Tag Archives: lanark & district museum

An “Absolutely Fabulous” White Wedding Day — May 19th!

An “Absolutely Fabulous” White Wedding Day — May 19th!

I spent 13 hours on Saturday celebrating The Royal Wedding. Am I crazy? Maybe, but I have loved Queen Elizabeth II for over six decades, and she’s made some pretty bad ass moves during that time. She has spearheaded a history-making trip to Ghana, ordered divorces, and even critiqued episodes of Downton Abbey for historical accuracy. But, I figured at my age this was the last time I was going to see a Royal Wedding, so I was going to enjoy each minute of the day. I was in full countdown mode.

Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous: ‘Full countdown mode? ?! I’ll be the judge of that.’

When I took all my necklaces off at the end of the day it looked like small mice had crawled over my neck LOL- red marks everywhere. The hat that I made was thanks to Martha Stewart Christmas ornaments trim from a Games of Thrones hat and a lot of work. Looks like I lost a rhinestone somewhere LOL



Welcome to the world Elia (eleeia) Angelo Seccaspina– Friday am May 18th around 1 am


Four a.m came quickly Saturday morning after celebrating the new arrival of my grandson Elia May 18th. You know what they say–‘life comes in bunches!‘ But, I had chosen my clothes the night before and got dressed while cranking up the volume of the TV to hear mundane tidbits about the upcoming wedding at the crack of dawn.

I walked around in my complete outfit except for my billowing tulle long skirt. I have been taught all my life to make you sure you potty before you go anywhere and did not want to deal with a skirt hanging in the toilet, so this seemed like it was a good idea.

Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous: ‘Darling, if you want to talk bollocks and discover the meaning of life, you’re better off downing a bottle of whiskey. At least that way, you’re unconscious by the time you start to take yourself seriously.’ 

First stop- The Hub’s Royal Wedding Event held at the Civitan Hall in Almonte.


It was an event well done, and the homemade wedding cakes and photo booth in front of “Buckingham Palace” was genius. Rico Falsetto from Carleton Place was there and working his magic. Who but CBC drops the feed just as Meghan the bride gets out of the  car? LOL The Hub

They created magic and I was so impressed. Well done ladies!








What a gal!!


Me and Steve at their wonderful event.

Meanwhile back in Carleton Place


Sylvia Giles was practising being a bridesmaid while watching The Royal Wedding with a few of the women from St. James Anglican Church.

Second Stop–Under Pressure Cafe in the Carleton Place Mews


(not their cake but it looked like this)

They were serving Victoria Sponge, Fruit Trifle & New Royal Chocolate Biscuit Cake in honour of the Royal Wedding so I picked up a couple of slices of the Victoria Sponge for Jennifer and Steve. Everything is awesome at the Under Pressure Coffee House!

Third Stop– Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.


Third Stop– Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Saturday was their opening day of the the “Paddles UP!” exhibit, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Carleton Place Canoe Club.



The famous Baldy Welsh

The Carleton Place Canoe Club is the oldest continually operating club in the country and is the only surviving charter member of the Canadian Canoe Association. The club has consistently produced athletes who qualify for the highest levels of competition at the provincial, national and international level. These range from Ontario team members to Canada Summer Games team members, Junior World Championship competitors to Senior National Team members, Pan Am Games to the Olympic Games.

Fourth stop– Lanark & District Museum–Lanark Village


 They were showing local wedding dresses in honour of the Royal Wedding. If you have not been to the Lanark & District Museum or the Middleville Museum–run don’t walk. A pure joy!! Put it on your summer visiting list! Come on in an see great historical mementos and sit down for a spell and have a chat.

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Fifth Stop– Crossroads Tearoom Royal Wedding Tea 


Driving really isn’t my friend these days after the heart attacks last year and parking is a nightmare for me. I couldn’t figure out from the sign if I could park in the locale as “only guests and visitors” could park there. #Confusion!

Does that mean I can’t if I am going to a tea there? I took a chance and left a note with a Union Jack flag on top of it. By this time I was getting tired so I threw caution to the wind.



William (Billy) Blais- who plays at Crossroads Tearoom also.

It was a lovely affair — as it always is if you have ever been to Crossroads Tearoom in Perth. If you haven’t– put that on your visit list this summer– you won’t regret it! I had great conversation with complete strangers and learned you can’t call the British flag a Union Jack anymore across the pond. In fact they get downright upset.

Sometime around 1674 the British flag became formally known as the ‘Union Jack’ when mounted on a warship and the ship was not in harbour. At the same time the British flag was referred to as the ‘Union flag’ on land. Brits insist it should called the Union Flag now.  It was the lovely British gals from Merrickville that set me straight– so: mark that one down!

Eddy  from Absolutely Fabulous on the liberal elite: “When somebody deliberately over-educates themselves out of the possibility of useful employment, I take issue.”


Exhausted and pouring rain outside I walk back to the parking lot to see my car is indeed still there  but– someone has parked right next to it like second skin so I cannot get into the driver’s side of the car. That’s right, with a huge billowing skirt, accessories galore, and that big hat I have to slide into the passenger seat and roll across the transmission to get to the driver’s seat. Please note there are no photos of this “Absolutely Fabulous” moment!


Friends since the 70s William (Billy) Blais and me at the Crossroads event


So, to those wee “plucky” granddaughters of mine who want to be a princess. My advice to you now? It seems as though you have to be a stunning gal on a hit TV show, and the next day you are a princess. Maybe I am wrong, but this is how this event happened and I would just stick with Disney for now. Gammy insists my sweet loves!

The Royal Wedding was fun, but now all I want to see is the Burger King marry the Dairy Queen– the definition to eternity.

Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous on her kind of day out: “I thought a little mosey down Bond Street, a little sniff around Gucci, sidle up to Ralph Lauren, pass through Browns and on to Quags for a light lunch.”

Thanks so much to Crossroads tearoom for the lovely prize for my hat. It will be consumed with delight.

It was a nice day for a white wedding and a nice day to start again!”

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Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

An Article About the Lanark Schools — Mr. Joseph Tennant

An Article About the Lanark Schools — Mr. Joseph Tennant



Photo of SS 9 Rosetta from Lanark & District Museum





There was never any more to this article. NO matter how hard I searched I could not find the rest of it which is a shame. November 14,1965. If anyone has the rest of it please send it to me. Thank you.,


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

Walter Cameron the Famous Blacksmith of Fallbrook

Walter Cameron the Famous Blacksmith of Fallbrook


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  03 Sep 1966, Sat,  Page 37


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  03 Sep 1966, Sat,  Page 37


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2016– A big thank you to Tina & Rob for generously donating a box of Walter Cameron carvings to the museum this week! Walter, the famous Blacksmith of Fallbrook was also well known for his whimsical wooden carvings, especially later in life. We are so pleased to be able to showcase these pieces in our Walter Cameron show case. They still bring a smile. Pop by the museum this weekend and see them for yourself!

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  03 Sep 1966, Sat,  Page 37

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  14 Aug 1971, Sat,  Page 43

These items below belong to Brian Dowdall Beckwith Township Councillor







Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  14 Aug 1971, Sat,  Page 43

You can see by the fitted hoof, that oxen have cloven hooves and must have a two piece shoe or they would become lame under working conditions.
The double halves of a shoe makes it dificult to find and collect both halves a pair of oxen shoes. most shoes are found only when they are thrown off by the animal. ….hotairfan.
PS. Oxen can not lift each foot to be shod. If this is tried, they will fall over, so-o-o-o, the oxen must be lifted entirely off the ground with a hoist and straps to be shod.comments

Dave Goodings--My dad and I went to his house a few times. Walls covered in wooden chains and he had made a replica of the blacksmith shop where he and his father had worked.
He was quite the carver alright.

Earl Donaldson commented:

I often wished I had taken the time , to stop and chat with Walter , when I passed through Fallbrook . Walter used to sit outside a lot , in his golden years . I purchased the book by Audrey Armstrong , “The Blacksmith of Falbrook” , and it had a lot of information in it , some pertaining to my Grand Parents , Christopher and his wife Teresa ( Craig ) . My grandfather had a shingle/saw mill in Falbrook , which later burnt . My Grandparents were great friends , with Walter’s parents . I observed Walter , shoeing a horse on his ninetieth birthday , also the auction sale , where all Walter’s prized possessions found another home . Walter was certainly a legend in his time !


The Amazing Mr. Paul

He Did What? Tales of the Queen’s Hotel

From the Buchanan scrapbooks

Dave David Robertson sent these photos.. ” Walter Cameron Fallbrook” .. I have some excellent pics of him in his early 90’s .. I think the pics i took were I about 1 year before he passed away ..

The Gift of a Gavel– Frank Moon

The Gift of a Gavel– Frank Moon



Donated to the Lanark & District Museum by Dr. Harold Cumming, Kingston August 2002.

This gavel was donated by Dr. Harold Cumming Kingston, Ontario believed to be the Great Great Grandson of the late Granny Cumming of Watson’s Corners. This gavel was given to him by iconic Mr. Frank Moon of Carleton Place who when visiting his daughter in Kingston fell ill with pneumonia and was treated by Mr. Cumming.

By way of returning a kindness Mr.Moon sent him this gavel. A visit by Dr. Cumming to Carleton Place revealed Mr. Moon’s workshop filled with tools which most he had made himself. He would fashion a candlestick from cherry wood until he had it to his satisfaction and then turn it into a replica in brass. He also had a gadget hooked to his dining room table which turned out to be a knitting machine. He would turn  a handle and crank out a pair of socks quickly. Upon Mr. Moon’s death a gentleman from Peterborough purchased everything and moved it there where he operates a small business.



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  21 Jul 1959, Tue,  Page 20



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  19 Jul 1946, Fri,  Page 10


Margaret M. <i>Muir</i> Cumming

Perth Courier, July 17, 1896

Mrs. Cummings, an aged resident of Watson’s Corners who has been ailing for about three years, died on Monday the funeral taking place at 3:00 to Watson’s Corners’ Cemetery.  Era.


Margaret Cumming

Birth: unknown, Scotland
Death: Jul. 13, 1896

age 82 yrs. Wife of Peter Cumming-Native of Kirkfield Bank, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Family links:
 Peter Cumming (____ – 1865)*
 Elizabeth Anderson Cumming Storie (1841 – 1920)*
 John Cumming (1845 – 1909)*

*Calculated relationship

Saint Andrew’s Cemetery
Watson’s Corners
Lanark County
Ontario, Canada



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

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.



The Magical World of Mr. Moon by David Robertson

Did You Know? The Oldest Library in Lanark County


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The Heirlooms- Ferguson Violin

The Heirlooms- Ferguson Violin



This is a picture of Allan Ferguson, born March 25, 1849, Dalhousie Twp., Lanark County, Ontario and died June 8, 1919 at North Bay, Ontario, son of Thomas Ferguson and Mary Mathie. Melanie Mason/Charles Dobie photo


I am not an original Amati, but a copy, and my history begins in Italy. Sometime in the mid-1800’s I arrived in Canada to stay with Allan Ferguson, who lived in Dalhousie Township, Lanark County, Ontario Canada. I provided music and entertainment for the hoe-downs and lumber drives up the Pontiac and Madawaska Rivers and shanty parties, barn raising and other such social events in the counties of Dalhousie, Lavant, and Darling.

I accompanied my owner Allan Ferguson, son of Thomas Ferguson and Mary Mathie, to the Lake Nippissing area where Allan, a friend and Sir Hugh McIntyre’s nephew, went survey and purchase land for the Canadian Pacific Railway. A condition of the land grant, ie, granted by the crown, was that a residence had to build on the land. The lumber and building supplies had to be shipped up the Ottawa River from Ottawa (Bytown).



This is a picture of Annie Williams, wife of Alexander Ferguson, with their son, James, who married Margaret Burns and their son Alexander (Allie) Ferguson.-Melanie Mason/Charles Dobie photo

Since they were on the north shore of Lake Nippissing , why not name the spot North Bay Ontario . So that’s how the city of North Bay received its name In 1918, my owner, Alan Ferguson died in North Bay and I was passed on to his son, James Allan Ferguson. I was later brought back to Lanark County by James Allan Ferguson, known by friends as Jim “A”.

In February, 1921, the home of Jim A was burned in a terrible fire, in which he nearly lost his life rescuing me. I suffered damage, which was repaired by Uncle Thomas Elliott, who was a violin and bag piper maker in White Lake, Renfrew County, Ontario. Upon the death of Jim A, I was passed on to his son, Allan James, and upon Allan’s death to his sister, Jean Ferguson Allen of Ottawa Ontario. She had me restored by Charbonneau, a violin-maker in Braeside Ontario  and gave me to Keith Ferguson, the son of John Eldon Ferguson. The last known violin location was in in Point Claire, Quebec.





Violin made  by J. G. Steele of Carleton Place in 1927–.- Lanark & District Museum

This is a picture of Allan Ferguson, born March 25, 1849, Dalhousie Twp., Lanark County, Ontario and died June 8, 1919 at North …

Hello, my name is Keith Ferguson, son of John Elden Ferguson and Norma Ferguson nee Smith. John Elden was the son of James Burns (JB) Ferguson. I am still in possession of the Ferguson violin. I now reside in Rigaud QC. Jean Ferguson passed the violin onto Norma who then gave it to me as Jean knew I was the musician (guitar, drums, sax) of the family. I had some restorative work done on the violin by Bobby Lalonde, a famed fiddle player and current owner of Bobby Lalonde Music in Hawkesbury in 2019. When I went to pick up the violin, he played for about ten minutes and the sound of the instrument was magical. I am so proud to carry on the tradition of keeper of this piece of Ferguson history.


Bottom violin was made by Dr. Manford R. Kerr of McDonald’s Corners circa 1920- The back and sides are made of Bird’s Eye Maple, the Scroll from Maples and top was from Pine.- Lanark & District Museum


The Pretty Family Fiddle- Came to the Lanark Highlands with George Pretty and family from Glasgow Scotland in 1820- From the Lanrk & District Museum–.- Lanark & District Museum



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

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.




The Templeman’s Family Heirloom

Where is it Now? The Heirloom of William Camelon

The Now Complete Page Turning Story of the Beckwith Grandfather Clock


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Stories from the Old Kitten Mill




From Up the Line–Steve Evans

Hazel Mitchell was born in Dalhousie across from the Dalhousie Township Hall and moved to Lanark December 5, 1926. She worked at the Kitten Mills for over 30 years and was the longest that lived on the Main Street of Lanark.

For most of the 20th century, Lanark and its Glenayr Kitten Mill was a hub for textile production in Ontario. Since its closure in 1997, the mill has sat abandoned and it was the mill that made the village of Lanark a pretty bustling place. And then the mill closed down and now there’s nothing there. Lanark sadly  still hasn’t recovered from the mill closure.







MITCHELL, E. Hazel Peacefully at Lanark Lodge, Perth on Tuesday August 3rd, 2004 Hazel (Scott) Mitchell in her 98th year. Hazel was born January 3rd, 1907, she was predeceased by her husbands Albert Mitchell and by previous marriage, Edward Labelle; she was the cherished mother of Fern (Boyd) Roberts, Eric (Dianne) Labelle and Everett Labelle; step-mother of Frank (Doris) Mitchell, Arnold (Shirley) Mitchell, Elizabeth (late Des) Vaughan, Agnes Emon, Merina (Jim) Elliott, Florence (Tom) Healy; she will be sadly missed by many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Hazel was predeceased by sisters Mabel Swerbrick and Frances Munro and brothers Harold and Orville Scott. Friends may pay their respects at the Young Funeral Home, Lanark Thursday August 5th from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Funeral service will be held in St. Andrew’s United Church, Lanark Friday at 11:00 a.m. Interment, Greenwood Cemetery, Middleville. In remembrance, contributions are suggested to the Alzheimers Society of Lanark County, the Lanark Lodge Memorial Fund or the First Baptist Church, Lanark.


Published in The Ottawa Citizen on Aug. 5, 2004



The Glenayr Kitten Mill (A Reminiscence)

From Ottawa Valley Irish


(The year before I was married, which was thirteen years ago, I lived in Scotland.)

One day, about fourteen years ago now, while perusing the wares at a knitwear outlet in Edinburgh, I felt a curious and unexpected wave of nostalgia. This place in Edinburgh, Scotland was so strikingly similar to a place my mother used to take us to in Ontario, Canada (now, what was the name of that place that Mum used to take us to? … it was in Lanark, and there was something Scottish about it … and something to do with a kitten … ), so uncannily reminiscent of the Glenayr Kitten Mill of my childhood. The piles of jumpers (but we called them ‘sweaters,’ of course) all laid out on wooden tables; the firm but friendly salesladies; the general air of solid but unpretentious quality … all of a sudden, I was back in Lanark (Lanark Co., Ontario, Canada, that is).

I have to admit, I bought a cardigan that day, just on the strength of that memory.

The Glenayr Kitten Mill outlet in Lanark (Lanark Co., Ontario, that is) was the kind of place that we (my sisters and I, that is, though certainly not our mother) loved to hate. So fusty and old-fashioned, and please, mum, don’t make us wear those sweaters! that’s not what the popular girls are wearing, and the mothers of the popular girls only shop at the Bay. But our pleas fell on deaf ears: our mother has always known a bargain when and where she finds it, and bargains are what she found at the Glenayr Kitten Mill.

As I now recall it, the Kitten Mill had an impressively no-nonsense integrity: no frills; no fuss; just good, sturdy value at a fair price. But it wasn’t until years later, while looking at jumpers at a knitwear outlet in Edinburgh, that I began to appreciate the Kitten Mill for what it had been: a little piece of the Scotland-to-Canada knitwear tradition that had already, alas, all but died out when our mother took us to the Glenayr for new sweaters.

(And it wasn’t until I lived in Scotland for a year that I began to truly appreciate the fundamentally Scottish character of so much of “English” Canada, or of “English” Ontario, at any rate. I recall going to the Waterstone’s on Princes St. in Edinburgh to look for an Alice Munro book [which I found, btw] because there was this story that I just hadto reread: I had heard something earlier that day that had so uncannily reminded me of this Munro story, and something had finally just clicked about Scotland and Canada…)






Down by the Old Kitten Mill

Linda’s Mail Bag– Do You Have any Info on my Blanket?

You’re from the Village of Lanark You Say?



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You’re from the Village of Lanark You Say?




Photo sent to me by historian Jaan Volk–the Union Publishing Co.’s 1886-7 Farmers and Business Directory that covers Lanark County


Lanark Village was basically settled by people from Scotland in 1820. Most of these settlers came over in a sailing vessel called Leshmahagow and it numbered 178 men, women and children.

John Hall opened the first store in the village and he was followed by James Muir and our good ole Boyd Caldwell. Remember that previously to 1850 Alexander and Boyd Caldwell had been mostly engaged in the square timber business. They cut that timber in the townships of Dalhousie, Lanark, Lavant and Darling and that timber floated down the Clyde, Mississippi and Ottawa Rivers to Quebec where it was sold to shipbuilders from the old country.

In the earlier part of Lanark Village history a foundry was in operation for a number of years. James Dobbie started that foundry and then it was purchased by A. G Dobbie and finally by Thomas Watt and son. Did you know that at one time a large numbers of stoves were manufactured in the Village of Lanark and sold all through the Valley?

Well all good things come to an end, and the square timber commenced to getting scarce. W.C. Caldwell built a sawmill in the village which gave employment to a number of men in the summer and winter months, taking out logs and floating down the river in the Spring. In 1867 Caldwell and Watchorn started a woolen mill which really became the first industry in the village to employ a considerable amount of people. Well push came to shove, and Caldwell and Watchorn had their differences and their partnership went up in flames and Caldwell took over the business. The mill continued on, operating steadily until it was destroyed by fire, and this terrible catastrophe put a real damper on the growth of the village for a number of years.



Photo from www.perthremembered.com
A. COHEN’S POPULAR CASH STORE, LANARK VILLAGE. This building was opposite the Post Office in the late 1800’s. They advertised: “The Seven Wonders of the World are Known to All. The Eighth and Greatest is the Immense Bargains in Ready-Made Clothing etc at Cohen’s. THE GREAT CHEAPSIDE of LANARK”.



Photo from www.perthremembered.com


Did you know that it wasn’t until the late 40s that things began to brighten up again? In 1946 Oswald Rathwell built a sawmill in the village on the site of the old Caldwell sawmill which had been torn down. At one time it employed over 20 men. Markle Brothers of Toronto bought the grist mill and the small woolen mill from Gerald Munroe in 1948. They removed all the machinery from the grist mill, made a whole heck of improvements, and installed machinery suitable to make men’s socks, blankets, blanket cloth and motor rugs. But, Markle wasn’t content with that and made even a further purchase of the large stone building that sat on the banks of the Clyde River. That building had once been the general store and also occupied by the Bank of Nova Scotia. All of this soon became known as part of the Mothership known as the Kitten Mills.

BOOK – The Lanark Society Settlers: Ships’ Lists of the Glasgow Emigration Society 1821
By Gerald J. Neville
Originally published by BIFHSGO, Ottawa, 1995
This edition by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2012

Check out Lanark & District Museum Facebook page

Check out The Lanark Era’s page also

Check out the Lanark County Genealogical Society’s page also


Down by the Old Kitten Mill

Does Anyone Remember Cohen’s in Lanark Village?

The Lanark Laundromat Blast — Unsolved Mysteries of Lanark County

Lanark Mormons and Mormon Tree?

Sticky and Sweet in Lanark County