Tag Archives: Kemptville

Clippings and History of past Laundries – Kemptville Merrickville Carleton Place Almonte and Charlie Sing of Sandy Hill

Clippings and History of past Laundries – Kemptville Merrickville Carleton Place Almonte and Charlie Sing of Sandy Hill

On the lower floor of the small house next to us in Oakland was a Chinese laundry. Working there was a young man about twenty-five years of age. His face was as imperturbable as the sky, and he went about his business with the undeviating regularity of the solar system. At first he was just an ordinary man to me, but my attention became riveted upon him and my curiosity was awakened wanting to know his story.

The man seemed to live merely for his work. If I came in at two o’clock in the morning I found him with the lights turned on brightly, patiently working at his calling. If I rose early in the morning, that prodigy-of industry was up before me.

I gradually became filled with wonder at the untiring persistency of the man. Because of his neatness and politeness and exquisite care to please, the neighborhood never thought of sending its laundry anywhere else.

I began to carry my things in person to the laundry, urged on by the desire to find out something more about him. I reasoned that no man could work as he did without being dominated by such an all-absorbing purpose.

I found him intelligent, friendly, and he could speak English well.

Finally I won his confidence. The young man was in love. A gal in China was waiting for him, and he was patiently and bravely undergoing the hardest kind of toil in order to go back to his native country and. marry her.

When he told me the story I realized that he was a man, working to earn a wife, and despite these meager, unpoetical surroundings, cherishing all the dreams of a young man whose sweetheart was faraway.

Linda Seccaspina Horses with No Names Column series.

Many Chinese men ran laundry businesses between the late 19th century and the end of World War II.  They turned to laundry because they were shut out of other types of work (such as mining, fishing, farming, and manufacturing) and didn’t have the English skills or capital to make other choices.  Washing and ironing was considered women’s work, so it was low status and also posed no threat to white, male workers.:(

According to sources cited in Wikipedia, “Around 1900, one in four ethnic Chinese men in the U.S. worked in a laundry, typically working 10 to 16 hours a day.”  John Jung, who grew up behind a Chinese laundry and wrote a book about the business, explains that “New York City [alone] had an estimated 3,550 Chinese laundries at the beginning of the Great Depression of the 1930s.”

Chinese laundry disappeared into history not because discrimination disappeared, but because of technological innovation.

Carleton Place

The Lees opened a Chinese Laundry in Carleton Place and Hong On had been hired as an assistant. Laundry is on right hand side of the street- there was also one where the town hall now sits. —Tales From the Chinese Laundry on Bridge Street

June 1902

April 1941 Almonte Gazette

We are sorry to learn that in the course of the next week or two the town will lose its only laundry. This institution, of the hand variety, has been operated for the last 13 years by a very meek and unobtrusive little man named Wong. He came here from London, Ont. and has been in Canada about 25 years.

Few knew his name but he was a familiar figure to many as he trudged along the streets with his bag of laundry slung over his shoulder. The passing of highly starched shirt fronts, collars and cuffs took a severe toll on what was a fair business some years ago. Then, too, the outside steam laundries cut in on his field to an increasing extent and these factors, together with others, left him with little to do.

A few days ago Wong put a placard in his window asking customers who had laundry in his establishment to call for it as he must close owing to inadequate patronage. Thus the town severs another link with the past. Not a very important one, perhaps, but it is just one more straw which shows; how the wind is blowing in country towns. Poor Wong, was a civil, decent citizen. He attended to his own business—as long as he had any—and when he had none, he decided to leave town without complaint.

One tribute that must be paid to his work is that like most Chinese laundrymen he had the knack of ironing a shirt collar and other such accessories as no one else can do it. He will be missed by those who liked their shirts, especially collars and cuffs, starched and ironed immaculately. It is safe to say the only time any customer ever got the slightest bit annoyed at Wong was when the former found his laundry wasn’t ready and had his complaint dismissed with a cheerful giggle.

Wong now proposes to go to Ottawa or London where he will work in the large shop of some more prosperous compatriot. His life here must have been a lonesome one and no doubt his failure to make things go any longer may prove, for him, a blessing in disguise.


CLIPPED FROMKemptville TelegramKemptville, Ontario, Canada10 Oct 1901, Thu  •  Pag

The Advance
Kemptville, Ontario, Canada
02 Nov 1899, Thu  •  Page 1

Kemptville Telegram
Kemptville, Ontario, Canada
09 Jan 1901, Wed  •  Page 1


The Star-Chronicle
Merrickville, Ontario, Canada
18 Apr 1912, Thu  •  Page 1

The Merrickville Star
Merrickville, Ontario, Canada
28 Mar 1901, Thu  •  Page 5

Sandy Hill, Ottawa

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Jan 1970, Thu  •  Page 3

Who’ll Help Charlie Sing? Second-Last Chinese Laundry Foundering By FRANK DALEY

There are two Chinese laundries left in Ottawa and unless something drastic is done within a few days there will be only one. Charlie Sing’s laundry has been at 618 King Edward Avenue for at least 50 years. ‘ Fifty years. That’s almost half our country’s age for ‘ heaven’s sake. And If Charlie Sing has to close on Saturday the loss wlll not be Charlie’s but Ottawa’s.

You’ve all heard about Chinese laundries and made jokes about them … but how many of you have ever tried one or are aware of the virtues of one? If you’ll bear with me a moment I’ll explain a little of our, problem. Not Charlie’s problem because he’s not only a first class launderer but also a first class Chinese cook. Already, one enterprising restaurateur has offered Charlie a job on Carling Avenue and he even drives Charlie to work. But it is our problem because if we allow Charlie’s laundry to die we allow a little anore of the city core to die.

Charlie pays $40 a month to the University of Ottawa as rent for his laundry quarters but that comes to an end Saturday because the university needs the building. This Isn’t an attack on the university; it has its work to do. But Charlie’ can’t find a place at a rent he can afford about $75 a month. That’s the first part of the problem. The second part is business. Some years ago Charlie did well: he had university students and businessmen going to him regularly. But the last couple of years have been difficult because of the. chain laundries which have opened nearby to cater to the students. They charge as little as $1 for five shirts; Charlie must charge 28-30 cents apiece.

They can advertise; Charlie can’t. They do their work by machine; Charlie does his work by hand and one old washer (he needs a new one and the other Chinese laundry, on Wellington Street, just paid $1,500 for one). The new students don’t know Charlie and couldn’t afford him if they did. And people bark at paying 30 cents for laundry they can get done for cheaper. Summer wash-and-wear clothes and laundromats have hurt Charlie too.

Well, that’s progress, I can hear you say. Maybe so in some ways but definitely not in others. – For example: if you were aware that Charlie’s sheets and shirts return beautifully laundered and smelling faintly’ of light soap and green gardens and night air . . . if you knew that Charlie’s work costs more because he does his work by hand and that his. work is much gentler on your things than machine washes … if you could see and smell and feel the prideful and gentle way Charlie does laundry … you’d use his place.

If you knew, ladies, that never not ever once has a , tablecloth returned from Charlie’s with so much as a hint of that terrible stain you thought would never come out (and often didn’t) would you be interested? If you were aware of the indescribably sweet scent of Charlie’s shirts that begin the day properly and of the sheets which make you feel like some kind of potentate, would you be stirred?

We are not all poverty striken university students. Some of us are MPs, lawyers and other professional people; or just reasonably well-salaried people who could use a personal touch in the personal service of this kind of laundry. Couldn’t we do something? Couldn’t Action Sandy Hill turn away from its buildings and trees for a moment and look at a human being and an excellent service In our community?

Couldn’t we write Charlie Sing, care of The Journal, and tell him that, yes, somebody gives a damn about sweet-smelling, personal service even if its only for tablecloths and sheets and shirts. And couldn’t somebody tell Charlie that, he has a hole in the wall someplace for about $75 a month? Someplace downtown or in Sandy Hill.

Charlie isn’t asking anything; this article was my idea not his. A city area of 500,000 can’t afford to lose the second last of its Chinese laundry, or its European tailor shops, or shoe shops or bakeries or anything else simply because they cost a few pennies more or because the parties involved simply don’t have the money to advertise.

The price and pace of big-city life cannot be permitted to snuff out the kind of elements that give it identity, individuality and quality. If you’ve got some business or a new address for ‘Charlie Sing call The Journal city desk between 9 a.m. and noon and we’ll pass the message along.

Does anyone know what happened to Charlie Sing?

Laundry Down By the River

Lots of Laundry– Lassie Come Home!!!!

I am a Laundry Girl

Musings about Vibrating Appliances and Other Dirty Laundry

Tales From the Chinese Laundry on Bridge Street

Tales of the Queen’s Underwear and all those “Accidents”

As the World Turns in Carleton Place — Soap and Ground Beef

I will Wash Your Mouth Out with Soap!

What the Heck was Electric Soap? Chatterton House Hotel Registrar

Found- Maley’s Medical Knife — Jackknife– So What’s the Story Morning Glory? Jaan Kolk

Found- Maley’s Medical Knife — Jackknife– So  What’s the Story Morning Glory? Jaan Kolk
property of adin wesley daigle

So Adin found this neat jack knife this week and I was so enthralled with it I had to find where it came from. There is a heck of a lot of Maley’s in the Smiths Falls area, and at first I thought their first store was in Oxford Mills, then Kemptville because this is what I found in local directories. There name through genealogy searches is also spelled Maley or Mealey

Oxford Mills
1861 T. Maley Shoes
Maley, T. F.; 3 Russell St. W. Smiths Falls

Any clippings I found I put it in the ‘ historical area”—but I gave up and called in the ‘big guns’ — which is Ottawa historian Jaan Kolk. I sent my “request for a quest” last night and this morning I got up to this. Thanks Jaan!!!

The first thing Jaan said to me was: “Perhaps it’s a medical knife, Linda. It looks like it has… “heeling power”. D’OH—-

Adin Wesley Daigle photo

Jaan Kolk Figuring Out What is What

1-The 1857 Canada Directory has Thomas Maley General Store, Kemptville. The 1869 Province of Ontario Gazetteer has, in Kemptville, Thomas Maley Boots and Shoes. and Maley Bro. & Co., General Merchants. The 1904 Union Publishing Co. Farmers and Business Directory has W.L. Maley Boots & Shoes in both Kemptville and Smith’s Falls, so it appears that T.J. may have taken charge of brother William’s second store in Smith’s Falls while William remained in Kemptville.

2-It looks like the Maleys may not have been in the shoe business in Kemptville continuously through the late 19th century. The 1884 Ontario Gazetteer has W.L Maley Boots & Shoes in Brockville. In Kemptville, it has Thomas Maley as a loan agent, and George T. Maley with a general store. The 1888 edition had the same, with Wm. L. Maley, shoemaker, corner of King and Apple, Brockville. The 1898 Eastern Ontario Gazetteer still has W.L. Maley boots & shoes in Brockville, and the only other Maley business listed was G.T. Maley, banker, in Kemptville.

Mrs. Thomas Maley, mother of T.F. Maley, died in Smiths Falls July 25, 1912, at age 81. She was survived by her husband, son T.F. Maley, and a one daughter. It was written in her obituary that she (and her husband, I presume) had moved to join her son in Smith’s Falls about six years earlier. A social note for Kemptville in the Ottawa Citizen March 15, 1906 said “Mr. Thomas Maley was in Smith’s Falls Monday”, and another Kemptville note July 23, 1907 said “Mr. Thomas Maley of Smith’s Falls spent last week here with his son W.L. Maley.” That would be consistent with Thomas and his wife having from Kemptville to Smith’s Falls 1906-1907. From the Citizen, July 30, 1912:

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Jan 1907, Sat  •  Page 3

3-OK, now I’ve got it. William L. Malley, who established the Smiths Falls store, was the son of shoemaker Thomas Maley, born ca. 1833. Thomas was two years younger than his wife Mary, who was born in Ireland. The 1881 census shows shoemaker Thomas and Mary in Brockville, with son William L., age 20, listed as a clerk. Also listed is daughter Martha, 18, and a son, 12, “Freddie T.” who must be “T.F. Maley.” I believe Brockville shoemaker Thomas Maley was the son of wealthy Kemptville merchant Thomas Maley, born about 1809 in Quebec (although I don’t have confirmation of that.) In the 1861 census he was listed (with wife Mary) as a shoemaker in Oxford Township, Grenville, and it looks like in 1851, young Thomas Maley was with the household of Oxford shoemaker William Dougal, listed as an apprentice. From the 1881 census, Brockville:

In other things Jaan found-In 1863, The Ottawa and Prescott Railway obtained an injunction against the Township of Oxford and several named shareholders to bar them from voting in shareholder meetings. Among them were four Maley, including a Thomas Maley.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Jul 1907, Tue  •  Page 11
 - The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Jul 1912, Tue  •  Page 9
The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
01 Dec 1930, Mon  •  Page 9


Mary McNish — Joseph Coombs Druggist Smiths Falls

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

Interesting People –R. E. Irvine — The Story of a Bottle

Blackhawk’s B & B Tonic Carleton Place — The Great Tonic Laxative

When I Say Whoa–I Mean Whoa–The Dairy Horse

Cold Milk Ice Cream and Butter —- Carleton Place

Red Letter Days of the Lanark Fair 1910

More History on the Murphy Morphy McEwen House — Karen Prytula

The World’s Fair- Lombardy Fair

The Marvellous Jaan Kolk

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

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

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

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?

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

So…. We drove by Kangaroo Crescent

So…. We drove by Kangaroo Crescent

On our Monday ” Lanark or Bust Backroads trip” Jennifer and I whizzed by the famous Kangaroo Crescent in Watson’s Corners. I have written a few times about Watsons Corners who claims to be the ‘Kangaroo Capital of Canada,’ adopted after a resident claimed to have seen unusual animal tracks and to have spotted what looked like a kangaroo in the area.

He was later interviewed about what he had witnessed, and the story gained a life of its own in the history of the village. Since his now infamous phrase, “I seen what I seen,” Watsons Corners has embraced the unusual title of kangaroo capital on road signs and event advertisements

No one has seen that kangaroo, and all we have to go on is folklore and hearsay. But I will tell you about another one that got loose in 2008 near Kemptville. One might say he could have been a cousin of the Watson’s Corners fella or lady.

A panicked wallaby was on the loose in the Ottawa Valley October 8th, 2008 after a windy storm blew over a tree that broke open the kangaroo and wallaby pen at Saunders Country Critters and Garden Centre in Kemptville. Five kangaroos and wallabies were originally on the run in North Grenville after the tree took down a six-metre panel in the animals’ pen.

But only Wendell, a three-year-old Bennett’s Red Necked Wallaby, remained on the loose, and was last spotted in Athens, Ont. more than 80 kilometres southwest of Kemptville by an elderly woman the next morning. A day later there had been three more sightings in the area.

“They saw the opening, hopped out and just kept hopping,” said Saunders Country Critters co-owner Carla Saunders, who sounded a little panicked and distraught herself. “I feel terrible,” she said. “We just want Wendell home.” When Mrs. Saunders had heard of the first sighting in Athens, she was more hopeful for the animal’s safe return. “It’s definitely Wendell,” she said, adding that her husband and Country Critters co-owner, Gary Saunders, headed to Athens as soon as he heard and he saw Wendell’s tracks,” she added.


The animals were reported missing to the Grenville OPP Wednesday afternoon, but three of them didn’t venture too far from home and were easily recovered. Rudy, the kangaroo, was spotted later in the day by neighbours about 15 kilometres from the farm on County Road 44 and quickly brought back home. As for Wendell, Mrs. Saunders was worried about how long he can last in the cold weather.

Friends and staff of the Saunders had been combing the bush day and night with the hope of uncovering their precious little critter. In addition to the foot patrols, they have also hung towels soaked with the urine of the other kangaroos and wallabies in the trees around the farm, hoping the familiar scent would draw Wendell home.

Mrs. Saunders said the animal had a terrible sense of direction, so they’re trying to attract him by other means, but all attempts have been unsuccessful. Mrs. Saunders said Wendell only stood about 75 centimetres tall she described the Bennett’s wallaby breed as “kangaroo wannabes” and would not be dangerous if approached.

Apparently he was spotted as far as Moodie Drive and then Kemptville to Smiths Falls to Big Rideau Lake at least according to reported sightings. Despite dozens of volunteer searchers’ best efforts, Wendell’s body was found Nov. 13, 2008 about two kilometres from his pen. Other animals had gotten to the body before searchers could, so a cause of death was never determined.

Apparently Rudy the kangaroo was not doing well at all after Wendell’s disappearance as he shared a pen with Wendell. The red kangaroo became depressed and was actually placed on antipsychotic medication in the days after Wendell’s body was found. So– they went out and bought him a wife, and Rudy bounced right back. Nothing like a woman to keep a spring in your feet.

Just in case you folks out in Lanark County should see another kangaroo best way to catch him would be to throw a blanket on top of him, grab him by the tail and drop him into a pillowcase, which would simulate the comfort and protection of a mother wallaby’s pouch.  Try that and see how far you get!

With files from Brendan Kennedy 2008

Other stories about local kangaroos

Tie Me Jackelope Down Boy–Tie Me Jackelope Down!

More Photos of the Watson’s Corners Kangaroos – Thanks to Connie Jackson

Did Anyone Ever Collect this Bounty?

More about Cindy Duncan – Thanks to Connie Jackson

The Storm of 1952 –McKeen’s Hotel Window’s Smashed- Dogs Cats and Fowl Die in Barrage

The Storm of 1952 –McKeen’s Hotel Window’s Smashed- Dogs Cats and Fowl Die in Barrage

 - Immigra-I of. tast-vtew Pound-Size Pound-Size... - sssoci- " ll. Au inouw Kemptville Agrttul-...

 - ; . ! stones were still lying in shaded 'spots...
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Fri, Jun 27, 1952 – Page 16
kemptville_ont_3 (1).jpg
You would think that if 500 animals died, and there were pound size hail, that there would be a photo somewhere. After searching for an hour through 1950s dairy photos from the 50s in the archives there was nothing. Just nothing– so I did my own photo LOL. If anyone has photos of this storm please email me at sav_77@yahoo.com.

Samuel Patterson and Elizabeth Upton

Samuel Patterson and Elizabeth Upton


Kemptville Advance November 1897

A lad who first saw the light of day in County Antrim, Ireland, in August, 1800, ventured across the raging Atlantic when only 17 years of age, unaccompanied by a parent or any near relative. When he put foot on Canadian soil he was a total stranger to all. Listen while we tell you w hat has been the outcome of this Irish lad.

His first abode was in Montreal where he worked for three years. Then he came into Upper Canada, passing through a place which he affirmed had but two houses, and which is now the capital of the Dominion. Through the latter place he proceeded on to the township of Beckwith where he remained for several years.

Later a young woman arrived from County Wexford in his own native land, and at the village of Richmond they were united in holy wedlock. The ups and downs of a wilderness life was their portion, but being well equipped with health and strength, perseverance and honesty, they were equal to all the trying emergencies and made a success of life.

Samuel Patterson and Elizabeth Upton were the happy young couple, and in 1842 they moved to Oxford township to spend the remainder of their days. To them were born ten children, five of whom are still living, whose names, ages, number of children and grandchildren we give below :

John Patterson, Kemptville, aged 69, 9 children, all living ; 16 grandchildren.

James Patterson, Oxford, aged 67; 12 children, 2 of whom are dead ; 9 grandchildren.

Benjamin Patterson, Burritt’s Rapids, aged 60; 14 children, 1 of whom is dead.

Samuel Patterson, Kemptville, aged 55; 11 children, 7 of whom are now dead.

Mrs, Robert Wiggins, Marlboro, aged 58; 4 children; 4 grandchildren. Those who were married but have since died are: Mary, wife of Robt. Conn, afterwards Mrs. Wm. Sanders, of Sarnia, 10 children. Robert, 2 children. Ann, wife of James Donnelly, Marlboro, 7 children, 13 grandchildren.

It will thus be seen that the descendants of this one Irish lad were 10 children, 69 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, or a total of 121 people. When the Sickle of Time cut off their existence the grand sires were well advanced in years. Mrs. Patterson departed this life on Dec. 22, 1883, at the age of 82 years, and Mr. Patterson on Sept. 18, 1887, aged 87 years.—




Pattersons-Kemptville Public Cemetery
Leeds & Grenville Co./Reg./Dist., Ontario CLICK HERE

4385-01 John PATTERSON, 30, cheese maker, Sarnia, Manotick, s/o Benjamin PATTERSON & Sarah Ann KIDD, married Tena McCORKELL, 20, Osgoode, same, d/o James McCORKELL & Bella FINDLEY, witn: William PATTERSON of Burritts Rapids & Nellie DAVIDSON of Manotick, 12 June 1901 at Brays Crossing



Genealogy Search– Looking for Pender Family Information

Looking for Information on the Kazy Family from Smiths Falls

Searching for Information: J.A. Stevenson and Robert and Jane Ross of Lanark

Searching for Elizabeth Cram–Updates on Andrew Waugh

Searching for Information– Teddy Bears Made in Carleton Place?

Searching for Henry Beaufain and Augusta Grobe

Looking for Stories About the Hare Krishna in Carleton Place

Looking for Information on the Kazy Family from Smiths Falls

Looking for the Watson’s of Lanark County I Presume



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