Tag Archives: kingston

Updates–What Happened to the Cardwell Orphans?

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Updates–What Happened to the Cardwell Orphans?

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The sad state of affairs with small children..😦 Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 17 Jan 1894, Wed, Page 1

I posted this on Tuesday. What happened to these children? The next day this was posted…

 

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Clipped from Manitoba Morning Free Press,  18 Jan 1894, Thu,  Page 2

 

 

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It was always believed that some sort of miracle would would take place in the life of an orphan and they would be adopted. Orphans were normally taken in by their immediate relatives, neighbours or couples without children. Laws related to adoption did not prevail in the Victorian era and so most of the instances of adoption were informal. Adoption of a child of the lower class by people of higher class, however, did not permit the child to maintain relations with the higher class and Canada had strict laws. If you suddenly found yourself without family you were put in jail until the courts could deem your story. Canada was worried about the country becoming a dumping ground for child immigrants. Your morals were assessed to see if you could become responsible citizens.

Some of the orphans considered themselves lucky to get placed in educational institutions. The philanthropists of the Victorian era considered it a social responsibility to donate money to schools which were formed to educate the orphans and provide boarding facilities. Food, clothing, shelter and education were given to orphans until they turn seventeen. Once they attained the age of seventeen the orphans were expected to work and earn on their own.

Most of these education centres were not funded properly and Orphans were educated for the purpose of performing lower-middle class occupation such as that of a governess. To make matters worse the nutrition standards were not up to the standards and corporeal punishment excessively. In such poor conditions, diseases spread rapidly in the crowded centres.

As abandonment of children was quite often during the Victorian era a residential institution to take care of the orphans became the need of the hour. Thus orphanages were set up in different parts of United Kingdom as Group home, children home, rehabilitation centre and youth treatment centre.

The establishment of orphanages played a major role in reducing the infant mortality rates. The orphanages offered community-based living and learning to children. Though orphanages acted as a better option when compared to adoption and foster care, in some of the unregulated orphanages, children were subject to abuse and neglect. But there were still some orphans searching for a ray of light in the darkness, living in the streets doing menial work and begging for money for their living.

Gilbert and Bertha Cardwell were pardoned by the Dominion of Canada and who knows what desperate place they were sent. Attempts to find them on genealogy pages, insane asylum lists etc. were fruitless. All that is know is they went to an orphanage in Kingston and the were probably sent to the Sunnyside Children’s Centre in Kingston. From mid-century until 1893, children’s homes like the Kingston Orphans’ Home were the primary providers of care and protection to destitute and neglected children in Ontario. About one-third of the children admitted were returned to family, but more than half were placed in private homes when discharged. Establishing good placement procedures was therefore a priority and a primary motivation for the founding of the Home. One hundred thirty-five children placed by the Home from 1857 to 1876 are tracked in order to assess these placement practices and the Home’s effectiveness as a child protection agency.

 

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  20 Nov 1905, Mon,  Page 1

 

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Clipped from Vancouver Daily World,  16 Jul 1896, Thu,  Page 7

 

 

Sunnyside Children’s Centre Kingston 1857-1998

History
The Orphans’ Home and Widows’ Friend Society was organized in 1857 to provide for the care and education of orphans. Initially these children came from the House of Industry, an institution established by the Female Benevolent Society for the poor of the area. By 1857 the House of Industry was well established and receiving aid so the women who had been involved in organizing that agency now turned their attention to the children. In March, 1857, thirteen children were admitted from the House of Industry into a house on Earl street where they were cared for and taught by a Mrs. Harold. Other destitute children attended the classes.
In 1862 the Orphans’ Home and Widows’ Friend Society was granted a charter. In 1862 the Orphanage and school moved to larger quarters. In 1927 the building housing the Orphanage was bought by Queen’s University and Sunnyside, the home of Mrs. G.Y. Chown, was bought for use as an orphanage. As conditions changed and orphan children were adopted or placed in foster homes the orphanage had fewer and fewer inmates. By 1947 the role of Sunnyside had changed. Since that time it has been a centre for the treatment of emotionally disturbed children

 

Ottawa– Protestants Orphan’s Home 😦

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  20 Nov 1899, Mon,  Page 4

 

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.

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

relatedreading

He Fired the Barn! The Orphans of Carleton Place

1,200 Died of Plague Which Hit City in 1847

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1,200 Died of Plague Which Hit City in 1847

 

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School of Medicine, Queen’s University

 

 

When I was doing research Bertha and Gilbert Cardwell I cam across this. I had no idea– so I thought it should be documented.

 

The Kingston Whig Standard, January 8, 1949, by Edwin E. Horsey:

 

It was the 1847 famine in Ireland that was indirectly responsible for the founding of two of Kingston’s charitable institutions — the Home for the Aged and Sunnyside Children’s Home. Both establishments were organized primarily to take care of the widows and orphans left following the scourge of emigrant or ship-fever which claimed 1,200 lives here 101 years ago.

The deadly effects of the dire visitation were felt for years, for, while the progress of the epidemic had been stayed, there remained the problem of caring adequately for the many destitute persons and orphans. It is difficult for us fully to realize today the magnitude of the misery caused by the ravages of the disease, without doubt the greatest in the city’s history.

The plague of ship-fever was brought to Canada when thousands of Irish emigrants, fleeing from famine and pestilence, died during the ocean voyage or on reaching our shores. The United States, sensing danger, closed its ports to the refugees, but almost 100,000 were brought to Canada. While a quarantine was established at Grosse Isle in the lower St. Lawrence, those considered healthy or seeming well were allowed to continue on to Quebec and Montreal. Outbreaks of the plague quickly followed in both cities. It is estimated 20,000 died at lower St. Lawrence River ports.

At Montreal, those with a presumably clean bill of health, and desiring to do so, were permitted to continue further west. Passage was provided on barges and steamboats to Kingston, and so on by vessel to Toronto. But the trail of pestilence and death followed. At Kingston, the bodies of those who died on the last stretch of the river journey were unloaded on to the wharves for hasty removal and burial, while the sick were segregated in an effort to prevent further infection.

 

 

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Kingston Hospital 1890-Credit: Henry Henderson – KGH Archives

 

Old people never ceased telling of the harrowing experiences of those days; how the rumbling death-cart passed through the streets laden with bodies. These were taken to the field south of the present site of the General Hospital, placed side by side in trenches, sprinkled plentifully with quicklime and covered up. A great mound stood there unmarked for many years — the common grave of over 1,200 victims. During the term of the late Archbishop Cleary he had erected, in 1894, the monument now marking this burial place.

However, in face of all precautions taken, the fever spread through the city. Many homes became infected. A council report states: The expenditures of that year (1847) in the city, on account of the indigent emigrants, exceeded ÂŁ13,000, and had that expenditure been charged upon the city, a special tax exceeding nine shillings in the pound would have been necessary.

 

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School of Rehabilitation Therapy – Queen’s University
With all the moderen facilities for combating contagion at our disposal today, the appearance of a few cases of typhoid or other infectious disease causes a near-panic. But try and picture what conditions must have been in 1847, without any of these aids, when up to 2,500 infected persons and contacts were dumped weekly on the city’s doorstep.

When the epidemic was finally checked in 1848, the destitution following in its wake was of an acute nature. However, having been relieved of the hospital work they had carried on for some 25 years, the members of the Female Benevolent Society turned their attention to making provision for the care of the indigent and friendless.

In a report the secretary of the society, Mrs. Cartwright, outlined the object of the venture, to quote: The crowded state of the hospital and the general prevalence of fever throughout the town prevented the operations of the society from being carried on in the usual manner, but it was at lenghth agreed that efforts should be made for the establishment of a House of Industry, as the most effectual means of affording relief to the many destitute beings left among us by the recent calamitous season of sickness and destitution arising from the awful visitation of famine in Ireland.

As a result of their efforts a stone building then at the head of Princess Street was secured for the reception of widows and orphans. At that time Division Street was generally spoken of as the head of Princess Street, and as far as the present writer could determine the building secured was located at or near the site of the telephone offices.

Having inaugurated this charity, the society took steps to provide for the permanence of the institution as a place of refuge, as they, to further quote the secretary, depreciated the idea of casting out so many helpless beings to cling to a miserable and precarious mode of living about town in worthlessness, begging and vice, or to wander through the country. The members of the society were assisted by a committee of gentlemen, and undertook to devise means of employment for the inmates and promote the sale of articles made.

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In the course of a few years the Female Benevolent Society collected funds, under Mayor Counter’s authority, for a House of Industry. This brought about the acquisition by the city of a stone building on the north side of Earl Street (present Nos. 303-305) with extensive grounds for garden cultivation. A superintendent was engaged to supervise the activities of the inmates, and at the same time a regular board of directors created to carry the responsibilities of management.

The institution remained at the Earl Street location for some 20 years, when it was removed to more suitable premises purchased by the city on Montreal Street. The building has been enlarged and improved as need required; and in 1887 a wing added as a Home for the Aged, the generous gift of the late Dr. Henry Skinner and members of his family.

 

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House of Industry Kingston

 

The Female Benevolent Society, under a branch of their organization known as the Widows and Orphans Friend Society, also undertook the task of doing something definite for widows and orphans, apart from their interest in the House of Industry. Realizing that children should be segregated if good was to be accomplished, the ladies secured a small house as an orphans’ home, and placed a competent matron in charge.

In this manner the Home came into existence, with 12 children as inmates. A school, to which non-resident children were admitted, was conducted at the Home, the classes coming under the supervision of the Common School Board, in 1857, with a qualified teacher in charge. From board records extant, the school made as good a showing as any of the regular elementary public schools.

The small quarters soon became inadequate, so a block of land was purchased at the intersection of Union Street and University Avenue. Through the liberality of the citizens a more commodious institution was erected in the early 1860’s, where, as Miss Machar records, so many destitute children were succored, taught and cared for.

All the children were not a charge of the society. Many were paid for by mothers and fathers, who through necessity could not give them proper care, and consequently placed them in the Home where the best of supervision was provided.

In more recent years the Union Street property was sold to Queen’s University, to be converted into the Students’ Union. At that time Sunnyside was purchased and made use of.

The activities and accomplishments of the devoted members of the Female Benevolent Society are among the outstanding heroic achievements of Kingston’s history, deserving some form of permanent recognition even at this late date.

 

historicalnotes

 

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Clipped from The Brandon Sun,  13 Aug 1975, Wed,  Page 2

 

 

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.

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

 

 

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ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

The Story of Jane Russell Gibson of Lanark County

The Caterpillar Plague of 1898

The Great White Plague

The Lost Island– Now You See it- Now You Don’t!

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Photos by Linda Seccaspina

 

There are many ‘Lost Island’ stories in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region. The First Nations people have tales of lost islands. Samuel de Champlain was a great cartographer yet he mapped huge islands where there are none. Do you think they could have sunk in the great earthquake of 1663?

Another ‘Lost Island’ story occurred after the American Civil War. It seems there was once an island near Alexandria Bay which disappeared under 20 feet of water—and no, it was not due to the St Lawrence Seaway but much earlier than that.

One day in the fall of 1823, an old hunter rowed out to an island where he found a dead man. He didn’t want to be accused of murder so he just buried the body and told no one. About four months later he rowed out to the area again but found no island. It had disappeared. That frightened the man so thoroughly that his son kept the story alive long after his death.

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Photos by Linda Seccaspina

Story from Frontenac Arch Biosphere

In 1884 a tourist, hearing the story, decided to try to find the island. He saw an old woman paddling a canoe towards him and being the friendly sort, she invited him back to her island for tea. While there she showed him letters and other documents that told this story.

In 1820 she married a young soldier from Ogdensburg and they lived peacefully on one of the Thousand Islands. Later she learned he was a deserter but they were secure and happy on the island for years. Then, when they needed supplies, the man rowed to the mainland and never returned.

Two weeks later a man came to her island and said he was a friend of her husband’s. He promised to take her to see her husband who was ill in Ogdensburg.  She picked up her one year old son and went with him. Just off Alexandria Bay he stopped for water at a spring on the island. He grabbed her and tried to drag her into a hut. He then tried to kill her and said her husband had been shot by the army as a deserter. But she was in a fury over this and she shot him through the head.

She went on to Ogdensburg and found her husband was indeed caught, tried and executed. Friends of her husband helped restock her boat and she returned to her island home. On her return she went by the island where she killed the man and found it had disappeared.  Was it an earthquake? Did a cave fall in and collapse the island? No one knows.

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Photos by Linda Seccaspina

The Sea Serpents of Lake Ontario

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Monster eels, giant snakes, dragons and huge fish; every kind of scary sea creature has been spotted in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario.

in 1805 four local men were fishing between Kingston and Black Lake, now in New York State, when they saw an overturned rowboat. As they neared the boat it started coming towards them. They realized this was a giant snake and they rowed for their lives to the shallow waters along the shore where the snake patrolled the waters daring them to go out again. The men said the snake was 150 feet long with eyes the size of pint basins and a mouth ‘frightfully large and aspect terrible”, and it’s body as big around as a barrel.

Algonquin and Iroquois people told of a giant race of serpents or dragons in Lake Ontario. French explorers such as Pierre Radisson noted the presence of giant snake-like creatures in his diary.

In 1835 the crew of the Polyphemus reported seeing an eighty-foot snake in the waters off Kingston. In September 1881 a twenty-foot creature was spotted in the Rideau Canal by the crew and passengers of the steamer Gypsy.

The one-eyed “Kingstie” seen numerous times by Indians, early explorers and pioneers, basking off Snake and Wolfe Islands, was last seen in 1935.

So what is the explanation—too much ale? Eels migrating from the Atlantic and growing remarkably? Giant hoaxes? Let’s take a look at the last explanation.

In 1934 near Kingston, a quiet, calm evening on Cartwright Bay was shattered by screams of terrified bathers. A strange creature came out of the depths and was spotted for several weeks. Finally a group of adventurers went to do battle in a small boat. The creature reared its ugly head and one man with a rifle tried to shoot it but he forgot to bring ammunition. So the group rammed the creature with their boat and declared it to be dead. Unfortunately, its demise was miscalculated as it appeared again for most of that summer.

Thirty years later, three men who were at school in Kingston at the time confessed that they had made the monster with barrels filled with sealed empty bottles anchored to the lake bottom. They raised and lowered the head with a smaller rope. Perhaps Frosh Week could learn a thing or two from the past.

Myths & Legends

 

Thank You Scott Reid-Doctor Assisted Dying Bill

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Last week I got this questionnaire in the mail. Most people know I am pretty tough on politicians– but this time  I am thanking our M.P. Scott Reid for sending this. Whether you agree or disagree Scott wants our opinions.

Thank you Scott for caring how we feel.

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Doctor-assisted dying bill restricted to adults facing ‘foreseeable’ death

 

To Be Manic Depressive in a Rural Town — Kingston Insane Asylum

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Photo of the Chatterton House Hotel /Queen’s Hotel Desk book 1887 from the  Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 

Warning- this essay is disturbing in nature.

This piece has taken me hours to write as I had to step away from it many times. My Mother was put in an “asylum” after I was born in 1951 for years with what we would now diagnose as postpartum depression. The Royal Victoria Hospital did not know what to do with her after she lost all her memory immediately after giving birth to me. I am not going to go into details, but she was given shock treatment etc. trying to bring her back to the present life. It took over 4 years–she was one of the lucky ones.

Yesterday, I saw a notation in the Chatterton House Hotel registrar that made my stomach do a flip. It was signed January 1886–which I think should have been 1887 after seeing the next entry. (Not only I have issues writing years in January)

The name read:

W. Wilson- Kingston Asylum.

I figured it wasn’t a patient out on a work program, but rather staff. After searching the Kingston Whig-Standard archives there was a W. Wilson who was part of the Ladies Benevolent Society that prevailed in the Kingston Asylum. That would make sense, as in those days to be poor or sick in a small town like Carleton Place was hard, as the nature of available assistance did vary considerably.

The Maritimes had the British Poor Laws, and in Quebec one could receive assistance from church-run welfare institutions. Ontario had voluntary charitable organizations which sprung up in the absence of a Poor Law framework. So Mrs. W. Wilson had been sent to evaluate the mental condition of some poor Carleton Place resident by the Ladies Benevolent Society who attended to the Kingston Insane Asylum. If you were lucky your family looked after you if you were considered mad–but if not– some were kept in closets, basements, sheds, or thrown out into the street to fend for yourself. In those days they thought those in mental anguish were impervious to outdoor temperature. Most, however, were put in asylums for moral treatment.

In my book Tilting the Kilt- Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place I wrote that 1909 was a banner year in Carleton Place with Robert Marten, John A McDonald, Edith Boyle, and Robert Turner charged with insanity and housed in our local town hall jail until they could be transferred to the Brockville Insane Asylum. In the year of 1887 when Mrs. Wilson visited there were 6 people from Carleton Place in the Kingston Insane Asylum. I would say that 75% of all patients were under the age of 30 with one being only 16 years old. Imagine being driven to an insane asylum in a carriage and dropped off with a satchel knowing this was going to be your permanent home. There you would be handed a distinctive canvas uniform bearing the word LUNATIC.

 

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The Rockwood Insane Asylum in Kingston— which sits on the grounds of the Providence Continuing Care Centre, at 752 King Street West— became home from 1859 until 1959, to those with mental disabilities. It was built by the prisoners of the Kingston Penitentiary, and patients were moved in gradually from 1859 until 1870. The horse stables on the land were used to house 50 female patients until a new wing was added onto the facility in 1868. This population included patients up and down the spectrum of mental health disorders as we know them today, as well as lepers and charged promiscuous women.

In 1894, Mrs. James Williams of Carleton Place, Ontario became “violent” in her room at the Asylum which measured 3 by 3 metres- and any furniture in her room had to be removed. Seeing the room was so small, one wonders what kind of furniture was in there. It was said in The Quebec Saturday Night Budget Newspaper that nothing could be done for her so they left her alone in her room. When they came back they found her dead. She had hung herself with the end of a sheet to the bars in the window.

Anna Williams had been dropped off there only two days previous. The newspaper said that the 28-year-old-woman left a young husband and two children. She had become of a mental condition unknown to the local doctor and no treatment was known. The physician assumed her condition was due to the fact that she was soon to become a mother again. Anna probably never got over her postpartum depression from her last child.

“It is a terrible disease, none more terrible, and the medical care should be given to them. Country Doctors cannot understand the treatment of insane persons as well as those who have made a lie study of the subject.”

J.V. Henry Nott– ‘Chairman of the General Committee on Asylums and Poor Houses.’

DATA BASE BELOW

Data Base for the Rockwood Insane Asylum in Kingston, Ontario

Footnote-
Although the building was closed in 1959,  I had read in a few places that it  was opened up to the public in 1998 as housing during the 1998 ice storm. Thankfully, those rumours proved to be false.

 

Quebec readers– Please read:

DOREA INSTITUTE – FRANKLIN, QUEBEC

 

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REALTED READING—Great Social Evils —The Contagious Diseases Act of Canada

 

 

More stories from the Desk Books of The Chatterton House Hotel (Queen’s Hotel) Carleton Place from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Part 1- Tales of the Chatteron House Corset — Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place- can be found here.

Part 2- Hell on Wheels at Lady Chatterton’s Hotel in Carleton Place– can be found here.

Part 3- I Will Take Some Opium to Go Please —The “Drug Dispensary” at the Chatterton House Hotel

Part 4- Chatterton House Hotel Registrar- George Hurdis -1884

Part 5-What the Heck was Electric Soap? Chatterton House Hotel Registrar

Part 6-The First Mosh Pits in Carleton Place — The Opera House of the Chatterton House Hotel

Part 7- All the President’s Men — Backroom Dealings in Carleton Place?

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

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