Tag Archives: lanark village

Fake News or Just Plain Media Gossip?

Fake News or Just Plain Media Gossip?


October 1934

There is a man who lives north of the Perth on a farm and wants to get married. He has” battled’ the cold, cruel world single handed long enough and wants someone who will share his happiness and disappointments with him.

In the classified column of Perth Courier he placed an advertisement for a wife and the advertiser is patiently awaiting the replies. He promises some girl a good home but has certain requirements which he demands.

He came here from Lanark Village several months ago and says he is a hard worker and farmer. He declares that marriage is a business proposition and that every man should have a helpmate. “Down in the village” he said, “there were lots of girls but most of them don’t want to get married and those that do are not the right, kind.” The advertiser said that he did not expect to remain here long as a man could make more money travelling around than by staying in one place too long.

In 1900 people rarely left their hometown, let alone travelled around their country, so I wonder if our farmer ever found a helpmate.

Perth Courier 1910


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 27 Oct 1979–McNeely Tannery-Address: 12 Bell Street Carleton Place, Ontario

Joe Scott took a poor calf skin to Brice McNeely who had a tannery on the banks of the Mississippi on Bell Street and asked what he was paying for hides. Brice told him 60 cents each with ten cents off for every hole in the hide.

You’d better take it, Mr. McNeely, and I think I owe you something for it,” was the startled reply from J. Scott as Brice looked at the hide with more holes than Swiss Cheese.

Carleton Place Herald 1900




A well known Carleton Place gent from just outside of town was noted for being careful with his pennies entered McDiarmid’s store one morning to get a winter cap. He was shown 6 or 7 and selected one that seemed suitable. He retorted of course that it was too expensive, that he could get it much cheaper elsewhere and left.

An hour later he was back but the store clerk saw him first and whisked the 7 caps under the counter. The customer said,

“I’ve come back for the cap!”

Without batting an eyelash the owner told him that others knew a bargain when they saw it and that all those caps had sold within the hour after he had left the store.

Carleton Place Herald 


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

  1. relatedreading

You Would Never Find Warm Leatherette at the Local Carleton Place Tannery

You Can Leave Your Hat on in Carleton Place!

Did You Know This About Perth?

The Dagg Poltergeist of Shawville Original Newspaper Story 1889

The Former Businesses of Carleton Place –Notes Part 3– Historical Newspaper Clippings


The Lanark Library and Florence Bowes

The Lanark Library and Florence Bowes



Photo from the Elaine Playfair Collection thanks to Middleville Historian Laurie Yuill

In 1968 Mrs. Florence Bowes began working for the Lanark Public Library as an assistant to Mrs. Wallace Machon. Mrs. Bowes was born in Middleville and moved to Lanark following her marriage to Art Bowes. They originally lived on George Street in Lanark Village and then later moved to the Perth Road.

Florence got her training from Mrs. Machon and she eventually got her experience through the general growth of the library. The library was once situated in one room in the Town Hall,  and had a great selection of books, but there was no room for anyone to sit. There was an old wood stove in the centre of the room and a table and a few chairs, which meant 10 people became a crowd in the room.



Lanark Town hall After the fire–June 16/59; day after the fire-photos below were taken by Ileen Sheard and submitted by Candas Price.

Then came the tragic fire and everything was lost except a few books which had been taken out the night before. The teachers at the then Princess Street School offered their staff room and they began to set up a temporary library. The community also helped donating their books as well as other local libraries who offered them what they could.

During the Centennial in 1962 the new Town Hall and the Lanark Library opened 3-4 nights a week. But, television was brand new during that time and library traffic slowed down until the novelty wore off. Soon an addition was added and the Public Schools began using the Library once a week until they got their own library.


 - ment, . , Profit from the centennial...



When Mrs. Machon resigned Florence was chosen to be the Head Librarian and her daughter Lynda came in to help her with the typing and the paper work. But then the filing system changed and they needed help and Gloria Affleck came to the rescue. It took over two years to change that filing system which was mostly  done on their own time.

Florence said the workload increased and folks just did not realize what it took to process one book so she and Gloria took work home. In 1978 Florence Bowes retired from the Library and today the the Lanark Highlands Public Library is a team of dedicated staff and volunteers committed to enriching the community by providing access to the world’s ideas, information and changing technology that sits on George Street in the heart of Lanark Village.






 - LANAI A Large Number of looks Added to the;'...

November 1898

 - ' Uitsiuippi River Boy. Wednatday-lJO...


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

Words of Mary Borrowman Affleck

Words of Mary Borrowman Affleck



Mary Borrowman Affleck– Middleville

One of the little boys of Robert Affleck who was also  named Robert, was 11 years-old when he moved to the backwoods of Lanark County. There in Middleville he found the love of his life, whose name was Mary Borrowman. She was 4 years younger than Robert Affleck, but after marrying him she became a beloved ancestor of numerous family of grandchildren and great grandchildren. On the 8th day of August, 1916, she passed away at the age of nearly 103 years-old.

” Our first intention was to proceed from this part of Lanark township to Dalhousie, where the greater part of the emigrants from the parish of Lesmahagow are settled. In consequence, however, of  a gristmill on the way having been idle all winter from the frost, there was no sleigh road traced through the wood; we were, therefore obliged to return to the village of Lanark. From the damaged shape of our sleigh, our progress was slow, and it was the afternoon before we reached the village. Having got our vehicle repaired, we wished to set out to the schoolhouse in Dalhousie, about 8 miles distant. However the person who was supposed to guide us there was so drunk, that we were unwilling to encounter the woods in the dark with a man that could barely stand up. We turned our horses’ heads towards Perth, which we reached the same evening.

We do our best in this new land and some object that is is preposterous to place weavers and other tradesmen in the woods to become farmers.  The settlers are the fruit of long and incessant toil, so those who are unwilling to work hard should not come to Canada. Eventually the young men will emigrate to other parts of the Province in search of something better than Lanark County can offer them. I am sure if their elders had the means they would follow their children. The settlement has lost 166 heads already: 73 by death, 51 to other parts of the Province and 42 have gone back home.”





 - for tbe Mr. was was was the ' Dies At Ihe Age...

Clipped from

  1. The Times-News,
  2. 22 Sep 1916, Fri,
  3. Page 6




Looking down Hopetown road… Photo from Laurie Yuill




HISTORY OF LANARK TOWNSHIP AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION –Laurie Yuill Part 3-“There is no use in my joining the Society, as I have nothing to exhibit”

HISTORY OF LANARK TOWNSHIP AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION –Laurie Yuill Part 4-“the proprietor of a merry-go-round was paid a bonus to bring his machine to the Fair “

Middleville School Photos- Laurie Yuill

  1. Photos of Laurie Yuill- Somerville/Mather Picnic 1937–Charles Home, Lloyd Knowles House–Foster Family

     Mr. Lionel Barr’s Store Middleville and Other Mementos –‎Laurie Yuill‎

Caldwell’s Roller Mills and Sawmill Burnt to the Ground –$30,000 Damage

Caldwell’s Roller Mills and Sawmill Burnt to the Ground –$30,000 Damage



Perth & District Historical Society– the former Caldwell Grist and Sawmill on the Clyde River in Lanark.


In April of 1892 Mr. W. C. Caldwell’s Boiler Mills and Sawmill burnt to the ground.
The countryside was upset over the burning of the big roller mills and the
sawmill belonging to Mr. W. C. Caldwell, that happened on a Thursday night of April 14.
The fire originated in the drying kiln adjoining the mill proper, and was first noticed by Mr. Winslow, the smoke coming from the little building attracting his attention.

The alarm was given, and the firemen lost no time in getting the engine on the spot, but by this time the fire had made its way through the door of the kiln into the main building, and the dust seemed to carry the flames like lightning from one part of the building to another.

The building was frame, and, although the engine was doing good work, all hope of saving the mill had to be abandoned. An army of willing hands were working like Trojans to save what they could of the contents and they managed to carry out about 200 bags of flour. The heat was so intense that the little sawmill across the river caught fire.


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– CLYDE FORKS  Lanark 1890s Caldwell Lumber Mill 

By Herculean efforts a band of workers succeeded in getting out the circular saws and planer just as the roof fell in. The alarm had been given at ten o’clock, and at twelve both buildings were in ashes, flat on the ground. The mill dam was also badly damaged. The total loss was estimated at thirty thousand dollars and the insurance amounted to only $6,500.

There was a very heavy stock of grain in the building at the time and this was badly
damaged, and was disposed of to the farmers at from 20c. to
30c. per bag. The amount realized from the damaged grain and the flour saved was about $1,500.


Fire was still smouldering in the ruins the next day, and  it was hoped that Mr. Caldwell would rebuild at once. There was some talk of giving him a bonus from the village as this was at that time the most disastrous fire in the history of the village of Lanark.

Mr. Bates insisted that a fire-warden was now needed in the village as men stood around doing nothing— not because they were unwilling to work, but because there was no one to direct them properly. Mr. James Watt, of the firm of T. Watt & Son, struck a 2:40 gait for the scene with his fire extinguisher. He got there before the fire had a good hold on the main building, and did good work with his little appliance, but it was soon exhausted. He thinks that five or six of them put in operation at the time he arrived would have saved the main building.

Sympathy was expressed for Mr. Caldwell as truly his losses have been great in the last five years. With the loss of his sawmill at Clyde Forks, his connection with unsuccessful speculators in Manitoba, and now the burning of his flour mills here, his losses tote up to one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars.



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


100 Hands Thrown Out of Work –Lanark Village

When History Comes to You–A Visit from Middleville

The Caldwell Clan Photos

Read more about the family here: The Alexander Clyde Caldwell Family Part 1

Dalhousie Lake in Photos –Caldwell Family Summer Vacations

Revolutions of Death at Caldwell & Son’s

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

Revolutions of Death at Caldwell & Son’s

A Walk through Lanark Village in 1871

Your Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day

A Postcard to Caldwell’s Mills

Lanark Village Old Boys Reunion 1913 Names Names Names


 - , LANARK .. . old boys'.. :: REUNION...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 11 Jun 1913, Wed,
  3. Page 9



1913 Old Boys’ Reunion, Main Street, Lanark Village. Photo: Negative No. C-25995, Public Archives of Canada


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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


100 Hands Thrown Out of Work –Lanark Village

A Walk through Lanark Village in 1871

Lanark Village News 1887–The $5 Wager and Other Things

The Penny Readings of Lanark County

The Penny Readings of Lanark County

Image result for penny readings


John Ennis, Maggie and Beckie, Margaret, Mary Elizabeth, Jane Hopkins and myself went to Lanark Village for the 5 cent readings. There were 400-500 locals present and the entertainment was very good. John  Code-  with files from A Perth Boy in the Wild West-David Code


 - Penny readings, which were temporarily spended,...

  1. 17 Apr 1878, Wed,
  2. Page 1


Appleton, Ontario-April 17 1874–Almonte Gazette

We have succeeded against considerable opposition in establishing a series of *penny readings. When they were first proposed the minority of the old folks sat in council at their own firesides and passed the following resolution :

“Whereas once upon a tune there was a Temperance Society organized in this place, and whereas said Temperance Society ended in a courting school and was thereby productive of harm to our young people, and whereas we have come to the conclusion that the readings contemplated will end likewise; Therefore be it resolved, that we discountenance them— Carried.”

Penny Readings were given periodically in Lanark County. There were travelling showmen, ventriloquists, slight of hand experts, magicians, acrobats all came, performed at a price, and passed on, contributing to the entertainment of the moment.

The best thing about the Penny Readings was its mutuality, it was a method of communal communal self-help. The person who was to take part as a performer attended for the greater part of the evening as a member of the audience. The effect upon the people as a whole was the strengthening of the bonds of neighbour lines.

There was a decidedly educational effect in the efforts that each prospective performer made in order to perfect his understanding of what he was to read and his powers powers as an elocutionist to “put it over” so that his audience might be both instructed and impressed. It requires no such preparation to watch the movies or turn the knob of a radio.


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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


Ontario’s Version of the Marks Bros-Tales of the Queen’s Hotel

The Day the Hypnotist Came to Carleton Place

John Sparrow’s Royal Parilion – Chatterton House Hotel Carleton Place

Life in Lanark Village 1820 — Bad Roads Distilleries and Discontent!

Life in  Lanark Village 1820 — Bad Roads Distilleries and Discontent!




Lanark Village 1820

According to a few settlers tales the Village of Lanark was laid out the same way as Perth. However, it didn’t look like a town in appearance, but more like a rather thickly settled farming district. The Clyde River was much the same size as the Tay and it ran through town as the Tay did in Perth. The mighty Clyde drove the only mill in the area which was used to grind all sorts of grain.

When you arrived in town you would would mostly likely have been met by the miller who had emigrated from New Lanark in Scotland. His claim to fame was being the first person who had brought a European woman into the Village of Lanark! He would tell any new visitor that he was happy, and bring them around to his home to have a meal  or two with his children.

Apparently, all was not happy in that household, and under the same roof as the miller lived a very discontented  person. The miller’s wife was so unhappy that word around the county was that she was the only miserable person this side of Perth. I highly disagree with that statement after writing about the conditions the first settlers had to live with. But, miserable or not, she would “quick step” behind her husband to hear any news or gossip from any newcomer in town.

One thing you did not discuss with the miller’s wife was the deplorable conditions of the tradespeople in Britain at the time. You would never ever discuss how fortunate the settlers were to relocate to Lanark County instead of suffering the hardships of back home.

“Dinna say that; dinna pretend to tell me that this is better than hame. I wad sooner soof the causey in Scotland than stay here,” she would argue.

Local folks would argue with her that she would have a hard time getting meat to eat, or a job, and families were basically penniless back across the pond. The miller’s wife would agree with you on that point, but her greatest concern was buying clothes like those back in Scotland. She was a decent woman she said, so she needed decent clothes, and none the likes of what they sold in Perth. The disgruntled woman never seemed to understand that clothes back home were now harder to get than meat, and that she should consider herself fortunate that she was able to enjoy the fruits of the four local whiskey distilleries.

The area around Lanark Village had only one place of worship: a handsome Presbyterian Church with a lovely spire, all built of stone. The roads from Perth to Lanark for travelling preachers was clear for only two to three miles from Perth.  Not even the prayers by the clergy could help them on that road that was only broad enough for a wagon or a sleigh. It had sharp turns around a tree or a stump that sometimes were not feasible for man nor beast.  Once you spotted cleared land or a home  you had to wade through snow or water you to inquire if you were headed in the right direction or get lost.

Going through the bush was done by mostly following the marks on trees and, yes those who got lost were frequent, but the blazed trees would take them to someone’s dwelling. Most times one would eat a meal or spend the night in some stranger’s home. You would not attempt these roads at night for they were dark save for a blaze in the scattered homes along the road–mostly owned by Scots. After a Sunday in the pulpit in the Village of Lanark most men of God deemed the roads fearful and their hands were sore holding on to the wagon. One has to wonder if difficult roads in those days led to beautiful locations, or heights of greatness.


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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


So What Did We Find Out About this Photo from Lanark Village?

A Walk through Lanark Village in 1871

Revolutions of Death at Caldwell & Son’s

Remembering a Shoemaker in Lanark Village–Thomas Wilson

Lanark Village News 1887–The $5 Wager and Other Things