Originally known as Millford, Ferguson’s Falls, named for a Captain George Ferguson was a bustling hive of activity with a sawmill, grist mill, tannery, three hotels, two stores, a post office, a school house, a wagonmaker and a shoemaker and a church. Ferguson’s Falls was a thriving mill town, with a tannery and many small businesses. In the 1830s, the four O’Connor brothers from Ireland landed in Ferguson’s Falls and one built this log home close to the Mississippi River in 1835.
The lumber industry was a lucrative business for Ferguson’s Falls and log drives were a yearly event with a stop-over in the village as the logs headed to Carleton Place sawmills. A lovely log building still stands (2008)as a testament of those days. Back then it was called the ‘Stumble Inn’ and it welcomed the weary lumberjacks as it does modern travelers today– and was run by Bill McCaffrey.
Robert Doyle also had a place around 1840 on lot 16 on Concession12 in Drummond near the Community Hall. In all there were four public houses. The last one closed in 1900 and there were none after that.
There is a story that one night a group of young lads gathered at one of the local establishments in Ferguson Falls and they decided their friend Bruce should take himself a wife. His friend Jack Poole insisted that Bruce should marry his visiting cousinas she was available.
Jack went home, put his sisters clothes on, including a hat with a large heavy veil and returned to the hotel. After some discussion and no one being the wiser to Jack’s shenanigans they agreed to be married. Al Ruttle the Justice of the Peace proceeded to declare a long list that the groom had to provide. The newlyweds then went for a walk. A short time later the groom, Bruce came back and said the bride had run away, and he had no idea where she was.
There have been several bridges in Ferguson Falls. No one really knows when the first one was built but a map from the area in 1869 shows one. A second bridge was built in the 1880s which had hemlock sleepers 45 feet long with a 15 inch face. They were scored and hewed for $7.50 each.
The next bridge was built in 1919 and the present one in 1968. This is the ONLY bridge on the Mississippi River that withstood the results of the Crotch Lake disaster of 1857. All the other bridges were wiped out. Thanks to the toughness of the Ferguson Falls bridge the people of the village got the warning in time to pile boulders on the bridge and thus save it. Read-Did You Know About the Crotch Lake Disaster?
This is not the first time we have seen young men disappear or leave home. Originally documented when 5 to 14 years old in 1880, these boys are traced to the 1900 census when they were young adults. In general, the decision to leave farming was related to the urban-industrial “pull” of the surrounding environment and the degree of farm mechanization of the community. While migratory behavior correlates positively with occupational change, the major social correlates are somewhat different.
There was also the exodus to Manitoba, which was a milestone in Lanark County in the late 1800s. From north to south and east to west the farmers and farmers’ sons were flocking westward. The main reason was that it was said Manitoba was the destination of finally having good fortune in farming.
The results of farming were terrible in the years of 1880- 1890 and a hay crop had failed owing to drought in summer of 1888. Yesterday I learned in the Almonte Gazette there was a terrible infestation of insects and grasshoppers that ate the crops that summer of 1888. The spring of 1889 was turned into rain and dampness which also hindered growing. Read- When Crops Failed — Lanark County Went Manitoba Dreamin’
John Elliott never turned up anywhere– so he either ran of foul play, changed his name, and the list is endless.
One day this week I decided to wear a polka dot jumpsuit instead of pants. At my age I should know better, and the days of wearing a bodysuit with snaps at the crotch are over- so are buttons in the back of anything. I had worn the jumpsuit before, but could not remember who did the buttons up in the back. So that day I had to program any trip to the washroom lest I just walk around with the top part hanging around my waist.
I made it through the day, but once again I asked myself why I kept this jumpsuit. Rescuing a designer jumpsuit at a steal for $7.00 at a thrift shop should not be the answer. It’s not like it was trapped at the store.
For most of my lifetime I have suffered for fashion beginning with skinny leg jeans. My legs are not skinny, so why am I wearing them? Did you know skinny jeans have been known to cause weakness in your ankles? I once read a news article about a woman who spent the day packing and moving for a friend wearing her skinny leg jeans. Apparently after the event she could no longer walk and spent several hours lying on the ground.
Skinny jeans didn’t put her in the hospital, wearing a pair of skinny jeans that were probably at least 2 sizes too small did. Back in the day, the only way to zip super tight jeans up was to lay flat on the floor, or on your bed and use a fork to get the zipper up! Then you had to find someone to pull you up and stand you up straight! We didn’t listen then, and I am still not listening now. For some people like myself “Fashion Week’ lasts all year, and every single day that I am alive.
Why am I also interested in the fashion trend called waist training that has been around since the 1800s? Do I really need to follow this fad at 71? Aren’t my bones cracking enough? I can’t sit, I can’t breathe and my body is really from McDonalds ‘and loving it’. The goal for wearing a waist trainer– if you can wear it for 10 hours a day for at least 8 weeks– is a miraculous transformation. But, how do you get through the first 5 minutes?
Putting on the waist trainer was enough of a workout for the first day. I don’t think my organs moved at all, and my health seems fine after I got it on. “After I got it on” should be the keywords here. But who really knows what’s up with my insides anyways? They aren’t talking! Just curious, what part of the mirror thought I looked spectacular in one of these things.
When I was a child, my grandmother wore one. I loved the Eaton’s flesh coloured model, the salmon satin, and the lace. My grandfather used to have to put his foot on her back and heave ho.That was so romantic and it did nothing for her very ample waist except freeze it in place for eternity.
Thirty seven years ago I delivered a ten pound male child. There isn’t a month that goes by that I don’t remind him, like Beverley Goldberg, that I was in labour for 28 and one half hours. What did I get from that day in August of 1985 besides a beautiful healthy baby boy? Well, the next day the top of my left foot became very puffy and has remained that way for 37 years. The nurse said not to worry at the time because it was only postpartum fluid swelling– and it would go away. Well that fluid moved its home furnishings and plants and has squatted on top of my foot since that day in 1985.
Anytime I buy shoes the right foot takes a size 9, and the other foot needs the box the shoes came in. I wore trendy heels every day of my life until that day, and now when I find shoes that fit I buy what they have in my size. Black, size 10 and flat.
You don’t need a “warning” for this craziness. It’s called common sense. Do you see warnings on hammers saying: “Striking repeatedly on the head may cause brain damage”?
Life is always full of interruptions and complications isn’t it? Or, do I now consider common sense like deodorant? The people that need it most just never seem to use it.
Oso Station—Mrs. Robert Johnson presented her husband with a handsome boy last week.
Oso Station: Mrs. Storms from Olden Station has moved here.—William Connors, our venerable shoe maker, is ill. Little hope for his recovery.—G. E. Armstrong has his grocery window fitted up handsomely with nice things for the Christmas table. It is quite an artistic arrangement. William Armstrong was the designer.
On Jan, 24th, 1864, Euphemia Stevenson was united in marriage to Mr. John Dunlop. In honor of the 50th anniversary of this event, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Dunlop of Union Hall were the genial host and hostess at a dinner to the relatives and also a reception to the neighbors in the evening.
The bridesmaid, Miss Annie Scott, was present and is the only living witness of 50 years ago. Of the living children, three were present – Mrs. Compo of Ottawa, Alex. from Langham, Sask., and William on the homestead. Charles of Grande Prairie, Peace River, Alberta, the youngest son, was not present, but he spent a month with his parents last summer. Miss Pheobe Compo, a granddaughter, was also up from Ottawa.
Mr. Dunlop although not in the best of health at present, belongs to a long-lived race. His brother, Mr. Charles Dunlop, of Pakenham, who is in his 90th year, was able to drive that distance with his son, John, to attend the dinner and reception. Two sisters living in White Church, Ont., are both advanced in years, one being 82 and the other 87 years of age. The late Mrs. McLean, of the 7th line of Ramsay, a sister who died Sept, 19th, 1909, was then 86 years old.
Mrs. Dunlop was Euphemia Stevenson, youngest daughter of the late Alexander Stevenson, and sister to the late Norman and Andrew Stevenson, who died in Almonte a few years ago. Two sisters were the late Mrs. Thomas McFarlane, near Carberry, Man., and the late Mrs. John Rintoul, near Wingham, Ont.
Mr. and Mrs. Dunlop have lived in their home on the 2ne line of Ramsay ever since their marriage and are much respected by their neighbors and all who have the honor of their acquaintance.
The guests presented them with two beautiful chairs as a slight token of their esteem. The Gazette joins with the friends in the wish that the old couple may yet enjoy many years of happiness among them.
One of the problems of this day is what to do with all the extra time gained from the shorter working week. Mr. William Dunlop, who farmed in the Union Hall district until a few years ago was not bothered too much with the short week anymore than are most farmers but following a serious illness long ago, he took up knitting. In his day he turned out sweaters, socks and mitts for the family and now at 84 is still going strong.
This Christmas he knitted ten pairs of mitts for his, grandchildren. He is blessed with excellent eyesight and still drives his own car occasionally. In fact he drove to Almonte from the Union Hall district where he now lives with his daughter and son-inlaw, Mr. and Mrs. Neil McIntosh, just before Christmas. While there is no reason why men cannot knit as well as women, it is a fact that few become proficient in this line. Nearly all who have done so, have taken up knitting as a hobby while recuperating from an illness. Mr. Dunlop’s hobby followed an operation for a kidney stone from which he made a slow recovery but in his advancing years it has been a wonderful thing for him to be able to pass the time to such good advantage.
The following short story referring to the groundhog Candlemas legend was turned in by a resident of the Gemmill Park section.
Candlemas was originally a Celtic festival marking the “cross-quarter day,” or midpoint of the season. The Sun is halfway on its advance from the winter solstice to the spring equinox. The Christian church expanded this festival of light to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and her presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple. Candlelit processions accompanied the feast day.
Since the traditional Candlemas celebration anticipated the planting of crops, a central focus of the festivities was the forecasting of either an early spring or a lingering winter. Sunshine on Candlemas was said to indicate the return of winter. Similarly, “When the wind’s in the east on Candlemas Day / There it will stick till the second of May.”
A bear brought the forecast to the people of France and England, while those in Germany looked to a badger for a sign. In the 1800s, German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought their Candlemas legends with them. Finding no badgers but lots of groundhogs, or woodchucks, there, they adapted the New World species to fit the lore.
Today that lore has grown into a full-blown festival, with Punxsutawney Phil presiding.
Freddie Groundhog (alias Jeremy Woodchuck), made an early season appearance in the Gemmill Park area behind *Dr. Schulte’s home Wednesday morning about 6:30. He foraged over a remarkably wide area, moving quickly over the hard-packed snow. After about three-quarters of an hour of surface manoeuvres, which delighted the children of the area but not necessarily their sleepy parents, he submerged again under the wild Sherry trees for who knows how long. This is an interesting animal, somewhat playful if not bothered; and with at least two and often three or four separate entrances to his nest. Webster lists the groundhog and the woodchuck as identical, the names having arisen originally from the Algonquin Indian names wuchak or fisher. He is a rodent, and hence a cousin to rats and mice. His generic name is marmota monax.
Incidentally, he had plenty of chances to see his shadow on Candlemas day this year, and one wonders why he was out again so early. One possibility is that he is an expectant father and, behaving in characteristic fashion, was not quite steady enough to devise a way of awakening his neighbour at 6.30 a.m.!
An elderly man and a 10-year-old girl both suffered brain concussions Thursday evening in an accident here involving a bicycle driven by the girl. Eighty-four-year-old William “Shorty” Stevens and little Diane Wright were admitted to Rosamond Hospital as a result of the mishap, which occurred at the intersection of Union and Main Streets. The girl is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Wright of Almonte. The elderly man also sustained extensive head scratches in addition to the concussion. His condition was Thursday night described as “poor ” It is expected that the youngster will be released from hospital within a few days. According to police both persons were thrown to the pavement after Mr. Stevens was struck by a bicycle driven by the girl.* Dr. Otto Schulte, of Almonte, was called to the scene and or dered the injured persons removed to hospital. Con. Roy Dawson of the Almonte detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police Investigated the accident.
A few weeks someone came up to me (you know who you are LOLOL) and said, “Linda, I don’t know how you do it, but boy, are there a lot of whiners around these days.”
As a senior sometimes it’s hard to keep the bladder intact these days and especially when you are laughing– so this was a close call after that statement.
People have had a hard time being cooped up, worrying about everything and price increases,so life is tough… and then.. I saw Jane Dack’s post yesterday on Friends of Mississippi Mills and I smiled. Thank you Jane..
Okay, this is gonna be a change for some of you …. But let’s post here about businesses that we love in our small area! Everything to painters, yard companies, electricians, etc. No complaining! I’m tired of the whining everywhere. I’m just so exhausted of the negativity and complaining all the time on Facebook… we have so much good in our lives…. But it tends to get shadowed by the bad. Love ya!
I’ll go first….
Love my hairdresser Jessica at Tangled Hair salon in CP. She is amazing with colour/highlights.
And for winter snow plowing…. Trev Crawford from Clayton does a great job and very reliable for doing my parents driveway.
Nancy Taylor everytime I go into the office, my installers always ask me to bring them donuts from HFT because they love them so much!!
Ray Paquette on said: EditAfter 36 Years living in Carleton Place, my wife and I had a “Rolodex” of names of service people who we could depend upon to provide inexpensive but competent service unfortunately many have retired. We could always depend on Betty and Keith Dack for service and advice on purchases…LikeReply ↓
Bonnie Adams on said: EditIn CP Patterson Electric. Have had them for 22 years. Very reasonable prices, quality workmanship & friendly staff that know their trade. Mandy Horton at Essentials. I don’t let anyone else touch my hair. Giant Tiger The most helpful & friendly staff compared to other locations. They know regular customers & have gone above & beyond for me. Zak’s for good food & service. Seaway Valley Pharmacy has a wonderful Pharmacist. Well stocked store & friendly. McNeely Animal Hospital has wonderful staff & my Vet is Magda Eslimi who gives my furry girls special attention. Steve’s Locksmithing is an excellent service. He has many well known local businesses as his clients. You gotta be good for that