Tag Archives: munroe

Every Foot of the House Was Crowded When the Teamsters Were Passing Through

Every Foot of the House Was Crowded When the Teamsters Were Passing Through


Mr. Joseph Halpenny  remembered a time when his father William and his uncle John Halpenny kept a hotel in Pembroke from the 1860s to the early 1870s when the hauling of supplies to the lumber shanties was in full swing. The Halpenny hotel at that period was headquarters for the teamsters from Lanark and Renfrew counties as they passed through Pembroke. Pembroke was an overnight stop. Though Mr. Halpenny was only a boy of about six in 1871 he has a vivW recollection of how at that time his father’s hotel would be crowded with teamsters. Every bed in the house would be occupied and every square foot of room would be occupied by men lying rolled up in their blankets on the floor. Mr. Halpenny recalls these teamsters as being big powerful men to whom the lifting of a barrel of pork was a mere trifle.

Most of the teamsters ate their meals in the Halpenny dining room, but on the other hand, many of them carried their own grub with them in boxes, and ate their meals wherever they could around the hotel. Mr. Halpenny’s greatest delight at that period of his life was to eat with the teamsters out of their boxes and to share their home-made bread, their cold fat pork, and the dainties which their wives had packed in the boxes for them.



Mr. Halpenny recalls an elderly teamster whom he called “Uncle” Robert Livingston, whose box meal he usually shared. “Uncle” Livingston always had doughnuts in his box and these he shared liberally with the boy. Mr. Halpenny says that as many as 150 teamsters have been in his father’s hotel over night. His father had two large sheds and they could accommodate some 50 teams under cover.



Prior to opening the hotel in Pembroke, Willaim Halpenny had kept a “stopping place” two miles from Forester’s Falls in Ross township. The stop of the shanty teams there was a noon stop, Grandfather John Halpenny had gone into Ross township as a farmer in the pioneer days back in the late 1840s.

William Halpenny did not live long after moving to Pembroke, In 1865. He died in 1871, the result of a cold sustained in 1869, when Prince Arthur visited Pembroke. After the death of Mr. Halpenny the Halpenny hotel was sold and became the Munroe House




Pembroke was incorporated as a town in 1878 and as a city in 1971. It was named seat for Renfrew County in 1861. This set the stage for construction shortly thereafter on the Renfrew County Courthouse, which finished in 1867, and the arrival of many civil servants, much wealth and much construction. In the 20-year period following 1861, Pembroke basically became the city it is today in terms of layout and buildings, although many homes and other structures have been lost to time. A fire in 1918 destroyed much of Pembroke’s downtown.

Other historic buildings that survive in Pembroke include a historic synagogue, two original hospitals, the Dunlop mansion (Grey Gables Manor Bed & Breakfast), the ‘Munroe Block’ downtown, and two houses belonging to the White family. A fire in 1918 downtown destroyed many buildings, including the Pembroke Opera House

As shown by the quotation below, which is perhaps equal parts promotion and fact, the economic atmosphere of Pembroke during the period when our fashions graced its streets and hotels, attracted many people to set up residence here.

“Both for business purposes and residential purposes Pembroke is a most desirable town. Because of its advantageous surroundings, its commercial facilities, its advantages as a shipping and distributing point, its excellent sanitary conditions, and the thousand and one things that make the town a desirable place in which to live, it has attracted, during the past few years, capitalists and business men from afar.
The district surrounding Pembroke is one of the richest agricultural districts in Eastern Canada. The farmers are all well-to-do, while many of them have accumulated fortunes.

So Which Island did the River Drivers of Clayton get Marooned On?


acjb00010011 (1).jpg

Date:1902-Location:Mississippi River, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada–Photo from the North Lanark Regional Museum— I do believe this is one of Annie Duff’s photos

With files from the  April 20, 1920–Almonte Gazette

The citizens of Clayton had a quite exciting time that Saturday night in April of 1920 as the Almonte Gazette’s Clayton correspondent wrote. It appears that “messengers” as they called them came from Hall’s Mills with a report that some men had gone missing.  The Gazette reported that Alexander Monroe Jr., and William Munroe were missing and fears were met that they had been in a serious accident. They left their homes on Friday morning to bring a raft of logs down the river to the sawmill. Towards evening they had not returned to their home, nor had anyone received any word from them.

Their wives and children became fearful for their safety and on Saturday morning there was still no word of them. Messrs. E. Munroe, D. Thompson and Charles Munroe took to their boats and great relief was felt in Clayton when they returned in about an hour with the two men. The unfortunates had been compelled to spend a night on an island.

It seems that on Friday a heavy storm of hail and rain fell over them and it was accompanied by a strong wind along with some thunder and lightning. The Munroes and Thompson got along all right with their raft of logs until they approached the outlet of the lake. Night fell and they were without a boat. The men made a small raft and tried to get to an island near by, but just near the shore their raft went to pieces, and the men had to wade up to their waists in order  to make shore on the island

With damp matches and and wood damp the three men were unable to make a fire. They
had no overcoat and their wet clothes made for an uncomfortable stay on the island. Found safe and sound the next day they appeared to be none the worse of their experiences- and most certainly had a tale to tell to future generations.

*Does anyone know where this island this was?

Lyall McKay

There are two islands in the channel one just by the old floating bridge where Joe Baye was to keep his horse pastures. The other island is around by where the main hydro line crosses the lake.


Rose Mary SarsfieldThe 1863 Walling Map shows a small island in Taylor Lake near the area of the Floating bridge. The lake has changed a great deal over the years. My book will have a copy of the original survey map before there was a dam on the river.

Perth Courier, July 1, 1898

On Thursday, June 16, a report reached here that Albert Stewart had been drowned. The result was only too true although the details of the report are not yet to hand.  The daily papers stated that Mr. Stewart and a companion named Deschene were drowned on Monday evening, June 13 about twenty miles below the mouth of the Crow River on the Coulonge while driving logs for Messrs. W.C. Edwards and Co.  Their bodies have not yet been recovered although diligent search has been made.  Mr. Stewart was married last fall to a daughter of William Miller of Middleville and a few days later left for River Dessert, Quebec along with Jas. Deachman and P. Wright, also of this place.  When the winter’s work in the woods was finished, the deceased and his companion Mr. Wright went river driving which he was engaged in when he met his death.  Much sympathy is expressed for his bereaved wife who is residing at Middleville, the suspense is due to the failure to recover his body as well as the difficulty of communications with those on the scene of the accident rendering the affliction the more grievous.  Lanark Era

The Story of Wild Bob Ferguson of Dalhousie Township

Halls Mills Ghost Town- Another W. H. Wylie Connection

Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun