A Gazette scribe dropped around to the Almonte Creamery on Water street the other day, and found the manager, Mr. J. C. Jackson (a graduate of the Kingston Dairy School), and his assistant, Mr. Frank Ferguson, busy as nailers, packing up the product for the day. Mr. Jackson kindly showed the quilldriver around the premises, pointing out the process of manufacture, and showing the advantages it possesses over the ordinary dairy system.
One strong point is its cleanliness. When the work of separating the cream had been accomplished the accumulation of extraneous matter that settled within the cylinder was something surprising, and was in itself a strong creamery, in which; the best of modern machinery and appliances have been installed, and everything seems to work to a charm. The upper story is used as a storehouse for butter boxes, etc.
The old boiler and engine have been removed, and ones are in their place, and furnish ample power for the purposes required. The receiving vats, the twin cream vats, the butter worker, the separator and the immense churning machine is the bets that money can buy.
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Feb 1975, Fri • Page 19
|The sudden death of Clare T. (Pete) Syme of R.R. 1, Almonte occurred a, the Almonte General Hospital at 12.30 a.m. on Monday, May 13, 1974, following but a few hours’ illness. He was 61. Clare farmed on the home farm at Bennie’s Corners, and also operated a milk truck route for several years, and for the fast two years was employed with Lindsay Farm Equipment in Almonte. Born in Ramsay Township on May 15, 1912, he was a son of Mrs. Mabel (Snedden) Syme, and the late, Peter T. Syme. He was a member of the United Church. He is survived by his wife, the former lone Boal, whom he married at Pakenham on June 10, 1942; his aged mother, Mrs. Peter T. Syme; a daughter Marilyn (Mrs. James Naismith) of Pakenham; a grandson, Matthew; and one sister, Myrtle (Mrs. Tom Nugent) of South March. Clare attended school at Bennie’s Corners on the 8th line of Ramsay and continued on in high school in Almonte. He was always ready to participate in sports during these years. He loved the game of ball and always found time to play the game. He used to practice at home on the farm by getting his younger sister, Myrtle, to throw the ball as hard as she could either at him or to either side and he would field it and fire it back at her, and through time Myrtle also became a most capable player and used to give Clare some tough hard throws to handle. As years went by, and particularly after the 1939-45 war when the different softball leagues got organized again, Clare helped organize and coach the “Almonte Garage” team which was sponsored by Gordon Hill in 1945, until 1948, and was then sponsored by George Gomme as “Gomme’s Lumber Kings,” which continued until about 1952, during which time they were North Lanark League champions on different occasions. Clare continued playing with other teams, some in Almonte and others in Pakenham until his early 50’s, and was always ready and willing to teach the younger players the many aspects of the game and fair play. He was a most capable umpire and performed this duty for many years. His personal contribution to the game of ball in this area has been unmeasurable, and he always did it most willingly. As a curler, Clare started with the old irons and continued on with the granites, and was President of the Almonte Curling Club on two different occasions. He was later presented with an honourary life membership pin by J. C. Smithson, the then president, for his contribution to the Almonte Curling Club in particular and curling in the valley in general. Clare represented Centre 24 in the Ottawa Valley as Centre Convenor for many years, which was a large responsibility and was most capably handled by him as he understood the many problems and pitfalls involved in scheduling the many competitions and events throughout the Centre. One competition that Clare was responsible for founding was the 10-pointer Mixed Bonspiel and was restricted to the Almonte curlers, except during the few years that Pakenham had ice problems, at which time they were included. All area curlers will understand and remember the great success this particular event became and the fellowship it created at the club level. In curling as in other sports, Clare always played to win, but in the event of a loss he took it gracefully and as a good sport but be would be ready for the return match. Clare really liked people and always had time to say “hello,” have a chat about last night’s hockey game or bet on tomorrow night’s game, and even give odds on certain occasions. Our community will miss this great sportsman and his contributions. The funeral was held from the Kerry Funeral Home, 154 Elgin street, Almonte, on Wednesday, May 15th, at 2.30 p.m., with burial at Auld Kirk Cemetery. Rev. A. C. Dodds of Pakenham United Church conducted the funeral services. Pallbearers were Arthur Munro, Percy Timmins, Wilfred Lindsay, Jack C. Smithson, Donald Lockhart and Bill Boal.|
This week I posted about Dairy horses on Facebook and people loved the memories. No story of the Clark Dairy in Ottawa could be complete without reference to their very fine horses, which was the pride and job of Mr. Clark and every member of the staff in the Dairy.
In the the 1920s when the Clark Dairy began business they started in a very modest way. Their plant at the corner of Bronson Avenue and Imperial in Ottawa was small, but sufficient for the business they then enjoyed. Their delivery system consisted solely of two wagons.
In the 1930s, a handsome new two-storey building teemed with activity; and thirty-five wagons were needed to cover the city, with seven handsome streamlined motor wagons.
The barns, situated many blocks from the Dairy plant, were just as fresh and spotless as busy hands could make them. There 34 splendid horses: Percherons and Clydesdales were as meticulously groomed as any local society beauty. They stood like sentinels as “the white stockings” gracing their legs were soaped and washed and hooves polished. Coats were combed and brushed until they glistened. The barn included five splendid prize winning animals and the famous Dark Secret, a prize winning champion of the Central Canada Exhibition, and four consecutive times a prize winner at the Royal Winter Fair, in Toronto.
Every day was a show day for the Clark Dairy horses, and the horses knew the route better than the drivers. The red and white delivery wagons were kept immaculate. Clark Dairy was a self sustaining concern, having its own staff of painters, horseshoers and mechanics, so that every necessary job was given attention. Mr. George J. Scandrett. the office manager, had a wide experience in the dairy business and was a former member of the Ontario Milk Board.
The Clark Dairy horse handlers felt that horses were a lot like humans in feelings and habits. They knew when it was time for their feeding, they also know when it was time for them to return to the stable. The handlers also had to know what types of shoes the horses wore in the various seasons. A Dairy horse’s shoe was made of hard rubber around a steel form. Some horses wore their shoes longer than others and some wore their shoes out in two months. When the streets were icy in the winter time, the horse wore a special type shoe with prongs that dug into the ice for a firm hold. These kept the horse from falling. But, often times, the horse slipped even with these shoes on. They had to curry them each day to keep them looking nice and had to be extra careful about their shoes. Walking on pavement everyday of the week was hard on a horse until he they get used to it.
The Clark Dairy horses were said to be the best in the business, as they knew every stop on the route and it took them only two days to learn a new customer stop. They had one horse that apparently had too much fire for a Dairy horse and smashed up the first five wagons he was attached to. As a last resort they sent him to a mud clogged Ottawa Street usually handled by a two horse team. That horse was a good worker for the Clark Dairy and did his job for two horses and never lost a minute starting up just as the milkman returned from the porch. Horses of course could master terrible roads, which was a bane to the delivery service.
The Dairy horses got bushels of presents every Christmas from the Clark Dairy customers. Lumps of sugar, carrots and apples and even when there was sugar rationing the horses were thought of first before family along the route. Bakeries were a great favourite of the delivery horses and sugar buns were fed to some every day. On Sundays these business were closed and some of these horses would not budge waiting for their treat and they would stamp their feet on the sidewalk demanding their sugary treat.
According to the Ottawa Citizen there was a Clark Dairy horse, back in 1946, who every day peered expectantly through the windows of the post office canteen in the basement of the Langevin Block, to the great amusement of civil servants. The horse had a reason for his Peeping Tom tactic. Seems the driver used to scoop up a handful of sugar cubes from a convenient bowl on the canteen counter, with which to treat his faithful horse. The animal nuzzled the window pane daily to remind him!
Good delivery horses were scarce and eventually they disparaged the horse and saluted the automobile. The blacksmiths that worked for the Clark Dairy ended up changing oil and greasing trucks. Although the automobile certainly eliminated piles of manure that clogged some streets, it introduced a whole new set of global carbon complications. In the end the demise of horse power and the ascent of the automobile illustrated two characteristics of energy transitions: they don’t always solve problems and rarely perform as advertised.
The Ottawa Journal Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 30 Nov 1909, Tue • Page 1 The Ottawa Journal Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 20 Aug 1935, Tue • Page 9 Carleton Place Dairy Horses
Bill Crawford Harold Forbes & Flossie delivered our milk from the Carleton Place Dairy. I remember feeding her carrots from our garden, and apples from our neighbours tree.
Norma Ford Bill Crawford – your post brings back so many memories of Harold Forbes and his milk wagon. Holding onto the back bumper in winter and sliding with the ride. Harold stopping and chasing us away. He always gave us a ride first until he figured we were too far from home. Happy memories.
In 1913, John Clark of Eastview took action to force Clark’s Dairy Ltd., which had taken over the business of Patrick Clark of Lake Deschenes to change it’s name (“Silver Springs Dairy Farms” was chosen.)
In 1919, H.J. Clark was manager of Clark’s Dairy, 185 Lyon Street, before he moved to Smith’s Falls to form Clark’s Sanitary Dairy there.
In 1920, Clark’s Dairy – said to have it’s origin in the 1850s – was merged into Producers Dairy and the Clark Dairy name disappeared from Ottawa until Harry J. Clark returned from Smiths Falls to start a new Clark’s Dairy in Ottawa. (According to Bruce Elliott, Harry’s brother Albert “Ab” Clark operated a separate firm from his farm at City View.)
I hope I’ve made that clear enough so someone can explain it to me 😉
Here is Citizen note from July26, 1920, on the old Clark’s Dairy merging into Producers. (E.W. Clark was Harry’s uncle.)
Carleton Place Dairy Tokens, 1930s–Dairies, as well as other local merchants, within the U.S. and abroad often used a token system. When customers would make advance payments to the dairy or milkmen themselves, it would be exchanged for tokens. The customer would then place a token and the empty milk bottles out for the milkman who would exchange the empties and tokens with freshly filled bottles of milk.
The token system was useful for dairies as a low-cost form of advertising. It also aided in establishing loyalty among customers as the tokens could only be redeemed at the issuing business. This ensured dairies had money ahead of providing the milk.
Keith Giffin One of the reasons they changed from money to tokens , the money would freeze in the bottle in the winter time. And do you remember if you didn’t bring your milk in right away it would freeze, pushing the cream and top out of the bottle. Home delivery was great.
Patty Baker I have some lovely old bottles found on Bridge St by my Dad when he demolished an old garage & built a new one in the 70’s!
Tim Neil you won’t find many pop bottles. We spent our childhood searching the bottom of the river for pop bottles we could cash in for gas money for our cedar strip boat
David McNeely Around the Main Street bridge was the best spot.
Dan Williams If you wanted beer bottles the place to look was out in front of Sandy Walker’s boat house.
Memories of Joan Stearns–My hubby Jerry as a student actually delivered milk, by horse and wagon with Wayne Richards. For the Carleton Place dairy when it was owned by Percy Hays.
Dale Costello I remember the horse drawn milk wagons at Carleton Place Dairy. My mom worked the counter for Percy Hay. Milk with a couple inches of cream on the top, ready for my morning cereal.
Peter Iveson Percy Hay from Hays shore 9th line.When I was living at the corner of Albert and Beckwith 1957 to 1960 we used to have milk delivered by horse and wagon at 6am. You put your token in the empty milk bottle between your inside and outside door.One morning we heard a loud clank,my mother looked out the window and saw Jacky McIntyre on his way to work at Larry Goldsteins.That morning we didn’t get our milk.
Joann Voyce I lived on the other side of town and mine was delivered by Maple Leaf Dairy and the Langtrys
Jane Hughes-Labron This photo taken from Carleton Place dairy lot which is behind the photo taker.This lot became a Used Car Lot and housed an Ice Vending machine. To the right of Rail Way flags was a White Rose Service stn.I believe to the left of the old truck was the C.P. freight bldg. behind the billboard
THE MAPLE LEAF DAIRY
Linda Gallipeau-Johnston We occasionally came down here to the McNeely’s to buy our milk out of a milk house
Norma Ford Loved it. Although it was separated first and you still had to shake the milk bottle to mix the cream from the top. Home made butter and buttermilk – yum good. It was disappointing when my Grandpa had to sell his cow because of his age but still remember the tast
Belle the horse driven by “CCB’ for the Maple Leaf Dairy- 1948-1951
All photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Hay’s Shore at the foot of the Second Lake, was James Duff’s farm from about the 1840’s. William (Bill) Duff ran a farm and a retail dairy on the shores of Mississippi Lake. Duff’s Dairy on the 11th line was later taken over and sold to John Hays in 1918. Big Bill did a big business in Carleton Place, and *Fred Hunter of Carleton Place was once quoted as saying it was real milk, as there was no such thing as pasteurization in those days.
William (Big Bill Duff), who started the Lakeshore Dairy’s retail business, died in 1914, followed in 1916 by his wife, who was a daughter of one of the original Morphy settlers of Morphy’s Falls. Excluding cottage areas sold, it had remained since 1918 with the Hay Family.
Library Shelf 1 1974.18.1 Duff Family: Some Descendants of William Duff of Bankfoot and Beckwith Brown, Howard Morton Brown, Howard Morton L.K. Young et al Handwritten history of William Duff and his descendants. Duff Family: Some Descendants of William Duff of Bankfoot and Beckwith Brown, Howard Morton
Name: John Anderson Hay
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1884
Father Name: William Hay
Mother Name: Mary Anderson
Spouse Name: Elizabeth Percival Lowe
Spouse’s Age: 28
Spouse Birth Year: abt 1884
Spouse Birth Place: Town of Carleton Place Ontario
Spouse Father Name: Samuel Lowe
Spouse Mother Name: Maggie Hoover
Marriage Date: 20 Mar 1912
Marriage County or District: Lanark
*FRED HUNTER– Fred Hunter was the son of Alexander Hunter, father of the late Fred Hunter, was a blacksmith and axe maker of great skill. He came here from Lanark village at the age of 36 to do the smith work in connection with the Boyd Caldwell and Sons sawmill when it was being built in 1869. For many years he carried on his trade on Mill street. He died here by drowning in December 1910.
1927 Typhoid Epidemic
In 1927, a typhoid epidemic from contaminated milk affected more than 5,000 people and caused 533 deaths in Montreal, despite a milk pasteurization city by-law. The law was not enforced and as with other typhoid outbreaks linked to contaminated milk, provincial health departments across the country were powerless to enforce standards.
Dr. John W.S. McCullough, Ontario’s Chief Health Officer and a charter member of the Canadian Public Health Association, told the Dominion Council on Health in 1928, “we have to go to the municipality and make a fight over [milk contamination], and it is often a long struggle before we can get a pasteurization bill carried. If we had the same control over milk by the Department of Health as we have over public water supplies, we would make a big step in advance.”
The Canadian Public Health Association and the Canadian Medical Association pressed for compulsory pasteurization of milk and in 1938, the Ontario government became the largest political area in the world to do so. Concerns about food safety grew as bacterial food poisoning incidents in Canada increased during the World War II years, prompting greater attention to food handling safety and restaurant inspections.
Who doesn’t remember Neilson Chocolate bars? Jersey Milk, Mr. Big, Malted Milk, Sweet Marie and Crispy Crunch and PEP were common names from our childhood. So what does this have to do with our local area? If you take a drive out to the Appleton North Lanark Regional Museum, hang a left at the 3 corners. Just a short distance on your right well hidden in the distant bushes lies the farm that the Neilson family once owned.
In 1820 a Scottish weaver named John Nilson left his home in Paisley with his wife Agnes to find a new life in Canada. John Nilson at some point changed his name to Neilson for reasons unknown shortly after he arrived in Canada.
William Neilson, the third child of the Neilson family, was born on that Appleton side road farm in March of 1841. After working in Almonte as a machinist William moved away from the family farm to the United States and in Rochester, N.Y. where met his future wife, Mary Eva
Kaiser. They moved to Brockville and opened a grocery store, but tragedy swept through the family and business after a fire wiped out their home and store also claiming the lives of their small son and daughter.
William’s Grandmother sent them money to make a fresh start, so Neilson decided to open a grocery store in Toronto in 1867. Sadly, he didn’t have much luck with that store and the business went bankrupt three years later. For a mere $4 a month he placed his family in a rented house on 4 acres while he went to work on his brother’s farm in North Dakota. There he sent what he could to financially support his wife and children.
Meanwhile back on that 4 acres his wife Mary sold milk from the family cow door to door and made mincemeat pies. Neilsen finally returned home after the harvest and used every penny the family had saved and invested in 7 cows and some used hand cranked ice cream makers. He decided then and there that his ice cream was going to be the very best. William insisted on using the finest cream and had a personal secret on how to get that churner to turn faster to give it a smooth taste. The result was perfection, and Neilson ice cream was a hit in the summer of 1893. The family sold 3,750 gallons and made a profit of over $3000.
With that money he built a three-storey home with an attached factory on Gladstone Avenue in Toronto but soon learned business for ice cream was slow in the winter. Neilson always insisted on treating employees like family and nothing less, so he needed to come up with some sort of new concept for the slow months. Because of his concern for his employees and his desire to keep them, that inspired the creation of Neilson chocolate and it became an instant hit.
He used local dairy products from local farmers in his new factory which was a former cheese factory in Beachville, Ontario. Sadly in 1915 he stumbled on a plank at his factory, was injured, and died of a stroke shortly after. By 1915, when William Neilson died at the age of 71, the Neilson company was producing a million pounds of ice cream every year and 500,000 pounds of chocolate.
His second son Morden took over the company after his father’s death and under his watch became the largest producer of ice cream in the British Commonwealth and the largest manufacturer of chocolates around the world. Wiliam’s other two sons Charles was vice president and Allan was assistant manager. After Morden’s death in 1947, William Neilson Ltd. was bought by the George Weston firm
Neilson purchased the Canadian operations of the Cadbury Confectionery Company, and started producing Dairy Milk, Caramilk and several other brands. Once again, William Neilson Ltd. was the largest candy bar manufacturer in Canada. In 1981, Neilson also got exclusive distribution rights and a manufacturing license to produce Haagen-Dazs premium ice cream. In 1990, William Neilson Ltd. sold its ice cream production business, including the Haagen-Dazs license, to Ault Foods and restructured into two separate companies.
Now, each time I drive by that stone farm on the Appleton Side Road I smile because William Neilson knew that all you needed to succeed was a lot of family love and to make sure life was full of ice cream and chocolate.
Photo of Neilson Farm (Yaremko)- donation to North Lanark Regional Museum
Many thanks to Melissa Alexander -Project Coordinator
North Lanark Historical Society–North Lanark Regional Museum
647 River Rd, Appleton, Ontario.
With some files from The Almonte Gazette
Perth Courier, Nov. 17, 1899–One of the most esteemed residents of Ramsay, in the person of Matthew Neilson, departed this life on Monday afternoon this week at the age of 63(?)65(?). Deceased was the youngest son of the late John Neilson one of the pioneer settlers of the township who took up land on the 12th line about three miles from Appleton. Here the deceased was born and lived on his portion of the land until 1881 when he moved to the 11th Concession where he resided until his death. Before moving to the 11th Line, about 1872, he purchased a farm from the late John Gemmill and had 230 acres in all. In the year 1858 he married Emily Teskey, daughter of the late John Teskey, who survives him. There were 7 children, three sons and four daughters: John on the homestead; George on the Gemmill farm; Annie (Mrs. Alex Turner); Aggie (Mrs. John Thom); and Emeline, James and Jennie on the homestead. In religion he was a Presbyterian and a life long member of that church. In politics he was a Liberal. At the time of his death he was a trustee of the Appleton school which position he has held for a number of years. He was also a member of the board of education. All his brothers have passed away but two sisters still are living—Mrs. William Smith and Mrs. Gavin Hamilton. Almonte Times, November 11
The government ordered pasteurization of all raw milk in 1932, in an effort to stem the tide of bovine tuberculosis, a bacterium that could infect humans and cause serious skin infections and even death.
“In those days, there were no supermarkets and the store didn’t really have much refrigeration equipment, but I can’t ever remember hearing of anyone dying from anything.
October 11th 1900
I remember when milk, bread, coal, ice and other household necessities were all delivered “right to your front door”. As a young child I can still remember the rattling of milk bottles in the milkman’s eight quart basket.
Allan Street Dairy Carleton Place
By the end of the 1950s, more and more people were able to buy their own cars and “one-stop-shopping” centres became the favoured place to buy things. Because of this, home delivery of food products all but disappeared by the 1970’s.
The best tasting milk still comes in glass bottles. I can still see the old bottles– milk at the bottom and rich cream on top. The home delivered milk came in glass quarts and cream in glass pints.
In those days, there were no supermarkets and the store didn’t really have much refrigeration equipment but again, I can’t ever remember hearing of anyone dying from it either.
So what are we afraid of now?
Photos- Colour ones- Linda Seccaspina. All the others from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.
“If you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know who you are!” —The late Edna Gardner Carleton Place
Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place