Tag Archives: Lanark-County

The Original Thomas Alfred Code and Andrew Haydon Letters — Part 28–I Didn’t Swindle Money from the Wampole & Co W.H. Brick

The Original Thomas Alfred Code and Andrew Haydon Letters — Part 28–I Didn’t Swindle Money from the Wampole & Co W.H. Brick


“Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbour”

Written by Wampole employee W.H. Brick

On the Code Felt and Knitting Company Limited Stationary

Written in Toronto, March 14, 1907

Copy of Circulation Letter to the Citizens of Perth


In all honesty I could write a Canadian mini series about this 5 page faded letter that was found in an envelope in my Thomas Code Journals. Neatly typed probably by Code’s secretary in defiance with what the Perth newspaper and its citizens were waging against Mr. Brick. A lot of it is fading and it is extremely repetitive, so I typed out the highlights with a hint of sarcasm. I could not help myself. Apologies

Toronto, March 14, 1907

When one disappears out of the blue one day, and money is missing from the great Wampole Medicine Company, one should not write that they have feelings of mingled surprise and interest 9 months later. So instead of letting the local Perth papers complain about you — you feel a 5 page letter of “Truth” is needed to stop the ‘fake news”.

The good people of Perth should know that I, Mr. W.H. Brick will no longer tolerate this behaviour and it will only be discussed in a court of law. No more ‘he said she said”!  “I shall take you all to court.”  Famous last words.

Please note my friends that one Mr. Danner never suffered injury at my hand and had always been the gracious recipient of the hospitality of my home. Now, however, he takes the advantage of “the psychological moment” by never losing an opportunity to condemn me in either public or private. 

Among the false statements Mr. Danner has circulated is the fact that I had robbed Wampole from day one! He was simply jealous that Mr. Wampole and Mr. Campbell respected me more and they failed to notice his remarkable worth. I believe that Danner also said that after my death I would need to answer for the insanity and subsequent death of Henry. K. Wampole. I, W.H. Brick was not responsible for Mr. Wampole’s or anyone’s death.


The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
15 Sep 1906, Sat  •  Page 6

Then there is also a Mr. Maher who had the audacity to intrude into Hick’s Boarding House unannounced while my wife was seriously ill. He ranted that her dearest husband, me, was going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He is nothing but  a dumb brute! There is also nothing to the truth that over $3,000 was short from a Toronto baseball club when I was treasurer. The gall of the Toronto papers sending copies to the newspapers of Perth! Ladies and gentleman, no other individual has entered a community with more desire to help than I did when I took up residence in Perth.

Suddenly a crash came and I went away as per an arrangement with the late Henry R. Wampole. After that fateful day an event that no man was ever more unjustly or atrociously maligned than myself. Since I have returned to Toronto I have been gathering evidence to clear up the words these gossipers are spreading through the town of Perth.


Photo-Perth Remembered–

First- I did not leave Perth borrowing or attempting to borrow 50 dollars 100 dollars or a million dollars.

Second–I did not leave town without paying my honest debts, except my board bill at Hick’s House. But, I did pay it later, or did I? ( By the way W.H. Hicks left his wife at the boarding house when he left without paying the bills)

Third— That I did not dabble in stocks, place horse race bets or run with women. I also did not lose lots of money on poker games but I did lose a small stake with friends in a private game.

Fourth— That I did not deceive or fool the people of Perth

Fifth — that I did not speak badly or gossip about the people of Perth

Sixth— That I never took advantage or fooled any citizen or firm in Perth

To the Perth physician who told my wife she had no idea how she had put up with me so long– I wish to say we are living happily ever without his advice. 

HicksHouse-1 (1)

The Hicks House later the Perth Hotel– Perth Remembered

To the boarders at Hick’s Boarding House that gossip incessantly about me– I know they dare not say this to my face. To the editorial comments by a local barrister of Perth I saw “Pshaw!”

To those that have defended me in Perth it leaves me room to return even though I have a crushed and bleeding heart.

Scrapbook Clippings of Wampole


The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
04 Mar 1905, Sat  •  Page 1


The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Jul 1906, Mon  •  Page 3


The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
15 Feb 1907, Fri  •  Page 5


Vancouver Daily World
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
21 Feb 1907, Thu  •  Page 13

Thomas Alfred Code Journal


The Original Thomas Alfred Code and Andrew Haydon Letters – —Part 1

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 2– Perth Mill

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 3– Genealogy Ennis

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4a – Innisville the Beginning

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4b – Innisville — Coopers and “Whipping the Cat” 1860-1870

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4c – Innisville — Henry York and Johnny Code

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4d – Innisville — “How We did Hoe it Down”!

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4e – Innisville — ‘Neighbours Furnished one Another with Fire’

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 5- Code Family– “Hawthorn Mill was a Failure, and the Same Bad Luck has Followed for at Least 50 Years”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 6- Code Family– “Almost everything of an industry trial character had vanished in Innisville in 1882”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 7- Code Family–“Thank God, no member of my family has disgraced me or the name!

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 8- Code Family– “We got a wool sack and put him inside and took him to the bridge”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 9- Code Family –“I had much trouble in saving myself from becoming a first class liar”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 10- Code Family – I conjured to myself: “You will know me later!” And Peter McLaren did.

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 11- Code Family –“I continued with bull dog tenacity for 12 years without salary”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 12- Code Family–“Had I the course to go over again I would evade outside responsibilities beyond my share, even if it cost more”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 13- Code Family–S. S. No. 17 Drummond, Innisville

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 14- Code Family–Letters from Mother Elizabeth Hicks

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 15- Code Family– Love and Runaway Marriages

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 16- Code Family-“The fish would shoot back and forth and at time hit their legs causing them to fall”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 17- Code Family–“A reaper with the sickle and danced all night”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 18- Code Family–Family Records from the Family Bible

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 19- Code Family–“Michell was never known to have any money, excepting at or after tax sales”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 20- Code Family–“Whither Are We Drifting?”– The Perth Public School

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 21- Code Family–Franktown Past and Present Reverend John May

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 22- Code Family–Field Day at “The Hill” (McDonald’s Corners)

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 23- Code Family–Brother John — John Code Goes West

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 24- Code Family– Built for the Love of his Life

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 25- Code Family– A Letter from Mother

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 26- Mary Rathwell and Eleanor Ennis

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 27- John Code and John Ennis

The Almonte Hotel — 1990s More history

The Almonte Hotel — 1990s More history


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1970s photos from the old Canadian and Almonte Gazette files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.


I found this article in one of the old Amonte Gazette’s of Lucy Poaps and I believe it was from the 1990s.  Brent Eades and Toronto restaurateur Wolf Savcioglu were in the final stages of buying the Almonte Hotel from the then current owner Hap Peattie.

They hoped renovations would begin soon and an architect was drawing up the plans and estimates would be in the 100s of thousands. They wanted to preserve the old hotel such as interior woodworking and exterior clapboard. The hotel dates back to the 1800s but no one is really sure. Researchers figure the hotel which was originally called The David House Hotel was probably built in the 1870s.

A map from 1889 shows the structure with stables and driving sheds behind it on High Street back to the brick house around the corner. Carriages appear to have entered from Bridge Street between the hotel and a two-storey storage house which was connected by a second floor walkway. The storage house is in the same location as the present retail store but it is not known if it is the same building. 

Brent’s uncle, George Eades, owned a shoe store on Mill Street years ago and later moved to Carleton Place moved to Carleton Place to open Eades Home Hardware store which was located on Bridge Street.


Almonte Hotels

Almonte House

Hotels were built along Mill Street to serve the anticipated traffic from the new mills and railway. John Murphy’s hotel at the current site of 34, 36 and 38 Mill Street, later the North American Hotel, was destroyed by fire in 1877. After Shipman’s death in 1852, his daughter Catherine added a three-storey hotel to the north side of her father’s house (95 Mill Street) for a railway hotel known as “Almonte House”.


Stafford’s Hotel

When Stafford’s Hotel was destroyed in an 1877 fire, it was replaced by three, three-storey brick buildings, which were later also destroyed in a 1909 fire.


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Nov 1935, Sat  •  Page 18


Shipman House

Even the former Shipman house and hotel became a pool hall and tailor shop, with the rear addition converted to the Alma Apartments, managed by Alma Rooney.



The 1889-1902 fire insurance plan for Almonte shows: Rosamond Mill on Coleman Island; a series of woollen mills, knitting mills and foundries along the river side of Mill street; the Post Office and Almonte House Hotel in the triangle of Bridge, Mill and Little Bridge; and the south side of Mill Street lined with wooden and brick storefronts

The Crown regranted the land to Daniel Shipman, who with several other settlers quickly developed the grist and sawmills, and in the next few years a blacksmith’s shop, school, hotel, distillery and other ventures. he first European settler here was a David Shepherd, who in 1819 obtained a Crown grant of land in the area of present-day Almonte, where he began.


 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
07 Jan 1943, Thu  •  Page 1


Temperance in Almonte






The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Dec 1913, Sat  •  Page 13


Community Memories of the Almonte Hotel

The Almonte Hotel –Need Community Help!

Meeting Your Neighbours — Paul Latour and The Almonte Hotel

What is Heritage? — The Old Hotel in Almonte

The Fight for Senior Housing in 1982 – Almonte History

Cool Burgess — Minstrel Shows at Reilly’s Hotel

Susie’s Kitchen Band– Names Names Names

He Said-and– He Said! Oh Let the Song of Words Play!

Things You Didn’t Know About Stan Morton

Things You Didn’t Know About Stan Morton




Stan Morton worked as a bobbin boy for the Rosamond Woolen Mills for 27 years


When the Rosamond mill closed for lack of worsted product  he worked for Almonte’s Red and White Store and then the Moreau Store became Morton’s Variety Store.




There used to be a bench outside his store that used to belong to the dentist office next door.


People used to stop and sit on that bench while he sorted his papers and put them away.


When the local papers came out on Wednesday there used to be as many as 20 people waiting around the store waiting for those papers to come out.


He was once a member of the Lion’s Club and never missed a meeting in 35 years.


He was a member of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum and a member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church


His staff was Mary Tims who had been with him since 1967 and his brother who worked part time.



Linda Nilson-Rogers– Mary Tims, always marvelled at her manicured and polished nails!

Sandra Thompson Mary Tim’s, the Avon lady! What a lovely lady.

Linda MacFarlanAwww I was thinking of her the other day and how when I was short a little money for my mixed candy she would always say “ well bless your pea picking heart “ and would let me go . I never understood the line and always remember it.



The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Oct 2000, Thu  •  Page 37


When Stan Morton answers the phone in his store on Mill Street in Almonte, he sounds like a young man. “Morton’s Variety,” he says in a strong voice that has practised that same phrase on the same phone for years. But Mr. Morton is not so young anymore. He is 90 and he thinks it’s time to retire. After 33 years and 10 months of business, Morton’s Variety will close its doors for the last time on the last day of October.



From Wikipedia Commons


For many in the town of Almonte, it is the end of an era. For Mr. Morton, who has been working for 76 years, it is the end of a lifetime’s work. “I’ve never been out of a job,” says the energetic store-owner, smartly dressed in a red tie and shopkeeper’s coat. In 1924, Mr. Morton began work as a bobbin boy at Rosamond Mills in Almonte. He was 14 years old and was paid just $7 a week, or 14 cents an hour. “I worked a 50-hour week to earn my $7,” he remembers, “then I moved to the warping and winding room and I got a raise of about three or four cents an hour.”

During the Second World War, Mr. Morton was promoted again and he spent a busy four years making uniforms for Canadian soldiers. But on Dec. 7, 1951, he was out of a job. Rosamond Mills closed the yarn department in which he worked. “I was out of a job on Friday night, but I started another one on Saturday morning in the parts department of GMC motors,” he recalls.

When the store that is now Morton’s Variety came up for sale in 1966, at an age when most people might be considering retirement, Mr. Morton said to his wife, Marjorie, “we should buy that and then work for ourselves.” Morton’s Variety opened for business on Jan. 1, 1967 and has been open six days a week ever since.



Reading the morning paper is a weekend ritual for many….but GETTING the morning paper is a special social tradition in Almonte, While parked up there this week, the Tale of a Town Storymobile found out how a man named Stan Morton (left) made this small errand something unique and special in the community, and how Baker Bob Graff(right) is carrying it on. Hear Almonte residents share this tale of their town here: https://soundcloud.com/…/tale-of-a-town-the-newspap…/s-tY65u


At first, Mrs. Morton and Mary Tims ran the shop, selling newspapers, cigarettes, sweets, pens, wrapping paper, toys, chocolate and greetings cards, but when Mrs. Morton died 22 years ago, Mrs. Tims, now 80, stayed on. Mrs. Tims, who has always wanted to be a hostess in a restaurant, doesn’t think she’ll be looking for another job. “I’ll take this opportunity to do some more curling and some dancing.”

“It will be sad when Morton’s closes and Stan is gone,” says Heather Douglas, out with her dog Maggie and daughter Jillian, 3, who is smiling happily and stuffing her face with candy just purchased from Mr. Morton. “He is just such a wonderful, warm-hearted part of the community and he’s so great with children.” There are posters in the window of every shop in Almonte reading, “Goodbye Stan, we’ll miss you,” and residents have organized a farewell party for Mr. Morton this evening. But Mr. Morton expects to be around town for some time yet. He lives a few blocks from the shop, but his portrait as a 14-year old bobbin boy is painted on the exterior of one of the shops on Mill Street.

He’s a fixture around town and is active in the Lion’s Club, is a regular at church and is involved with the Mississippi Valley Museum. His son, Robert, has mixed feelings. “On the one hand he’s at that ripe old age where he deserves some time off, but on the other hand he’s such an institution in the town of Almonte that I know that the townsfolk are going to miss him, and he’s going to miss the interchange with the townsfolk,” says Robert, 63, who retired in 1992, eight years before his father.

Mr. Morton doesn’t know what he will do in his retirement, but is looking forward to putting his feet up. “I haven’t any plans to look for work,” he says entirely without irony, “but I don’t plan on being a couch potato. I dare say that somebody will ask me to do some voluntary work.”



In the mid 1930’s the team disbanded as interest waned. In its place the lawn bowling club was formed, a group that still plays to this day. The cricket house was moved to Robert Street to be used as the lawn bowlers club house and it still stands today.

These memories were told by Stan Morton, born in Almonte in 1905. The son of Walter Morton, Rosamond Mill worker. Stan is a legend in this town and served as Almonte’s ambassador for many years. His store on main street was always a hub of activity. It was the place for news, toys, candy, you name it, he had it. “Almonte is a great town, none better.”

Stan was born on Farm Street, lived on Farm Street and still owns his house on Farm Street “a true Farm Streeter”. Farm Street was ideally located two minutes from the Rosamond Woolen Mill, where he and his father worked for many years.


“Stan’s been gone – I don’t know, 12 years, 15 years. He was well respected in the town.” – Bob Graff, Almonte, ON CLICK here


Judy Reid HamreStan Morton never forgot who I was, I stopped in the shop every time I was home until he wasn’t there any more. I made a point of taking my children into his shop and introducing them to him and telling them the stories of picking out my school supplies every year. ❤️



The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
03 Feb 2005, Thu  •  Page 49

Stan the Man! Morton’s Variety Store

Lake Avenue and Bridge Street 1970 — The Crossing Guard — Clyde Emerson

Lake Avenue and Bridge Street 1970 — The Crossing Guard — Clyde Emerson

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Photo of Lake Ave and Bridge Street intersection. Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


In the 70s according to the Carleton Place Canadian of April 29th 1970 school patrol officers did not last that long. Clyde Emerson finally gave up the job after frustration and Mr. R. Potvin  was sworn in as a special constable.

Emerson was a guardian for the local school children for a long while and was reported as a ‘first class’ one too seeing his job was not an easy one especially during the noon hour traffic.

Time and time again the crossing guard without the aid of lights at the four corners would go to the centre of  the street clad only with a stop sign and bright clothing so the children could cross the busy intersection. All too many times cars ignored the man and attempted to force their way through. Regardless of children or other traffic conditions. local folks said the only person that should be directing that corner was one of the local policemen as they would know enough to respect the uniform.

Winter at the four corners during the school year was especially difficult and Mr. Emmerson frequently remarked to them in a curt tone that it was easier for a driver to wait a few minutes then have the small children stand at the corners in freezing and blustery weather.


In 1970 there were 8 entrances to the corner that drivers had to watch and it was called the strangest intersection in Carleton Place. Not only was there Lake Ave and Bridge Street to consider but also Neil’s Lane with exits from service stations and cars making U-turns at Neil’s Lane.

Local citizens were demanding red and green traffic lights as hopefully drivers would understand these lights if installed. Folks were exasperated to sit as long as five minutes or more to cross the intersection at noon hour, after school until 6 PM and nearly all day for busy shoppers on Fridays and Saturdays. Good wishes were offered to Mr. Emmerson and to the next patrol officer.



1919-In a baseball game at Riverside Park between junior teams of Carleton Place and of the Smiths Falls C.P.R. club, local players included Mac Williams, Bill Burnie, Howard Dack, Jim Williamson, George Findlay, Tommy Graham, Gordon Bond and Clyde Emerson.  The umpire was Bill Emerson.  The score was 15 to 14 for Smiths Falls.



The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 Jun 1945, Mon  •  Page 20

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Photo from John Armour

Then– where the Canadian Gas Bar is–6 Bridge Street Carleton Place– corner Lake ave and Bridge

This land was part of the original land grant from the Crown to Edmond Morphy. In
1839 Edmond’s son Edmond owned the land. This lot was divided and passed
through many hands before it became Major Hooper and his wife’s residence in
1920. Hooper’s residence was referred to as the Raloo Cottage.

Major Hooper’s wife before she was married was Mabel McNeely. It remained in the hands of the Hooper Family until 1954 when McColl Frontenac Oils purchased the land. A gas bar and convenience store has been at this location ever since and today it is a Canadian Tire Gas Bar.

Major Hooper became Postmaster in 1920 until his retirement in 1950. During
Hooper’s time if office many changes occurred. He had control of the clerk for the
position of Telegraph operator until the telegraph service moved to its own building.

Peter Iveson- Aunt Craig, Mrs. James Craig lived at Lake and Bridge across the street, I remember the white house being torn down about 1957 and the garage station built.


Taking it to the Streets—The Crossing Guards of Carleton Place

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 1– Canadian Tire to The Moose

Bridge Street 1966 by Murray Wilson

Carleton Place 1857- Your Butcher Your Baker and Your Candlestick Maker -Names Names Names

Carleton Place 1857- Your Butcher Your Baker and Your Candlestick Maker -Names Names Names

 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Oct 1933, Sat  •  Page 26



Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Wed, Mar 11, 1857 · Page 2




Carleton Place Directory 1859


  2. 1898-1899 Carleton Place Directory

  3. Carleton Place 1903 Business Directory –Names Names Names


    Village of Lanark Business Directory 1886– 1887

    Business Directory for Ferguson Falls 1866

    Business Directory for Ferguson Falls 1866

    Farmersville 1859 County Directory (Athens)


  2. Charleston Lake Village 1800s Directory

    The Tiny Hamlet of Bellamy’s Mills 1851

  3. Business Directory of Carleton Place 1866 and 1867- Any name you recognize?








by Chris Redmond


The street that connects Coleman Street to the new subdivision near Walmart has a name now: Christie Street, in honour of a young man who played an unusual role in the history of Carleton Place before he died in battle in 1917.


He was John H. H. (for Hatchell Halliday) Christie, who came to the town, and to Canada, to be a student minister at the Methodist Church on Franklin Street (what’s now Zion-Memorial United Church). He was born in Ireland, in a village called Glenavy in County Antrim, and interrupted his studies to cross the ocean to help meet an urgent need.



It was a difficult time for churches in Canada, with the population growing faster than the church leadership could find ministers to look after them. The problem was worst in the western provinces, and would continue until three denominations merged to create

the United Church in 1925, but the shortage hit home in Carleton Place when Dr. J. H. Sparling, the well-liked Methodist minister, died suddenly. (To be precise, he dropped dead while out on a bicycle ride.)

The best that could be arranged for a replacement was John Christie, the 23-year-old student who came over to serve as the congregation’s minister. He was quickly very popular, perhaps especially with the mothers of daughters, and he was well known

for his charming tenor voice. Someone noted that one of his favourite hymns was “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder”. But World War I was starting, and within a year the roll call he was answering was that of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. He headed back across the Atlantic with the Canadian Expeditionary.



September 1934–Memorial Park and United Church Carleton Place


Force; starting out as a private, he was soon a corporal, then commissioned as a lieutenant, and in early 1917 he was assigned to the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. Within three weeks he was dead, killed near the village of Givenchy-en-Gohelle during the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.


Circumstances of Death Registers


John Christie was one of five young men from Carleton Place who never returned from Vimy. He and other fallen soldiers were remembered at a service in the Methodist Church, where the four men’s photos were displayed at the front of the sanctuary, wrapped in a Union Jack. His body was buried in La Chaudière military cemetery near Vimy.


Grave Marker

John Hatchell Halliday Christie
2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion
10th April 1917, aged 25.​
Plot VII. C. 2.

Son of the Rev. William John Christie and Emma Jane Halliday Christie, of Barnbidge, Ireland.


It took until 1918 before the Methodist church found a new minister. After the war, in the 1920s, the area near the corner of Franklin and Beckwith Streets, which had been standing empty since Carleton Place’s great fire in 1910, was developed as Memorial Park. And when the Cenotaph was put up there, one of the names engraved on it was that of the Rev. John Christie.




Newspaper Clipping

Newspaper Clipping – From the Perth Courier for 4 May 1917


Lt. Rev. John Hatchell Halliday Christie was 25 years of age when he lost his life on the second day of the Battle at Vimy Ridge. He too is buried in a Canadian war cemetery in France.



The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Oct 1914, Mon  •  Page 10

 - The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Oct 1914, Fri  •  Page 7


Another Example of Local Random Acts of Kindness- Zion Memorial United Church

Faces of Lanark County — Trudy Hardy — Rebel with a Collar


St. Andrew’s United Church

Clayton United Church Quilt Fran Cooper

And They Kept Singing in Church While it was on Fire

In Memory of David Scharf — Almonte United Church Tragedy

The Almonte Fire 1955– Almonte United Church

St. Peter’s Celestine Church Pakenham

PAKENHAM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1897– $338.50 on the Cornerstone?

Did You Know the Ashton Anglican Church Dates Back to 1845?

Lanark’s First Church in the Middle of the Forest

At Church on Sunday Morning From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

The Remains of the Bethel Methodist Church

For the Love of St. Andrew’s– 130th Anniversary

Who Really Built the Baptist Church in Carleton Place?

Drummond Centre United Church — and The Ireton Brothers 38 Year Reunion–Names Names Names

Notes About The First Baptist Church in Perth

Smith’s Falls and District Baptist Church

Memories of The Old Church Halls

Tales From the Methodist Church in Perth

Knox Church– McDonald’s Corners

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

St. Augustine’s Church and Christ Church

Before and After — Auld Kirk

Another Example of Local Random Acts of Kindness- Zion Memorial United Church

The Beckwith Baptist Church

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976

What did Rector Elliot from St. James Bring Back from Cacouna?

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

A Sneeze of a Tune from St. Andrew’s Church in Carleton Place

Let The Church Rise– A Little History of St. James Anglican Church

Lanark County Hand Typed Notes –Burnt Lands

Lanark County Hand Typed Notes –Burnt Lands



No photo description available.

ALMONTE Library BRANCH. 155 High Street Almonte






The Burnt Lands are more than a local curiosity. They are a textbook example of an alvar, a mosaic of open forests, meadows and boggy patches on a limestone plain. The variety of ecosystems is maintained by drought because what little soil forms on the rock flats tends to burn off in the summer heat. There aren’t many alvars on the planet. They exist in Norway, a few American states and Ontario.
The Burnt Lands alvar is the province’s largest. It is also home to a variety of rare significant plants and insects, including owlet moths. Most of the land in the alvar is owned by private citizens, many of whom have built houses. Other landowners include the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources, the Department of National Defence and two quarries. Several years ago, the Ministry of Natural Resources designated the Burnt Lands an area of natural and scientific interest. In an effort to protect it, ministry officials want development limits on alvar property incorporated into Ramsay Township’s revised official plan.

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Christine Macfarlane—This is a pic of Hal Kirkland before he left for war.


The Big Fire That Created

The Burnt Lands in Huntley

(Written by Hal Kirkland in 1964) Hal Kirkland –A Machine for Making Money

            We all know what the Burnt Lands look like now; we see the  barren, desolate stretches, bare  rock and stunted trees when we travel over Highway 44. Time has healed the dreadful burning of the land, but the scars still remain – after more than ninety years.

            Ninety years is a long time to go back for first hand knowledge of an event-too long-as this writer well realizes now. He should have started asking about the Big Fire sooner-forty or fifty years sooner. It was on the 17th of August, 1870, that the fire swept across Huntley Township. Even with the evidence on both sides as we drive on Highway 44, it is impossible to picture the devastation that would strike the eye of a traveller crossing  Huntley in the fall of 1870. Only from the faded pages of old newspapers can we get any idea of the loss and suffering caused by that terrible fire. There are no eye witnesses now.

            About a year ago I visited a dear old lady, but old lady in the sense that the years of her age were many. She had just celebrated her 100th birthday. She was born on St. Patrick’s Day in the year 1863. The fire crossed Fitzroy Township where her parents farmed and probably passed not far from her home. Yes, she had heard them talk about the fire. “But I guess I wasn’t much interested,” she said. “You see, I was only a small girl of six or seven then. I was too busy playing and going to school, to be bothered about the fire.” Had she, by chance, any old pictures? “Yes, I have. I’ll get them and show them to you.” She went to another room found them and brought them back in a minute. They were pictures taken on her wedding day. Ah, Mrs. Green had not dwelt on fires and disasters.

            There was never a drought in Ontario like that of 1870, and thank goodness, never since. For many weeks before harvest not a drop of rain had fallen. The fields were parched: the woods were tinder-dry and the leaves were withering on the trees; the swamps were drained of moisture. The cedar log fences were hot with the sun, and also the barns and stables. People felt that even the air was filled with combustible gases. The smallest spark could in a few seconds start a raging blaze. The summer days passed and no rain came.

            It was the same all over Eastern Ontario. In every issue of The Almonte Gazette during these months there were reports of the dire distress caused by wide-spread fires. In the issue of July 30 there was this item: the long spell of dry weather has proved disastrous to many farmers in Ramsay and neighboring townships by the prevalence of fire in the woods, which already has done incalculable damage. Near Bennie’s Corners, a fire has raged for several days and destroyed valuable timber, fences and growing crops. The heaviest, sufferer is Mr. William Philip whose buildings at the Corners were threatened. We have heard of these and other fires, but could not ascertain extent of damage in any particular instance; it must, however, be considerable.”

            Mr. Templeman, the editor of The Gazette at that time, did not give the fires a very big play in his paper. There was more about the Franco-Prussian war (the Prussians were crossing the frontier and advancing on Paris, and about Louis Riel in Manitoba). Also there was a serial running in these issues – A Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Of course Mr. Templeman did not have the instant communications of our day, and his readers were more dependent on their local paper for news of the outside world.

            In the Aug. 20 issue, there was a paragraph headed “Fire at Stittsville,” with this story: “It is reported in Almonte that Stittsville, a small place about 12 miles below Ashton was completely burned up on Thursday not a house having been left standing.”

            In the same issue there appeared another story of the fire which was titled “Bell’s Corners Burned.” It reads: “We learn that the village of Bell’s Corners, near Ottawa, has been wholly consumed by fire, and that several people were burned to death. The new depot of the Canada Central Railway was also destroyed. We can give no  further particulars in this issue.”

            The editor must have been hampered considerably in getting news from distant and out-of-the-way places like Bell’s Corners and Stittsville, because in the same issue we read: “The high wind on Wednesday, assisted we suppose by the fires in our country, interrupted our telegraphic communication with Ottawa for a time.”

            Incidentally, the whole front page of these issues was taken up by the weekly instalment of “A Woman in White.”

            But to get closer to home. In the next issue The Gazette reports: “At Clayton the people were in great alarm, owing to the close proximity of fire in the woods, many of them having removed their furniture to be ready for instant flight. One man near Clayton, named Hogan, had his house and barns burned and lost everything.” This was serious enough, but it was not nearly as bad as the fire that raged over the concessions north-east of our town.

            This was the fire that passed perilously close to Almonte, and is still spoken of by the people in Huntley as The Big Fire. It is now no more than the name of an event that happened a long time ago; the grim details have been lost over the years. But this much we know: that there was still smouldering moss on the floor of swamps and that there were still live embers in partially burned logs in the woods; in a wind a spark could start a conflagration.

            The fire started somewhere to the north-west, around Pakenham. On that 17th day of August a wind came up. It increased in velocity; it apparently rose to hurricane proportion. The smouldering top-soil and charred logs remaining from previous small fires were soon fanned to flames; the windstorm swept the flames across Fitzroy, Huntley and Goulbourn townships. On the afternoon of the 17th the country over which Highway 44 crosses was a charred desert covered with a pall of dense smoke. It swept eastward toward Stittsville and the next morning had burned the dwelling and buildings of Mr. Graham at Graham’s Bay. It was reported that the fire advanced at a speed of more than two miles an hour.

            The loss was terrible. Most deplorable and sad was the loss of human life. It is believed twelve human ‘beings perished in the fire. A mother and her children sought safety in a swamp and became separated, the mother and one child perished, the other children survived.

            Mrs. Patrick Egan, who lived on the 9th concession line of Huntley, took her year-old twins up on a bare hill to escape the fire. Providentially, the wind changed direction, the fire bypassed the Egan farm, and the mother and children were unharmed. This mother was Father Egan’s grandmother.

            Here and there some houses and outbuildings were saved, but the destruction was, in most places, complete. Homes and barns were burned to the ground; the crops were either consumed by the flames or rendered useless; the scorched carcasses of horses, sheep and cattle lay where they perished from suffocation and heat. Those that survived wandered aimlessly over the black land. A cow could be purchased for four dollars. The owners had no food for them. The log fences were obliterated.

            On August 27th, The Gazette carried a story of the fire, with a credit to the “Times,, (which I presume was an Ottawa paper) which concluded with this helpful note: “On account of the sweeping destruction of fencing and building material in some localities it would appear as if the farmers shall have to carry on their farming operations on the joint principle adopted by the earliest Puritan Settlers in the New England States.”

            About a month after the fire, on September 24th, there was this short item: “The Ottawa Free Press says that fires are again blazing up throughout different parts of the country and although, as a general thing, is no danger to be apprehended, still there are some places that are not yet safe, until there is another heavy fall of rain.”

            In the September number of “The Country Gentleman” there was a letter from a Mr. Conner of Rowlandville, situated near the left bank of the Susquehanna, eleven miles above the head of Chesapeake Bay. He wrote: “The smoke was so thick here for some days after August 20 that the sun was partially obscured and objects at a mile distant almost entirely so. The burnt smoke smell was quite strong.

            Ottawa, around which the great fire raged is 300 miles from here.  Looking over the papers last week I find that fires 50 by 12 miles in extent were raging were around Ottawa. On this day a terrific gale occurred – direction not given. Smoke appeared here at dawn on August 21.” So the Big Fire was noted by a man living 360 miles away.

            How was fire noted in Almonte, only a few miles away? No one ever chronicled it, as far as this writer knows. Perhaps it was too close.

            But at least there was one man in Almonte who was concerned. He was Mr. Pat Reilly, the proprietor of the British Hotel, who later built the Windsor House, now occupied by the North Lanark Co-op. Mr. Reilly hired a team of driving horses and a carriage which could accommodate 10 to 12 men. He gathered up spades and shovels filled the carriage with men from town and set out for the scene of the fire, by the Long Swamp road. They arrived at the farm house of Hugh Kennedy between the twelfth and eleventh lines of Huntley, which appeared to be threatened by fire. They dug a fire-guard west of the buildings, but fortunately the fire passed on the far side of the 11th line.

            The foregoing was told to me by Mr. Edward Kennedy. Of course, this all happened before Mr. Kennedy was born, but he remembers his older brother Hugh telling him about being posted on the roof of the stable with a churn full of water to extinguish flying embers and sparks which might alight on the roof.

            Truly, any information that can be gleaned about that fire is meager indeed. To the people of Fitzroy, Huntley and Goulbourn Townships that disastrous conflagration is still spoken of as The Big Fire.





The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Jan 1908, Tue  •  Page 5


Fires in the Woods
Considerable damage has been done to woods, fences and pastures in the eastern part of the Township of Drummond by fires. Scores of men were out fighting the devouring element until the late shower stemmed the progress of the fire, and prevented any serious damage being done. The only wonder is that with such dry weather as this, there are not more and greater fires in the woods and swamps.




What Do You Know About the Burnt Lands?

Hand Typed Notes Ramsay Township

Sutherland Genealogy– Ramsay Township Looking for GEORGINA

PATERSON Families of Ramsay Township

The Moir Family of Ramsay Township

Almonte and Ramsay Pioneers – Rafted Down to Their Locations

Tidbits About Ramsay S.S. #9 The Tannery School

Women of Ramsay – Spindles and Flyers–Sarah Ann

Ramsay 1927 — The Depression

  1. The McArton’s of Ramsay

  2. Some Cold Hard Facts- First Tailor in Ramsay and a Cow Without a Bell

  3. Ramsay Settlers 101

  4. What is the Biggest Change in Your Lifetime? Ramsay 1979

  5. Hand Typed Almonte History Notations Part 2

  6. Hand Typed Almonte History Notations Part 1

The Bush Fires of 1870 Perth Courier — Names Names and more Names of the Past

The Bush Fires of 1870 Perth Courier — Names Names and more Names of the Past


Historical & Interesting Events |


17 August 1870

It had been a dry spring and even drier summer. By mid August, little rain had fallen in four months, parching the fields and forests of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. On 17 August 1870, a work gang clearing a right-of-way along the Central Canada Railway between Pakenham and Almonte near the village of Rosebank set brush on fire along the tracks. It wasn’t the brightest of moves. With a strong wind blowing from the south, the fire quickly got out of control and spread into the neighbouring woods. Despite efforts by railway workers to douse the flames with water pumped from the nearby Mississippi River, it could not be contained. Racing northward through the tinder-dry forest, the fire sent massive columns of smoke into the air blanketing the region.


The Perth Courier, Friday, August 5, 1870

The dreadful dry weather that has long prevailed in Central Canada has been productive. Untold destruction to the woods in every direction, and in some cases to the cultivated farms, dwellings and outhouses. There has been no very serious fires in the near vicinity of Perth until Wednesday last, when the high winds fanned the devouring flames into dangerous proximity to the Town.
For some time back fearful fires have been raging in the southern parts of North Burgess, in many cases sweeping away the entire improvements of years of hard toil, including houses, barns, etc. on cultivated farms, leaving behind one blackened plain as the story of the rapacity of the devouring element, and converting in a few short hours the once comfortable farmer and his family into objects of charity, destitute of even a crust of bread to keep them from starving.

These are melancholy realities that have occurred in more than one instance between Perth and Westport during the last week. A very destructive fire has been raging on the third line of Bathurst during the last two or three days, and has only been kept from proving as destructive as those near Westport by the most active and uninterrupted labour of the farmers in the locality.



Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Mar 1870, Mon  •  Page 1

This fire, on Wednesday night last, had got down nearly as far as Glen Tay. No serious damage, however has yet occurred. The heavens are now lighted up every night with the red glare of these fires in ever direction, and in calm days the atmosphere rendered stifling by the smoke. If a plentiful supply of rain does not soon come to extinguish these fires, it is a fearful contemplation to think of the danger that may occur within a very short space of time. Since the above was in type we learn that the barns and all the other buildings except the dwelling house, of Mr. John Rossiter, of South Sherbrooke, were burned to the ground on Wednesday afternoon last. Mr. Rossiter lost everything that was in the outbuildings including his crops, and everything else about the premises.

This calamity will go hard with Mr. Rossiter, he being a poor man, who can ill afford to be thus deprived of the whole of his year’s crop besides the other property that was destroyed.We also learned that the barn, dwelling house, haystacks, etc. of Mr. James Cunningham of Drummond, on Wednesday last caught fire several times, but through the active agency of the neighbours, the property was saved. However, the utmost vigilance has yet to be kept up, as there is no safety until rain comes to quench the fires.

Fires are also raging alone the line of the Canada Central Railway, and much damage is being done by burning ties, fencing and other materials. We also learn that great fires are burning fiercely at various places between Perth and Ottawa. The telegraph poles, in many places have been burned, thus breaking off communications between these two places by telegraph.

perth courier | lindaseccaspina | Page 2

It was reported in town yesterday and day before that the factory of the Bark Company had been burned down, but such is not the case, the fires being about two miles from there now. We also hear of many other disastrous fires, burning down barns, dwelling, etc. but we cannot learn any certain facts concerning them, and do not therefore mention them just now.

The Perth Courier, Friday, August 19, 1870

The Merrickville Chronicle of Friday last says that immense and most destructive fires are raging in the woods in almost every direction. In Montague, Marlborough and Oxford Townships a very large amount of valuable timber has been totally destroyed, while, houses, and barns and standing crops have been seriously threatened in many instances. We hear that a considerable quantity of hay, in stacks, was consumed in the rear of Montague. If drenching rain does not soon come, these fires will seriously affect large sections of the surrounding country. In Oxford alone, the fire has swept over not less than 1,800 acres of land, and the end is not yet certain.

The Perth Courier, Friday, August 19, 1870

By telegram, private sources and otherwise, we have collected the following particulars and details with regard to the fearful fires that are now sweeping over Central Canada.

From reliable information from the County of Carleton, we learn that large stretches of country have been completely burned over,leaving the whole face of the country one blackened mass of smoldering ruins – not a vestige of the once prosperous and happy homes of the farmers remaining to tell the tale of recent prosperity and smiling fields of waving grain. It is utterly impossible to conceive of the misery and dissolution that exists in many places, both in the Counties of Lanark and Carleton. So rapid and overwhelming did the devouring element often become, that the terrified people were glad to escape with their very lives, leaving everything behind – even to the scanty supply of wearing apparel – to the rapacity of the dreaded monster. Houses, cattle, sheep, pigs and even dogs, have, in some instances, become easy victims to the fire, escape having been rendered impossible from the suddenness of its appearance and the utter inability of the weak efforts of man to subdue it or keep it in check.



We subjoin the following melancholy record:Alex McMullan, in Burgess, near Otty Lake, lost everything on his farm – his dwelling house, barns and all other outbuildings, the whole crop of the year, with farming implements, house furniture, etc. and sad to say, numbers of his cattle and sheep were destroyed also. We did not learn the estimated loss.

Mr.Owen Lally’s farm was reduced to one bare and barren field – houses, crops, etc, being all consumed. The Burgess Mills, situated on Rideau Lake, and owned by Mr. Clarke, of Sherbrooke, P.Q. were totally consumed, with a large amount of material. it was intended, as announced in the Courier some months ago, to convert these buildings into crushing mills for the manufacture of phosphate of lime. This fire, of course puts an end to that project for the present. Loss unknown.

James Grierson loses not only his whole range of buildings but the entire proceeds of his farm during the year – crops, fences, etc. Loss unknown. William G. Tully’s misfortune is fully equal to Mr. Grierson’s, and the labours of a life swept away in a few moments. Loss not known.

Mr. Tully’s two sons – Thomas and John – have also met with a similar loss as their father.Losses unknown.Wm. Burchana loses the whole of his buildings, crops, valuables, etc. This farm presents a sad scene of desolation.Wm. Noble’s farm is completely cleared of all vestiges of civilization. Likewise that of Mrs. Noble, his mother, we presume. On the farm of Lawrence Russell everything is burned expect the dwelling house.Loss heavy.

Owen Quinn lost everything – barn, house, crops, implements, etc. Loss heavy.
William Ryan also lost very heavily, but we did not learn the full extent. It is rumoured, though, that he lost everything.

Patrick Dooher escaped with the loss of his hay. The buildings on the land owned and worked by the New York Mica Co., J. F. Baker, Superintendent, we understand, were also completely consumed. Thos. B. Scott was a sufferer to the extent of a new dwelling house and large quantity of hay. The above fires all took place in North Burgess and within a distance of not more than twelve miles from Perth – some as near as size and seven miles.

The Perth Courier, Friday, August 26, 1870

Fires in the Woods

Considerable damage has been done to woods, fences and pastures in the eastern part of the Township of Drummond by fires. Scores of men were out fighting the devouring element until the late shower stemmed the progress of the fire, and prevented any serious damage being done. The only wonder is that with such dry weather as this, there are not more and greater fires in the woods and swamps.


The Wildfires of 1870

The Bush Fires of Darling Township

Fire Caused Strange Scene Near Portland

The Fires of 1897

Smiths Falls Fire-Coghlan & Moag

Ramsay Barn Fire-Why Were the Tracks on Fire?

He Fired the Barn! The Orphans of Carleton Place

Strange Coincidences– The Duncan Fire

Union Almonte and Ramsay Contagious Hospital — “The Pest House”

Union Almonte and Ramsay Contagious Hospital — “The Pest House”

Screenshot 2020-05-23 at 21.58.39


In March of 2019 I got this note:

Good Morning,

I am wondering if you have any information on the Almonte Pest House? My dad referred to it as a place where incurable folks went to. Usually drawn there by sleighs. I gather it was somewhere near where Ann Street is today. I wish I had asked dad more about this while he was living. I think the pest house was also called the Union Almonte & Ramsay Contagious Hospital. My dad, Keith Camelon was born in Almonte in 1924 and he knew so much about Almonte but I was just too busy to take the time to listen.

Thank you. Marion McDonald

Marion, I understand and I feel the same way you do. That is why I document as much as possible. I would like to add to this. If anyone has pictures or comments please add them.


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May 22,2020

The Union Almonte and Ramsay Contagious Hospital — Almonte ( Mississippi Mills)

So for a long long time I have been looking for information about this hospital and all Jeff Mills could tell me was: “Pest” was for Petulance and was a place where people who had the Spanish Flu went to die. Supposedly the house was out on Country Street between Country and the highway and it was also called the fever hospital that looked after those suffering from contagious diseases. According to some reports, it was a frame building located between King Street and Highway 29.

Last week while doing some research on the Rosamond Hospital I came upon a lot of information on the Mississippi Mills site. First of all the correct name was the Union Almonte and Ramsay Contagious Hospital and in 2017 Council approved that the Union Almonte and Ramsay Contagious Hospital be included on the heritage registry. In going through some reference pages a lot of links I clicked on had ‘Error 404” so I decided this should be documented sooner than later.

In 1901, smallpox was spreading in large numbers across Ontario. In the 19th century, smallpox was widely considered a disease of filth, which meant that it was largely understood to be a disease of the poor. Almonte’s Mayor Simpson reported that the Almonte town council had an isolated building in view which later turned out to be unsuitable. Mayor Simpson then met with the reeve of Ramsay. Sometime before 1910, the Sanitary Inspector for the Town of Almonte looked after the hospital under instructions from the chairman of the Board of Health.

According to the Mississippi Mills site the hospital was located on the SW1/2 of Lot 13, Concession 9, Ramsay Twp and the history was compiled by Sarah More for the Mississippi Mills Heritage Committee, in June 2017. 

The Union Almonte and Ramsay Contagious Hospital was also known as the Pest House, or sometimes the Isolation Hospital. The two acres of land was bought in 1902 from a Roman Catholic farmer, Thomas McDonell for $100. The one storey frame building was built in the same year by the Town of Almonte and Township of Ramsay for $700. If you have heard past conversations about the “Poor House” and “Plague House” — please note that they were one and the same building on the hill behind the Catholic cemetery according to Murray Guthrie.

There were many outbreaks in the form of typhoid fever, diphtheria, scarlet fever,  and smallpox in the area. Murray Guthrie remembers some Brits being bitten by mosquitos and thinking they had small pox. They stayed at the “Pest House” on Roy Rogers’ farm on Country Street in 1930. According to the Almonte Centennial book, Faces and Places: 1880-1980, “It was here that men returning from the lumber camps were sent when they had contracted contagious diseases.”

Did you know that Carleton Place had a very small isolation hospital located at the extreme end of Bridge Street in that town? There were 4,548 cases and 36 deaths attributed to smallpox across Canada between 1929 and 1933; 291 cases and 14 deaths over the next five-year period; and 247 cases and 1 death between 1939 and 1943. So the Union Almonte and Ramsay Contagious Hospital took people in from all around the area as the need was great.

In 1905, according to the Almonte Gazette, “a young man from the Old Country who went fishing on the river here was so badly bitten by black flies that when he went to a doctor the physician feared he had some contagious disease such as chicken pox or small pox. So he sent the poor fellow home to the Commercial House where he was staying and all the people there were quarantined over the weekend “. By that time the doctor decided the elder gentleman was just a victim of black flies and not having built up resistance to them, reacted to their bites worse than other people.

According to an Almonte Gazette article dated 7 February 1902, “The structure will be 72 feet long and 16 feet wide with a ten foot ceiling. It will be one story with the exception of the kitchen portion which will be two stories, with a bedroom located above the kitchen.”

The building had a long passage with 6 foot rooms for cots on either side—seven apartments, five for patients and one each for the doctor and nurse. Berths would be built in the apartments for the patients.

The Pest House in Almonte was used as such from the year 1902 to sometime between 1930 and 1959, likely run  by Drs. Archibald Albert Metcalfe (1870-1962) and John King Kelly, (1874-1954) prior to the openings of the Victorian (Cottage) Hospital and Rosamond Memorial Hospital.  ( Fran Cooper local historian)

 By 1910, the building had fallen into disrepair. The Finance Committee for the Town of Almonte proposed to the Township of Ramsay, 1. The property to be put in repair at once and kept in repair at the joint expense of the two municipalities. 2. A caretaker to be put in charge of the property. 3. Any necessary additions required hereafter to the building, furnishings or equipment to be provided from time to time at the joint expense of the two municipalities. 4. The board, medicine, medical attendance, care and nursing of each patient to be borne by the municipality to which such patient belongs.

By 1911, the matter was left in the hands of the property Committee of the Township of Ramsay, with the suggestion that the timely advice of Chief Lowry (former Sanitary Inspector) to have a phone installed in the hospital be carried out. Unfortunately, nothing more is known concerning this decision. 

Perhaps due to financial constraints, it was decided to demolish the building sometime between 1930-1959, and perhaps amalgamate the patients with those at the Rosamond Memorial Hospital. Presently, the property is still owned by the Municipality of Mississippi Mills. 

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What’s left of what some called Pest House? There is a concrete staircase, consisting of three steps, beside a former well which likely served the former kitchen. The remnants of a part wood, part barbed-wire fence can also be found near the property entrance as seen from the end of St. Mary’s Cemetery.  Smallpox and the Spanish Flu was once the worst disease in history. It killed more people than all the wars in history– until Covid 19 knocked at our door.

With files from Mississippi Mills –compiled by Sarah More for the Mississippi Mills Heritage Committee, in June 2017. 

and Historian Fran Cooper and the Almonte Gazette





The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Oct 1910, Mon  •  Page 2


In October of 1910 the Public Health Conference listened to an exhaustive address from Dr. Charles A. Hodgetts, medical adviser to the Public Health Committee of the House of Commons on the serious pollution of waterways in Canada and the United States. And five minutes’ walk from the Centre Block, the Ottawa City Council met in the city hall to consider a proposal to bring in the city’s water supply from McGregor’s Lake because of repeated outbreaks of typhoid fever caused by drinking water in the city’s mains which had been pumped in from the Ottawa River. Well, this was Ottawa’s problem, and it was serious for the 86,106 people and 1856 dogs in 1910 census.

It is not surprising to note that the Almonte Town Council was wrestling with ” a report from the committee appointed to examine Union Almonte and Ramsay Contagious Hospital.” The Pest House! Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose! Virulent outbreaks of contagion in the form of typhoid fever, diphtheria, scarlet fever, smallpox, as well as injuries due to explosions, train accidents, runaways, kicks from horses – these were the common complaints. Strangely enough, newer forms of injuries were coming to the notice of medical practise due to crashing automobiles, and falls from flying machines.


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March 1, 1901- Almonte Gazette


Fran Cooper research

The Almonte Gazette: Almonte Gazette, 1 March 1901 (Courtesy of Marjorie Weir of Almonte and her cousin, Frances “Fran” Cooper, of Stittsville) The Smallpox Scare. The spreading of smallpox in Ontario is becoming a serious matter, as cases are being reported from a large number of towns and villages all over the northern part of the province… Mayor Simpson informs us that the Almonte town council has an isolated building in view in case of emergency—one that could be occupied on short notice should any stray smallpox victim happen to reach our town… 

Almonte Gazette, 22 March 1901 ALMONTE COUNCIL On motion of Messrs. Wylie and Lees, the mayor was instructed to communicate with the reeve of Ramsay with a view to having a joint meeting to consider the question of establishing a hospital for contagious diseases. 179

Almonte Gazette, 7 June 1901 ALMONTE COUNCIL The mayor reported that at a joint meeting of the Almonte and Ramsay boards of health, held last week, it was agreed to secure a suitable house for a contagious disease hospital, to be held in readiness for cases of emergency. He further reported that the building spoken of at the meeting was since found not suitable, not being the proper distance away from the nearest houses.


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Almonte Gazette January 1902


Almonte Gazette, 29 April 1910, (page 4) Special Council Meeting On motion of Messrs. O’Reilly and Williams the Town Property Committee was instructed to advertise for a sanitary inspector and report at next regular meeting. Drynan—“How about the contagious diseases hospital? Who is supposed to look after it? Ramsay and Almonte combined to build it. Who is supposed to pay for its upkeep? If there is no one appointed I think we should appoint a deputation to wait on Ramsay council and arrange to have some one take care of the building as I understand it has fallen into disrepair.” McCallum—“ The Chief looked after it when he was sanitary inspector. Evidently no one had been near it since.” On motion the Chief was heard. Chief— “During the time I was sanitary inspector I always looked after the hospital under instructions from the chairman of the Board of Health. So far as I know Ramsay bore no share of the expense.” Drynan—“Did you consider it part of your duty as sanitary inspector?” Chief—“Yes.” McDowall—“We cannot send our inspector out into Ramsay. While the Chief may have done so, we cannot expect an inspector to do so unless it is in his contract.” On motion of Messrs. Drynan and Williams, Councillor McDowall was instructed to wait on the Ramsay council at their next regular meeting to explain the condition of the Isolation Hospital and ask them to cooperate in securing some person to look after the same. Council then adjourned. Almonte Gazette, 11 November 1910, (page 2) Town Council Reeve Drynan then presented the report of the special committee appointed to confer with the Ramsay township council in reference to the Contagious Hospital. The following report from the Finance Committee was presented and adopted: To the Mayor, etc: Your special committee appointed to confer with representatives of the Ramsay Council as to the contagious diseases hospital, beg to report that we have discussed the matter with the Ramsay Committee, and recommend that arrangement be made. (Fran Cooper)


Married on Porch of Pest House

Union Almonte & Ramsay Contagious Hospital (Pest House) — Looking for Information






























People of Carleton Place — John Flett

People of Carleton Place — John Flett


150-152 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1870

G.C. Stackhouse a dentist ran the store as a book, stationary, and variety store.
Then the store was under the ownership of John Flett (1836-1900) who operated it as a bookstore in 1880.

It has had numerous businesses in its premises. In 1871 James M. Scott ran a
stationary shop (Lovell’s Dominion Directory). In 1876 a dentist G.C. Stackhouse
was located in the building (Woodburn’s Central Canada Directory). Mr. Stackhouse
seems also to have been in the jewellery trade since the Carleton Place Herald of
1878 contains an advertisement announcing his withdrawal from the trade. The
Herald announced that on March 3 rd of 1880 that Mr. John Flett was buying out Mr.


John Flett was married in 1862 to Margaret Rutherford of Smiths Falls. Flett worked as a machinist there and in Almonte at the Mississippi Iron Works, Little Bridge Street until it was taken over by the Young Brothers.



Andrew Young was in partnership with John Flett who operated The AE Young and John Flett Machinists and Iron Founders on Lot 18 Coleman’s Island. The partnership dissolved in 1871 and Andrew and his brother Robert set up their iron works operations on Water St.


His eldest daughter Mary Elizabeth Flett married James Morton Brown, a well known Carleton Place miller and hydro electric company. (Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum)




The Victoria Daily Times
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
20 May 1887, Fri  •  Page 3


WWI pilot Roy Brown poses for a snapshot with his mother Mary Flett Brown while home on leave for Christmas 1917. They are standing near the intersection of Judson and Mill Streets. The McArthur Mill (later Bates and Innes) is in the distance to the left, the large frame building to the right is no longer there. Photo and Text-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Edmonton Journal
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
14 Dec 1939, Thu  •  Page 5



Perth Courier, Sept. 17, 1886

Brown-Flett—Married, on the 8th inst., at the residence of the bride’s parents, by Rev. A. A. Scott, M.A., Mr. J. M. Brown to Miss Mary E. Flett, only daughter of Mr. John Flett all of Carleton Place.

Mary Elizabeth Flett

Birthplace: Smith Falls, Lanark Co., Ontario, Canada
Death: December 13, 1939 (75)
Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada
Place of Burial: Beckwith, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family: Daughter of John Flett and Margaret Flett
Wife of James Morton Brown
Mother of Margaret Maggie Rutherford BrownBessie Church BrownArthur Roy BrownJohn Horace Brown
“Mental Photographs – Album for confessions of Tastes, Habits and Convictions” with entries from 1882 – 1885. Belonged to Mary Flett, aged 19, who later became the mother of A. Roy Brown and wife of Mort Brown, flour mill owner. Photo and Text-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

People of Carleton Place– John Porter Prospect Carleton Place

The Curious World of Bill Bagg — The Gillies Blacksmith Shop

“2,000 people on the streets”–Dr. Finlay McEwen of Carleton Place

Carleton Place 1845– Dwellings and People