Tag Archives: Nesbitt

For Who the Gate Tolls

For Who the Gate Tolls



After nearly two weeks of suffering in a local hospital. Mr. Thomas Morgan, toll gate keeper at Bell’s Corners who was injured on August 1919 died last night, and his body , was removed to Rogers and Barney’s undertaking parlors. The late Mr. Morgan was getting along well, but on Tuesday took a relapse, and passed away last night at about 7:40.

On August 30 the late Mr. Morgan, while collecting toll from a  passing auto, was jammed against the porch of the toll gate house and had both legs fractured. He was collecting toll from N. Gilbert, of Ottawa, about 10:30 on the night of Saturday, August 10, and it is said, the standing auto had its head lights on full. Another automobile, driven by Thomas Nesbitt, Beckwith township, Lanark county, was travelling along the same road in the opposite direction. Nesbitt says he became dazzled by the strong lights, but turned to pass the standing car and. ran into the toll gate porch and pinned Mr. Morgan against the wall. The other car drove off without the occupant leaving its number or name.

Mr. Nesbitt gave every assistance and left the number of his car, but not his name. He was found in a short time, and was left at liberty on depositing 2,000 bail. He is to appear in the county court on Tuesday. The late Mr. Morgan was 69 years of age, and was born at South March. For the last eight years he had been toll gate keeper at Bell’s Corners, and had become well known and popular throughout the district. Besides his widow, be is survived by one brother, Alfred, South March, and six sisters, Mrs. Wm. Kennedy, 120 Spruce street; Mrs. R. Gilchrist, Mrs. J. Stanley, Stanley’s Corners: and the Misses Jane, Victoria and Francis Morgan, South March.

Coroner Craig was notified last night, and. will open an inquest this morning at 9 o’clock, at Rogers and Burney’s undertaking parlors. The inquest will be adjourned, and it is probable that it will be resumed next Tuesday night The funeral will take place from his late residence, at Bell’s Corners, to Stanley’s Corners cemetery.


To finance the early roads the Government and private firms collected tolls. The tollkeeper system began to retire in 1896.

The toll gates in Upper Canada are very convenient, especially in preserving the health of the keepers in winter. The house is of two stories, and in the top one is a small window, from which the custos could look out; a broad shed extends across the road, and the gate slides in grooves like a portcullis, the keeper having a winch inside his house to raise and lower it. He has also a ladle, with a long stick, to receive his toll, and a small hole to pass. it through. Thus, instead of having at night to descend into the cold, or even to open a window, he looks through the glass when a traveller appears, poles out his ladle through the hole, and raising his gate lets him pass. In Lower Canada the common English toll gate is still used, to the constant killing, I should think, of the unhappy keepers if they do not rather refrain levying toll at night…The toll for the one we passed was twopence only for our one-horse vehicle.


The Toll Gates of Lanark County on Roads that Were Not Fit for Corpses

For Whom the Toll Gates Tolled– Revised

Armstrong’s Corners: Cross Roads of History

The Nesbitts of Beckwith

The Nesbitts of Beckwith



When the Carleton Place Canadian closed down, Jennifer Fenwick Irwin, curator of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum rescued boxes of photos from the basement of said newspaper. These photos were going to be thrown out, so thanks to her we have about 1500 black and white photos from the mid 70s saved- but they are not documented to ‘who, what, where and when’. Last year I did maybe 50 of them and this year when I offered to look for  Carleton Place Canoe Club photos– I decided now was the time to do it as none of us are getting any younger–especially me.

It is so important to all of us that these photos are now documented for future generations. Years ago they put the Carleton Place Canadian on microfilm which is at the Carleton Place Library- and then all those old newspapers went to a landfill site. There is now about 75 at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum and 50 at Lanark Archives. That’s it. Even applying for a government grant to get these newspapers off microfilm and on the internet like the Almonte Gazette was denied.

So each time you help identify a photo it is a godsend, now we can put the name to the face for future history. Thank you.

Tom Edwards identified this gentleman as Art Nesbitt. Tom also said he was a great guy and was the Chief in Beckwith for quite a few years. He also sold honey.


Linda Seccaspina– Beckwith 1965 Fire Department

Fire Chief – Robert Brooks John McFarlane, first vice-president Arthur Nesbitt, second vice-president


Joan Stoddart Art lived on the ninth line with his sister Frances.

Donna Mcfarlane Beverley J Wylie Frances had a bridal shower for me when I got married in 1964, She had all the neighbours at one of her cottages she is on right in this picture. I remember when their father Fred was reeve of Beckwith-cannot remember the year but i believe it was the year that the ninth line was paved from Blacks Corners to the swamp.



 - . Beck with Township. CARLETON PLACE, Nov. 27...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  28 Nov 1936, Sat,  Page 33



 - Bfrckwith Township. ' At the close of...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  25 Nov 1939, Sat,  Page 27


this is Ray clarke percy leach bill mccauley(dad) and arthur nesbitt taken at eva nesbitts 80th– donn mcfarlane

Beverley J Wylie Thank you Donna Mcfarlane..yes she was at my wedding in 1966 and I still use the cake plate she gave us…we also lived with our first born in that cottage for a short time before moving into our new place…great memories.

Donna Mcfarlane Beverley J Wylie Before Beckwith fire dept got pagers, Frances was one of the ones that telephoned the firemen. It was in the days of party lines, and they were on same line as we were, so if her phone rang during the night John got up and dressed to go and I listened in on her call lol… so he was often out the door before his call came in.


Donna Mcfarland–– that picture was taken at Eva Nesbitts (Mrs John Nesbitt) 80th birthday.
Donna Mcfarlane —One of our original members from 1964 when dept started is still active in the dept..Gary McEwen was in high school when he joined.
Ben MacRae I remember going over to Arthur’s house with my dad to pick up the honey that Arthur gave us for keeping some of his bees at our farm. I was always wanting to snoop around the old family house that sat vacant for years after a fire, I believe. I also remember seeing that house once it had been restored. If I remember correctly the house was restored by Mrs Scullion and Arthur lived in his own house on the property.
Donna Mcfarlane Mrs. Scullion who bought the Nesbitt farm has a lot of information and old pictures on the Nesbitts.. one picture in particular that she has shows a bunch of men standing in front of the old stone house..there appears to be a woman sitting on the step with a dish on her lap.. Arthur said there was no woman there… I always felt that house was haunted and Arthur agreed.





 - i me cquniy. woum again present. Thirty-two...


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  29 Oct 1938, Sat,  Page 21

 - NESBITT In Beckwith on Monday afternoon. April...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Apr 1946, Tue,  Page 20


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)





Beckwith Fire Department 1965 Names Names Names

The House of Daughters –Stonecroft House


1953 photos by donnna mcfarlane

this is the neighbours piling winters wood at eva and john nesbitts

another picture from that day.. eula irvine, martha mccauley(mom) ellen gardener mary ? from sudbury and frances nesbitt(arthurs sister) donna mcfarlane