Tag Archives: ghost town

Burglary at Herrons Mills 1904

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Burglary at Herrons Mills 1904

John Gillies Sr. Home at Herron Mills  PA 1912-Copied container number: PA-059347

July 20,1904

Tha community at Herron’s Mills was thrown into a state of considerable excitement last Thursday afternoon over the discovery, flight, pursuit, and capture of a young man burglar who had entered Mr. James Herron’s house, picked up money and other valuables, and was only found out when his plan waa nearing completion.

Tho violator of the eighth commandment was well known in Lanark village, and his depravity was deplored by his aqaintances and friends, who thought him above such an act. It appears that he had entered the house by the back entrance, while the women of the house were engaged with duties in the basement kitchen.

Rubber over his boots rendered the burglars approach noiseless. Proceeding with his unholy work unholy work, he gathered onto himself a purse, a roll of money amounting to nearly one hundred dollars, and a five dollar gold piece which detached from a watch chain, which was the property of Mr. John Herron Jr.

Photo taken at Middleville & District Museum 

Hearing footsteps stopped from him further operation and he then hid behind a piece of furniture. With the intention of dusting the furniture, Miss Mary Herron entered the room where the man was hiding, and while she was dusting the sofa she was suddenly amazed to see a man emerge from behind and rush out of the room and on outside.

Mary at once shrieked an alarm and the workmen about the place were summoned, and at once began a pursuit. Tha offender was run down after a short chase. Ha had sought refuge in a dark swamp where he was surrounded and finally captured. The money and valuables were restored. After a short imprisonment the burglar was set at liberty on the condition that he should leave the neighborhood at once. It was hoped that because he was shown clemency his ways would change.

CLIPPED FROM
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
10 Aug 1898, Wed  •  Page 1
CLIPPED FROM
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
10 Aug 1898, Wed  •  Page 1

Gillies’ Mills remained for sale until 1871 when the Herron brothers, James and John, also immigrants from Scotland, arrived. In contrast to John Gillies’ somewhat jaded view of the area’s long-term prospects, the Herrons were enthusiastic about the area’s future and purchased the mills along with 100 acres of cleared farm land. They immediately added a bake house, shingle mill and accommodation and outbuildings for their workers. John Munroe added a tannery that operated for a number of years. Soon after the Herrons took over, the settlement was renamed Herron’s Mills.

One major difference between the Gillies and Herron operations was the strong community spirit the brothers instilled. Although John Gillies had been a well liked and respected businessman, social activities grew in abundance after the Herrons took over. Recreation included winter skating on the mill pond, followed by bonfires and hot meals for all in the Herron household. The Herrons also established a school with teachers being partially compensated in room and board from local families.

One of the most important functions was the opening of the post office in 1891. The post office was located in the large family home, built by John Gillies. James Herron and his wife jointly operated the post office until 1915, when it was closed following the arrival of rural mail delivery.

The Herron brothers optimism about the mills’ future turned out to be amply justified. Although the dam was seriously damaged during spring floods in 1896, it was quickly rebuilt and reinforced with a protective dam further upstream. By the beginning of the 20th century, the Herrons were sawing about 8,000 board-feet of lumber per day. Up to 20 employees worked at the mill during the busy season. The brothers finally ended their partnership in 1919, after 38 successful and profitable years. James’ son, Alexander, took over the helm.

Unfortunately Herron’s Mills was hit hard by the depression. By the early 1940s, the wool and carding mill and sawmill were gone, although sawing still took place sporadically for local interests. Alexander passed away in 1946. His sister Mary, continued to operate the business until 1951, when it was shut down permanently.

Today, apart from the handsome Gillies home, most of Herron’s Mills lies in ruins. Although the ruins lie on private property, the remains of the dam and many of the early structures can be easily viewed from the roadside. A new owner recently acquired the property and the Gillies’ home has been extensively renovated. (from Ontario Ghost Towns – Jeri Danyleyko)’from MVTM

CLIPPED FROM
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
12 Jul 1905, Wed  •  Page 1
  1. relatedreading

Lost Souls –Herron’s Mills

Burning Down the House — Literally in Lanark County

The Gillies Home in the Ghost Town of Herron’s Mills

Visiting the Neighbours — Middleville Ontario and Down the 511

The Ghost Towns of Eastern Ontario

Photographer Finds Money in a Local Abandoned Home

Herron’s Mills Bridge Closed 1935

Stace Bottema’s Ghostly Trip to Balaclava

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90618176_10163238610335707_3409022195463094272_o90700870_10163238610595707_8402355516004630528_oAll Photos by Stace Bottema

 

Balaclava is a near ghost town today, a come-down from the bustling lumber town of its heyday. It started as a small community named for battle in the Crimean war. Shortly after its founding a dam and sawmill were built and by the 1860s the small hamlet had acquired a blacksmith shop and hotel to go with its permanent residents. In 1903 a sawdust burner was built so that sawdust from the mill would not be dumped in the local river, thereby polluting it. The water-powered sawmill was rebuilt in 1939 after a fire destroyed the mill that had previously occupied the space and continued to [7] operate until 1959. At that time the depletion of available timber had reduced production to uneconomically small amounts. With the loss of the mill the viability of Balaclava as a residential town was also lost. The sawmill was the last water-powered mill to operate in the Province of Ontario.

Balaclava was listed in a book on ghost towns by Ron Brown. Although it makes Balaclava sound like a pristine, deserted ghost town, actually it still has a few residents

Balaclava fits the Hollywood version of the ‘picture perfect’ ghost town; a row of ramshackle buildings with sagging roofs, huddled along a narrow road, while doors and windows creak in the wind. The only thing missing are the tumbleweeds rolling down the middle of the road.

The remains of Balaclava also include an impressive old water powered sawmill, one of the last to operate in Ontario. If you look closely, you can still see pieces of machinery and wagon wheels inside the building.

The sawmill was built in 1855 and purchased by the Richards family in 1868. Interestingly, the Richards were taken to court in 1903, on an early piece of anti-pollution legislation. Apparently, they found the stream to be a handy and convenient place to dispose of all their sawdust. After the stream became clogged, another mill, further downstream, complained. The Richards had their day in court and lost. Shortly after that, they added the huge burner, which still stands today. The Richards family operated the mill until 1957, when they sold it to Donald (aka Dave) Dick.

Although Balaclava had been a busy industrial and farming centre throughout the latter part of the 19th century, for some reason it was bypassed by the railways. That, along with failing farms and dwindling lumber supplies, signalled it’s demise. Stubbornly, the mill continued to operate on water power until 1967. When it shut down, Balaclava became a ghost town. The store, also owned by Mr. Dick, operated until the mid 1970s. A few of farms in the area remain occupied.

 

You Can Explore This Haunted Ghost Town For A Creepy Adventure In Ontario

Are you brave enough to visit after dark?

 

Kingdon Mine Led Galetta Area from a Boomtown to a Ghost Town

The Ghost Towns of Eastern Ontario

Halls Mills Ghost Town- Another W. H. Wylie Connection

The Gillies Home in the Ghost Town of Herron’s Mills

Did you Know Old Burnside has a Ghostly Horse?

Photographer Finds Money in a Local Abandoned Home

Gold in Dem Dar Hills of Lanark

Have you Ever Heard about Doran? Here Come da’ Judge!

When the Middleville Folks Went to Jackfish — Ontario Ghost Town

When the Middleville Folks Went to Jackfish — Ontario Ghost Town

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When the Middleville Folks Went to Jackfish — Ontario Ghost Town

 

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Aggie Yuill’s photo album–by Middleville,Ontario historian Laurie Yuill

I found two photos in the photos from Aggie Yuill’s photo album supplied to me by Middleville,Ontario historian Laurie Yuill. I had no idea where this place but the photos were dated 1914. so I began to dig and found out it was not only a shipping port but also a summer destination for tourists connected by the CPR Railroad. In fact, there were even 6 daily passenger trains to Thunder Bay, and back until the 1960’s.

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Photo –Aggie Yuill’s photo album– Photo from Middleville Historian Laurie Yuill 1914

 

Jackfish, Ontario: Memories of a Ghost Town

Nichol Family Collection — Looks like the same spot as Aggie Yuill’s Photo 1914

 

The Lakeview Hotel at Jackfish, built at the end of the 19th century, remained a popular stopping place during the summer for a number of years. The hotel burned down in 1960. By September, 1963 two families remained in Jackfish and they moved out of the town a month later. Hence,the town site was totally abandoned by 1963. Now, the village is overgrown with just remnants its history remaining.  At one time, trains used to be an all day occurrence at Jackfish.

 

maxresdefault (6).jpgNow this is all that is left…

 

At the Jackfish railway tunnel, you can see and appreciate how much of the line was chiselled into the rocky shoreusing the technology of the 1880s. Read more here.. CLICK PADDLE BY A PIECE OF CANADIAN HISTORY

 

“Jackfish, Ontario, is a real ghost town. When I visit, I imagine the wind whistling through the bulkheads of the old coal freighters that once plied Lake Superior to get there. The town came and left, it seems, on the rails, and my family history is tied to those tracks, still active, and the town, now mostly disappeared.

The history of Jackfish as a bustling community stretches from the 1880s to the arrival of the diesel engine in the late 1940s when Jackfish lost its stopover role. Diesel engines did not need to stop for coal and water on their long run along the rugged north shore.

 A new technology – engines powered by diesel fuel – ended those boat arrivals permanently in 1948. By the early 1950s, there was no need for the train to stop for coal at all and soon thereafter even the passenger stops at the local station ended. By 1964, the permanent residents had left town and a seasonal population continued for a time.

Jackfish continues to be listed in travel guides as an authentic ghost town. Consequently, the site remains a destination for the curious and the passionate. To get there from our Thunder Bay home, we drive three hours east on Highway 17 and through Terrace Bay. About 25 kilometres later (15.5 miles), past the large highway hill that runs up from Jackfish Lake, the village’s namesake, a gravel road heads down to Lake Superior. At the end of this road, an overgrown yet passable bush trail takes us right into Jackfish. This is the recommended route. I can remember my father and a group of men pitching in to carve this road out of the bush.” Read more here.. Jackfish, Ontario: Memories of a Lake Superior Ghost Town

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

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

relatedreading

The Ghost Towns of Eastern Ontario

Halls Mills Ghost Town- Another W. H. Wylie Connection

The Gillies Home in the Ghost Town of Herron’s Mills

Did you Know Old Burnside has a Ghostly Horse?

Photographer Finds Money in a Local Abandoned Home

Gold in Dem Dar Hills of Lanark

Have you Ever Heard about Doran? Here Come da’ Judge!