Tag Archives: lanark fire

Two Years After the Lanark Fire 1961

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Two Years After the Lanark Fire 1961

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada13 Jun 1961, Tue  •  Page 36

Also read-Images of the Day After the Lanark Fire June 16 1959–

Please note actual footage of the fire is below on this link..thanks

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVAG8AI8M3Z05T7SXPBN74YBY53-LANARK-TOWN-ON-FIRE-CANADA/query/Lanark

Images of the Day After the Lanark Fire June 16 1959–

More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

The Lanark Fire of 1895

Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

June 17 1959– The Day After the Fire in Lanark Village

June 16 1959 The Day After in Lanark

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June 16 1959 The Day After in Lanark

 - The Ottawa Journal MklttkaS Th Jourtwl...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 17 Jun 1959, Wed,
  3. Page 6

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  4. Margaret Ann Cornell posted the information about this photo from Public Archives when we posted it on the LCGS.
    ‘The three men in the picture are my grandfather Alden Affleck, Frank Mitchell and my dad Murray Affleck”. Day after the fire June 16, 1959.

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  1.  photos below were taken by Ileen Sheard and submitted by Candas Price.

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    Images of the Day After the Lanark Fire June 16 1959–

  2. More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

    The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

    The Lanark Fire of 1895

    Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

    The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

Lanark Village January 6 1961

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal06 Jan 1961, FriPage 36

 

 

Related reading

The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

The Lanark Fire of 1895

Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

 

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun

The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

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The Ottawa Journal16 Jun 1959, TuePage 5

 

On June 18th of 1959 the fire inspectors conceded that the cause of the fire in Lanark Village on the 15th of June of that same year might be never known. A few days later a family by family survey by the Ontario government was determining the losses of the 3.5 hour fire.

Aid for the stricken village was pouring in by the 18th of June 1959 and the Lanark disaster relief fund had reached $11,152.00. Workers were continuing to clear up the mess left by the fire and families were staying at the local Odd Fellows Hall. There were tales from people who had lost everything, but all were confident that all would turn out well. The Canadian Red Cross had set up in the hall and nobody knew exactly where the food was coming in to feed these folks, but it kept pouring in since the night of the fire.

Ontario planning minister Nickle who visited the devastated village said even the artillery damage he saw during World War 1 did not compare to the destruction of the fire. Fire Marshall M. S. Hurst said the cause of the fire that began in the Campbell Sash and Door Mill was unlikely to be ever determined. In July of 1959 however, it was said that wooden shingled roofs and tar paper was the chief culprit along with combustibles where the fire began at the sash and door Mill.

Fire Chief Del Storie who was taken to the Perth Hospital exhausted from fighting the blaze was already back in Lanark helping to clean up the debris. His barber shop and pool hall was in line of destruction when the fire was halted and some how escaped from scorching.

Mrs. James Perry was also taken to the hospital after collapsing after the fire but was beginning to be on the mend. Even the Lanark Era which was one of a half dozen businesses to survive came out on schedule, but only half the normal size. Editor Erroll Mason was optimistic the paper could survive even though his advertising revenue was all but wiped out. Mason predicted the village of Lanark would have some modern businesses section within the year.




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The Ottawa Journal11 Dec 1959, FriPage 27

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The Ottawa Journal11 Dec 1959, Fri,

In December 0f 1959 13 new homes had been built on George Street and the population of 880 was only down a mere 45 people. Mr. Dowdall was rebuilding his sash and door company and Don Drysdale had set up his clothing and dry goods store in temporary headquarters. Walter Machan had his new barber shop but still missed the trees that had gone up in flames knowing he would never see any new trees full grown in his lifetime. A new town hall was being planned and 59 relief cheques had been distributed.

Mr. Paul said the fire had been hardly extinguished and the townspeople were talking about building a new Lanark and hopefully would the fire would become just a  memory.

The Lanark Fire of 1895

Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

 

 

Do You Remember?

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From Lanark Highlands

1857 – The Crotch Lake disaster caused a flood from Crotch Lake to the Ottawa River. Many of the bridges across the Mississippi River were swept away, including all three in Dalhousie and one in North Sherbrooke Townships.The flood also washed away the Currie’s grist mill at the head of Dalhousie Lake (one of the first to be built and operated on the Mississippi River).

 

1917 – A fire destroyed the Clyde Woolen Mills – the areas largest industry and employer.

1919-1920 – The Hydro Electric Power Commission constructed a Hydro Plant at the High Falls, upstream from Dalhousie Lake. The construction employed over 200 men from the area.

1959 – A catastrophic fire in Lanark Village destroyed 43 buildings (including the Town Hall, the Library, Memorial Clock and Legion Hall), leaving more than 100 people homeless, and caused $1.5 million in damage. It is a commonly held view that the fire had a profound psychological impact on the spirit of the people of Lanark, causing a temporary depression.

 

1998 – An ice storm affecting much of Eastern Ontario and Southern Quebec created a national emergency. Thanks to the generosity of people, businesses and municipalities outside the affected area, normality returned to Lanark Highlands after approximately three weeks. Despite an absence of electricity for up to three weeks, and the considerable destruction of trees and forests, the incident was widely viewed as a unifying experience for the township.

1998 – Flooding occurred along the Clyde and Mississippi Rivers. An emergency was declared. Flooding caused considerable strife for a number of weeks.

Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

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Photo originally from The Lanark Era, via The Ottawa Citizen)

Lanark Village was first settled in 1820 (then called New Lanark) as a government supply depot for the Lanark Society Settlers who set out from the village to populate the surrounding townships. It consisted first of only the depot and a single store, but quickly grew to include other shops, a grist mill on the Clyde River, and many homes. As the lumber industry began to flourish and the region’s ‘timber barons’ began to run their logs down the Clyde through Lanark, the village grew rapidly.

 

t its height, Lanark was home to a great number of businesses including mills, foundries, hotels, and shops to satisfy every need of the surrounding townships; it became the bustling central hub of the region and was much larger than Perth at the time (the photo above shows the once shop-lined George Street facing the town hall). However, over the years this began to change for a number of reasons, principally the slowing of the lumber industry, the lifeblood of the region, and because trains that passed through villages to the north and Perth to the south never came to Lanark. This was why, by the early 1900s, Lanark had lost its lead on other local towns and villages. Though no longer growing as rapidly as it once did, Lanark continued to be a prosperous little village until one windy day in 1959.

Around nine o’clock on June 15th, 1959, a single spark ignited a fire at the Campbell Sash and Door Factory (a planing mill) at the corner of George and Owen Streets. The fire went unnoticed for a few crucial minutes, allowing it to take hold in the dry fuel of the factory’s wood and sawdust. Within minutes the factory was ablaze and the fire had already begun to spread to nearby buildings (as seen in the photo to the left, showing a man running past the burning factory to warn firefighters that his home was now burning as well). The merciless wind and dry heat of the summer day then took hold of the fire, which quickly began to move down the village’s main street.

As the flames began to travel down George Street, sparks and burning debris were blown ahead onto the dry rooftops of the village. Witnesses say that some buildings beside the fire were simply superheated to the point that they themselves combusted. Half way along the first block the fire crossed the street and continued to burn along each side as firefighters from every town and village as far away as Ottawa tried in vain to stop its advance. Seeing the approach of the inevitable, many people began to empty their furniture and belongings into the streets, much of which eventually caught a spark and burned where it sat. The fire soon crossed Clarence Street, burning the village’s town hall and the stores that surrounded it.

 

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Around noon, as the wind began to die down, the fire was finally halted as it neared the Clyde River. Though sparks had blown across the river and traveled beyond the far edge of the village, thankfully no other fires got out of control. The fire finally burned itself out shortly after being stopped, but the village had been devastated.

 

In those three short hours over 40 homes and businesses were destroyed and nearly 100 people were left homeless. Once the busy center of the village, nothing now stood along George Street between the Sash and Door Factory and the Locker Plant (Pretty Goods today). For a number of days the streets of Lanark were lined with a steady stream of cars coming from miles around to view the devastation. Though so much had been lost, many villagers vowed to rebuild their homes and livelihoods, including the owner of the hardware store who promptly hitched a ride to Toronto to get a loan and buy new stock, which he was selling to those in desperate need in Lanark just two days after the fire from a makeshift store in his home. The resilience of Lanark’s people was tested and proven that day and in the coming years.

Many of Lanark’s homes were indeed rebuilt along with some of its businesses, but the village never again boasted the vast array of shops and services that it once had. The great fire of 1959 was a major blow to the village from which it is still trying to recover today.

 

Lanark Fire 1959 Photos

COURTESY THE LANARK ERA, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN  06.15.2009

Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News