With the intense heat and the dirty hot water in the river it is probably a good thing that supervision at the bathing beach ceased some time ago, and that attendance at school will discourage children from swimming in that part of the river. An item in last week’s Carleton Place Canadian stated that there was a scum on the water there which made parents forbid their children to bathe in it. If the water is that way there it will be the same here. While the cause of polio is obscure there is a general belief “which may or may not have any foundation that it dan be induced by dirty water.
There may be nothing in this but certainly it is not healthy to swim in water that is lukewarm and smells of weeds and other vegetable matter. When the river level is high the fact that it is not too deep, at the bathing beach is an advantage but when it drops and there is a heat wave it makes swimming there less desirable. The river above the main bridge looks very dirty at presentwith weeds showing up and little “islands “which are submerged at high water level to be seen.
Most people would not care to eat fish out of the river now that the heat wave has lasted so long. It would be strange if they did not have worms and any who do go for them should skin them and cook them well. Even water in the lakes has become warm and the weeds are showing up everywhere. One thing this has done is make it less difficult for people who like summer resorts to break away from them and return to their homes.
Seems to me that closing beaches on the Mississippi at times has been a thing as long as I can remember. Especially after a heavy rain. I’m 73 now and I spent every sunny summer day at the beach in CP when I was a kid. Still go for a dip now and again.
There have been several bridges in Ferguson Falls. No one really knows when the first one was built but a map from the area in 1869 shows one. A second bridge was built in the 1880s which had hemlock sleepers 45 feet long with a 15 inch face. They were scored and hewed for $7.50 each.
The next bridge was built in 1919 and the present one in 1968. This is the ONLY bridge on the Mississippi River that withstood the results of the Crotch Lake disaster of 1857. All the other bridges were wiped out. Thanks to the toughness of the Ferguson Falls bridge the people of the village got the warning in time to pile boulders on the bridge and thus save it. Read-Did You Know About the Crotch Lake Disaster?
The new sawmill of Messrs. Nichols & Son, on the north shore of the river, opposite the Hawthorn Mill, is about complete and ready for business as soon as the logs come down the river. The mill is 60 feet long, with platforms at each end, and is built upon stone piers, with room in the basement for pullies, shafting and a shingle mill.
There is a wing alongside for an engine large boiler and 65 h.p. engine. A smoke stack 70 feet high carries up the smoke. The buildings are strongly built, and covered with iron for fire protection. The machinery is already in position.
On Sunday morning, June 3rd an empty, sealed barrel will be tossed into the Mississippi River just below the village of Appleton. A guessing contest is being held to estimate the length of time it will take the barrel to float down the river to the Maclan Bridge in Almonte. The distance is approximately four miles.
The barrel will be accompanied on its journey by at least one man in a boat and should it become lodged in trees or weeds along the shore, the accompanying boatsman allows it to remain stopped for only two minutes and after that time he will drag it back out into the stream. Mr. E. H. Farnham, Principal of the Church Street Public School, and Mr. “Gord” Kilburn, president of the Almonte branch of the Canadian Legion, has agreed to act as official timers for the “Barrel Float.”
The person guessing closest to the official time will receive $25.- 00. Second prize is $10.00 and third prize is $5.00. The proceeds from the contest will be used to help purchase a new backstop, bases and mowing the ball diamond for the Almonte Town Softball League. Tickets are being sold at 25 cts. each of 6 for $1.00. All local and district sportsmen are asked to help support the project.
Draw tickets being sold to raise funds for the local Softball League are bringing a wide variety of answers as to the time it will take a barrel to float from Appleton to the first bridge in Almonte. This novel guessing contest is not entirely new; it had been employed before for worthy purposes in other places and on other rivers. But this is the first time it has been tried out here. Mr. Harry Walker, one of the promoters of softball, says that guesses written on tickets sold run from all the way from one hour and twenty minutes to 200 hours.
Hydro employees who know the speed of the current cannot agree either because they do not know what the speed of the barrel will be when immersed in the water. In this case the container to be used in the novel contest is not an old fashioned wooden barrel but a sealed steel drum of the usual commercial variety. This barrel will be placed in the river early Sunday morning, June 3rd and will be followed in a boat to see that it does not become snagged along the shore. If it does it will be allowed to rest for not more than two minutes and then will be pushed out into the current and sent on its way.
The two gentlemen ushers of the barrel will be Messrs. Harry Walker and Archie Julian who propose to do a little fishing on the side as they keep their eye on the empty cask. Meanwhile, Councillor Thorpe Kelly will return from the launching ceremony in the bay below Appleton and will get into a boat driven by an outboard motor to rejoin his colleagues on their way down the river. Official timekeepers are Principal E. H. Farnham of the Church Street Public School and Mr. Gordon Kilburn, President of the local branch of the Legion. Those who haven’t already done so are urged to buy tickets and’ help softball in the coming season.
The second annual barrel-floating time-guessing contest will be held on Sunday, June 2nd. Owing to the low water and also to the change of distance from last year’s contest, the barrel will be dropped into the Mississippi River approximately two miles from Almonte. Two boats will accompany the barrel on its journey and should it become caught in weeds or marooned on the shore, the chaperons will allow two minutes before freeing it. Mr. Laurie Morton, president of the Town Softball League, will again act as official timer. The proceeds of the guessing contest will be used to help purchase softball bases and other equipment for the local softball association.
EDITOR’S NOTE— With Councillor Kelly and Messrs Harry Walker and Archie Julian in charge of this enterprise it deserves watching. How do we honest gamblers know where or when the barrel will be dropped into the river? It might be slipped in at the NLAS grounds or suddenly be launched under the bridge at the finishing line.
Early last Sunday morning the second barrel drifting contest was started on the river opposite the Andrews farm which is a couple of miles in the Appleton direction, where the wires cross the Mississippi. The purpose of this contest is to raise money for the softball league which has five teams in it this year. Tickets are sold and those buying them are asked to write down their guess as to the time it will take the barrel to float from a certain point to the first bridge in Almonte.
Last year the rain poured down and those who believe there should be no such goings on as barrel contests on Sunday said it was retribution on the sponsors who are headed by Councillor Thorpe Kelly, Harry Walker and Archie Julian. These gentlemen point out they are trying to raise money for a worthy purpose and that no one has to do any work in connection with the contest except themselves, and as it is confined to dropping the barrel overboard from a power boat, no harm is meant.
One of the three put it this way: “after all, the barrel propels itself—it isn’s rowed or paddled although there is plenty of rowing and paddling and other things done on Sunday.” They also point out Sunday is the only day they don’t work. Be that as it may; the promoters of the great barrel contest were again met with bad luck last Sunday and again it was from an agency over which humans have no control. This time it was the wind. It was blowing up the river against the current at such a stiff rate that the barrel starred back toward Appleton instead of floating down to Almonte.
After some time the three-man crew decided that it was no dice and they retrieved the barrel and returned to town. The time for putting on the contest has not been announced but it is understood the men behind the scene are taking counsel with the weather prophets and waiting for a favourable wind. Since the above was written Mr. Harry Walker, correspondent for the well known news agency mentioned above, has sent us a dispatch which arrived at 8.40 this Thursday morning. It appears that the wind was in the right direction Wednesday night for the masters of ceremony. Messrs. Kelly, Julian and Walker again dropped the barrel into the river at Andrew shore line. The barrel was put in at Andrews’ farm. Laurie Morton was official timekeeper at the first bridge.
The results were as follows: Dave Sterling, Almonte won the contest: official time, 3 hrs: 33.22. He had 3:33:33. Next man up was Owen Callahan of Ottawa, 3:33:10; Third, Len Kennedy, Almonte and Harold Deugo, Carp, (tied), 3:33:3.
Those who have been to High Falls in years gone by and those who have heen there within a period of less than two years remember it as a picturesque and romantic body of water tumbling down a descending pile of rocks until it reaches the levei expanse of a small lake below : and then continues on its journey down the river to Dalhousie Lake, but before reaching there turns the wheels in Walter Geddes mill by the lake. And the surroundings were those of the average Canadian woods, with the ever picturesque and prominent rock on the south east side, seemingly rising from out of the mist created by the falls for a distance of sixty feet. And there was a round about walk of a mile and a half over bush and glen before it was reached from the lake.
Alas, all this is changed now a magic transformation as it were, and in its place has sprung up a construction camp, and the once peaceful calm of the Canadian woods, lulled to sleep at nightfall by the music from the falls, is no more. On reaching Dalhousie Lake alter a 34-mile motor drive Mr. Howe, engineer in charge of the construction camp, is found in one of the summer cottages at the lake. , Mr. W. H. Whatley, second engineer of the camp, is with the men at the Falls. Both these men will be seen any day superintending the work. Instead of the mile and a half road or walk through the bush that formerly led to the Falls, a new road has been constructed of gravel from the lake right up td the camp, eliminating the roundabout.
Over this road much heavy material in the way of machinery and lumber has been and will continue to be drawn. When the sightseer has ascended the brow of a little hill the construction camp opens suddenly to view. There are many buildings a long row of bunk houses and dining hall, at the end of which two enterprising men from Toronto have opened up a little general store, and in this store there is a variety of stock, which seemingly included everything from medicine to overalls. Then there are store houses scattered all about, and stables for the horses, huge piles of gravel and another great pile of bituminous coal, and nearby the multitudinous activities of the camp are shown in two piles of logs ready to be skidded down a slope onto lumber waggons to be drawn to whatever particular point they are needed.
Sheds have also been built over certain gigantic machinery that must be protected from the weather until it is housed in the power house. To approach the bunk houses a long bridge has been constructed over the river, and while passing over this the sight-seeing party stopped to see a member of the camp washing some of his apparel in what he styled the American way. This was by tying a shirt to a good stout rope and immersing it in the rapids until the water was finished with the job, when the said shirt was drawn up, the water wrung out and it was tied to a clothes line to be dried.
On looking in the dining hall a-bout eight tables are arranged along each side with an isle in the centre. On the tables the while graniteware dishes arc all in their places ready for the next meal ; the cook was having a rest in his bunk tuning up on his violin, while a party of the boys hummed accompaniments to the music. The bunk houses arc roomy and kept in first class condition. In the centre there is a stove with two rows of wide bunks on each side. And the lumberjack of olden days would term these bunks parlour quarters, for they actually have springs and possibly they were mattresses that were to be seen on those springs.
Altogether the boys have pretty fair quarters and the only misgiving they have is of the mosquito weather rapidly approaching. In days gone by the river took two courses at the Falls ; the main body of water went over the height of rocks, tumbling below to the pond and then on its way out to the lake. While another branch took another course around a bend and finally reached the pond. This latter falls has been dammed, and to do this it was necessary to construct a dam over one hundred feet wide.
The course it pursued is to be the main power producer when the big round iron loom has been installed and the power house erected below at the side of the pond. Incidentally the log chute down which many a log has been run in days gone by has been taken out, lor the better part of its course will now be taken by the new floom. Referring to this old-time wooden chute a river driver came along as it was the topic of conversation. He remembered having run boats down it to save portaging when the log drives were on, and it was a case of holding his breath until the lower river was reached.
There is much work to be done at this beautiful power site before the natural water power has been harnessed and made to produce 3000 horse power, which is the estimated amount it will produce. The Hydro line from Perth to the Falls runs a long the road and through the fields by way of Balderson, Bell’s Corners, Fallbrook and McDonalds Corners. It will carry power into the camp from Merrickville shortly when poles and lines have been erected. Practically all of the power house machinery is on the ground now, having been brought in during the winter.
A short railway line in the camp constructed at a convenient location, provides the runway for a huge derrick. This summer will see many motorists going to High Falls to see the Hydro development. A modern house is now in course of construction, which is to be the home of the power house man when completed. But withal, nature has been intruded upon and the hand of man has strewn her works of art about for the purposes of serving the electrical needs of this twentieth century.
A little to the north of the highway leading from McDonald’s Corners wended the Mississippi river down which thousands of logs were annually guided by jolly river drivers. The Caldwells of Lanark and the McLarens of Perth were the leading lumbermen of the day. Where the hydro equipment plant now stands, where the High Falls offered obstructions to the river men. To overcome this natural obstruction an immense slide was constructed on the north side of the stream down which the logs were run without damage. This slide was the cause of a long drawn out and costly law suit centering on what is known as “The Streams(?) Hill(?)”. Such names as McDonald, McIlquham, Barber, Bowes and Greer are known from the headwaters of the Mississippi to the mills at Carleton Place. Peter McCallum, I believe, is the only one of those hardy farmers who can now answer the “roll call”. Down the stream from the High Falls, stood Geddes’ Flour Mill, where the stone process of making flour was in its heyday. Here at the rapids is Dalhousie Lake—now renowned as a summer resort—then resplendent in its natural beauty. Around this section we find the Geddes, Smiths, Pauls, McDugalls, Duncans and Millers, pioneers of large muscular frames, whose hospitality was in keeping with their frames.
One who retains vivid recollections of the terrible spring flood of 1870, when the Ottawa river rose to the greatest height it has ever risen and brought suffering and hardship to hundreds of families along its course, is Mr William Timbers, veteran resident of Hawkesbury.
“I have heard.” he said, “that hundreds of houses were submerged and hundreds of families; rendered homeless along the upper Ottawa that memorable spring, but it was every bit as bad down in this territory.
“As you can see. there Is quite a drop from Main street, Hawkesbury, down to the river. But the water that year was so high it actually covered Main street and people were rowing along the road in boats. You could sail a yacht from the river right up to the center of the town.”
“I distinctly remember that the ferry boat from Grenville used to draw up at Fillmans hotel, which was situated at what is now known as Percy’s Creek. Dozens of families in the lower section had to leave their horn until the floods abated.”
Many years ago James Brothers , George and Lawrence of Perth had a park here along the shores of the Mississippi where people loved to picnic. It was said swimming was not the best in this area. Years ago Ken Millar from Snow Road brought his cream to the Playfair Bridge where it was transferred to the cream truck. While waiting for the creamtruck to arrive they decided to take a dip and found the bottom full of pointy stones and they needed sneakers.
First let me say that I truly enjoy and have come to look forward to all you write about Lanark County. It came to me as I was watching the water rise in front of my house that years ago, (perhaps 40?) I came across some carvings on the rock face on the south side of the Playfairville Rapids and that if you were not aware of them perhaps they would make an interesting story.
My memory while getting older tells me they dated back to the 1800’s and the oldest was carved by a priest. Just a little more interesting history here in the highlands. Cheers, Paddy
Thanks Patrick Mulrooney! Now what can you add to this story??
Russ ThompsonThe bubble was the shallow side the flume was the deeper area by the mill. What a great childhood fry and gravy at the soup or the old hotel a swim in the bubble a jump from the bridge to the flume then head to Peterson’s for ice cream. Life sure was better back then
Deborah DoeDo you remember granny Barr chip truck and the paper cone fries. I didn’t come from Almonte but our family went there a lot. Pancake breakfast at the fire hall, highland dancers, chicken BBQ, snow hill, parades, ice cream at Peterson’s, V&S and amazing town with kind loving people
Christian DoyleMost exciting place to swim and or jump. OMG “TV shows”, what a game. Totally remember that at the Beach.
Darrin BreeLots of swimming at the bubble bath. Jump in behind the fire station and slid down to the bubble bath .then floated to the post office jump out and started over again
Andrea GallantI even remember swimming there…With Froggy.. God Rest His Sole..!!!
Christine Moses photo– Gayle Richards Stanley I took swimming lessons there in the mud sixties. We’d head to the beach at 8:30 for lessons at 9:00 and eat our lunch and play TVTag until it was safe to go in the water. (As we all knew it wasn’t safe to swim for an hour after eating). We’d arrive home in time for supper. Good times!
Sharon SavardLoved the beach I was there everyday along with almost every kid in town. Then I took my own kids for swimming lessons would bring our lunch and stay there most of the afternoon. Those were the days
Glenn ArthurThe Canteen was there boys!I can always remember the lemon lime drinks to go along with a Fudgesickel
Tracy LambLoved going to the park and the swimming lessons were just part of the summer experience remember the raft/dock in the river? It was such a big deal to be allowed/ and able to swim out to it … it became a ‘milestone’ in swimming ability and levels LOL
Some few years ago, The Canadian was privileged to publish a story by Howard M. Brown on how the various bays and islands on the chain of Mississippi lakes obtained their names. The story was published in early spring, so we will repeat it for the benefit of many summer residents along the shores
It happens to be exactly 140 years ago since some of the province’s Indians of the nineteenth century were in sole possession of Lanark County, and all of Eastern Ontario, above a line a few miles north of the Rideau Lake and River. In the rest of Ontario the white settlements were still further south. That actually is no longer ago than the time of the grandparents of the last generation ahead of our senior generation of today. Another thirty-five year before that time the whole of Ottawa except around a few military forts or fur trading posts was in the hands of the Indians.
One of the reasons for the settlement of this new section in Lanark County was to help relieve a post war depression in the British Isles. The area was opened with a partial survey and first settlement of the three neighboring townships of Bathurst, Drummond and Beckwith in 1816. Within less than ten years practically the supposedly tillable land in Lanark County and the north half of Carleton County except government reserves, had been occupied by settlers, including more than a few who had been encouraged to clear land which proved worthless for cultivation. In the first year only about sixteen settlers got established as far north as the Mississippi or into any part of Beckwith Township.
The Indians dispossessed here were Mississaugas who were a subtribe of the large nation of Ojibways. They had moved in from farther northwest after the Iroquois raids ended. They were a tribe which made an unusually wide use of wild plants for food, harvesting and storing large quantities of wild rice for the winter. They knew how to make maple sugar and to prepare dried berries and fruits for winter use. As hunters and fishermen they moved their camps about, by canoe in summer and by snowshoe and toboggan in winter. Their main efforts in this area were directed to moose in the winter, beaver small game and fish including suckers, pickerel and pike, in the spring and summer, while after the fall rice harvest they speared the larger fish spawning along the shores of some of the lakes, lake trout, whitefish and sturgeon. The Indian rights to this district were surrendered in a treaty made with the Mississaugas in 1819 at Kingston.
As the Indians were crowded out from the land on the north side of the Mississippi in the 1820’s, they gradually retreated northward and westward. Their Mississauga descendants are on reserved lands in the Kawartha Lakes area now. A few chose to stay near the new settlements in Lanark County, in areas not suitable for farming. In the 1890’s those still living at points near Carleton Place included groups at McIIquham’s Bridge and at the Floating Bridge. Big Joe Mitchell and Joe Baye were among the better known of the last local Indians. read-Joe Baye — Donna Sweeney Lowry or The Legend Of Big Joe Baye — How Much Do You Know?
John Cram left us the first settlers’ story of the Indians and the river here.
He was one of the nearest settlers to the river in this immediate vicinity. He came with the emigration in 1818 of about 300 persons from Perthshire to Beckwith Township, and his land included the site of the United Cemeteries. He left a story of finding the river by hearing the sound of a waterfall on a still day when he and a neighbor were clearing land together. They agreed on an exploring expedition. The next day, going along old Indian trails and new surveyors’ line they followed the sound until they reached the head of the falls, first viewing it from the present site of the Carleton Place Town Hall. On arriving according to his story as last told by him over 75 years ago, they saw a tall Indian woman leave the shore and plunge across in the shallow water to the north side, where there was an Indian camp. At that time and until the first dams were built, a long rapids extended above the falls here. At the place between the present Ritchie mill and the powerhouse there still was a rocky tree-covered island less than a hundred years ago, as well as a falls.
The next year the Indian campground became part of the farmland grants of Edmond Morphy and his family, newly arrived from Littleton in Tipperary. Four members of the family drew two township lots that became the centre of the town, from Lake Park Avenue to the township line. At the same time (which was September 1819), William Moore and his sons William and John obtained 300 acres extending from the present Lake Avenue to the 11th line road, including the greater part of the present town area south of Lake Avenue. The village had its start with the building of Hugh Boulton’s grist mill in 1820. Its future as a town was assured when the railway arrived some 40 years later in 1859. The bigger sawmills began in the 1860’s. Municipal incorporation as a village separate from Beckwith township, came in 1870 (village population 1,226) and new industries and a railway line to Ottawa. The railway shops and further growth followed in the 80’s and 90’s with incorporation as a town of over 4,000 in 1890. Then came the further expansion of the foundry and the textile mills, from the early 1900’s.read-Stories of the Mississippi River — Elk, Rice Beds, and Corduroy Roads
Passing over the story of the beginnings of the town and heading up the river, Manny’s Pier, the only restored pier of the lumbering days, is one of the first landmarks for our purpose. It’s name has a settlers’ story to it. The land along the north shore, from the Morphy’s to the mouth of the river, and running back to the town line road, was taken up in 1820 by six settlers. One was David Moffatt, ancestor of the Moffatt’s of Carleton Place. The next land east of the Moffatt’s was Manny Nowlan’s whose name we have in Manny’s Pier.
Manny Nowlan later owned the Morris Tavern where the long misrepresented Battle of the Ballygiblins of 1824 started. This first inn of the new village was on Mill Street, next the river and immediately east of the present Public Utilities Commission Office. At that time the north side of the river was still new farmland and forest. There was no bridge and the river crossing was by boat. The first few commercial buildings were on and around Mill Street. The first local road, which ran from the Road at Franktown and including the present Bridge Street, Carleton Place was authorized by the District Magistrate in 1823 and cleared in large part in 1824. Through the last century this road then a township road retained its original name of the Mill Road.
On the east side of Manny Nowlan’s farm the land was occupied by two settlers who did not stay there long. One was Thomas Burns. They were succeeded within about ten years as farmers on these two properties, by the second Peter Cram and John McRostie. John McRostie’s original stone home, standing at the river bank at Flora Street on the east side what was his farm was built in about the 1830’s.
At the other end of the row of six farms was Nicholas Dixon whose name we have in Dixon’s Point at the mouth of the river. Before passing Dixon’s Point we can look across to Indians Landing on the south shore. Fred Hunter recalls that when he was a small boy, Indians still came there in the spring on their way down the Mississippi with their season’s furs loaded in their long canoes.
On the return trip they camped against Indians Landing, sometimes staying there for most of the summer. Joe and Johnny Baye made their local headquarters there in the 1880’s and 90’s. They sold boats including dugouts made of ash and basswood, and many of their axe handles and colored hampers and clothes baskets were sold in the stores of the town. Joe Baye and his white wife also lived at the Floating Bridge on the Indian River in Ramsay. He died in the Almonte hospital in 1928.
Below Indians Landing the land at the end of Lake Avenue was the 100 acre farm of George Willis, who came here in 1820 and was the great grandfather of Henry Willis. His son, also named George, farmed there after him and raised a musically inclined family, including the third George who in his youth seems to have been the best known local musician of his time. With his bagpipes and his fiddle he gave the Scots and Irish their favorite airs, according to the occasion from the Flowers of Edinburgh to the Reel of Tulloch, and from Rory O’More to the Boys of Kilkenny and Donnybrook Fair. Around the time of the Fenian Raids he was a bandmaster of an early town band.
Above Indians Landing the farm running from the mouth of the river, to the eleventh line was the Fisher farm ; settled by Duncan Fisher in 1821, and the little point there was Fisher’s Point. The farm was owned by Brice McNeely in later years and still remains with that family.
Crossing back to Dixon’s Point, Mr. Dixon was an Englishman who came in 1820 with a wife and seven children. His farm where he lived for over forty years, and his stone house appear to have included part of what is now the Caldwell Lock End Ranch. He had a potash works on the part facing the river, called Dixon’s Landing, opposite Indians Landing. The trotting races held on the ice at Dixon’s Landing began as early as 1858. read-Let’s Go Racing Boys with Nellie Sharper and Alex Hunter from Carleton Place
The next stop in the Lower Lake is Nagle’s Shore now owned by the McDiarmid Estate. Richard Nagle had lived his latter years at the present Caldwell Summer home until 1891. His brother Patrick occupied the adjoining farm along the shore. Nagle’s Shore was bought by William McDiarmid in 1900, including W. P. Nagle’s lakeshore residence. This north shore, a regatta centre now and 75 years ago, came next to Lake Park for some years as the most popular place for this purpose. One of a series of several annual regattas of the early 1880’s was held off Nagle’s Shore at a time when rowing races had caught the public fancy almost to the extent of football or World Series baseball now. Ned Hanlen, famous world champion and world-travelled oarsman, brought the crowds to Carleton Place for two of these regattas, which drew competitors from such district rowing centres as Brockville, Prescott, and Ottawa. Sponsered by the local Boating Club, these annual events wound up in the evening in the lower river with open air concerts, fireworks, and torchlight parades of decorated boats. At one of them the added attraction, a balloon ascension, ended with a wind blowing the balloon into the river.
Along the northwest side from the Birch Point cottage shore to the upper corner of Kinch’s Bay the lake is in Ramsay Township. The Hogsback Shore running from near the former Thackaberry farm towards McCreary’s Creek is of course named for the raised hogs back ridge along the water’s edge. McCreary’s Creek, navigable for its first half mile takes its name from the well known McCreary family nearby where William McCreary settled in 1823. His grandson, Hiram, was the local member of the Legislature in Premier Drury’s Farmer Government after the first World War. The big bay itself with its wild rice and unusual deeper channels, is named for John Kinch, whose farm was between Mcreary’s and the upper side of the bay. After his death in 1865 his son farmed there and the farm later became Bowland’s.
How Black Point got its name does not seem to be known. It could well be that it was named Black Point from the early deaths by drowning here. The first recorded drowning in the lake was that of a pioneer settler, John Code who was drowned near here in 1849. The double drownings took place off this shore, Alex Gillies and Peter Peden in 1878, and Dick Willis and Noble Bennett in 1893. All the drownings were from boats capsized in the rice. read-The Sad Tale of Alexander Gillies and Peter Peden
Poole’s Point was called McCann’s Point for many years until the early 1900’s both names coming from the owners of the adjoining farmland.
Code’s Bay, the northwest side of the Second Lake, well filled with rice and sometimes with duck hunters, is another of the locations named for the first settlers as is Code’s Creek and Landing, John Code Sr., John Jr. and George Code, each drew farms with the Scotch Corners Settlement of about 12 farms in 1822. George Code lived to 1890 and the age of 93. Another long lived Scotch Corners resident was Wm. Henry Poole who died there at the age of 96 in 1928. He was an enthusiastic hunter and trapper in his day as well as a farmer.
Coming into the third or Middle Lake King’s Bay, extending from above the Two Oaks cottage shore to the cottages of Squaw Point was named for Colin King of the 1822 Scotch Corners settlement. The official names of the point at the Two Oaks Shore, and the island beside it commonly called Dinky Dooley, are King Point and King Island, according to the government map.
Aberdeen Island was bought and named in 1893 by Colin Sinclair, son of John Sinclair who came to Scotch Corners in 1822. It was Colin Sinclair who started his Carleton Place tailoring business in the early 1850’s. He also bought King Island. The nickname Dinky Dooley was for Bell Saunders and Charlie Morphy who had a camp there. Read- Tales from Dinky Dooley Island
The high and rocky Laurentian formation of much of the upper lake shores starts here. (According to the geolist, this was a seashore in some distant age, as shown by the numerous fossils in the limestone on the other side of the lake.)
Squaw Point, one of the best known landmarks on the course, looks like a logical Indian campsite, with a lookout and a sheltered landing and we have it on the authority of Fred Hunter that that is what it was. The depth of this part of the lake increases greatly and out of it near the middle rise the tops of the Two Crabs, the smallest islands in the lake.
Willis’ Landing is the next old northwest shore, headquarters. The nearby island, separated from the mainland by a narrow, rock-sided channel was named Sinclair’s Island for the Sinclairs of Scotch Corners whose original farm was near here. In the middle of the lake here is Green Island, which had that name before it was bought as a cottage site in 1915 by Mr. W. J. Hughes.