Tag Archives: hexes

I’ve Got a Hex on You — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina –Historic Rabbit Hole Series

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I’ve Got a Hex on You — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina –Historic Rabbit Hole Series
The buildings, which are designed in a Gothic Revival style, officially opened on June 6, 1866, about a year before Canada’s Confederation. On February 3, 1916, a fire. … Confederation. On February 3, 1916, a fire destroyed all but the Library of Parliament. Reconstruction began later that year and was completed in 1927. When the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings was rebuilt in 1916, teams of horses hauled six-ton loads of Nepean sandstone blocks from a quarry near Bells Corners. Each team could make the roughly 30-km. round trip just once a day. LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA / PA-130624

Linda Seccaspina

A few weeks ago I wrote about Mrs. Lowney who lived near Bishop’s Quarry who was recorded in the Ottawa Daily Citizen that her cows would not give milk because someone working in Bishop’s Quarry had the “evil eye”. It seemed to be the norm on those days as those that hailed from Ireland in the 1800s brought over their beliefs in hexes and the dreaded evil eye.

Catherine Lowney, a widow, who lived near Bishop’s Quarry, attributed fear of the “evil eye” on her property because her cows would not give milk, even though it was the height of the milking season. Of course one would think there was a very logical explanation of the absence of milk from Mrs. Lowney’s cows, or was there?

At that period (1860s) stone for the Parliament Buildings was being quarried near Mrs. Lowney’s house and many strangers were employed in Bishop’s Quarry in Nepean. So when gossip starts you know that maybe thirsty strangers from the quarry sneaking into her farm and milking her cows would be a valid excuse. Of course she failed to see anything but some bewitching Hocus Pocus taking root in the neighbourhood. Her belief held firm that a certain neighbor or quarry worker possessed the “evil eye’ and was getting back at her for some imagined wrong. We all know how that goes.

Of course my interest wheel piqued to HOT and I began to wonder where the former Bishop’s Quarry was. As I searched for information I came across Bruce Deachman’s article in the Ottawa Citizen. Q is for Quarry: Forgotten, overgrown quarry provided the building blocks of Ottawa

Since I could find nothing about Bishop’s Quarry I somehow knew after reading his article that this forgotten Campbell’s Quarry in Nepean was one and the same. Campbells quarry closed in 1962, when the National Capital Commission expropriated the land for the Greenbelt. Situated right beside Highway 417, just west of Moodie Drive, lie overgrown remains of the former Bishop’s/Campbell’s Quarry that supplied building material for the Parliament Buildings, the Dominion Observatory and the Canadian Museum of Nature.

(We love comments and input–this from Tim Cartwright)

(Tim Cartwright Campbell’s quarry is not the site directly beside the 417. It still exists within the property of Natural Resources off of Haanel Dr. This is why they objected to having it reopened in more recent times.

So, just to make sure I wasn’t going in the wrong direction and steer my readers into reading a fish tale I contacted my historian friend Jaan Kolk. Actually it’s more of a Facebook ‘pity” PM that begins with: “JJJJJJJJAAAAAAAAn, can you help me please”?

Jaan Kolk

Yes Linda, it must be Bishop’s quarry to which Bruce Deachman refers. Henry Bishop owned 200 acres of farm land with a stone quarry: Lot 6, Conc. II OF. The 1879 Belden Atlas shows his house and “white sand stone quarry” on the south side of Corkstown Road, about midway between Moodie Drive and Eagleson. The Canadian County Digital Atlas Project gives the year settled as 1821.

The 1965 aerial photo layer at GeoOttawa shows the bright scars of what looks like quarrying on both sides of Corkstown Road about 2 km west of Moodie (halfway between Moodie and Eagleson.) Zoomed in, one can see a road along the strip stretching south. Google maps shows traces of the same features, and shows the pathway identified as Greenbelt Pathway W. / Trans-Canada Trail. I believe the Citizen photo is of the area in the woods where the trail bends south away from the Queensway. That was Henry Bishop’s quarry in 1861; the quarries north of Corkstown would have been Keefer’s. Campbell began operations on that extended sandstone ridge in 1916, and shut down when it was bought out by the NCC about 1962. I can’t say exactly where they were operating then; there appears to have been a second roadway into that general area from Hazeldean Road

Henry Bishop’s was not the only stone quarry in the area, and may not have been the biggest supplier of stone for the Parliament Buildings. In “The City Beyond”, Bruce Elliott writes: “In the spring of 1861 nearly a hundred quarrymen and stonecutters were boarding in and about Bells Corners. Henry Bishop boarded about 30 of the quarrymen who were working at Keefer’s quarry on the Corkstown Road. He also ran a tavern, which he came to regret because of the insobriety of some of the workmen.

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he Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Jul 1960, Sat  •  Page 35

Nevertheless, his fine stone house was built with the profits. Maps show A. Keefer as part-owner of the lot on the north side of the Corkstown Road, directly across from Bishop’s. Elsewhere, Elliott notes that fine stone house (“Bishop’s Palace”) was built with stone from Bishop’s own quarry.

Here is an Apr. 30, 1966 Citizen note on the demolition of Bishop’s hotel for the Queensway -Jaan Kolk
Linda Seccaspina

Actually, it was recorded in the History of the Ottawa Valley that Mr. Henry, father of Mr. Bishop of Wellington Street had a fine place, Bishop’s Palace. Their sandstone quarries out which much of the ‘decoration’ of the parliament buildings of the city was produced was located between Courtney’s and Pollock’s.

The Irishmen like Henry Bishop’s family who founded Nepean’s Corkstown not long afterwards are believed to have started settling there as early as the 1840s. It became a substantial community, partly due to the flourishing quarry works established nearby that employed as many as 100 men at a time, and provided much of the fine Nepean sandstone used in the first Parliament Buildings.

These men had many hardships to deal with, and one of the first houses along the old Corkstown Road was soon turned into a tavern where the weary workers could raise their flagging spirits. Henry Bishop owned it, and his comfort station was known far and wide as the Bishop’s Palace.

The two-storey stone structure, built in 1861 was known before, the turn of the century as “Bishop’s Palace” when it served as an inn for travellers, area farmers and workers from nearby Nepean Sandstone Quarries.

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Here is Henry Bishop’s obituary from the Ottawa Journal, Nov. 2, 1901: (thanks to Jaan Kolk)

In April of 1966 National Capital Commission awarded a contract to Alfred Beaulne Construction for the demolition of Bishop’s Palace on the south side of Corkstown Road. It had also served as a private residence from the early 1900s until 1938 when it was acquired by NCC. News of impending demolition was greeted with “regrets and resignation’ ‘by Nepean Township Historical Society.

In an odd note, maybe there was a hex of some sort in that area near the quarry. Today, Campbell’s/ Bishop’s Quarry now sits abandoned, and years ago it stopped being able to provide sandstone. According to Deachman’s article on the abandoned Campbell/ Bishop’s Quarry-” repairs to the generally neglected stonework of the Museum of Nature required many tons of replacement sandstone (approximately five per cent of the museum’s stone had to be replaced), architect Barry Padolsky and the Department of Public Works attempted to have the quarry re-opened. Their efforts ultimately failed, however, when Natural Resources Canada objected, noting that the heavy machinery needed for the quarry would throw off the calibration of the instruments at their research laboratory adjacent to the quarry.” (Q is for Quarry)

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Oct 1966, Wed  •  Page 27

What was once a historical workplace for 100s of men now fades into the sandstone so to speak. So thanks to Jaan Kolk for his help– another historical area like the Pure Spring Ginger Ale water spring is documented for generations to come.

Pointing to the sandstone buildings around us, some of which had stood there for several hundreds of years, she commented on how old everything in Oxford looked. Can’t they afford anything new? she asked earnestly.”-In the Light of What We Know

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
01 Dec 2018, Sat  •  Page A2
Jaan Kolk's Profile Photo, Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, hat, stripes and indoor
historian Jaan Kolk
Linda Seccaspina
Henry Bishop

1880s- 
Legislature of the Province of Ontario

Descriptive Catalogue
of Ontario Minerals
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Henry Bishop–Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Apr 1851, Sat  •  Page 2
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Henry Bishop mentioned.. Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Oct 1874, Tue  •  Page 4
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of interest to all because of the clipping above it…. Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Sep 1880, Mon  •  Page 4

Campbell's Quarry--Archie Campbell

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The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Jan 1932, Sat  •  Page 13
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 May 1960, Sat  •  Page 44
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Jul 1949, Fri  •  Page 15
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Sep 1959, Wed  •  Page 21

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Jan 1912, Mon  •  Page 11

Q is for Quarry: Forgotten, overgrown quarry provided the building blocks of Ottawa

Particulars About Pure Spring Ginger Ale — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina Historic Rabbit Hole Series

A. Huckels & Co. -The Story of a Bottle- Thanks to Jaan Kolk

The Marvellous Jaan Kolk

Talking Through Your Hat? Jaan Kolk

So Where Was Caldwell Mills? Thanks Jaan Kolk

The Thrift Store Couple – More Information-Jaan Kolk

The House on the Hill — Up the 8th Line of Ramsay — Jaan Kolk Files

Britannia Boat House Doomed— April 1907 Ice Jam –Jaan Kolk Files

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign–Dr. Winters 154-160 Bridge Street Carleton Place –Jaan Kolk Files

Please take the Devil Out of Me? Rev. James Wilson of Lanark

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

The Cholera Epidemic of 1911

The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes

Benoit & Richardson Photo– a Mystery

Before there was Baker Bob’s There was The Almonte Bakery

Does Anyone Remember Cohen’s in Lanark Village?

Was the Butter Tart Really Invented in Barrie, Ontario? Jaan Kolk Files

The Malloch Barn and Other Things

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The Malloch Barn and Other Things
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Hi Linda. This is the barn at our Malloch family farm…The barn was built by Dan Malloch my great grandfather in 1909. This is the first major repair ever done on the barn since my great grandfather had the barn built. Check out the thick stone walls. Blake is repairing the corner of the barn his great great grandfather had built. I love history. –Glenda Mahoney
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All Photos Glenda Mahoney
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historicalnotes
Anybody who is familiar with the ways of the Lanark County farmer knows that they set a high value upon their cattle. In fact, it frequently happens that sometimes the cattle are better cared for than the members of the farmer’s family.
If anything goes wrong with the herd, or if the milk sours or the butter will not come, it is set down as a case of “hexeri” and the services of ‘one that knows” are called in. The latter prescribes a charm to be nailed above the stable door, and, in fact, treats the cattle that have been “hexed” just as he does his human patient. In driving through the country districts it is not an unusual sight to observe these charms above the entrance to the cow stable. –The Appeal- 1900

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 and The Tales of Almonte

If the Family Bible Spins Three Times… You’d Better Run!

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If the Family Bible Spins Three Times… You’d Better Run!

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I have written about the Vampires in Wilno, the Witch of Plum Hollow, and let’s not forget the poor gal in Pakenham being garnished up to burn in the middle of town as no one could seem to churn butter. By the 1870s most of these folkloric tales from the highlands had disappeared, but Reverend Bell kept reminding them that witches or ghosts seen in Lanark County were always floating around in the old country– so in all honesty, no more fretting in Beckwith—just get on with it.

I think that was one reason the settlers held on to the St Fillans Crozier for so long in Beckwith (until the 1840s) as they deemed it to be powerful over any local witch who might pollute their water or god forbid- slow down the sap. Let’s not forget all those family bibles that were left on the table during times of toil and trouble, and if that bible spun around three times while someone was about– well, god help you.

In the 1840s and 1850 the Carleton Place Herald went on the warpath and held in “print contempt” those who still believed in the evil eye and witchcraft. In 1856 a young woman’s hacked up body was found in the depths of the Rideau River and James Stewart of the 7th line of Beckwith was arrested for her murder. James Poole editor of the Carleton Place Herald, not known for his quiet demeanour nor candour went off the hook that the local Sheriff had dared consulted the Witch of Plum Hollow about the case. Poole could not understand why a witch would be more powerful or know more than the local sheriff about a local murderer.

Similar to Pakenham, butter wasn’t churning at various times in Beckwith and Carleton Place and farmers would get rid of their cows and replace them with sheep as they were sure their aging neighbour put a hex on their livestock. There was big business in charms and hex removals in Lanark County in that era, all because they brought their ways with them from the old country. It got so bad that Beckwith began a bylaw for the preservation of public morals. Slowly they got rid of their superstitions except probably the one for getting rid of warts. That my friends, is still something that carries on to this day.

They say when you get rid of one thing people transfer their troubles to something else, and that they did. Religion and whatever church you attended to keep the bad morals out came next. Stories of the famous donnybrooks among the Presbyterians and Anglicans in Carleton Place made front page news. Pigs were thrown through the St. James Anglican window (open I hope) in August of 1852 with one Carleton Place resident deeming the town of Carleton Place as nothing but colonies of rats. Rats? Here is a fact for you– rats multiply so quickly, that in 18 months two rats could have over a million descendants. Now, there is genealogy for you.

 

With research files from Beckwith- Glenn Lockwood

 

comments

Ted Hurdis If you can get an ” unbeliever ” to buy your wart it will disappear from you to them !! True story 

 

 

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ 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.

relatedreading

Importing Vampires into Wilno

 

What I Did on Beckwith Heritage Days – Alexander Stewart – Ballygiblin Heroe

Different Seasons of Witches in Lanark County

The Witches of Rochester Street

Ancestor of Salem –Rochester Street Witch

Hocus Pocus –Necromancy at Fitch Bay

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

Plum Hollow Witch and The Mountain Man of Pakenham

An Interview with the Witch of Plum Hollow–Mother Barnes— The Ottawa Free Press 1891

My Grandmother was Mother Barnes-The Witch of Plum Hollow

A Bewitched Bed in Odessa

Local Miracle Story– Woken From a Ten Week Coma

The White Witch of Lanark County–Having the Sight

The Witch Hollow of Lanark County

eBay and Haunted Dolls – Cursed and Very Sellable? – Zoomers

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eBay and Haunted Dolls – Cursed and Very Sellable? – Zoomers.

 

“Last year I wrote a story about eBay banning anything to do with love potions, magic spells and curses. After acquiring what I was told was a a haunted doll yesterday I have decided to go all XFiles on Ebay and personally find out if my doll will sell. To catch you up to speed I will refresh your memory about what is sold on the internet giant these days in the way of dolls that are haunted. But dolls…yikes, they’re almost as bad as clowns these days.”