Tag Archives: mysteries

Found- Maley’s Medical Knife — Jackknife– So What’s the Story Morning Glory? Jaan Kolk

Found- Maley’s Medical Knife — Jackknife– So  What’s the Story Morning Glory? Jaan Kolk
property of adin wesley daigle

So Adin found this neat jack knife this week and I was so enthralled with it I had to find where it came from. There is a heck of a lot of Maley’s in the Smiths Falls area, and at first I thought their first store was in Oxford Mills, then Kemptville because this is what I found in local directories. There name through genealogy searches is also spelled Maley or Mealey

Oxford Mills
1861 T. Maley Shoes
Maley, T. F.; 3 Russell St. W. Smiths Falls

Any clippings I found I put it in the ‘ historical area”—but I gave up and called in the ‘big guns’ — which is Ottawa historian Jaan Kolk. I sent my “request for a quest” last night and this morning I got up to this. Thanks Jaan!!!

The first thing Jaan said to me was: “Perhaps it’s a medical knife, Linda. It looks like it has… “heeling power”. D’OH—-

Adin Wesley Daigle photo

Jaan Kolk Figuring Out What is What

1-The 1857 Canada Directory has Thomas Maley General Store, Kemptville. The 1869 Province of Ontario Gazetteer has, in Kemptville, Thomas Maley Boots and Shoes. and Maley Bro. & Co., General Merchants. The 1904 Union Publishing Co. Farmers and Business Directory has W.L. Maley Boots & Shoes in both Kemptville and Smith’s Falls, so it appears that T.J. may have taken charge of brother William’s second store in Smith’s Falls while William remained in Kemptville.

2-It looks like the Maleys may not have been in the shoe business in Kemptville continuously through the late 19th century. The 1884 Ontario Gazetteer has W.L Maley Boots & Shoes in Brockville. In Kemptville, it has Thomas Maley as a loan agent, and George T. Maley with a general store. The 1888 edition had the same, with Wm. L. Maley, shoemaker, corner of King and Apple, Brockville. The 1898 Eastern Ontario Gazetteer still has W.L. Maley boots & shoes in Brockville, and the only other Maley business listed was G.T. Maley, banker, in Kemptville.

Mrs. Thomas Maley, mother of T.F. Maley, died in Smiths Falls July 25, 1912, at age 81. She was survived by her husband, son T.F. Maley, and a one daughter. It was written in her obituary that she (and her husband, I presume) had moved to join her son in Smith’s Falls about six years earlier. A social note for Kemptville in the Ottawa Citizen March 15, 1906 said “Mr. Thomas Maley was in Smith’s Falls Monday”, and another Kemptville note July 23, 1907 said “Mr. Thomas Maley of Smith’s Falls spent last week here with his son W.L. Maley.” That would be consistent with Thomas and his wife having from Kemptville to Smith’s Falls 1906-1907. From the Citizen, July 30, 1912:

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Jan 1907, Sat  •  Page 3

3-OK, now I’ve got it. William L. Malley, who established the Smiths Falls store, was the son of shoemaker Thomas Maley, born ca. 1833. Thomas was two years younger than his wife Mary, who was born in Ireland. The 1881 census shows shoemaker Thomas and Mary in Brockville, with son William L., age 20, listed as a clerk. Also listed is daughter Martha, 18, and a son, 12, “Freddie T.” who must be “T.F. Maley.” I believe Brockville shoemaker Thomas Maley was the son of wealthy Kemptville merchant Thomas Maley, born about 1809 in Quebec (although I don’t have confirmation of that.) In the 1861 census he was listed (with wife Mary) as a shoemaker in Oxford Township, Grenville, and it looks like in 1851, young Thomas Maley was with the household of Oxford shoemaker William Dougal, listed as an apprentice. From the 1881 census, Brockville:

In other things Jaan found-In 1863, The Ottawa and Prescott Railway obtained an injunction against the Township of Oxford and several named shareholders to bar them from voting in shareholder meetings. Among them were four Maley, including a Thomas Maley.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Jul 1907, Tue  •  Page 11
 - The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Jul 1912, Tue  •  Page 9
The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
01 Dec 1930, Mon  •  Page 9


Mary McNish — Joseph Coombs Druggist Smiths Falls

A. Huckels & Co. -The Story of a Bottle- Thanks to Jaan Kolk

Interesting People –R. E. Irvine — The Story of a Bottle

Blackhawk’s B & B Tonic Carleton Place — The Great Tonic Laxative

When I Say Whoa–I Mean Whoa–The Dairy Horse

Cold Milk Ice Cream and Butter —- Carleton Place

Red Letter Days of the Lanark Fair 1910

More History on the Murphy Morphy McEwen House — Karen Prytula

The World’s Fair- Lombardy Fair

The Marvellous Jaan Kolk

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

Was the Butter Tart Really Invented in Barrie, Ontario? Jaan Kolk Files

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

Talking Through Your Hat? Jaan Kolk

So Where Was Caldwell Mills? Thanks Jaan Kolk

The Thrift Store Couple – More Information-Jaan Kolk

The House on the Hill — Up the 8th Line of Ramsay — Jaan Kolk Files

Britannia Boat House Doomed— April 1907 Ice Jam –Jaan Kolk Files

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign–Dr. Winters 154-160 Bridge Street Carleton Place –Jaan Kolk Files

Please take the Devil Out of Me? Rev. James Wilson of Lanark

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

The Cholera Epidemic of 1911

The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes

Benoit & Richardson Photo– a Mystery

Before there was Baker Bob’s There was The Almonte Bakery

Does Anyone Remember Cohen’s in Lanark Village?

A. Huckels & Co. -The Story of a Bottle- Thanks to Jaan Kolk

The Hidden Things We Find from the Past

The Hidden Things We Find from the Past

Image result for cowan house cowansville

Once upon a time it was a magnificent home. The shrubs where the horse tack was was on the right.



My grandfather Crittenden sold it in the late 50s and it slowly fell into diisrepair.


It became Enterprise C.B.G. and then was torn down after years of neglect. Photo from Agnes Rychard who used to live on the second floor.



This is what’s left now. Photo 2016


Years ago when I lived in Cowansville, Quebec there was something I found one day and it interested me for as long as I lived in town. Hidden in the side shrubs of my Grandfather Crittenden’s home there was a cement pillar with a ring. I knew it was once used to tie horses, but it still fascinated me. For years I used to used to imagine what kinds of horses they used to keep and how grand it must have been to see the former occupants use fancy carriages.



Stone Pond 1981 — now it is buried.


I have a small stone pond down at the bottom of my back yard built when the house was built in 1867, but it is now buried with sand.  My late husband covered it so the kids wouldn’t get hurt. One day I will get someone to dig it out, or maybe some day someone else will find it. There was also a remainder of some small stone pillar on the Argyle Street side near the fence and I immediately thought it might have been for a horse, or maybe it was a monument for a deceased pet.



To my surprise it was none of the above, and thanks to the gift of photos from Jennifer Fenwick Irwin from the collections of the Carleton Place Beckwith and Heritage Museum I found out what it was. It was some sort of garden flower pedestal. There is only part of it left (seen in the hostas) so I figure the rest of it is underground like the pond.



Here is it what it looked like around 1910-1920 Cram family home Springside Hall in Carleton Place-Photo Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Never forget that your home and your ancestors hold keys to some family mysteries. What have you found?


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte


The Mystery of the Masonic Rock – Pakenham

The Mystery of the Almonte Post Office Clock –Five Minutes Fast and other Things….

Marvin Arnold Walker — Another Ron Bos Genealogy Mystery

The Mystery of the Alfred McNeely’s — Were there Two?

Another Lanark County “Murdoch Mystery” –Elfreda Drummond of Ashton

Stories from Ash Island

Stories from Ash Island



They say that in 1900 many of islands belonging to the Thousand Islands were farmed. The people lived there year round and had to last out months of poor weather with sleds or boats.  On Ash Island, a farmer bought a Ford Model A.  There was one road that ran down the middle of the island through the farm and it would have been about one kilometre long.

To pay back misdeeds of the farmer, a group from the mainland drove the car around the island and sent it off the cliff on the west end. It’s still swimming with the fishes they say. My question is– if they found a wreck near the island (video below)


 - Makes Lone Voyage in St. Lawrence GAtUnOQUJ;...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  26 Apr 1938, Tue,  Page 2

 - fam-fly' a Sees aAJIigator In St Lawrence C...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  11 Jun 1931, Thu,  Page 1

 - -I Mr. W. D. Morris, of 9 narks street 'la...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  27 Aug 1906, Mon,  Page 8


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




Murder on Maple Island

Bitten by the Kissing Bug — A Shocking Conclusion to the Life of Carleton Place’s Daniel E. Sheppard

The Tale of a Pirate named Bill Johnston with Pirate Dog Supermodels

Assassinated Gossip about Lincoln, Payne and the Thousand Islands

The Man Who Would Be The Revenant

So was there Money Hidden in the Schwerdtfeger House?



Bertha Mayhew Schwerdtfeger, wife of Henry Schwerdtfeger & mother of Hazel & Gladys Schwerdtfeger

All  Photos from  the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


A few years ago at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum we did a well-attended hat show in memory of Bertha Schwerdtfeger who once had a hat store where the As Good as New store is on Bridge Street. Bertha Mayhew ended up marrying the tobacconist named Henry Schwerdtfeger next door and after she married she retired from her business and had two daughters Hazel and Gladys. Much has been told about the two odd sisters of Lake Ave West, but I wish I would have met them as they were quite the characters.

Gladys died in 1982 and Hazel died a few years later. There were rumours abound about those two gals and very few had been invited inside their home. It has been said time and time again if you were called to fix something in the house once you went in that house you were locked in until lunch or quitting time. As few ever got inside the front door you can imagine they came in droves to the huge estate sale that was held after Hazel died.


The museum inherited many old millinery trims and feathers from Bertha’s old shop. Some of the visitors to the exhibit said they had never seen anything like it before. A few feathered birds were still even filled with traces of arsenic, as that is how hat accessories were made in those days.


As hundreds sat in that yard that day buying bits and pieces of Carleton Place history tales of those two sisters continued. Truth be told, no one might have come into their home but the two of them did participate in the various senior events around the area. As you can imagine the two two sisters were very close and they used to walk one behind the other on the streets of Carleton Place when they attended church or went shopping.

Hazel became a nurse and only worked a short timeher mother Bertha became ill. After their mother died the two sisters stayed in the home until Gladys died in 1982 and Hazel now found herself alone. A neighbour, the late Joan Kehoe then became Hazel’s closest friend and helped her with what she could.


So that day the contents of the Schwerdtfeger family home was sold in its entirety and one more page was turned forever on another one of Carleton Place’s older families. But, since there were rumours abound about the sisters, it was said that they kept money hidden in the house. Like one of those lucky buyers on Storage Wars word travelled quickly that someone had bought a box of odds and ends containing $2000 of King George’s bills.

Auctioneer Howard McNeely denied it so did Joan Kehoe who had packed every single box. The both of them were probably quite correct, but you still hear the whispers on the streets of Carleton Place about the Schwerdtfeger house on Lake Ave West that was supposedly full of money.



Linda Gallipeau-Johnston I My Mom knew the sister’s well as they bought garden produce from her every year. I can remember them dickering over price. My Dad used to refinish furniture for them and the same dickering went on. They were just part of the package of living back then.


Related reading:

The Schwerdtfegerisms of Tobacco and Gambling

Bertha Schwerdtfeger — Mother of the Carleton Place Schwerdtfeger Sisters

The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton Place


Carleton Place, May 23, 1893.

In May of 1893 the second daughter of Carleton Place retailer James Sumner was reported missing in the Almonte Gazette. Bertha left home at approximately 3 pm that day on her way to have tea with Miss Cram, daughter of Mr. W. Cram.

The 18 year-old was last seen knocking on the Cram’s door around 4 pm and later on seen on the bridge watching the steamer being launched. After that Bertha Sumner completely disappeared, and the next day the minister announced her disappearance from the pulpit encouraging everyone to look for her. It was reported that she was last wearing a plaid dress of a gray-greenish color and a black straw hat.


Her Mother became frantic, and so on Monday they closed the Carleton Place High School and the teachers and pupils formed search parties, but they never found her. A week later a man by the name of Thomas Houston found Bertha’s lifeless body lying under a spruce tree near her home where it was said she had committed suicide.

When Constable Wilson appeared on the scene it was reported that a bottle of carbolic acid, a bowl, a note and a glass tube was by her side. The note beside her said that she was sick of life and not to blame anyone for her demise.

Carbolic acid, also known as phenol, would’ve been commonly available as a disinfectant. Highly poisonous, when consumed it caused a horrible reaction of vomiting and purging, delirium, and convulsions. It was a popular method of suicide similar to another young woman’s story I read today. An ounce could be purchased at a drugstore for about fifteen cents.


In June 23rd of the same year in the Perth Courier, and as early as June 16 in the Carleton Place Herald were ads stating the following:

Messrs E. Hutchings and James Sumner of Carleton Place are selling out and intend retiring from business.

How odd that her father chose to close his flourishing business barely a month after the death of his daughter. After doing research in more newspapers it was reported once again that no inquest was made into her death as she was probably suffering from a bout of insanity. It seems that Bertha had suffered from time to time from short bouts of insanity. (PMS?)  The Almonte Gazette suggested maybe one of these spasms of insanity had seized her that particular afternoon.

The note found next to her lifeless body had been written in ink, yet she had transported no pen and ink (let alone a bowl, carbolic acid and a vile) and was on her way to friends. The media and police quickly brushed it aside and said she had probably written the note before she left home.

Her remains were buried in the Dewar cemetery and a large number of sympathizing friends and acquaintances came to graveside. There is no record of her gravestone at Dewar Cemetery.

Historical Notes

Image may contain: drink

A couple little cobalt poisons–

Hoop Skirts and Parasols–Carleton Place

New firm, in Sumner’s stand.  Dry goods, fancy flannel shirtings, hoop skirts, parasols, gloves, veils, gents’ paper collars, ladies’ do., groceries, crockery and glassware, hardware. –Carleton Place Herald

Name Bertha D Sumner
Gender Female
Age 7y
Birth Year 1874
Birthplace Ontario
Ethnicity English
Religion Ch England
Head of Household Name James Sumner
Event Place Carleton Place, Lanark South, Ontario, Canada
District Number 111
Sub-District H
Page Number 46
Family Number 217
Affiliate Film Number C-13233

Photographer Finds Money in a Local Abandoned Home



Photo by: Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

A photographer who went into a local abandoned house to take pictures of its antiques found almost $7,000 in bundles of cash – and was then able to reunite it with its rightful owners after tracking them down.

The man only known as “Dave” came across the derelict property in Ontario, Canada after being tipped off by a friend and was desperate to go inside and capture images. I know exactly where it is, but I will never spill the beans.

After entering the property, he found a number of antiques and old family photos, as well as a yellow Home Hardware bag rolled up behind a mattress.

On opening the bag, the photographer found $6,800 in both Canadian and US dollars in tightly rolled bundles.


But despite finding the cash, Dave was keen to track down its rightful owner rather than keep it himself and then eventually managed to reunite the money with a distant relative of the house’s last owner.

‘Thirty minutes later she called back and asked me if we could meet that afternoon at the house.

‘We gave her the money, every penny, she started to cry and overwhelmed by this random act of kindness, and by the emotions she felt at being back at this house.

‘We didn’t pry or ask about family history, we offered a few hugs and just took in the moment. We posed with her for a photo, at her request, and after many many thank you hugs we went on our way.’

They later learned that the money was likely collected over decades by the woman’s grandparents from a fruit stand they owned.

Abandoned Homes of Lanark County


This is a picture of the Charles Coulter farm house, located on lot 25, concession 2 of Ramsay Township, recently owned by William Bolger.

This is log building which has been covered by siding. Recently the old building was taken down piece by piece and the foundation was repaired and the log building was re-erected and covered with white vinyl siding. The interior of the house has been retained as it was originally..


This building apparently was known as the “Travelling Ministers Residence” and was originally located in Tatlock Village for the travelling ministers to stay over night during their tours around Lanark Township.

This building is located on lot 20, concession 8, Lanark Township.

Where is this?

This is the Sawyer home from Herron’s Mills. What happened to it? Read About it in Burning Down the House.

Abandoned house at Herrons Mills, Ontario

The Floating Bridges of Lanark County



Over 135 years ago on a Spring evening in 1823 an Irish immigrant named John Hays was crossing the river after nightfall in a canoe at the Carleton Place settlement, then known only as Morphy’s Falls. There was no bridge, and the river was at spring flood levels. Hays was carried over the falls to his death by the swift current. For several more years,  the crossings of the river continued according to the seasons to be by boat, by fording the shallows, or at points where the winter’s ice was secure. The site of the first bridge here was that of the town’s present central bridge, last reconstructed in 1928.

I can imagine that floating bridge on Flora Street had countless horses wagons and farm machinery cross it. It would have been made out of seasoned oak with pins fastening it all together. When it was Spring and high water, the logs would pile up making it difficult to get over. But when warmer weather hit,  the bridge would hang over the lower water making it easier to get the stock across.

Some pontoon float bridges constructed in the early 1900’s were equipped with a small overhead gantry with a manually operated winch. In most cases, this gantry was removed in later years and the float bridge jack mentioned above would be installed on the outer edge of the float bridge.


John McRostie’s original stone home, still stands near the river bank at Flora Street and was built in about the 1830’s. At that time the north side of the river was still new farmland and forest. This was the location where the Carleton Place floating bridge once existed made out of rough planks and timbers.




There is another floating bridge at the narrows between Clayton and Taylor Lakes, It was actually constructed on the water adapting to the lake’s water levels.Some books tell us this bridge was first built to get people from Halls Mills and Galbraith to Ferguson Falls. This is quite true, as it did separate Taylor’s Lake from Clayton Lake at the narrows, and is one mile west of Ramsay Township.  It was used by many farmers as a short cut for hauling cord wood and grain to Almonte. Bill McIntosh of RR 6 Perth remembers crossing the bridge in a car when the water would squirt up through the flooring. Advanced transportation caused the demise of the bridge, which was also a popular fishing spot. The bridge before it was destroyed was almost 300 yards long..


Another “floating road” from Clayton to Carleton Place going across a sink hole in Ramsay township.

Leann Thompson added these photos today:  This one was taken before the snow storm. It’s from Floating Bridge Rd looking across at the 12th Concession.




Leann Thompson —We took this on the way home today. On the lake from the 12th concession heading towards Floating Bridge Rd.


Do you know of any others?



February 19, 2016 update

I see pictures of the Floating Bridge in several places bearing a date of 1890.

While it is a good picture of the bridge, the date is absolutely wrong.

First it shows the telephone line. We didn’t have telephones in these parts in 1890. I think 1910 is closer to the correct date.

Also as to the railing on the bridge. My neighbours and myself, helped build the railing shown, and it could be the last one before the bridge was closed in 1944. It could be in the (thirties) with wages at 25 cents or 30 cents an hour/

Thank You. Eldon Ireton. Almonte Gazette – date unknown

Lila James (nee Leach) added this:

The two men shown fishing off the Floating Bridge is on the right Mr. William James Leach from the area and on the left, is his niece’s husband, Wilfred McNeil from Westboro…His niece, Marjorie, nee Saunders (related to the Sadlers from Almonte) took the picture….I believe picture was taken in 1922…but have exact date at home…