Tag Archives: mills

Putting History Together — Mr. Mills Disappearance– Alexander Scott

Putting History Together — Mr. Mills Disappearance– Alexander Scott

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada28 Jul 1928, Sat  •  Page 32

I found this article in the Ottawa Citizen and decided I wanted to dig up the story. Did he really disappear?? I found out later there was no way the man could have survived but also found out some neat history about Alexander Scott from Ottawa and documented it.

Alexander Scott Confectioner First Home

62-64 John Street— Alexander Scott Confectioner first home

The Fraser School House reverted to residential use after the school closed in 1844. Photo ca. late 1940’s: City of Ottawa Archives / CA 6201

Present day- Photo from Google

Originally built as a semi-detached workman’s dwelling,this one and one half storey stone dwelling is locatedon Lot 13, John Street in New Edinburgh. It is one ofthe oldest surviving buildings in Ottawa. Built by Thomas McKay, stone mason.

MacKay sold the building in 1848 to Alexander Scott. An early City Directory lists Alexander Scott as a baker and confectioner at Sparks corner of Elgin in Ottawa.

He was also the Captain of the Central Hook & Ladder Company

Thanks to Jaan Kolk

Blair Stannard


Ottawa – 1864 (or fall of 1882) – Scott’s Confectionery and the Russell House Hotel at Elgin and Sparks looking East


Ottawa, July 11, 1866 Alexander Scott, Confectioner, aged 50 years. A native of Perth, Scotland. His obituary states that he came to Ottawa about 28 years ago (1838?) and that he was the first Captain of the Central Hook & Ladder Company (Fire Department) and at the time of his death, he was the senior Alderman of the City Council.

CLIPPED FROMThe Weekly British WhigKingston, Ontario, Canada19 Jul 1866, Thu  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada17 Dec 1866, Mon  •  Page 4

His Wife- Alison McKay Scott

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada14 Sep 1909, Tue  •  Page 12

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada16 May 1866, Wed  •  Page 3

Why Mr. Mills could not survive falling into an ice hole. Hyperthermia would be immediate, but the area was full of sawdust and debris in the water.

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada10 Aug 1872, Sat  •  Page 4

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada12 Oct 1872, Sat  •  Page 4

Timber booms, Nepean Point (& Notre Dame Basillica), Ottawa River, 1872. Arrows point to Queen’s Wharf and Ratte’s Boathouse (in Entrance Bay) respectively, left to right). (Original photo by William Notman – colourized by Ashley Newall))

Ice racing on the Ottawa River, 1902, Topley Studio, Library and Archives Canada, 3387722

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada01 Mar 1958, Sat  •  Page 35

Rideau Falls ca. 1860, with McKay and McKinnon cloth mills in the background, located a block away from the Fraser School House. Photo: Samuel McLaughlin / Library and Archives Canada / C-003853

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

Documenting Stanzel History — Community Comments — Stanzell’s TAXI and the IDEAL Candy Shop

Communicating About History with Humour? — Jim Sharp Comments

I’ve Got a Hex on You — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina –Historic Rabbit Hole Series

Particulars About Pure Spring Ginger Ale — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina Historic Rabbit Hole Series

Mrs. James Lawrie and Her Ginger Beer

The Clyde Woollen Mill Fire — Hour By Hour 1917

The Clyde Woollen Mill Fire — Hour By Hour 1917

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada27 Jun 1917, Wed  •  Page 1

The was completely destroyed by fire late Thursday night. Of the large main building in which all the manufacturing was carried on nothing remains except a lint portion of the inactive stone wall and a great heap of smoking debris.

Part of Mr. Crierson, the Superintendants home, also fell prey to the flames, but the office and shipping room, store houses and a few other outhouses wore saved by the excellent and effective work of the firemen. The damage amounts to one hundred thousand dollars, covered by insurance to the extent of 50 thousand dollars. The fire originated at about 9.4.1 p.m. in the boiler room, and was first noticed hy Mr. Cardinal, nightwatchman, on his return from one of his hourly rounds.

A time clock is used and registered upon every hour as the watchman makes a complete inspection of the entire plant. He had just returned to the waiting quarters in the boiler room and had gone to the adjoining department for a handful of waste when the fire was spotted.

Though at times it seemed that the flames would get beyond the rear of the main building where there were a number of storehouses in which are kept large stocks of wool and other raw material it did not. The cloth from the shipping room was all removed to places of safety. Danger to the wool was immediate and serious, and, and the firemen did all they could do to hold down the danger at the east and north ends, the chances of cutting off the -wool losses seemed’ remote.

Extra precautionary measures were taken in this direction and all put in readiness with men and teams to remove the wool in short order. The arrival of the Perth Fire Brigade relieved the situation. They had been summoned and made the journey from Perth to help. When they came they saw a small smouldering fire in a wood pile which stands in the boiler room. Deciding that they could extingnish the blaze quite easily with a sprinkling of water, they went to procure pails and found upon their return that the flames had developed out of control, reaching high up the wells and all around the boiler room.

The alarm was given and quick help at hand, but so sudden and furious had the burning grow that it was impossible to do anything of an efficient nature. The mill firefighters were situated inside the building, but the raging flames prevented this being brought into service.

In a few minutes devastation hail spread east and went to the spinning and carding departments and westward into the finishing room. The last room of all to come to ruin was the weaving. Bursting from their confinement it hit the interior of the building, the flames passed out and over to the dye room and curled in the direction of Mr. Grierson’s house.

The situation was one of keeping control with Perth by means of relays of teams at points along every few feet. The Fire Captain (placed his engine at the Clyde Bridge on George Street), laid hose along Hillier St., caught up around the rear of the building anil joined with Captain White’s Lanark men in forming a complete barrage which cut off the danger from the wool stock anil outbuilding.

Stubbornly the flames shot and roared towards the superintendent’s home, lint equally stubborn and the ascendancy ebbed and flowed for nearly two hours before the flames showed signs of subsidence. In the mill itself large quantities of wool were stored amongst quantities of goods throughout the mill in various stages of fire.

In the scouring house downstairs a miscellaneous assortment of goods were ready for the machines and these were recovered. Thousands of dollars were in stock everywhere and had a strong wind prevailed even this might have been a vain effort, and when the fire spots came along they were quickly extinguished.

Precautions taken in this way saved the fire from spreading and the Fire Brigade was doing splendid work The fire engine stationed at the bridge, no more than one hundred feet distant from the burning building, worked along at full capacity and sent four strong, steady streams of water, distributed to the heat advantage, along the north sides of the building. This was a great task that demanded courage and perseverance.

About an hour after the first alarm the roofs began to weaken and fall, cracking and splitting with the terrific heat, broke off in sections and came down. The centre section of the mill was raised to the ground, disclosing fantastic shapes in twisted and gnarled machinery. A few years ago a brick storey had been added to tho mill, which is all gone, as well as about one-third of the eastern and western sections of the substantial old stone walls which enclosed the plant.

The destruction is so complete that all the order and form of this industry, which was Lanark pride and main support, has passed into the elements, and nothing remains but the slag of the ruin. The fire was all around and as far away as Smiths Falls the glare in the sky was noted. Crowds of people gathered from all quarters. Scores of automobiles came from the towns and villages and countryside. The fire alarm rang in Perth as soon as word was received there, end in a short time the engine and hose were ready end on the way.

Many of Perth’s folk came along in cars and other rigs.The building was originally a store owned by tlie Main, at that time a prominent business family in Lanark. A few years later the property was acquired by the late Boyd Caldwell and converted by him into a Woolen Mill. From time to time improvements end additions have been made.

When the wheels first turned that gave Lanark a standing as an industrial village there was general rejoicing. Caldwell’s Tweeds have honored Lanark for as long as it has existed. At the same time, it seems unthinkable that the place which has been the voice of inspiration for fifty years of successful effort and uninterrupted business policy, should be abandoned lightly. In the meantime plans have been in motion for recovering as fast as possible.

Appleton will take care of the finishing until machinery can be installed in the Perth plant. The Aberdeen Mill in Lanark will be doubled up in capacity by overtime.

Also read–100 Hands Thrown Out of Work –Lanark Village

The Weekly British Whig
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
25 Jun 1917, Mon  •  Page 8


Click here

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
16 Nov 1910, Wed  •  Page 8

Clyde Woolen Mills
  • Lot 2 George St.
  • Clyde Woolen Mills (Caldwell and Watchorn, proprietors; subsequently Boyd Caldwell and Co.) established a woolen mill in 1867.
  • The building was destroyed by fire in 1917. (the Glenayr Kitten Outlet Store was later situated in the Boyd Caldwell store).

Aberdeen Mills
  • Lot 2 George St.
  • William Clyde Caldwell, proprietor, built and began operating a woolen mill by 1890.
  • There was a fire at the mill in June 1901.
  • It was still operating under the Caldwells until 1930.


The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
19 Nov 1919, Wed  •  Page 1

100 Hands Thrown Out of Work –Lanark Village

A Walk through Lanark Village in 1871

Revolutions of Death at Caldwell & Son’s

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

More Clippings– Lanark Fire 1959

The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

The Lanark Fire of 1895

Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

The CLYDE Rises High…. Floods 1896

The CLYDE Rises High…. Floods 1896
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
22 Apr 1896, Wed  •  Page 1

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
22 Apr 1896, Wed  •  Page 1

Aberdeen Mills
  • Lot 2 George St.
  • William Clyde Caldwell, proprietor, built and began operating a woolen mill by 1890.
  • There was a fire at the mill in June 1901.
  • It was still operating under the Caldwells until 1930.

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
22 Apr 1896, Wed  •  Page 1

In 1874 James married Marion Umpherson, who was born at Umphersons Mills, Poland, Lanark County, in 1850. She was the daughter of James Umpherson and Agnes Waddell. Marion was working as a weaver at the time of her marriage. (Early spelling was “Umpherston“).

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
09 Apr 1919, Wed  •  Page 5

related reading

Mrs. James Prentice Hatmaker Milliner of Lanark

Clydesville General Store

Smiles of Content and Social Notes in Clydesville

More Kitten Mill Memories -As the Needle Surges

More Kitten Mill Memories -As the Needle Surges
Julia James
January 26, 2021  · 
Where the 3 roads meet in Lanark looked like a busy spot in the horse and buggy days. On the left, when I first went to Lanark was, I think, Campbells Rest., not sure what was there when this photo was taken, beside it is what was or became the Kitten Mill, on that same side you can see the second storey of Young’s Furniture Store and the bridge over the Clyde River. The first place on the right side was where the Lanark Era was printed and that building is still there, up at the top of the hill you can see the Clock Tower on the Town Hall
Lanark & District Museum photo

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Dec 1992, Tue  •  Page 15
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Jun 1996, Sat  •  Page 52
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Thu, Mar 11, 1982 · Page 33
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Jun 1991, Thu  •  Page 52

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Mar 1956, Fri  •  Page 46

Frances Somerville
April 25, 2014  · 

Went shopping and was given a reusable bag from
the old kitten mill in Lanark
memories of years gone by

The Expositor
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
16 Jun 1959, Tue  •  Page 1

The Glenayr Kitten Mill (A Reminiscence)


Memories of the Kitten Mills.. Please note that the video was done by John Foliot from the Lanark Heritage Preservation Society.

When I was 17- The Kitten- Glenayr Knitting Mills Reunion

How Much is that Kitten Sweater in the Window?

Stories from the Old Kitten Mill

Down by the Old Kitten Mill

Linda’s Mail Bag– Do You Have any Info on my Blanket?

You’re from the Village of Lanark You Say?

The Second Opening of Zephyr Mills 1978

The Second Opening of Zephyr Mills 1978

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Feb 1978, Thu  •  Page 3

It was like New Year’s Eve here Wednesday January 1978. In fact, it was even better for many families in quiet valley town. Where as Dec. 31,1978 meant the last of work at Zephyr Textiles for 130 people, Wednesday signalled the dawn of brighter days: the mill has a new owner. Collie Woollen Mills Ltd. of nearby Appleton purchased the Zephyr and announced that about 50 employees would be hired before the of 1978.

For many of the laid-off workers, news meant a return to reality. took it more calmly, but a deep feeling of relief. Mayor Ron Pettem, who assumed post just last month following resignation of Terry Kennedy, it was “beautiful, just great.” “A high point!” he beamed in response to a question.

“It will probably be one of the few high points I’ll have (as mayor).” He expressed the hope that many of the former Zephyr employees, “especially the older ones,” would be taken on by Collie. Although he claimed no role in the transaction, Pettem said he knew for some time that “something was going on.”

Terry Gorman, who was appointed to council at the same meeting that elevated Pettem to the mayor’s chair, is doubly pleased with the news. As a councillor and member of the industrial commission, the economy was one of his main concerns. As an individual, it might mean his return to work. When the plant closed, Gorman was just a few days shy of observing his 11th anniversary with Zephyr. He was in charge of production and quality control. ” Since the shutdown Gorman, like the other unemployed, has been knocking on doors looking for work. He recalled the great atmosphere on the job. “It was a big, happy family. Everybody was on a first-name basis.”

Jack Reid was one of a half-dozen Zephyr employees. He stayed on after shutdown as a sort of watchman of the stock and equipment. The superintendent of dyeing and finishing has already been asked by Collie to assume the same position under the new ownership. He called the news “a great thing for all.” A few other persons were also kept doing maintenance chores. Russ McGill, who has 36 years’ experience in the textile industry 20 with Zephyr said it’s cause “to get down to the legion to celebrate. He was “getting tired of sitting around watching television.” McGill, like Gorman and many others, had been beating the bushes in vain to find employment.

Town treasurer Des Houston, while expressing pleasure for some of the laid-off workers who had no other trade, did not overlook the fact that the reopening meant tax revenue. And for government, at any level, that is cause for celebration. Zephyr had been the town’s largest employer with an annual payroll of close to $1 million. “I hope we’ve made the town happy,” Collie said. “Almonte’s always been a textile town and like’ the industry it’s suffered in recent years.” Phillip Beiler, Zephyr president, said ncgotiations for the sale started three months ago. “The deal suited both sides and I think both of us are reasonably happy,” added Beiler who will continue to own and operate his Quebec plant.

Both company heads declined to disclose the purchase price of the six-storey mill, which was first constructed in 1867. Collie said the Almonte operation will be similar to the Perth and Appleton mills although it will produce some new product line. The firm, which now employs 135 workers at its two plants, makes fur-like fabrics for shoe, furniture and clothing manufacturers. Collie said he didn’t know the extent of renovations required for the Almonte mill but that the firm would be using some of the old equipment and selling the rest. However, he said, the capital investment would be substantial and that it was possible the company would seek assistance from the Eastern Ontario Development Corporation.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Oct 1977, Fri  •  Page 52
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Jul 1978, Thu  •  Page 27

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Jul 1978, Thu  •  Page 27
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Jul 1978, Thu  •  Page 27

Unraveled and Threadbare

Lanark Village 1870 Flour, Pork Packing and Duels

Lanark Village 1870 Flour, Pork Packing and Duels

H Brown & Sons were also in Carleton Place. Read –Down by the Old Mill Stream — Carleton Place or The Brown Flour Mill Stories and The Brown Family

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
28 Mar 1900, Wed  •  Page 4

Merchants of Lanark and Renfrew Counties 1850 – Directory Names Names — Genealogy


Village of Lanark Business Directory 1886– 1887

The Stewart Mill Hopetown –Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings


With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

Stewart Carding Mill
  • E 1/2, Lot 17 Conc 2 Lanark Township (near Hopetown), on a tributary of the Clyde River.
  • Duncan Stewart was operating a carding mill by 1849, but it is not clear how long it operated after Stewart’s death in 1857.
  • Mill Ruins, 5475 Highway 511 — Directly behind the church, the remains of Duncan. Stewart’s millpond can be seen.

Honey and the Andersons of Hopetown

The Hopetown School

The Hopetown General Store– Looking for Memories

Lot 645, Canada 1800s Lanark County postal history, sold for $920

Lost in Hopetown — A Photo Essay

Paradise in Hopetown

Who Invented the Highway Traffic Lights? Evan J. McIlraith Hopetown

Slander You Say in Hopetown? Divorce in Rosetta?

Some Fromage About the Hopetown Cheese Factory

The Mills of Carleton Place -Victoria Woolen Factory to the Hawthorn

The Mills of Carleton Place  -Victoria Woolen Factory to the Hawthorn

Original Newspaper ad from the files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Victoria Woolen Factory (1830s)
  • The mill stood on river bank near James St. The Rosamond House (1838) which is still standing is at 37 Bell St.
  • James Rosamond operated a carding mill from 1838-1846 and then a custom carding and woolen mill from 1846 – 1857.

In 1825, in the village of Fenagh in county Leitrim in Ireland, a gang of Catholic youths attacked the Rosamond home. The Rosamonds were staunch Protestants. James, aged 20 (born 1805) and his brother Edward, aged 15, attempted to protect their mother. A shot was fired by Edward and a youth was dead. The boys fled to Canada. James went to Merrickville where he worked for James Merrick as a weaver. Edward, still fearing arrest, worked his way eventually to Memphis, Tennessee.

          James Rosamond worked for James Merrick for five years and he came to Carleton Place in 1825. We know that by 1830 he was operating a sawmill, an oat mill and a carding and a fulling mill in Carleton Place on one side of the Mississippi River and a lumber mill on the other side of the river.

          In 1831 he married Margaret Wilson who was born in Scotland. James and Margaret were to have five children, all born in Carleton Place: Bennett, Mary Ann (known as Marion, who later married Andrew Bell, their son was James McIntosh Bell), Rosalind, William and James.

Mary Peden 1920s Carleton Place- Photo property Linda Seccaspina– Rosamond House in the background on Bell Street.The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler

          In the 1830’s, James built a very fine stone home on Bell Street in Carleton Place, close to St. James’ Church where he was a church warden for fifteen years. It was a time of great expansion. No one worried about pension funds, or the government looking after your, that was your responsibility. James burst upon the scene and started many businesses, all of which seem to have been successful.

          James, in what was to prove to be a landmark decision, decided to turn his fulling and carding mill into a woolen factory. In 1864 he advertised that he had purchased spinning and weaving machinery which he had bought from firms in Toronto, Ogdensburgh and Watertown, New York. By 1846 he was in operation and was selling “Plain Cloth either grey or dyed, Cashmere, Satinett, Flannel, all wool or cotton and wool, Blankets, etc.” James had started with three narrow looms, one spindle jack of one hundred and twenty spindles and one bolting roll. He expanded as best as he could in Carleton Place but the limiting factor was the amount of water power to make everything run. He ran his operation in Carleton Place for another ten years, but by 1857 his water rights had lapsed and he erected a stone mill in Almonte on the site of the Ramsay Woolen Cloth Manufacturing Company which had been destroyed by fire. Alex Huighes

read-The Exact Reason Rosamond Left Carleton Place

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

McDonald and Brown Carding and Fulling Mill and Woolen Factory
  • Vicinity of 71 Mill St (Mill St and Judson St).
  • This mill was located on Lot 65 Section D of the town survey. Allan McDonald operated a carding mill a at this location from 1846 – 1864, except for the interval 1861 – 1863 when he leased it to William Paisley.
  • Under the management of Paisley, it was known as the Wolverine Carding Mills. Then from 1864 it was again run as a custom carding mill under Allan McDonald and then in succession by a partnership of John McDonald and John Brown.
  • A new mill was built on 1868. On the retirement of John McDonald in 1901, it continued in operation by John Brown.

The Condo Ephemera of Boulton Brown Mill

Down by the Old Mill Stream — Carleton Place
The Brown Flour Mill Stories
One of the Many Hauntings of Mill Street
Coleman Family History–Just for Your Records
Jumpin’ Around in Carleton Place — Local Urban Acrobats

 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Photo

McArthur Woolen Mill (1871)
  • 105 Mill St, W 1/2 Lot 15, Conc 12 Beckwith Township.
  • The Archibald McArthur and Company Woolen Mill was built in 1871 and was operated by the company until 1876. The woolen mill, equipped to operate by waterpower of the lower falls, was later leased and reopened by William H. Wylie in 1877 when the country’s business depression became less severe. Wylie operated the mill until 1881.
  • It was then sold to John Gillies in 1882 and operated until 1900 under the firm name of J Gillies, Son and Company ; John and James Gillies; The John Gillies Estate Company Ltd .
  • In 1900 it was sold to the Canada Woolen Mills Ltd who went bankrupt in 1904. The reason was stated to be loss of Canadian markets to British exporters of tweeds and worsteds.
  • It was later sold to Bates and Innes in 1907. Bates and Innes Co. Limited equipped the former woolen mill as a knitting mill. In 1909 , the Bates & Innes knitting mill, after making waterpower improvements, began running night and day with 150 employees.
  • It was and still operating in 1911 as a knitting mill.

Eye Opening Conditions of the Carleton Place Mills– also update to Cardy Miller Story

The River Dance of the McArthur Mill in Carleton Place

Rosemary McNaughton- Little Red Door Arrives at Bates and Innes

Hawthorn Woolen Mill (1875)
  • 115 Emily St, NE 1/2, Lot 13, Conc 13, Beckwith Township.
  • Abraham Code operated a woolen mill from 1875 – 1878.
  • It sat idle from 1878 – 1880.
  • It was bought in 1880 by James Gillies of Carleton Place from its original owner Abraham Code at a reported price of $16,400.
  • It was then sold to William Wylie and William Fraser Latimer (subsequent firm name Hawthorne Woolen Mills) in 1881.
  • In 1889 it was sold to Hawthorne Woolen Company Limited which ran until 1899 when it was sold to Canada Woollen Mills Limited in 1900. In 1903 the Hawthorne (and Gillies) woolen mills – recently working on overtime hours with 192 employees, after six years of improvements under the ownership of Canada Woolen Mills Limited – were closed. The reason was stated to be loss of Canadian markets to British exporters of tweeds and worsteds. The company went into bankruptcy in 1904.
  • It was finally sold in 1907 to the Waterloo Knitting Company. In 1909 the Hawthorne knitting mill was closed by reason of financial difficulties, and its operating company was reorganized as the Carleton Knitting Co. Ltd’


Hawthorn Mill–The Early Years– 1874 -1930

The McArthurs of Carleton Place

The Revolutions of the Hawthorn Mill
The Rencraft Fire Dept Photo Brings Back a Familiar Name
The Case of the Bell that Disappeared
An Invitation to the Old Hawthorn Mill

Ring Those Bells in Carleton Place– Wylie’s Woolen Mill

Rosebank, Blakeney, Norway Falls and Snedden’s Station

Rosebank, Blakeney, Norway Falls and Snedden’s Station
Jack Snedden seeding on Lot 24E, Con. 7 Ramsay. Photo courtesy Lanark Archives.

NE 1/2, Lot 25, Conc 9, Ramsay Township, on the Mississippi River

Blakeney is one of the prettiest places anytime of the year– and especially in the Spring with the raging waters. The tiny hamlet was originally called Norway Falls because of the incredible Norway Pine trees. But, like most of the small towns here the name was changed a few times. It also became Snedden’s Mills because of the amount of industrial growth in the area and its historical beginnings with the iconic Snedden family.

Alexander Snedden became a militia officer and in 1855 gained the rank of Lieutenant colonel in command of the Ramsay battalion of Lanark Militia. His adjutant was Captain J. B. Wylie, Almonte mill owner. Around the Snedden establishment a small community grew at Norway Falls, known as Snedden’s Mills until in the eighteen fifties it was named Rosebank.

Almonte Gazette 1875

It was renamed Blakeney when the post office of the area was moved here in 1874 from Bennie’s Corners with Peter McDougall as postmaster. In the 1850s the name was changed to Rosebank, but similar to Carleton Place and its postal issue, the name Rosebank was already being used and it changed one more time to Blakeney. The nearby railway station continued to be called Snedden, and the name Rosebank also persisted.

Other early industries at Blakeney included a woollen factory, a brewery at the Pine Isles, a second sawmill and a tannery. A three storey woollen mill of stone construction operated by Peter McDougall, was built in the eighteen seventies. The flour mill at Blakeney continued to be run for some years after the turn of the century by Robert Merilees.

Did you know Blakeney once rivaled Almonte in growth? However the railway chose Almonte as their destination because of the Rosamonds and their textile mills and Blakeney lost the industry to their neighbour.

The Snedden family who came from Rosebank, Scotland, named the place where they settled Rosebank and it is still known by that name in that vicinity. Here the Reform Association conventions of the old District of Bathurst and of the United Counties of Lanark and Renfrew of the eighteen forties and early fifties were held.

Joan Stoddart My sister and I took the train from this station into Almonte on Sat for piano lesson from Mrs Smithson on Country St in the mid forties-Very dark inside and I think benches along the wall You bought your ticket on the train

Among the treasures this family brought from Scotland were brass candlesticks, brass curtain tics, pictures of Robert Burns, ‘the poet, and of Rev. Robert Burns, who was the Presbyterian minister in the kirk where the Snedden family worshipped, a chair worked in needlepoint, a small Brussels rug and a table cover.

A discriminating traveler of 1846 wrote of “Snedden’s Hotel, which is kept in as good style as any country Inn in the Province.” Another travelling newspaper contributor of fifteen years later added in confirmation: “Who in this portion of Victoria’s domain has not heard of Snedden’s as a stopping place? Ask any teamster on the upper Ottawa and he will satisfy you as to its capabilities of rendering the traveler oblivious to the comforts of his home.” Built in the 1840’s by Alexander Snedden, the white frame structure was well know throughout the Ottawa Valley.

“Who in this portion of Victoria’s domain has not heard of Snedden’s as a stopping place,” one diarist is quoted of commenting regarding the Inn. “Ask any teamster on the Upper Ottawa and he will satisfy you as to its capabilities of rendering traveller oblivious to the comforts of his home.”

Preceded by a log building which had been destroyed by fire, the frame building operated as a stopping place until the mid 1860’s. According to the book, one of the inn’s least welcome lodgers was the man infamously known as the villain of the valley, the notorious Laird Archibald MacNabb. The authors state that MacNabb would produce a 20 pound note to pay for his lodging and since there generally was not sufficient cash on hand to provide change, he would simply walk out and say that his account was settled.

Since its closure as an inn, the building has been utilized as a residence and is now home to Alexander Snedden’s great great grandson, Earle and his family.

The Snedden’s have retained many of the original features of the stopping place including the pine interior doors and the heavy front door that boasts a deep axe scar, courtesy of a drunken patron enraged at being ejected from the premises.

Earle’s wife Marilyn has been told that lumbermen used to “roll up” in blankets and sleep in the two large rooms in the downstairs portion of the house. One of the large rooms on the second floor, she says, served as a dining room while the stopping place was operating.

The original white pine boards on the lower level are now covered by hardwood. Until the change in the 1930’s, people were able to pinpoint the location of the bar through the cigarette butts on the flooring.

The Rosebank flour mill was built by four brother, Alex., David, Jimmy and Willie Snedden. A Mr. Henderson was the first miller. John Usher purchased the mill from the Snedden brothers, and after his death, John Merilee, who came from Fallbrook bought the mill from Mrs. Usher. This was in 1888.

There used to a number of thriving mills in Blakeney, but those structures have long since been demolished.The Rosebank Woolen Mill belonged to Mr. Peter McDougall. It was a large stone building, the ruins of which are still partially standing, and was powered by a large water wheel. It was erected in 1873 and in operation under McDougall until 1901. By 1905 it was being operated by Peter Campbell who purchased the mill in 1906. In 1906 it was sold to the Blakeney Woolen Company Ltd with George C Francis as president.

The Mississippi River turned below the bridge and divided into three parts before resuming its course downstream toward Pakenham. Three dams were built across the three channels to the two Islands formed by the division. One dam served the sawmill, one served the flour mill and one the woolen mill.

The sawmill was built by William Snedden on the north side of the river. The lumber companies, MacLaren and Caldwell, floated squared timber from the upper Mississippi and the Clyde Rivers down through Rosebank, so a “slide” was built below the Peter McDougall property, which ran the logs into what is known as the Bay, a quiet pool of water below the woolen mill.

The village brewery a frame building, was north-west of the woolen mill. The early brew master was Mr. Gomersall. Later the brewery was turned into a home for Mr. Peter McDougall, owner of the woolen mill, and his family who lived there until Mr. McDougall built a brick house at the foot of “Granny” Campbell’s hill. The McDougall house is still standing.

The tannery, also a frame building, was south of the woolen factory. William Reilly was the tanner. His two sons, William and Wellington Herman became doctors and practiced in Montreal as partners. (by Helen Theimer)’

With files from–Tavern in the Town

Women’s Institute

Ottawa Citizen

Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

It was not until the late 1860s that lovers of the “stanes” in the Almonte district formed a club and built rinks in the town, but at a much earlier date pioneer Scotch settlers gathered on the Mississippi river at Rosebank, four miles below Almonte, and had the time of their lives. They fished nicely rounded stones from the bed of the river, decorated them with fancy silver-mounted and ebony handles and then “curled” to their hearts’ content.

17 August 1870

It had been a dry spring and even drier summer. By mid August, little rain had fallen in four months, parching the fields and forests of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. On 17 August 1870, a work gang clearing a right-of-way along the Central Canada Railway between Pakenham and Almonte near the village of Rosebank set brush on fire along the tracks. It wasn’t the brightest of moves. With a strong wind blowing from the south, the fire quickly got out of control and spread into the neighbouring woods. Despite efforts by railway workers to douse the flames with water pumped from the nearby Mississippi River, it could not be contained. Racing northward through the tinder-dry forest, the fire sent massive columns of smoke into the air blanketing the region.

Blakeney, Ontario, Canada, Historical Map, 1879

Almonte Gazette – Aug, 27, 1927. Read the Almonte Gazette here
Robert Snedden Died Suddenly in his Office.
Prominent Merchant of Pakenham Expired After Opening Up For The Day.

Belonged to Well Known Ramsay Family. Taught School before Entering Business In Almonte and Later in Pakenham. Mr. Robert Archibald Snedden, merchant of Pakenham, and one of the most prominent business men of North Lanark, died very suddenly this Thursday (25 Aug 1927) morning in his office shortly after 8:00 o’clock. While for some time he had not been in the most robust health, his condition was never regarded as serious, nor was it contemplated that his end was so near. Shortly after opening up for business for the day he suddenly collapsed and expired immediately. He was 58 years of age. Mr. Snedden belonged to one of the most prominent families in this district.

Alexander Snedden, his grandfather, was a noted lumberman in the early days. William Snedden, his father, was also in the lumber business for a time and owned the old sawmill at Blakeney. William Snedden was a power in the Liberal political circles in his day. The late Mr. Snedden was born on the family homestead on the ninth line of Ramsay. He was a graduate of the Almonte High School and was a schoolmaster for some years and many of the residents of that district will speak of his capable care of their education when he was in charge of the Rosebank School.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling
Marilyn Robertson, 17, of Almonte (left), and sister Rosalyn (Robertson), 16, proudly display the H. H. McElroy Trophy for the best inter-county demonstration in 4-H Girls’ home-making activities at the Ex. The sisters won the cup for their demonstration of “wool, the fiber and fabric”.–Thanks to Rose Mary Sarsfield we find out the Robinson was really Robertson.. and one of them is Marilyn Snedden
Catherine Snedden We are trying to figure out which Snedden family … any ideas? Before my Dad (Bill Snedden) died last year, he showed me this picture and he was not sure. It was taken on the front lawn of the house next to the house he grew up in but before Grandpa actually bought that house. The lawn in this picture was right on the corner of Church and Country sts in front of a stone house. I heard always heard it was a Snedden home but I don’t know which family. If anyone have any insight it would be much appreciated. The middle child looks like my youngest uncle but is a generation to old to be him.
Blakeney Bridge

Photo from the 70s of a mill that once existed by rapids in Blakeney

Names on the map above: (also from the McGill Digital County Atlas Project)

Last Name First Name County Township Town Occupation Birthplace 

Barker  James  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Ramsay Tp., Canada  

Barker  James  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Ramsay Tp., Canada  

Black   James   Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer; Deputy Reeve of Ramsay Tp.  Glasgow, Scotland  

Bond    J.H.  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Tinsmith  Lanark Co., Canada  

Bowland  John  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Wicklow Co., Ireland  

Coffey  John F.  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Roman Catholic Priest  Ottawa, Canada  

Fumerton  Archibald W.  Lanark  Ramsay  Appleton General Merchant; Hotel Proprietor, Appleton  Ramsay Tp., Canada  

Galbraith  Daniel  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Member of Parliament  Glasgow, Scotland   

Gemmill  James D.  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Retired Merchant; Major of Militia  Lanark Co., Canada   

Gilmour  John  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Butcher  Lanark Co., Canada   

Gilmour  William  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Scotland  

Kitson  William  Lanark  Ramsay     

Lang  John  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Ramsay Tp., Canada  

Lynch  D.P.  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Physician and Surgeon  Allumette, Quebec, Can  

Marshall  Robert  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer; School Trustee  Lanark Co., Canada   

McCreary  Joseph  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Ireland (McCreary’s Beach on Mississippi Lake?)  

McDougall  Peter  Lanark  Ramsay  Blakeney Woollen Manufacturer, RoseBank; Postmaster, Blakeney  Perthshire, Scotland  

McFarlane  David  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Glasgow, Scotland   

McIntosh  John  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Perthshire, Scotland   

McPhail  Donald  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Argyleshire, Scotland  

Metcalf  James  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Renfrew Co., Ontario, Canada  (Metcalfe)

Miller  Duncan  Lanark  Ramsay  Appleton Carriage Manufacturer  Lanark Co., Canada   

Mostyn  William  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Physician and Surgeon  Ireland   

Naismith  Peter  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Lanarkshire, Scotland  (Dr. James Naismith invented the game of Basketball)

Patterson  Henry  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Chief Constable, Counties of Lanark, Renfrew and Carleton  Sligo, Ireland   

Patterson  James  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Physician and Surgeon    

Patterson  John  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte  Glasgow, Scotland   

Paul  John  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer; Lime Burner  Ramsay Tp., Canada  

Rae  James  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer; Tax Collector  Ireland   

Raines  Thomas W.  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Dentist  Alabama, United States  

Robertson  James Jr.  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer; former School Trustee  Lanark Co., Canada   

Robertson  W.P.  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte School Teacher  Stirling, Scotland   

Scott  James  Lanark  Ramsay   Manufacturer of Carriages, Buggies  Prince Edward Island, Canada  

Scott  John  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Retired from Business  Glasgow, Scotland   

Scott  William  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Armagh Co., Ireland  

Shirreff  Archibald  Lanark  Ramsay  Almonte Formerly Superintendent of Rosamond Woollen Co.  Scotland  

Sneddon  Alexander  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer; ex-Township Councillor  Ramsay Tp., Canada  (Snedden) 

Sneddon  James  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer; Lumberman  Lanark Co., Canada  

Steel  John  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Renfrewshire, Scotland   

Stewart  Duncan  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Perthshire, Scotland   

Syme  Peter T.  Lanark  Ramsay   Farmer  Dunning, Scotland  

Teskey  W. Rufus  Lanark  Ramsay  Appleton Manufacturer; Township Councillor  Lanark Co., Canada  (Palatine family) 

  The Teskeys came in 1823 from Rathkeale, County Limerick, Ireland, as part of the Peter Robinson group settlement.

Teskey  Wilton  Lanark  Ramsay   Proprietor, Appleton Flour Mills, Appleton  Ramsay Tp., Canada  

Usher  John  Lanark  Ramsay  Blakeney Proprietor, Rose Bank Mills  Antrim Co., Ireland

Bennies Corners and the Snedden Family

The Runaway Bridesmaid From Rosebank to Huntley

A Little Story About Admaston

What You Didn’t Know about Harvey’s Mills — Pakenham

So I Walked Into a Candle Holder and Blakeney-ed Out

Baird Baird and Baird

Baird Baird and Baird
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Aug 1900, Thu  •  Page 8

photo from Almonte.com- photo from the top of Victoria Mills

In Almonte there was a 200 acre Crown reserve and south of it were the farms of Robert Baird and William Baird, Lanark society settlers of 1821. John Baird’s land, including Farm Street and Brea Street (now Brae), was surveyed in 1861. John Baird kept a general store, ran a flour mill ( Mill of Kintail) and sent supplies to the lumbermen. Mr. Baird was known as a very exact and honest man when he was in Bennie’s Mills. When he weighed goods they were weighed to the fraction of an ounce. He never gave more nor less. Mr. Baird later went to Almonte and ran a woolen mill there. The old Baird’s Mill site was on the river, adjacent to the former Victoria Woollen Mill. (the old Peterson’s Ice Cream Plant)

Messrs. Baird & Co. (who like the rest of the brother manufacturers were staunch adherents to protection principles) showed his black broadcloth to those who visited the mills in 1877. The texture and finish was equal to any of those manufactured in England. The Bairds gave the credit to their superintendent Joseph Boothroyd who had come to Almonte from Huddersfield, England.

Carding machine, 19th century - Stock Image - C022/9413 - Science ...

The Baird mill at that time employed 40 hands, men and women. The ground floor was occupied by the finishing room, dye house and scouring room complete with excellent machinery. The first floor was the carding room complete with one american carding machine and the other a Holroyd machine from England. On the floor above was a spinning jack, spooling room, and ten looms all busy and turning out fabric quickly.

Our Hattersley looms – McLean & Co.

The looms were all attended by women and girls and it was wonderful to watch their quick fingers in the operation of weaving. The women and girls were immaculate, almost similar to a Quakerness, and visitors always said the factory girls of Almonte were way more impressive than their sisterhood in Manchester. They also spoke proper English and that’s what they didn’t do in Lancashire and Yorkshire in the old country.

There was also another feature in Baird’s Mill and that was the precaution for fire. There was a large pump in the basement with a big hose leading to all parts of the factory. The mill although compact was something to behold. Long may they weave!

The East side of Mill Street from the Post office down (the old Post office) was another story. Along the riverbank many crowded to the river for water and waterpower. Properties constantly changed hands and not one is now in existence with the exception of the “Yorkshire” building which was, in 1867, but three stories high. Fortunes were won and lost there over power rights, but that is another story. No doubt a book could be written about that stubborn Scottish family, the Baird Brothers, the owners of one of these powers (above mentioned) who fought for their rights without compromise, not only against the Rosamond interest but also against the Elliotts – fought till their money was exhausted.


Baird , William , Almonte , Ontario , Canada– had a patent on a spinning and twisting machine 1886 and on

Cotton-spinning machinery - Wikipedia
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Dec 1879, Thu  •  Page 4

Nearby were William and John Baird’s flour mill, Greville Toshack’s carding mill and Stephen Young’s barley mill, all on the Indian River ; and on the Mississippi the similar industries of Blakeney.  The Baird mill, restored as a century old structure in 1930 by Dr. R. Tait McKenzie, sculptor, surgeon and native son of the manse, is now well known as the Mill of Kintail, repository of examples of his works and local historical exhibits.  It was described by its owners in 1860 as:

Back in the 1870s Almonte’s woollen mills were: No. 1, on the island, conducted by B. and W. Rosamond; No. 2, on Mill street, by Elliott, Routh and Sheard; Gilbert Cannon’s mill, down on the bay, Just below the hill; John Baird and Company, on Mill street near McLean’s grist mill; the Anchor Knitting Mill, on the island, and William Thoburn’s mill, on Little Bridge street. In later years Judge Jamie-son’s son married Miss Annie Thoburn and became proprietor of the mill.  Rosamond’s No. 1 mill was the largest manufacturing plant in the town; it employed about 300 hands.

John McIntosh and Allan McDonald and Samuel Reid operated the carding mill from 1847 – 1854 on Lot 19 Mill St Almonte. From 1854 – 1865 it was operated as a custom carding and woolen mill by Almonte woolen Manufactory under McIntosh and Reid, and after 1858, under McIntosh alone. John McIntosh built his second mill on Lot 7 Little Bridge St, Almonte in 1862 and operated the Almonte Woolen Manufactory in it until 1865. From 1865 – 1867 McIntosh was superintendent of the mill at Sly’s Rapids under the proprietorship of D McIntosh. McIntosh declared bankruptcy in 1867. In 1871 John McIntosh then became the superintendent of the woolen mill of John Baird and Company, Lots 20 and 21 Mill St Almonte.

In 1871 John Baird and Company leased another woolen mill on Lot 20 Mill St, Almonte which he subsequently purchased it in 1879. He then leased the mill to James Wylie in 1881 and sold it to him in 1897.

Gilbert Cannon (former employee of John McIntosh from 1854 – 1865 at the McIntosh mill on Lot 19, Mills St, Almonte) and Thomas Watchorn operated the custom carding and woolen mill on Lot 21 Mill St in Almonte from 1865 to 1867 under the proprietorship of John Baird, when Watchorn left for Lanark and Cannon continued the operation alone until 1870. In 1869 he purchased Lot F at the foot of Mill St Almonte where he built a new woolen mill in 1870. In 1871 he sold his equipment and leased the mill to William Wylie until 1877. Gilbert Cannon also operated a woolen mill in Arnprior (dates?)

Thomas Watchorn was a cloth finisher and dyer in Almonte employed by the Rosamonds at their mill on Lot 21 Mill St Almonte. The he and Gilbert Cannon operated the custom carding and woolen mill on Lot 21 Mill St in Almonte from 1865 to 1867 under the proprietorship of John Baird, when Watchorn left for Lanark . Thomas Watchorn and Boyd Caldwell established the Clyde Woolen Mill at Lot 2 George St in Lanark 1867. In 1875 Watchorn leased the woolen mill in Merrickville in partnership with his brother Robert.–https://mvtm.ca/biographies/

Clayton had its origin little more than a year later than Almonte when Edward Bellamy, who recently had come to Grenville County from Vermont, obtained the water privilege of the falls on the Indian River there and opened a sawmill and grist mill to serve a section of the new townships.  Among the other communities of Ramsay township, Blakeney, once the location of several  manufacturing concerns, came next in time of origin as Snedden’s Mills.  Not far from Snedden’s the small hamlet of Bennie’s Corners appeared on the scene of the eighteen thirties, adjoined on the Indian River by Toshack’s carding mill and Baird’s grist mill.  The Baird mill, now known as the Mill of Kintail, has been preserved by a private owner for public historical uses and as a residence.

“Woodside Mills, consisting of a Flour Mill with two runs of burr stones, a superior Smut Machine and an Oatmeal Mill with two runs of Stones, one of which is a Burr.  The Mill is three and a half stories high and most substantially built.  There are also on the premises a kiln capable of drying from 120 to 200 bushels of oats at a time, a frame House for a Miller, a Blacksmith Shop with tools complete, two Stone Buildings and outbuildings, with Stabling for eleven horses.”

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Apr 1955, Sat  •  Page 18

6622-94 Robert BAIRD, 38, merchant, Ramsay, Pilot Mound Manitoba, s/o John BAIRD & Christena BRYSON, married Mary Ann WILSON, 28, Ottawa, Appleton, d/o George WILSON & Mary Ann McKEE, witn: George T. WILSON of Appleton & Maggie R. BAIRD of al, 16 Aug 1894 at Ramsay006522-94 (Lanark Co) John S. BAIRD, 25, farmer, Fitzroy, Fitzroy s/o John & June BAIRD married Ida E. GROVES, 19, Fitzroy, Fitzroy d/o William & Eliza GROVES wtn: Spurgeon BAIRD of Montreal & Minnie GROVES of Fitzroy, 25 July 1894 at Pakenham
6626-94 Alexander CAVERS, 29, farmer, Canada, Beckwith, s/o Thomas & Margaret C., married Catherine Elizabeth HISLOP, 24, Canada, Carleton Place, d/o Neil & Isabella, witn: Robert BAIRD of Ramsay & Maggie HISLOP of Smith Falls, 31 Jan 1894 at Beckwith

006573-94 Allan MORRIS, 22, lumber business, Middleville, same, s/o Peter & Agnes, married Minnie McFARLANE, 21, Lanark, same, d/o Robert & Bella, witn: Charles BAIRD of Lanark & Katie MORRIS of Middleville on Oct. 24, 1894 at Dalhousie

6534-94 Neil MUNRO, 35, farmer, Appleton, Ramsay, s/o John & Sarah, married Sarah BROWN, 32, widow, Griffith, Carleton Place, d/o William & Lizzie ADAMS, witn: Robert BAIRD of Appleton & Sarah HATTON of Ottawa, 28 Feb 1894 at Carleton Place

6582-94 James REID, 19, laborer, Middleville, Clyde Forks, s/o Matthew REID & Mary BAIRD, married Susannah CAMERON, 19, Folger Station, same, d/o Hugh CAMERON & Susannah McQUILTY, witn: David REID of Clyde Forks & Victor Ann CAMERON of Folger Station, 7 May 1894 at Clyde Fork

The Invincible Margaret Baird of Lanark

I Now have Part of Joey Cram — In Memory of Sandy Baird

The Bairds of Bennie’s Corners

John Baird the Carriage Maker

The Leaky Chancery Dam –The Forgie’s of Almonte Part 2