Tag Archives: Mississippi mills

Christmas 1980 Memories– Almonte Gazette


by Susan Fisher reporter 1980 Almonte Gazette

Christmas is a very special lime of year, and one that conjures up a flood of memories of Christmases gone by. Most particularly it is a time of year lor sharing warm wishes with acquaintances and friends. So in this holiday spirit the staff of The Gazette would like to share a few memories of our past Christmases with our readers.

Linda O’Connell was one of a large family and the excitement! I remember getting up in the wee small hours of Christmas morning with my brothers and sisters and sitting on the stair steps to watch the clock. Six am was the magic hour when her parents got up and the present unwrapping could begin.

Being from a Catholic family, Angus Mantil remembers the custom of going to midnight mass on Christmas eve. After mass, the family came home and enjoyed their presents right then After the excitement of all the unwrapping, a snack of homemade turkey maybe, and then to bed.

Don Runge has fond memories of the Christmas where he spent on a kibbutz in Israel He and a carload of friends took a trip to Jerusalem on Christmas eve. Don remembers stopping along the way in the middle of the desert on that cold, clear night Being so far away from any sort of Christmas as commercialism was very beautiful, he felt.

Barbara Shenstone recalled a Christmas as when her family was living in Cairo, Egypt. She worried quite a bit about whether Santa would find them in that strange country, and was so concerned for the plight of his reindeer in such unaccustomed hot weather.

Susan Fisher has memories of an extra special treat around the long table at her grandmother’s house. At the Christmas meal the children were allowed to have gingerale in their wine glasses and that was the only time of year ‘junk food’ like soft drinks were allowed.

Allison King remembers large family parties of 10 or more people on Christmas eve. In fact, one Christmas the turkey was so huge her mother couldn’t fit it into the oven.

Doug Lorimer remembers the days before electric tree lights when the family Christmas tree was illuminated with candles. Because of the danger of fire, the candles were lit only for a brief moment while everyone admired the tree.

Bev Dodd also went to midnight mass on Christmas eve with her family Being just a little girl and as it was such a late night, Bcv has memories of falling asleep during the service.

Kerrine Lyons and her family went to her grandparents house after all the presents had been unwrapped. She remembers a great crowd of 10 or 40 aunts, uncles and cousins sitting down to lunch there After all that excitement, the rest of the day was a bit of a let down.

David Murr and The Almonte Gazette ” Looking Back” Column

The Titanic Disaster according to the Almonte Gazette

The Almonte Gazette in Manitoba

June Dalgity 1999 Almonte Gazette Clippings and Comments

Train Wreck January 21, 1969– Almonte Gazette

Jim Muir — Almonte Gazette Editor

Doug Lorimer Almonte Gazette- Kathy Dunbar

The Almonte Gazette is sold to John Graham of Carleton Place 1965

The Funniest Anti-Dog Letter to the Editor–Almonte Gazette

Tips From the Almonte Gazette “Travel Section” 1874

Hey Even Journalists Can be Sick! Influenza 1918

Stewart Hanna –The “Angry” Journalist of a Rural Town

The Christmas Fair 1974 Names Names and Names

The Christmas Fair 1974 Names Names and Names

I’m sure this is Rev. Bob McCrea (sp) from Almonte United Church with his wife Thora. She was a music teacher at Naismith in Almonte at one time.

Eric Caldwell-Great people, daughter, Ruth, ad well, my parents hosted the new United church minister and family! I allways remember, that Bob, was the fastest eater, I had ever seen!!!! Next to, my wifey, lol

November 1974

The 18th annual Christmas Fair to be sponsored by the U.C.W. of Almonte United Church will feature a Fairyland theme. Visitors will be greeted by the Fairy Queen and her helpers, costumed in a fairyland theme. The various booths will be appropriatly decorated and it should be interesting to deal directly with such fairyland characters as the Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland or the Queen of Hearts. Jolly old Santa Claus will be present with his helpers and a continuous childrens movie will be shown so that mother can shop worry free or perhaps have a cup of tea.

A musical program will be given in the Church early in the afternoon and to wind up festivities, the men’s supper will be served for the whole family. It should be a great event so let’s all go to the Fair Saturday, 23th November, starting at 2 p.m. Mrs. Raymond Jamison has been convenor of this event for 17 of it’s 18 years. It’s continuing success is a result of good organization and-hard work by the ladies of the congregation. Work groups have been meeting regularly and individuals contribute much time all year in order to prepare the many handicrafted items presented for sale at the fair booths. In recent years the men of the congregation under the leadership of Mr. Norman Sadler have  opened a handicraft booth which has been most successful.

Over the years the enthusiastic support of the people of Almonte and district has grown and so has the size of the fair. A few years ago an addition was built to the hall which permitted some additional booth space. The ‘ ladies of the church are appreciative and every year they attempt to offer something new and interesting. This year also promises to be a most enjoyable event.

November 1974

Toy Drive

In former years the United Church Women have collected Christmas gifts for children in

various families in the community. After some discussion with members of the families on the

receiving end, it was decided that a sale of good used articles and toys would be of greater benefit and value and the ” Hub ” Coordinators agreed to organize this, in cooperation with some members of the Churches inAlmonte.

In providing this service it is hoped that parents will have a better chance to fill the needs and meet the wishes of their children.For the past month Karen Jones, Joyce Lowry, Marilyn Snedden, Junie Campbell, Pat Bowden Dorothy James and Julia Thomas have been working and sorting toys for the sale at St. Paul’s Church next week. Members of

the community have been dressing dolls, repairing toys and checking puzzles.

The invitation list has been made up with the help of the Public Health Nurse, the Community and Social Service person;each church has been approached

for names of members of their congregations who may be eligible for an invitation.

Proceeds are to be used to give these children a ChristmasParty; Any used toys left over will

be sold at the Hub following the sale. Our many thanks go to all the people who have generously donated toys and helped in many ways to make this sale possible.

In Memory of David Scharf — Almonte United Church Tragedy

The Almonte Fire 1955– Almonte United Church

Almonte Heritage Redevelopment Group Buildings: Victoria, Thoburn Mill and 65 Mill Street

Almonte Heritage Redevelopment Group Buildings: Victoria, Thoburn Mill and 65 Mill Street


When Santa parks his reindeer atop Almonte’s 150-year-old Victoria Woollen Mill, he has to comply with the poop-and-scoop regulation. It says so right in the legal condominium corporation document extending annual landing rights to the jolly old fellow. All of which may make the venerable building at 7 Mill St. the only former textile mill in the world that’s being repurposed for stylish, riverside condo living, while guaranteeing Santa a touchdown strip.

Neighbourly gestures like these rooftop rights typify Almonte, a 20-minute drive west of Kanata, Ont., in historic Lanark County. With its vibrant arts community (the Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival is a must-see August event), gift and other specialty shops, picturesque setting including the Mississippi River coursing through town, and proximity to the big city, Almonte is on a growth track. But even while grooming itself for expansion, Almonte current population about 4,800 is determined to hold fast to its small-town charm.

Nowhere is this hybrid of past and future more evident than in the Almonte Heritage Redevelopment Group’s resurrection of old industrial buildings, like the Victorian Woollen Mill, into downtown residential and commercial space. The goal is affordable downtown housing and vibrant business space that’s essential if small towns are to short-circuit urban sprawl and highway commercial development that kill their centre cores. “We’re trying to create a neighbourhood in the style of Westboro or the Glebe, where you can walk out the door and pick up a loaf of bread or a book,” says Stephen Brathwaite, founder of the group with Greg Smith.

Since 1993, Brathwaite, a nationally recognized glass artist, puppeteer and self-styled redeveloper, and his Almonte partners have snapped up historic downtown properties for major makeovers. The Victoria Woollen Mill was the first. Backing onto a waterfall of the Mississippi River and boasting oiled wooden beams and deep-set windows, it now includes a ground-floor restaurant, art gallery and shops. The balance of the building is mostly occupied by businesses, but those units are now available as condos, 10 in all ranging from 900 to 2,000 square feet and priced at roughly $175,000 to $385,000. Thoburn Mill is another of the group’s “adaptive reuse” projects. It’s at 83 Little Bridge St. behind the Romanesque revival-style post office on Mill Street (built in the late 1800s and now home to engineering, law and other small businesses, the old post office has been usurped by a newer, box like Canada Post building, a product of the Eyesore School of Design, further down Mill Street). A mix of commercial and residential space, Thoburn Mill will include 13 household units once -rebuilding is finished later this summer or fall.

Its residential space is currently classified as apartments, but those will become condos ranging from 1,000 to 1,650 square feet and selling in the $210,000 to $350,000 vicinity. “I can walk to so many places,” says Margaret Brunton who’s rented her two-storey, open-concept apartment in Thoburn Mill since 2005 and is buying one of the condos. “The minute I step outside in the morning, people say: ‘Hello, Margaret.’ There are young people around. It’s like a little community.” She also praises the town’s natural beauty and how secure she feels in a place where everyone knows everyone else. Like others, Brunton’s unit includes a generous deck overlooking the Mississippi and its cascading spillway (that proximity to the river means that the building’s old, existing turbine will be restarted, which should make Thoburn Mill self-sufficient with green electricity).

Brunton’s current home is also atop the river walkway, a public area where a romantic young man apparently popped the question to his beloved within days of the snaking walkway opening a couple years ago. Almonte architect Peter Mansfield designed Brunton’s unit and most of the other spaces in the Thoburn and Victoria Woollen mills. He also planned the heavily glassed barrel-vault addition to Thoburn Mill. “It’s almost archaeological with all its different sections,” says Mansfield, referring to how the mill’s former owners added to it during profitable years.

“It was fun fusing contemporary building materials into the old warehouse structure,” he adds, referring to the glass and steel that define much of the building’s common areas, the massive wood beams traversing residential ceilings and the old brick walls that define some of the commercial space. Along with the Victoria Woollen and Thoburn mills, the Almonte Heritage Redevelopment Group rents apartments in smaller heritage buildings in downtown Almonte and has plans for residential lots and other projects around town. It’s also begun work on a larger historic building at 65 Mill St. Like other projects, energy efficiency ranks high on the list of planning priorities. According to the town’s chief administrative officer, Diane Smithson, the current population is expected to grow to about 8,000 by 2026. Ottawa Citizen

65 Mill Street

Calgary Herald

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Sat, Aug 08, 2009 · Page 96

Rosamond and Victoria Mill — Rosamond Journey from Carleton Place to Almonte

Memories of Madeline Moir – Pinecraft Proberts and John Dunn 1978

Where Was Pinecraft?

Hodgins Bros. Ltd Thoburn Mill 1950s

More Tales from the Thoburn Mill

Is Samuel Shaard Lying in the “Cement” of the Thoburn Mill?

Tears From the Old Gears of the Mills

Bits and Pieces of William Thoburn and the House on Union Street

The Crater Lot on Mill Street — Peterson and Dr. Metcalfe

Graham Forgie and 65 Mill Street

Movin’ on Down the Road — The North Lanark Museum 1979

Movin’ on Down the Road — The North Lanark Museum 1979

Appleton Museum 1980 Fire


North Lanark Historical Society (NLHS) this year. A streak of good fortune and some very generous donations have made it possible for the society to purchase a fully constructed, portable bungalow to be used as a museum for the society’s historical artifacts And last Friday, the home was moved on a flatbed by Drumond Brothers Ltd to the site of the old Appleton school museum, which served as the society’s museum before it was destroyed by fire last summer.

The NLHS is endeavouring to have the home, which came fully equipped, insulated and fitted so it could be heated, operational as soon as possible. Once operational, the society plans to move its archive, presently located in the Mini-Mall on Bridge Street (Almonte), and those artifacts of the museum that survived the fire, to the new museum at the corner of Concession 11 and High Street, Ramsay Township. With Almonte’s centennial next year, museum curator Dawn Leduc says it was important for the society to have a working museum in which to display Lanark’s historical artifacts to the influx of tourists and former residents expected during the Centennial year.

The society still plans to rebuild the old Appleton schoolhouse for museum purposes, however, it has resigned itself to the fact it may not realize those plans for several years yet. The new museum building, worth $30,000 in material alone, was re- .cently bought on behalf of the society for $10,000 by Drummond Brothers from Campeau Corporation in Ottawa. The society has, in turn, paid the Drummonds back thanks to two major donations. The first donation has been in the hands of the society *for some time. It’s the $6,000 insurance cheque turned over to the society by the Lanark Board of Education which school museum. The board still owns the property upon which the old schoolhouse stood.

A second donation of $5,000 came more recently from a friend of the society who wishes to remain anonymous. However, the donations alone would not have allowed the society to purchase a replacement building so soon had it not been for the contribution made by the Stewart Drummond family of RR 3, Almonte, particularly, that made by the family’s mother, the late, Doreen Drummond,after whom the society has saw fit to name the new museum. Apparently, in securing the house at a low price for the society, the Drummond brothers, Dave and Gib, were fulfilling a promise they made their mother before she died. According to the brothers, one of the last places their mother visited before she died was the ruins of the old schoolhouse which had burnt down while she was in the hospital being treated for cancer.

After visiting the ruins, the brothers say their mother asked them to promise her that they would do what they could do to help the society rebuild its museum. Mrs Drummond died in October. The brothers began by offering the society to be on the lookout for a portable building it could use as a temporary museum. Their first idea was to get the” society a portable school room which they are often involved in relocating: however; something better became available just a few weeks ago. A portable house used as a sales office by the Campeau Corporation at Barrhaven Meadows was put up for sale. Having been called in to give an estimate on moving the house, the brothers were aware of it going up for sale. At first, they thought of buying the building for themselves and reselling it at a profit, but then they realized the house would make an ideal museum for the society because of its layout. As a former sales office, the 44 by 22-foot house has a number of features that lend themselves to displaying. For instance, the main room takes up three-quarters of the space in the house making for a large display area. The same room is lit by spotlights fitted into the roof and contains a display wall which has spotlights especially trained on it. Other features include washroom facilities, a kitchenette, and a real fireplace.

Also read-The Re-Opening of the North Lanark Regional Museum (Appleton) 1980

Movin’ on Mill Street– Supertest Building

Well, We’re Movin’ On Up to Franktown Road

The House that Skated to Carleton Place — Kennedy House

An Update to the Kennedy House — Harold “Ozzie” McNeely

Things You Didn’t Know About the Moore House — or Maybe you Did

While You Were Sleeping —-The Storyland Bunny Moves to the Hi Diddle Day House

North Lanark Museum

William Wylie Cabin — The House that Seniors Saved — North Lanark Regional Museum

The Re-Opening of the North Lanark Regional Museum (Appleton) 1980

Appleton Museum 1980 Fire

Update — Teacher Fired in Appleton School May 1931 –Annie Neilson

Appleton Map and Odds and Ends — Clippings of Appleton

Jim Metcalfe —- Metcalfe Dairy

Jim Metcalfe  —- Metcalfe Dairy

A well-known and respected Almonte businessman and prominent member of the Almonte Lions Club, James Robert (Jim) Metcalfe, proprietor of Metcalfe Dairy for the past several years, passed away at the Almonte General Hospital on Friday, December 9th, 1977 at the age of 50 years. He had been in ill health for some time, Jim Metcalfe was a familiar figure to a great many Almonte residents.

Having been in the dairy business since 1945 he was well known both through his business’ contacts and his deep involvement with the Almonte Lions Club. Born in Almonte on June 12, 1927, he was a son of the late W. A. (Barney) Metcalfe who predeceased him on March 7th of this year and his wife, the late Mary Warren who predeceased him in 1960. Having received his education in Almonte public and secondary schools, Jim went directly into the family business following graduation.

On August 28, 1951, he was married in Almonte Presbyterian Church to the former Eileen Elizabeth New, who survives. A lp surviving are three sons: J. Edward] (Ted), George A., and John Ai, all of Almonte, and a daughter, Sharon Ann of Carleton Place. He is survived as welllby two sisters, Beth Wood of Toronto i n i Reta George of Toronto and Liverpool, England. j Much of Mr, Metcalfe’s spare time was spent serving with the Almonte Lions Club. He joined the organization in 1951, quickly becoming Lion Tamer, a position he held for many years.

He served as club president in 1956-57 and served as secretary for the past eight consecutive years prior to his death. It was in this capacity that Jim earneconsiderable respect both from his fellow club members and throughout District A-4. In 1972 he was presented with a special award by Governor Mack Hayes of Shawville as having been judged the best secretary in the District (covering all of Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec) and in 1976 Governor Morley James of Carleton Place presented Jim with the special Governor’s Appreciation Award in recognition of 25 years service to Lionism and the community.

Lions from all over the District attended a special gathering at the Gamble & Comba Funeral Home last Sunday evening. Funeral services for Mr. Metcalfe were held at the funeral home on Monday, December 12th at 2.00 p.m. Rev. Archie Manson conducted the services with interment at Auld Kirk Cemetery. Pallbearers included Cameron Smithson. John Leishman, John Rooney, Carson Johnson, Jack Virgin and Carl Sadler.

Remembering Milk and Cookies –Metcalfe Dairy

A slower pace of life — click

March 6, 2012

By an Almonte ‘Native’

To stimulate discussion and relive memories……

Listen! Do you hear that? The distinctive clopping sound of a horse’s hooves as it pulls a milk wagon slowly along the street. You hurry to the window and watch the horse as it pulls then stops, and then continues along the street repeating this routine without a single command of the man in charge. The driver would enter the cart as it rolled along or stopped to fill his container and proceed to houses along the route filling orders placed outside the doors. As a kid in the 1950’s, Saturday was the best because you retrieved your hidden small half pint bottle and 5 cents and purchased fresh chocolate milk (that’s if your brother or sister hadn’t already found it and used it to get their chocolate milk). Two drivers I remember from that time were Mr. Gerry Brown and Ken Waddell. The horse seemed to know just how long to wait at each stop. This practice of house delivery still occurs in Ireland and Scotland today but a truck has replaced the horse and cart.

Two dairies delivered daily (except Sundays) around the town. Strathburn Dairy located at the north end of Malcolm St. in the New England section of town and Metcalfe’s Dairy located on King St. next to present day Naismith School.

Do you remember in winter that if the milk sat too long outside it would freeze and extend upwards pushing the paper top up and out of the bottle? The first thing after bringing the milk inside was to carefully pour the cream that had settled at the top of the bottle into a separate container.

Milk was not the only item brought to your door by horse and cart. Mr. Arnold Newton, who lived on Victoria St. (his horse was kept in the shed in his back yard) delivered bread and goodies (including candy). His horse continued its route in the same manner as the milk horses. Mr. Newton used the Blacksmith services of Mr. H. Finner whose shop was located at the present day site of Blackburn’s Garage. Others used Mr. Hickey’s Blacksmith shop located on Water St. behind today’s Canadian Café. One of the smith’s at Hickey’s was father to Mr. Ted Lemaistre, long time Mayor of Carleton Place.

A stable located on Water St. just south of the Blacksmith shop contained the horses of Mr. Alf Stanley. Mr. Stanley with a helper (in my day a Mr. E. Bandy) collected the garbage using a team of horses and a large wagon. It was really something to witness them carefully place boxes around the perimeter of the wagon to hold the loose material that was placed into the middle on the wagon. They took great pride in the building of their collections. You would never see anything left carelessly behind nor along the street. When the wagon was full it then required a long drive up Martin St. to the Town Dump located off Martin where large communication towers stand today. Mr. Stanley had a system in the dump arranging where items would be placed. His son, Ross, followed his occupation as does his grandson Peter Stanley does today.

Finally we mustn’t forget the iceman. In my day Mr. Hutt with his horse and cart delivered ice to homes where a large block of ice was carried by tongs and placed in the top of an icebox which looked much like a wooden fridge lined with metal on the inside. The concept was that the coolness of the ice would flow over the articles in the icebox and keep them from spoiling too quickly. To make sure that this worked correctly one only opened the doors when absolutely necessary, especially on a hot day. In winter the family kept the icebox in the back shed and didn’t need to purchase much ice, if any, during the coldest months. Very few families in Almonte owned an electric fridge even though they had electricity in their homes. They were just too expensive!

It’s just not the same today, is it?

John Metcalfe


Almonte Ontario Metcalfe’s Dairy

Metcalfe’s Mushrooms and other Toadstools

Fred Veenstra Buys Strathburn Dairy 1971

Remembering Milk and Cookies –Metcalfe Dairy

What did you Buy at The Dairy?

No Milk Today–My Love has Gone Away

Do You Remember Anyone Dying from Home Delivered Milk?

Remember These? The Neilson Dairy

When Corn Doesn’t Grow- Neilson Chocolate Will

Banshees on the March Road 1871

Banshees on the March Road 1871

Did Peter Gorman Really See a “Banshee” on the March Road in 1871?

Remarkable Story Told by a Respected Resident of the Third Line of March. Grandmother Died Three Day After the “Appearance.”

Mr. Peter Gorman, a respected whose grandfather came to these parts in 1848 tells of a weird experience which he (Peter) had in 1871 when living on the first concession of Torbolton. One night when coming from the barn to the house, he heard a sort of wailing cry close to the nearest corner of the house.

He looked in the direction of the noise and was surprised to see a spectre in the air. The spectre was about eight feet from the ground. Whatever it was had a face, but no feet. It was like a person who was wearing a sheet which was longer than his or her body. The spectre was about the size of the average woman.

The substance was impalpable, yet could not be seen through. The robe or sheet or body, or whatever it was had a sort of sheen. The spectre seemed to float in the air, but was stationary. The thing was uttering little whining cries or sobs. The noise was not loud, but could be easily heard fifty feet away.

As Mr. Gorman, then a young man, regarded it in wonder, the thing suddenly vanished. The first thing that struck Mr. Gorman was that he had been looking at and hearing a “banshee.” Mr. Gorman had heard some of the old people tell about the banshees that used to be heard, and sometimes seem in Ireland, but he had never heard one of them claim that they had ever known of a banshee being seen in Canada.

After the “banshee” or whatever it was had disappeared, Mr. Gorman went into the house and told his story, but was roundly laughed at. He was told there were no banshees in this country and that he had imagined what he had told. Mr. Gorman took the laughing in good part, but replied that they could laugh all they wanted to, but just the same he had seen and heard what he had seen and heard.

Just three days later, Mr. Gorman’s grandmother died. After that the people treated his story with respect. The old lady who had died had been very fond of young Peter. Mr. Gorman says he never had a supernatural experience before or since and he has no explanations to offer. If what he saw and heard was a banshee, then he is probably the only man who ever saw or heard one in Canada. Mr. Gorman says he presents the story for what it is worth. He will vouch for the facts as a resident of the third line of March.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada08 Aug 1892, Mon  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada12 Mar 1886, Fri  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada20 Sep 1875, Mon  •  Page 4

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada20 Sep 1875, Mon  •  Page 4

Banshees and Steamships

Irish Immigrant Girls Were in Demand Despite Hard Times

From Dublin to Drummond- Mahon Family Reunion — Series –Part 5 — Kevin Dooley and Irish Immigration

1874 in Almonte and Clayton — Ahearn Smith Menzies Monaghan McFarlane

1874 in Almonte and Clayton — Ahearn Smith Menzies Monaghan McFarlane

Almonte Gazette 1874. Taken from the Perth Courier

Novmember 1874

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada26 Nov 1874, Thu  •  Page 3

Bridge Street December 1874


Ottawa Daily Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada28 Oct 1874, Wed  •  Page

CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada27 Jun 1874, Sat  •  Page 4

I love the last line… Where are all the purchasers to come from?? LOLOL

Almonte Brass Bandon Mill Street 1910- Almonte.com

from almonte.com

CLIPPED FROMThe Kingston Whig-StandardKingston, Ontario, Canada24 Aug 1898, Wed  •  Page 3

Mr. Young and Mr. Bond- Almonte History 1870s

Clippings of Almonte in the 1870s

Almonte 1859 Business Directory

Almonte in the Twenties

The Morbid Economy of the 1800s

People of Almonte -Patrick Hickey

People of Almonte -Patrick Hickey

Hey Linda:

Good afternoon from Columbia, SC. 

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here … a holiday I still don’t appreciate as much as I should … Canadian Thanksgiving is much more meaningful to me, even though I now have a huge “American” family of relatives and friends!

Mr. Souter-Teachers —- I Wish I Would Have Had Mr. Souter

Almonte will always be home to me! I was born in Ottawa in 1955 and moved to Almonte in the early 60’s. I went to St. Mary’s School in Almonte, and after a few years at St. Pius X High School in Ottawa, I completed my high school years at ADHS! I was athletic, but never a standout, and have always been overshadowed by my brothers and nieces/nephews with their athletic prowess. While at ADHS my geography teacher (Mr. Souter) made the world come alive and as a result of his lectures I wanted to explore the world … and to date my wife Carol and I have backpacked throughout 88 countries, over 3 year-long trips! In 1984 we backpacked through Europe, Canada/USA for a whole year, in 1988 we backpacked for a whole year around the world, and in 1993 we again backpacked for an entire year in Latin America … started in northern Mexico and ended up in Ushuaia, Argentina. June Dalgity at the Almonte Gazette gave me an opportunity to chronicle those travels in my column, “Letters Home”. I always hoped that my shared travels and adventures would inspire others to see the world. 

While at ADHS it was Guidance Counselor Mrs. Rachel Lamb that suggested I pursue a career in Nursing … she saw something in me that I did not see myself. I graduated from St. Lawrence College (Brockville) in 1976 with a Diploma in Nursing and in 1978, after a few years working in the Ottawa Ambulance system, I moved to Corpus Christi Texas to start my career as a nurse. After years of Medical Surgical, Coronary Care, and then Emergency-Trauma Nursing I moved to Columbia, SC to start work as an Operating Room Nurse. Along the way I went back to school to pursue higher education as I learned that more education would help me to save more lives … I now have a Baccalaureate and Masters in Nursing, as well as a Masters and Doctorate in Public Health. After acquiring my Doctorate in Public Health I wanted to give back to my profession of Nursing … so I transitioned from the hospital setting to academia at the University of South Carolina (USC). Over a period of 15 years I taught healthcare focused courses and during my last 10 years I created an international healthcare course in which I was able to take USC healthcare focused students to Latin America (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala) to render hands-on healthcare to a rural population of very underserved people in dire need of assistance. My Masters and Doctoral research focused on the barriers that Hispanics face when trying to access healthcare in the US … an ongoing huge issue!

Sean Egan of Almonte click

While working full-time and going to school full-time in Columbia, SC I decided to further challenge myself by taking on the task of climbing the 7 Summits … the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents of the world! In 1985, Richard Bass, a businessman and amateur mountaineer, was the first man to climb all Seven Summits, and in In 1986, the Canadian mountaineer Patrick Morrow became the first man to climb the Seven Summits. When I made it to the summit of Mt. Everest on May 24, 2007 I became the first nurse in the world to do so on the first attempt, and joined only 75 people in the world, at that time, to complete the 7 Summits. To date there are only about 500 people who have completed the 7 Summits! When I went to Mt. Everest I knew the risks as many people have died there, and through my 7 years of high altitude climbing I have seen way too many people die. In honour of my good friend and mentor Sean Egan of Almonte, who died on Mt. Everest in 2005, I carried his ashes to the top of the world. On completion of the 7 Summits I was awarded the Key to the Town of Almonte!

I wrote a book about my mountaineering and adventure travels (7 Summits: A Nurses Quest to Conquer Mountaineering and Life) and traveled around the US as a motivational speaker. All proceeds from my book, and speaker fees, have been donated to 4 nursing scholarships that I have initiated … to date around $150,000.00. While climbing mountains around the world, I did so with a fear of heights, but pushed myself to face that fear head-on. As a result of this experience, I created the “Personal Challenge Program” at the University of South Carolina where to date tens of thousands of students have challenged themselves each semester to step out of their comfort zone to face adversity. I wrote a book about this program “The Path to Student Success Starts With a Personal Challenge”, but have not published at this time … hopefully will pursue that soon! I retired a few years ago from USC, but continue to pay-it-forward as I am now an instrument rated pilot (I know … it doesn’t make sense that I can fly and be afraid of heights … I have learned not to look down!!!) and through an organization named Angel Flights, I fly patients from their home cities to a hospital for treatment, but more often lately I have been flying patients from the hospital after a surgical procedure back to their home city. There is no charge to the patient as I have my own plane, I pay for the fuel, and I donate my time. 

Again, I am not famous, but through my travels, climbing and adventurous life-style, I believe I have inspired many students and others to push their limits and step outside their comfort zones. As I have shared with all, “we only live once and the time is short, so do as much as you can in the time that you have left!”

I have enjoyed reading your historical stories of Almonte and the area as for me it is very nostalgic. Few in Almonte may know me now as I have lived in the United States for the past 44 years, but many know my family name as the Hickey’s are very involved as teachers, mentors and coaches in our community. I feel blessed to have been raised on a farm in Almonte, the oldest of eight brothers and one sister, and learned early in life to pay-it-forward, as I have done all my life. Almonte, the Friendly Town, was where I gained the values that would guide me through life … much better values than what I see in some of my friends that were raised in large cities!

Patrick Hickey RN,BSN,MS,MSN,Dr. P.H.,CNOR(E)

Distinguished Clinical Professor Emeritus

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC 

I have attached a few photos:

1. My wife Carol and I by my plane (she refuses to fly with me since I had a slight incident with her in a plane when I blew a tire on landing and ended up in the ditch off a runway in Texas)

2. My brother Greg and myself in Myrtle Beach, SC … his home-way-from-home for golf!

3. Second edition cover of my book

4. One of my scholarships … Nurses Can Do Anything

5. Carol and I at Mt. Everest basecamp (17,800 ft.) in 2017 – my ten year anniversary

6. Summit of Mt,. Everest – May 24, 2007

7. Hiking through the Himalayas in 1988 … proposed marriage to Carol in the mountains of Nepal

Movie inspired by Almonte man premiers in the capital

Teachers —- I Wish I Would Have Had Mr. Souter

Almonte’s and Carleton Place’s Reach For the Top Teams

Almonte’s and Carleton Place’s Reach For the Top Teams

1975 Almonte Gazette

Remember Reach for the Top? Eric Stewart sent this in.. Hi Linda…. here’s a photo of the 1972 – 1973 ADHS Reach for the Top team. I am trying to remember the names of my teammates. I am the second from the right. Can you help Eric?

Joan Armstrong

Mrs. Lamb, teacher back left

Rose Mary Sarsfield

Jack Elgood is the other teacher.

Steve Rooney

The students from left to right are Greg Gosson, Jim Harris, Ted McKay, Eric Stewart and Bruce Gunn

Reach for the top in 1972.CPHS team. Photo from Wendy Healey

Reach For The Top (RFTT) was based on a successful US television program called G.E. College Bowl. The idea for a Canadian version was brought to CBC Canada by producer Richard St John and sold to CBC Vancouver in 1961. The first program of RFTT was broadcast that year and was hosted by West Coast free-lance broadcaster Terry Garner. The next year the program was picked up by CBC Edmonton and gradually spread across the country. By 1966, 23 stations in all 10 provinces were carrying it, with approximately 600 schools taking part. That year the first of the national playoffs was broadcast with Winnipeg quizmaster Bill Guest as host. Lorne Jenkin High in Barrhead, Alta, which offered a one-semester credit course based on the program, became the series’ most successful competitors. The school represented Alberta in the national playoffs for 6 of the last 10 years of the program’s life, winning the national finals twice–

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada15 Apr 1967, Sat  •  Page 109

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada27 Dec 1980, Sat  •  Page 88

The Magic of Television — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Should I Have Done that on Television?

And a One, and a Two….. Linda Knight Seccaspina

People of Rosebank — Sarah Jane Coxford Black

People of Rosebank — Sarah Jane Coxford Black


Mrs. Sarah Jane Black, affectionately called “Rufus” by her many friends, celebrated her 90th birthday on March 24, 1973. A resident in the Fort William ward Mrs. Black was born in Rosebank. near Almonte, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Coxford. She is the last living member of a family of 18 children.

She was married in 1907 in Rosebank to Charles Black, and two years later they went to Fort William to make their home. A resident of 222 North in the Fort William ward Mr. Black was a motorman for the street railway, a position he held until his death in 1938. Mrs. Black is the oldest member of Knox United Church on Pruden St., and one of the original leaders of the CGIT. She is also a life member of the Women’s Missionary Society of the church. She was also a faithful worker for many years for the Red Cross Society.

Owing to ill health, and a recent stay in McKellar Hospital, plans for a celebration honouring her at this time have been curtailed. However, a family dinner, complete with the traditional birthday cake had been planned by her only son. Ernie, daughter-in-law Stella and her only grandson. Kevin, Upwards of 30 friends and relatives called to see Mrs. Black on her birthday, She was showered with countless cards, gifts and beautiful floral arrangements, including a corsage of tiny rosebuds from grandson Kevin. 1973

Coxford family

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada23 Nov 1910, Wed  •  Page 8

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada05 Jul 1899, Wed  •  Page 5


Name:Sarah Jane Coxford
Birth Year:abt 1884
Birth Place:Ramsey, Ontario
Marriage Date:29 Jan 1908
Marriage Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:James Coxford
Mother:Mary Kennedy
Spouse:Chas Walter Black

1921 Census


Name:Sarah Jane Blark[Black]
Racial or Tribal Origin:Scotch (Scotish)
Marital Status:Married
Birth Year:abt 1883
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1 Jun 1921
House Number:196
Residence Street or Township:222 N Norah
Residence City, Town or Village:P Sub 6-8 Ward 2 Fort William
Residence District:Fort William and Rainy River
Residence Province or Territory:Ontario
Residence Country:Canada
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Spouse’s Name:Charles W Black
Father Birth Place:Ontario
Mother Birth Place:Ontario
Can Speak English?:Yes
Can Speak French?:No
Can Read?:Yes
Can Write?:Yes
Nature of Work:None
Enumeration District:79
Sub-District:Fort William (City)
Sub-District Number:43
Enumerator:H Stafford
District Description:Ward 2, Polling Division No. 6 and 8
Neighbours:View others on page
Line Number:47
Family Number:200
Household Members (Name)AgeRelationshipCharles W Black39HeadSarah Jane Blark38WifeAlfred Sevest Black13Son
Name:Sarah J Coxford
Marital Status:Single
Birth Year:abt 1883
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1891
Residence Place:Ramsay, Lanark North, Ontario, Canada
Relation to Head:Daughter
Religion:Free Church
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
French Canadian:No
Father’s Name:James Coxford
Father’s Birth Place:England
Mother’s Name:Mary Coxford
Mother’s Birth Place:Ireland
Neighbours:View others on page
Household Members (Name)AgeRelationshipJames Coxford56HeadMary Coxford50WifeJohn Coxford28SonMary Coxford27DaughterArchibald Coxford25SonJames Coxford23SonDavid Coxford22SonJessie Coxford18DaughterThomas Coxford16SonAgnes Coxford14Daughter

Also read-Our Family Genealogy Pages __BLACK

Coxford click

Rosebank Cheese Factory

Rosebank, Blakeney, Norway Falls and Snedden’s Station

The Runaway Bridesmaid From Rosebank to Huntley