Tag Archives: mystery

Anyone Know About This? Via Dolorosa

Anyone Know About This? Via Dolorosa

Thank you for not trespassing.

If you read some of Daniel Keating’s rules on Abandoned – Ottawa/Gatineau & The Valley

Trespassing is not considered appropriate. It is understood that if we are alerted by a property owner about an area that is owned by them that we will remove your post.We must keep the integrity of the location intact for those that wish to view later.7. Absolutely no vandalism or theft from properties is condoned. Please keep these beautifully abandoned properties in their slowly decaying state.


You don’t know me but I follow your posts in the various groups. I live in Beckwith Township and often take rides around the neighborhood. On one such ride I saw this on the side of the road on an old fence. It is located on the Brunton Side Rd. further along where the Beckwith /Montague border is. There is a farm opposite side with a large wooden gateway with a skull and some other stuff (also cool Lol)

Just wondering if you could shed some light on the significance of it relating to the area it is located. I took the photo of the Cross several yrs ago and a friend of mine recently jumped the fence and took the second photo. He did not want to venture any further inside the property as he was alone and probably trespassing. We know it’s religious significance just curious who owns the site etc etc. Any help solving this mystery would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Can anyone help?

The Via Dolorosa (Latin for “Sorrowful Way”, often translated “Way of Suffering”; Hebrew: ויה דולורוזה; Arabic: طريق الآلام‎) is a processional route in the Old City of Jerusalem. It represents the path that Jesus would have taken, forced by the Roman soldiers, on the way to his crucifixion. The winding route from the former Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre — a distance of about 600 metres (2,000 feet)— is a celebrated place of Christian pilgrimage. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. It is today marked by nine Stations of the Cross; there have been fourteen stations since the late 15th century, with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Wikipedia click here

I assume this is a nature walk for the stations of the cross.. I hope someone knows something about it.But please respect it and keep it safe.


Have you Ever Seen the Praying Station? The Buchanan Scrapbooks

The Mysterious 5th Line ?????

The Spirit of the 7th Line

Beckwith Mystery — Anyone Remember a Meteor Coming Down on the 7th Line?

The Gnarled Beckwith Oak

So Where is that Gnarled Oak in Beckwith?

Looking for Photos of ‘The Castle’ in Ashton

Looking for Photos of ‘The Castle’ in Ashton

In the books that were donated I have come across some interesting information about a home that was once in Ashton that was called, “The Castle”. It was believed to be build by Mr. Archie Blair and was an imposing 3 storey, 14 room frame bulding painted white.

It had a high roof with four gables and the surrounding verandahs were supported by broad pillars. Over the large hospitable French doors was a very ornate fanlight. Mr. Blair operated a shoemaking business over at the Forester’s Hall and had two sons: Dr. Blair and Jack Blair.

The imposing home was destroyed by fire. Living there at the time of the fire was Mrs. Archie Blair, her sisters Tina and Jessie McEwen and a brother Sandy McEwen. Sandy was in bed with a broken hip when the fire broke out at noon hour. Hilton Fleming was at his home nearby for his midday meal, noticed the smoke and realized that Sandy was upstairs and helpless scaled two fences and enetered the burning building. He was able to snatch Sandy in his arms and head for safety. Sandy kept shouting for his pants, but Mr. Fleming just screamed back ” to hell with your pants’ as he carried him to the safety of the Forrester’s Hall. The hall later was a residence owned by Mr. Slade.

RALPH WALLACE BURTON OIL ON BOARD Grey Wet November Day” Ashton, Ontario

with files from the book donations “Country Tales” Donated by- Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Jul 1942, Fri  •  Page 12
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Dec 1925, Wed  •  Page 2

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 May 1929, Mon  •  Page 2
Name:Archibald Blair
Marriage Date:4 Jan 1870
Marriage Place:Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Spouse:Mary McEwen

1871 census

Name:Archibald Blair
Marital Status:Married
Birth Date:1847
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Place:Goulburn, Carleton, Ontario
District Number:78
Religion:Weslyan Methodist
Occupation:Shoe Maker
Family Number:177
Neighbours:View others on page
Household MembersAgeArchibald Blair24Mary Blair20

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Mar 1935, Sat  •  Page 46
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
19 Feb 1897, Fri  •  Page 5

Memories of Ashton Station Road –Ashton Feed Mill –Jennifer Fenwick Irwin Photos

  1. Wind Storm in Ashton- Heath Ridge Farms 1976 
  2. Dust on the Wind –Ashton Social Notes 1887-1897 Names Names Names
  3. Another Lanark County “Murdoch Mystery” –Elfreda Drummond of Ashton
  4. When Trains Crash —Ashton Train Accident 1950
  5. Mrs Crigger’s House in Ashton?
  6. The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes
  7. McFarlanes –Stewart’s Fire– and Other Things in Ashton
  8. Somewhere in Ashton-The Ashton Curmudgeon
  9. The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals
  10. Did Anyone Ever Have Fun in Ashton?
  11. Ashton 101
  12. Did Anyone Have Fun in Ashton? Part 2- The Fleming House 
  13. How to Catch a Pigeon in Ashton
  14. The Ashton Carleton Place Car Theft Ring
  15. Did Samuel Pittard of Ashton Murder His Wife?
  16. Good Old Lanark County Music–From the 70s to now
  17. The John Shore House
  18. Jenkins: Ashton’s log and mortar-chinked history meets modern times

Have you Ever Seen the Praying Station? The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Have you Ever Seen the Praying Station? The Buchanan Scrapbooks

They say, and I have never seen it there is a little praying station nestled in the trees in Ferguson Falls. Inside there is a statue of the Virgin Mary with her hands folded together. Now anyone might wonder why in the world a station such as this would be out in the middle of nowhere.

Apparently, its history goes back decades and was an important part of Ferguson Falls heritage. At one time the area around Ferguson Falls was Roman Catholic and the St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church was built in 1856, the first church in town in Ferguson Falls. Read-The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

One day a number of people who were outside their homes saw lights shining on a spot along the country road. It was believed by those families to be a sign from heaven and a little praying station and a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was erected in that spot.

For years they would come and pray at that station until one day a thunderstorm split the tree in which the statue stood. The area residents were very upset and one of the families (The Quinns) took the statue home to try and repair it. Mr Quinn was able to put the statue together with exception of her one hand which had to be molded again. This time the statue was painted and put back in her station, which was now placed on a large log fence. Spring and summer flowers would appear and people would stop by and say a little prayer.

UPDATE with thanks

Doris Quinn–A lot of this is not correct. There was a statue there. Not in Ferguson’s Falls but in Quinn Settlement. It was struck by lightening and fixed by a family who lived near the Quinn’s . The Quinn family used it as a place to go and pray. It has not been there for many years.

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

Have you read?

The Preaching Rock of Lanark County

The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

The Mystery of the Masonic Rock – Pakenham

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

The Old Wagon -Unsolved Mysteries Lanark County Edition – Photos- Seana Pauly

The Old Wagon -Unsolved Mysteries Lanark County Edition – Photos- Seana Pauly
Seana Pauly
Campbell’s Creek
January 25· 

First attempt to find the lost wagon. Made it to the creek.

Campbell’s Creek

River Details: Campbell`s Creek runs alongside Lower Mud Lake until it connects to Bolton Creek.

Seana Pauly

January 2 at 5:26 PM  · Lots of trekking through bush.

Seana Pauly

January 2 at 5:27 PM  · Attempt number 2 to find the lost wagon. More snow today.

Seana Pauly

January 2 at 5:29 PM  · Success!! We found the wagon that was lost approximately 35 years ago. The load of cedar and the front end are mysteriously gone.

Seana Pauly

January 2 at 5:29 PM  · Made it out.

Seana Pauly

January 2 at 5:33 PM  · Location of the lost wagon.

So what was the story?

Seana Pauly–Ben and his brother were cutting cedar around 35 years ago. On the way home for supper they encountered a sapling that they thought they could just drive over. It broke the wagon so they left it there. The conditions had to be like this year to get back in there as it’s a bit swampy.

As Linda James said: I still want a ghost for this story. Too bad we don’t have mysterious stranger. Vaguely threatening with an otherworldly vibe.

Seana Pauly-‘Well someone pulled it further out and the front end and logs are missing’. It’s way back in the bush so we have no idea who would have tried to get it out. Not like you can see it easily.

Stay tuned I will come up with a story for Linda James LOLOL

Thanks Seana Pauly for the photos. I thought this was amazing.

Somewhere in the Lanark County Woods– Inukshuk — Faeries of the Woods?

Oddities — Lanark County Puffball Mushrooms

Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings

The Seven Wonders of Lanark County

“Hey You Guys!” A Goonie Adventure on Brewery Creek

“Hey You Guys!” A Goonie Adventure on Brewery Creek

In the 1870’s there was talk of a cave near Brigham’s Creek rapids in Hull, Quebec. It is also said that Brigham’s Creek, also called Brewery Creek, which was originally a narrow inlet from the Ottawa River, (dry during the summer time in certain parts) was also the old Indian portage route for overcoming the rapids of the Chaudière. Similar to the Goonies movie there is an old story of a small gang of boys from Hull who used to scour the land for discovery and adventure. One day while playing on the side of Brigham’s Creek they discovered a cave on the south side of the rapids. The entrance side was about 4 feet high. Not big enough for pirates or a ship, but certainly large enough for a party of Hurons to hide from some surprise-party of Iroquois visitors.

A couple of the boys decided they had to enter this cave but it was too dark, so they visited a family in the neighborhood and borrowed a candle. Two of the more bolder kids ventured in and found the passage of the cave to be about ten feet long. It didn’t take long for the passageway to come to an abrupt end and morph into a five foot square foot room. But that wasn’t the end if you cared to continue the journey– you could head off to another passage that ran off to the left of the room– but if it was me, I would have ended it there– and so did the boys.

download (12)

Old Pump House, Brewery Creek, Hull, P.Q.] [image fixe] / Frederick B. Taylor

The story of the boy’s discovery became gossip, and then folklore, and years later a couple of men found the cave and decided to go further, but never did reach the end of it. One of these men declared that while in the cave he had heard the trip hammer belonging to Walter’s Axe Factory on the Chaudiere Island. Hull is basically built on a swamp/pile of islands. The Brewery Creek does indeed connect to the Ottawa River in two places, but it flows into the Ottawa and not out of it.

So did the cave end on Chaudiere Island somewhere, or did it go further? The end of that cave was never found and the mystery remains unsolved. Upon further research I found a copy of the 1880 edition of Ottawa Field Naturalists Club Volume 1. It talks of Minnow’s Lake which was surrounded by ‘those tinder boxes which constitutes Wright’s Town’ and how both Minnow Lake and the sluggish Brigham Creek created an imperfect communication in the Spring which tapped at the natural cave just behind the storehouse at the old distillery causeway.

So as far the boys were concerned “the cave remained unknown territory” and we wonder if anyone knows the rest of the story.

Update–Rick HendersonA few corrections to the article: 1. Brewery Creek empties right before the mouth of the Gatineau River: its source is upstream from the Chaudière Falls. It essentially is a branch of the Ottawa River, making Old Hull an island. 2. The name Brewery Creek predates the name Brigham Creek. Brigham Creek was used by few people and for a relatively short time. 3. The lower portage (Portage-du-Bas) that was used to get past the falls was located where the Hull Slide was built. Brewery Creek had a set of falls on it and was historically too shallow in the summer to be used as a portage route by anyone. 4. The article mentions the Devil’s hole at the south bank of the mouth of the Lost Channel. It was a relatively small whirlpool that formed there, but the Lost Channel certainly did not “disappear” down the hole. The Buchanan Timber Slide was built in the Lost Channel. The legendary Devil’s Hole that was believed to be “a bottomless hole” was at the foot of the Little Chaudière Falls that were hidden when the Hydro station was built.


Christian Inkster
View of Brewery Creek from 1931, courtesy of https://ssimpkin.carto.com/, photo number A3331_29 (cropped). The creek is in the middle left area of photo, with Rue Montcalm just to the left of it. Tache Boulevard runs left to right in upper area. The modern day brew pub restaurant (Les Brasseurs des Temps) is in bottom left corner (where Montcalm crosses over the creek).

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Dec 1894, Wed  •  Page 5
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Dec 1899, Tue  •  Page 6
download (13)
Bridge on Brewery Creek in Hull
Wal Rectan Red
What was to eventually became the Walters Axe Company actually started as H. Walters & Sons in 1889, although Henry T. Walters had purchased the company in 1886. Henry Walters had been the foreman of S. J. Tongue & Co. of Ottawa, Quebec,  in 1864. Two years later he was reportedly working as an axe maker in the factory of Sexton Washburn in Hull, Quebec. The family history indicated that Henry had actually purchased that company himself in 1886 but the company name wasn’t changed until 1889. It was then that it became H. Walters & Sons.
 Initially, the Walters sons involved were Henry, Jr., David and James. It wasn’t until sometime after another son, Morley,  graduated from McGill University in 1897 that he also became associated with the company. Morley had received a degree in engineering and by the time Henry, Sr. passed away in 1901, Morley was quite active in the business, rising to the presidency by 1912.
The company name was changed to the Walters Axe Co., Ltd., right around the time Morley took over in 1912. It was about then that Morley purchased the company and became president, a position he held until he too passed away. That was in 1969 when he was 101 years old. He had been the company president for 57 years.
All during that time the plant in Hull continued in operation. The company also maintained a manufacturing facility an warehouse in Ogdensburg, New York quite probably to accommodate the business activities that they were  engaged in within the United States. After Morley’s death, the company was sold. By 1973 axes were no longer in significant demand to continue the operation and the new company closed its doors. Yesteryear’s Tools

· November 16, 2015

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The Lost Channel and the Devil’s Hole. I am thinking the channel was lost because the water fell through the Devil’s Hole, apparently a long subterranean passage.


  1. Where Was Meyers Cave?

  2.  Meyer’s Cave — John Walden Meyers

    Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

    So Where Were the Caves in Carleton Place?

  3. Now You see it, Now You Don’t: The Disappearing and Reappearing of the Tim Horton’s Subterranean

Caves and Mines

Lusk Caves

Brewery Creek Hydro Ruins – CapitalGems.ca


Seventh Son Had the Power

Seventh Son Had the Power



Do you believe in the seventh son and seventh daughter stuff? Joseph Riopelle, was a seventh son and his wife was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. It is seldom that one finds a man and his wife both in the seventh son or seventh daughter class.

In this connection Mr. Riopelle tells some Interesting facts. He says he has never tried to ascertain what powers he has, or could develop, as a seventh son. But many years ago when he worked in Booth’s mill he discovered that he had at least the power to stop the flow of blood. One day a man working at Booth’s saw mill cut three fingers off with  a gang saw. He took the man’s injured hand in his hand and at once the flow of blood ceased. Then he recalled that he was a seventh son. The man had his hand bound up  and though he was driven to his home in Rochesterville in a lumber waggon and the roads were rough, the hand did not bleed again.

Mr. Riopelle says that many times since then he has caused flows of blood to stop. He has even stopped blood flowing from a man at a distance. He can stop the flow of blood of persons at a distance if he knows the colour of their hair. Many “Sevenths” Mrs Riopelle. before her marriage, was Alice Lacombe of Alexandria.

The seventh stuff is greatly connected with her. Mrs Riopelle was a daughter of Ferdinand Lacombe. Miss Lacombe was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. Her godmother was a seventh daughter, and strange to say the priest who baptized her was a seventh son.







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 Copeland House Fires

The Copeland House Fires



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 04 Aug 1928, Sat,
  3. Page 30




Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 02 Apr 1910, Sat,
  3. Page 2



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 04 Jul 1958, Fri,
  3. Page 26




Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 30 Jan 1975, Thu,
  3. Main Edition,





Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 06 Dec 1948, Mon,
  3. Page 3 -

    Clipped from

    1. The Gazette,
    2. 07 Dec 1976, Tue,
    3. Page 22 -

      Clipped from

      1. The Ottawa Citizen,
      2. 01 Sep 1928, Sat,
      3. Page 3


        Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.relatedreading

        McCann’s Hotel Fire in Perth

      4. Burnin’ Old Memories –The Mississippi Hotel Fire

      5. Did the Germans Start the Fire at the Portland School in 1915?

      6. 1906 — Business Block is a Smouldering Block of Ruins– More Fires of Almonte

      7. Carleton Place 1913- A Fire in the China Shop and…

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

The Horseshoe Sinkhole Bridge? Mysteries of Lanark County

The Horseshoe Sinkhole Bridge?  Mysteries of Lanark County



Does this sinkhole still exist? Thanks to Lucy Connelly Poaps here is a photo of one of the last pictures of Horseshoe Bridge on the 2nd line of Ramsay that carried traffic around the sinkhole. The bridge was closed in 1940 in favour of a detour road around the pit. The photo shows the deteriorating old bridge on the right. I would like to create some memories of this. Anyone remember anything?

Stuart McIntosh The only sinkhole I know of on the 2nd line is west of Don Miller’s farm..they drove down rods to find bottom around 60 feet down so putting down a proper road straight through was abandoned. About a mile south on the first line the road is built on a corduroy structure underneath if not mistaken.. either way I wouldn’t drive a team into there summer or winter.

Rose Mary Sarsfield That’s the one Stuart McIntosh! I saw articles on this when I was going through the newspapers but I didn’t save the info…I had enough to save on just Clayton!

Brent Cowan I believe this sinkhole was across from the Cavanagh pit on Tatlock Rd between Hwy 7 and Wolf Grove Rd. It would be on private land that was owned by the Millers the last I knew of it. They owned the big farms in that area about 10 yrs ago. Before it was paved in the 90’s, there was a very tight S turn that went around the sinkhole (which they did try to fill with many loads of large rocks to no avail) and that corner saw many rollovers. Since it’s been paved and straightened everyone has forgotten. When you cross the large fields, you’ll see a tree line and an opening, there’s an old baler sitting there, and access to the other side of the bridge is close to Miller rd and has a gate on it.






Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 21 Feb 1963, Thu,
  3. Page 5


 - morning. Cecil George PanneD, 58, of 1297...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 13 Aug 1962, Mon,
  3. Page 1



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

A Giant’s Kettle in the Middle of Lanark County

The Preaching Rock of Lanark County

The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

Where is it Now? The Heirloom of William Camelon

The Now Complete Page Turning Story of the Beckwith Grandfather Clock

The Mystery of the Masonic Rock – Pakenham

The Mystery of the Masonic Rock – Pakenham


It began with this clipping I found clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 27 Sep 1895, Fri, Page 5.


Once again Brent Eades came to the rescue and found this on Google Books-thank you Brent!

Brent was inclined to think it was a hoax — “there was a lot of that going on in the 19th century, people digging up things they’d planted themselves in fields, for various reasons”.

So I began the hunt and found this article..

Screenshot 2018-06-05 at 12.jpg

Then this from The Builder Magazine–November 1929 – Volume XV – Number 11

THIRTY- SEVEN years ago an alleged discovery was made of an inscription,
apparently of Masonic significance, near Almonte, a town about forty miles
southwest of Ottawa. It is necessary to make the statement guardedly, because, as
has so often happened in like cases, no adequate steps were taken at the time to
authenticate the find. In spite of having followed up every line of inquiry that
seemed likely to promise further information on the subject, one must confess that
the results have been very meagre and very unsatisfying.

The first, and most obvious approach was to the local lodge, Mississippi No. 147.
The secretary wrote me saying that he had no information on the subject, but
would pass my letter on to the- Master of the lodge, W. Bro. R.A. Jamieson, who
as it happened was also Town Clerk, and very much interested in the history of the
locality. Not hearing anything further, after an interval of some months I wrote to
him direct. He replied that it was the first he had heard of my inquiry. He said that
he had heard vague rumors of the discovery of the inscription, but had no definite
information on the subject whatever. He added that he had no means of
prosecuting an inquiry along the most natural lines, as the files of the local
newspaper had been removed.

The following July I met him at the meeting of the Grand Lodge of Canada (for
Ontario), and obtained some further information. The files of the local newspaper,
the Almonte Gazette, were in the hands of the Hon. Andrew Haydon (no relative of
mine, by the way, so far as I know) and through him I obtained the first real light
on the subject. He was preparing a history of Lanark County, in which Pakenham
Township is situated, and very kindly looked up the original account that appeared
in the Almonte Gazette. I might add that I had previously written to the
Department of National Archives at Ottawa, in the hope that they might have a file
of the Gazette there, but was informed that if there had ever been one it had been
destroyed with many other documents in the destruction of the Parliament
Buildings by fire some years ago.

As soon as the date of the discovery was fixed I made a search through the files of
the Canadian Freemason and the Canadian Craftsman, but found no more than a
single paragraph in the former journal. This quoted a dispatch from London,
Ontario, which without giving any details, scoffed at the “discovery” as a hoax.

Since then I have had some further correspondence with Bro. Jamieson, whose
inquiries have resulted in very little further information. He, however, did elicit
from a son of Bro. Forsythe, the first Mason to examine the stone, that he
remembered a man coming to the farm when he was a boy, to cut out the portion
bearing the inscription. All those who were mentioned as having examined the
stone in the account in the Almonte Gazette, are now dead with the exception of R. Wor.
Bro. Dr. McIntosh. To this brother I also wrote and was informed by him that, so
far as he knew, the proposal to cut out the inscribed portion of the stone was
carried out, though he had no knowledge of what became of it.

Bro. Jamieson wrote to me more recently to say that he was going to have the
minutes of the lodge searched in order to see if any mention was made of the
discovery, or of the proposal to cut out the inscription, and if this was one, how the
relic was disposed of. However, nothing rather has come to hand, and though I
have written Bro. Jamieson twice since, no further word from him has reached me.

Image result for newspaper article text png

The date of the issue from the Almonte Gazette containing original report which was May 27, 1892. This account is here reproduced.

 A MASONIC MYSTERY–Almonte Gazette  May 27, 1892.

An alleged relic of 1604 discovered in Pakenham Township – How it was found –
What it looks like – Speculation as to its author unknown.

Considerable interest has been created in Masonic circles in this district by the
discovery of a peculiar inscription on a rock situated on a mound in an out-of-the-
way place on Mrs. Joseph Dickson’s farm in Upper Pakenham. The discovery was
accidentally made by Mrs. Dickson’s son over a year ago. He told Mr. John
Forsythe, his neighbor, of what he had seen. The latter thought there was nothing
of importance in the affair, and paid little attention to it until a few weeks ago, when, during a search for his cattle, his attention was drawn to a polished rock with
Masonic emblems carved on its surface.

Mr. Forsythe, being an enthusiastic member of the Craft, made a careful examination of the stone, and, finding it to possess unusual interest for members of the fraternity, he communicated the result of his investigations to his brethren in Almonte and Pakenham and invited them out to inspect it for themselves. The invitation was accepted, and a short time ago Messrs. R. Pollock, J. M. Munro, A. J. McAdam and W. P. McEwen, of Almonte, and Dr. McIntosh, Major O’Neil and R. Moore, of Pakenham, enjoyed the
hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Forsythe, and during the afternoon paid a visit to the
spot containing the mysterious inscription. They found a rock with a polished
surface six or seven feet in length, and a couple of feet in depth, bearing an
inscription that, judged by its appearance, had been placed there by an unknown
hand at a very early period, as the action of the elements in the intervening period,
clearly demonstrated. The writer, believing that Gazette readers would be
interested, took an impression of the inscription, of which the following is a copy,
but greatly reduced in size:

Screenshot 2018-06-05 at 15Illustration Almonte Gazette May 1892 of the inscription on the Pakenham rock.

How such an inscription came to be carved in such a place is a mystery. If it was
cut in the stone in the year 1604 – nearly three centuries ago – as the figures would
seem to indicate, it looks as if some follower of Champlain (who passed through
this section about the year 1603) had done the work;  but of course is mere
speculation. We understand that Mr. Forsythe intends sawing out the interesting
relic, and it will form the nucleus of a museum in connection with his lodge –
Mississippi No. 147, A. F. and A. M., G.R.C., Almonte. Some Almonte craftsmen
have submitted specimens of the polished stone to a prominent geologist, with the
object of gaining information as to the effects of the elements on it through the
lapse of time, and every effort will be made to unravel the mystery surrounding the


At MissIssippi Lodge #147 GRC.–2015

The description leaves much to be desired. The writer says he “took an impression
of the inscription,” by which is probably to be understood a rubbing. The
description of the stone as “polished” is very vague, and while the dimensions
given probably refer to the stone itself, grammatically they refer to the polished
surface. It remains doubtful whether this surface was natural, or artificial. This
makes a good deal or difference, for inscriptions cut on natural surfaces, unless
very deep and on a very large scale, very rapidly become indistinct. The photograph of the *Nova Scotia Stone reproduced in THE BUILDER, vol. x, p. 295,  shows such indistinctness very conclusively.

Image result for nova scotia masonic stone

The crux of the inscription is naturally the date. The square and compass, in
unusual position it is true, the hand, the trowel and perhaps even the eye, may
probably be accepted as having been quite clear. The design below the trowel
looks as if intended to represent a wall of rubble Masonry, either in course of
erection, or else an unfinished part of the “inscription.” Perhaps both. But the date
is naturally very difficult to accept; and if the cutting was done on a natural
surface, it is well within possibility that the second figure was 8, of which part had
been less deeply cut owing to irregularity of the surface, and had thus been
obliterated by weathering. The date 1804 might not be too early for a pioneer
settlement in the vicinity; the ostensible date, however, seems to present such
grave difficulties as to be incredible.

The whole history of this “discovery” is a striking instance of the ignorance and
carelessness with which possible evidences of Masonic antiquity are treated. The
project of cutting out the stone was unfortunate to say the least. Better to have left
it to the weather than to have removed and lost it. On the other hand those who
condemned it off hand as a hoax or imposition were equally to blame; for that was
only to be decided by examination. If only such things could be carefully described
and impartially judged at the time of discovery, so that if genuine they might be
preserved, and if not that the fact might be authentically established! Unfortunately
most of the Craft “care for none of these things,” and it is much easier to come to a
snap decision without information than it is to investigate. So some will believe
and some will reject, according to their individual disposition, while the student
can only regret that opportunities for examination were so carelessly neglected and




Other difficulties to be solved lie in the fact that the first known white man to
travel the Mississippi River, which is joined by the Indian River quite near the
Dickson farm, was Etienne Brule in 1610, not 1603 as stated above. 

As to the suggestion that the figure 6 was really an 8, 1 find on examining
Robertson’s “History of Freemasonry in Canada”, that there was no record of any
lodge in the vicinity of Almonte during the era of our Provincial Grand Lodges of
Upper Canada. He gives, however, details of a lodge that met at Richmond, in
Carleton County, under a warrant dated 1821, which place was a village on the
Goodwood River, some twenty miles southwest of Ottawa, in the Rideau Military


*In Nova Scotia, articles have been written about the Masonic Stone discovered on the shores of Annapolis Basin in 1827, marked with a Square and Compasses and the date 1606. The Stone may have marked the grave of an operative mason who came to the Habitation with DeMonte and Champlain, but it cannot be accepted as proof that there was organized Freemasonry in Nova Scotia before 1738. R. V. Harris, Freemasonry in Canada before 1750; Hon. William Ross, Freemasonry in Nova Scotia, Halifax 1910, The Stone no longer exists. For its final disappearance, see the magazine, Freemason, Toronto. March-April 1963.


1862 Potton Springs, Quebec– Date of some engravings on the protruding stone above springs. Included are several names and free masonic symbols. From–The Miracles of Potton Springs


Owl’s Head, Quebec--The Golden Rule Lodge of Stanstead holds a ceremony every year at the top of Owl’s Head. Near the top of Owl’s Head is a natural chamber, accessible on foot, through an opening between rocks. Members and guests of Golden Rule Lodge No 5 of Stanstead of the Masonic Order meet here annually on the summer solstice. This chamber was inaugurated by Henry J. Martin, GM, on September l0, 1857. Acclaimed to be the only natural open air lodge that is known to exist, Masons from the world over have visited here. The Masonic emblem of a square and compass with the letter ‘G’ in
the centre is inscribed on one wall. A double headed eagle, of symbolic meaning to Masons, is depicted on the chamber’s eastern face.

Owl’s Head, Quebec


Author’s Notes –Linda Knight Seccaspina, is the granddaughter of Frederick J Knight and daughter of Arthur J Knight past grand masters of the Cowansville, Quebec Masonic Lodge. She has been fascinated with the Masonic Lodge for as long as she can remember. Her Grandfather and Father always said “it was a secret”— and she had to take it at that. Not that she likes it.

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


Carleton Place Masonic Lodge Mystery

An Unpleasant Ride? Masonic Lodge– St. John’s No. 63

The Miracles of Potton Springs

The Preaching Rock of Lanark County