Tag Archives: gillies

The Gillies Machine Shops Fire 1906

The Gillies Machine Shops Fire 1906

Karen Phillips Curran
There has to be community will behind it or it fails. If the community cannot see the benefits of heritage then it fails.

Carleton Place HeraldMarch 27, 1906


The Gillies Machine Shops Sadly Damaged—Loss Very Heavy

One of the most disastrous fires we have had in Carleton Place for some time occurred this morning this morning in the machine works of the John Gillies Estate Co., Ltd., when the two upper flats were destroyed, with a number of the new launches—some finished and some in course of construction—all the wood working machinery and all the patterns and stock carried on the third floor were destroyed.  The loss is inestimable at this writing but it will not be less than $10,000 and is probably greater and is complete as the Company carried their own risk.  At least twenty men will be out of employment for a time and those of them working on the second flat have lost their tools as well.

The fire started about 8:35 and was caused by an explosion of gasoline in a launch that was about complete.  Master George Dougherty was operating the engine with a view to testing it, when a spark somehow got to the gasoline tank, causing an explosion that blew the end out of the boat and scattered the fire instantly amongst the flammable material in the shop.  Dougherty was badly scorched about the hands and arms and his face and neck were singed.  How he escaped worse injury is marvelous.  He also has a foot badly bruised.  The spread of the fire was so rapid that the man had to flee at once and it was no time until the third flat, where was stored the valuable patterns, finished in oil and varnish, was all ablaze.

The alarm was sounded at once and in a remarkably short time the fire brigade responded.  Two lines of hose were attached to the hydrant in front of the Canada Woolen Mills and water was soon playing; a third line of hose was attached from Brown’s pump and a little later two additional streams were thrown from the fire engine on the river bank.  A third stream was run from the factory later, making six in all but the fire being in the upper part of the high building and with so much material to feed the flames, made it difficult to handle and before the last spark was extinguished the best part of the roof of the building and the floor between the second and third flats were destroyed.

There were five complete launches in the shop—one was valued at $1,200—besides other boats partly built.  Whilst these are not completely destroyed, the loss is very considerable and the damage by water to the valuable machinery on the lower floors will also be heavy.

Mr. James Gillies, who is president of the company, has been in poor health for a week or two and is not in a position to give an explanation as to the loss or what action the company may take to restore the establishment.  Messrs. William and David Gillies are also at home, and witnessed the heroic work of the firemen and others as they struggled with the devouring elements.

Meanwhile the employees will devote their energies to protecting the plant and doing what they can to save the perishable material.

The disaster could scarce have come at a worse season, when the Company were busy with orders and everything was humming in the expectation of a busy season in the launch and engine business.

Much regret is expressed throughout the town, as the loss will be felt in more ways than one and it is hoped the company will see their way to rebuilding without delay.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Mar 1906, Tue  •  Page 1

Arnold Gillies Muirhead – Gary Box photo
Arnold Gillies Muirhead who lived in Carleton Place 1907 aged 4 who was used in the John Gillies Estate catalogue of gasoline engines and motorboats made in Carleton Place–Public Archives photo
Austin B. Gillies with camera, child Arnold Gillies Muirhead beside Mr. David Gillies’ home on Bridge Street and Bridge Street. ca. 1910. Item.Copied container number: PA-059334-

Gillies Mill and Blacksmith shop ( used to be Bill Baggs home)– read The Curious World of Bill Bagg — The Gillies Blacksmith Shop

John Gillies was born in 1811 on Scotland. In 1822 he came to Canada with his father, brother, and sister settling on a bush farm in Lanark. His mother and remaining family came a year later. It was a hard existence for them, with the lay of the land making them struggle for existence. However,the frugality of a Scotsman, and the perseverance, overcame all obstacles. In 1836 Gillies struck out for himself and created a bush farm. In 1838 Gillies engaged in a lumbering operation and also wool carding and cloth dressing machines.

In 1875, John Gillies built a machine shop for his 20-year-old son, Alexander, on Rosamond Street in Carleton Place, right on the bank of the Mississippi River. Next door was the Blacksmith shop that was used for the machine shop.

In 1872 he disposed of his mill property and moved to Carleton Place. He still owned the lumbering enterprise with Peter McLaren. Gillies ended up retiring—sold his share to McLaren and established a foundry for the manufacture of mill machinery and steam engines. He erected this building in 1875 for that purpose. The building was originally 4 stories and they also used the blacksmith shop next door. He was also a senior member of Gillies Son & Co Manufacturers of woolen fabrics. At 77, he was like our local Mr. Tom Cavanagah and still running the show. Gillies made a specialty manufacture of Shipman and Acme automatic steam engines using coal for fuel. They had exclusive control of the patents on these engines in the Dominion of Canada.

The Mississippi River flows around McArthur Island and a man made channel for the Mississippi River was built and re-directed for the McArthur mill. The shocking part was realizing that another channel once lapped the back doors of the old Gillies Mill. Yup–right by the back door and through the late Bill Bagg’s adjacent property that was once the blacksmith shop for the Gillies Mill.

The company was known for their neatness, simplicity and cleanliness. They were also beloved for their many company “pleasure parties” so they would not have the annoyance a of labour disruption. They had many catalogues and circulars — none of which have been seen by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum. It was also added that their firms engines and boilers were exempt from government inspection.

In 1908 the town of Carleton Place loaned Messrs Bates and Innes ten thousand dollars extending over a ten year period of time and exemption from taxation except for school purposes to start the manufacture of knitted felt goods in what was known as gillies mills. After it closed it served purpose to many companies and no word if the town got their money back. Working hours for the winter season at the woollen mill of Gillies & Son & Company were from 7 a.m. to 6.15 p.m. with closing time one hour earlier on Saturdays.

When Bill Bagg bought that house (blacksmith shop) he found an open cistern/well inside his home and it had to be boarded up so no one would get hurt. That made me shiver and think of the film Silence of the Lambs.

The Pengor was also built in this building The Pengor Penguin presented to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip during their visit to Ottawa in 1964.–Kevin Percy said–They had less than a week to prep this for the presentation ! Photo- Kevin Percy–The Pengor company set up their assembly factory by the town yard in Carleton Place in the former Bates and Innes Mill on McArthur Island between the bridges. They initially planned to produce 100 Penguins a day and the maiden voyage of a red and white Penguin went into the mighty Mississippi River. Penguin being presented to Queen Elizabeth during visit to Canada and in front of the town hall.

Then it turned to Digital and Bluebell ( wrangler jeans)


They tried to turn it into condos and ran out of money.

Photo and text from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

The Curious World of Bill Bagg — The Gillies Blacksmith Shop

Before the Gillies House There was.. Fire 1873

The Gillies Fire Braeside July 4th 1949

Did You Know that Carleton Place had an Affiliation with Peg-Leg Brown?

Mackie Creek – Stuart McIntosh

Mackie Creek – Stuart McIntosh
In the summer, visitors will sit under this dam on Mackie Creek and look through the fine curtain of water on the outside. Just east of Griffith before Mackie enters the Madawaska. It starts at the schooner lakes. Just east of Griffith before Mackie enters the Madawaska. It starts at the schooner lakes. —Stuart McIntosh

The Weekly British Whig
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
30 Apr 1903, Thu  •  Page 4

Herb, Earl and Isobel Tooley at Mountain School (SS No. 14) ca 1935

Judd and his family logged, farmed and raised cattle on the mountain. Their son Herb remembered walking cattle from the farm to the Lavant train station where they were loaded and shipped to markets. 

Logging was one of the main industries in the area during those times, and employed many local families. Harvested pine from the surrounding area often was floated through Mackie Lake into the small creek at the north end of the lake. From there they were moved into Long Schooner and Round Schooner and through Mackie Creek into the Madawaska River. Rapids existed on both creeks so wooden chutes (or slides) allowed the logs to bypass the rapids. When Herb was about 15 or 16 years old, his grandfather, Luther Tooley, lost his leg in a logging accident on the trail between Proudfoot Bay on Fortune Lake and Brule Lake. He managed with a wooden leg for the rest of his life. 

The remains of several old logging roads still exist around the lake, one of which follows the creek down from Camp Lake. Another one branches off Mountain Road and leads into the marsh at the south end of the lake, where at one time marsh hay was cut.

In the 1920’s, Louise’s parents Julius and Carlena (Hartmann) opened a tourist lodge on their homestead on Sand Lake, and Luther (Judd’s father) operated a hunting & fishing camp on Brule Lake. Now known as “Pleasantview Lodge”, the large log cabin on the site was actually moved there by Judd and his brother John, from their mother Emma’s (Wood) homestead. Read more here… click

Gillies Mill Sand Point Braeside…. Fires etc.

The Gillies Fire Braeside July 4th 1949

David Armitage Gillies –Last of the Old “Camboose” Lumber Men

John Menzies Registrar Almonte – Genealogy

John Menzies Registrar Almonte – Genealogy

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada22 Dec 1900, Sat  •  Page 14

1900, Friday December 21, The Almonte Gazette page 9

The Late John Menzies
The Registrar for North Lanark Succumbs to His Injuries

– Sketch of His Career – An Active Citizen for 55 Years – Filled Many Public Positions.
Contrary to the general expectations, Mr John Menzies, registrar for North Lanark, did not rally from the injuries he sustained by a fall on the ice here couple of weeks ago. He passed away last Monday at 6 p.m., at the home of his daughter, Mr J. L. Morris, Pembroke. The announcement of his death caused general and sincere sorrow in town, where Mr Menzies had spent fifty-five years of his life, and where his gentlemanly manners, courteous bearing, and his bright social characteristics endeared him to all who enjoyed the pleasure of his acquaintance. He was one of our landmarks – conspicuous figure in our social and business life – and he will be greatly missed.

After being taken to his daughter’s home Mr Menzies seemed to improve for a time, but it soon became apparent that he could not survive the complications that arose. he realized the fact, and met the issue with a strong faith and a cheerful mind. In the closing days, like many another of those who have passed the allotted spank, he was much with those of his boyhood – with his parents and the friends of his youth in bonnie Scotland. During the midnight hours of Sunday, in spite of his weakened condition he was heard distinctly reciting the twenty-third Psalm from beginning to end; and in his semiconscious moments the watchers recognized the words that told of the old-time friends. Mr Menzies suffered little physical pain, and was patient throughout. The funeral took place today (Thursday), the remains being brought by train to his residence here, where many took a last look at the familiar features. At two o’clock a service was held at the house, conducted by Rev Mr Hutcheon, pastor of St Andrew’s congregation, of which deceased was a member; and at its conclusion a large cortege, composed of people of al classes and creeds, followed the body to the grave. The late Mr Menzies was born April 6, 1822, in Little Dunkeld, Scotland, a village which is of historic interest in the famous Vale of Athol. It is almost within gunshot of Logie Rait, the birthplace of Hon Alexander Mackenzie.

Mr Menzies was one of six children, and worked on his father’s farm till he came to Canada in 1844 – over fifty-five years ago. After coming across the Atlantic he worked for a year in a store in Bastard township, Leeds county. He came to Almonte in 1845, and had been a resident of this place for fifty-five years. After coming to Almonte he entered the store of the late Mr John Gemmill (father of Lt- Col J.D. Gemmill). After six years’ service with Mr Gemmill he was taken into partnership, the firm being styled Gemmill & Menzies. About a year later Mr Gemmill died. Mr Menzies bought out the interest of the estate in the store, and continued the business in the same place till 1853, when he built a store and residence on Queen street and moved into it. Mr Menzies owned that property at the time of his death, and occupied part of it himself.

Mr Menzies continued the store in this building till 1863, and in 1864 was appointed registrar for the North Riding of Lanark, the position being left vacant by the resignation of Mr Ormond Jones (registrar at that time) to accept a similar position for Leeds county. Mr Jones was the first registrar appointed for North Lanark, but never lived here. He resided in Brockville, and the work was done by the late Matthew Anderson, deputy-registrar, who died in the year 1867. (A coincidence may be mentioned here, viz., that Miss Anderson, daughter of the above mentioned deputy-registrar, had been for some years and is still filling the position of deputy registrar.) Mr Menzies filled the position ever since 1864, and is said to have filled the office for a longer period than any other registrar in the province. In September, 1852, Mr Menzies married Miss Mary Agnes McFarlane, of Pakenham, sister of Mrs D. Fraser, of this town, of the late Mrs Brooks, of Brockville, and of the late Robert McFarlane, of Stratford, who was for many years the able representative of Perth county in the old Canadian parliament. Mrs Menzies died in March, 1888, leaving behind her, besides husband, three children – Dr J.B. Menzies of Lachute, Que; Mrs J.L. Morris (Minnie), of Pembroke, and Mr Robert Menzies, of Victoria, B.C.

In the fifties Mr Menzies was captain and adjutant of the old militia company – in the days when the company used to drill on the 8th line of Ramsay, near the old church, and at times in Almonte, which was at that time called “Waterford.” For a great many years Mr Menzies was an influential member of the Almonte school board, and was one of the most active in securing the establishment of the Almonte high school, which was opened in January, 1871. He was returning officer for North Lanark many times. He was justice of the peace for thirty years or more. He was a member of the Ramsay council for one year – before Almonte became a separate municipality. Mr Menzies was always a good businessman. He was president of the Ramsay Woolen Cloth Manufacturing Company, which was organized at a joint stock company in 1850, and was the first woolen factory in Almonte. In 1852, when the mill was nicely in operation, it was destroyed by fire. Mr Menzies was the first president of the North Lanark Agricultural Society, a position he held for two or three years, and was for many years on the board of directors. In recent years he filled the position of an auditor for the society. It will thus be seen that Mr Menzies served his day and generation in a great many capacities, and that his experiences in life were many and varied.

Possessed of a high degree of intelligence and an excellent education, he always took an intelligent and cautious view of all public matters. Blessed with a good memory, he was full of interesting reminiscences of the “good old days,” and found pleasure in relating them to his younger friends. In politics, before he was appointed to office, he was an active an influential member of the Liberal party. Mr Menzies was hale and hearty for a man 78 years of age, and but for the unfortunate accident he met with he would probably have reached the nineties. But he had gone to his reward, leaving memories of a pleasing personality and a genial cordiality which will not soon be forgotten.


1850 – The large white frame built over a stone house served as a merchant’s store and had a blacksmith’s building at the end of the property. The merchant, John Menzies, became the registrar of North Lanark County. Read- The Menzies House
This seventeen-room house—all rooms interlinked—was built in 1853 by John Menzies, a school trustee, township councillor, and registrar for North Lanark. Of the Anglo-Norman style, more commonly found in Quebec, the lower half was originally used for a workshop/store and the upstairs for family living quarters. In the 1920s, it was threatened with demolition, but was saved by a local druggist, Mr. Patterson.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 Dec 1900, Mon  •  Page 5
Name:Mrs John Gillies
Birth Date:abt 1819
Birth Place:Edinboro, Scotland
Death Date:28 May 1900
Death Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Cause of Death:Cardiac Asthma

also readMenzies great-great grandson searches for Almonte roots

A cold night in Almonte, circa 1880

Remnants of the Ramsay Woolen Mill

Gwladys Williams Menzies– Celebrating a Local Girl who Made Good

The Menzies House

Charlie Menzies — Talkin About Pickerel — Mary Cook Archives

Gillies Mill Sand Point Braeside…. Fires etc.

Gillies Mill Sand Point Braeside…. Fires etc.
Gillies Mill no date
the day after the fire 1949-The Gillies Fire Braeside July 4th 1949

John built his first sawmill on the Clyde River, 3 miles north of the village of Lanark, Ontario. In the early 1870’s, John sold the Gillies Mills at Carleton Place to John Herron and bought the sawmill at Braeside from the Hon. Asa Foster (who had previously purchased it from Rev. Henry Usborne).

In 1867, James came to Carleton Place as manager for John Gillies (his father) and Peter McLaren (later Senator McLaren) where he oversaw the operations of the sawmill. James also maintained his partnership with his brothers (William, David, and John Jr.) who had moved to Braeside.

John Gillies (1811-1888) came to Canada in 1821. In the 1840’s, he built a water-driven sawmill five miles north of the village of Lanark, at a place then called Gillies Mills (now known as Herron’s Mills). In 1862, he purchased the Gilmour limits on the Mississippi River and a sawmill at Carleton Place for his sons; he enlarged this sawmill to a capacity of 20 million feet. (This sawmill was later purchased by the McLaren and Edward’s interests and operated under the name of the Canada Lumber Co.). In 1872 or 1873, Gillies bought the Braeside sawmill (which came to be known as the Gillies Bros., Ltd.) from the Reverend Henry Usborne (an absentee English proprietor who built the mill in 1869 on the completion of the Canada Central Railway to Sand Point, 2 miles west of Braeside) and also purchased 200 square miles of timber limits on the Coulonge River in Quebec.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Aug 1910, Thu  •  Page 6

On July 4, 1910, a fire destroyed the west lumber yard containing 29 million board feet of lumber at Braeside; the sawmill was not damaged. But, in 1919, there was another fire and the sawmill was destroyed. However, by 1920-1921, a new electrically driven brick and concrete mill was erected. At that time, it was the firstfireproof mill of its kind in Canada.

There was also a fire in 1949- see The Gillies Fire Braeside July 4th 1949

Braeside Archives

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
31 May 1915, Mon  •  Page 9

Arnprior The Saw Mill Town 1900

The Gillies Fire Braeside July 4th 1949

David Armitage Gillies –Last of the Old “Camboose” Lumber Men

The McLaren Fire — 3,000,000 Feet of Lumber Destroyed

The Day Carleton Place was Nearly Wiped Out!

The Day Carleton Place was Nearly Wiped Out!

The Lost Gillies Family Ephemera Rescued

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

Photos: Sand Point flood

Channeling John Gillies

McCaul Patterson Giles etc Accidents Genealogy 1870s

McCaul Patterson Giles etc Accidents Genealogy 1870s
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Dec 1879, Thu  •  Page 4
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Dec 1879, Mon  •  Page 1

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Sep 1878, Wed  •  Page 4

The Sad Tale of Alexander Gillies and Peter Peden — READ

Peter Peden funeral card from my personal collection


  • Birthabt 1855 • Carleton Place (Town/Ville), Lanark (south/sud), Ontario, Canada3 Sources1855(AGE)
  • Birth of Brother William Peden(1857–1878)abt 1857 • Carleton Place (Town/Ville), Lanark (south/sud), Ontario, Canada18572
  • Birth of Brother John Peden(1859–1875)abt 1859 • Carleton Place (Town/Ville), Lanark (south/sud), Ontario, Canada18594
  • Birth of Brother Archibald Peden(1860–)abt 1860 • Carleton Place (Town/Ville), Lanark (south/sud), Ontario, Canada18605
  • Birth of Brother Alex Peden(1861–)abt 1861 • Carleton Place (Town/Ville), Lanark (south/sud), Ontario, Canada18616
  • Residence1861 • Lanark, Canada West, Canada1 Source18616
  • Birth of Brother James Carswell Peden(1866–1901)abt 1866 • Carleton Place (Town/Ville), Lanark (south/sud), Ontario, Canada186611
  • Birth of Brother Joseph Peden(1866–)abt 1866 • Carleton Place (Town/Ville), Lanark (south/sud), Ontario, Canada186611
  • Residence1871 • Ontario, Canada1 Source187116
  • Death of Brother John Peden(1859–1875)30 Jan 1875 • Carleton Place (Town/Ville), Lanark (south/sud), Ontario, Canada187520
  • Death of Brother William Peden(1857–1878)8 Sep 1878 • Lanark187823
  • ViewDeath17 Sep 1878 • LanarkDrowned1 Source187823
  • ResidenceOntario, Canada1 Source

Alexander Gillies

Alexander Munroe Gillies
BIRTH PLACE:Carleton Place, Ontario
DEATH DATE:17/09/1878 (17 Sep 1878)
DEATH PLACE:Lanark Ontario Canada
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
20 Dec 1875, Mon  •  Page 4
Duncan S McLaren
1856Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
30 Apr 1874 (aged 17–18)
Sinclair Pioneer Cemetery
Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada

1960 Accidents – Union Street and Blakeney

Was John C. Howard Guilty? 76 Years Ago in Almonte

Buggies Horses and Accidents

Tippins — Perth– Just Wanted to Keep His Horse Warm?

Wild Horses Could Not Drag Me Away

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

A Horse is a Horse of Course– Of Course—Angus McFarlane

The Life of a Messenger Boy Before the Internet

Findlay vs. Bailey in Carleton Place —Horses vs. Cars

The Horseshoe Sinkhole Bridge? Mysteries of Lanark County

Name These Lanark County Horseshoe Honeys!

Wild Horses Could Not Drag Me Away

The Wives of James Poole Carleton Place

The Wives of James Poole Carleton Place

 - Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
20 Dec 1862, Sat  •  Page 2

 Elizabeth Mary (Austin) Poole — married 28 Apr 1848 in Bathurst, Lanark, Canada West, British Colonial America was his first wife.

Husband of Mary Ann (Malloch) Poole — married 9 Dec 1864 in Carleton Place, Beckwith, Lanark, Ontario, Canada. Mary Ann Malloch and James Poole .Married on Friday, December 9, 1864 in Smith Falls, Lanark, Ontario. Second wife he married two years later after the death of his first.

Mary Ann Poole (Malloch)

Birthplace: Perth, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Death: after 1915
Toronto, Toronto Division, Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family: Daughter of John Glass Malloch and Isabella Margaret Malloch
Sister of Edward George MallochEmeline MallochWilliam Bell MallochIsabella Margaret MallockAlexander Stewart Mallock and 1 other
Managed by: Kimberly Louise Fraser
Last Updated:




Photo-Austin Gillies

Major James Condle Poole

Born about 1826 in Ireland

Major James Condle Poole–DESCENDANTS 

Father of William Poole, Martha (Poole) Gillies, Susan Poole, Elizabeth Poole, Jane (Poole) Johnston and Maggie Poole

Died 22 Apr 1883 in Portsmouth, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada

The James Poole estate sold the Carleton Place Herald, founded in 1850, to William H. Allen and Samual J. Allen ; and sold the family’s large stone residence at Bridge Street and the Town Line Road to David Gillies, son-in-law of James Poole.  William H. Allen continued publication of the Herald for sixty years.  David Gillies, original partner and later president of Gillies Brothers Limited of Braeside and member of the Quebec Legislature, maintained his home here until his death in 1926.  Its site was the place of residence of six generations of the Poole family.

Image result for james poole lanark county




The picture  was received from Toni Raugust – Stating that this is a possible picture of Adeline Poole . However after researching I find no Adeline Poole anywhere.

Picture taken at C. C. Hilton, Carleton Place, Ont.


Snippets of the Illustrious James Poole

The Donneybrooks of Carleton Place-Number 3

The Loyal Village Guards of Carleton Place

Stories of the Mississippi River — Elk, Rice Beds, and Corduroy Roads

Stories of the Mississippi River — Elk, Rice Beds, and Corduroy Roads



In 1879 the hunters made their appearance on the Upper Mississippi Lake and many stories have been told of the slaughter of both wild geese and duck. The name of Glovers around Carleton Place and vicinity was synonymous with duck hunting Tom, Bill, Bob, Sime and Charlie were all crack shots against feathered fowl.

They killed them off by the thousand until the ducks changed their course again. Now the *Glovers are all dead and the old fear of the human enemy has been forgotten by the feathered creatures.  In this region of the inland lakes that are tributaries to the Mississippi, such as Haley’s Lake, there were found a full perfect set of elk horns taken out of the mud of this lake in a perfect state of preservation, bleached white by the water and sun rays for hundreds of years.

The oldest records say that elk have not been known in that vicinity for many centuries. When Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano sailed into New York Bay in 1524, bison and elk ranged across most of the East. The deer of Beckwith were killed off for the meat. But the wholesale massacre of the elk, like that of the Buffalo, was carried on for the joy of seeing the great creatures fall in dying agony; and, in later years, by tusk hunters who were too lazy to be hide hunters. Travellers in Eastern Canada were obliged to record only the reminiscences of old settlers, or the discovery of fossil horns and skulls like that which was found in Haley’s Lake.



The Lanark County sportsmen built an old corduroy road into the hunting areas from the main highway between Carleton Place and Perth.  It was a few miles off the highway that some remember from their boyhood days. It was natural feeding place where the water was shallow and there were plenty of rice and grass beds.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is b3-145-1.jpg

photo from jay playfair album from Laurie Yuill == Corduroy Road–

s-l1600 (6).jpg

There were two outstanding drowning fatalities in the Mississippi. One in 1882 when Alex Gillies and Peter Peden, two of Carleton Place’s promising young men. They were drowned while duck hunting and their funeral was the largest and saddest cortege that passed through the streets of Carleton Place.



The second fatality was the drowning of Noble Bennett and Dick Willis in 1893 who were duck hunting. They were drowned in Kinch Bay and Willis was not found for some days. His body was found standing mired in the mud close to the rice beds; the top of his head was just below the water. Bennett’s body was found months later.

They built a a flat bottomed boat with plate glass in the bottom, three feet square, to be used by the searchers who lay prone on the bottom looking down into the water. Many of the old timers will remember this, and the sadness and gloom it cast over the village. They were both good swimmers, but their fate was claimed once again by the Mississippi Lake.



*Glovers-A young Glover child was killed by being crushed under a lumber yard wagon; Billy Glover fatally injured sliding down the Spring Street hill;

Under the title of the Carleton Place Game, Fish and Insectivorous Birds Protective Society it continued to operate for some years.  Original officers of the group were William Pattie, president ; Jim Bothwell, vice president ; Walter Kibbee, secretary-treasurer, and committee members John Cavers, Tom Glover, John Moore, Jim Morphy and Jim Presley ; elected at a May meeting in the old fire hall on Bridge Street, when a constitution drawn up by Robert Bell was adopted.  Glovers ran a carriage shop.

Plenty Canada, a non-profit Indigenous-based charity in Lanark County are starting a World Wildlife Federation funded field project to study wild rice in the surrounding area. The organizers have heard there could be beds of wild rice in Clayton Lake and contacted MVFN asking for local information on these, or possible locations.


If you are aware of any wild rice beds in any Lanark County lakes please get in touch with Shannon Farmer directly at Shannonfarmer@trentu.ca or (705)740-5874.





relatedreading (1)

The Sad Tale of Alexander Gillies and Peter Peden

People from the Potter-Bennett Block Fire– A Shocking Find

The Dangers of the Mississippi River-Arnold Boner 😦

Robert Drader Bill Shail Saved from Drowning May 28 1957


Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

photo from jay playfair album from Laurie Yuill == Corduroy Road
from teh Buchanan scrapbook
Donna Porteous ·
What a view!!!! It’s golden… Rice fields on the Mississippi ♡♡♡

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
04 Dec 1918, Wed  •  Page 8

The Gillies Fire Braeside July 4th 1949

The Gillies Fire Braeside  July 4th 1949
  2. a096807-v8 (2).jpg
  4. August 1949
  6.  - Main Stocks Are Bv Direction Of Saved Wind By...

a096785-v8 (1).jpg

A few days after the fire in Gillies Bros. lumber yard. 17 Aug. 1949



The day after the fire



  1. a059349-v8 (2).jpgJohn Gillies Sr. home at Gillies Mills, now Herron’s Mills.
  6. historicalnotes

     - Late J. A. Gillies Was Prominent Lumberman John...

    Clipped from

    1. The Ottawa Citizen,
    2. 29 Mar 1937, Mon,
    3. Page 2





Help Thy Neighbour in Carleton Place- Ronnie Waugh Fire 1959

David Armitage Gillies –Last of the Old “Camboose” Lumber Men

Smiths Falls Fire-Coghlan & Moag

The Fires of 1897

David Armitage Gillies –Last of the Old “Camboose” Lumber Men

David Armitage Gillies –Last of the Old “Camboose” Lumber Men


David Armitage Gillies with cousin Elsie R Gillies in front seat of car in Carleton Place 1910


David Armitage Gillies was born in Carleton Place in 1882 to Mr. and Mrs. James Gillies. He was educated in Carleton Place and in 1901 enrolled as an undergraduate at Queen’s University in the Faculty of Art and graduated as Bachelor of Arts in 1905. In 1947 he was elected by the graduates to the Board of Trustees at Queen’s University and was a member at the time of his death. In 1951, he was appointed to the Investment Committee of the Board, serving actively until 1965 when he was unable to attend further meetings of the Committee.

David Gillies entered the family lumbering business, and insisted on learning the operation from the “ground up”. Beginning as a clerk in the lumber camps at Gillies Depot, in the Cobalt District, he was one of the last to experience life in the old “camoose” lumber camps. He also rode one of the last rafts to go down the Ottawa River, through the Chat’s Falls to the lower reaches of the river. He later went to the Braeside headquarters of the firm, where his grandfather, John Gillies, had moved the lumber business he founded near Lanark in 1842. In 1943, Gillies Brothers published a history of the firm, One Hundred years A-Fellin written by Charlotte Whitton

At Braeside he occupied various office and executive posts and served as President of the firm (Gillies Brothers & Co. Ltd.) from 1938 to 1958. He was also the Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 1961. The company reached the status of one of greatest lumber producers in Canada and was sold in 1963 to Consolidated-Bathurst Limited. Read more here..


DA Gillies


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  20 Mar 1968, Wed,  Page 6





Muirhead Gillies and the Boxes Are All Related–Genealogy and Photos

Photos of Austin Bain Gillies— Gillies Family Genealogy

For the Love of Money-Gillies Gilmours and the McLarens

Life Inside and Out the Gillies House –Photos 1910

The Sad Tale of Alexander Gillies and Peter Peden

The Lost Gillies Family Ephemera Rescued

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

Ring Those Bells in Carleton Place– Wylie’s Woolen Mill

Channeling John Gillies

The Great Gatsby’s of Lanark County?

Fires in Carleton Place–James Gillies House

The Media Then and Now–Johnny Gillies Had a Gun

A Time of its Own– The Mystery Photo

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Was it Murder?

Was it Murder?




The following dispatches are taken from the daily papers, and explain themselves:

Arnprior, July- 23, 1897—There continues to be a good deal of talk about the recent death of William Robinson, and possibly a murder trial may be the outcome, although so far no one seems to know anything very definite about the circumstances. Robinson came here from Carleton Place and was an employee of McLachlin Bros, here. He boarded at Mrs. Comba’s boarding house,  on Daniel street.

On Monday evening, July 6th, three young men called at his boarding house and asked for him. He went away with them to Braeside. There they got liquor, and the people were much disturbed by their quarrelling and fighting all night. The next morning Robinson’s corpse was found on the C.P.R. track by some of Gillies’ men, frightfully cut up. An inquest was not held, and the body was buried in the Arnprior cemetery in the afternoon.

One of the men who called on Robinson and went with him to Braeside was employed in Gillies Bros’ Mills. He was discharged the day Robinson’s body was found, and has left here. But it is said the case has been taken up by persons who learned of the circumstances, and that a detective’s services w ill be called into requisition to investigate Robinson’s death thoroughly.

P e r t h , July 25th.— Michael Allan, whose name has been ominously mentioned in connection with the mysterious death of William Robinson, of Arnprior, appeared before the county judge yesterday, charged with criminally assaulting Elizabeth Scobie, a girl 14 years of age. He pleaded not guilty. Interviewed as to his knowledge of Robinson’s death, he said that on Monday evening about six o’clock, he, together with a fellow employee in Gillies’ mill at Braeside, a young chap named Duncan McCrae. and a Frenchman named  “Joe,” started for Arnprior, three miles distant.



McLachlin Bros, Public Archives Photo

There McCrae called for William Robinson, the deceased, at his boarding house, and after a few drinks had been digested the four started back for Braeside on foot. Allan says he was asleep but cannot be sure. The last he saw of Robinson was before he retired. Allan quotes Mrs. Primeau as his authority for saying that Robinson arose about four a.m. and told Mrs. Primeau that he was going to return to his work in Arnprior.

About 4:00 am Robinson’s shattered remains were found a short distance from Braeside on the railroad track leading to Arnprior. Allan says that on the previous night Robinson’s object in coming with the others to Braeside was to look for employment in the Braeside mills, but as Robinson left on Tuesday morning so early he (Robinson) must have changed his mind about looking after it that morning.



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.




Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

Murders and Mysteries of the Mississippi Hotel

Not Guilty in the Murder of His Grandmother –George Watt Jr.

Fame and Murder Came to Balderson in 1828

The Thomas Easby Murders in 1829 — Foulest Ever in Lanark County

Murder in Carleton Place –Peter Cairns

The Buck Lake Murderer

The Media Then and Now–Johnny Gillies Had a Gun

Shocking Murder in Almonte–Michigan Charlie

Murder on Maple Island

Bitten by the Kissing Bug — A Shocking Conclusion to the Life of Carleton Place’s Daniel E. Sheppard

The Tale of a Pirate named Bill Johnston with Pirate Dog Supermodels

Assassinated Gossip about Lincoln, Payne and the Thousand Islands

The Man Who Would Be The Revenant

Murders and Mysteries of the Mississippi Hotel

Did Samuel Pittard of Ashton Murder His Wife?


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