As you know Thomas Quinn of Ferguson’s Falls led the four teams required to move this house down the frozen Mississippi River and Lake to its present site. Tragically there was a devasting fire that consumed a lot of this house in August of 2021. It is said at present that it is a complete tear down.
Today I talked to Harold “Ozzie” McNeely and he told me when he was growing up the move of this house was always in conversation. They used to go up to Ferguson Falls for business (live stock) and he remembers being shown as a child where the house once existed in that village. One of his teachers in High School was a Kennedy who owned the house as they too often spoke about this house. Ozzie said the house that was moved was very small and unlike the size it was at present. The home had an addition built on to the main small house in later years.
He said it took awhile, about a week, to move down the ice with teams of horses and the house’s port of entry to Carleton Place and High Street was Nichol’s wharf which is now Centennial Park. From there teams of horses and sleighs pulled the house to its present location through the snow.
I would like to correct some misinformation regarding the Kennedy house. My Dad, Douglas Kennedy , did teach at CPHS until 1955 when he went to Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa to teach. There had not been any previous Kennedys in the house as he bought it from a Miss Campbell in the early 50’s. My siblings and l grew up in that house and were saddened to hear of the fire and the possible demise of our childhood home. Evelyn Kennedy Julian
Corrected thanks Evelyn!
Thanks Ozzie, and he also told me there used to me a small tunnel under the RBC bank was and where the safe was. Also, the Queen’s Hotel had/ has two basements and there was one tunnel to bring the beer out to the back parking lot.
Back in 2015, Carleton Place Coun. Linda Seccaspina profiled the unique story behind the home on her blog.
Known as the Kennedy House, at the corner of Flora and High streets, the home wasn’t actually built in Carleton Place. It was moved down the frozen Mississippi River from Innisville to Carleton Place during winter around 1900 by a large group of horses and men.
“Thomas Quinn of Ferguson’s Falls led the four teams required to move this house down the frozen Mississippi River and lake to its present site,” she stated in her blog post.
Carleton Place was the home’s third location. It was originally built in 1845 on land in Ferguson’s Falls–.READ HERE
928, Friday November 9, The Almonte Gazette front page John Neilson Passes After A Brief Illness Was One of the Outstanding Citizens of Almonte for Many Years Was Born on the Pioneer Homestead of the Neilsons in Ramsay. He was 78 Years of Age. His Wife Died 22 Years Ago.
Almonte has lost a valued and honoured citizen, in the death of Mr John Neilson, who passed away on Sunday evening. His death was a great shock to the town and district, for he had been ill only a few days. Mr Neilson was one of the outstanding citizens of the town, and was held in the highest esteem by a very large circle of friends, both in town and throughout the surrounding district. He was the son of the late Mr and Mrs James Neilson and was in his 79th year. Born in March 1850, in the old pioneer homestead on the 12th line Ramsay, where his grandfather, John Neilson, who came out from Scotland, settled there in the year 1820. Mr Neilson later moved to the 11th line Ramsay, where he successfully followed the occupation of farming for many years until he retired in 1916 and moved to Almonte, where he had since resided.
Active Church Worker In religion the late Mr Neilson was a staunch Presbyterian. he took an active part in church work, and was a member of the Board of Session for many years. At the time of church union he held the opposite view and adhered to the Continuing body of that denomination and was a member of the Session of that church, up to the time of his death. He was predeceased by his wife, Janet McIlquam, who died twenty-two years ago, in May 1906. He is survived by four sisters, Agnes, Mrs Wilkie, of Toronto, widow of the late Rev John Wilkie, formerly of Indore, India; Marion, Mrs David Forgie, of Cleveland, Ohio; and the Misses Sarah and Jessie, both of whom resided with him at the family home here. Two brothers Matthew and William, and two sisters, Margaret and Mary, died some years ago.
The Funeral The funeral took place on Tuesday from the family residence to the Presbyterian Church, and thence to the Auld Kirk Cemetery. Impressive services were conducted by the Rev W.H. McCracken, assisted by Rev George Thom. Mr McCracken made reference to the high character and staunch personality of the deceased elder, and there was a large congregation of mourners, many coming from long distances to pay a final tribute of respect and friendship. There were many floral offerings and messages of sympathy. The pallbearers were: Messrs Stanley Neilson, Montreal; James Neilson, Toronto; John Neilson, Welland; Robert Neilson, Ottawa; George McCallum, Carleton Place, all nephews of deceased, and Mr W. D. Aikenhead, of Pakenham. Contributor: Gary J Byron (49329383)
No one would want to spend a glorious spring Saturday cooped in a church hall debating planning issues. So the 70-odd people who gathered at Almonte United Church to tussle with the question of Ramsay township’s future may all have been a little mad. But then, the people of Ramsay Township care about the place. And Ramsay Township must soon choose its fate: to preserve itself, or let itself be transformed into a suburb.
It is an old township. People started coming here in the 1820s; people still live in houses built more than a century ago. Part of the land valley farmland: fairly flat, criss-crossed with concession roads, dotted with farmhouses and barns. The rest to the west is Shield: the roads meander over hills and around rocks and through the maple bushes that are the only crop. It is a place of split rail fences, dirt roads, stone houses; of tiny villages created around the grist and saw mills that once exploited the rivers but now have vanished or are in ruins; of families that go back seven generations and remember all of it.
It is also a place of ranch-style bungalows that look as though they were plucked from Barrhaven and tossed, haphazard, onto the protesting landscape. It is the place of Greystone Estates, Mississippi Golf Estates, Hillcrest, Carlgate, Ramsay Meadows suburban subdivisions of monstrous homes on big lots. There’s no place in Ramsay township that’s more than an hour’s drive from downtown Ottawa, and that fact has started to sink in.
“If you have a house going up here, a house going up there, that’s one thing,” protests Clarence Gemmill, who has run the Gemmill’s General Store in Clayton with his wife Betty for nearly 19 years. “But you get these subdivisions, they’re different. People are just there to sleep between trips to the city.” Ramsay Township, like so many within driving distance of Ottawa, is in danger of losing its identity as a rural Valley place, and turning into something of which only ; a Nepean politician would be proud.
The township needs to update its official plan. Two years ago, a planner hired by the township proposed a new plan at a public meeting. There was so much anger and criticism that the township council promptly scrapped the plan and started again. “It was presented as ‘Here’s what we’re going to do to you,’ ” remembers Cliff Bennett, one of the organizers of the Saturday meeting. ” ‘Over our dead bodies.”
People were angry, not so much with what the planner had planned, but that no one had asked them what they wanted. So now there are committees, and subcommittees of committees, and there are forums and discussion papers and polls and presentations. ; “You’ll have as much public participation as any municipality in the area,” promises Ben James, a township councillor. This time the people are going to be heard. Some people at the planning seminar talked about ending strip development single houses on lots along the concession roads. Some talked about clustering houses together, off the road and out of sight to protect the natural look of the place.
Some talked about imposing rules on what houses should look like. Julian Smith, a heritage architect who lives in Appleton and works in Ottawa, pleaded for a re-thinking of the planning philosophy. Forget about zoning, he argued: Forget about densities and land uses. Simply apply this rule: “Any development should be shown to improve what’s around it.” But little of what the group proposed sat well with Brian Keller. Keller is a truck driver who lives in Clayton. He came to the workshop because “I wanted to see that it was more of a full consensus of the whole population.” Everyone was going on about housing clusters and setbacks and protecting this environment and that environment.
“They’re all typical city ideas, that people are saying can work rurally,” said Keller, dismissively. The last thing he thinks Ramsay needs is more restrictions on the rights of property owners. His wife’s father has been trying to sever his farmland for years, so the children will have a place to live. But the township won’t let him. “He told me, I can’t give my land to my own family. I’ve got to wait for a politician to tell me.’ ” Councillor James understands Keller’s concerns. “Over the past hundred years, individual landowners have had autonomy in what they do with their land. And you don’t want to curtail that too much. You have to let people do what they think is best, within certain limits.” But if some people want to see controls on development, and others want to protect the rights of property owners, can there be any real hope for consensus? “Not likely,” James acknowledges. “Not in total.”
The Duncan family has been farming on the Ninth Concession since 1821. But no more. There isn’t any money in it, and the latest batch of kids are pursuing different careers. The Duncan home, built in 1870, is being turned into a bed-and-breakfast. But Don Duncan doesn’t feel like offering any heart-in-the-throat eulogy to a dying way of life. “The Ramsay township of the past doesn’t have any future. The question is, what kind of future will there be?” The township council hopes to have its new official plan by 1994, maybe 1995. There will be more meetings and more presentations and more groping toward consensus. Three new subdivisions were recently approved.
World War I veteran: Nursing Sister Canadian Medical Army Corps
Christina (Tena) May Stewart was born on May 25, 1881 in Almonte, Ontario.
She graduated from the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing in 1916 and enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) in November 1916. Nursing sister Stewart served in England and was posted to the Duchess of Connaught’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Taplow and Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Buxton. Her sister, Ethel Stewart (Class of 1915) also served during the war with the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) and with the CAMC.
In November 1918, nursing sister Stewart contracted bronchitis and pneumonia and was hospitalized for several months. She returned to Canada in March 1919 and was sent to the Gravenhurst Sanatorium in Gravenhurst, Ontario due to poor health. She died there on November 7, 1927 and was buried in the family plot in Almonte, Ontario on Armistice Day – November 1927
War Nurse Dies After Long Fight With Ill Health Miss Christena Stewart Was With Navel Forces In the Great War Served in the Mediterranean, In Egypt and Other Parts of War Zone, Her Health Broke Down Under the Strenuous Duties She Underwent.
Mr Alexander Stewart was called to the Military Hospital, London, on Saturday by the very serious illness of his sister, Miss Tena Stewart, R.N., who passed away on Monday afternoon about 3 o’clock. Miss Lizzie Stewart, of Toronto, accompanied by Misses Margaret Stewart of Montreal and Miss Mabel of Toronto, accompanied the body which arrived at home on Tuesday evening. The sympathy of the whole surrounding country goes out to Mr and Mrs Donald Stewart and family in the death of their eldest daughter, Christena May.
Daughter of the Farm Miss Stewart was born on the farm from which she was laid to rest. Although just in the prime of life, it falls to the lot of few people to see so much or so varied a life. Educated in the Public school at Appleton and at the High Schools of Almonte and Carleton Place and after teaching school for a few years she went to Winnipeg where she and her sister, Ethel, now Mrs Dr (Harvey) Wilkins Morley, trained in the Civic Hospital for the nursing profession. When the war broke, both volunteered for service and were accepted. Miss Tena was with the navel forces in the Mediterranean, in Egypt and other parts of the war zone. So strenuous did the life prove that it left her with a weakened constitution. Instead of being discharged when the war was over, she was sent to the sanatorium at Gravenhurst. From that time until her death she had been putting up a fight for life that was the wonder of all who met her. With a brave bright face and a courageous heart she faced the struggle with ill health, with never a showing of the white feather, faced it as she had faced her job in war time with a smile and a cheery word for all with whom she came in contact.
Seeking For Health During these years Miss Stewart had taken many a long hard trip in search of health. To Arizona and to Vancouver, she went, and only this summer she made the tiresome trip from Vancouver to Almonte. In the annals of Almonte and Ramsay Miss Stewart will find a high place, She lived a beautiful life and when her country was in the throes of war, she saw her duty and she did it. She made the supreme sacrifice. The immediate relatives to mourn her passing are her father and mother, her brother Alexander on the home farm, and three sisters, Mrs Dr Wilkins Morley, of the U.S.A., Miss Margaret in Montreal and Miss Mabel in Toronto.
The Almonte Gazette, Almonte, Ont., Friday 11 November 1927, page 1 _____
War Nurse Laid To Rest Veterans Bearing Remains Large Attendance of Mourners At Funeral of Miss C.M. Stewart Wreath From the Canadian Nursing Sister Was Afterwards Placed In the Hall of Fame at Ottawa On Armistice Day.
There was a very large attendance of mourners at the funeral of the late Miss Christena May Stewart, veteran nursing sister of the Great War, which took place on Thursday. As was stated in last week’s issue of the Gazette; Miss Stewart passed away at London, Ont, on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day after a constant struggle to regain her health since her return to Canada in April, 1919. There was a short service at the home of her parents, Mr and Mrs Donald Stewart, near Appleton, and the remains were taken to St John’s Presbyterian Church, where an impressive service was conducted by Rev W.H. McCracken, minister of the church, assisted by Rev J.M. Rutherford minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Interment was made in the family burying place in the Auld Kirk Cemetery. The pallbearers were six returned soldiers. Messrs W.R. Caldwell, George E. Scroggie, and J.L. Craig, of Carleton Place; Dr E.F. McGregor, Wilmer Campbell and Max Young, of Almonte. Among the many beautiful floral tributes were a blanket of flowers from the family and a wreath inscribed to her memory from the Canadian Nursing Sisters, which was placed on the Nursing Sister’s Tablet in the Hall of Fame, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, during the Armistice Day Service.
The Almonte Gazette, Almonte, Ont., Friday November 18, 1927, page 1
Note: Obituary articles contributed by Gary J. Byron, no. 49329383
The first record of curling in the Carleton Place area is of games between men’s teams from Almonte, Ramsay Township and Carleton Place on the Indian and Mississippi Rivers in 1860. During the 1880’s the hardwood floor of the drill hall was flooded for a curling surface.
Jeffrey JacksonThis is club I leaned to curl in during high school. Great memories.Jimmy Miller did the iceI believe we were the first high school team to get to the regionals fromCarletonPlaceTerry Kirkpatrick Mike Peckett Dale Machin and me–Wonderful time
Lila Leach-JamesI had my very first curling game there as well! Seems like a long time ago!
Jan BoltonYes Barb, My dad took this picture of the Lowe family and their dog on Nanny and Grandpa’s 25th wedding anniversary….May I believe.
Nancy HudsonThanks for sharing Debbie. Gilles Roy & The Lowe Sisters were a great team.
Debbie and Donna Lowe, daughters of Mrs. Allan Lowe Lake Ave West and Gilles Roy of Cumberland stepdancing trio will be appearing on the Tommy Hunter Show October 8 1971 at 9 pm.
Brenda ParsonsMy heart is soooo very sad to hear of the loss of a long time wonderful friend . I am so fortunate that I had three visits with Deb in the past three years. We chatted a bit ,on line in the early part of Covid. I have fun, loving memories of my dear friend, as young children, teen years and precious late adult times.My sincere Sympathy to Debbie’s Family. She always spoke so well of all her kids etc young and older. Her eyes would sparkle each time we spoke of her Family.Her Family & all who knew her , including myself are blessed to have her love & friendship.What a true Friend I have had for many, many, years .God Bless to all.
Much Love to her family and friends who are mourning her loss.
Jim Antonakas had previously purchased the building 2.5 years before that fateful day. Antonakas had originally operated a restaurant in the Byward Market in Ottawa. Everything in the restaurant and garage was destroyed but the firemen aided by the residents of Carleton Place were able to save almost all of the equipment in the barber shop. Later Mr. Little rented space in Ernie Foote’s building on Bridge Street and was expected to move in shortly. In a wonderful small-town gesture Bill Miller, owner of the Queen’s Hotel supplied breakfast free of charge to all the Carleton Place and Almonte firemen. During the fire coffee was served to the fire fighters by Dorothy Burns Snack Bar, the Queen’s Hotel and nearby neighbours.
Author’s note– I had no idea until Lynn Hastie Card told me this morning that Harold Little was the great great grandfather of my granddaughter Tenley Card Seccaspina.
Julia Waugh GuthrieWe had this chair at the cottage for years. Many a time Roge Timmins( grandson of Howard McNeely) and Bruce Guthrie ( grandson of Howard Little) would have shave offs with straight razors.Not sure who won, maybe Teddy Hurdis can tell us….Ohh and I believe they all might have had a bevie or two.
Ted HurdisJulia Waugh Guthrie we won’t talk about Dave’s close cut. I will say there was no stubble left and a little blood lost but it’s all good !!!
Lynn Hastie-Card to Linda Seccaspina— Howard Little is my grandfather, my Mom’s dad and my cousin I believe still has the chair.
Norma Ford— My brother Jim Dorman helped some guys get the barbershop chair out of the shop, I wonder what ever happened to that chair. I remember he was quite proud of helping.
Joan Stoddart– Mr Little had a horse seat he put over the arms of the chair so little guys would be taller . I remember my brother’s first hair cut from Mr. Little
Jim LockhartHad a number of haircuts in Howard Little’s chair.
Bill BrownThanks for this – my grandfather Harvey Campbell was good friends with Howard Little and were apparently on the same baseball team as I just found out!!
Ray PaquetteThe last hair cut I got from Howard was in September 1968. I was home on leave and during my time at sea, I had grown a beard. My fiancee (and late wife) was not too enamoured with the thought of me in a beard and so in addition to the haircut, Howard got to shave me! This was at his shop which is the site of the Black Tartan..
Julia Waugh GuthrieMy husband has his straight razor and a few other things from his barber shop.
Diane Lackey JohnsonMy Dad, Gordon Lackey, spent a lot of time with his good friend Howard Little in that barber shop.
I know how Rena Little Hastie got her name now– From her Dad’s late sister.
Leonard Little of Almonte has gone to Carleton Place, where he has taken over a barber shop on Bridge street und will conduct business for himself. Mr. Little learned his trade in Brockville and was therefor eight years. He was in Montreal’ for a year and laterwas with IV. B. James of Almonte. He is an excellent barber and a popular, young man who leaves many friends in his home town November 1930
“Now Howard Sadler, as everyone knows, is a man who walks on his heels and his toes; He lives on a farm right forninst Irishtown, growing beans and potatoes most all the year round.
He’s lived on this farm some hundreds of years, growing spinach and squash and corn in the ears, And carrots and beets and peas in the pod; Sure, all come up smiling when Howard turns sod.
In summer he’ll fill up the back of the truck with produce of garden and field and the muck, and off into town he’ll drive with the stuff, and everyone wonders “Has he brought us enough?”
He’ll stop at the houses and talk till noon bell With gossip and stories, all news fit to tell, Of things agricultural, local, historical, And nary a word of it merely rhetorical.
One day I asked Howard, in spite of his fame, “Do you mind all the Irish? Remember their names? All of your neighbours, their houses, and, well, If Irishtown talked, what do you think it would tell?”
Well, Howard, he stopped and he wrinkled his brow, He stared past the hedges, the pond and the plough, he pushed at his chin with a three-fingered hand, Took a deep breath, and thus he began,”
Sunday within the Octave of Groundhog Day. Two o’clock in the afternoon. Sun blazing full blast. Both Jean Steel and I squinting. Not a shred of cloud in sight, yet a sharp chill in the air; even so, snow melting from the woodshed roof at Howard Sadler’s place on the edge of Almonte.
A dozen polled beef cattle in the barnyard stood in the sun near the wall of the barn, stiff-legged from winter’s confinement inside, not knowing where to go now that they had been let out for the day. Thick hair on the flanks of a few of the animals was matted with clumps of manure; all were dusted over with chaff and hayseeds. Two of them ventured to walk away from the wall of the barn, but so slowly that it seemed as if they were caught in a trance. Other than twin jets of hot breath streaming regularly from their nostrils, they could have been characters in a bovine mime.
Strength, however, was stirring in the February sun, and the woodshed roof had caught the warmth and held it close, and now from the lip of the roof in at least a dozen places, water dripped steadily, plopping into little craters scoured out from the mound of snow at the entry to the woodshed. So much snow had melted that the water was splashing over the sides of the craters below, and already had formed a slick coating of ice, a barrier at the threshold of the woodshed.
Inside, three rows of stove-length, split maple, stood piled against the wall of the woodshed. A bucksaw leaned against the empty sawhorse in the middle of the shed, and on the other side of it, a pile of old fence posts lay waiting to be cut into stove lengths.
The timelessness of sawdust, chips and bark from split maple mixed in the woodshed with the promise of new life from the heat of the sun and water from the roof melting away and trying to soak into the ground. Still, the cattails standing frozen into the ice of the frog pond called out the need for patience.
Howard met us at the door.
“Let’s go inside if we’re going to talk about Irishtown,” he invited.
He led the way into the kitchen, and before the cheery fire in the Quebec heater, we sat and talked. The mica in the door of the stove glowed cherry red, and flames from the stick of burning maple danced behind the mica curtain with quiet enjoyment. From a cage, full in the face of winter sunlight streaming in the living room window, a bouncing canary with black wing tips chirruped excitedly.
“Irishtown. That’s it, is it?” Howard asked, seeking reassurance, as if Irishtown were a thing so self-evident that he found it surprising that anyone might inquire about the obvious. Irishtown had been so close to him for nigh on seventy-five years that he found himself now searching for a suitable spade to dig properly around this place called Irishtown, and show it as it was, its people, its way, but principally its people.
“Howard,” I started, “Jean Steel was asking me on Ground-Hog Day a very simple question, and I said it was one that should really be put to you for an answer.”
“I’ll try,” said Howard. And turning to Jean he said, “What was the question?”
“The question is,” Jean began, “Just where is Irishtown? Where does it begin? Where does it end? Why is it called Irishtown? That’s what I’d like to know.
“Well,” Howard began in a testing king of way, “Irishtown is where the old Irish lived in Almonte. I’d say it’s where most of the Irish families lived here years ago. Of course, things have changed a lot. I’ve lived here most of Seventy-five years now, and these old families have been my neighbors for all those years. So I remember the. I’d think that Irishtown is where the Irish lived. Is that it? But I suppose you’d like to know who were these people, and where did they live, and so on, the like of that?”
“Yes,” Jean said. “Yes, Howard, the like of that.”
Howard paused, and looked out the window past the canary in a dreamy kind of way, silent, thinking to himself, about Almonte, and Irishtown, people an so on.
Why, every town in Ontario has its Queen Street, and its King Street, and most have a Victoria Street, and in years gone by a great many had clearly defined areas of Irish because the massive emigration from Ireland tended to make Irish enclaves in many communities. Why, until a very few years ago Ottawa had its Corkstown, a small collection of houses along the railway right of way, way out west in Nepean township overlooking Britannia Bay. It had one street running off the main highway towards the scattered houses, and the street came to be called, also simple Corkstown Road.
Well, the road is still there, although little of Corkstown except the name Corkstown Road remains. Even it is paved now, and is a major artery running alongside the abandoned railway line which for nigh on a hundred years, beginning in August 1870 ran proudly as the Canada Central from Ottawa, out past Corkstown, and on to Carleton Place, to form a junction there with the Brockville and Ottawa, and a decade or so later they were both amalgamated into the Canadian Pacific Company’s main line from Montreal to Almonte and on to the Pacific at Vancouver.
And so we sat in Howard’s kitchen and went on to discuss the fact that we couldn’t think of any other place in Ontario which still has an Irishtown quite as distinct as Almonte’s, and that the closest we could find was in the Peterborough district, where a second Irish emigration, the one of 1825, and like that of 1823 to “a place with a falls on the Mississippi” under the superintendence of the same Peter Robinson, resulted in the settlement of 2500 distressed Irish from Cork, Tipperary, Waterford and Killarney on the crown lands along the Otonabee River and in the townships adjacent to Lake Chemong. And, we reflected with Howard, that even in these days, the wayfarer who travels from Peterborough on the return journey to Ennismore and takes the causeway over Lake Chemong is said, in tones full of mock solemnity and respect, to have passed over into the Holy Land.
For over a hundred years stirrings of the same king of religious fervour have animated wayfarers in Almonte on they finished their work in the mills along the Mississippi and headed out across the bridges to their homes in Irishtown. Though less elegantly phrased perhaps than those of the Ennismore Irish, these stirrings and holy sentiments of people from Irishtown found quick expression once the wayfarers turned at the blacksmith shop, came in sight of Barney Lunney’s store, and then the bridge over Jimmy Moreau’s creek, the creek that cuts diagonally across the width of Irishtown from French Hill to the Mississippi, there indeed lies the heart of Irishtown, and, well, Howard was looking back from the window. Evidently, out of his momentary reflection had come a decision.
“We’d just have to get all these old Irish people in,” he said, coming out of a momentary reverie. “Yep, begin, let’s say, on a far side of the frog pond, by Mae Gallagher’s house, and go down Ottawa street, and over to Gore.”
“As far as Jim Little’s pasture fence?” I asked.
“Yep, on that side, and take in Maude and Victoria on the other”. Howard went on.
“That takes us right to French Hill,” I suggested to Howard.
“Right. And go a little further down, even to take in Union and Main Streets.”
“Howard, that takes you past the blacksmith shop,” I offered, to see if he would put a stop to Irishtown there. But no, he did not.
“The idea is to get all these old Irish people in”, he stated, and then went on.
“We could start right here at the top of the hill where Simon Kelly lived. And just below that house were two Irish ladies named Dolan. Maggie and Fannie, worked in the woollen mills. Spinning. And across the road, that’s Ottawa Street, was Ben Bolton and next door was Theriault’s and Oakleys on the corner.”
“Theriault’s, Howard,” said Jean, “Was that an Irish family?”
“Right in the heart of Irishtown,” Howard explained. Case closed.
“Now you take Harold Street”, Howard went on, “that was all Irish. There was Paddy O’Meara, Jim Farrell, Jack Farrell, and Mick Welsh, and the Badour house on the corner.”
“Martin Dwyer’s house was across the road. Martin ran a little market garden on his lots there. And then you’d find Jim Nagle, and Frank LeClair, and the O’Reillys. The two O’Reilly girls lived a good number of years.
Howard went into another slight trance, and we wondered what would come next. It didn’t take long to find out. It was about men who worked in specialty jobs in the big Rosamond No.1 Woollen Mill.
“Next door to the O’Reilly’s was Mick McKevitt. Mick was one of the maintenance men down at No. 1 Mill. He used to run in the big engine with the steam turbine when the water went down in the river in summer time, and that engine kept the whole mill working.
Mick McGrath across the street from him was one of the loom fixers, and his brother Billy, who lived on Victoria Street, was another loom fixer. Then there was Jack Lyons. He was the head engineer and boiler man. The Lockhart’s and Elmer Boyce’s.”
“The old, what we used to call the “old” Cottage Hospital, the first hospital in Almonte, which was first started in 1908, was right there too. “On the corner across from that was Charlie Liberty’s, and then John Slattery’s. There was the Slattery house and the Slattery store. And then the Letang’s. That house is now owned by Mrs. Jim. Houston.”
“Letang,” I said. “Would that be French, Howard?”
“Couldn’t be,” Howard replied. “Next door to the Letang house was Malones, you see, and in the next house was another Malone, and they owned a store, No French there that I could see.”
“Course, all this is goin’ back some,” Howard pointed out.
“And there’s not too many in the town today would remember all these old Irish.”
“Well,” Jean said, “How could I describe the limits of Irishtown if someone asked me to put it down on paper?”
Howard was quiet for a moment, for he couldn’t get the people out of his mind. At length he turned the question round to me and asked how I would answer Jean’s query.
“I’d have to say that Irishtown is that portion on the north side of the town of Almonte which begins at any one of the cattails on the south shore of Howard Sadler’s frog pond, and fans out from there like a tom turkey’s tail feathers to reach the mount of Jimmy Moreau’s creek to the falls of the Mississippi.”
The three fingers of Howard’s right hand scraped across his chin and helped him to reflect on the accuracy of that description for an instant.
“That would seem to cover the ground” he said at length. “But that’s goin’ back some.”
Perth and District having its share of general epidemicAn epidemic of Spanish influenza is running its course in Perth this week. Friday it commenced in earnest and at present there are people in all parts of the town ill with the malady. While a number have been remaining in bed with heavy colds and are taking due precautions, the majority of people and they number upwards of three hundred, either have a severe attack of old-fashioned grippe or the influenza. The danger with the influenza is the development of pneumonia, but there are few, if any, pneumonia developments so far, but two deaths occurred this week from those who contracted pneumonia following influenza. Local doctors have but few minutes rest. It means practically going day and night.The Board of Health met Friday evening. The four members were present – Dr. Dwyre, Medial Officers of Health, Mayor Hands, and Messrs. C. F. Stone and J. A. Kerr. A report on the prevalence of influenza was given by Dr. Dwyre and the Board ordered that the schools and places of amusement in town be closed until further notice, and the churches be requested to close.
Saturday morning the Board issued the following communication: At a meeting of the Local Board of Health for the Town of Perth, held Oct. 11th, it was decided upon hearing the Report of the Medical Health Officer for the Municipality regarding the prevalence of influenza in the Town, that until further notice:
1. ALL the Schools should be closed.
2. ALL Theatres and Places of Public Amusement should be closed.
3. THE Churches should be requested to discontinue the holding of religious services in the town.
4. ALL public entertainments should be prohibited.
5.AND the Secretary should notify the responsible parties in connection with the above institutions and Places of Entertainment in order that they may govern themselves accordingly.
I have the honor to be Sir, Your obedient servant, JOHN A. KERR, Secretary Local Board of Health.Knox, St. Andrew’s, Asbury and the Baptist church complied with the request and no services were held Sunday, nor Sunday School. And mid-week meetings have not been held and will not be until after the epidemic subsides. St. James Church held 8 o’clock celebration of Holy Communion and the regular morning. St. Johns church just a short service was held in the morning.
The schools have all remained closed this week and the Balderson theatre closed Friday evening and will remain closed until new orders are issued. On Tuesday the Board of Health decided to prepare the Haggart home to accommodate a number of cases and the local branch of the St. John Ambulance Brigade is attending to the nursing requirements of several patients who have been taken there. Miss Elsie Walker of town is in charge. An appeal is made for supplies for the home.
And Perth is not alone seized with the influenza. Throughout the townships there is much sickness and a number of schools have been closed while those open have few pupils in attendance. Lanark, Carleton Place, Almonte and Smiths Falls are all in the throes of the epidemic.
At Lanark in each house where a case has developed the others of the family have been asked to remain at the house and not mingle with other people. Food and all requirements are supplied them by the policeman. This is an effective means of quelling the spread of the epidemic and might be adopted with profit by other places.In Perth three business places are closed this week on account of employers and emplyees being ill and the factories are all running short handed.
Linda KingI remember my mother just had her 6th child and I looked after my other siblings when she came home from hospital and then I came down with the flu and was very sick but I survived!!
Several close friends and present and former associates of MissMargaret Johnson, paid tribute to Almonte’s former Postmistress on the occasion of her retirement at an informal gathering at the Presbyterian Church Hall on Friday, August 2nd.
The post vacated by Miss Johnson, a 28 year employee of the Post Office Department, 13 Postmistress, has been filled by Mr. Stuart Lancaster, former assistant Postmaster at Carleton Place, He took over his duties here on August 6th.
Miss Johnson replaced the late Hal B. Kirkland on his retirement in 1961. Mr. Ian Malloch, Postmaster, from Arnprior, acting as spokesman for several other Postmasters present spoke briefly about MissJohnson’s loyal service to the public over the years and presented her with two sheets of mounted, mint stamps, one sheet commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Graham Bell 28 years ago and the other commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Invention of the telephone this year.
The stamps are considered collectors’ Items. Miss Johnson was also presented with a Certificate of Merit from the Federal Government, signed by Prime Minister Trudeau. Following the official presentations a light lunch was served to the guests. On Saturday evening, members of the family and several friends of Miss Johnson met at her home for an informal gathering. Knowing Miss Johnson to be an avid amateur photographer, those attending presented her with enough film and flashbulbs to last for years she said. — Aug 15 1974–
Jeff MillsThis house belonged to Margaret Johnson, Almonte’s Post Mistress back in the sixties. She was a good friend of my grandmother’s
Karin Setterwe lived next door to Miss Johnson for many years. Margarets mother also lived there until her passing when she was in her late 80s, early 90s. They were wonderful neighbours. The inside of the house was beautiful. Full of antique furniture (including a crib). The floors were gleaming hard wood, mouldings and bannister on the stairs. There was also a summer kitchen at the back of the house.
Jayne Munro-OuimetMy great aunts house… often visited. She was born in the late 1800’s and was aged when I was born. They once owned a hotel in northern Ontario. There son was a Doctor. She loved serving “high tea” in the parlour. I always thought she was related to the Queen, as she dressed so beautiful. Loved hats. One of her daughters was the Post Mistress in Almonte.