take a treat on our adventure and something to drink. It was quite a walk from the bridge to the cave, where he was taking us. We walked through a grass covered area the whole time I was watching for snakes. It is so interesting how as a child the creatures always were rather big and always dangerous. Another important item that traveled with Uncle Earl was light for inside the cave. We had reached the opening to the cave, it did look rather frightening and very dark. We were not so sure that this was going to be as enjoyable as when we talked about it earlier. Speaking for myself I could imagine other things that would be not quite so frightening. I am one that might be sticking close to the adult for protection and I am sure that there were a lot of questions, just out of sheer fright. Inside the cave there were many things to see, bugs, spiders, bats hanging of the side of the walls. I often think of how it would have been great to be able to take photos, but in those days a camera would not have been what we needed in a rather dark, damp atmosphere. To keep you in suspense a hat was one of the items I was told to have to ward off the bats. What I didn’t know at this early age was that bats usually sleep during the day and chances are they wouldn’t leave their spots on the wall of the cave. At the time we did not know that Uncle Earl was afraid of spiders. Now little ones were not too bad, he tolerated them, but if a big one happened to appear, you could watch him turn rather white in a hurry and leave the spot quickly. When I think of it I am sure he was thinking that this was a bit of a chore and may not have been such a good idea. I do have to say that other than the pale face you never noticed any fright. I was getting to the point where I thought it should be time to leave the cave and I just hoped that we could find our way out. I am sure that the cave had been checked out before we ever started on our adventure but we sure didn’t know that. I know that the trip through the cave would have been much quicker without the children. After a few minutes a bit of light appeared and we were at the entrance of the cave. After our experience we were ready for our treat and drink and then make our way back to the house. We did have to cross the bridge again but this time it was not quite as bad, seeing we did it already. I am so glad that these memories have lasted and I am ready to write some of them down. I am sure that I have not remembered everything but I can always add to it should I remember something of importance.From the Pen of Noreen – June 2007
The hotel was built in the late 1800’s by a Card for Henry Dunham. It was operated for a time by Mrs. Briscoe, a daughter of Henry Dunham, who then sold it to Jim Johnson from Palmer Rapids. The next owner was Jim Watson, father of Mrs. Carrie Dunham, followed by Robert Eadie who operated it for 9 years. Wm. McCullough owned it for a brief period, then Charlie Dunham took over and was there for 33 years. Reg Elkington and Bill Cameron were the next owners but operated for a short time only. They sold to Jim McCurdy and it was while he was operating it that the liquor license was obtained and the area for the bar was added to the front of the building. Upon McCurdy’s death his widow Grace remarried Gilbert Dunham and they operated it until they sold the hotel to Don Dunne. He operated for a few years and then sold to Wayne and Val Kearney.–From–Clarendon and Miller Community Archives
The Lanark County Genealogical Society is very honoured to have been sent this and to be able to publish it.
This is the history written by my deceased Mother Evelyn Gemmill and updated to present by myself for the 150thCelebration last year of The Snow Road Community Centre. Sharon Dowdall also did a wonderful presentation on Snow Road and the school.
Thank you for your wonderful page on Facebook. I really enjoy reading all the history of the area.
Elaine (Gemmill) DeLisle
History of McLaren’s Depot–Written by Evelyn Gemmill and Elaine DeLisle
Lot 11 Con 11 Palmerston, Frontenac County Ontario
Property: Believed to be bought from the Crown by Gillies Lumber Co. who took McLaren on as a partner and later sold to him hence the name McLaren’s Depot. McLaren sold to Canada Lumber Co. in 1880 who sold to William Richards in 1890. In 1909 the Richard’s sold all but the store and about an acre of the property to David and Marion Gemmill. David tore down all the log barns and built a new bank barn which stands across the road from where the farm house was. In 1943 Elmer Gemmill bought the farm from his mother. In 1974 Elmer and Evelyn Gemmill sold to their son Dale and Mary Gemmill. In 2006 Dale and Mary sold the farm to their son Scott. In 2013 the barns were divided off the farm and that piece of property was sold to John French and Molly Hartin.
Farm House: In 1885 Canada Lumber Co. built the frame house 21’ x 27’ for their foreman by the name of Lenahan. The original house had 3 rooms downstairs and 3 bedrooms and a hall upstairs with a summer kitchen on the back and a verandah across the front. In 1928 the summer kitchen was torn down and an addition added with basement and 2 storeys, kitchen and bedroom with a cistern in the basement. This addition was 16’ x 24’ with a verandah on both sides. At the same time the two story woodshed was built 16’ x 24’. The house was wired in 1944. In 1948 the front verandah was replaced with a sun porch built by Elmer. In 1950 the house was sided with red insul-brick siding. In 1960 a waterline was put in coming from a well under the store. It was 1975 before the hot water was put in. In 1962 they built new chimney and put in furnace, and also put on an aluminum roof. In 1969 had 10 storm windows were put on. About 1950 a garage was built to the north. It was torn down in April 1986 by Dale. The woodshed is still standing. Dale built his big garage for his sand and gravel business in 1997. The farm house was torn down by Scott Gemmill on April 15th 2014. Four generations of Gemmill’s had lived in it.
Residents of the Farm House over the years were: The Lenahan family who, Mr. Lenahan was a foreman for McLaren and later Canada Lumber Co. 1893 -1904? Chris Forbes and family then lived there. He was book keeper for Canada Lumber Co. (His daughter Carrie was born June 1904) Johnston Buchanan lived in the house until 1909 when it was bought by my grandfather David Gemmill and his wife Marion Fair. All their family were born in the house except the oldest Eldred who was born at Watson’s Corners. Their family were Eldred, Doris, George, Elmer, Marion, Laura, Gerald and Stanley. In 1943 Elmer Gemmill brought his new wife Evelyn Barrie also from Watson’s Corners to take over the farm from his mother after his father Dave died in 1940. They raised their four children here, Dale, Earl, Walter and me, Elaine. In 1974 Elmer retired and Dale returned with his wife Mary Pretty and their sons, Rodger, Scott. A third child Cynthia then was born in 1977. In June 1986 Dale and Mary purchased the store and moved there. Rick and Diane Roberts rented the farm house with their children Lance and Cassandra until 1988. In January 1989 Stephen Hermer and his family moved in and lived here until the house was torn down in 2014.
Barns: The original barns were probably built by Gillies in about 1850. The hay barn was frame with double threshing floor. Sheep shed – frame. The cow-byre and stable were log buildings. An octagon silo was built beside the cow byre with a hen house built in a corner. In 1921-22 these barns were torn down and the present Bank barn was built further back from the road. The stable, cow byre, box stalls & silo, hay barn & granary were now all under one roof. In 1978 the stable was torn out and an open cattle barn with cement floor was built. In 1980 the silo was torn out and in 1981 the lumber on the front was replaced with new doors. A milk room and entrance was built complete with sewage system and hot water put in. The hen house was built inside the gate about 1960. In 1991 Sterling Laffin rented and remodeled the barn. The barns were severed from the rest of the property in 2008. Scott Gemmill built a new large house on the property at this time. It was sold to John French and Molly Hartin in 2014.
Sugar Camps: The first building was a black smiths’ shop built by the Lumber Co. with a stable below beside the rocks. Part of this building was a frame building which housed a photographers shop. After Gemmill’s bought in 1909 this shop was turned into the sugar camp where maple syrup was made and was used until 1940 when the roof fell in. A new sugar camp was built in the middle of the sugar bush. This camp was used when we were growing up and it had no electricity. We had to carry all the syrup up a steep hill to get it home. This camp was used until 1971 when the camp was moved back to the site of the original one. This camp was torn down in 1989/90 and moved to the present site in Albert Millar’s sugar bush which was bought from Arnold Carson in 1984. A story ran in the Lanark Era about the 100 consecutive years of syrup making in the Gemmill family in 2009, with Cole Gemmill tapping a tree. He was the 5th generation to tap trees on this farm. Because of failing health Dale Gemmill made syrup for the last time the spring of 2012. As it was a poor year he only made 50 gallons of syrup. The bush and camp have since been rented to Steven Skinner.
Log House: This house was probably built as a trading post by Gillies Lumber Co. and later Peter McLaren used it as a store and Post Office (1870). The frame part was built on and rented. A number of families lived in the two places; one of the first known was Fleetwood Millar who was a clerk in Allen’s store. The Jim Patterson family lived in one part in 1906, when Jim drove a team for Isaac Allen. (He had a brother Wilfred). Lewis Trombley lived in the frame part and the Charles Kennedy family in the log house from 1906 – 1910. Jim Duncan lived in the log house, sometime between 1910-1918. His wife was Dolly Wright (Wright’s lived in a house where Glenn and Karen Patterson now live). From 1918 to 1927 Mrs. Andrew Gemmill (Great-Grandma Gemmill) lived in the frame house. She was a midwife and helped deliver many of the local babies. Her daughters Agnes (Mrs. Jim Richards) and Martha (Mrs. Frank George) and her sons Willard and Lorne, also a sister-in-law Agnes (Mrs. Frank King) lived with her part of this time. After 1927 the log part was turned into a Feed Store Shed for United Farms Co op run by David Gemmill (Grandpa). In early 1930 when Highway 509 was under construction Bill McIntyre lived in the frame part, and then Watson and John Fair (Our grandmother’s brothers) were last known residents. The frame part was torn down and log part was used for storage and as a garage. (I remember as kids playing in there and dad always stored the sap cans in here.) In 1970 the log house was sold for $175.00 by Elmer Gemmill and logs were taken to Loughborough Lake to build a cottage.
In 1971 approximately 1 acre was surveyed off for Dale Gemmill and deeds for this lot were turned back to Elmer and Evelyn in 1974 when they proceeded to build a new bungalow with full basement and 2 bedrooms, bath, kitchen and living room. All conveniences were installed including electric heat, septic system, and well water with chimney from the basement. The basement was divided into four parts, with storeroom, workshop, laundry room and rec room. In 1975 the house was bricked by Brian Larocque of Lanark. After Evelyn died in 1998, Dale and Mary purchased the house from the estate and rented it out for four years and then decided to build an addition and renovate the inside. After building on a heated garage with a large bedroom and bathroom above and opening up the whole living area, they moved over from the store in November of 2003. Elmer, Evelyn and Dale all passed away in this house, where they lived the last portion of their lives.
Drive Shed: A large two story building beside the log house was used as a storage shed and shop. In 1938 half of this shed was torn down and the remaining part was used as a machine and storage shed. It was hit by lightning and burned to the ground the end of May 2006.
McLaren’s Depot Store: The building that housed the store is reported to have been built by Canada Lumber Co. as a store and residence after 1890. The store was run by the Richards family with Post Office brought back from McKinnon’s in fall of 1912. Adam McGonegal rented and W. J. Clement operated the store until 1914 when it was moved to John A. Geddes’ store and station at the other end of the village of Snow Road. In 1937 George Gemmill bought the store from Richards and ran it for 5 years and then sold to John A. Geddes in 1942. In 1948 Max and Dorothy Millar bought the store and John A. Geddes’ business. They lived there with their children Bob, Joanne and Sharon. The post office was brought back to the store and was run by Max Millar from January 1, 1949 until November 10, 1973. The store was bought by Americans Jerry and Phyllis Saylor March 31st 1973. They opened a little restaurant on the side where the feed shed used to be and called it “The Dew Drop In”. Saylor’s closed the business part of the store in 1978, but kept the post office until Dale and Mary Gemmill purchased the store from them in July of 1986 under the name D & M General Store. They closed the store on October 31, 2010. They tore down the store in March 2013.
New Homes: In 1989 Sterling and Norma Laffin built a new home where the first and third sugar camp site was beside the big rock before going up Gemmill Rd. It was sold to Nick Agiomavritis in 2010.
Scott Gemmill built a new home beside the Alex Trombley house in the fall of 1992 on a corner of the Gemmill farm. His Grandpa Elmer Gemmill and dad Dale helped him build it. A beautiful stone wall was built along the driveway. Scott has two children Cole and Sierra. This house was sold to Cory Davenport and Lauren Scott in May 2013.
All of the original buildings in the McLaren’s Depot picture have been torn down but have been replaced with beautiful new homes. Life goes on almost 150 years later…..
Last week I got this questionnaire in the mail. Most people know I am pretty tough on politicians– but this time I am thanking our M.P. Scott Reid for sending this. Whether you agree or disagree Scott wants our opinions.