Tag Archives: medicine

Did Wampole Ever Move to Lanark Village?

Did Wampole Ever Move to Lanark Village?

 Author’s note

I researched for hours and could not find out if Wampole ever set up shop on Hillier Street.

Henry K. Wampole & Co. Occupy Clyde Woolen Mill Factory Office. Lanark Ontario

The Henry K. Wampole Co. Limited, manufacturing pharmacists with headquarters in Perth, Out. have completed negotiations where, they will open up a branch in Lanark Village. On Monday, Sept 22nd, representatives of that firm were in town and leased from Mr. Caldwell the factory office situated at 113 Hillier Street. ( now a priavte residence)

This office was found to be satisfactory for the companys immediate requirements, and operations have already commenced towards having the building renovated for the new industry. Some time ago the Henry K. Wampole Company announced the fact that they could employ many more in their factory if the housing and boarding problems then confronting everybody in Perth, could be overcome. Parties coming to Perth from outside points could readily find employment with this thriving industry.

They found it practically impossible to obtain board or secure a dwelling house. Consequently the manufacturing pharmacists found it necessary to expand their industry to other towns. Smith Falls was their first consideration but in this town they found that conditions as regards housing and boarding were on a par with that ot Perth. In the meantime Mr. Alex. McIntyre had written Mr. J. A. Stewart, M.P.P, Mr. Stewart controls the Henry K Wampole establishment and Mr. McIntyre explained to him the unlimited opportunities afforded to industries in Lanark Village.

In his letter he eulogized the excellent sites for such an industry and also the ample accommodations which Lanark can provide to outside families and employees. The result was that Mr. J. A. Stewarts attention was directed to Lanark as the field in which his industry could spread with great success and he had his representatives visit Lanark. Mr. Alex. McIntyre is to be con gratulated on his commendable act in being highly instrumental in bringing such a well known industry to Lanark.

The Henry K. Wampole Co. are a thriving and energetic concern and their pharmaceutical products are known throughout the Dominion. It is a growing industry and one which brings prosperity and progressiveness to any town. To have such an industry come to Lanark is, we hope, the advance guard of a tidal wave ol prosperity. At first this industry will be of small proportions in Lanark but we have visions of it being resembled to the acorn which, in a few years, becomes a mighty oak.

The branch to be opened in Lanark Village will specialize on the preparation and *packeting Formolid Throat Ease, a tablet which is strongly antiseptic and used for the prevention and spread of sore throat and bronchial trouble. The employees will be mostly girls, and we believe the industry will start with a staff of twenty-five which will increase as the industry progresses. This is the first new industry to come to Lanark since the burning of the Caldwell Woolen Mills and we hope this will be the nucleus about which many more industries will be established in Lanark Village.

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada24 Sep 1919, Wed


At this time, some of the better known Wampole products were the tasteless extracts of Cod Liver, Grape Salt, Formolid Throat Ease, and more. Our products may have changed, but their quality did not. This rich history allows Wampole to make a claim that only they can do… Being the 1st Canadian Established Vitamins and Supplements Company!–Wampole Facebook


Perth Courier, November 23, 1917

Perth’s Honor Roll


1.)        Pte. Ronald Gamble, killed in action.  Much sympathy is felt in town for Mr. and Mrs. James Gamble in the death of their son Ronald Gamble who was on Monday officially reported killed in action between the 3rd and 4th November.  Evidently it was his first time to go in to the trenches as in one of his last letters he said his unit was on the march and that he would write again when he reached the front lines.  In one of his last letters he said “we have been traveling around the country and have seen some lovely scenery.  There is so much dust here as it has done nothing but rain this week and we are over the boot tops in mud where ever we go.  We will likely be meeting our friends across the way in a few days.”  Ronald enlisted with the 240th Battalion on the 10th September, 1916 and left Canada for overseas with this unit on the 25th April, 1917.  He went to France this past September and thus was there but a brief period before he was added to that long list of Canadians who have their last resting place in France.  He was but 18 years of age and a very fine young man.  Before enlisting at Perth he was employed in the printing and box making department of the Henry K. Wampole Co.   (transcriber’s note, a letter from this company was not transcribed.)

Top stories of the June 7, 1912 edition of The Perth Courier 

Perth gets big new thriving industry
“Perth will have another new industry. For some time, negotiations have been in progress between Henry K. Wampole & Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio to take care of the Canadian business for the Jergens company. The Jergens company is the second largest manufacturer in the United States of high class toilet soaps.. the two companies are coming together to handle the soap, perfume and toilet business in Canada. A new company, with headquarters as Perth, is being incorporated to be known as the Andrew Jergens Co. Limited.”

The Original Thomas Alfred Code and Andrew Haydon Letters — Part 28–I Didn’t Swindle Money from the Wampole & Co W.H. Brick

Scrapbook Clippings of Wampole

More Home Adventures from Amy Thom

Perth Flood 1930s Tay River

More Home Adventures from Amy Thom

More Home Adventures from Amy Thom

Me again, haven’t been getting much time to do any can/jar removal from our basement these days with snow removal time fast approaching and trying to get all our costumers set up!! But I did hop down the other day because the kids wanted to make ‘night lights’ out of glass jars with twinkle lights added. And this little cutie was sitting right on top!

These tablets must of been so tiny compared to what we take these days for ‘weak and impaired digestive powers’ ! I love the wording– Amy

Have you read her other adventures???

My Old House — Part 2- Amy Thom

Found in the Floors of my Summer Kitchen — Amy Thom

The Original Thomas Alfred Code and Andrew Haydon Letters — Part 28–I Didn’t Swindle Money from the Wampole & Co W.H. Brick

Scrapbook Clippings of Wampole

Would You Smoke a Hornet’s Nest?

Would You Smoke a Hornet’s Nest?

The relationship between quack medicine and religion is more than casual. Early European settlers in North America brought with them the belief that God placed specific remedies for ailments in the areas where the ailments existed thus the interest in native plants and animals as cures.  One documented medicine cures for asthma as being 1) sleeping on a pillow with a rabbit’s tail in it and 2) smoking a hornets nest.

I am all for natural herbs etc.. but diagnosing $600 worth of natural medicine for someone who has terminal cancer and less than a week to live reeks of quackery. I told that to the naturopath that who prescribed the herbal drugs for my late husband.  No one understood me except her bank account.



At the end of the 1800s, there was a guy named Clark Stanley, who was selling a liniment that he claimed had snake oil in it,” Kang replied. “And he was saying basically it could cure everything.”

As for what was actually in it? “It had beef fat and pepper and turpentine,” said Kang. “But there was no snake oil in it. And he made a ton of money off of it.” —Mo Rocca


Dr. Lydia Kang said, “They used it for everything under the sun. So, you know, if you’re having a bad day, you would take some opium. You’re nervous? You take some opium. If you have some crying babies at home and you’re busy parents trying to go to the factory, you dose ’em up with some opium.”

Heroin, a derivative of opium, was once even sold over-the-counter by Bayer for sore throats and respiratory ailment-Dr. Lydia Kang


The cover of a 1906 issue of Collier’s Weekly, a muckraking journal that published Adams’ report on the evils of the patent medicine industry. It furthered the notion that nostrums were the cause of ultimate moral decay, death itself, and caused immense public fear and disapproval of homeopathic remedies.


Federal regulations eventually cut off this free trade of drugs, as did exposés like a 1906 issue of Collier’s that depicted the industry as “death’s laboratory” with an illustration of patent medicine being pumped out of a skull flanked by moneybags. Nevertheless, you can still find popular treatments like Sloan’s Liniment and Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound nestled in the drugstore, survivors from the golden age of quackery.


The consumption of blood is not itself an oddity, and became part of the tonic offerings in patent medicine through manufacturers like the Bovinine Company in Chicago. A truly unsettling 1890 ad for Bovinine shows a woman with her eyes closed, a small glass of red liquid beside her, and the words: “Look on me in my lassitude reclining / My nerveless body languid, pale and lean; / Now hold me up to where the light is shining / And mark the magic power of BOVININE.”

When the postcard is held up to a light, suddenly her eyes open and a ghostly steer appears outside the window with the words “My life was saved by Bovinine.” And the drug probably was quite eye opening, being a tantalizing and alcoholic mix of beef blood, glycerine, and sodium chloride (salt)


Radioactive solutions emerged in the early 20th century after radioactive decay was identified in 1896. One of the more infamous of these was Radithor, a patent medicine with distilled radium, made by self-proclaimed doctor William Bailey, who had previously sold strychnine as an aphrodisiac.

Socialite and industrialist Eben Byers took Radithor following an arm injury in 1927, and continued consuming it through the 1930s, when he slowly died a grotesque death involving snapping bones and lost teeth. Byers’s demise prompted an investigation into Radithor, and ultimately its removal from pharmacies, although poor Byers was buried in a lead coffin due to the contained radiation in his body. As a 1932 Wall Street Journal article quipped: “The Radium Water Worked Fine Until His Jaw Came Off.”


Godfrey's Inhaler | The Quack Doctor

Medicine for Weak Women — Hokum Era

Drugs of the 1950s from Mac William’s Shelves– Iodine, Liniment and Camphor Oil

The Remedy Women of Lanark County

I Will Take Some Opium to Go Please —The “Drug Dispensary” at the Chatterton House Hotel

Was Lipstick Banned and the $64,000 Question

What the Heck was Electric Soap? Chatterton House Hotel Registrar

When the Spanish Fly Kicks In !

If Quackery Poison Gets You!! Blue Poison Ointment

Constipation Guaranteed to be Cured in Almonte

It’s Electrifying! Dr Scott’s Electric Corset

We’re Off to See the Wizard — The Poisoner’s Handbook?

Dr. Hanly I Presume -“Since I have been in Almonte I have not averaged $1500.00 a year”

Dr. Hanly I Presume -“Since I have been in Almonte I have not averaged $1500.00 a year”

hanlydrjohnfrederickandwife (3).jpg

The other original Almonte Doctor: John Frederick Hanly
by Linda Hanly Reid, May, 2009

The February 1927 Almonte Gazette article reads, “SUDDEN DEATH OF DR. HANLY LAST MONDAY –
Widely Known Medical Practitioner Passes As He Reaches His Home –
WAS VISITING PATIENTS – For Thirty-four Years He Was Prominent Citizen of Almonte.

Dr. JFH, widely known medical practitioner, died very suddenly on Monday afternoon as he stepped from  his cutter after returning home from visiting his patients. He was 58 years of age. His sudden passing stirred the community deeply.  For about a year he had not been in the best of health. Heart trouble was the cause. Early last summer he went to Toronto to seek the advice of specialists, and was warned that he would require to take the greatest care. For a little time he did very little work, but he soon abandoned the life of ease suggested to him and plunged again into the hard work in which he rejoiced.  

Graduate of Toronto – Dr. Hanly was a son of the late Dr. John Hanly, of Waubaushene on the Georgian Bay. He was a graduate of Toronto University, and for a time assisted his father in his extensive medical practice. It was a practice which involved arduous travel by land and water and often on snowshoes in winter. From boyhood up he was trained to feats of physical endurance. He became a skilful sailor, and preserved to the end a great love for the water.

December 1912

Last summer he spent a short time among the scenes of his boyhood and visited Midland, his aged mother and his brothers.  Came to Almonte – Thirty four years ago (1893) Dr. Hanly came to Almonte, (in 1893 Dr. John F. Hanly succeeded Dr. Johnston.  The first hospital in Almonte was instituted in the dwelling occupied by Dr. William Lockhart, of Ottawa Street, under the care of and through the cooperation of the late Dr. Lynch and Drs. Hanly, Metcalfe and Kelly), and throughout that long period he occupied a prominent position in the community. Despite the exacting nature of a large practice he devoted a large amount of his time to educational matters. For many years he was a member of the Almonte Board of Education, of which he had been chairman, and he was a prominent member of the Lanark County Educational Association.  


Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 07 Mar 1927, Mon,
  3. Page 5

He was a scholarly man, and he loved good books. He took a deep interest in the Public Library and was associated with it for a long time as a member of the board. He was himself possessed of a carefully selected library.  

Medical Health Officer – Dr. Hanly was medical health officer for Almonte. There is no doubt that the strain and anxiety caused by the recent epidemics took a large toll of his strength. He was the local physician for the C.P.R.  He took an active interest in the affairs of his church and for many years was secretary of Bethany United congregation. He was frequently urged to allow himself to be appointed an elder of the church, but always refused.  In politicshe was a strong Liberal. He attended the last Liberal convention at Lanark Village to nominate a federal candidate, but he was unable to be present at the convention to nominate a provincial candidate. This was the first convention he missed in 26 years.

 Besides his wife and his widowed mother, he leaves two sons and a daughter to mourn his loss: Arthur, of New York, USA ;Lois, of Toronto; and Bruce at home. Two brothers, who reside at Midland, also survive him.  

Met With Accident – Seven or eight years ago Dr. Hanly met with a nasty accident. He was coming down the steps of the R. M. Hospital in winter after visiting his patients, when he slipped on the ice, and fell heavily. His head was badly cut.  

A Good Athlete – Dr. Hanly in his younger days was a good athlete, and was prominent in sport while a student at Toronto University. He was particularly fond of cricket, and played for many years with the Almonte Club. He was a good skater and a good oarsman. He took a deep interest in the local hockey team, and this was the first winter that he was unable to go to the rink to see a game.  

The Funeral – The funeral took place this Thursday afternoon from the family Residence on Country Street to the Auld Kirk Cemetery. There was a very large gathering of mourners, one of the largest seen here in recent years.  Rev. J. R. MacCrimmon, of Bethany United Church, conducted the service and the pallbearers were Messrs. T. J. Reid, Henry Brown, D. J. Dick, M. R. MacFarlane, W. West, and Adam Craig.  Relatives present included Dr. Hanly’s two sons, Arthur and Bruce, his daughter, Miss Lois Hanly; and his two brothers from Midland.  Among those from out of town were Mr. Robert Young, and Mrs. George Bennett, of Ottawa; Messrs. Robert Paterson, David Findlay, W. R. Caldwell, Dr. Downing and Dr. Johnston, of Carleton Place. There were many from the country round about. The members of the Board of Education and the town council were present in a body. The schools were closed in the afternoon and all the members of the teaching staff attended. The blinds of most of the places of business were drawn as the long funeral procession wended its way through town to the last resting place of the deceased physician.”

His Professional card read: “Dr. Hanly, Graduate of Toronto University Medical College.
Physician, Surgeon and Accoucheur.  Office corner of Richey and Bridge Streets, nearly
opposite Bank of Montreal. Telephone No. 80″ He had been home schooled by his father, Dr. John Hanly, and he wrote his college entrance exams in Orillia. His father had been a
teacher before becoming a medical doctor. His daughter, Lois would become a nurse, and sons Arthur (my grandfather) an electrical engineer and Bruce a civil engineer.

Here is a portion of a letter to his brother in Midland concerning family money matters:
“Almonte, Dec. 18th, 1920.

Dear Bruce,

Your letter to hand today and although it was welcome I can scarcely say that I was particularly glad to get this one. For one thing I am very hard up and in pain always. I have nearly sweated blood to save a dollar. My means along side of  yours and SC’s (his other brother) is almost pitiful. My personal clothing is almost a disgrace to me. Jennie is not much better. Bruce has not yet had a single dud of new goods on his back. My fur coat, an absolute necessity here, in winter for driving, is so shabby I only wear it at
night. My insurance is less than $4,000.00 today and I have to pay more than twice what I did at first.

I have never joined a curling club or a golf club since I came to Almonte. I was
not able to afford it. Jennie’s mother has stayed many years with us. The rest I earned at
hard laboring work. I would gladly have earned it all but father wished to take some trips and begged me to get through as soon as I could. Not many in Midland get through college before they are 22 years old but I did and from that day to now I have been at work and up till now. My holidays in the past 30 years have in all amounted to 6 weeks. Since I have been in Almonte I have not averaged $1500.00 a year. This is the Christmas season but Xmas gifts & I will be very much missing here this year. But I hope you will all have a happy Christmas and a prosperous & happy new year.

“Your loving brother, Jno. F. Hanly”  

He would die 7 years later, a year prior to his mothers death.

In 1891 he married Jane Elizabeth Kean (Jennie).  Following her husband’s death she wrote this letter to her mother-in-law:

“Almonte, Mar. 17/27.  

Dear Grandmother:-

I think I have put off writing to you for it does seem harder to do than any one else. I have just written Maggie. I know what you must be going through thinking of your dear boy gone. This is certainly a terrible terrible lonely home. It does not seem like home anymore without John. For as you know he has been around the house so much the last year and always so cheerful about his trouble. He certainly gave his life for others which is the greatest of all sacrifices.

He certainly left a lot of friends in this part. One lady that used to be a patient of his here wrote me from Paterson, New Jersey, USA ,and said the Editorial in the Gazette certainly described the Dr. It was on the inside of the front-page. We were so glad to see Bruce and Bird (his brothers). I only wish John could know they were here. Artie is back to work again, Lois is with me, Bruce is at school. He has his exams to get in June. I am able to sit down stairs and attend to people coming in. One leg and my heart is giving me considerable trouble so they will not let me go about. We have had some correspondence with a couple of Drs. but not much yet.

The ad will be in ‘The Globe for the next three Saturdays. If we do not manage to sell to a Doctor we will not get very much for the place … not very much anyway but a little more. Almonte has gone back so much. I had a letter from Lizzie (Riddel) Stevenson Yorkton, Saskatchewan I have had over 90 from all over. I just had to get small cards to answer them. I could not write notes to all. I do hope you will keep well. It is so much easier to get down than up. With love from all.

Jennie E. Hanly”

The June 28, 1951 Almonte Gazette stated, “Mrs. Hanly passed away at Port Colborne on Sunday, June 24, 1951 in her 83rd year. Among those from Almonte who were present at the Auld Kirk Cemetery were Dr. J. K. Kelly, Dr. J. F. Dunn and Mrs. Dunn, Miss Ishbel Guthrie and Dr. A. A. Metcalfe. Drs. Kelly, Dunn and Metcalfe were contemporaries of Mrs. Hanly’s husband, the late Dr. J. F. Hanly. Dr. Hanly’s office and residence was on Bridge Street where Mr. and Mrs. N. S. Lett now live.” Today that is 119 Bridge Street.  One of the large maple trees the Dr. planted at the front corner of the house recently came down.

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Article from the Almonte Gazette, Thursday, November 18, 1971

The Doctors of Almonte … In the First Half of the Century – John F. Hanly, M. D. 1868-1927 from John Dunn.

Although I arrived in Almonte only near the end of Doctor Hanly’s career, we had a very close association nonetheless. My memory of it is but the clouded vision, but I have no doubt of the truth of it, for I have on the very best authority – the word of my mother.

There were three of us present – my mother, Doctor Hanly and myself, the last to arrive.
The doctor’s smart slap on my upturned posterior brought forth the response magnificent, the first human cry.

With that he ushered me on the stage in the theatre of life, and kindled for me a small new flame from the embers of  humanity. It was a familiar role for Jno. F. Hanly, M. D., in Almonte and district.

He was born in 1868 at Waubaushene, Ontario, where his father, also Dr. John Hanly, was the community doctor. Waubaushene, of course, is an Ojibway Indian name for the town in a jewel-like setting on the lower end of Georgian Bay. It looks out to the 30,000 islands which form the domain of Manitou, the Indian’s paradise, and to Manitoulin Island, the largest gem in this sea of islands. It is the land of a thousand delights, the last camping ground in a place where summer never ends.

Georgian Bay at this place is highly indented, with innumerable outcrop pings of rock, deep harbours, and sandy foreshore. Pine and spruce girdle the forested islands and outline the mainland. Lumbering was the principal occupation in the last decades
of the nineteenth century, and Doctor Hanly had a small wood-burning steam launch for travel to the remote camp sites.

Winter travel, of course, was much more arduous, frequently requiring long hours on snowshoes through the forest and along the shoreline. The younger John would accompany his father on these trips, and it was undoubtedly due to this
experience that, with an average stature, he developed a very powerful physique with thick torso and upper limbs. Undoubtedly it was there also that he developed a deep love of nature which remained a characteristic of him throughout his life. For in the
country of Manitou a man is neither landsman nor sea man exclusively: he must be at home on either rock or wave, where he can tune in to nature’s rhythms and feel its pulse in the slap-slap of water on keelson and fairing, the rising of the sun, and the slanting moonlight seeping through the snow-burdened spruce.

Doctor Hanly’s father was of Irish descent , but his mother was Pennsylvania Dutch. One wonders. Was this alliance of races a presage of the future direction and growth of the new Canadian nation? Did it suggest the Canadians would not build on the single basis of race common to many nations of the Old World, but that we would become a blend of many racial characteristics? One wonders.

With his father, travelling to the remote settlements around Georgian Bay, the future doctor learned a love of medicine, too. It was only natural, therefore, that he should be inclined to follow in his father’s footsteps after completing high school training at Orillia. He enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and graduated at the age of 23. He returned to work with his father for a short time in that strenuous practice among the islands before moving to Almonte in 1893.

J. R. Booth, the great lumber baron, had just completed his railway from Ottawa to Parry Sound ( the line through Carp) to gain access to the remote white pine country, so that he could ship out the timber to Ottawa where it could be rafted and then floated down river to Montreal and to Wolfe’s Cove at Quebec. Dr. Hanly decided to ship out for the Ottawa Valley, too, and to settle in Almonte, or “Little Manchester” as it was called, because the names Rosamond, Thoburn , Penman, Caldwell, and Campbell made its fame worldwide in the textile trade, and its population of mill operatives, weavers, spinners, millwrights,
labourers, moulders, dyers, carters, teamsters, watchmen, stone cutters, blacksmiths, painters, fullers, carders, spinsters and widows made a population where a doctor’s knowledge, skills, and energies could be spent in rewarding service to all the
members of such an interesting community.

But, before he left, the doctor found even a third love, his greatest. Almost immediately after graduation he enlisted for life-time service in matrimony in the company of Jean Elizabeth Kean, who attended high school at Orillia at the same time as he did. They moved into residence in Almonte in the house on Bridge Street now occupied by
Mr. and Mrs. Winston MacIntosh and family. Three children were born to their family; Arthur, Bruce and Lois. Bruce, the only surviving member of the family, now resides in Montreal.

An age passes almost imperceptibly, its passing only noticed some time later by the absence of some familiar thing, or a change in some mark or symbol of the age. Three small things distinguished the age of Doctor Hanly’s 35 years of medical service to the people of Almonte and district. First, there was the matter of signature, and then
the matter of the cane, and finally, the matter of animals in town.

“Jno. F. Hanly”. That’s the way he signed his name. It was typical of the age, this fore shortening of the Christian name. Business and professional men in Almonte and elsewhere used the apostolic abbreviations, Jas., Jno., Matt., Bart., Chris., and their Prophetic counterparts, Sam., Lem., Dan., and even those of saintly kings, Geo., Chas., and Wm. Most of these abbreviations have some element of logic in their use. Except Jno.
Why John should be reduced to Jno. has always been a mystery to me. But there it was, a mark of the time.

Another mark of the age was the cane, the gentleman’s walking stick. Doctor Hanly liked to carry a cane when walking and he had quite a collection. He used a gold-headed cane for Sundays, but his favourite was an Irish blackthorn which his great friend and neighbour, Father W. E. Cavanagh of St. Mary’s brought to him following a trip the priest had made to the Holy Land of Ireland.

Howard Sadler vividly recalls another mark of the times: the numbers and locations of horses and cows in Almonte. He and his father were fortunate to be able to gather the manure for their market gardening operations. Doctor Hanly always drove a big horse, for the doctor weighted more than 225 pounds, and only a high, strong, rangy horse could handle the job of pulling cutter and driver of that weight through the heavy snows. But the doctor had a manure box which was higher than the usual also, for it had a close-fitting glass top, and the strength of its contents on a warm day sometimes upset the sparrows in the street.

Externally, the age was many other things than those small familiar items in the woollen town on the Mississippi: – it was the first C.P.R. transcontinental train leaving Place Viger station in Montreal at 8:00 p.m., passing through Almonte at midnight, and arriving splendidly in Winnipeg for the Dominion Day celebration on July 1st; – it was
Laurier’s defeat on the reciprocity issue in 1911; – it was the discovery of radium and X-rays by Madame Curie and Professor Roentgen; – it was the shock wave of telegrams in 1914-1918: “It is with deep, regret that we must inform you that your son, Private …. has been killed in action on the western Front”; – it was the discovery of insulin by Toronto doctors Best and Banting; – it was, in the words of Professor A. R. M. Lower of Queen’s
University. “that delicious hesitation between the ox-cart and the automobile.”

But, regardless of advances in medical science and technology, to the doctors in the community of Almonte and its surrounding district, the person was the most important thong alive. Shortly, after his arrival, Dr. Hanly was working with Dr. Lynch, Dr. Kelly and Dr. Metcalfe to establish a hospital where they could provide the best of
what nursing science and medical skill could bring to their people in need. Their efforts culminated in the founding of the Cottage Hospital in 1903, and the Rosamond Memorial Hospital, which was officially opened by the Governor-General, Earl Grey, on New Year’s Day, 1908.

The doctor’s day was predictable only in the announced hours for office calls. I have one of Dr. Hanly’s notes on his letterhead which gives the office hours as 8-10 a.m., 1-3 p.m., and 7-9 p.m. In between, of course, were house calls, hospital rounds, study and travel time. It made for a fulsome day.

After his death many of Doctor Hanly’s medical books came into my father’s medical library. In one of these Doctor Hanly had made a set of notes under the heading “Hygiene of pregnancy”. He listed a number of items from (a) to (j) , including Diet, Exercise, Rest, and Clothing, etc. One item, however, is listed with unusual emphasis: it’s (f) “Mental Condition”.

In return for his concern, the community rewarded the doctor with its co-operation, both for his own needs and for those of his patients. Dr. Hanly would never hesitate to phone a druggist at any hour of the night if a prescription had to be made up in a hurry. And in the case of calls to the country in bad winter weather (which usually meant
at night), he would simply tell the telephone operator where he had to go. She would then wake up all the farmers along the route, and they would get out with heavy teams and sleighs to break a trail on the unplowed roads so that the doctor’s horse and cutter could get through.

When we think of representative Canadian sights and sounds, we often think of the long, lonesome note of the C.P.R. train whistle piercing the frost-filled prairie night, and the clouds of steam coughed out on the night air from the bowels of the locomotive. But equally Canadian was the sight of the doctor in his cutter, with snorts of breath from
his horse’s nostrils polishing the frost-etched moonbeams, and the cutter bells jingling to the rhythmic clop-clop of the horse’s hooves.

Doctor Hanly had a deep well of learning which he kept constantly primed with an insatiable curiosity. His office held an unusual glass case filled with many of his father’s medical instruments, which were somewhat crude even for the sophisticated 1920’s. But it also had a microscope, various reagents, alcohol burners, in fact, much the appearance
of a small pathological laboratory.

It was quite natural than that he should be asked to provide some direction to the community’s cultural endeavours also. It fitted his temperament admirably, and he devoted many years to the Library Board, the Board of Education, and the
Lanark County Educational Association. I have a penny post card dated Dec. 5, 1910 addressed to “Dr. Hanly, Town” which announced a meeting of the Board of Education to be held in the Council Chambers on Tuesday evening, Dec. 6 at 8:00 p.m.
“for the transaction of general business.” The notice concludes with a cautionary injunction: “Any trustee who absents himself from the meetings of the Board for three consecutive months, without being authorized by resolution entered upon its minutes, shall, ipso facto, vacate his seat and the remaining trustees shall declare his seat vacant and forthwith order a new election.”
James McLeod, Secretary.

All the civic virtues, and the pride and honour which attend them, are summed up in that injunction.

It’s the small things, and in the simple ways that a community finds its own heroes and awards them its own marks of excellence. The ancient Greeks gave hero-status to those who showed exceptional bravery in protecting the city. But, in the development days of our Ontario communities, the protection of the physical health and well-being of
the citizens was a matter of heroic proportions. One of the ways the community recognizes this importance is in the naming of children after its heroes. Howard Sadler’s eldest son was such a one – well, almost.

Two days after he was born, Doctor Hanly, making his rounds, inquired if a name had been chosen for the record of birth.

“Yes, Bruce”, was the answer.

“Well, I am pleased” said the doctor, thinking the baby was to be named after his own son, Bruce Hanly. Howard and Mrs. Sadler didn’t have the nerve to explain that the night before the baby’s arrival, Mrs. Sadler had been reading a story in a penny dreadful in which the major character was a full-blown top-gallant knave named Bruce, and that that was the source of the chosen name.

After the “flu epidemic of 1919”, Dr. Hanly’s health began to suffer. It was simply overwork, and the heart muscles could no longer stand the strain. He went, in due course, to consult the heart specialists in Toronto who advised him that total rest for six months was the only therapy.

It was during this time of anxiety that he used to walk down to the end of Colborne Street in the summer evenings, taking all the children of the neighbourhood as escorts, and they would sit on the stone wall there, looking out on Spring Bush, and the sunset over Gemmill’s Bay. It was a place where the ancient Greek philosopher’s elements, fire, air, earth and water, seemed to fuse together. One simple rule prevailed: absolute silence for fifteen or twenty minutes, for it was that solemn time of day which in English is called “the gloaming”, and in French, “le crepuscule”. It was the moment of juncture between earth, sun and sky, when the softness of the air disturbed only by the silent swish of
crows making wing to the distant wood, the swollen fruited hour when the swarming sun homes in to its hive in the horizon, and the very trees moan in the stillness.

It was the time of the afterglow when the sun stops momentarily in its headlong rush, turns back before crossing the threshold into night, and, smiling, flings its colours out on the summer sky, sending out golden tendrils to tie up some herring-bone
scarps of summer cloud. It was September’s crepuscular madness, and the doctor and the children would sit on the wall, drinking it in, soaking in the splendid silence.

Torn between concern for himself and concern for others, the doctor’s dilemma, Jno. F. Hanly’s answer came easily to him. Others came first.

Then it happened, even as he knew it would. It was Monday the last day in February, 1927. He had stopped at M. R. MacFarlane’s drug store (now Wilf Snedden’s) about 11:00 a.m. He spoke to a number of people between there and the Post Office (Don Campbell
was one of them), and then he drove home with the horse and cutter. He stepped out of the cutter at the door, collapsed and died on the spot.

The word ran like grassfire along the pathways of Almonte.
“Doctor Hanly’s dead.”
“What’s that?”
“Doctor Hanly’s dead.”
“Oh no, I was talking to him only an hour ago.”
When a general dies, an army mourns. The regimental band, dressed in black, with muffled drums and muted clarinets, plays the Dead march from Saul, while comrades in slow march, with arms reversed, accompany the flag-draped coffin of their hero
strapped to an artillery caisson. The general’s horse, rider less, fully caparisoned, follows. At the sombre tomb, the firing party’s rifle volley barks out a clamour to admit the soldier-hero.

Almonte too mourned its loss. Its grief was open and deep. The funeral was held on Wednesday of that week. Schools were closed. The Mayor and Council, members of the Board of education, the Library Board, the Lanark County Educational Association, the
medical fraternity of Almonte and Carleton Place, the teaching staffs of the schools, all joined as the cortege wound its way from the house on Bridge Street to Bethany United Church for the service conducted by Rev. J. R. MacCrimmon. Pallbearers were
T. J. Reid, Henry Brown, D. J. Dick, M. R. McFarlane, W. West and Adam Craig.

Through the town the solemn procession went, down Mill Street, past Gemmill’s Bay Hill, and on to the pine-shrouded resting place in the Auld Kirk Cemetery. As the cortege passed all the blinds on places of business were drawn as a mark of respect. Men stood mute in their grief, silent as statues. Women wept openly. Thirty-five years he had spent among them, a comfort to the afflicted, a restorer of injured health to many, and to all a physician, friend and counsellor.

And so Jno. F. Hanly, M. D. passed over also, and came to the other side, where he found himself in the Enchanted Isles of the Blest, and where he found many old friends dwelling. And they greeted him warmly, welcoming him to their company,
because they said, his arrival had been so unexpected.

John Dunn – November, 1971- Almonte Gazette


 - April 1897


The Tragic Death of Dr. Mostyn Shocked the People of Almonte

Thomas Raines Almonte — US Confederate Soldier Mayor and Dentist– Biological Mystery!!!

Memories of Dr. A. A. Metcalfe of Almonte– Florence Watt

Constipation Guaranteed to be Cured in Almonte

Victorian Surgery — Beware of Content Ahead!!! Seriously!

Victorian Surgery — Beware of Content Ahead!!! Seriously!

LTIPL000076748f.jpgYesterday I posted this photo of an unknown Lanark County gal and June Pitry on the LCGS thought she had lost a leg but Beck Baxter from Tales of Carleton Place said:



Becky Baxter Definitely her other shoe…



I said to myself, “Thank God!”

Tons of people hate going to the doctor, and hate the possibility of going into surgery even more. People often ask “What if it hurts?” or “What if I wake up while I’m under?” These are common fears that we have when we’re most vulnerable, despite the fact that doctors and surgeons are highly trained professionals. Hospitals are, for the most part, incredibly clean institutions, or at least cleaner than they’ve ever been.

However, this wasn’t true back in Victorian times. Though Victorians saw introductions to modern surgical advances like aesthetics and the concept of germs, surgery was a bleak and unforgiving practice before these developments. Unfortunately, many patients died from these “advancements.”

Not all medicines were safe! Amputation was prevalent during periods of war. Three of every four operations were amputations. When an amputation was performed, the patient was given wine to drink so that the pain would be reduced. The doctor also soaked a rag with chloroform and applied it to the patient’s mouth and nose.

He would, however, need to periodically remove the rag to avoid chloroform poisoning from occurring. The surgeon first used a tourniquet to tie off the blood flow. Many patients died of shock or terrible pain after the surgeries.

Joseph Townend was born into an impoverished Methodist family in Yorkshire in 1806. When he was a young child, he attempted to lift a kettle from its “reekon” (the pot-hook) when his apron caught fire. He remembered “being laid upon the floor” and having his wounds “saturated with treacle, in order to extract the fire”. His burns were extensive and, when they healed, his right arm was fused to his side. Years later, when he was working in a cotton mill, he decided to go to the Manchester Infirmary to have his arm separated.

Once at the hospital, a male attendant wound a thick bandage over his eyes, then led him up an alley to the operating theatre, which was packed with medical students. A surgeon gruffly warned: “Now, young man, I tell you, if when you feel the knife you should jerk, or even stir – you will do it at the hazard of your life.” Anaesthetics such as chloroform would not be invented for another 23 years and no analgesic (such as whiskey or laudanum) was offered. All Townend could hope for was a well-sharpened knife and the surgeon’s experienced hands.

I’m convinced that if needed to undergo surgery back then, I would have rather actively denied that I had a broken limb and just live my life in pain. Could you imagine getting a leg amputated for a fracture?


Things you Didn’t Know About Surgery in the 1800s

Barbers often carried out basic surgical tasks, especially during war.

The earliest surgical anaesthetic was called Ether. It put the patient under, but also induced vomiting and was quite flammable. This was tricky, as operating rooms were lit by candlelight.

Only the poor stayed in hospitals. The wealthy would pay a doctor to attend to them at home.

Any limb with a fracture that pierced the skin had to be amputated.

Many surgeons took pride in wearing their frock coats, still coated with blood.

Surgery was not even considered medicine. Physicians were seen as high class. Surgeons were on par with butchers.


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


Hey Even Journalists Can be Sick! Influenza 1918

More Family Names– Death by Influenza

Death by Influenza 1918- Any Names you Recognize?

They Lived and Died in Lanark County

What was Puking Fever? Child Bed Fever?

Think the Smallpox issue on Outlander was far fetched?

Smallpox in Carleton Place — Did You Know?

The Great White Plague

Spanish Influenza in Lanark County from the Perth Courier — Names Names

Medicine for Weak Women — Hokum Era

Medicine for Weak Women — Hokum Era

In the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, alleged cures for “female weakness” were among the nostrums marketed by quacks. Apparently these were sold with the realization that women represented a lucrative special market. Among the most successful of such marketers was a Buffalo physician who became known as “The Prince of Quacks



Photo by Glenda Mahoney


The popular female nostrums included “Wine of Cardui”—a preparation sold as the “Woman’s Tonic”—that contained 20 percent alcohol. Other, similarly constituted nostrums were “Gerstle’s Female Panacea” (20 percent alcohol) and “Andrews’ Wine of Life Root or Female Regulator” (14 percent).

As well, the La Franco Medical Company of Philadelphia sold “Female Pills No. 2”; Margaret M. Livingston, MD, of Chicago offered a variety of products, including “Dr. Livingston’s Medicinal Tampons”; and the Phen-ix Chemical Company sold “Stargrass Compound—Nature’s tonic for women,” among other products. The American Medical Association regarded all of these as quackery (Cramp 1921, II: 160–182).

One of the most famous merchants of quack medicine for women was Lydia E. Pinkham (1819–1893) who marketed “Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound.” Among its outrageous claims was that it was “A Sure Cure” for “Falling of the Womb” (Prolapsus uteri) and, indeed, “All Female Weaknesses,” including irregular menstruation and even labor pains. In fact the product contained only a minor amount of vegetable extracts in water but was 18 percent alcohol (Cramp 1921, II: 160–163)




The man who became one of the greatest sellers of nostrums in America was Buffalo’s Ray Vaughn Pierce (1840–1914).

Pierce parlayed an off-beat medical degree into a quackery empire that included an Invalids’ Hotel. His World’s Dispensary Medical Association endlessly dispensed Dr. Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery and a host of other elixirs, copies of his medical tome (The People’s Common Sense Medical Adviser [1888]), and a profusion of advertising giveaways. (See the Nickell Collection of Dr. R.V. Pierce Medical Artifacts, part of the New York state digital repository initiative, posted by CFI Libraries Director Tim Binga.1)

Of course, Pierce had something special for women—or rather “Weak Women.” Now, he was not saying women were weak per se, indeed enlisting Anna “Annie” Edson Taylor, the first daredevil to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, for some ads.2 Rather, when strong women became weak through illnesses suffered by women, the good doctor had just the remedy—one second only to his tonic, Golden Medical Discovery, as a cure-all.



Dr. Pierce offered women a product that—like his other concoctions—was in keeping with the “eclectic” school of medicine from which he graduated. This advocated replacing “noxious medicines” with “more effective agents, derived exclusively from the vegetable kingdom” (Pierce 1888, 294–295)—in a word, botanicals (drugs from herbs, bark, etc.). He called his medicine for females “Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription.”

In his book, Pierce (1888, 342, 346, 355) described his preparation as “a tonic nervine” that both “quiets nervous irritation” and “strengthens the enfeebled nervous system, restoring it to healthful vigor.” Moreover, “In all diseases involving the female reproductive organs, with which there is usually associated an irritable condition of the nervous system, it is unsurpassed as a remedy.” In addition, it was “a uterine and general tonic of great excellence,” as well as “an efficient remedy in cases requiring a medicine to regulate the menstrual function.” Finally, Pierce claimed expansively, “In all cases of debility, the Favorite Prescription tranquilizes the nerves, tones up the organs and increases their vigor, and strengthens the system.”


The label of a bottle in my collection reads in full: “Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription For the Relief of The Many Weaknesses and Complaints Peculiar to Females, Manufactured at the Chemical Laboratory of World’s Dispensary Medical Association, Buffalo, N.Y. Contains 81/2 Ozs. Trade-Mark Registered in U.S. Pat. Office, Dec. 11th, 1908. Mdse. 59.” No ingredients are listed. (See Figure 1.)


Image result for Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription

However, a notebook in possession of Dr. Pierce’s grandson names the ingredients of some Pierce products, including Favorite Prescription for which it lists berberis, valerian, blue cohosh, black cohosh, and viburnum (Hirsch 2004, 15). These are still found in herbal guides, recommended for some of the same conditions that Dr. Pierce named. For example, viburnum (black haw root) is reportedly an antispasmodic, used for “threatened miscarriage,” while valerian root is found in some over-the-counter sleep aids, and black cohosh is a relaxant said to relieve menstrual cramps (Balch 2002, 138–139; Naturopathic 1995, 91, 92, 124). Whatever value the ingredients might have if properly prescribed, does not argue for the wisdom of dumping them together and urging them on persons whom the physician has not seen, who may in fact be harmed by the product.

Pierce was accused of worse. Collier’scalled him a “quack,” and Ladies Home Journal went even farther—too far as it turned out. The Journal article, penned by its celebrated editor Edward Bok, alleged that Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription contained not only alcohol but also opium and digitalis. In fact it contained none of these, as laboratory tests soon showed. The Journal issued a retraction and apologized. However, Dr. Pierce felt entitled to more and, in agreement, a court awarded him $16,000 in a libel judgment. Pierce also sued Collier’s, but—after examining the varied definitions of the word quack—the court rejected Pierce’s claim (Hirsch 2004, 14).

Pierce’s Legacy

In his heyday, Dr. R.V. Pierce was, notes one historical writer, “Buffalo’s most famous doctor,” one “whose name and bearded countenance were familiar to people all over the world” (Hirsch 2004, 10). Today, however, the same writer observes of Pierce: “He’s disappeared into the mist. Nobody’s really ever heard of him” (Hirsch 2009).

commercial sign: Dr. Pierce's Favorite Prescription - For Weak Women


Of course, historians, skeptics, and collectors, among others, learn about Dr. Pierce, and his legacy remains sizeable. In collecting Dr. Pierce items, I am fortunate to live in the area where he flourished, where such artifacts may be especially findable. Looking just at Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription, I have been able to purchase several specific collectibles as I’ve made my way to antique shops and centers, mostly within a one-hundred-mile radius (again, see Figure 1). Also, dealers who know of my interest sometimes inform me of a newly discovered rare item. For example, Peter Jablonski, president of the Greater Buffalo Bottle Collectors Association (GBBCA—of which I am a member), obtained for me the Pierce sign—addressed to “Weak Women”—shown in Figure 2.

While returning from an investigation in LeRoy, New York (Nickell 2012), along Route 5, I passed an old barn with faint advertising lettering. I made a U-turn and parked at the site, where I took photographs (see Figure 3) of what clearly reads, “FAVORITE PRESCRIPTION.” Given the location and the fact that the words were a trademark of Dr. Pierce, it is clear that this was one of several Pierce barn signs across the United States (“Looking” 2012), and now—so far as we can yet determine—the only remaining one known in New York state.

I had wondered why the “DR. PIERCE’S” portion was no longer legible. On a return visit, when my wife Diana used her GPS to obtain location coordinates,3 I met the property owner. He told me that a shed had once been built onto the end of the barn, where the legible lettering now is, which obviously protected it from the many years of weathering that the other portion was subjected to.

Such discoveries give hope that other “time capsules” will yield their treasures, giving us insights into medical science’s past that can help us plot a more informed future course


Dr. Pierce: Medicine for ‘Weak Women’


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

Drugs of the 1950s from Mac William’s Shelves– Iodine, Liniment and Camphor Oil

Drugs of the 1950s from Mac William’s Shelves– Iodine, Liniment and Camphor Oil


Photo-thanks to Doris Blackburn/ Karen Blackburn Chenier — now located at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

Once upon a time having rheumatoid arthritis was a really serious problem and chances are if you lived in the area you went for a walk over to Mac Williams to see what he could do about your Rheumatism and Neuralgia.

Everyone thought only old people got this disease. It was like this: “there’s gramps, limping along slowly, leaning heavily on his cane. He has the rheumatiz.” Or “there’s gramma, crocheting winter scarves–slowly, slowly–with gnarled, misshapen fingers, but she rarely complains. She has arthritis.”


Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

There were other misconceptions back in the olden days, too.  Did you know everyone thought osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis were the same disease? There wasn’t much you could do for it and chances are what Mac Williams had available were hopeful, but mostly useless.

For instance Mac would probably tell you that you could rub hot vinegar on your sore joints. Or, you could gulp down a refreshing glass of orange juice –with cod liver oil–right before bedtime. That liniment in the photo looks like it might be soothing; it probably still exists in some form that you can buy online today.

Tincture of idodine

God how I hated iodine! My Grandmother would bend my leg up and pour the whole bottle on that cut— boy, did that smart! It always left you with an orange stain and Grammy would blow on the cut while she was trying to stop you from freaking out. Of course I was known to have a scream that was heard as far as East Farnham some days if I saw Dr. Roy come near me with a needle– so no one ever interrupted their day when they heard Linda Knight scream. Ever- they knew medical madness was afoot with that young Knight gal.

Camphorated Oil

Although many people have no idea of what camphorated oil is, they have heard of it from an old song. In this song, sung to the tune of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” John Brown’s baby had a cold upon its chest, so he rubbed it with camphorated oil. As the song suggests, camphorated oil is good for colds and flu and my Grandmother sang it to me each time she pulled that darn bottle out.

Camphor oil is known for it’s strong, nasty aroma. Large doses can be toxic, but Grammy Mary Louise Deller Knight ignored all that I swear. She said she always had things in her medicine cabinet to make you feel better — and she did– but I can still smell them 60 years later.  Did you know a treatment for schizophrenia, initially was through an injection of camphor oil. And let’s not forget that same oil was used as a balm on cold sores and chapped lips. Yuck!!

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Photo thanks to Lorraine Nephin- Bruce Sadler’s vintage Canadian newspapers


Before and After in Carleton Place — Mac Williams and The Good Food Co

The Savoy Medicinal Truffle at Pattie’s Drugstore

Who was the “Drugstore Woman” in Asselstine’s Rexall?

I Will Take Some Opium to Go Please —The “Drug Dispensary” at the Chatterton House Hotel

What the Heck was Electric Soap? Chatterton House Hotel Registrar

Do You Know Where Mary Cook Once Worked?

When the Spanish Fly Kicks In !

When the Spanish Fly Kicks In !

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Robert McDonald photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

The druggist, doctor or local medicine man was always ready to share his potions for all that ailed you– including the matters of Cupid. Instead of smiles or wise words he offered some nasty stuff put into beer or spread on bread. Yes, bread.

In the Georgian era medical blistering, also sometimes known as vesiculation, raised a blister on the skin, and was thought by Georgian doctors to be an effective tool to deal with certain medical issues. Among the issues and problems blistering was thought to correct or aid was hysteria, hypochonriasis, gout, certain types of simple inflammation, and fevers, as well as cases of insanity. Blistering was achieved with applications of a fine powder usually composed of cantharides (a powerful-blistering substance often obtained from blister beetles, sometimes called Spanish Fly.

Have you ever heard of Spanish Fly?  It’s actually an insect that can be found in hay and it can be really poisonous if eaten. Livestock have died after eating this insect and can you imagine there were people who used this poisonous liquid as an aphrodisiac? It is documented as really doing the job but it hasn’t killed you the next day you might be one of the lucky ones.  Due to its toxicity, it was some also used as a poison.


Uses of Oil

It was used sometimes as a rosy blush when applied to the cheeks– if your cheeks didn’t blister or peel off. After a popular potion of  a foul mixture of pigeons’ droppings, cumin, horseradish and beetroot didn’t work to grow hair people tried Spanish Fly. There is no doubt both remedies caused a scalp tingling sensation that felt as if it might be doing something positive, but the droppings probably didn’t win many friends and the Spanish Fly caused the scalp to bleed and blister profusely. Extreme ideas were the norm of the day back then. Feast your eyes on the 1891 animal remedies clipping below:



Clipped from Vancouver Daily World,  24 Jan 1891, Sat,  Page 3



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 Peculiar Case of Jeanetta Lena McHardy

If Quackery Poison Gets You!! Blue Poison Ointment

Constipation Guaranteed to be Cured in Almonte

It’s Electrifying! Dr Scott’s Electric Corset

Screenshot 2017-08-15 at 18.jpg

I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?


Who’s that Girl and is she on Dead Fred?




Photo-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


A few months ago I  found this picture at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Curator Jennifer Fenwick Irwin debated whether it was iconic local author Mary Cook as she worked as a teenager for Asseslstine’s Drugstore where this was taken.

I emailed Mary and she confirmed it wasn’t her– but we both agreed it was one terrific picture. Remember the old drugstores? You used to walk in the door and you were family instantly.

In the 1930’s and 1940’s, it seemed there was a drugstore on nearly every corner. The drugstore was the place to be– to get your prescriptions filled, buy some penny candy or a magazine. But remember the days of cash prizes to druggists who had the best window displays of the pharmaceutical companies product. You could get your photographs developed and whatever you needed, they had it! In those days, druggists weren’t mere pill pushers as there weren’t many effective drugs, and those that existed were often mixed right in the store. It has been told to me that making pills was considered somewhat of an art. Change was accelerated in the 1940’s, hurried along by Government aid, particularly with the development of powerful new antibiotics to help the servicemen in World War II.

Indeed, powerful social and economic forces are reshaping the practice of community pharmacy now. The increasing concentration of drugstores in suburban shopping malls and the rapid proliferation of chain stores are both working to undermine the small local pharmacist. Competition from doctors who are dispensing drugs themselves is hurting as well. And the growing efforts by government, employers and the public to reduce the cost of health care have had considerable impact. Some consumers are even filling prescriptions by mail.

So now time has stood still for this photograph of a lovely woman filling a prescription at Asselstine’s. Oh, if I could only go back and find out who she was.

Did you know there was a site called Dead Fred with lots of old photos people have submitted and some of your people might be on it. Who knew– but sad to say there is no one there with my last name:) CLICK HERE for DeadFred.com


We found out who the woman was — it was Betty Findlay

Want to see more? 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

Who was the “Drugstore Woman” in Asselstine’s Rexall?

I Will Take Some Opium to Go Please —The “Drug Dispensary” at the Chatterton House Hotel

What was Puking Fever? Child Bed Fever?


Yesterday I read that when one had appendicitis in years gone by– it was simply called “Inflammation of the Bowels”– I found that mindboggling until I found a list of other names. Feast your eyes on this–like Puking Fever was for someone with a milk disorder? Which today would be called being Lactose Intolerant..


This old house is located at Clydeville, on lot 9, concession 3 of Lanark Township and was at one time the home of a Doctor from Lanark Village.

Property pictured on Con. 3 lot 9 belonged to Dr. Holmes of Lanark. At one time the Manson family of Middleville rented this property. In the past two years it has been restored/renovated and is once again beautiful– Kevin Bingley

Thank you Kevin!!


List compiled by Don Wright.

Ablepsy – Blindness
Ague – Malarial Fever
American plague – Yellow fever
Anasarca – Generalized massive edema
Aphonia – Laryngitis
Aphtha – The infant disease “thrush”
Apoplexy – Paralysis due to stroke
Asphycsia/Asphicsia – Cyanotic and lack of oxygen
Atrophy – Wasting away or diminishing in size.
Bad Blood – Syphilis
Bilious fever – Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or elevated temperature and bile emesis
Biliousness – Jaundice associated with liver disease
Black plague or death – Bubonic plague
Black fever – Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate
Black pox – Black Small pox
Black vomit – Vomiting old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever
Blackwater fever – Dark urine associated with high temperature
Bladder in throat – Diphtheria (Seen on death certificates)
Blood poisoning – Bacterial infection; septicemia
Bloody flux – Bloody stools
Bloody sweat – Sweating sickness
Bone shave – Sciatica
Brain fever – Meningitis
Breakbone – Dengue fever
Bright’s disease – Chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys
Bronze John – Yellow fever
Bule – Boil, tumor or swelling
Cachexy – Malnutrition
Cacogastric – Upset stomach
Cacospysy – Irregular pulse
Caduceus – Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy
Camp fever – Typhus; aka Camp diarrhea
Canine madness – Rabies, hydrophobia
Canker – Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex
Catalepsy – Seizures / trances
Catarrhal – Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy
Cerebritis – Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning
Chilblain – Swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold
Child bed fever – Infection following birth of a child
Chin cough – Whooping cough
Chlorosis – Iron deficiency anemia
Cholera – Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing
Cholera morbus – Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc. Could be appendicitis
Cholecystitus – Inflammation of the gall bladder
Cholelithiasis – Gall stones
Chorea – Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing
Cold plague – Ague which is characterized by chills
Colic – An abdominal pain and cramping
Congestive chills – Malaria
Consumption – Tuberculosis
Congestion – Any collection of fluid in an organ, like the lungs
Congestive chills – Malaria with diarrhea
Congestive fever – Malaria
Corruption – Infection
Coryza – A cold
Costiveness – Constipation
Cramp colic – Appendicitis
Crop sickness – Overextended stomach
Croup – Laryngitis, diphtheria, or strep throat
Cyanosis – Dark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood
Cynanche – Diseases of throat
Cystitis – Inflammation of the bladder
Day fever – Fever lasting one day; sweating sickness
Debility – Lack of movement or staying in bed
Decrepitude – Feebleness due to old age
Delirium tremens – Hallucinations due to alcoholism
Dengue – Infectious fever endemic to East Africa
Dentition – Cutting of teeth
Deplumation – Tumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss
Diary fever – A fever that lasts one day
Diptheria – Contagious disease of the throat
Distemper – Usually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat, anorexia
Dock fever – Yellow fever
Dropsy – Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease
Dropsy of the Brain – Encephalitis
Dry Bellyache – Lead poisoning
Dyscrasy – An abnormal body condition
Dysentery – Inflammation of colon with frequent passage of mucous and blood
Dysorexy – Reduced appetite
Dyspepsia – Indigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptoms
Dysury – Difficulty in urination
Eclampsy – Symptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labor
Ecstasy – A form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason
Edema – Nephrosis; swelling of tissues
Edema of lungs – Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy
Eel thing – Erysipelas
Elephantiasis – A form of leprosy
Encephalitis – Swelling of brain; aka sleeping sickness
Enteric fever – Typhoid fever
Enterocolitis – Inflammation of the intestines
Enteritis – Inflations of the bowels
Epitaxis – Nose bleed
Erysipelas – Contagious skin disease, due to Streptococci with vesicular and bulbous lesions
Extravasted blood – Rupture of a blood vessel
Falling sickness – Epilepsy
Fatty Liver – Cirrhosis of liver
Fits – Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity
Flux – An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea
Flux of humour – Circulation
French pox – Syphilis
Gathering – A collection of pus
Glandular fever – Mononucleosis
Great pox – Syphilis
Green fever / sickness – Anemia
Grippe/grip – Influenza like symptoms
Grocer’s itch – Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour
Heart sickness – Condition caused by loss of salt from body
Heat stroke – Body temperature elevates because of surrounding environment temperature and body does not perspire to reduce temperature. Coma and death result if not reversed
King’s evil – Tuberculosis of neck and lymph glands
Hectical complaint – Recurrent fever
Hematemesis – Vomiting blood
Hematuria – Bloody urine
Hemiplegy – Paralysis of one side of body
Hip gout – Osteomylitis
Horrors – Delirium tremens
Hydrocephalus – Enlarged head, water on the brain
Hydropericardium – Heart dropsy
Hydrophobia – Rabies
Hydrothroax – Dropsy in chest
Hypertrophic – Enlargement of organ, like the heart
Impetigo – Contagious skin disease characterized by pustules
Inanition – Physical condition resulting from lack of food
Infantile paralysis – Polio
Intestinal colic – Abdominal pain due to improper diet
Jail fever – Typhus
Jaundice – Condition caused by blockage of intestines
Kruchhusten – Whooping cough
Lagrippe – Influenza
Lockjaw – Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days
Long sickness – Tuberculosis
Lues disease – Syphilis
Lues venera – Venereal disease
Lumbago – Back pain
Lung fever – Pneumonia
Lung sickness – Tuberculosis
Lying in – Time of delivery of infant
Malignant sore throat – Diphtheria
Mania – Insanity
Marasmus – Progressive wasting away of body, like malnutrition
Membranous Croup – Diphtheria
Meningitis – Inflations of brain or spinal cord
Metritis – Inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge
Miasma – Poisonous vapors thought to infect the air
Milk fever – Disease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosis
Milk leg – Post partum thrombophlebitis
Milk sickness – Disease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds
Mormal – Gangrene
Morphew – Scurvy blisters on the body
Mortification – Gangrene of necrotic tissue
Myelitis – Inflammation of the spine
Myocarditis – Inflammation of heart muscles
Necrosis – Mortification of bones or tissue
Nephrosis – Kidney degeneration
Nepritis – Inflammation of kidneys
Nervous prostration – Extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental activities
Neuralgia – Described as discomfort, such as “Headache” was neuralgia in head
Nostalgia – Homesickness
Palsy – Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles. It was listed as “Cause of death”
Paroxysm – Convulsion
Pemphigus – Skin disease of watery blisters
Pericarditis – Inflammation of heart
Peripneumonia – Inflammation of lungs
Peritonotis – Inflammation of abdominal area
Petechial Fever – Fever characterized by skin spotting
Puerperal exhaustion – Death due to child birth
Phthiriasis – Lice infestation
Phthisis – Chronic wasting away or a name for tuberculosis
Plague – An acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate
Pleurisy – Any pain in the chest area with each breath
Podagra – Gout
Poliomyelitis – PolioPotter’s asthma – Fibroid pthisis
Pott’s disease – Tuberculosis of spine
Puerperal exhaustion – Death due to childbirth
Puerperal fever – Elevated temperature after giving birth to an infant
Puking fever – Milk sickness
Putrid fever – Diphtheria.
Quinsy – Tonsillitis.
Remitting fever – Malaria
Rheumatism – Any disorder associated with pain in joints
Rickets – Disease of skeletal system
Rose cold – Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy
Rotanny fever – (Child’s disease)
Rubeola – German measles
Sanguineous crust – Scab
Scarlatina – Scarlet fever
Scarlet fever – A disease characterized by red rash
Scarlet rash – Roseola
Sciatica – Rheumatism in the hips
Scirrhus – Cancerous tumors
Scotomy – Dizziness, nausea and dimness of sight
Scrivener’s palsy – Writer’s cramp
Screws – Rheumatism
Scrofula – Tuberculosis of neck lymph glands. Progresses slowly with abscesses and pistulas develop. Young person’s disease
Scrumpox – Skin disease, impetigo
Scurvy – Lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and hemmoraging under skin.
Septicemia – Blood poisoning Shakes – Delirium tremens
Shaking – Chills, ague
Shingles – Viral disease with skin blisters
Ship fever – Typhus
Siriasis – Inflammation of the brain due to sun exposure
Sloes – Milk sickness
Small pox – Contagious disease with fever and blisters
Softening of brain – Result of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area
Sore throat distemper – Diphtheria or quinsy
Spanish influenza – Epidemic influenza
Spasms – Sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles, like a convulsion
Spina bifida – Deformity of spine
Spotted fever – Either typhus or meningitis
Sprue – Tropical disease characterized by intestinal disorders and sore throat
St. Anthony’s fire – Also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in appearance
St. Vitas dance – Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntary
Stomatitis – Inflammation of the mouth
Stranger’s fever – Yellow fever
Strangery – Rupture
Sudor anglicus – Sweating sickness
Summer complaint – Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk
Sunstroke – Uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause
Swamp sickness – Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis
Sweating sickness – Infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century
Tetanus – Infectious fever characterized by high fever, headache and dizziness
Thrombosis – Blood clot inside blood vessel Thrush – Childhood disease characterized by spots on mouth, lips and throat
Tick fever – Rocky mountain spotted fever
Toxemia of pregnancy – Eclampsia
Trench mouth – Painful ulcers found along gum line, Caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene
Tussis convulsiva – Whooping cough
Typhus – Infectious fever characterized high fever, headache, and dizziness
Variola – Smallpox
Venesection – Bleeding
Viper’s dance – St. Vitus Dance
Water on brain – Enlarged head
White swelling – Tuberculosis of the bone
Winter fever – Pneumonia
Womb fever – Infection of the uterus.
Worm fit – Convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhea
Yellowjacket – Yellow fever.

Perth Courier, July 10, 1874-Dr Ferguson of Carleton Place

Change of Base Among the M.D.sDr. Ferguson, of Lanark, has removed to Carleton Place to practice, and Dr. Joseph Campbell of Bristol, has moved to Lanark to supply his place, which no doubt he will do with efficiency.

Perth Courier, September 4, 1874.

Illness of Dr. Ferguson—We regret to learn that Dr. Ferguson, of Carleton Place, is confined to his late residence in Lanark Village by a severe attack of typhoid fever.  We trust that he may speedily become convalescent.

Carleton Place Herald- 1888

Two new medical men have come to cast their lot with us during the past week, Dr. Downing from Lanark, whose office is in the Struthers block, and Dr. Smith, from Brockville whose office is in the brick building opposite the Taylor block.

Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

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


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