Tag Archives: Lanark Fair

Remembering The Lanark Fair — The Buchanan Scrapbook

Remembering The Lanark Fair — The Buchanan Scrapbook

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

If you were lucky to have a quarter when you went to the fair you immediately turned them into pennies. In those days a penny could do lot, and you cherished each one. Some would walk miles to attend the fair and Hazel Mitchell ( Mrs. Albert Mitchell) walked 7 miles to the Lanark Fair. From Ladore to the MacDonald’s Corners Fairs she made the trek as she had begun to exhibit at an early age. Hazel had prize ribbons for handwriting and various baked goods, especially bread.

She felt the walk was well worth it but sometimes she stayed with some of her relatives overnight. They would watch the horse races and look at all the exhibits, especially the fowl. Ice cream was a rare thing in those days so it was usually her treat for the day.

Most people only attended their local fair– which was the one that was closest to them. It was the social event of the year where the local people went to meet their friends as in those days you seeed to know everyone you met. When Albter Sommerville was involved the society hired a cook by the name of Martin Larocque, and there was always a good dinner served at midday. Archie Yuill looked after the dining hall for a few years also.

At the Lanark Fair there used to be a string of horse buggies pass up and down the road from Carleton Place. Mrs. McCurdy lived down on the Guthrie place near the McIlquham Bridge on the 11th line. She never exhibited at the Fair but was busy preparing meals served by the U.C. W. ( WA at that time) and they treated the boys after the ballgame. There was also a big horse show and had many fruit stands will all kinds of autumn fruits for sale.

Lanark Fair was first connected with the early Bathurst Horicultural Society at the start in the 1800s. The grounds they felt were on a good site, on a rising knoll with good buildings, a big hall, and an eighth of a mile long race track. It took 8 rounds to make a mile and the horses were always going in circles. As some said there was no high class stuff and the ice cream and popcorn in very long bags were the desired treats.

In its hay day the Lanark fair even beat out the Perth Fair when the fairs were bring held at the same time. But the Lanark fair eventually lost out as the merchants thought it just wasn’t lucrative enough as far as their businesses were concerned and chnage was eveident everywhere. The last Lanark Fair was held in the village in 1948. The buildings were demolished and the lumber sold– but people still talked about the great little fair in Lanark.

Walter Cameron said he felt like a millionaire with a five cent piece in your pocket. He loved the bicycle races and a ride on the merry-go-round meant more to him than anything else. It used to be hard to find a place to tei your horse up at the fair there was such a crowd. But it began to fizzle out after the first world war and more after the second. People travelled farther and things close to home didn’t mean so much anymore.

So what happened to the fair? The fairgrounds became a park with most of the treesgone and according to some– for better or worse sports took over in Lanark.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Sep 1949, Sat  •  Page 1
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Sep 1949, Mon  •  Page 22
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Sep 1948, Sat  •  Page 13
Upper George Street, Lanark, shop of John P. Leslie, wagon maker. The shop did buggy repairs, general, built new wheels, etc. and was also an agency for the machinery shown in front. Mr. and Mrs. Leslie lived above the shop at the time. Next is the home of James Darou and next the Labelle home.
Ray Paquette21 hours
It was nice to see the picture of the ball diamond where I attended many games acting as the batboy for many teams coached by my Dad in the 1950’s…

“Around the Local Fairs in 80 Days”? Lanark County Minor Steampunk Story

“Around the Local Fairs in 80 Days”? Lanark County Minor Steampunk Story



September 22 1899 Almonte Gazette

Mr. J. J. Frisbie, the aeronautic gentleman who has given a number of balloon a sessions at the Almonte and Lanark fairs in recent years, was on the bill for an ascent at the Almonte exhibition here last Friday, and it proved the most exciting and dangerous in Mr. Frisbie’s experience.



Photo by www.almontefair.ca  1894–Almonte 

Being anxious to give thorough satisfaction, he instructed his assistant to fill the air-ship to its capacity with hot air, his aim being to rise to an unusual altitude, the day being favourable for a high ascent. The assistant did so, and when all was ready, and the word was given to “Let go, all!” the balloon rose rapidly, the daring sky sailor hanging on to the parachute beneath and waving a flag as he left Mother Earth.

He had reached a height of about one thousand feet when the balloon struck a current of cool air and collapsed in a jiffy, to the horror of the spectators, all of whom were straining their eyes to see him make the descent. His assistant saw the danger and yelled to the aeronaut to ‘Cut loose!” Mr. Frisbie heard him and in the nick of time he reached for the cord that is used to let the parachute free just as the immense balloon fell in a limp mass on the side of his parachute and. tumbled off to the earth

Mr. Frisbey did not lose his nerve in the trying circumstances, and soon found himself waist deep in the swamp near the fair ground, none the worse for his narrow escape, about $50 poorer in pocket owing to the mishap, but thankful that his life was spared. He admitted it was the closest call he ever had.

The balloon on being examined later was found to be so rotten that a number of our townsmen expressed surprise that any man would risk his life with it. However, the nervy Frisbie patched up the air-chariot and took it to Prescott, where he was down for some ascensions this week. Mr. Frisbie is now a conductor on the railway from Oswego to Buffalo, and is ballooning during his holidays for the fun of the thing and to get some of what the ladies call “pin money”.



frisbiegroup1911sloanegallery (1).jpg


IRSHOW, Houston, Texas 1911
Sitting, l-r: Joseph Seymour, John J. Frisbie, Rene Simon (‘flying fool’),
Edmund Audemars, Rene Barrier, Roland Garros, Peter Young (manager),
and Charles Hamilton (standing)
From AIRSHOW, Houston, Texas 1911

Photo-Story Sloane taken from John J.s biography


In September 1911 I found out that John J. Frisbie had expanded his ballooning adventures to flying and it appears that his flying machine was in the same condition as his balloon. Frisbie died in an aviation accident at the Norton County Fair all due to pride by the looks of it. (see history below)






Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune02 Sep 1911, SatPage 1




Clipped from The New York Times02 Sep 1911, SatPage 1




Clipped from The New York Times02 Sep 1911, SatPage 1



AKA J. J. Frisbee
John J. Frisbie
John J. Frisbie flying at Genesee Valley Park during the summer of 1911


Front Covers of the Almonte Fair– Click Here




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

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




The Country Fairs 1879

Where was Almonte’s Military Headquarters?

Are You Ever too Old to Go to The Rural Fair? — Almonte

It Happened at The Richmond Fair 2012 – Photo Memories

Doin’ the Funky Chicken in Lanark County