Tag Archives: Media

The Day After Halloween in Almonte –1979

The Day After Halloween in Almonte –1979

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada02 Nov 1979, Fri  •  Page 43

1979— Ottawa Citizen

ALMONTE Officials from Arnprior to Pembroke say senseless destruction is fast becoming a new valley sport. Chronic vandalism of the type seen in Almonte Halloween night is reaching epidemic proportions, especially in towns without a local police force. In Pembroke, police Sergeant Versil Young said a report and slide show is being prepared by police on the subject an attempt to graphically illustrate the thousands of dollars damage done in recent months. “We’re investigating one case where vandals broke into a house under construction. We think the damage is about $5,000. They did $1,000 to $1,500 damage to the doors of the house alone. And then they threw paint all over the stained wood exterior.” The report blames parental indifference, citing cases of tire-slashings, rocks through windows, a vehicle pushed into a river and other instances of damage to homes. Smaller towns and villages depending on the Ontario Provincial Police for protection are also experiencing sharp rises in vandalism, and extra constables are being hired on weekends in some communities. Other communities outside the Upper Ottawa Valley, however, say they have vandalism in hand. “We have a problem, but . . it is not of major proportions,” said Kemptville Mayor Harry Coulter. Vankleck Hill Mayor Aurele Fournier and Carleton Place Mayor Ted LeMistre echoed Coulter’s statements.

“Vandalism here is a very minor problem,” said LeMaistre. We have good co-operation between police and teenagers.”

Fournier said there is “really nothing serious” in Vankleek Hill, adding everyone knows everyone else and people work “for the good of the community.”

But in Almonte today the intersection of Mill and Bridge streets bears post-Halloween battlescars of 200 masked teenagers who pitched rocks, paint, bottles, pig manure and eggs at the storefronts. A bulldozer had to be used to remove what one policeman called “one hell of a mess.” “There is really nothing serious here,” saidTom Baker is considering boarding up his store next Halloween or “clobbering the kids responsible.” He has to replace two large windows and the door at his combination jewelry and florist shop.

He shakes his head in wonder at the police and parents who condoned the annual event to the extent that they watched the rampage from cars parked nearby. The conclusion of the kids interviewed in the school yard? “A great time was had by all.” Baker and his business neighbor George Charos who closes his restaurant early every Halloween and flees the neighborhood say they haven’t actually filed a complaint with the local OPP detachment Concedes Charos: “We depend on the town” for business.

According to Almonte High School vice-principal J.L. Bridge, none of the rabblerousers are his students. Bridge didn’t go near the downtown area Wednesday evening. Handing out candy to the children in his subdivision was a “beautiful experience,” he said. Several students milling around high school corridors Thursday openly admitted that although the uproar may have been “a little extravagant at least it was something to do.”

Students say everyone contributed to the event-farmers made their pig manure and chicken heads available and young people poured it into baggies so it could be hurled. For most of the yougsters interviewed, the real problem is boredom. “We don’t have a pool and we don’t have a theatre; and there is a $1 cover charge to eat at the Superior restaurant,” said one student “If we only had a bowling alley, or something …”

Jack Mundcn, who heads the OPP detachment agrees: “The municipality should be providing something else for the youth to do.” He said the best the police officers can hope to do is contain all the activity “if we dispersed the crowd it would move into the suburbs.” “They are all wearing masks. You can’t arrest them, or charge them with disturbing the peace. The law says you can only ask them their names, you can’t ask them questions unless parents or a lawyer are present Mundcn said the appointment of another police officer is imminent “but even if we had 10 cops ‘-would you get out of your car in that crowd?”‘

CLIPPED FROMThe Sun TimesOwen Sound, Ontario, Canada02 Nov 1979, Fri  •  Page 14

Your description of the town of Almonte on Halloween last was one of the examples of irresponsible journalism that leads people to lose all trust in the printed page. It may sell papers in Ottawa, but it does little credit to your paper in this Valley town. There were not 400 masked rowdies on main street! The police tell me there were 73 at most and not masked rowdies. There were no hordes of parents cheering them on to further destruction: in fact the streets were clear by 11 p.m., and the police report one of the quietest Halloweens on record.

There were some of the traditional hijinks of that particular night a bonfire in the middle of the street (carefully watched by members of our fire department), and the throwing of eggs. There was damage to four store windows, and that is certainly not acceptable but I would point out that this was all localized to one part of main street. The rest of the town was quiet, with no reported incidents.

Rev. Harry H. Brown St. Paul’s Anglican Church Almonte, Ont.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada17 Nov 1979, Sat  •  Page 7

Almonte Gazette November 1,1979

A handful of irresponsible youths managed to give Almonte an enormous black eye in the Ottawa press last week as a result of damage caused on Halloween night. The usual Halloween shenanigans such as egg throwing and the lighting of a bonfire at the corner of Mill and Bridge streets got out of hand about 11:30 Wednesday night when windows were smashed in four Mill Street businesses and paint was splattered on at least two store fronts. 

A crowd of youths, estimated at its peak about 11 o’clock at 50, quickly scattered following the window breaking incidents and the scene was practically deserted when police showed up moments later. And so ended a night of Hallowe’en vandalism that was widely reported by an Ottawa newspaper and a television station. Town Clerk, Bob France even received a telephone call Thursday from a Halifax radio station inquiring about the reports of damage.

Even though the reports were blown way out of proportion, it does not diminish the seriousness of the situation. Property damage was estimated at $2,000. Windows, including plate glass were broken in Baker’s Jewellery and Flowers, the former Milady Beauty Salon next door,Morton’s Variety and the Superior Restaurant. 

Baker’s and the Superior always seem to be in the line of fire and the owners are totally frustrated over the endless stream of vandalism to which they have been subjected. An 18-year-old was charged Monday with willful damage inconnection with one of the incidents, according to Almonte O.P.P. No names have been released as similar charges are pending against other persons. 

All officers of the Almonte O.P.P. detachments were on duty Halloween night, along with members of the Almonte Fire Department who were called out on seven occasions to extinguish fires. 

The most serious of these destroyed a barn at the farm of Clarence Timmons at Lot 27, Concession 12, Ramsay Township. Also lost in the blaze were 1200 bales of hay and disc harrows. The alarm came in about 11:20 Wednesday night. Old tires were set on fire at various points in town and firemen extinguished a blaze that was started in the front seat of an older model car parked at the back of Smithson Motor Sales on Mill Street. A wooden garbage bin, apparently removed from the back of a Mill Street building, added fuel to the tires and other refuse that created the bonfire on Mill Street. 

Youths began gathering at the “pool room corner” about 7:30, as they almost always do on Hallowe’en, in anticipation of the battle of eggs, tomatoes and other missiles that get thrown at almost everything that moves in that area on Halloween. 

Strangely enough, all of the damage and mess was confined to one small area. Most of the other businesses on Mill Street were left untouched. One thoughtful person even brought several bags of hog manure as ammunition this year. Much of it found its way into police cars, fire trucks and store show windows before the night was over. 

The Fire Department vehicles didn’t escape unscathed. An egg striking one of the trucks removed paint and lettering from a door and an auxiliary tanker owned by Drummond Bros, and loaned to the Fire Department was bombarded, resulting in a cracked windshield. Damage was estimated at $400. Town work crews were on the job early Thursday morning cleaning up the mess.

Visitors to the Fairview Manor… 1979

November 28,1979 Almonte Gazette Page 1

A local teenager has been charged in connection with the vandalism that occurred in downtown Almonte last Halloween night. Charged with causing wilful damage is Steven Arthur Maynard, 18, of 132 Queen Street. Police say the charge arises out of an incident Halloween night in which paint was thrown on two Superior Restaurant windows. 

In addition to the usual Halloween hijinks this year, such as egg throwing and the lighting of a bonfire at the corner of Mill and Bridge Streets, windows were smashed in four Mill Street businesses and paint was splattered on at least two store fronts. It was reported at this month’s town council meeting that it cost the town $170 to have the Hallowe’en mess, left behind by the approximately 150 young people who congregated at the pool room corner, cleaned up. 

The 170 dollars does not include the cost of repairing those store fronts damaged during the Halloween madness. The damage was estimated at about $2,000. The Almonte Lion’s Club have set up a committee to look into the possibility of holding a major dance next year on Halloween night to give the teenagers something to do for excitement other than standing on the street corner. The president of the Lion’s Club, Carl Sadler, said the club would like to make it a town project involving other local  groups and organizations. He said the club will need the support of the other organizations to be able to afford a good drawing band to attract the teenagers.

The spirits of Halloween roamed freely in Almonte this week, but for the most part they were the spirits of youth and goodwill. The half-anticipated destruction that took place last year, in which store windows were broken, a car burnt, and an unruly mob tyrannized Mill Street, never materialized. Apart from a few isolated incidents of soaped windows, paint splashed on cars, this Halloween was one of the quietest Almonte has seen for several years. Five members of the Ontario Provincial Police were on duty that night, with two police cars cruising the town. Corporal O ’Connor, on duty in the police station that night, did not receive any requests for assistance. Four firefighters also remained on duty at the fire station, while others also cruised the town Some incidents of vandalism were reported, however. 

The window in the door of the L C B O outlet on Queen Street was broken, to the tune of about $175. Someone kicked and damaged a storage shed at Becker’s on Ottawa Street. Police said the damage, which was repairable, was not serious. The front window of the house owned by Almonte high school principal Douglas Kilpatrick was also broken, at an estimated cost o f $165. The front window of Baker’s

Jewellery store on Mill Street was also cracked. Several youths caroused around town, tossing eggs and apples, and sawdust. 

A number of small bonfires were lit, and at the corner of Mill and Bridge streets, a small group lit smoke bombs made of saltpeter and sugar. Meanwhile, the community dance, featuring the rock band *Metagenesis, entertained about 350 youngsters throughout the evening at the arena hall. Sponsored by the Lions and Civitan clubs, the town o f Almonte, and the Business and Professional Association, the event was organized by high school student Cherri Campbell. It remained the centre of activity for most of the evening, breaking up finally about 2 am. November 1980

*METAGENESIS were a Canadian Hard Rock quartet formed in Arnprior, Ontario in 1971. Read more here.. click

Council Chamber Fight- Walls Spattered in Blood

The Ongoing Fight of Rooney’s and Karl’s Grocery — Part 2

Carleton Place Fights Racism 1963

The Seven-Barrelled ‘pepper box’ Revolver — Rosamond Fight — July 1875

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada03 Nov 1898, Thu  •  Page 2

So When was the First Santa Claus Parade in Carleton Place?

So When was the First Santa Claus Parade in Carleton Place?

I can recall going to the Legion when it was located on Bridge Street (where Bennett’s Butcher Shop was on the east side, next to Dr. Johnston’s.  We’d see a movie and then get a paper bag with hard candy and an apple (and/or orange) in it from Santa. That would be in the 1950s.
Wendy LeBlanc —Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Read- Memories of Carleton Place — The Roxy and Marilyn Monroe


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Photo from the Carleton Place Canadian Files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

From Rob Probert: 1962 makes sense to me as that is when Eldon Henderson started the Marching Saints. And I know that the band was responsible for the parade for some time.  I can’t say with any accuracy as I only moved to CP a couple of years before that. The Santa Claus float was kept in his backyard for years. The arena candy sounds about right to me.  I know at some point it was in the town hall as well… for sure when I was president of the Chamber and then it moved to the Bank of Nova Scotia where crowd control was easy—in and out the back door.

The CP Board of Trade Board went silent for a long time so if they had previously sponsored a parade it would have been dormant until Eldon started it back up…likely with the help  of Lawrence Donnelly.


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 24 Dec 1963, Tue,
  3. Page 38



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  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 25 Nov 2009, Wed,
  3. Page 31



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 18 Nov 1995, Sat,
  3. Page 113



Jeremy Stinson Dad, John Stinson mentioned that Wayne Conley and many members of the Lions were in this float and the ‘Captive’ was from the ‘Rich’ RBC float…
Dad would have to explain more…
For the record, my Dad is Little John.



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  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 02 Dec 1975, Tue,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 2


Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 25 Nov 1974, Mon,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 4





Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 20 Nov 1972, Mon,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 3


Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 25 Nov 1986, Tue,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 8



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  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 09 Nov 1962, Fri,
  3. Page 33


Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 24 Nov 1978, Fri,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 3
  1. where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.
    1. relatedreading

A Collection of Lanark County Home Movies (parades)

It was 1967–a Centennial– Parade Slides from Wendy Healey–Armstrong Family

When You Fall Over in a Parade Float

Carleton Place Loves a Parade!

Santa Claus Parade Photos—Photography –John Rayner 2009 2015

Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade Photos

Santa Claus Parade Photos–2010– 2012 2014 –Michael Gauthier-Freedom Photography

Santa Claus Parade 2015 — Photos- Bob McDonald

Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade 2007

The Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade 2003

Carleton Place Christmas Parade 1987

The Night Santa Claus Came to Town – Holiday Parade Photos! 2012

Carleton Place Loves a Parade!

Photos of the Orange Parade Almonte 1963 — Name that Band?

When the Saints Marched Down Bridge Street?

When the Saints March By Howard Johnsons

What Happened to John Liddle?

More Photos and NOW Music! Memories of the Carleton Place Marching Saints

Memories of Carleton Place — The Roxy and Marilyn Monroe

Carleton Place 1940’s —- The Popularity Contest


The Carleton Place Halloween Parade 1958 –Lorraine Nephin

Last Night I Saw Someone I Loved at the Halloween Parade

Carleton Place Cabbage Patch Doll Parade 1984

1977 Carleton Place Parade– Who Do You Know?

Almonte Topics Back in 1893 June 6th

Almonte Topics Back in 1893 June 6th


Members of the Almonte Cricket Club in front of the current lawn bowling clubhouse. Date, members and occasion unknown. The Millstone

‘The Almonte cricketers played their scheduled game at Arnprior with the club of that town on Saturday. Our club won easily, the score being 108 for Almonte, and 49 for Arnprior.

Mr. Robert Barnett is paying a visit to his old home and friends in this neighborhood. He is now a prosperous builder in Duluth. Rumor says he will be accompanied on his return by one of Ramsay’s fairest daughters.

Another old Almontor, dame rumour says, will shortly come from Kansas, and another from the far Northwest, on the same errand.




Washburn’s circus, which exhibited here lately, was a poor affair, but the sharpers connected with it found the usual number of fools around town ready to part with their money.

Mrs. Coates and her daughter Birdie returned home a few days ago from California, after a sojourn of two years in the Golden State.




Miss Minnie McDonald, who has for some time been engaged in *mission work in British Columbia, returned last week in very feeble health.  In California for some months, the climate did not agree with her, and so she was obliged to return home.


Image result for cpr almonte

The new train arrangements on the C.P.R. are not as good as the people would like to see, However, one redeeming feature is that it brings us the “Citizen” at a very early hour in the day.

Mr. Edward Leyden left here for Sherbrooke.where he has secured a good position in the large woollen mill.




  • Mission work-The earliest reserves in Canada appear to have been established on seigneurial holdings by Catholic missionary orders and private persons



A sports venue in Almonte
1900 Almonte- Community Memories

Almonte Cricket Club
Cricket was very popular and evidence of the Almonte Cricket Club dates to 1862. The Express, predecessor of the Gazette, our local newspaper, reported numerous cricket related details:

May 9th 1862 Express
Almonte Cricket Club rolling and sodding of the pitch with play to be held twice a week, invitation to new members opening game of the season to be May 17, 1862. Also an advertisement for a meeting of the Almonte Cricket Club.
The cricket grounds were at that time located at the rear of the B&O Railway Depot (Brockville and Ottawa Line)

Friday May 30th 1862 Express
“The Queen’s Birthday – Saturday last was generally observed in this village as a public holiday… About 10 o’clock a.m., the Cricket Club turned out for a practice on the cricket ground where they remained until noon. At 2 o’clock pm they returned, but having no other club to play against them, not even the “All England Eleven”. Sides were chosen and a match was played between themselves, creating a good deal of excitement and amusement among the large number of spectators on the ground.”

Friday May 28th, 1870 Almonte Gazette
“The 24th – Queen’s Birthday – A greater crowd went to Arnprior where a great deal was to see. A procession of firearms, games, footraces and free whiskey made the morning interesting. While the afternoon was filled by lacrosse, cricket and the “TERRIBLES”. Altogether the celebration in Arnprior was very creditable to the managers.


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.


Social Note Shenanigans from the Almonte Gazette June 1899

Downtown Almonte 1891 — Thumb Biters Skaters and Widows

It Raineth Every Day in Lanark County–Social Notes–July 30, 1897

The Funniest Anti-Dog Letter to the Editor–Almonte Gazette

Tips From the Almonte Gazette “Travel Section” 1874

Renfrew The Creamery Town 1900

Renfrew The Creamery Town 1900




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  17 Nov 1900, Sat,  Page 14


RENFREW,ONTARIO by du_uuh, via Flickr



MCNAB Township ( Renfrew County ) DIRECTORY – 1851 

A Township and Village in the County of Renfrew , C.W. Population of the Township about 1500.


MORRIS, JAMES, postmaster and county registrar

Bourke, Edward, innkeeper

Devine, Mathew, shoemaker

Dickson, Robert, weaver

Frazer, Rev. S., Church of Scotland

Henderson, Archibald, weaver

Forrest, John, weaver

Leckie, David, innkeeper

McNab , D.C. , school teacher

Martin, John, lumber merchant

Mackie, David, carpenter

Morris, Peter, & Co., general store

Morris, William, lumber merchant

Morris, James, jun., town reeve

Neil, Nicholas, cooper

Rochester , George, miller

Rochester , William Y., general store

Sutherland, John, tailor

Stewart, Allan, township clerk

Wright, Nathaniel, innkeeper


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)




Heritage Renfrew

The Directory of Renfrew

Are These Memories Just for Ourselves? — The Family in a Box

I Saved the Lives of 29 Men That Day

The House at Sand Point


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The Hysteria and Overbooking of Hayley’s Comet 1910

The Hysteria and Overbooking of Hayley’s Comet 1910




If you read *When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror! you will remember three young ladies residing in a house in one end of Carleton Place. They were suddenly awakened at 3 am that night in May of 1910 by the cries from the town fire and the illumination of the sky. The women thought that Halley’s Comet had passed that night and had produced the end of the world.

The three rushed outdoors in their night clothes waving their arms and crying in despair. They thought it the end of the time was near. It took awhile to get the ladies under control and understand what had really happened. No doubt they had read the newspapers that very day about the coming of Halley’s Comet.




For weeks international and local newspapers literally terrorized their readers. Over 500 Italians in Little Italy in New York fell to their knees in prayer that night when they saw the ball of flame bearing down on them in the sky. In New Jersey locals took the whole day off work to pray in their local churches for their salvation. Fraudsters hawked anti-comet pills, with one brand promising to be “an elixir for escaping the wrath of the heavens,” while a voodoo doctor in Haiti was said to be selling pills “as fast as he can make them.” Two Texan charlatans were arrested for marketing sugar pills as the cure-all for all things comet, but police released them when customers demanded their freedom. Gas masks, too, flew off the shelves.



The whole performance took five hours that night while the Carleton Place fire raged. On the bridges of Ottawa and on rooftops people gathered and some educators carried bottles so they could contain some the atmosphere for future analysis.  The world’s greatest scientists assured everyone that no harm would befall and their analysis could not be foretold, but it was concluded that there was no cyanogen gas from the tail of the comet that they were fearful of. Local bartenders were telling their patrons to drink half water and half alcohol and that was an antidote if they breathed any cynogen gas from the meteor. Local farmers removed their lightening rods from their homes and barns fearful of dangerous light flashes and substances that might accompany the comet.

Folks got real creative with their anxiety. It didn’t help that a few months earlier, The New York Times had announced that one astronomer theorized that the comet would unceremoniously end life as we know it. The Associated Press warned their readers they had observed two rather large black spots on the sun and solar eruptions were viewed and spread even more hysteria.

In the end there was no collision, and no drastic effects and life went back as we know it. That night as part of Carleton Place burned down few thought of Hailey’s passing comet except for the girls near Townline and the visibility of Halley’s Comet at the birth and death of Mark Twain was nothing “an exaggeration.”


I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”
 Mark Twain, a Biography


Some of our citizens claim to have seen the comet Friday night.
There is nothing wrong with their eyesight–Almonte Gazette- May 27 1910


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.



When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!

When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!- Volume 1- Part 2


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Americans? Moving to the Land of the Flee?




How to “move to Canada” Google searches have skyrocketed since Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday performance yesterday. Media has also reported that the Canadian Government’s website was experiencing technical difficulties around the time of the search spike, though it is not known whether the two incidents were connected.

Did I also mention that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz threatened to move back to Canada in the event he is elected President of the United States?

“America’s voters are telling us they want an outsider as president. Therefore, if I am elected as your president I will move to Canada to be as outside as I can get,” said Cruz.

This Presidential race has become a side show circus and I have never witnessed such a shabby list of political candidates running for President. In all the debates and news media attention, all I’ve heard is how much each of them can bash each other or run each other down. Really?

The American population is sucking it up like hungry babies drinking warm milk, and the news media dutifully reports every whimper and word with flashing banners and glaring headlines. Personally, I’d rather vote for my neighbour’s cat as the next President instead of any of the candidates I see running. Did I mention he is a Siamese cat too?

People need a reality check before burning bridges. As I have stated before--you cannot simply “move to Canada” or pretty much any first world country, because these countries have much more stringent immigration requirements. This means you need to have a REAL job offer or proof of income and assets that would be sufficient to keep you off any kind of social services that country provides for its citizens.


Now CNN has dispatched a crew to Cape Breton in Canada to find out what the island has to offer Americans considering leaving the United States if Donald Trump wins the presidency. Hell of a time to invite someone–right in March with spring break and all. Why not build a direct tunnel from Mexico to Canada? We can even have way stations with Starbucks and Ben And Jerry’s along the way. Cape Breton is a wonderful place. Scenery beautiful, people great–just one recommendation – Glenora Whisky needs to lower its price a wee bit so we could enjoy more of it.

Are these protesting Americans serious? Last night one of my American friends emailed me saying he passed the online practice test on Canadian Citizenship. He says he doesn’t own any guns and knows when to insert an extra “u” into words. He mentioned his great-grandparents immigrated from Canada and wonders if there is a there a “Law of Return” that he might qualify under? He told me to mention he also plays hockey and is a hell of a goalie.

If Trump becomes president Americans are more than welcome to try to come to Canada. I have a little extra room in my garage and there is poutine for all. Do you really want to immigrate to Canada? Join an NHL team, like the rest of them:)

Related Reading:

So You Want to Move to Canada Eh? — Written at the Carleton Place Tim Horton’s

Rocking the Casbah –When “Breaking News” Doesn’t Listen



Image created by Sarah Cavanagh from Discover Carleton Place


There is no doubt that things are not like it used to be–there are lots of things that keep us all apart now. Personal lives, our home and hobbies, and hooked up to mass media. Now we seem to have precious little time or inclination to reach out or to engage with the place where we live. Of course this is not healthy for communities, and humanity.

But, through Facebook we can find out a lot more about who we are, as a community, and weave ourselves together into one strong unit. This is why I created The Tales of Carleton Place. It is a place we can come together, reminisce, and become hyped up for our community.

The Carleton Place Social Scene, Discover Carleton Place, Carleton Place Restaurant and Retail Review, Carleton Place–Celebrating Our Town etc. are many places we can go to on Facebook and get involved in our community.

One things all these groups have in common is that they work together to create a bond for Carleton Place. None of these people that spend a great deal of time and effort running these groups are paid, nor do they have advertisers or sponsors. These groups share everything that is needed to be shared, no questions asked. We network to help each other in Carleton Place and never worry that one group might be better than the other. The reason we do this is so people can reach out to each other rapidly and systematically to deal with a crisis or sudden opportunity, quicker than official media. I have huge issues with local media etc. that does not follow this rule. Egos need to be left at the door these days- there is no more room for it for our community to prosper.

We have a lot of smart and wise individuals in this community, there is no doubt about it. A good tool for community self-organization is to become a strong force and do all the things that are needed to be done. But it can only be done by sharing.

The more a community’s wealth stays in the community, the healthier it will be. The foundation of a strong, wise, resilient community is people knowing and actively engaging with each other —simply because it feels good or meaningful to them. Sharing only succeeds in beginning a circle that brings back multifold benefits especially for local communities– and if you didn’t realize it–sharing is the one big reason for the magnificent success of social media

What good are thoughts unless used to benefit others? What good is happiness or success for our rural towns unless shared by all? So if it’s success you want for Carleton Place start spreading the warmth and goodness to others around you. What has anyone got to lose?

Thank you to everyone that shared Jamie Law’s terrible ordeal yesterday. It is only though you and your sharing we can turn this around for him. Let’s Rock the Casbah for our communities!



Robert Shaw “Cold as Ice” in a Cardboard Box?



Please note sometimes he was known as John and sometimes Robert Shaw

 Perth Courier, October 9, 1896

The week before last a half witted resident of Carleton Place named Robert Shaw, known as “Christmas” was brought in on a charge of kissing the young ladies of that town and the judges gave him three months in the Perth gaol.  Shaw was a resident of Perth at one time, but now devotes his time to Carleton Place.


Photo-Google Image

Feb 20th 1914– Almonte Gazette
It has been reported that our erstwhile citizen of Carleton Place- Robert Shaw, alias “Christmas”, has passed to the great beyond having been frozen to death somewhere up north. The unfortunate man had taken shelter in a large packing box in which his body was found. It is a tragic ending to a remarkable life. No doubt his demeanor could have possibly aroused the bad weather.

After reading the half witted resident of Carleton Place comment– I wondered why they spoke of his remarkable life. The Victorian Era may not have had its own version of the Darwin Awards, but thanks to the miracle of newspaper records, we can reflect on the bizarre deaths and disasters of yore. True or untrue.


February 27 1914– Almonte Gazette

The report in circulation last week that Robert Shaw of Carleton Place had perished with the cold is not correct. The Carleton Place Hearld has since received information from a gentlemen who saw Mr. Shaw on Friday last. He is in excellent health and working steadily on the construction of the CNR, being with Angus Sinclair contractor on the Pettawawa River. We are sure that Robert’s many acquaintances will be please to learn that no such fate as that was written fell to his lot.

  • In reality Robert Shaw  died at the age of 68 in 1929

Historical fact

People believed the weather was not merely a natural occurrence. Bad weather could be caused by the behaviour of wicked people, like murder, sin, incest, or family quarrels. Going way back it could also be linked to witches and sorcerers, who were thought to control the weather and destroy crops. They could, according to one infamous treatise on witches – the Malleus Maleficarum, published in 1486 – fly in the air and conjure storms (including hailstorms and tempests), raise winds and cause lightning that could kill people and animals. and animals.

Read the Almonte Gazette here

Read the Perth Courier at Archives Lanark


Practical Tip

Just in case you need shelter–Practical Tip for Urban Shelter from Practical Survivor.co


* Refrigerator cardboard box
* Styrofoam found within the same box and dumpster.
* Duct tape
* Box cutter
* Tape measure
* Marker

If the circumstances force us to build the shelter outside, we should protect the shelter from moisture. We could use multiple layers of trash or any available plastic. (trash bag, tarp, poncho, carpet, sheet metal, wood, rugs) The refrigerator box can be replaced with boxes from big screen TVs or whatever is available. Most families have boxes in their attic. Local furniture stores are usually happy to let people take away their trash. Call and ask for permission. A lot of furniture and hardware stores will give you cardboard.

We built the shelter as a triangle, in order to minimize the walls we would have to insulate. Lets not forget, a smaller shelter is easier to warm up with body heat. If we wanted to squeeze two people in the shelter, we could choose a rectangular configuration. I guess we can call our shelter, an urban emergency survival A-frame or urban A-frame shelter.

I’ve Got a Secret– Newspaper Gossip and Ploggers


Yesterday I was looking for information on the Internet, and I bumped into something that just baffled the mind. Who knew that after fifty years some of the old Eastern Townships 1950’s social columns would be posted for the world to see.

Obviously, someone who was into genealogy, or had way too much time on their hands had posted years of them online. They were all from small local newspapers we had back in Quebec, Canada called, “The News and Eastern Townships Advocate” and the “Granby Leader Mail”.  In fact Marjorie-May Laurie worked for Simms Printing in Granby (’69-70) and the Leader Mail was done from the plant. She always knew when a certain friend from High School came home to visit her parents in Abbotsford as it made it into “the Socials”. They found their way to the newspaper on small bits of paper – typed or hand written, and at time with very odd spelling.

Here are some I found about my family:


“Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Knight with their little girls, Linda and Robin spent a week’s holiday in Montreal.”

Actually it was another week for my mother to see the specialist, Dr. Gingras at the Darlington Rehabilitation Centre in Montreal. My father decided to bring us along to give her something to smile about. She played the piano one day in the common room and I danced around to the “Waltz of the Flowers”. Several Thalidomide afflicted kids came in to enjoy the music and my bad dancing.

One tried to dance with me, gracefully waving her hands that were somewhere near her armpits. I stopped in shock, and my mother glared at me. I took off my black Mary Jane shoes and gave them to the girl as I knew she had admired them. She was my hero, and so were all the other afflicted kids in the Darlington Rehabilitation Centre.





“The Brownies closed their season of 1959 with a Doll Exhibition at the Parish of Nelsonville Church Hall.”

The paper said that Judy Clough and Linda Lee Pratt won out of the 30 entries. My beautiful Miss Revlon doll did not even place. Seems the second judge ratted to the others that my mother had sewn the doll dress. I never forgot that lesson. Don’t lie about doing things you never did.

What I most remember about that day was my father being so amazed that television signals were finally coming from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia. My father said that he hoped the residents of Newfoundland would be able to see the Queen’s address on Christmas Day.

He was screaming the whole conversation as he stood precariously on top of the Albert Street roof installing a new TV Antenna. Two neighbours were yelling back at him, worried he was going to break a leg. They had no interest in the Queen, nor did I.





“Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Knight held a party last Saturday night at their lovely home on Albert Street in Cowansville.”

What they did not read is that Linda Knight, their daughter could not sleep. She joined the party and sat in a circle of adults as they played a sort of musical chairs with a huge bag of women’s underwear. When the music stopped, the one holding the bag had to put on whatever they picked out. Did I mention they were blindfolded?

What was that all about?

There was also no mention of the woman that had way too much to drink and had sat beside an open window. Somehow she fell out of the window into the bushes below with a paper plate of pineapple squares in her hand.




“Mr. and Mrs. Murray Wallet and their children Sheila and Gary spent a week at their summer cottage in Iron Hill.”-Photo Sheila Wallet Needham

I used to love going to my best friend’s cottage. It stood in all its glory partially hidden by lilac trees. There isn’t a week that does not go by that I don’t think of it.

There is nothing but wonderful memories of walking along the stream that came down from the mountain top. We also used to make evening gloves on our arms with the mud from the hole in the earth that was called their swimming pool.

We toasted marshmallows and hot dogs in a bonfire, while the fireflies buzzed around us. To get water we had to shake the hose that ran up the hill to the underground water source. We were always unsure if a bear was going to pop out. The best of it all was sitting inside sipping cocoa, and laughing at stories while the rain pounded down on the tin roof.

No amount of descriptive words in any newspaper could do it justice.

        good thesis


I needed to get some information from one of my past blogs and during a Google search I turned up an essay that had been done by Assistant Professor Beth Garfrerick from the University of Alabama on how social information was distributed through the ages. I read a lot of small town newspapers from the past on a daily basis to try and get bits of information to piece community history together. Contrary to what some believe, it takes hours, and sometimes days, to get something interesting enough to entice readers. I refuse to document boring stuff; I want to do stories that are not your run of the mill.

A lot of my information comes from what Ms. Garfrerick calls “Ploggers”. Those were the local “newspaper print loggers” who played an important role in recording births, deaths and everyday happenings. If these were not online I could not write these stories. Gradually though these archived newspapers are being sucked up by the genealogy boards, so you have to pay for the information now.

But, I was pleased as punch that Professor Beth Garfrerick  quoted me on page 12 of her thesis:

“Others disagree. Canadian blogger Linda Seccaspina, posting July 10, 2012, on the zoomers.ca blog, believes that small-town newspapers continue to publish the news that most residents of those communities want to read. In * “I’ve Got a Secret – Small Town Newspapers,” she wrote, “Who does not want to know who got arrested at the local watering-hole or whose lawn-ornaments are missing that week? Even though large newspapers are losing money the local weekly small-town newspapers still manage to survive. Why? Because the local population depends on their weekly words and supports them.”

You shouldn’t presume that everything you read in a newspaper is accurate. I really consider myself  a writer who is sometimes a social critic. I follow along and take notes from the past, and sometimes I throw in my two cents. It may be coincidence that the decline of newspapers has corresponded with the rise of social media. Or maybe not.



July 27, 1906– from Ville de Cowansville


The brass band are giving regular exhibitions of their musical abilities these pleasant evenings, and gaining well-merited-praised.

The younger son of Mr. John Mooney had a bad fall from the rear-end of an express wagon in the C.P.R. station-yard on Monday afternoon, breaking his collar bone and severely cutting the flesh on the side of the hand, face and forehead. Dr. G. F. L. Fuller has the case in hand.

Prof. W. W. Harries has rented the house on Main Street, near Mr. M. O. Hart’s, belonging to Miss Wilkinson, and has moved his household effects and family there. We are pleased to note this addition to the village social life.

Mrs. Hugh ____ of Montreal and little daughter were here over the week-end visiting Mrs. ___gman, who is also anxious to locate his home here, if houses were to be had for hire or purchase. It is lamentable that eight or ten excellent families are prevented from making Cowansville their permanent home on account of the scarcity of houses. Building lots and lumber are both so high-prices that it discourages people from building much needed residences in Cowansville.

The results for the Model Department in the recent Government examinations are not so satisfactory as were those from the Academy Department, due to the epidemic which prevailed during the winter and almost broke up the whole room’s studies.


Eddie Leonard, Esq. of St. Johns, is visiting at his father’s, the genial joint prothonotary, for a few days. He is offering no advice to the sports who indulge in the wild game of lawn tennis.

The vigilant High Constable has just returned from an outing for his health. He penetrated the summer resorts as far as the Island of Martha’s Vineyard, which he founded inhabited by negroes. His health is much improved.

Farm for Sale, Sweetsburg, Que. – 100 acres. Stock and tools, good sugary, buildings in good repair, well watered, running water and telephone in house, half mile from church and school house, cheese factory, Sweetsburg Station on premises, a going concern. Price $4500. Enquire Charles S. Cotton, Sweetsburg, Que.

Notes from the newspaper The Mail –Granby – 1896 to 1898–from Ville de Cowansville

February 19, 1898 – Saturday Eastern Townships social notes

Mr. Jacob D. Ruiter of Cowansville died on Monday morning of pneumonia, aged 56 years. He leaves a family of nine children.

February 23, 1898 – Wednesday

Judge Lynch has reason to feel gratified at the interest in road improvement that has attended his efforts as President of the Good Roads Association. Bedford, Cowansville, Farnham and Granby are all taking definite steps towards having permanent macadamized roads. It is only right that the towns should lead the way in the reform. They have less length of road to construct than the rural municipalities and the statute labor problem is not so difficult for them to solve. If all the towns and villages had good roads the country folks would see that what they now consider impossible is not so difficult of attainment after all. (Cowansville Observer)

The firm Boright & Teel of Cowansville has been dissolved. Mr. Teel will carry on business at the old stand.

L. Jones & Son’s store at Sweetsburg was broken into on Monday evening and a suit of clothes and other articles taken. Suspicion points to a young man lately in the employ of T. R. Pickle who disappeared at the same time.

February 26, 1898 – Saturday

Mr. Duffy’s New Partner – Mr. A. J. E. Leonard, advocate of Sweetsburg has entered into partnership with Hon. H. T. Duffy, Commissioner of Public Works. Mr. B. Rainville, Mr. Duffy’s late partner, will take up the practice of law in Bryson, Pontiac County, it is said.

March 16, 1898 – Wednesday

Mr. Alvin Laraway of Sweetsburg, an old miner some seventy-five years of age, and five other at and around Sweetsburg, started for Klondyke on the 8th inst. Mr. Laraway has been to California three different times and only returned from South America a few months ago, where he had been looking after some mining property for a party in New York.

April 16, 1898 – Saturday

Cowansville now gets two mails a day from Montreal, one in the morning and at night.

The Vilas foundry at Cowansville is now working overtime to catch up with spring orders.

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


Related Reading:

Been Caught Stealing– Bank of Montreal

Angry Mobs, Wolves and Bloodsuckers –Selby Lake

Memories of UFO’s Earthquake Lights and Gale Pond

Misty Glen Mountain Snow Bunny Hop

Music in the 60s- Memories of Herman’s Hermits

Back to The Future — Twisting Your Dignity Away

Groovy Hints on How to Catch and Keep a Boy – 60’s style

The Dreams of a Sugar Plum Fairy

I Was A Free Range Child

Scrapbook Photos of Cowansville

6 Seconds of Cowansville High School – Our Miss Phelps

The Benefits of Having a Large Human Chassis for Traction

New Year’s Eve ’68- Thrills and Spills with the High School Golden Boy

Linda and Christmas Cards– and the Lack off–This is Your Christmas Letter:)