I found this article in the Ottawa Citizen and decided I wanted to dig up the story. Did he really disappear?? I found out later there was no way the man could have survived but also found out some neat history about Alexander Scott from Ottawa and documented it.
Alexander Scott Confectioner First Home
62-64 John Street— Alexander Scott Confectioner first home
The Fraser School House reverted to residential use after the school closed in 1844. Photo ca. late 1940’s: City of Ottawa Archives / CA 6201
Present day- Photo from Google
Originally built as a semi-detached workman’s dwelling,this one and one half storey stone dwelling is locatedon Lot 13, John Street in New Edinburgh. It is one ofthe oldest surviving buildings in Ottawa. Built by Thomas McKay, stone mason.
MacKay sold the building in 1848 to Alexander Scott. An early City Directory lists Alexander Scott as a baker and confectioner at Sparks corner of Elgin in Ottawa.
He was also the Captain of the Central Hook & Ladder Company
Ottawa – 1864 (or fall of 1882) – Scott’s Confectionery and the Russell House Hotel at Elgin and Sparks looking East
Ottawa, July 11, 1866 Alexander Scott, Confectioner, aged 50 years. A native of Perth, Scotland. His obituary states that he came to Ottawa about 28 years ago (1838?) and that he was the first Captain of the Central Hook & Ladder Company (Fire Department) and at the time of his death, he was the senior Alderman of the City Council.
On Sunday at Beckwith; the people in an old shanty that was in such a state of ruin that cats and dogs could pass between the logs; and they will neither repair nor provide firewood lest it might make the minister comfortable. And they are seeking a new one from Scotland. Six months later, he records in his diary: “I set out for Beckwith to aid Mr. Buchanan at Sacrament. The barn and all it contained had been burned. This had been used for a church and was erected by the congregation. No steps had been taken to rebuild anything. On Saturday I preached in an old shanty: and the Sunday services, which began at eleven o’clock and lasted till four o’clock in the afternoon, were held in an open field near by, the people having erected a tent for preaching in, using logs in parallel lines for seats.
One hundred umbrellas were used to protect from the sun’s rays. During these years the Buchanans endured many of the discomforts of pioneer life. Long afterward the youngest of the children published under the title “The Pioneer Pastor,” her recollections of her father’s pastorate in Beckwith. She describes the hardships borne by these men from the High lands. Harvesting was beginning when her family arrived. Cutting grain with the old-fashioned sickle and scythe on ground dotted thickly with stumps was slow, wearisome work.
Reaping machines, mowing machines, horse rakes and other labor-saving implements now in vogue to lighten the task and multiply a hundred-fold the efficiency of the farmer had not yet been evolved. A cumbrous plow, hard to pull and harder to guide, a V-shaped harrow, alike heavy and unwieldy, a clumsy sled, home-made rakes weighty as iron and sure to blister the hands of the user, forked-stick pitch-forks, and gnarled flails certain to raise bumps on the heads, of unskilled threshers, with two or three scythes and sickles, represented the average farm equipment. Not a grist-mill, saw-mill, factory, shop, school-house, post-office, chimney or stove to be found in Beckwith in those earliest days of its settlement.
Two arm-chairs, made for Dr. and Mrs. Buchanan by Donald Kennedy, were the first in the township. Sawed boards, shingles and plastered walls were luxuries. Split logs furnished the materials for benches, tables, floors and roofs. The first year men carried flour and provisions on their backs from Perth and Brockville. Families subsisted for months on scanty fare. Their homes were shanties, chinked between the logs with wood and mud, often without a window, cold in winter, stifling in summer, uncomfortable always. A hole in the roof let out such smoke as happened to travel in its direction.
And the women bore more than their share of the burden. Besides their care of house and children they worked in the fields all spring and summer, burning brush, logging, planting and reaping. Much of the cooking, washing and mending was done before dawn or after dark while the men slept peacefully. At noon they prepared dinner, ate a bite hastily and hurried back to drudge until the sun went down. Then they got supper, put the youngsters to bed, patched, darned and did a multitude of chores. For them, toiling to better the conditions of their loved ones, never striking for higher wages, sixteen hours of constant labor was a short day. No respite, no vacation, nothing but hard work.
The Sabbath was the one breathing-spell in the week. Autumn and winter only varied the style of work. The women carded wool with hand-cards and spun it on small wheels, for stocking-yarn and the weaver’s loom. Knitting was an endless task by the light of the hearth fire or the feeble flicker of a tallow-dip; and everybody wore homespun.
Threshing wheat and oats wth the flail employed the men until good sleighing came. Then the whole neighborhood would go in company to Bytown—now Ottawa— to market their produce. Starting at midnight the line of ox-sleds would reach Richmond about daylight, stop an hour to vest and feed, travel all day and be at Bytown by dark. Next day they’would sell their grain, buy a few necessary articles, travel all night to Richmond and be home the third evening.
At one time fifteen wolves walked past the Buchanan yard, heading for the sheep pen. R attling tin pans and blowing a horn frightened them off. On another occasion two of the girls, going to see a sick woman, were assailed by a fierce wolf on the way back. “He followed us some distance,” says the chronicler, “grew bolder, ran up and took a bite out of my dress, almost pulling me down. My loud exclamation,
‘Begone, you brute,’ and clapping our hands put the impudent fellow to flight. We skipped home in short metre, regardless of sticks, stones and mud holes.
Unhappily, the relations between the old Minister and some of his congregation became, in time, less cordial. Most of the members before coming to Canada had been in communion with the established Church of Scotland—the Auld Kirk. Dr. Buchanan was an adherent of the Secession Church, and strongly opposed to anything like union of Church and State. Besides, after ten years in this rough, new charge, old age was making him less, able to meet all the claims of his scattered congregation.
There was urgent need of a new church building. That enterprise brought to a head all the dissensions and discontent which had been brewing. At first logs were taken out to erect a better church. They lay unused. Finally in 1832 it was determined to put up a stone building. When the walls were nearing completion a meeting of the congregation was called and Dr. Buchanan was requested to join the Auld Kirk (the Established Church) if he expected to preach in the new edifice.
One of his daughters has left her account of what followed, and, whether strictly accurate or not, it is vivid and touching. She writes: “Always a seceder, opposed to the union of church and state, my father positively declined to give up his honest convictions. He asked if they found any fault with his preaching or conduct; all answered, “No, none whatever.” Father then reminded them of his long and arduous services. He said: “I have preached in the open air, in wretched cabins, and in cold school rooms. I have taught day school for years without receiving one penny for my labor. I have spent stormy nights and weary days visiting the pick and dying, walking through swamps and paths that no horse could travel, without any charge for my medical services. Now you wish me, when you propose to have a comfortable house of worship, to sell my principles. That I shall never do. The God that has brought me thus far is able to keep me to the end, and my trust, is in Him.”
These words moved not a few to tears. Others, determined to have their way, continued the discussion. ‘If you join the Kirk,” one man shouted, “you will get into the new building; if you don’t you will eat thin kale.” Father replied to this coarse assault in the language of the Psalmist—“I have been young and now I am old, yet give I never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed, begging bread.” Several of the leaders said: “We were born in the Kirk and we will die in the Kirk.” Some protested against the proceedings. But the opponents of the old minister prevailed, and by the time the stone church was completed, the new minister Rev. John Smith, arrived to occupy its pulpit.
At his own home Dr. Buchanan continued to hold services for the few who were loyal to him; but his bodily strength was, failing, and even th a t small rem nant dwindled away. Two or three years passed, and death claimed him in the 74th year of his age and the 45th of his ministry. He was buried in the old Craig Street cemetery at Perth. Rev. Mr. Bell gave up his own plot there so that the remains of the old clergyman might rest near those of his eldest daughter, Mrs. John Ferguson.
At the new stone church, under the faithful service of Rev. Mr. Smith, there was peace and progress for some years. Then came that conflict which led to the “Disruption” in the Established Church in Scotland, the history of which is familiar. There was an unselfish and heroic side to the fight against the claims of ‘Heritors’ and other secular powers to force Ministers into the charge of Churches against the wishes of the congregation. Almost four hundred ministers walked out of the General Assembly of the Church, protesting against this interference in Church matters by secular powers. They knew that in so doing they were sacrificing their comfortable manses, their glebes and their assured stipends. In cold cash this meant a yearly loss equivalent to more th an $1,000,000 today.
From that sacrifice and secession arose the Free Church of Scotland. The conflict on the principle involved spread to Canada. They took their Church politics seriously, those Presbyterians of a century ago.
In the recent quest for deeper meaning in life a growing number of people are literally “digging for roots” searching out their genealogical origins. Last week Mary Tonklin and her husband Bill of California made a whirlwind tour of Lanark and Leeds Counties leaving tombstones straightened, searching through old records books and microfilm libraries meeting many new friends and old relatives and taking home quite a number of adventures to boot.
Their story in these parts begins in 1812 when Mary’s great-great-grandfather James Morrow (1791-?) a Scotsman fled from Ireland as a stowaway – in the hold of a cattle boat believing he had killed a man in a quarrel. En route he met and later married Mary McKinnon. (1790-1889) He entered the lumber business in the Ottawa Valley and they had many children. The sequel to the story was provided by Mary’s fourth cousin Gerald Morrow director of Morrow’s Funeral Home in Perth. He says that years later whileworking in the bush old James met up with the man he thought he had killed.
“How did you get here?” he asked in amazement. “Why I thought I had killed you and left the country” the man replied.
Mary Tonkin’s genealogical passion began in her mother’s house a dozen years ago and is now a briefcase full of charts and anecdotes she plans to publish with a cousin in Washington some day. She recently discovered that both her grandmother Martha Ann Knapp (b 1852) and her grandfather Joseph E Thorpe (b 1847) were bom in Perth Road Village although they never met until they emigrated to Colorado .
Mary found undeveloped photos of them both in an old camera of her father’s. The film had been in the camera more than 70 years when she had it developed. Years later Joseph and Mary’s son Walter W Thorpe (b 1880) married another Lanark County woman Jeannette Morrow, great-granddaughter of the original James Morrow.
Excited that so many family lines originated from this same seedbed Mary addressed a letter six weeks ago to “The Bureau of Vital Statistics Maberly (Perth?) Ontario”. In a brilliant stroke of quest for deeper meaning in life a growing number of people are literally “digging for roots” searching out their genealogical origins.
With great efficiency the post office delivered the letter to Maberly historian Duncan Miekle who immediately replied and began investigations for families named Morrow Knapp Thorne as well as Geddes and Mathieson. With these preparations Mary and Bill Tonkin came to Maberly .They had dinner with Duncan and Allison Miekle. They visited fourth cousin Gerald Morrow and his 91 -year-old grandfather Howard in Perth. They visited Howard’s 83-year-old sister Margaret Duffy and her daughter Marie Buchanan in Maberly.
Second cousin Margaret had “a striking resemblance to (Mary’s) mother” Jeannette Morrow both in her features and in her gestures. The Tonkins were both visibly moved by the warmth of this meeting. They also visited the Laidley Cemetery near Maberly where the tombstones of seven Morrows are still legible. In fact one of them in the oldest part of the cemetery at the top of the hill is that of great-great-grandmother Mary McKinnon wife of the original James Morrow. The top is broken off but the weathered inscription is still legible.
From there they went to the Township Archives in the Maberly Town Hall. Township secretary June Warwick hastily found a babysitter, opened up the hall especially for them and helped sort through stacks of ancient certificates of births marriages and deaths “What a goldmine of information!” mused ‘Mary as she jotted notes and made connections.
A number of mysteries were solved but what’s this? Another great mystery is found! The death certificate of “Elizabeth McKee Morrow died June 24 1915 age 83 years and seven months”. Her father was William McKee and her mother Margaret Woods. She must have been married to an unknown son of the original James Morrow. Who was she? Who was he? A whole new avenue for investigation search continues.
Unfortunately the Tonkins had not budgeted enough time to solve this and other mysteries at this time They had to press on to the National Archives in Ottawa before a reunion of the Thome family near Boston and thence to Tennessee. So the search continues. They still don’t know where when how (or if) old James Morrow died. Or how many children he had. Or where their descendants are today.
If you have anything to addto this story please comment, or email me.
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.
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.
with files from the book donations “Country Tales” Donated by- Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.