Tag Archives: Lanark-County

Dental Work, Showers and Showtunes — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Dental Work, Showers and Showtunes — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Dental Work, Showers and Showtunes Linda Knight Seccaspina

Last week I had a terrible dental infection and had to wear a portable IV for most of the week. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but the worst part was trying to take a shower. When I was told not to get it wet I asked what I should do. One of the nurses joked and told me to just try and use one arm. Days later I found out they sell long plastic gloves at the pharmacy, but at that point in time I had no idea. Being resourceful I pulled out one of my pink vinyl fashionista gloves that go up to my armpits. Yes, I have something for every occasion.

It wasn’t easy washing my hair with a vinyl glove on and it’s taken days for that glove to dry out. But, as soon as I got into the shower I started singing the opening lyrics of Barry Manilow’s song about Lola the Showgirl. The more I washed my hair, the louder I sang and I was suddenly back in time at the Cocacabana carefully doing a showgirl routine. Today, I have to admit it  was one of the most interesting showers I ever had, and it was fun acting like I was in a different time. Does time travel exist?  It’s up to you to believe what is true or what is fiction. This is a true story of what happened to me a few years ago in San Francisco.

August 2008

Last week as I sat down to enjoy a few minutes in the sunshine I met Billie. She was tall, had short cropped hair, and a white baseball cap on. Billie seemed to be the leader of the pack and also very high on something. It was almost like she felt no one else was there. She got up suddenly and started belting out the song “God Bless the Child.”

I knew it was a Billie Holiday song, and I was amazed at the performance she and her three back up girls were giving to the gathering crowd. She was Billie, no doubt about it. After the song, she sat down all out of breath and smiled at me as I gave her a dollar. I asked her how long she had been singing and she wiped her brow and simply said,


Suddenly she threw a bag at me and told me to look in it. I had no idea what might be in there, but I was intrigued. I used to collect and design clothes so I know vintage when I see it. Inside the bag was an incredible gold 1930’s evening dress. It was moth eaten and it could have used some Febreeze, but I was blown away. I asked her where she got it and she smiled. She told me she had worn it the previous night singing with Count Basie.

I saw a small thin silver cylinder her friend was trying to hide and I knew they were high on drugs. Sweet Billie was still talking plain as day like she had not consumed a thing. She told me she was a time traveller and that she was only here for the day. As I listened, she eased in and out of sentences about being in jail, and how she sang with Benny Goodman. I didn’t know much about Billie Holiday’s life but the words flowed with great sincerity.

I asked her how she time travelled and she smiled. She told me that when she feels time pulling her down she takes the subway train. Within the six minutes the train goes under the San Francisco Bay through the tunnel she is sucked into time by the volume of the noise. Being a huge fan of the late TV show Lost I never doubted her for one minute and I don’t know why. She took her cap off, smoothed her hair down and took my hand.

Billie asked me if I would come with her through time later on as she was going to open Carnegie Hall that week. She added she would not come back for a while because the police were looking for her and that is why she was wearing a baseball cap. I was told they would eventually catch up to her next year and would arrest her at the Mark Twain Hotel in San Francisco in Room #203.

I stayed at the Mark Twain Hotel in San Francisco almost 28 years ago. It was in a pretty shady part of town, but I remember that big red round Ottoman in the middle of the lobby like it was yesterday. I wondered what the Hotel had looked like in its heyday and who I would have been had I time travelled time like Billie.

“So you sure you aren’t coming?” she asked me.

I told her I was busy, but maybe some other time. With that she smiled and went back to the centre of the plaza and sang another tune with her girls. I saw the flower man and I immediately had an idea. I crossed the street and bought one of the dollar gardenias that were floating in a white plastic bucket. Billie had just finished her performance and I handed her the flower.

I smiled and told her,

“Billie, this for your Carnegie Hall Concert.”

She ripped her cap off and put it in her hair and said quietly,

“Thank you Mam, I will cherish it forever because I will always be the lady who sings the blues.”

And to me she always would be.

Have a great week and don’t forget to crank out some showtunes in the shower this week!

Alice Lang — Lightening Strikes– 1911


The Weekly British Whig

Kingston, Ontario, Canada • Mon, 22 May 1911Page 5

1891 Census


NameMatthew Lang
Marital StatusSingle
Birth Yearabt 1888
Birth PlaceOntario
Residence Date1891
Residence PlaceAlmonte Town, Lanark North, Ontario, Canada
Relation to HeadSon
ReligionRoman Catholic
French CanadianNo
FatherMathew Lang
Father’s Birth PlaceIreland
MotherAlice Lang
Mother’s Birth PlaceOntario
NeighboursView others on page
Household Members (Name)AgeRelationshipMathew Lang46HeadAlice Lang46WifeMaggy Lang17DaughterCathrin Lang16DaughterJames Lang12SonEllen Lang9DaughterAlice Lang6DaughterMatthew Lang3

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada • Thu, 24 Jan 1952Page 12

Documenting Martin Rashford Rosebank-Killed by Lightening

Killed by Lightening -or Death by Bear Devouring

Hit By Lightening— The Sad Tale of Henry Crampton

Lightening Strikes Again –The Storm of 1972

The Day The Wizard of Oz Came to Carleton Place

S. M. Code Lightening Proof Plane?

Lightening — You Don’t Mess with Mother Nature — Or So They Told Me

Debunking a Postcard 1913 — Strange Ephemera

S. M. Code Lightening Proof Plane?


The Sad Lives of Kate and Margaret Lang

Bacon Up is Hard to Do

Did We Find Henry Lang’s Barn?

Henry Lang and His Lanark County Magic Barn?

The Almonte Flour Mill – Mr. Strickland –1961

The Almonte Flour Mill – Mr. Strickland –1961

Next time you sit down to eat a piece of bread the odds are that the flour to make it came from the Almonte Flour Mill. The mill, a landmark In the Ottawa Valley for almost a century is grinding out enough flour anually and the Valley towns the firm uses three quarters of a million bushels of wheat.

The wheat Is brought by boat from Western Canada by Prescott; and transported by rail or truck to Almonte. It is believed to be the only one of its kind in the area extending from Toronto on the west to Valleyfield, Quebec, on the east.

Phil Strickland a graduate lawyer who never got around to practising law because of his love for the flour business. Mr. Strickland, who took over- operation of the mill years ago shys away from publicity. He will talk at great length about the mill, but not about himself. It was only after an intensive Investigation that The Journal learned he had been graduated at lawyer in Saskatchewan In 1934.

The Ottawa Journal

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada • Sat, 5 Aug 1961Page 33

During the depression days —there just wasn’t work of any kind. I finally got a job In a flour mill and liked it so much Inst I have been at it ever since. I just never got around to practising he explained. MR. STRICKLAND said he was disturbed about a recent story which Indicated he was the Lt. Col. of the Highland Light Infantry of Canada when the late Major Gordon Sim of Ottawa took German- prisoners single-handed during a World War II battle at the Falaise Gap South, of Caen.

Wishing to set the record he said Lt Col. Nichoi Kingsmill, now practising law in Toronto, was commander of the HLI when the hamlet of Tournal-sur-Dive was liberated by Canadians in 1944 and. thousands of prison-era taken. “It was some time after Falaise that I took over as commander of the he said”.

Mr. Strickland also takes an interest in the civic affairs of this Lanark County town. He served a stint on town council was the former finance chairman. That’s all you can find out about Mr. Strickland. But about the mill, that’s different. Its origin has been pin-pointed to 1875 and it has been in constant operation ever since. Today the mill, which still derives part of its production power from two water wheels driven by the current of the Mississippi river, is on the threshold of new era. By next April the flour will be produced by the latest equipment In North America and present production will be increased by 50 per cent. Twenty-five employes work at the mill year-round and no changes will be made when the new equipment is installed.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada • Sat, 5 Aug 1961Page 33

In the Flume of the Almonte Flour Mills Ltd

The Carp Flour Mill Fire 1991

Mello-Creme Cereal – Carp– AND — Mello Creme Bread – 95 Echo Drive

Almonte Flour Mills –Wylie Flour Mill

Philip Strickland Almonte Flour Mill 1959

Did a Dust Blast do in the Almonte Flour Mill?

My Summer Job at the Almonte Flour Mill — Tom Edwards

The Story of the Almonte Flour Mill

Minute to Minute– The Almonte Flour Mill Explosion

Explosion at the Almonte Flour Mill–Rob Armstrong

The Brown Flour Mill Stories

The Drought of 1871 and the Mills on the Mississippi River

Down by the Old Mill Stream — Carleton Place

Almonte High School 1961 Names Names Names -Janet I. Ritchie Scott series

Almonte High School 1961  Names Names Names -Janet I. Ritchie Scott series

Clippings thanks to Janet I. Ritchie Scott 

Thanks to the scrapbook of Lucy Connelly Poaps ADHS cheerleaders 1960-1961

Marks Received by Students At Almonte High School Who Tried Christmas Tests— January 1960– Names Names Names

Kathleen Downey — Miss Almonte High School 1958

Here She Comes —Miss Almonte High School January 1958

A Tale From Almonte High School –Dugald Campbell

Meet Janet I. Ritchie Scott — Keeping History Alive –Janet I. Ritchie Scott series

The Girl Guides Talking Stick Returns to Lanark County –Janet I. Ritchie Scott series

You Talk Too Much? Linda Knight Seccaspina


You Talk Too Much? Linda Knight Seccaspina

I have been told I talk a lot, or, I believe the word is–‘chatty’. I don’t mind being labelled that as my Grandmother always told me if you didn’t ask questions, you’d never know anything. By the looks of my baby book, my family began their entries in “Babies First Words” after I was born in 1951. I know they wanted me to say “Mama” first but I dropped my old Dad’s name instead at 8 months.

I’m honest, I failed math three times in Grade 8 and got a final mark of 29 out of 200, so I am not a brainiac. I remember my poor Father’s face when he saw that report card and asked if I couldn’t have convinced them to have given me more marks for neatness. I should have asked him if saying “Bye Bye Daddy” at 17 months made up for anything.

My family was not going to accept the sound of crickets between us so allegedly the vocabulary was flying until I was 18 months. They stopped documenting after that, so obviously we all were having many fireside chats at the age of 2. Apparently word at the A & P was that there was a child in town that didn’t talk until he was 4. That was about the time Diefenbaker was running for Prime Minister. Somehow this child’s first word was “Diefenbaker’ and it was gossip fodder for months on Albert Street in Cowansville.

My Grandfather Crittenden used to visit on weekends and would always rub his hands before he ate and say “lordy, lordy, lordy”. When I was a wee gal I would sit next to him and mimic everything he did. One fine morning at breakfast, I broke the seal on my voicebox once again with new words and said “lordy, lordy, lordy” in sync with him. Funny I never saw that documented in my baby book.

Another family story was that my Father was chopping wood for my Grandmother Knight when the axe head came off the handle, and the blunt end struck him on the foot. This caused him to yell “sh*t,” which caused me to repeat it for the rest of the day. Sixty years later and that word is still my instinctive response to being startled.

When I was a child my father would bring me to many Eastern Townships rural auctions. We would sit for hours on hard wooden benches in some old barn while he bought a lot of old furniture he didn’t need. During that period of time I learned a lot of different vocabulary. My Dad met a pair of elderly twins at those auctions that had lived in the hills of the Eastern Townships for most of their lives. One of them had been nicknamed Hillside Johnny. Johnny was a recluse and seemed to talk to just a chosen few, and very few seemed to be on that list. When the folks at the auctions spoke about him and his home, it was said that his was not “a home of culture”. The more they talked about him, the more curious I became.

Johnny used to walk up and down the length of the auction barn sporting a strange shirt, soiled pants, well worn work gloves and “highwater” pinkish underwear that seemed to explode above his pants. Every 15 minutes his hat seemed to change like magic and the holes in his socks appeared larger.

As the long-haired man spoke here and there to some I overheard that his brother lived with him, but they had not spoken in 5 years. He no longer used his kitchen after they converted it into an extra bedroom and cooked on a hot plate in a disgusting over-crowded garage. There was little conversation in a home in a highly sought neighbourhood in Bromont with a view that would soon cost mega dollars in years to come.

I listened carefully as Johnny told my Dad things in so many words. He was comfortable that he had not driven a car in years, but instead rode his bike the 3.5 to 5.5 miles up and down the hills that would give a younger man a heck of a workout.

Each time my Dad saw him he handed Johnny something in a coloured shopping bag that seemed to match his underwear. What was in that bag? I never found out, and after the auction Johnny used to slowly wander silently down the road speaking to no one.

I was never neurotic about speech with my own children like my family was. I believe my oldest son’s first word was “Holstein” at 10 months, and he hasn’t stopped talking since. Skyler was a collicky baby so rides in the country were a daily event to calm him. I was always pointing out the different cows in the fields for his vocabulary benefit. As long as you talk to your children and keep them interested you can’t go wrong making animal sounds in the car which was interesting to him and the folks passing by in their cars.

Today’s baby’s first words have been said to be “tablet” or Amazon’s “Alexa” which shows how many children have switched to tech modes of entertainment similar to Ipads and the like. It just amazes me how my young Granddaughters can manoeuvre these things while I can just play slots on my iPad.

I have come to the conclusion that at 71 my conversational skills encouraged by my family will never stop. They say the less you talk the more people listen–maybe that’s why no one ever listens to me these days. I just consider myself lucky that I can walk and talk at the same time now. People who don’t know me think I am basically a quiet person. People that do know me wish I was. Or so they say!

Sending big hugs- see you next week!

Conversations with Agatha Yuill –The Buchanan Scrapbook

Conversations with Brian McArton– Henry Wilson of Carleton Place and the McArtons of Ramsay

A Conversation With Ivan Duncan — Barber — John Dunn

Meet Janet I. Ritchie Scott — Keeping History Alive –Janet I. Ritchie Scott series

Meet Janet I.  Ritchie Scott — Keeping History Alive –Janet I. Ritchie Scott series

I graduated from Almonte High School in 1961. I am downsizing and while sorting and packing, I found a 1957 and a 1958-1959 yearbooks from Almonte High School. I was Janet Ritchie then. Happy to find them a home. Found some later ones too. I was on the yearbook committee when we called the yearbook “et Nomla Libris” because some of us were in the Latin class and spelling Almonte backwards made it look classy. ( our joke). I taught later at Church Street School and met a younger AHS student who said they changed the name of the yearbook. It wasn’t even a real word! We thought it was funny at 16.

I lived in Almonte from 1953 (Grade 5) to (Grade 13) 1961 and then went to Teacher’s College. From 1963 to 1965 I taught in Church Street Public School. I directed Waupoos Girl Guide Camp for three summers 2005 and the Almonte Leaders volunteered to staff the Nature Camp. They left with me a Talking Stick in my care as they intended to come back the following year. This Talking Stick, belonging to the Girl Guides has been in my care for almost twenty years I still have it but wondered if they would like it back in their unit. Thank you for getting in touch with Heather Legge and I am dropping her off a Talking Stick, belonging to the Girl Guides that has been in my care for almost twenty years.

My maternal grandfather was Arthur Forsythe who was born in Rosebank I think. His father drove coach between Almonte and Blakeney but died suddenly when Grandpa was only 12. Forsythes lived at Cedar Hill. Kate Cochrane was my Great Aunt.

I tell my grandkids about swimming under the railroad bridge in Almonte but I wouldn’t recommend it now. We were crazy. We got careful instead of carefree as we grew older. I was born Dec.3,1942. We lived on the Henderson Chicken farm on Carling Ave. Then. Dad followed the snowplow into the Civic Hospital in a terrible blizzard. I’ve seen historic Ottawa photos of men digging out streetcar tracks with shovels following the storm.

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada • Tue, 7 Feb 1961Page 16

The Ottawa Journal

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada • Fri, 9 Sept 1960Page 4

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada • Thu, 25 Sept 1958Page 28

Janet 1961 ADHS Annual

Janet’s father Reverend James Ritchie minister at St. JOhn’s Almonte 1953-1961

John Cochran and Margaret More wedding- Almonte

D & L Slade Co.– Way of Housekeeping Larry Clark — A Tide Mill

Coleman Family History–Just for Your Records

James Mackintosh Bell — The Buchanan Scrapbooks

McEwan Fire 1949 —Chris Muller –None of Us are Alone— We are all connected!

The Girl Guides Talking Stick Returns to Lanark County –Janet I. Ritchie Scott series

The Girl Guides Talking Stick Returns to Lanark County –Janet I. Ritchie Scott series

Heather Legge and Janet I. Ritchie Scott on Saturday May 27th 2023

I directed Waupoos Girl Guide Camp (Girl Guides ‘heartbroken’ as Ontario camps to be sold by 2020) for three summers 2005 and the Almonte Leaders volunteered to staff the Nature Camp. They left with me a Talking Stick in my care as they intended to come back the following year. This Talking Stick, belonging to the Girl Guides has been in my care for almost twenty years I still have it but wondered if they would like it back in their unit. Thank you for getting in touch with Heather Legge and I am dropping her off a Talking Stick, belonging to the Girl Guides that has been in my care for almost twenty years.

The Talking Sign
Years ago, Brownies had a special two-fingered sign when they said their
own Brownie Promise. Now, Brownies say the same Promise as all other
Girl Scouts. Now the two-fingered sign is called the Talking Sign and is
used when girls are sitting in their Daisy Circle. When a girl has something
to say, she makes the two-fingered sign and taps the floor in front of her.
Girl Scout troops often use a Talking Stick when having discussions. The
talking stick is actually a Native American tradition, and can be plain or
decorated. Only the person holding the talking stick may speak – if a girl
wishes to speak, she would use the talking sign to signal that she would
like to have the talking stick passed to her. Sometimes troops use some
other sort of object such as a stuffed animal as a “talking bear” or other


The Kingston Whig-Standard

Kingston, Ontario, Canada • Mon, May 5, 1975Page 8

The Kingston Whig-Standard

Kingston, Ontario, Canada • Tue, 14 Jul 1987Page 16

The Kingston Whig-Standard

Kingston, Ontario, Canada • Wed, Jul 4, 1962Page 19

Carleton Place Brownies — -Thanks Linda Gallipeau-Johnston for this photo-

Linda, this is a picture of either Brownies or Girl Guides – 1st row myself, Isabelle Raycroft, Norma Dorman, Ruth Ann Thorpe, Alana Lever – 2nd back – Sandra Thompson ? Linda Percival, Nancy Nesbitt, Marion Gordon, Kathryn Dack, Jessica Montgomery, Peggy Mace, behind Peggy looks like Wendy Robertson – to the left Rita Porteous – don’t know the others – maybe someone else can fill in. Looks like maybe we were 11 or 12 – some of us didn’t have our uninforms so I am thinking it was a “fly-up from Brownies to Girl Guides – basement of the Zion Memorial Church 1957 – 58.

I am enclosing a photo of some of the Girl Guides and Brownies from Almonte. I cannot date this accurately it but should be around 1962. Hopefully the clarity is ok.

Mary Beth Wylie

Lucy Connelly Poaps clipping

Brownies from Sue Tweddle and Joann Voyce recognize anyone? In front of Zion Memorial in CP

Our future young ladies of Carleton Place… Thank you for inviting me and hope you learned more about being part of your community. Sparks and Brownies CP division.. I showed them my 62 year old Brownie pin tonight..One young lass said ‘ yeah you’re old like my Grandma.. she gets cramps! ” LOLOL

History of Girl Guides in Almonte

Canadian Girls in Training

Anyone Know anything about The Whoop La Girls Camp

Our Community — The Staff of Carleton Place and the Sparks and Brownies of Carleton Place –Photos!!

Meet Janet I. Ritchie Scott — Keeping History Alive –Janet I. Ritchie Scott series

Union Hall Photos and Clippings — Stuart McIntosh

Union Hall Photos and Clippings — Stuart McIntosh

From Stuart McIntosh

Found this pic in my mother’s scrapbook.

Thanks to whoever submitted the early photo of the 4 boys. The next photo is Mr.&Mrs. Thaddeus McIntosh with their children Mildred and Donald. Thaddeus was the boy on the left in earlier pic.

The Daily British Whig

Kingston, Ontario, Canada • Fri, 28 Feb 1896Page 2


Jacob Gallinger SR. Blacksmith

Jacob Gallinger SR. Blacksmith

The Lanark Era

Lanark, Ontario, Canada • Wed, 20 Sept 1899Page 1

Jacob (Sr) Gallinger
Birthdate:circa 1820
Birthplace:Lanark, ON, Canada
Death:circa 1899 (70-87)
Immediate Family:Husband of Mary Gallinger
Father of Janet MairElizabeth McLarenMary Ann DickJacob (Jr) GallingerRebecca Bond and 1 other

When Jacob Gallinger was born in 1820 in Cornwall, Ontario, his father, Heinrick, was 26 and his mother, Olive, was 24. He married Mary Alcorn on March 29, 1842, in Lanark, Ontario. They had eight children in 16 years. He died on September 14, 1899, in Lanark, Ontario, having lived a long life of 79 years, and was buried in Gallingertown, Ontario. (
Gallingertown, Stormont Co., Ontario, Canada)

The Lanark Era

Lanark, Ontario, Canada • Wed, 26 May 1915Page 1

May 26, 1882

Breach of Liquor Law.—On Friday last the Inspector conducted the prosecution of Matilda Dennis, of the village of Lanark, for selling liquor without a license. The Magistrates were T. Caldwell and J. Gallinger esquire. The evidence was inclusive and the defendant was iined twenty dollars and costs, or thirty days in gaol. The fine was paid.


Gallinger, Jacob, waggon maker and blacksmith, George st
Gillis, John, flour and grist, saw, and carding mill owner, and
lumber merchant

Gallinger, J., blacksmith and horseshoer

Gallinger, Jacob, axe maker

I Swear It’s True — Part 8 – Almas Knowlton – Blacksmith Photographer and Dentist

Walter Cameron the Famous Blacksmith of Fallbrook

Snippets of Ashton-Blacksmiths — Foundry MacFarlane- Donna McFarlane

Hopetown Blacksmith Shop-Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

Sam Kelford Blacksmith- The Buchanan Scrapbook

The Last Blacksmith Shop –R. J. Neil

Nelson Affleck Blacksmith Clippings and Genealogy

Need “BLOOD-LETTING’? Head on Down to the Blacksmith!

  1. The Witch of Plum Hollow and the Blacksmith
  2. The Curious World of Bill Bagg — The Gillies Blacksmith Shop
  3. Walter Cameron the Famous Blacksmith of Fallbrook
  4. The Blacksmiths of Lanark County

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad for 90 cents a day

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad for 90 cents a day

from-Old Time Trains

Carleton Place Roundhouse

In the early 1880s  the district around the Junction Town was the centre of operations for harvesting fuel to feed the wood-burning engines that operated on the old Brockville and Ottawa Railway. “Carleton Junction” was made the working centre for the wood gathering operations for the Chalk River and Havelock divisions. The large round house located at the Junction housed the old wood-burners which were equipped with four driving wheels, two on each side.

The tender, coupled to the engine, was constructed in much the same fashion as tenders are today. Built of steel with a capacity of up to ten thousand gallons of water, the centre was made in a large to hold the wood about fifteen cords ot four-foot sticks, mostly from the swamps and rough timber lands between Perth and Havelock. Every station on the line had its water tower and wood yard for refuelling purposes. Those water plugs were all under the supervision of Road Master Tom Burgess and he was very proud of the pretty flower beds and shrubs around each station, for which he was personally responsible. 

It was run by Ab Hurdis’s grandfather William Hurdis– and later still by Russell Munro, whose son Keith remembers it burning down about 1965.–Before The Carleton Place Mews?

Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Like the Shanties. it was Burgess’ job to see that the wood was harvested. In winter time he had hundreds of choppers cutting down the tamarack and hemlock trees which were under ten inches at the butt, trimming off the branches and cutting the wood into proper lengths. After that the wood was hauled on sloops or bobsleighs out to the railway tracks where sidings were provided to hold hundreds of cars. These sidings were also used by trains passing in opposite directions. The wood was piled as close to the rails as safety would permit. The bush whackers were paid so much a cord, after the wood was measured by the road master’s foreman. When the snow was gone and the winter cutting was finished, there were wood piles everywhere you looked along the main line. Then came the wood trains operating out of Carleton Junction. About ten crews were engaged in this work five or six weeks every spring.

Read-Memories of Days of Wood Piles Water Plugs and Bushwackers – Carleton Place Railroad

Original Burgess Buildings Burn 1921- Burgess Merrick History Carleton Place

D4f 380 Baldwin 15472 9/1897 Dead in Carleton Place 6/03/1932 Floyd Yates– from-Old Time Trains

Among the old time engineers who were at the throttles on the wood trains were Jack Carey, Joe Durecott and Jack Gallagher, all of whom have long since passed to the great beyond. Some of the conductors were Bill Flagg, Abe Chapman, Pat Caddington, Jack McDonald. Oake Brushe and Jack Laval. These wood trains would pull twenty flat or box cars to the wood piles and the crew, working for ninety cents a day would load the cars and ride them to their destination where they would then engage in the task of unloading. These men, with hands cut and bleeding and clothes torn to shreds, worked anywhere from ten to fifteen hours a day. 

The hardships these nomads of the bush endured to seek out a bare existence was a little short of terrible. When they returned home each night they and their families would face mitts with leather of all kinds to protect their hands. Old Dan Tucker and Jim Miller, the village shoemakers, often cut up calf skins in the shape of mitt fronts and sold them to the workers at twenty cents a pair. Many fights and wrestling matches were staged at the wood yards and camps while the men were waiting for the trains to pick them up after the day’s work was done. Many a battle royal was started by bullies who always went around with chips on their shoulders.

The genial assistant superintendent, H. B. Spencer, earned for himself the international reputation of being the greatest author on snow filling on the railways in winter time. In his capacity as chief train despatches J. E. A. Robillard also was instrumental in preventing many a pile up of trains by his method of mapping out suitable meeting points. His able assistant. John Cole, was always on the job at night. Mr. Spencer left the employ of the C.P.R. in later years and assumed the management of the Hull Electric Railway. But his connection with that enterprise was of short duration; it was not long before he was back on the old job with the CP.R. It was in 1885, I believe, that the railways turned to the use of soft coal as a fuel, and that was the finish of wood burning locomotives in this part of Canada.

Two photos showing Carleton Junction name. Note early style Railway Crossing sign protecting track in foreground. from-Old Time Trains

Two photos Aubrey Mattingly Collection/Bruce Chapman Collection. Circa 1907.- from-Old Time Trains

In 1872, the Canada Central and Brockville and Ottawa Railways constructed a large stone roundhouse and shop at Carleton Place. It remained in operation until 1939. In 1940, the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers occupied the old roundhouse and are still at this location today.

The Brockville and Ottawa was one of the earliest railways in Canada having been incorporated in 1853 to build to Pembroke in the Ottawa Valley timber lands from Brockville. It was opened to Smiths Falls with a 12 mile branch to Perth, in February 1859 and as far as Sand Point, 12 miles past Renfrew on the Ottawa River, in 1867. It included the first tunnel in Canada; opened December 31, 1860 a 1,730 foot bore under downtown Brockville to reach the harbour and wharves, and where the railway built its shops. The B&O was built to the Provincial gauge of 5 feet, 6 inches.

The Canada Central, incorporated in 1861, built a line between Carleton Junction and Ottawa, opening it in September of 1870. It was controlled by Duncan McIntrye, biography a Montreal capitalist who soon went on to become Vice-president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. It too was broad gauge.

In 1873 the two railways built a large stone roundhouse and shops in Carleton Junction. The latter substantial structure still remains in existence having been taken over by the CPR and used for some years.

Memories of Days of Wood Piles Water Plugs and Bushwackers – Carleton Place Railroad

The Carleton Place Train Station 1991

Clippings from the Train Stations in Carleton Place

Original Burgess Buildings Burn 1921- Burgess Merrick History Carleton Place

James Fanning– Robert Nolan– Train Accident

Did You Know About These Local Train Wrecks?

Train Accident? Five Bucks and a Free Lunch in Carleton Place Should Settle it

The Men That Road the Rails

The Mystery Streets of Carleton Place– Where was the First Train Station?

Memories of When Rail was King- Carleton Place

Tragedy and Suffering in Lanark County-Trains and Cellar Stairs

I was Born a Boxcar Child- Tales of the Railroad

The Lanark County “Carpetbaggers”–Lanark Electric Railway

The Titanic of a Railway Disaster — Dr. Allan McLellan of Carleton Place

What Happened on the CPR Railway Bridge?

Memories from Carleton Place–Llew Lloyd and Peter Iveson

So Which William Built the Carleton Place Railway Bridge

Perils of the Cows of Carleton Place or Where’s the Beefalo?

Train Accident? Five Bucks and a Free Lunch in Carleton Place Should Settle it