Tag Archives: hysteria

Comments –What was it Like Being German in Lanark County 1915?

Comments –What was it Like Being German in Lanark County 1915?

Yesterday I wrote about something I had no clue about. The early part of the war witnessed a substantial backlash against many elements of the German presence in Canada. Public schools removed German language instruction from their curricula. Some orchestras refused to play German music– and the hysteria continued in the media as seen below.

Here are some comments to the story —What was it Like Being German in Lanark County 1915?


Steven Robert Morrison Even in the 1950’s when Mom and Dad were dating. My grandmother Morrison would say things like, “Bill’s girlfriend Marie is a nice girl, but she is G-E-R-M-A-N”. She did not want to say the word GERMAN. 

But then on the other side of the coin, a great-grandmother on Mom’s side, very Prussian lady, died refusing to believe the Holocaust happened, because the German people would never have done anything like that.  Gran Morrison was from Cobden, G-Gram was in Eganville.


Noreen Tyers Hi Linda, just a short note to say, you do stimulate this old brain. I began to remember stories from my childhood good or bad. Your article on Germans in Lanark County, made me think of my Grandmother’s family who was born in Germany. As a child growing up in Eastview, now a part of Ottawa, the stories came back onto the scene. Her parents, sisters and brother were all under detection of the Government.

I had a school friend that her family name was on the list and near the top so they were under heavy scrutiny. My problem is I do not know the details, it was stories my Grandmother passed on to me. I was born in 1939 and grew up with the fear of the Second World War and do not know if my feelings were from fright or from the stories. You may use the comment. My Grandmother’s Family were hard working farm people and the area they lived in there was a few families of German descent and all were treated the same way. Noreen


Marilyn White My great grandparents came from Germany and settled in Pembroke. My grandfather and grandmother then moved to Smith Falls and during the Second World War he worked for the railroad. They never taught the kids German as they wanted to stay under the radar.


If you have any memories PM me on Facebook , send a message here or email sav_77@yahoo.com



Clipped from

  1. Detroit Free Press,
  2. 20 Sep 1915, Mon,
  3. Page 6

 - twen-. , Calgary, June 3. Thousands of Germans...



Clipped from

  1. The Salina Evening Journal,
  2. 14 May 1915, Fri,
  3. Page 1


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

  1. relatedreading

What was it Like Being German in Lanark County 1915?

The Hysteria and Overbooking of Hayley’s Comet 1910

The Hysteria and Overbooking of Hayley’s Comet 1910




If you read *When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror! you will remember three young ladies residing in a house in one end of Carleton Place. They were suddenly awakened at 3 am that night in May of 1910 by the cries from the town fire and the illumination of the sky. The women thought that Halley’s Comet had passed that night and had produced the end of the world.

The three rushed outdoors in their night clothes waving their arms and crying in despair. They thought it the end of the time was near. It took awhile to get the ladies under control and understand what had really happened. No doubt they had read the newspapers that very day about the coming of Halley’s Comet.




For weeks international and local newspapers literally terrorized their readers. Over 500 Italians in Little Italy in New York fell to their knees in prayer that night when they saw the ball of flame bearing down on them in the sky. In New Jersey locals took the whole day off work to pray in their local churches for their salvation. Fraudsters hawked anti-comet pills, with one brand promising to be “an elixir for escaping the wrath of the heavens,” while a voodoo doctor in Haiti was said to be selling pills “as fast as he can make them.” Two Texan charlatans were arrested for marketing sugar pills as the cure-all for all things comet, but police released them when customers demanded their freedom. Gas masks, too, flew off the shelves.



The whole performance took five hours that night while the Carleton Place fire raged. On the bridges of Ottawa and on rooftops people gathered and some educators carried bottles so they could contain some the atmosphere for future analysis.  The world’s greatest scientists assured everyone that no harm would befall and their analysis could not be foretold, but it was concluded that there was no cyanogen gas from the tail of the comet that they were fearful of. Local bartenders were telling their patrons to drink half water and half alcohol and that was an antidote if they breathed any cynogen gas from the meteor. Local farmers removed their lightening rods from their homes and barns fearful of dangerous light flashes and substances that might accompany the comet.

Folks got real creative with their anxiety. It didn’t help that a few months earlier, The New York Times had announced that one astronomer theorized that the comet would unceremoniously end life as we know it. The Associated Press warned their readers they had observed two rather large black spots on the sun and solar eruptions were viewed and spread even more hysteria.

In the end there was no collision, and no drastic effects and life went back as we know it. That night as part of Carleton Place burned down few thought of Hailey’s passing comet except for the girls near Townline and the visibility of Halley’s Comet at the birth and death of Mark Twain was nothing “an exaggeration.”


I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”
 Mark Twain, a Biography


Some of our citizens claim to have seen the comet Friday night.
There is nothing wrong with their eyesight–Almonte Gazette- May 27 1910


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.



When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!

When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!- Volume 1- Part 2


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