Tag Archives: merrickville

Clippings and History of past Laundries – Kemptville Merrickville Carleton Place Almonte and Charlie Sing of Sandy Hill

Clippings and History of past Laundries – Kemptville Merrickville Carleton Place Almonte and Charlie Sing of Sandy Hill

On the lower floor of the small house next to us in Oakland was a Chinese laundry. Working there was a young man about twenty-five years of age. His face was as imperturbable as the sky, and he went about his business with the undeviating regularity of the solar system. At first he was just an ordinary man to me, but my attention became riveted upon him and my curiosity was awakened wanting to know his story.

The man seemed to live merely for his work. If I came in at two o’clock in the morning I found him with the lights turned on brightly, patiently working at his calling. If I rose early in the morning, that prodigy-of industry was up before me.

I gradually became filled with wonder at the untiring persistency of the man. Because of his neatness and politeness and exquisite care to please, the neighborhood never thought of sending its laundry anywhere else.

I began to carry my things in person to the laundry, urged on by the desire to find out something more about him. I reasoned that no man could work as he did without being dominated by such an all-absorbing purpose.

I found him intelligent, friendly, and he could speak English well.

Finally I won his confidence. The young man was in love. A gal in China was waiting for him, and he was patiently and bravely undergoing the hardest kind of toil in order to go back to his native country and. marry her.

When he told me the story I realized that he was a man, working to earn a wife, and despite these meager, unpoetical surroundings, cherishing all the dreams of a young man whose sweetheart was faraway.

Linda Seccaspina Horses with No Names Column series.

Many Chinese men ran laundry businesses between the late 19th century and the end of World War II.  They turned to laundry because they were shut out of other types of work (such as mining, fishing, farming, and manufacturing) and didn’t have the English skills or capital to make other choices.  Washing and ironing was considered women’s work, so it was low status and also posed no threat to white, male workers.:(

According to sources cited in Wikipedia, “Around 1900, one in four ethnic Chinese men in the U.S. worked in a laundry, typically working 10 to 16 hours a day.”  John Jung, who grew up behind a Chinese laundry and wrote a book about the business, explains that “New York City [alone] had an estimated 3,550 Chinese laundries at the beginning of the Great Depression of the 1930s.”

Chinese laundry disappeared into history not because discrimination disappeared, but because of technological innovation.

Carleton Place

The Lees opened a Chinese Laundry in Carleton Place and Hong On had been hired as an assistant. Laundry is on right hand side of the street- there was also one where the town hall now sits. —Tales From the Chinese Laundry on Bridge Street

April 1941 Almonte Gazette

We are sorry to learn that in the course of the next week or two the town will lose its only laundry. This institution, of the hand variety, has been operated for the last 13 years by a very meek and unobtrusive little man named Wong. He came here from London, Ont. and has been in Canada about 25 years.

Few knew his name but he was a familiar figure to many as he trudged along the streets with his bag of laundry slung over his shoulder. The passing of highly starched shirt fronts, collars and cuffs took a severe toll on what was a fair business some years ago. Then, too, the outside steam laundries cut in on his field to an increasing extent and these factors, together with others, left him with little to do.

A few days ago Wong put a placard in his window asking customers who had laundry in his establishment to call for it as he must close owing to inadequate patronage. Thus the town severs another link with the past. Not a very important one, perhaps, but it is just one more straw which shows; how the wind is blowing in country towns. Poor Wong, was a civil, decent citizen. He attended to his own business—as long as he had any—and when he had none, he decided to leave town without complaint.

One tribute that must be paid to his work is that like most Chinese laundrymen he had the knack of ironing a shirt collar and other such accessories as no one else can do it. He will be missed by those who liked their shirts, especially collars and cuffs, starched and ironed immaculately. It is safe to say the only time any customer ever got the slightest bit annoyed at Wong was when the former found his laundry wasn’t ready and had his complaint dismissed with a cheerful giggle.

Wong now proposes to go to Ottawa or London where he will work in the large shop of some more prosperous compatriot. His life here must have been a lonesome one and no doubt his failure to make things go any longer may prove, for him, a blessing in disguise.


CLIPPED FROMKemptville TelegramKemptville, Ontario, Canada10 Oct 1901, Thu  •  Pag

The Advance
Kemptville, Ontario, Canada
02 Nov 1899, Thu  •  Page 1

Kemptville Telegram
Kemptville, Ontario, Canada
09 Jan 1901, Wed  •  Page 1


The Star-Chronicle
Merrickville, Ontario, Canada
18 Apr 1912, Thu  •  Page 1

The Merrickville Star
Merrickville, Ontario, Canada
28 Mar 1901, Thu  •  Page 5

Sandy Hill, Ottawa

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Jan 1970, Thu  •  Page 3

Who’ll Help Charlie Sing? Second-Last Chinese Laundry Foundering By FRANK DALEY

There are two Chinese laundries left in Ottawa and unless something drastic is done within a few days there will be only one. Charlie Sing’s laundry has been at 618 King Edward Avenue for at least 50 years. ‘ Fifty years. That’s almost half our country’s age for ‘ heaven’s sake. And If Charlie Sing has to close on Saturday the loss wlll not be Charlie’s but Ottawa’s.

You’ve all heard about Chinese laundries and made jokes about them … but how many of you have ever tried one or are aware of the virtues of one? If you’ll bear with me a moment I’ll explain a little of our, problem. Not Charlie’s problem because he’s not only a first class launderer but also a first class Chinese cook. Already, one enterprising restaurateur has offered Charlie a job on Carling Avenue and he even drives Charlie to work. But it is our problem because if we allow Charlie’s laundry to die we allow a little anore of the city core to die.

Charlie pays $40 a month to the University of Ottawa as rent for his laundry quarters but that comes to an end Saturday because the university needs the building. This Isn’t an attack on the university; it has its work to do. But Charlie’ can’t find a place at a rent he can afford about $75 a month. That’s the first part of the problem. The second part is business. Some years ago Charlie did well: he had university students and businessmen going to him regularly. But the last couple of years have been difficult because of the. chain laundries which have opened nearby to cater to the students. They charge as little as $1 for five shirts; Charlie must charge 28-30 cents apiece.

They can advertise; Charlie can’t. They do their work by machine; Charlie does his work by hand and one old washer (he needs a new one and the other Chinese laundry, on Wellington Street, just paid $1,500 for one). The new students don’t know Charlie and couldn’t afford him if they did. And people bark at paying 30 cents for laundry they can get done for cheaper. Summer wash-and-wear clothes and laundromats have hurt Charlie too.

Well, that’s progress, I can hear you say. Maybe so in some ways but definitely not in others. – For example: if you were aware that Charlie’s sheets and shirts return beautifully laundered and smelling faintly’ of light soap and green gardens and night air . . . if you knew that Charlie’s work costs more because he does his work by hand and that his. work is much gentler on your things than machine washes … if you could see and smell and feel the prideful and gentle way Charlie does laundry … you’d use his place.

If you knew, ladies, that never not ever once has a , tablecloth returned from Charlie’s with so much as a hint of that terrible stain you thought would never come out (and often didn’t) would you be interested? If you were aware of the indescribably sweet scent of Charlie’s shirts that begin the day properly and of the sheets which make you feel like some kind of potentate, would you be stirred?

We are not all poverty striken university students. Some of us are MPs, lawyers and other professional people; or just reasonably well-salaried people who could use a personal touch in the personal service of this kind of laundry. Couldn’t we do something? Couldn’t Action Sandy Hill turn away from its buildings and trees for a moment and look at a human being and an excellent service In our community?

Couldn’t we write Charlie Sing, care of The Journal, and tell him that, yes, somebody gives a damn about sweet-smelling, personal service even if its only for tablecloths and sheets and shirts. And couldn’t somebody tell Charlie that, he has a hole in the wall someplace for about $75 a month? Someplace downtown or in Sandy Hill.

Charlie isn’t asking anything; this article was my idea not his. A city area of 500,000 can’t afford to lose the second last of its Chinese laundry, or its European tailor shops, or shoe shops or bakeries or anything else simply because they cost a few pennies more or because the parties involved simply don’t have the money to advertise.

The price and pace of big-city life cannot be permitted to snuff out the kind of elements that give it identity, individuality and quality. If you’ve got some business or a new address for ‘Charlie Sing call The Journal city desk between 9 a.m. and noon and we’ll pass the message along.

Does anyone know what happened to Charlie Sing?

Laundry Down By the River

Lots of Laundry– Lassie Come Home!!!!

I am a Laundry Girl

Musings about Vibrating Appliances and Other Dirty Laundry

Tales From the Chinese Laundry on Bridge Street

Tales of the Queen’s Underwear and all those “Accidents”

As the World Turns in Carleton Place — Soap and Ground Beef

I will Wash Your Mouth Out with Soap!

What the Heck was Electric Soap? Chatterton House Hotel Registrar

Lost History — Snakes on the Wall — William Merrick Home

Lost History — Snakes on the Wall — William Merrick Home

*William Merrick House c. 1821 – 129 Mill Street — Merrickville
The third and last home of the Village founder and pioneer industrialist William Merrick. It was later owned by industrialist and foundryman William Pearson and his daughter Mary Pearson.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Apr 1931, Sat  •  Page 2

The Weekly Advance
Kemptville, Ontario, Canada
30 Apr 1931, Thu  •  Page 2

Lieutenant Roger Stevens, a King’s Ranger from Vermont, was the first to arrive on this land and by 1791 had started construction of his mill on the swift moving waters of the Great Falls, the future sight of Merrickville. Unfortunately, it was the falls that got the better of Stevens and he died by drowning shortly after.

AFTER William Merrick had crossed his Rubicon, he built a log cabin on the north side of the Rideau on lot 8, Concession “B” of Montague,’ and here his wife and two children came to their new home, and here the other children of a family of five boys and two girla were born, the youngest in 1813. In 1821, Merrick constructed a larger and substantial house of stone.

In those days they built for permanency. The cellar-kitchen walls are three feet thick; ground- floor walls are two and a half feet; bedroom floor, two feet and at the gable floor one foot and a half. Attached to the house in the early days was a huge wood- shed in the loft of which were built four bunks containing hay or straw placed there for Native transients.

Apparently William Merrick was on friendly terms with the nomadic Indian hunters. When Merrick’s son occupied the house, the Natives would come seeking shelter, and would explain: “This is old Merrick’s House and we have a right to stay here.” Shelter was never refused to them.

The servants lived in the basement of the William Merrick house until 1830. Then they moved upstairs over the carriage room to quarters that included indoor toilets the non-flush variety– four in a row.

Mr. William Merrick died in Merrickville in 1844 in his 82nd year. There are today in the village substantial stone buildings erected by him, one which was the original part of the Percival Plow and Stove Companys plant. The grinding mills, a carding mill and saw mill were in operation n 1844 and bequeathed to his sons; two sons receiving property on the north ride of the Rideau, and two those on the south side, and the fifth, land in Kent county, Ontario. The two daughters, who married, received money as their share of their fathers estate.

Industrialist and foundryman William Pearson bought the house in 1869 and his descendants lived here for 90 years. His niece sold the house in 1959 to a couple who had thoughts of turning the place into a nursing home. In 1972, the Milnes and their two young children moved in and then it was up for sale in 1978.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Feb 1978, Sat  •  Page 89

The House on a Beckwith Hill–The McTavish House and Ceiling Medallions

The Wall Mysteries of Lake Ave East -Residential Artists

The Carleton Place House with the Coffin Door

The Case of the Disappearing Back Staircase — Springside Hall — Finlayson Series


Tales of Miskelly of Merrickville

Merrickville – Some of the Men That Were

It’s the Merrickville News 1880

Mentions of Merrickville: Fire and Folks

The Wondrous Merrickville’s 11th annual House and Garden Tour

Posted on  by lindaseccaspina

Daughter of Minister Was Pinned to Log Wall by Wicked Bull

Daughter of Minister Was Pinned to Log Wall by Wicked Bull




Back in the 1850s there lived near Merrickville an Anglican minister named Morris, who was generally known as “Father” Morris. Mr. Morris, besides preaching, owned and operated a farm. He had some well bred cattle and included in  his stock was a valuable big imported bull with long out-pointing horns.

This bull was nearly the cause of the death of a favourite daughter. It appears that one day the daughter went out to an open log shed where the cattle found shelter in stormy weather. It was said that the bull was a very wicked animal. While the girl was in the shed the bull came along, and seeing her, bellowed and dashed at her. The girl tried to get away and ran close to the back wall in an attempt to escape.

The bull, however, cut her off and pinned her to the log wall. Its charge was so furious that it could not extricate its horns to gore the girl. The bull’s roars of rage attracted the attention of a brother who was in a nearby field. When this brother saw what the situation was ran Into the house, got a butcher knife, and returning, cut the bull’s throat.

As soon as the bull was dead the young man got an axe and released the animal’s horns from the log wall. When the girl was released she was unconscious but not seriously injured. The happening stirred the people of the Merrickville district greatly.


 - the per- of be in i I i to merrickville...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 19 Oct 1896, Mon,
  3. Page 3
  4.  - MERRK KVII.I.K. Merrickville, Sept. 23. Several... - boy. who has been In the United States for some...

    Clipped from

    1. The Ottawa Citizen,
    2. 26 Sep 1898, Mon,
    3. Page 2Information 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.


      It’s the Merrickville News 1880

    4. Mentions of Merrickville: Fire and Folks

Easton’s Corners- The Last Carriage Shop

Easton’s Corners- The Last Carriage Shop

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Twin carriage shops in Eastons Corners, Wolford township. The first one (right) was built about 1870 by Mr. Watts whose name can still be seen on the building; the second one was added a few years later to cope with the expanding trade. Credit: Parks Canada (North Grenville Times)

“The carriages built in these factories were necessary to fill the need for horse drawn buggies that were being used for moving freight goods, delivering mail, visiting neighbours, picking up supplies, and dating. By 1840, carriages had become an integral part of everyday life in the pioneering community.

The carriage not only supported trade in the area, but also the growth of “carriage works”, as it was called, which included foundry and wood processing industries. As these trades were already alive and well in Merrickville-Wolford, carriage-making was a natural next step. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, horse-drawn carriages reigned supreme and became a source of family pride, much like cars today.

The carriage factory in Eastons Corners, that is now up for sale, was started by Robert G. Eastman in the 1850s. When he moved to Merrickville to start up another carriage-making business, the factory was taken over by John Watts and Sons, who continued to operate into the 20th century.”  (North Grenville Times)

John Watts & Sons Carriage Factory building, Easton’s Corners (not far from Merrickville). The business was established in about 1837.

“By the 1850s There were carriage works all along the Rideau corridor. Larger communities such as Ottawa and Kingston had several but even smaller communities along the Rideau had carriage shops to service local demand. Merrickville was no exception. One of the more prominent carriage and wagon-makers in Merrickville was Obadiah Read, who was operating as a wheelwright in town as early as 1848. And by 1860 he was building carriages as well. Highly respected as a man of business Obadiah Read had a street named for him when, following the death of William Merrick, the land north of the River was sub-divided. The District Health Centre, the Merrickville Community Centre and the L’ecole Ste. Marguerite Bourgeoys are located on Read Street .

Another name famous in the area was Robert G. Eastman who started off at Easton’s Corners in the 1850s, but soon moved to Merrickville and by 1871 was running a shop employing five men to make wagons, buggies, cutters, sleighs and the like products. His carriage factory in Easton’s Corners was taken over by John Watts and Sons who continued to operate into the 20th century. Their carriage shop was recently restored as an antiques shop and is now the only physically remaining carriage works in the district.” (Merrickville Historical Society)

Jim Hands Auction Photos 2018

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Auction to take place on Saturday, April 21st at 10am onsite at 88 Main Street, Easton’s Corners! 

John Watts & Son’s Carriage Factory This 1850’s property features a glimpse into the past, when carriage works lined the Rideau Corridor. It is now the only physically remaining carriage works structure in the district. Appears to be a structurally sound, 2 storey building. Some restoration has been done. Enterprising developers should swoop up & juxtapose old & new for a spectacular residence. Having an historic facade w/ exposed brick walls, beams, wood floors & giant windows, all that hint at the building’s past. Alternatively a clever storage facility. Dug well. Electrical services at road. No septic. Lot size 50 ft frontage x 160 ft depth (+/-). Zoned; Commercial. Taxes; $ 1750.00 (+/-). This property will be sold w/ a very reasonable reserve bid. For private viewing, terms & conditions please call our office @ 613-267-6027. Jim Hands Auction



baird (1).jpg

“J. Baird, Painter and Carriage-maker, c. 1907”.
John Baird (1867 – 1939) ran his carriage shop at the north west corner of Bridge and Charlotte Streets. The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum is lucky to have a wheelbarrow made by John in our collection thanks his Grandson Denzil Baird for the donation. —John Baird the Carriage Maker

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)


Buggies Horses and Accidents

The Runaway Bridesmaid From Rosebank to Huntley

Wild Horses Could Not Drag Me Away

You’ve Got Trouble in Franktown-Dead Horses and Wives

A Horse is a Horse of Course– Of Course—Angus McFarlane

What Came First in Lanark County? The Chicken Or the Egg?

What Came First in Lanark County? The Chicken Or the Egg?




Some of Lanark County’s Firsts’

First name was Bathurst District.

First white settler, William Merrick, founder of  *Merrickville

First *party of settlers from Scotland, 1820

First Upper Canada parliamentary representative, Hon. Alexander Morris, Perth

First representative in Province of Canada parliament, Hon. Malcolm Cameron, founder of The Courier

First Time County was divided into north and south ridings, 1851

First member Legislative Council, *Hon James Shaw

First representatives to Ontario Legislature, 1867, Daniel Galbraith and W. N. Shaw

First warden, Alex McMillan, 1841

First clerk of district council, Robert Moffatt, Perth, 1841

First session United, Counties of Lanark and, Renfrew, 1850

First *railway train arrived in Perth from Brockville on February 7th, 1859

First time reeves were chosen by vote of the people, and not by council 1867

First administrator of early military settlement, Staff-Surgeon Thom 1815

First settlers in Burgess Township were members of the “de Wattevilles” Germans who had fought in the Napoleonic wars, who came out here and fought against the U. S. A. with the British soldiers and who like their descendants became splendid Canadian citizens.

First surveyor of townships, Capt, Reuben Sherwood, 1816

First resident clergyman, Rev W. Bell, 1817

First teacher, John Halliday, 1817

First owner of oxen, *James Bryce, Bathurst

First assessment records show *one cow owned in Bathurst.

First white child born, *Eliza Holderness

First court house, 1821

First newspaper, *The Examiner 1825

First issue of The Courier was in 1834

First Curling Club in Perth was organized December 17th, 1875

First *Bible Society in Lanark County was formed in St. Andrew’s Church in Perth on February 24th, 1836

First election in Perth was held on July 10th, 1820, between Messrs. William Morris and Benjamin Delisle for the Commons, House of Assembly.

First Presbyterian minister, Rev A Wm. *Bell, arrived in Perth from Scotland in June, 1817.



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

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





*It’s the Merrickville News 1880

*Dear Lanark Era –Lanark Society Settlers Letter

*Shaw’s of Perth

*I’ve Been Working on the RailroadSome Cold Hard Facts- First Tailor in Ramsay and a Cow Without a Bell

*Alfred Dulmage-The Son of the First White Child

*What Happened When the Paper Boy Never got Paid in Perth…..

*Notes About The First Baptist Church in Perth

*Bell Street– Carleton Place Ontario

It’s the Merrickville News 1880

It’s the Merrickville News 1880



Perth Remembered photo-In 1876, the construction of the Perth High School was completed at a cost of $16,000.00. The student enrolment ranged from 150 to 175 the first year.



January 16 1881

Mr. F. M. White’s marsh intends having a sort of skating match on his rink before long.

Mr. F. L. Newman and Mr. M. A. Gill are attending the Collegiate Institute at Perth. We wish them success in every undertaking and may the reward of the diligent student be theirs.

The County Lodge of the I. O. G. T. was held here Thursday last, but the several Subordinate Lodges throughout the County were not very well represented, owing perhaps to the roads or weather.


Soldiers of the Queen— Order of the 1st Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment appears to be wearing Masonic regalia but in fact he is a member of the International Order of Good Templars


The public entertainment given by the Good Templars on the 8th lost was not so well attended as perhaps it would have been had it received more extensive advertising. The Templars are giving another open meeting m their own hall on Thusday night next.



Photo-Virtual Reference Library


May 14 1897

A little boy named Ernest Van Camp, of Merrickville, is deservedly a hero just now. The Rideau Record says this boy and a companion. Frankie Real, were playing -on a raft of timbers in the Canal Basin, just below the draw-bridge, when the latter missed his footing and fell into the water. Not being skilled in the art of swimming he immediately sank, but came up almost as quickly. Again he sank, and again he came up. By this time little Ernest, who had never lost his presence of mind, pushed a pole to the drowning lad, telling him to catch hold of it. This he did and was pulled to the edge of the raft. No sooner did he come within reaching distance than he grasped hold of Ernest, who also caught hold of him ‘and hung on while he shouted for help. In a few moments assistance arrived and the little fellow was rescued from his perilous position


Related reading…

Mentions of Merrickville: Fire and Folks

Paranormal Hauntings of the Rideau Canal and other Unsolved Ghost Stories

You Say Goodbye I Say Hello – Doors of Merrickville (takes time for photos to load)

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

Mentions of Merrickville: Fire and Folks



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Photo-The Ottawa Journal26 May 1980


In May of 1980 a grocery store was wiped out and a young couple lost all their possessions in a fire that gutted a century old building on Merrickville’s main street. The fire broke out that day shortly before 3 p.m. which was caused by exploding cans of charcoal lighter that was stored in the back of a grocery store. The flames erupted into a giant fireball which crept up the back wall into the attic area.

Though the grocery store which was owned by Robin Chinkiwsky was hardly burned damage was extensive when the floor above caved in. Only one upstairs apartment was leased out and the two individuals that lived there were uninsured and lost everything. However their dog Sally was instrumental in alerting to the fire. The smoke was reported as deadly and the firemen found it impossible to control the flames.





Master W.J.F. James,
Kemptville or Merrickville.

This photo is from an album purchased at a yard sale in Winchester, Ontario. Other photos in the album were taken in studios in Paris France, New York City, Auburn New York, York Pennsylvania, and Curacao West Indies. This photo was the only one dated.

On a sheet of paper inside the album is written in pencil: “Presented to Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Johnston & Family. By Mr. & Mrs. Thos. Hames or Homes“. Click here to see it.

The photo is dated Jan. 28th, 1896, and the boy is identified as Master W.J.F. James. The photographer is D. E. Pelton, Kemptville & Merrickville, Ont.


Merrickville, Ontario :Men’s Hockey Team, 1903-1904

Men in the photo are identified thus:
Officers: Jim Mills; F.A.J. Davis; G.R. Putnam (Reeve); T. Edwards.
Team: Gordon Angus (Goal); Tom Kyle (Point); Mervyn Merkley (Rover); John Cranstoun (Rover); George Laycock (Centre); Harry Watchorn (Wing); Jud Watchorn (Wing).

Thanks to the late Dr. Hal Cumming for this photo. He believed that the man directly behind the goaltender was his uncle, John Cranstoun, but was unable to identify any other individual officers or players.

Can you provide names, corrections or comments?
Please email Charlie Dobie.

related reading

Village of Merrickville

Paranormal Hauntings of the Rideau Canal and other Unsolved Ghost Stories

You Say Goodbye I Say Hello – Doors of Merrickville (takes time for photos to load)

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

The Holiday Train is Coming!!! Help Support the Food Bank!



18th edition of the CP Holiday Train ready to support communities and raise awareness

As in years past, two trains will operate coast-to-coast under the Holiday Train banner, with approximately 150 shows held in November and December. The train that operates primarily through the U.S. will launch in the Montreal area on Nov. 25, while the all-Canada train’s first shows will come a day later, also in Montreal. The U.S. train will complete its final shows in Saskatchewan on Dec. 15, and the final show of the tour will take place Dec. 17 at Port Coquitlam, B.C.

“We are very excited about this year’s CP Holiday Train and are encouraging all event attendees to bring healthy, nutritious food items to the shows,” said Pam Jolliffe, Interim Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. “For the last two decades, CP has played an integral role in raising essential food for the holidays and in raising awareness of hunger-related issues.”

Every pound of food and dollar raised at each stop stays with the local food bank to help feed those in need in that community. 

Performing this year!!



Platinum selling Country star Dallas Smith has blazed a path across genres in Canadian music for nearly two decades and fans continue to prove they’ll follow him wherever he wants to go. This Vancouver, BC native has an armful of JUNO and CCMA Award wins and nominations and continues one of the most talked about journeys in Canadian country music.

“Being able to help local food banks across the country is something I’m excited to be a part of. I’ve toured Canada many times but not like this. I can’t wait for this amazing experience to begin”.

Finch Tracks adjacent to James Street between Williams Street & George Street 2016-11-27 2:30 PM 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM Dallas Smith and Odds
Merrickville 103 East Broadway & County Road #2. South side of crossing near Bay Street 2016-11-27 4:45 PM 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM Dallas Smith and Odds
Smiths Falls Smith Falls Train Station, 63 Victoria St. 2016-11-27 6:20 PM 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM Dallas Smith and Odds
Perth Rail yard near the junction of Herriott Street & Sherbrooke Street E 2016-11-27 7:40 PM 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM Dallas Smith and Odds

I was Born a Boxcar Child- Tales of the Railroad

You Say Goodbye I Say Hello – Doors of Merrickville


In the Hawaiian language the word “Aloha” can mean “hello” or “goodbye” so below is a photo blog and quotes on doors that open and say “hello” or shut and say “goodbye”.

All Photos by Linda Seccaspina




Big doors swing on little hinges.
Aloha W. Clement Stone



For too long, decisions have been taken behind closed doors – tablets of stone have simply been past down to people without bothering to involve people, listen to their views or give them information about what we are doing and why.
 Peter Mandelson


I will reveal the secrets behind these doors.
Zahi Hawass





It is difficult for the common good to prevail against the intense concentration of those who have a special interest, especially if the decisions are made behind locked doors.
Jimmy Carter



I looked back at some of my earlier published stories with genuine horror and remorse. I got thinking, How many extant copies might there be, who owns them, and do they keep their doors locked?
Richard Russo



I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them.
Elizabeth Taylor


Love unlocks doors and opens windows that weren’t even there before.
Mignon McLaughlin


Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
 Joseph Campbell



Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.
 Clarence Thomas



Doors open because you’re beautiful, but I wouldn’t cultivate beauty to the exclusion of brains.
 Tia Carrere



Death hath a thousand doors to let out life: I shall find one.
 Philip Massinger



A Hello and Goodbye Hawaiian Short Story

In 1974 vintage clothing was finally coming into its own and I had many a customer that wanted vintage and silk Hawaiian shirts. Sad to say Canada was not the mecca of procuring vintage clothing in large quantities so I was told the only place to go was New York City to a used clothing processing plant.

Very few of these processing plants exist today with the quality they once had. Now these recycling places pick up public used clothing and it is sent to one of the largest used clothing retailers and after a certain amount of time they are re-baled sent out to third world countries. In the 70’s I could buy a 500 pound bale of Grade AA clothing at 2 cents a pound now it’s a 20,000 and 40,000 lbs. minimum bale at usually 39 – 50 cents a pound depending on the grade you want.

Looking for these places in those days was looking for a needle in a haystack. because of health codes. I was told to go to a certain address on 122nd street but they failed to tell me it was across the bridge in Flushing NY and not in the center of Harlem where I stood in a phone booth trying to find out the companies location.

An hour later found us in this huge warehouse with back loaders piling clothing into a compressor to contain it into bales. We were asked what grade we wanted and within 30 minutes they had a forklift put it on top of our station wagon. I don’t know if you have ever driven hundreds of miles in a car with a 500 pound bale on top of your car but let’s just say the ceiling was caving in.

When we got to the US/ Canadian border at Ogdensburg, N. Y we were instructed to pull over to one of their storage areas. Thinking that they would give it a quick look and tell us to go on our way we were shocked when we were told that the bale had to be opened, checked and to come back in a few days.

When we returned the now uncompressed bale looked like an explosion of clothing and it was three times the size after it was baled. We had to make three return trips from Ottawa to the border to get all that clothing back to my store where it was piled in a small room until it reached the ceiling. After that, thousands of pieces were picked over and ironed. That was my first and very last attempt to bring vintage shirts to Canada. It was a quick ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’ endeavor never to be attempted again.






All photos by Linda Seccaspina 2012 from the little town of Merrickville, Ontario which is my dream town to retire in.

The door with the face on it is one of my fave jewelry designers located in the same town.

I’m Hard to Beat— The Resume of the Century



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In doing some research this morning I found this item in a 1908 Almonte Gazette-


Hard to Beat 1908 Almonte Gazette

The Merrickville school board recently advertised for a principal for the public school. A number of replies were received but the following one establishes a record.

The applicant said : “ Hold first class ( A l ) certificate- Have taught for 12 years. Highest references. Good disciplinarian. Fully up, in calisthenics and music. Good looker, fine talker. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Take me– I am all around hard to beat. If the trustees don’t catch on Dr., they’ll make the mistake of their life.”

A the bottom of the-hand comer a P.S. is marked and the word “ married” is inserted.





On hand to receive their awards were the winners of the School historical essay contest. This programme was initiated four years ago by the Historical Society to engender interest in local history among the youth of Merrickville & district. The winners were all from Merrickville Public School; Harry Hitsman, winner from the grade 4-5-6 category wrote about the “History of the Corktown Road” while grade 7-8 winner Devon Coates told about the “Ghost of Sam Jakes Inn”. Thanks to Mrs. Lorraine Allen, Principal and the teachers Miss Elizabeth Telford, grade 8 and Mrs. Kathy Porter, grades 5,6 for their encouragement of the students and their cooperation with the contest. All of the student essays will be on display in the Blockhouse over the summer. Drop into the Blockhouse over the summer and read the talented efforts of these budding authors.– 2005 Merrickville & District Historical Society Newsletter