Tag Archives: Mississippi mills

Memories of Homemade Quilts — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Memories of Homemade Quilts — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Memories of Homemade Quilts  Linda Knight Seccaspina

Last week I reposted a story I wrote about quilts and how much they mean to me. One, I lost in a fire, another is hanging on by a thread, and last year a Lanark County one made in 1902 was rescued at an auction.

Friday morning, my friend Julie Sadler called me up and said she had something for me. She had a precious quilt from her grandmother May Morphy. I didn’t know what to say, but I believe a bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars. I asked her to send me a story about the maker of the quilt and she did.

May Morphy ( Mrs. Warner Morphy) was her maternal grandmother. Born in Ottawa in 1895, she married her husband Warner in 1922. He was Edmond Morphy’s great-grandson and grandpa worked at the train station. May was a very private lady and her passion was quilting.

As long as Julie can remember, she was at the church hall every Wednesday afternoon quilting with the ladies rain or shine. Her mother was born in the house she lived in and the front room always had a quilt set up. She made dozens over the years and there wasn’t a sewing machine in sight! Every stitch was by hand with love and her quilts are prized possessions! Quilts are a link to our past and they each have a story.

Mae Morphy’s quilt – Julie Sadler

My second quilt was purchased at an auction and was a crazy quilt made in 1902 in Lanark County. It is signed by approximately 30 people who had a hand in making it. The quilt was made as a fundraiser–either church or community, and all the stitching looked to be very consistent. This would indicate that likely only one person would  have had a “hand” in quilting/making it. Usually the quilts made as part of a “quilting bee” had many people helping to make them, and you can usually notice differences in how the stitches are done.  Stitching is similar to everyone’s hand signature. Each one is slightly different from person to person. 

Have you ever asked yourself why everyone loves quilts? What drove families to gather in their communities and make quilts for their families?  Quilts connect everyone, and they speak about former lives of families, and their joys, their hardships, and their homes.

Seven days after my birth I was placed in a quilt my grandmother had made and brought immediately to her home as my mother was ill. I was tucked into my crib with the same quilt I came home from the hospital in. One night my father gathered me up in that same quilt and smuggled me into the Royal Victoria Hospital hoping my mother might remember me as she had postpartum depression. I can still see her looking down at the cards she was playing solitaire with while I was holding on to the edge of that dear quilt in fear. To this day I will never forget that image – my father says I was barely two,  but I still remember the greyness of the room. While my life was sterile and cold, the quilt held warmth and security. My grandmother always said that blankets wrap you in warmth but quilts wrap you in love.

At age 12 my mother died, and my grandmother sat with me on her veranda and wrapped that same quilt around me while I cried. Life was never the same after that, and the quilt was placed on my bed like an old friend when I stayed with her.  I would stare at the painting on the wall while I tried to sleep and thought that a lot of people understood art but not quilts. If I had a lot of money I would own a quilt and not a piece of art,  because in the end which gives you the most comfort?

When I got married at age 21, my Grandmother sat at the dining room table for weeks and worked on a quilt for my new home. As I travelled down the road of life the quilt was always there while people came and went. Although it was ageing gracefully it was still heavy and secure anytime I needed it. Through death and sickness it held comfort, and the promise that it would never desert me. This quilt held my life with all the bits and pieces, joys and sorrows, that had been stitched into it with love.

At age 47 the quilt died peacefully in my arms. A terrible house fire had destroyed it, and as I looked at the charred edges I realized the thread that held it together had bound the both of us forever. Now it was time to go down the final road by myself,  and remembering the words of Herman Hesse I began the journey.

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”

Buttons and Quilts by Sherri Iona (Lashley)

The Lanark County Quilt and its Families

The Ladies of St. Andrews

Clayton United Church Quilt Fran Cooper

From Dawn Jones

Hi Linda

Reading your posts and enjoying the beautiful quilts. A picture of one quilt I own made by my Aunt Betty James. She made quilts of different colours, patterns and themes for every one of her nieces and nephews. She is a retired teacher, and a former councillor of Portland Ontario, mother, aunt, grandmother, sister and friend. She made many quilts over the years for her church and various fundraisers close to her heart over the years. I wonder how she found time. But I’m grateful she did. I’m happy to use it on my bed. Who needs a weighted blanket when you have one of these.

Lisa Marie Gordon is with Sean Gordon.


As a little girl my mama made two quilts, one for me and one for my sister .. Time passes and the quilts were sold with our bedroom furniture.

The other day Sean had decided to treat my mom to a lunch date. He had her by the arm and together they were walking the Main Street in Almonte, my Mom glances up in the antique store window.. and says to Sean, there’s my quilt!!! Gulp!

Today I bought it back for her… Isn’t it crazy how life comes full circle? Thank you Mom.. FOR EVERYTHING!

❤️❤️ feeling so grateful❤️❤️

LOVE this from Stu Thompson

Hi Linda. I saw your posts today of quilt memories, and it reminded me of a photo that I have of a display of quilts that my mother had quilted over the years for her children and grandchildren. They were brought by the family members to the celebration of our parents’ 50th anniversary, Nov. 8, 1988, and put on display. Alan and Betty Thompson, with the family, and with the extended family.–Snippets of the Thompson Farm — Ramsay

Clippings Frank Scantlion — Middleville

Clippings Frank Scantlion — Middleville

BIRTH17 Feb 1830DEATH30 Aug 1914 (aged 84)BURIAL

Saint Marys Roman Catholic CemeteryAlmonte, Lanark County, Ontario, CanadaPLOTB053 Grave#1

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada02 Sep 1914, Wed  •  Page 1

Name:Frank Scantllon
Death Age:84
Birth Date:17 Dec 1830
Birth Place:Middleville
Residence Place:Lanark
Death Date:Abt 1914
Death Place:Almonte
Obituary Date:16 Sep 1914
Obituary Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Newspaper Title:The Lanark Era
Spouse:Jane S. Rankin
Child:John CraigJ. EClint
Siblings:Francis ScantlionJane S.

Jane S. Rankin Wife of Francis Scantlion Died Sept. 10, 1914 Aged 83 Yrs. Scantlion

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada04 Oct 1899, Wed  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada04 Oct 1899, Wed  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada04 Oct 1899, Wed  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada07 Sep 1914, Mon  •  Page 3

Mr. & Mrs. Archie Rankin– Photo by Laurie YuillThe Rankin Family

The Rankin Family

Jane Rankin Middleville –Gazette Correspondent

1908 Almonte Autograph Book —T J O’Donnell-Ewart Moorhead-E. C Moynihan- Edna Blair

1908 Almonte Autograph Book —T J O’Donnell-Ewart Moorhead-E. C Moynihan- Edna Blair

T. J O’Donnell

Ewart Moorhead

April 8 1929

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada09 Jul 1907, Tue  •  Page 9

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada09 Jun 1909, Wed  •  Page 12

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada29 Jun 1910, Wed  •  Page 5

E. C Moynihan

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada07 Aug 1912, Wed  •  Page 8

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada08 Aug 1916, Tue  •  Page 10

The owner of the autograph book was Ethel Sole and she began it in 1908

1908 Almonte Autograph Book —Arthur Clare Paul

1908 Autograph Book Ethel E Sole (Norris) Almonte

The CPHS Autograph Book –Christena Rygiel

Margery Wilson Hollywood Actress Comes to Almonte 1924

Margery Wilson Hollywood Actress Comes to Almonte 1924

BornSara Barker Strayer
October 31, 1896
Gracey, Kentucky, US
DiedJanuary 21, 1986 (aged 89)
Arcadia, California, US

March 1924- Almonte

Famous actresses or movie stars seldom come to a country town. We know them only as we read about them. So Almonte people will be interested to learn that Miss Margery Wilson, whom we have all read about, is to be here herself this week. Miss Wilson will appear at the Orpheum on Saturday, March 8 when her motion picture “ Insinuation” will be shown. This was written, directed and produced !by herself. Miss Wilson will give a very intimate talk on the motion picture industry. Her topic will be “Life in the picture colony o f Hollywood.”.

A week later

The feature of the theatre in Almonte last week was the appearance of Miss Margery Wilson, the well known actress with her picture Insinuation. She spoke both afternoon and evening at the Orpheum and was introduced with greaceful words of welcome by Councillor George L Comba. While in Almonte Miss Wilson, met a number of local people and visited the chief sites of the town. She was charmed and impressed with the swiftly tumblng falls and the town generally had high praise.

“What a beautiful town Almonte is ,” she said .’ “P eople ought to be very h appy h e re.” She visited several of the stores comparing prices, and making little purchases. She thought the prices in Almonte remarkably fair.

KOZY-TV Presents Silent Sunday Movie in “The Clodhopper” from 1917. Isaac Nelson is the tight-fisted president of a country bank and owns a farm, where his son Everett works long hours every day, even on Sundays. Everett wears his father’s cast-off clothes, and after his mother buys him a mail order suit, Everett goes to a Fourth of July picnic with his sweetheart Mary Martin. The father sees his wife in the field doing the son’s work and, after forcing his son home from the picnic, beats him… –Wikipedia Starring: Charles Ray as Everett Nelson Charles K. French as Isaac Nelson, Everett’s Father Margery Wilson as Mary Martin Lydia Knott as Mrs. Nelson Tom Guise as Karl Seligman

CLIPPED FROMMuncie Evening PressMuncie, Indiana04 Feb 1986, Tue  •  Page 7

CLIPPED FROMBakersfield Morning EchoBakersfield, California06 Oct 1922, Fri  •  Page 5

CLIPPED FROMThe Daily Sun-TimesOwen Sound, Ontario, Canada11 Apr 1924, Fri  •  Page 1

Etha Dack De Laney Broadway Actress from Ardoch and Other Folks

The Opening of the Marcus Lowe Capital Theatre

“Our Town Is The World” Part 2 — 1950 International Movie Almonte

Our Town Is the World— 1950 Almonte International Movie — Local Cast Names

Peg O My Heart — Gracie Mark’s Belt

The Story of Ms. Kitty Marks

The Heroine of White — Lanark County 1924 –Sweeney

The Heroine of White — Lanark County 1924 –Sweeney

March 1924– Almonte Gazette

The Ottawa Journal

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada04 Apr 1924, Fri  •  Page 6

Where was the village of White?

The Village of White is on the 511 at Campbells Rd a church still stands! 

The township comprises the communities of Arklan, Boyds, Brightside, Bullock, California, Cedardale, Clyde Forks, Clydesville, Dalhousie Lake, Elphin, Flower Station, Folger, French Line, Halls Mills, Halpenny, Hood, Hopetown, Joes Lake, Lammermoor, Lanark, Lavant, Lavant Station, Lloyd, Marble Bluff, McDonalds Corners, Middleville, Pine Grove, Poland, Quinn Settlement, Rosetta, Tatlock, Watsons Corners, and White, as well as the ghost town of Herrons Mills.

Rick Roberts

That’s actually the old school house at White. It was never a full time church. It is the second building that was built on that site. An earlier school house was closer to the road. My grandmother Lizzie James, attended school in the first school building from 1908-1916. Her husband, my grandfather Harold Devlin was in charge of schools in Darling Twp during the 1940s and 1950s until he died in 1958. It was also used for church services during summers when student ministers would board at my grandmother’s farm and hold services at White, Tatlock, and Flower Station. After the school was decommissioned it became a community hall. The community hall sign on it today was installed by my father and me in the early 1980s. read-S.S. #5 White School White Community Hall

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
24 May 1911, Wed • Page 5

Miss Tena Stewart War Heroine — Almonte Appleton and Carleton Place

S.S. #5 White School White Community Hall

The Heroine of Lake Ave East — 1969

Miss Eva Denault- Almonte 1911 Fire Heroine

Not Just Laura Secord–Elizabeth Barnett-Heroine

Margaret Helena Kellough — Nurse WW11– Clippings

In Memory of Silver Cross Mothers — thanks to Stuart McIntosh

1908 Almonte Autograph Book —Arthur Clare Paul

1908 Almonte Autograph Book —Arthur Clare Paul

Rose Mary Sarsfield

Arthur Clare Paul (August 13,1893-Nov 11, 1917) born at Clayton. His parents Joseph Paul and Margaret Rath ran the store in Clayton for a time. He died at Passchendaele, Belgium. He is buried at Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.

 If you want to purchase Rose Mary’s book about the history of Clayton, Ontario (Whispers from the Past) please email her at rose@sarsfield.ca or call me at 613-621-9300, or go to the Clayton Store, or Mill Street Books in Almonte.

Record:PAUL, ARTHUR CLAREAdditional information:Son of Joseph and Margaret Paul, of Almonte, Ontario.Cemetery:VLAMERTINGHE NEW MILITARY CEMETERYCemetery/memorial reference:IX. B. 11.Country:Canadian

When Arthur Clare Paul was born in 1893, in Almonte, Mississippi Mills, Lanark, Ontario, Canada, his father, Joseph E. Paul, was 34 and his mother, Margaret Rath, was 38. He lived in Lanark, Ontario, Canada for about 10 years. He died on 11 November 1917, at the age of 24.

1917 November 19 Almonte Gazette

CLIPPED FROMThe Sault StarSault St. Marie, Ontario, Canada07 Nov 1917, Wed  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMThe Sault StarSault St. Marie, Ontario, Canada10 Nov 1917, Sat  •  Page 8

CLIPPED FROMThe Weekly British WhigKingston, Ontario, Canada12 Nov 1917, Mon  •  Page 4

The owner of the autograph book was Ethel Sole and she began it in 1908

1908 Autograph Book Ethel E Sole (Norris) Almonte

The CPHS Autograph Book –Christena Rygiel

1908 Autograph Book Ethel E Sole (Norris) Almonte

1908 Autograph Book Ethel E Sole (Norris) Almonte

The owner of the autograph book was Ethel Sole and she began it in 1908

Ethel E Sole Norris

BIRTH21 Jul 1889

Almonte, Lanark County, Ontario, CanadaDEATHJul 1972 (aged 82–83)

Bath, Steuben County, New York, USABURIAL

Nondaga CemeteryBath, Steuben County, New York, USAMEMORIAL ID120195560 · View Source


Name:Ethel Norris[Ethel Morris]
Estimated Birth Year:abt 1891
Birthplace:Canada English
Marital Status:Married
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Home in 1940:Bath, Steuben, New York
Map of Home in 1940:Bath, Steuben, New York
Street:West Washington Blvd
House Number:202
Inferred Residence in 1935:Bath, Steuben, New York
Residence in 1935:Bath
Sheet Number:10B
Attended School or College:No
Highest Grade Completed:High School, 4th year
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census:20
Class of Worker:Unpaid family worker
Weeks Worked in 1939:52
Income Other Sources:Yes
Neighbours:View others on page
Household Members (Name)AgeRelationshipNelson Norris55HeadEthel Norris49WifeRena Norris18DaughterEarl Severance44Lodger

Her Mother

1938, Thursday October13, The Almonte Gazette page 4
Mrs Peter Morrison
The death occurred at Montreal on Sunday, Oct 9th of Mrs Peter Morrison of Bath, N.Y. Mrs Morrison whose maiden name was Voina McLean was a daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Alex McLean of Almonte. Mrs Morrison was twice married. Her first husband was George Soles of Almonte, who died many years ago. To this union were born two daughters, Aloma, deceased, and Ethel, Mrs Nelson Norris of Bath, N.Y., who survives. Later she married Mr Peter Morrison who predeceased her several years ago. Also surviving besides her daughter are one sister, Mrs Christina Brown of Brandon, and two brothers, Mr A.J. McLean of Almonte and Mr Alex McLean of Montreal. The funeral which was private was held on Wednesday from the home of Mr George L. Comba, and interment was in the Auld Kirk Cemetery. Rev A.J. Fowlie of Almonte Presbyterian Church, officiated.

Gravesite Details

Not Named on Husband’s Memorial Stone

The CPHS Autograph Book –Christena Rygiel

What Happened to Ellen McDougall of Hopetown/ Almonte?

What Happened to Ellen McDougall of Hopetown/ Almonte?

CLIPPED FROMThe Windsor StarWindsor, Ontario, Canada16 Sep 1910, Fri  •  Page 6

Sept 19-1910 Almonte Gazette

Mrs. James McDougall, who has been in very poor health for sometime wandered away from home early Tuesday morning and for a couple of days organized search parties failed to find her. However, today (Thursday) she was brought back home by a gentleman named Bishop, who resides about twenty-two miles from  town, beyond Carp. She had come to his place late Wednesday evening and explained her plight. He gave her accommodation for the night and drove her home on Thursday. It was a great relief to the family and friends who had become greatly alarmed for her safety.


Name:Ellen McDougall
Birth Date:21 Jun 1866
Birth Place:Hopetown, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Death Date:1 Aug 1920
Death Place:Almonte, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Cemetery:Auld Kirk Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Mississippi Mills, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Has Bio?:Y
Spouse:James Rankin McDougall
Children:Charlotte Ellen FairLaura Isabel BardenMary Ann HawkinsCharles Stanley McDougall

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada15 Sep 1910, Thu  •  Page 1

Daughter of John McPhee and Margaret Legary McPhee.

Married James McDougall September 24, 1887 McDonalds Corners, Ontario.

She died August 1 1920 at the age of 54 of Gastritis & Enteritis

Her son John

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada16 Oct 1918, Wed  •  Page 4

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada16 Oct 1918, Wed  •  Page 4

Corp John Lorne McDougall

BIRTH10 Mar 1899

Hopetown, Lanark County, Ontario, CanadaDEATH30 Aug 1918 (aged 19)

Mingoval, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, FranceBURIAL

Aubigny Communal Cemetery ExtensionAubigny-en-Artois, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, FrancePLOTIV. G. 17.MEMORIAL ID

Corporal, Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Age: 19.

Family Members




Name:Elen Mc Dougal
Marital status:Married
Race or Tribe:Scotch (Scotish)
Birth Date:Sep 1867
Birth Place:Ontario
Census Year:1911
Relation to Head of House:Wife
District:Lanark North
District Number:89
Sub-District:5 – Lanark Township, Hopetown Village
Sub-District Number:5
Occupation:None NG
Other Occupation:NG
Own Account:No
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Family Number:28
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:NameAgeJames Mc Dougal54Elen Mc Dougal44Lottie Mc Dougal19Laura Mc Dougal17Mary Ann Mc Dougal14John Mc Dougal12Pearl Mc Dougal9Girisda Mc Dougal6

What Happened to the “Mississippi” Steamer?

What Happened to Samuel McEachan Who Ran Away from Beckwith?

What Happened to Sarah Latrace?

What Happened to Claude Taylor?

So What Happened to James Reid — Lavant

So What Happened to Miss Eva Reid of Renfrew?

What Happened to Earl Hyde France ?

Survivors of the 1906 Fire– Mr. William Edward Scott Tom Comba — What Happened to Them?

What Happened to Lottie Blair of Clayton and Grace Cram of Glen Isle?

So What Happened to Miss Winnifred Knight Dunlop Gemmill’s Taxidermy Heads?

What Happened to Harold McLean?

Shop Local 1897 — A Warning for Small Villages and Towns

Shop Local 1897 — A Warning for Small Villages and Towns

There was a pointed article published in every local newspaper that small towns were in trouble. It was alarming to see this in the year 1897.

A very pointed and practicle article appeared in the Orangeville, Ont., Advertiser on the possible results of towns peopledoing all their shopping in the city. We quote it for intelligent peoplewho are reasonable enough to see that city buying, if carried out to its extrema limit can empty a town of both trade and prosperity.

Let us sssume that a town which lacks local pride and spirit and whose inhabitants spend much off their cash to departmental stores and buys everything aways from home. What follows? The merchants put up their shutter, and quit. Tha main street has gone out of business. The post office and express office are the local branches of the department store and are busy sending off orders and delivering packages.

The merchants with their families, and their clerks, scatter to tbe four comers of the earth. There are, perhaps two banks in the town and one closes at once, but the other waits to see how business will he. The editor of the local paper look over his fields and peers into tho future, and then moves away. Those who owned property along the main street find it almost valueless. One of the local lawyers moves away. One of the doctors sells out to the other.

The farmers of the surrounding county rise up at 3 a.m. and drive on through the village to the city to sell their produce and make their purchases. They consult a city doctor, or lawyer or dentist, if they need advice or treatment. Their farms, ones worth $100 per acre adjacent to a living town, decline in value until they are worth only $30 or $40 per acre, because there is no living town and market nearby.

The owner of the big mill or factory, which was bonused years ego, will now harken to the offers he gets to locate in other places, and the town having now no future, no prospect of better shipping facilities, the factory will go away. In short the town will have no excuse for existing.

If all this happens we might as well all move away and get into the city to which, maybe we really belong. Logically this whole province in which only rich cities can thrive are all retailing passing into the hands of retail men and companies strong enough to practice any triok or to resort, to any tyranny, and none being strong enough to resist them.

The Lanark Era

Lanark, Ontario, Canada21 Jul 1897, Wed  •  Page 1

What Would You Wear to the Carleton Place 1897 Inaugural Ball?

From January to June–The Year of Earthquakes 1897

The Fires of 1897

John Elliott Vanished 1897

The Ottawa City Directory 1897-98 —Simpson Book Collection

We Don’t Need the Almonte Fair 1897 – “Admission to the grounds is 25 cents, which is twice too much!”

Documenting Art Brown 1981

Documenting Art Brown 1981

This is Art Brown who retired from the Mississippi Mills fire Dept. Thank you to the MM Fire Dept for coming to help out with Carleton Place’s fire on Bridge Street last night.. #workingtogether#community

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” – Henry Ford–

From Peter Harris mcgregor -//I can’t remember what year this was but that’s me and fire chief Art Brown rest in peace no more pain and suffering chief you will sadly be missed by many of the lives you touched and saved.

The Millstone

Heather Brown Fortington

Gazelle Reporter March 1981

Art Brown who operates the fire pumper, has been named firefighter of the year for 1980. Brown was named to the honour Thursday at the first annual firefighters appreciation night hosted by the Almonte Civitan Club. He was chosen by his peers, after fellow firefighters in the AlmonteRamsay department voted secretly for the man they thought had done outstanding service to the fire department in 1980. On the first occasion of what promises to be an annual event in Almonte, Civitan president Rick Eppich presented the award in the form of a plaque inscribed with the words, “in recognition of your outstanding and dedicated service to the community.” This was the first time the award has been presented, but the Almonte Civitan Club have planned to make the evening an annual celebration. The award was the idea of Civitan Gib Hodge, district east treasurer, and is based on similar awards night held each year in Smiths Falls. The awards presentation followed a banquet and speeches attended by members of the Almonte-Ramsay fired ep artm en t, their wives, and the hosts o f the evening, A lm onte C ivitan Club, After a roast beef dinner served by the ladies auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion, Civitan chairman L loyd C o n n o lly in tro d u ced the evening’s special guests. These included fire chief Bill Lowry and his wife Joyce, A lm onte m ayor Ron Pettem and his wife Jan.

Sid Oxenham , assistant fire marshal of O ntario, Civitan governor-elect of district east Ken Pilon and his wife Beverley, Almonte councillor Des Vaughan, and Ramsay councillor Jim Lowry and his wife Sandy, among others. Speakers throughout the evening paid tribute to the excellent record of the fire department since its creation more than 100 years ago on September 12, 1873. The department’s fine reputation today is due in great measure to the work of former fire chiefs and senior fire fighters such as Ross Stanley and Slip Washburn, said Bill Lowry, the current chief. Lowry said there was no doubt in his mind that Almonte has the best fire department in Lanark county. He pointed out that while the value of property destroyed in Almonte fires in Almonte and Ramsay in the last year totals about $7.5 million, the value of the property saved was at least $6.5 million. Lowry said he will be emphasizing fire prevention in the Almonte area this year, and captain Bob Drynan, in charge of fire prevention, will be making me any inspections.

photo from almonte.com

“Our idea is not to make life rough for you ,” said Lowry, “ but to save you money ,” A little history The Almonte fire department has come a long way since its foundation 100 years ago. Early firefighting equipment included horse drawn pumpers that required eight men to operate it by hand. Steam, then gas pumpers (one of these exploded) replaced these early models, Civitainess to make this community safe from fire,” he said. Under the Mutual Aid system, the Almonte department has fought fires in every municipality in the Lanark county, except in the distant ones of Lavant and Dalhousie.

Some of the great fires fought by the force were a 1939 fire that devastated the main street of Pakenham,

a 16- hour blaze in Lanark in 1959,

fires in Smiths Falls in 1971 and 75,

and a fire at the Arnprior high school in 1976.

The force was commended for its efforts in the rescue of passengers in the Christmas train wreck at the Almonte station in 1942. On the social side, the Almonte fire department for many years hosted great New Year’s Eve dances for the town. When that tradition waned, the department took up the idea of holding a giant pancake breakfast once a year for the entire community.


I miss the Air Raid Siren but it was fun to continue the tradition of the Annual Fire Department Pancake Breakfast in Almonte with my Dad and the girls #fairweekend #Almonte #thefriendlytown #hometowntraditions

The pancake event drew a record crowd of 1400 people. The department faces more changes in the future, with the reorganization of the force into an amalgamated Almonte-Ramsay department. The details of the amalgamation, which involves the purchase of several new pieces o f equipment by Ramsay township, are in the process of being worked out by fire officials and representatives of the two municipalities. While the force looks ahead to bigger and better things, it will con tinue to rely on the dedication and courage of the volunteers who have made it what it is today. Not the least of these volunteers, as Art Brown pointed out as he accepted his plaque Thursday, are the wives who support from behind the scenes all the efforts and achievements of their fire fighting husbands. “ We are nothing without them ,” said the generous Brown.

Two Ring Nozzles and Oil- Almonte Fire Dept 1874

Almonte Fire 1903

Collie Mill Fire Almonte October 1, 1965

The Fires in Almonte 1899

1906 — Business Block is a Smouldering Block of Ruins– More Fires of Almonte

The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1903

The Almonte Fire of 1909

The Almonte Fire 1909– Bank Manager Badly Injured

lmonte Fire of Nolan’s and Wylie’s Stable

The Almonte Fire 1955– Almonte United Church

The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1903

Miss Eva Denault- Almonte 1911 Fire Heroine

Remember The Almonte Fire Truck Company?

Things About Bill Lowry 1998