Tag Archives: mill street

The Oldest Living Things in Carleton Place — Hackberry Trees 101

The Oldest Living Things in Carleton Place — Hackberry Trees 101


The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada20 Jun 1956, Wed  •  Page 45

Hackberry Park on Mill Street

Ken Smith asked me about the history of our Hackberry Park on Mill Street. I had done some notations, but never knew the full story. Duncan Rogers was able to fill me in. Thanks Duncan!

One of the largest hackberry forests in eastern Ontario occurs right in the town of Carleton Place along the rapids of the Mississippi River. There is no other Hackberry forest of this scale in Lanark County, and few in the Ottawa Valley. We also still have a few in the grove on McArthur Island and the lone grandfather on McArthur Island

Carleton Place boasts rare hackberry grove CARLETON PLACE (Special)

Unknown to many residents, Carleton Place has a species of tree rarely found in this part of the country. The trees, known as hackberry, are located on an island about a half-mile downstream from the former hydro dam. In a report to the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, D. F. Brunton of Ottawa, a botanist and member of the Ottawa Field Naturalists said: “The species is considered very rare north of Lake Erie. The plants of this species in the lower Ottawa Valley came from the northward migration of the species through the Richelieu Valley of Quebec”.

The migration probably occured during the warm-climate period about 4,500 years ago, during which time many southern species migrated northward. It is conceivable that this grove has been present in Carleton Place continuously for the last 5,000 years. What makes this grove so important is the number of trees it contains.

There are almost twice as many trees found here as in all the remaining Ottawa district. Considering that an Ottawa survey has been going on for four years and turned up fewer than 300 trees, the numbers at Carleton Place are truly amazing, said Mr. Brunton. “The occurance of a pure, mature stand of hackberry at Carleton Place is unique in Eastern Ontario and an exceptionally rare situation anywhere in Canada. Every effort should be made to preserve it,” he said.

Mayor Eldon Henderson has worked for a number of years planning, with the owners of the island to establish recreational trails and establish a trail which would allow a park facilities for the naturalists and the public.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada20 Feb 1973, Tue  •  Page 45

From Jim McCready

Hi Folks

A little more detail on our Hackberry. A lot of well known people do not know of Hackberry. According to Ken Farr from Natural Resources Canada this is one of 3 most northerly stands in North America which means with Climate Change the seed source is important moving this species north. The Urban Forest Committee has been collecting seed during good seed years and sending the seed to the Ferguson Forest Centre in Kemptville to grow Hackberry for Eastern Ontario.

Hackberry Park has been deemed a Seed Collection Area by the Forest Gene Conservation Association. 

Also among Forest groups it is a site to visit when in the area.

Thought you should know some of these facts

Have a Good Weekend


The Urban Forest Committee


As I recall the park was in a natural state for many years during my youth. From memory in the mid 1970s interest grew in the hackberry trees on the property and a youth organization (I think it was a youth employment grant) cleaned up the park and removed old brush. In terms of a time frame I think it was the mid to late 1970s. Later, I do recall Council asking me to draft and present a By-law to dedicate the property as Hackberry Park. I think that was in the 1980s. At one point I worked with the Town Solicitor to correct a boundary issue regarding the adjacent Hastie property but that was years ago. Hope the above is helpful to you. Best wishes to you for 2023.

Regards Duncan Rogers

By-laws of the Town of Carleton Place– Thanks Stacey Blair
By-laws of the Town of Carleton Place

By-laws of the Town of Carleton Place– Thanks Stacey Blair

Barry( “Hackbarry”) who was named by Lynne Johnson- the Grandfather Hackberry Tree on McArthur Island

Lizzie Brunton Goes One on One with Barry, the Grandfather of the Carleton Place Hackberry Tree on the island in front of the McArthur Mill–Update on the Hackberry Tree– Name the Tree

  • On Sept. 21, Carleton Place marked National Tree Day with a ceremony at Carleton Junction. Participants included council, staff and members of the Urban Forest River Corridor committee.

Did you know the official tree of Carleton Place is the hackberry?

On Sept. 21, Carleton Place marked National Tree Day with a ceremony at Carleton Junction. Participants included council, staff and members of the Urban Forest River Corridor (UFRC) committee.

National Tree Day, according to Coun. Toby Randell, UFRC committee liaison, serves as a celebration for all Canadians to appreciate the wonderful benefits trees provide — from clean air and reducing energy demand to wildlife habitat and storm water management. Read— Carleton Place branches out for National Tree Day

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada15 Jun 1956, Fri  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada15 Jun 1956, Fri  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada10 May 1955, Tue  •  Page 24

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada26 Jul 1994, Tue  •  Page 13

So I checked extensively and could not find any news about the Hackberry Tree on Dunbar and the only mention I could find wason Petrie Island.

Tories may allow developers to pay fee in lieu of endangered species actions, April 19. After a months-long public consultation, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment announced changes to the Endangered Species Act that reflect more input from land developers than from conservation experts. The changes create workarounds to circumvent existing environmental protection measures. My heart sinks: What will this look like locally? Let’s say condo developers eye the million-dollar views of the Ottawa River from Petrie Island, an east-end recreation area currently owned by the city. The cash-strapped municipal- ity could be tempted to sell the flood-prone wetlands, and a fee to the newly created Species at Risk Conservation Trust would absolve all parties from any responsibility for environmental harm. Everybody wins? Not the species of significance that live in this unique ecosystem, such as musk and snapping turtles, heart-leaved tear-thumb, hackberry and butternut trees. Not the 130 species of birds that stop at Petrie Island, especially not the ones currently in the species- at-risk list such as bank swallows, eastern wood peewees, black terns and least bitterns. Not the River otter that was playing in Crappie Bay this week. Not the surrounding area that benefits from the environmentally protective function of wetlands which absorb water from rain, snowmelt and floodwaters, reduce erosion, filter pollutants and maintain groundwater. Petrie Island is designated a provincially significant wetland. And not the residents and visitors who can bus, drive or bike to pristine nature right in the city. Thousands enjoy the nature trails and picnic area where one can get some physical activity, de-stress and enjoy amazing biodiversity in our own backyard. So, actually, no one wins. Except the developers.

Sherry Nigro, Orléans

Island Hoppers

A Special Little Ecosystem: Hackberry Park in Carleton Place, Ontario CLICK

The Tale of “Hackaberry Found” in Carleton Place

The 7 Wonders of Carleton Place

Update on the Hackberry Tree– Name the Tree

Town Council Speech About the Hackberry Tree– Update on ‘The Tree”

The McCarten House of Carleton Place–Ginko Tree

Dream a Little Dream About the Hemlock Tree

Paul Keddy

The Carleton Place Hackberry Forest- the late great Paul Keddy click

Where Are They Now? Paul Keddy of CPHS 1970

Snedden Pharmacy Closing 1973

Snedden Pharmacy Closing 1973

After 39 years of serving the community, Mr. and Mrs. D. W Snedden have retired from their pharmacy business at 24 Mill Street and have sold the Rexall Store to Mr. Darcy Farden, recently from Ottawa and formerly of Saskatchewan. Following his graduation from the Ontario College of Pharmacy in Toronto on June 6th, 1924, Wilf Snedden served his apprenticeship at the present location, then owned by Mr. M. R. MacFarlane.

He eventually sold the business to Mr. Snedden who took over January 1st, 1934 and later purchased Mr. MacFarlane’s home at 190 Church Street where he and Mrs. Snedden still reside. For many years one of the most popular spots in Almonte on a Saturday night was the soda fountain at Snedden’s Drug Store. On many occasions the ten stools would be filled and just as many or more people waiting to be served.

As time went on, however, and the fountain equipment wore out and a wider variety of frozen treats began to appear, the soda fountain lost its appeal and was finally removed when renovations were carried out in 1967. An avid sports fan, Mr. Snedden hopes to have some time to get in a little golf and follow the baseball teams more closely. Through the years Wilf Snedden has been a staunch supporter of sports in the Almonte area.

Several changes are planned for the store by its new owner, major one being a change in name to the Almonte Pharmacy, although the outlet will remain Rexall store. Mr. Farden, a 30 year old bachelor, was born and raised on a farm in Saskatchewan. He graduated in 1965 from the College of Pharmacy, University of Saskatchew an and moved to Ottawa in 1968. For the last four years he has been manager of an Ottawa Pharmacy. An avid curler and golfer, Mr. Farden is also an active pilot.

He will shortly be receiving his commercial pilot’s licence at Bradley Air Services at Carp. Staff at the Almonte Pharmacy will remain the same, with Elenor McPhail, Elizabeth Duncan Alice Landry remaining on and’ being joined by Miss Janet Smythe who has worked with Mr. Farden in Ottawa for three years. Miss Smythe has many years of pharmacy experience, especially in the field of cosmetics.

New hours of operation will be as follows; Mondays, 1 p.m. till 9 p.m.; Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. till 9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. Commencing in May, Mr. Farden indicates that the pharmacy will be open Sundays from 12 noon until 3 p.m. A grand opening sale will be held from June 5-8th, 1973

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada24 Jan 1976, Sat  •  Page 19

Karen Hirst

Reads as long as it takes to glimpse the passing of the torch…….

The premises of Kerry’s Furniture & Appliances / Pharma Save Pharmacy, was owned by my father John Kerry from 1954 to 2019.

It was purchased from Mr. W.E. Scott in 1954. Ed Scott had rebuilt the furniture store in 1904 following a major fire. At that time he had two storefronts constructed, which has continued to exist thru these current times.

Mr. Wilf Snedden, Pharmacist and prominent resident of Almonte, rented the smaller portion of the divided building. Many will recall that he had a wonderful old fashioned soda fountain bar and stools to compliment the drug store and pharmacy services … it would be lovely to have that service reinstated somewhere for today’s lover of everything ice cream !

In my father’s era of ownership, there has been four pharmacy businesses, to be followed by the current Quilt Supply Store. What for many years housed the Furniture & Appliances side of the store, is currently an Antique Store.

Prior to being sold, my father saw the building thru an outer face lift and some internal upgrades leaving the premises with its best foot forward for the next generation of users.

With its sale completed in 2019, the history of the bricks and mortar, along with the businesses carried out within its walls by its proprietors, becomes another chapter in the continuing story of daily commercial life carried out on Mill Street.

Arlene Savard

I remember the Soda fountain too, great milkshakes and sundaes, and yes Wilf Snedden was a great gentleman.

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.

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

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada23 Jul 1986, Wed  •  Page 46

Ambitious Jimmy Morrow by Unexpected Almonte

“In the 1890s P.C. Dowdall’s drug store was on Bridge St. in Almonte, near the railway. (It’s pictured below, far right, “PC Dowdall” on the awning.) In the entrance, the weather forecasts were posted up daily, providing a point of interest each day for the children walking to & from Church Street school.

“Jimmy Morrow worked in the pharmacy for many years. He wanted to be a druggist, but this wasn’t possible for him. Yet Jimmy was ambitious, so he studied chemistry by mail. In the absence of Mr. Dowdall, he was able to read and fill the Latin prescriptions. Having no degree in pharmacy made this a bit out of the ordinary, but everybody knew about it and there were no objections or complaints.” #SmallTownLife#LocalLore#Almonte

Source: 365 “Fun facts about MM” were co-ordinated by Tiffany MacLaren, Community Economic and Cultural Coordinator for Mississippi Mills in 2017 & posted in weekly instalments at Millstone News. The “facts” wouldn’t have been possible without amazing volunteers and history buffs who contributed information. Special thanks went to Jeff Mills, Donna Lowry, Margie Argue, Rose Mary Sarsfield, Renate Seiler, Marilyn Snedden, The North Lanark Historic Society, The Naismith Basketball Foundation, The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, Neil & Lucy Carleton, Fern Martin and others. “The Tales of Almonte”, Linda Seccaspina’s page, also posted this anecdote, earlier.

Adin Wesley Daigle

In the 1890s P.C. Dowdall’s Drug Store was on Bridge St. in Almonte near the railway. In the entrance, the weather forecasts were posted up daily, providing a point of interest each day for the children walking to and from the Church Street school. Jimmy Morrow worked in the drug store for many years. He wanted to be a druggist but this was not possible for him. But Jimmy was ambitious, so he studied chemistry by mail. In the absence of Mr. Dowdell, he was able to read and fill the Latin prescriptions. Having no degree in pharmacy made this a bit out of the ordinary, but everybody knew about it and there were no objections or complaints. ( Facts about MM- The millstone)

Old Almonte Photo Collection — In Back of the D. W. Snedden Drugstore 1953

Scrapbook Clippings of the Closing of Zephyr Textiles

Closing of the Meighen Brothers Store

The Blue Bell Closing Fiasco in Carleton Place

Memories of Jimmy Moreau

Memories of Jimmy Moreau
James Moreau, Store Owner in Almonte, from the Moreau family page

1960- Almonte Gazette

The following tribute to the late Jimmy Moreau has been sent to the Gazette by Mr. Dugald Campbell of Vancouver: Vancouver, B. C. October 6, 1960.

Editor Gazette: I just wish to extend my sympathy to the relatives of my old friend, Jimmy Moreau, who has just recently passed on. Jimmy was the oldest business man in Almonte, the paper says, and I can well believe that. On my last trip home a few years ago he was the first-of my old friends to greet me at his little shop.

It was about morning train time from Ottawa, Jimmy asked me to hold on a bit till he picked up the Ottawa papers. Sure enough the folks who wanted papers trooped in, one by one, and Jimmy knew that, and he wanted me to meet them all as they came in and I had a fine welcome with a lot of the older fellows. 

In came the fellows. In came the late A. C. Wylie, then Bill Jamieson, then Raymond Jamieson, Austin Darling, Max Young and Don Campbell. For me at any rate it was a very happy gathering. Now a few of the above fellows have passed on.

Jimmy Moreau was always quiet, kind and courteous. In his younger days, when he was with, the late P. C. Dowdall in the drugstore, he was an enthusiastic sports follower, and I think he remembered everything about the great days of the lacrosse era in Almonte. 

The days of Pat Slattery, Jack Forgie, Billy John Hogan, Frank and Crumpy Moran, T u ffy McGregor, Jack Buntin and Billy Torrance, they were the speedsters of the years 1895 to 1900 about. And after that when chaps of my day went, there was another boon for several years when the New England sharp shooters—- the Houston boys, the Lodge boys and Teddy Armstrong. 

Jimmy’s father, the late Elmer Moreau, was quite a character as well. There was a big family of Moreaus and very likely they are spread far and wide over eastern Canada, but the old town will be the poorer for the passing of this gallant little friend and sportsman. God rest his soul. Dugald Campbell.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 Sep 1960, Sat  •  Page 2

James Patrick “Jimmy” Moreau

BIRTH23 Aug 1883DEATH14 Sep 1960 (aged 77)BURIAL

Saint Marys Roman Catholic CemeteryAlmonte, Lanark County, Ontario, CanadaPLOTB092 Grave #2MEMORIAL ID201062783 · 

Family Members



Remembering the Martins — Hardware Store Almonte

Old Almonte Photo Collection — In Back of the D. W. Snedden Drugstore 1953

Needham’s Shoe Store in Almonte- Memories

Documenting the Golden Eagle Gas Bar — Mill Street

Documenting the Golden Eagle Gas Bar — Mill Street
1980.. who remembers the Golden Eagle Gas Bar on Mill Street?

Sandra HoustonBest service by Wayne Spinks

Mary Anne HarrisonAbsolutely. Wayne was the best. Paul let me charge my gas and come in and settle up when I got paid. Mr Brown was great too. There was another older gentleman named Bob who was super friendly as well. Can’t remember his last name.

Cyndii Hitchins Demersgreat service there….gone are those days! 🙁

Anna NitschkeIt was our preferred place to get gas…and as a kid so conveniently close to Peterson’s Ice cream

Diane L BrownMy Dad and Art’s Dad both ran this spot for a few years at different times. I use to pump gas for Dad…lol

Kelly KaneCold coke in the middle of the night from the outdoor machine!

Arlene OhlmanKelly Kane too funny that’s the first thing I thought of ice cold coke-In the glass bottles!!

Stephen McDougallWould go there with my Dad, Gerry would always open up the coke machine and give me a coke(coldest ones in town) .and would grab 2 molson golden for Dad and Gerry. Loved the old days in Almonte. lol

Dave SmithsonMy cousin used to work there-steve

Gwen OneillYes a great place always cleaned windshield

Christine DalgityWhen my grandfather (Gerry Brown – Gerry’s Golden Eagle) owned it he taught me how to pump gas, I was about 5 or 6, lots of memories there 🙂

Nick LugsdinMy high school job. Fun job. Great boss!

Christine SonnenburgSo many great memories made when you worked there and Emily Arbour and Alana Hayes at Pettersons!

Nick LugsdinChristine Sonnenburg they spoiled me bigtime!

Nora HeadleyGlenn Arthur I remember coasting down that hill, driving on fumes!

Susan Brillant FordThe best service in the Ottawa Valley.

Helen N LeviJo Ann Madden Donaldson your right Joanne – l haven’t had a cleaned windshield since Wayne Spinks worked at Paul Maynard Love him♥️

Sheena StewartSure do! Both my uncles worked there and because we lived so far out of town if I had an after school activity I’d wait there to be picked up. Often got an ice cream out of the deal

Lisa Stanley Sheehansure do, only place my dad would get his gas and some good old conversations!!!!

Lila Leach-JamesLisa Stanley Sheehan Wayne was always cheerful and friendly and even when he was overworked, never seemed stressed!

Dan Sparling
September 3 at 3:42 PM  · 

Gone ten years now.

Ron FinnerI pumped gas for Gerry for a while at the Golden Eagle !! 😎🤠

Peggy HirstRemember Jerry Brown and then Paul Maynard running it right across from our store…McCormicks Ladies Wear

Roger DaveyPulled the air hose out the side door to fill up your tires. Great guys for sure. Awesome memories.

Sally TuffinOur family used to buy our gas there.

Thomas MacPhersonIt was also run by Len Hampton in the late 60’s

Ray O’KeefeRan by two great guys, Paul Maynard and Wayne Spinks. Always a pleasure to fill up there at weeks end. Those great days are gone.

June Templeton UdallUsed to take the kids there to pick a Christmas tree and carry it home. Good memories.

Carla BoutwellKindest people working there, I can never forget!

Michael GallagherIn the 60’s it was run by Brian Gallagher

She KilleenLoved getting gas there! Wayne was one of my favorite!

Kurtis WhiteMy first job was pumping gas. Winter by the water sucked lol


Sandy France
Yesterday at 11:26 AM  · 

They sponsored our 1967 Golden Triangle league basketball team

1975 Almonte Gazette

Movin’ on Mill Street– Supertest Building

Memories of the Golden Eagle Gas Station

Esso? Downtown Bridge Street Carleton Place

Filler Up! Got a Flat!! Photos of Gas Stations

The Central Garage in Carleton Place by Terry Skillen

The Garages of Carleton Place –1970’s

Looking for Memories of Harold Linton’s Gas Station

Take Me to Your Litre — The Anti-Metric Gas Station

Esso? Downtown Bridge Street Carleton Place

The White Rose Service Station in Carleton Place

Dollars Worth of Gas in Carleton Place

Before the Canadian Tire Gas Bar There Was..

The 1982 Gas War — Perth Vs Carleton Place

The Falcon History and Hockey– Comments from the Readers

August 1949 Introducing Johnson and McCreary –Almonte

August 1949 Introducing Johnson and McCreary –Almonte

On Saturday of this week the firm of Johnson and McCreary opens, its new men’s furnishings store on Mill Street. This is the most modernly appointed establishment of its kind in the town and people are invited to visit it on opening day or whenever convenient thereafter. Mr. A. C. Johnson started business here four years ago as a haberdasher in a store located in the Illingworth Block on Bridge Street.

He was successful, but his quarters were cramped and he decided to expand. After forming a partnership with his brother-inlaw, Mr. H. H. McCreary, the two partners purchased a larger frame building on Mill Street owned by the late P. J. Rooney. Previous to renovating this property it had housed two stores on the ground floor and an apartment on the second flat.

Messrs. Johnson and McCreary converted the ground floor space into one large store with modern furnishings and large plate glass^windows running along the entire front, bordered with vitrolite. The outside was covered with white asbestos siding. In a short time they changed what had been a rather ordinary looking structure on the town’s main street into a most cerditable place of business.

The firm of Johnson & . McCreary have a modern and extensive stock of men’s furnishings which the public is invited to look over, as well as the new store, in advertisements which appear on pages two and seven today. The apartment upstairs was also thoroughly renovated and will be occupied by the partners.

JOHNSON, Andrew Carson (Former owner Johnson Clothing Founding Member Almonte Fish & Game Club Past President Almonte Lions Club Member Mississippi Lodge AF/AM #147) In hospital at Ottawa with his beloved and devoted daughter Bonnie at his side on Monday, March 14, 2005. A. Carson Johnson of Almonte, age 81 years Beloved husband of the late Ottie M. McCreary and dearly loved father of Heather Morphy (Ken) of Brockville and Bonnie Johnson-Rourke (Peter) of Ottawa. Predeceased by his brothers Eldon, Willis and Howard. Very special and loved grandpa of Kimberly Ann Friends may call at the C. R. GAMBLE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL 127 Church Street, Almonte for visiting on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Friday from 1 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. and where a complete Service including committal will be held in the Chapel on Saturday at 11 a.m., Rev. Jim Ferrier officiating. Spring interment Auld Kirk Cemetery, Almonte. Donations in memory of Carson may be made to the Kidney Foundation of Canada and would be appreciated by his family. Masonic members will assemble in the Chapel of the funeral home for Service Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m. Published on March 16, 2005

related reading

McAdams Store Almonte

Almonte in the Twenties

Remembering John Kerry from Almonte—By Karen Hirst

N. S. Lee & Son Hardware Comments and History

Mary Delaney Caught Stealing at The People’s Store

Almonte Business May 15 1875 Block Sale James Forgie

Old Almonte Photo Collection — In Back of the D. W. Snedden Drugstore 1953

Needham’s Shoe Store in Almonte- Memories

New Buildings in Almonte Summer of 1866

T. J. Reid Almonte Catalogue 1911-1912 — Adin Daigle

Cochran’s Shell Service– Gail Barr

Photos of Almonte- Gail Barr

O’Kilman Becomes Okilman in Carleton Place and Almonte

Santa Claus Parade Almonte 1974 Business Names

Movin’ on Mill Street– Supertest Building

A 1978 Walking Tour of Mill Street Almonte

Dupont’s Mill Street Restaurant Renovated 1899

What Was the David Harum Ice Cream Sundae Sold in Lanark County?

Clippings and History of Mill and Bridge Street Almonte

What Did You Eat at the Superior? Comments Comments Comments and a 1979 Review

So What Happened to Smolkins?

Snake on Mill Street 1948

Snake on Mill Street 1948

Almonte Gazette 1948

News being very scarce this week—as it always is in late August—an editor has to resort to strange ways of filling up a newspaper. Apropos of that: on Wednesday night in front of the Gazette office, which is located on Mill Street, we met a little girl standing beside a tricycle who pointed to the gutter along the sidewalk and said: “frog, frog.” She started to reach, and looking in the direction of her small hand we saw a snake crawling along. We told her not to touch it and it crawled into a tile drain under a ramp leading to an alley entrance.

A couple of middle aged ladies came along right then and we made the fatal mistake of telling them what we had seen. They looked in the gutter, saw no snake, and looked at us as if we were a snake—or as if we had been seeing snakes. After these ladies had gone on their way, looking disgusted, we stood there ruminating. We knew we could not call on the three year-old child for evidence and we felt we had blundered with the ladies just as the Light Brigade did at Baiaklava. 

Things generally end that way. But this time we were lucky. Along came Mr. Tom Proctor, Sr. and we told him of our strange experience. He looked at us dubiously but was too polite to express what was passing in his mind. Then came one of our own employees. He was a little bit helpful because he told Tom he had seen a snake in the same spot a couple of weeks ago. With that, Tom looked strangely at both of us. But like the sun bursting through a dark cloud, our friend the snake dissolved all our troubles by sticking its head out of the drain pipe at that very moment. 

We were so pleased we yelled: “There it is,” and straightway it withdrew its head. Tom Proctor said with growing doubt; “Where is it: I don’t see anything; of course I’m not as young as I used to be.” Well, to make a silly story short, we all stood still and out came the snake. This time we kept quiet and he came all out—three feet of him. Tom looked at us with an apologetic expression then back at the snake. The reptile was one of those harmless spotted adders (milksnake) we used to see sunning himself on the sandy roads in (the old days— often killed by toy buggy wheels—later by cars. 

Finally it crawled up on the sidewalk and made for the alleyway, pausing now and then. Along came two young “bobby-soxers” gabbling pleasantly. Just as they were about to step on the snake we pointed to him. They seized their skirts—they were wearing skirts at the time—and with shrieks that could be heard for miles they dashed down the street going five feet every leap. 

Meanwhile the snake escaped into the dark alley and that was the last we saw of him. But we have the proof of Mr. Proctor, our employee, the two girls and a few others realized that there really was a snake. And if anyone in Carleton Place or any other neighboring town wants to make an issue of this situation by saying that the main street in Almonte is so dead that snakes crawl on it we will recall this one. 

In the year1929 there was an awful uproar in “The Loop,” Chicago, when a big bull snake invaded that populous section of the city. Women fainted, strong men went into pubs for strong drinks, police grabbed their guns and pandemonium reigned. Finally the reptile was shot. It was said he wandered up from Lake Michigan and didn’t know how to get back. So where did this come from?

Artist’s drawing of the portion of the McArthur Block at 63 Mill Street which once housed the Almonte Gazette. It first appeared in the Gazette’s Christmas edition dated December 25, 1891. Thanks to the scrapbooks of Lucy Connelly Poaps

The Pantagraph
Bloomington, Illinois
12 Jun 1929, Wed  •  Page 1

The Daily Independent
Murphysboro, Illinois
12 Jun 1929, Wed  •  Page 1

Freeport Journal-Standard
Freeport, Illinois
11 Jun 1929, Tue  •  Page 1

T. J. Reid Almonte Catalogue 1911-1912 — Adin Daigle

T. J. Reid Almonte Catalogue 1911-1912  — Adin Daigle

All photos- Adin Daigle

All photos- Adin Daigle –read-A Name on a Sign –Thomas J. Reid Almonte

All photos- Adin Daigle

In December of 1918 Thomas J. Reid, who had a men’s clothing and furnishings store on mill Street in Almonte said:

“Understand,” said Mr. Reid, “there is not so very-much credit asked for nowadays, but when it is asked for by men who used to spend their money on liquor, we feel safe, in giving it to them.”

read-A Name on a Sign –Thomas J. Reid Almonte

almonte gazette september 1911

Top (Left-Right) (Robert) John Neely, Samuel Neely, Tom Reid, Job Neely Front (Left-Right) Sarah Reid (nee Neely), Robert George Neely, Sarah Neely (nee Parsons), McCullough, Minnie (Hannah Jemina) Neely

( this photo was in the same family group for Thomas J. Reid)

Name: 1911 Census
Thomas J Reid

Marital status:
Race or Tribe:
Scotch (Scotish)
Birth Date:
Dec 1869
Birth Place:
Census Year:
Relation to Head of House:
Immigration Year:
Dwelling No.:
Lanark North
District Number:
18 – Almonte
Sub-District Number:
Place of Habitation:
Works at:
Clothing Store
Life Insurance:
Insurance Cost:
Can Read:
Can Write:
Family Number:
View others on page
Household Members:
Thomas J Reid
Angnes J Reid
Maggie Reid
Maud Reed
John Reed

read-A Name on a Sign –Thomas J. Reid Almonte

all photos- adin daigle

Tales from Ritchie Feed and Seed — Larry Clark part 2

Tales from Ritchie Feed and Seed — Larry Clark part 2

Photo- Andrew Ritchie

Back at the mill, one entered by climbing the stairs to the loading dock (or jumping from your truck) and entering the store. The office was a glassed in square opposite the entrance but along the right side were bins filled with some intriguing  items-mostly dog biscuits, which came in a variety of shapes and colours-I preferred the pink! 

The first “boss” I remember was a ? Churchill whose wife was the grade 7 teacher in Central School and in the mid 50’s It was Ian Brodie (more later).

Remember, I’m a kid wandering around here with little or no supervision. 

There was an entry from the office area to the mill proper through a storage area to the mill proper. The first person I would see would be Alec?Bowes (running these names through my mind I just forgot his first name) who was usually covered head to toe in flour dust. He would be attaching bags to the chute that he operated, filling them and weighing the bags on the large scale which was off to one side. Also a Burns (townline & 7?) worked in this area also. Adjacent to this location, by the loading dock (big doors) was the hopper which was accessed from outside. This area was also very noisy with a variety of belts driving the machinery. This was all very interesting to see and hear and a little intimidating but one had to run the gauntlet (so to speak) if you wanted to get to the huge elevator and a chance to explore the upper floors.

I ate many lunches perched on the old millstone, enjoying the sunshine and noise of the falling water. I don’t know what dad was originally hired to do but by the time my memory kicks in, he, for the most part, drove the delivery truck -to all parts of Lanark County.

They were a great group of men to be in contact with-always taunting/joking with one another and playing tricks. On one occasion, they were discussing someone’s jacket which was hanging on the hooks provided in the hall. The owner of the jacket being described went to check it out, put his hand in the pockets, only to discover that there was dead mouse in his hand-it had been dead for some time-hence the discussion as to what to do about the situation.

Another time there was a contest to see who could carry the most bags of feed (100lb). In the end it was my dad that was the winner (of course). One bag under each arm and he had the others place a bag on each shoulder and then proceeded to walk the length of the room (20’)There were other contests but I wouldn’t want you to think that they didn’t work but they did, in an unhealthy and in some ways a dangerous environment (especially where cookies and dog biscuits are involved).

Memories of Ritchie Feed and Seed Carleton Place

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1963 Riverside Park — Stills from a 8 MM Movie Camera — Larry Clark

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Memories of Larry Clark’s Photos- Bonds Horricks and Tombstones

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My Family – Larry Clark — Hilda Strike — Olympic Medallist

Clippings and History of Mill and Bridge Street Almonte

Clippings and History of Mill and Bridge Street Almonte


Photo thanks to Brent Eades of Almonte.com

On the corner of Bridge and Mill Street once sat The People’s Store and the McAdams store– read-McAdams Store Almonte— It burned down and became The Orpheum, then the O’Brien and nowThe Hub. read-Mary Delaney Caught Stealing at The People’s Store

There was a fire in 1911 and that whole corner burned down as it began in the back of People’s store

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
16 May 1911, Tue  •  Page 1
Thanks to Brent Eades

Almonte and district suffered no great damage as a result of Saturday’s wind of hurricane proportions. The O’Brien Theatre was the only casualty and about one quarter of its roof was torn off.There was also some damage to the ventilators in the building. The matinee was cancelled but Mr. H. R. Davey was able to make temporary repairs and the night show was held as usual — May 1950 Almonte Gazette

may 1960 almonte gazette

Almonte and district suffered no great damage as a result of Saturday’s wind of hurricane proportions. The O’Brien Theatre was the only casualty and about one quarter of its roof was torn off. There was also some damage to the ventilators in the building. The matinee was cancelled but Mr. H. R. Davey was able to make temporary repairs and the night show was held as usual. 

Motoring was most unpleasant and in some sections telephone poles were torn down. The fire brigade responded to four fires on Saturday, three of which were in less than an hour. One was a chimney fire at the home of Mr. James Waddell in New England. Another was a grass fire at the end of Ann St.; the next was at the residence of Mr. Archie Levitan where leaves caught fire in some unexplained way and the fourth was at the home of Mr. Edgar Lowry, corner of Country and Church Streets. This one started from a fire that had been set out several days before and the embers were fanned into life by the high wind.

May 1950

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Jun 1930, Sat  •  Page 21

May 1930 Almonte Gazette

Everything is just about ready for the reopening of the Orpheum Theatre here and the first official showing will be on Monday afternoon and evening next, June 30th. The first picture to be shown will be the First National beautiful, all technicolor, musical comedy story “Sally,” which both on the stage and through the sound screen has proven very popular and entertaining. The management have made a special effort to secure a positive atmosphere with courtesy and pleasure and a sucessful production for presentation.

Mr.  Bruck is general manager and an excellent picture has been procured for the opening day. The new theatre is one of the best in the Ottawa Valley and no doubt will be a great drawing card for Almonte. 

The picture “Sally” will be shown on both Monday and Tuesday of next week, and will be followed by dramatic and musical attractions that will amuse and entertain the large audiences which it is expected  to patronize the new theatre. The program also of the management is to show only features of a high standard which will be superior in quality and of a calibre that will insure a successful entertainment. The advertising pages of the Gazette will from time to time announce the various sound pictures that have been booked for showing here. The new O’Brien Theatre is a commercial enterprise, but it is more. 

This new theatre in Almonte is a testimony to the man whose name ‘it bears; expense has not entered into the construction and equipping of the O’Brien Theatre; only the best in each of the various lines necessary to the building and equipping of the O’­ Brien Theatre was allowed into the architects’ specifications. The result is that Almonte now has a beautiful Movitone and Vitaplione motion picture building, very modern in design, acoustically perfect, and absolutely fireproof. 

The new O’Brien. Theatre is a distinct asset to the town. In addition, the furnishings and the equipment are of the most advanced and approved designs that the world’s markets had to offer, and everything has been laid out to ensure public approval. The old Orpheum Theatre has been entirely remodelled and built; the canopy over the main entrance and the immense electrical sign present an imposing and attractive appearance; there are three entrance doors from Main street into the lobby. In addition there are two exit doors which open on to Bridge street, and these two exits will enable the theatre to be emptied at any time very rapidly. The main theatre building is of brick and concrete and the floors are covered with fresh cement which is a sound deadener. A very modern ventilation system has been installed so as to provide for the free circulation of fresh air continuously. Entering the theatre one goes from the lobby to the main part of the house. The lighting effects in the lobby are modernistic. Particularly artistic photo frame and mirrors decorate both the lobby and foyer. 

These lend a very attractive appearance to this section of the entrance. Going from the lobby one enters the main part of the theatre, with its wide aisles and beautiful, comfortable, upholstered opera chairs, with leather air cushions and upholstered backs finished in wine color. 

Indirect lighting of the aisles is a very up-to-date touch which will no doubt be appreciated by the patrons coming in during the performance. On the stage is a large Vocalite sound   screen equipped with an automatic screen modifier, also electrically operated and controlled. This screen and modifier is one of the new real WS features of the Q’Brien Theatre. The stage back of the Vocalite sound screen has been draped with heavy and artistically finished velour hangings, and the scenic effect will compare with any of the theatres in the larger cities of Canada and the United States. 

The owners of the O’Brien Theatre gave a great deal of time and attention to the question of sound equipment, and after investigating many different styles and makes of machines decided to install the high class Northern Electric sound equipment for both Movitone and Vitaphone in addition to new Simplex projection machines. This newest sound equipment will enable the proper presentation of the bigger and best of the talkies and where feasible the screen will give life size reproduction. 

The main contract for the construction of the new O’Brien Theatre was awarded on a tender basis to M. Sullivan & Son, Arnprior. The architects were Messrs. Richards and Abra of Ottawa, and local firms whose work has assisted in the completion of this fine new building were: Taylor Bros., The proscenium curtains, valances, draperies, carpels and furniture for the O ’Brien Theatre here, and also those in Renfrew, Arnprior and Pembroke, were made and installed by A. J. Frieman, Ottawa. 

Broadloom Axminster carpets, reversible gold French velours, black silk velours and figure silk damasks, all richly trimmed, together with highest grade available. The main contract for the construction of the new O’Brien Theatre was awarded on a tender basis to M. Sullivan & Son, Arnprior. The architects , were Messrs. Richards and Abra of Ottawa, and local firms whose work has assisted in the completion of this fine new building were: Taylor Bros., The proscenium curtains, valances, draperies, carpels and furniture for the O ’Brien Theatre here, and also those in Renfrew, Arnprior and Pembroke, were made and installed by A. J. Frieman, Ottawa. 

photo almonte.com

The theatre was owned and operated by Ottawa Valley Amusements, owned by Renfrew entrepreneur M. J. O’Brien. The Renfrew Theatre was part of a chain that included theatres in Arnprior (now once again associated with Renfrew), and Pembroke, Almonte and Carleton Place.

Marilyn Miller 1929 in Sally which was playing at the O’ Brien

Source: North Lanark Regional Museum
When the Rosamond Hospital in Almonte quickly filled on the night of the accident, the O’Brien Theatre opened their doors rather reluctantly.  When confronted, the owner of the theatre protested opening his doors, claiming he didn’t have any authorization. Nevertheless the doors were removed, and used as stretches for the dead and wounded.
Converted into a temporary hospital and morgue, it is unclear whether the theatre had re-opened by December 31 as advertised in the Almonte Gazette.

Photo Allan Stanley— read-Lottie Barr’s Chips Almonte –Thanks to Allan Stanley

Almonte1925 Gazette

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Dec 1942, Mon  •  Page 12

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Jun 1930, Sat  •  Page 24
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Jun 1930, Sat  •  Page 24
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Aug 1969, Tue  •  Page 37
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
16 Feb 1957, Sat  •  Page 3

Thanks to Brent Eaded

Our pushing young merchants, Messrs. Riddell & McAdam,
have purchased the •People’s Store• property from Mrs. J.T~
Brown, and will shortly remove to their new stand. The price
paid was $5,550. At the sale on Saturday afternoon .Mr. Wm.
Curry, blacksmith, bought the Cowie pump factory and the
residence adjoining, paying therefor.$950. Sept 1890 Almonte Gazette–https://lindaseccaspina.wordpress.com/…/mary-delaney…/

Related reading….

Almonte at Night — 1946

Lottie Barr’s Chips Almonte –Thanks to Allan Stanley

Seeds of Love–Almonte Cinema – Then and Now

Les Portes Tournantes Film Almonte 1987

The People’s Store McAdams Building Fire 1911

The People’s Store McAdams Building Fire 1911

Corner Bridge and Mill Street now the Hub

Almonte, May 18, 1911

One of the most disastrous fire In the history of the town broke out in the early hours of this morning in the business block and before it was gotten under control had entailed a loss estimated at nearly $76,000, only partly covered by insurance. The conflagration is a most serious, one for the town s the portion destroyed is right in the centre of the business section. In about an hour after the fire broke out the large block of half a dozen buildings which fell a prey to the flames had been consumed with practically all of their contents. Carleton Place sent its engine on a special train but the fire was under control when it arrived. The principal buildings destroyed are those of A. J. McAdam, Sirs. J. S. Patterson, Mrs. D. H. Davis, these three being of brick; W. McMunn, H. Conn and J. Francis, the latter being frame; T. R. White’s coat shed with a large stock of coal; W. N. Acton’s lumber storehouse, well filled with dressed lumber, and L. James’ ash house.

The fire when first discovered was well advanced and had apparently broken out in the rear of the People’s Store attire. By the time the fire company was on the scene and the engine In action the flames had spread to ths frame structure at the rear of the Mock. All the upper part of Mr. W. J’cMunn’s building, formerly the old Music hall and now used as a storehouse for buggies and machinery, was a mass of flames.


To show what a narrow escape Mr.  Robertson’s store had from destruction during the big blaze, one only has to look at the eave of the roof, which is burned and charred- in several places. The terrific heat from across the street was the cause and only a thorough drenching kept the building from falling prey to the flames. The attention of the firemen was devoted principally to preventing the fire from spreading to the adjoining blocks. The substantial store building of Mr. F. W. Robertson was instrumental in shutting off the advance of the lire down Mill street, although the edge of the roof was on fire repeatedly. The chief danger was that the fire might cross High street to the lavls house, a large three-storey frame building, as the wind was blowing in that direction, but there was little wind and this enabled the firemen to get a chance to fight it. The pressure on some of the lines of hose was poor and the water could not be ithrown to the top of the Davis house. It was. however, saved by a party of volunteers under Mr. L. W. Shipman and Mr. Avery, a teacher. The roof had become ignited from embers and Mr. Shipman succeeded after some delay in getting a hand pump to work on the roof. Mr. Avery also made his way along the roof in a daring manner and applied water to the fast in creasing blaze. The daring work ot the two men undoubtedly saved the hotel.

The saving of the Davis house also prevented the destruction of a large part of the town which would certainly have been destroyed if it had gone. There was a hard struggle to prevent the fire from crossing to the Davis house sheds, when Acton’s lumber shed was on fire, the heat being so intense that It almost drove the firemen out of range. Carleton Place generously sent their fire engine down on a special train but the fire was under control before it arrived and was detrained. The loss will be well up near the $100.000 mark, as there were three large brick buildings. A. J. McAdams building shows the most loss ( People’s Store)

The brick wall of the McAdam building on Bridge street is still standing, but owing to its dangerous condition the street has been fenced off. Monday evening about six o’clock, during the high wind, a portion of the upper part was blown off. The wall will probably be taken down to the second story, and the lower portion rebuilt. The walls at the back of the McAdam and Patterson buildings are also standing, but the rest of the burned area is nearly all levelled to the ground.

McAdams occupied the first flat of his building as a general store and lost his complete stock. The second flat was occupied by the Misses Beaton as a dressmaking shop and partly by McAdams’ stock of carpets. etc. The third story was occupied by the Citizens’ band. Mrs. J. Patterson’s shop was occupied by J. H. Proctor, harness maker, and Messrs. Rooney and Hogan barbers, on the first flat, the Bell Telephone central and Mrs. Patterson’s residence in the second flat, and the upper flat was the hall of the Sons of Temperance.

The lower flat of Mrs. Davis’ building was occupied by T. Hogan’s pool room and tobacco shop and the Union Express office and the second flat by Mrs. Davis as her residence. George Robertson, occupied the barber shop at the rear of the Peoples’ store, near which the fire originated There is a fair amount of Insurance on some of the goods but the loss will still be heavy.

1911 Almonte Gazette May

Some of the losses in detail, with amount of Insurance, are: Mrs. J. S. Patterson, loss on buildings $4,000; occupants, J. H. Proctor, harness, loss $2,000: Rooney and Hogan, barbers, $500; telephone central office, loss $4,000. Mrs. D. H. Davis, loss on buildings, $250, on furniture $1,000; occupants of stores under her dwelling, Thos. Hopkins. tobacco and pool, $2,000;

Dominion Express company office, $500. A. J. McAdams, drygoods and general store, loss on building, $7,000; on stock $30,000; other occupants of McAdam block, the Misses Beaton, milliners and dressmakers, $500; Citizens’ band loss on instruments, $500; Geo. Robinson, barber shop, $500. Wm. McMunn block, lose on buildings. $2,000; on stock of flour, feed and implements, $3,000. M. Unger, vacant dwelling and shop, loss $1,500. John France, frame dwelling, loss on building and contents, $1,000. T. R. White, coal sheds, loss on building $1,000; on contents $1,000. W. N. Acton, dressed lumber and office, loss on building and contents, $3,000. Mrs. E. Greig. loss on furniture in McMunn block. $1,000. The burned section is bounded by Mill, Bridge and High streets and the C. P. R. tracks. Chester Avery, the young school teacher who was in instrumental in saving the Davis house and thus checking the fire was slightly injured.

May 1911 Ottawa Citizen

Related reading

Mary Delaney Caught Stealing at The People’s Store

McAdams Store Almonte

Robertsons Keepsake Building Memories and Comments