Tag Archives: north lanark

Downtown Almonte 1891 — Thumb Biters Skaters and Widows

Downtown Almonte 1891 — Thumb Biters Skaters and Widows

On Friday December 4, 1891 a shanty man was caught on train going north through Almonte. He caught the eye of Conductor Reynolds and realizing he was going to be out on his ear he attempted to have his lunch early. The shanty man decided to bite Mr. Reynolds thumb off and refused to leave the train car. Mr. Reynolds was heard using language that this paper cannot repeat and the man found his way down the stairs to the outdoors to find his own transportation.


 - operatives are thrown out of employment, i...


Clipped from

  1. The Evening World,
  2. 27 Apr 1889, Sat,
  3. Third Edition,
  4. Page 2


 - Said She Bit His Thumb. Samuel L'zsoy.. a...


Clipped from

  1. The Philadelphia Inquirer,
  2. 06 Aug 1897, Fri,
  3. Page 5

 - Bitten Thumb Was Clue Toronto, July 14. A man...

 - Leask, who la said to have ft lacerated thumb,...

Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 15 Jul 1920, Thu,
  3. Page 8

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When Cell Phones Were Needed

On the 13th of December 1897 a big scare was created in town at midnight with the vigorous ringing of the Almonte fire alarm bell. When the local citizens rushed to the fire station asking where the fire was they were told a couple of skaters had been drowned up the river. Meantime, the relatives got very anxious, felt sure an accident had befallen the absent ones, and began to talk of arranging a search party when the thoughtless young men rang the alarm in older to rouse a crowd and arrange to search for the bodies!

The action of those who rang the alarm were condemned on all sides as an unwarranted proceeding under the circumstances. Had Mr. Tosh, the caretaker, not been ill in bed he would not have allowed it. The facts are that a couple of the young folks were skating on the river, and, the afternoon being fine and the ice good, they glided along till Appleton was reached; then went to Carleton Place and, being too late for the evening train, came home on the Winnipeg Express.

November 21, 1873 – On Wednesday a fine young lad, a son of Oliver Jackson, a painter in the employ of James Kearnes of Glen Tay, was drowned while skating on the Tay at the village. The body was recovered the next day.

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On Saturday last Mr. R.L. Bond made himself useful in town as a fire extinguisher. At seven o’clock in the morning he was called across to the town hall and found a blaze beneath the floor of the council chamber in the same spot as threatened to destroy the hall by fire on a previous occasion.

It caught from the pipe leading· from the furnace and had made some headway before the floor was torn up and the fire extinguished without difficulty. The town property committee have taken action to prevent a repetition of the occurrence, which, had it taken place at night, might have. caused the destruction of the hall.


On Friday last Greg McUnton was brought before Squire Smith charged with committing a petty trespass upon the property of Ellen McCarthy. It seems Mr. McCarthy left for Uncle Sam’s domain and before departing leased the land in question to McUnton for a
period of three years. Trial evidence ,brought out the fact that McCarthy had, with
her four little children been left penniless arid with no means whatever of earning a living.

At the urging of McCarthy’s lawyer, McUnton agreed to throw up the lease saying had he known the facts of the case he never would have leased the land, as he had no desire to do anything unkind towards Mrs. McCarthy and her children.


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

Dust on the Wind –Ashton Social Notes 1887-1897 Names Names Names

Middleville Social Notes 1890

It Raineth Every Day in Lanark County–Social Notes–July 30, 1897

The Bryson Craig Farm in Appleton

The Bryson Craig Farm in Appleton



This historical home is located on a charming little country road next to the Mississippi River to the southwest and connecting the Appleton Village with Highway 44. Known for many years as the Ross Craig farm — it was built in 1857 by Robert Bryson. The house appears on the Walling map of the counties of Lanark and Renfrew, and all the homes on this road once competed with each other to see who could produce the best quality home.

Some evidence points to the kitchen “ell” as being the first building, as the window trim is plain unlike the rest of the home which carries the “eyelash trim”. The floors are made from maple or pine and architectural details point out that this home was once one and a half storeys being carefully built to a two storey later on in years. The staircase is boxed in and very wide similar to the Glendinning home in Glen Isle.

The original kitchen was eventually turned into a family room and there is a minor mystery in the home. At the top of the stairs next to the master bedroom is a small room which is now a bathroom, and it was formerly either a large cupboard or a baby’s room as a peek through tiny window is on the master bedroom wall.

It is obvious that the Bryson and Craig families lived in the main house and used the smaller section for the hired help. This home is one of the rare homes in the area that has no fireplace and they probably used box stoves or ornamental Franklin stoves. William Kennedy and family bought this home from Hugh Grace who had followed the Craig tenure in 1969. It was always a farm but through the years the acreage of the property got smaller. In 1972 the Kennedy’s moved to Mattawa and any current history of the house known would be appreciated.


Along the ninth line between Shipman’s Mills and Appletree Falls located the Matthew McFarlanes, Sr. and Jr., and Thomas Patterson; while across the river along the 10th line located James Leitch, Arthur Lang, Peter McGregor, John Smith, James King, James Bryson, James Orr, Richard Dulmage, William and Robert Baird. James Bryson from Paisley and James King took Lot I11 of the 10th concession. George Bryson, a son of James, was one of the first Lanark County pioneers to go into the lumbering trade in 1836 and later, with his brother Robert, engaged in lumbering at Fort Coulonge and along the Black River in the province of Quebec. George Bryson represented Pontiac County in that province and was called to the Legislative Assembly of Quebec in 1867. The village of Bryson was named after him. During the lumbering era George Bryson and Simon Dunn established shanties throughout Ramsay and built the slide at Shipman’s Mills. There was talk of running the slide in canoes to save portage but all flunked out except Robert Bryson who with Dunn ventured the risky trip in a large pine log canoe. The canoe and crew shot down the steep incline at a rapid clip and all went well until they came to a 14 foot drop at the end of the slide into the bay below. The canoe split in two and the men were thrown into the rapids below but were rescued by onlookers.

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

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.


More Memories of The Beckwith McTavish House

History Still Lives on at The McEwen House in Beckwith

The House on a Beckwith Hill–The McTavish House and Ceiling Medallions

The House of Daughters –Stonecroft House

Update on The Manse in Beckwith

The Manse on the 7th Line of Beckwith

Home and Garden Before Home and Garden Magazine

The James Black Homestead

The Mysterious Riddell— H B Montgomery House

The Wall Mysteries of Lake Ave East -Residential Artists

The Manse on the 7th Line of Beckwith

Rescuing the Money Pits —The Other Dunlop Home with the Coffin Door

The Carleton Place House with the Coffin Door

The Apple Does Not Fall far from the Tree

Before and After in Carleton Place –The Doctor is in!

Heh Miss Wilsonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! Carleton Place Heroe

Was This the Architect of the Findlay Homes on High Street?

The Carleton Place House That Disappeared

The McCarten House of Carleton Place

Old McRostie Had a Farm in Carleton Place

Time Capsule in the ‘Hi Diddle Day’ House?

The Louis on Sarah Street for $43,500 — Before and After– Architecture in Carleton Place

Memories of Mississippi Manor

Day in the Life of a 70’s Pattie Drive Home – The Stay at Home Mom Era

Architecture Stories: The Hotel that Stompin’ Tom Connors Saved

Dim All The Lights — The Troubled Times of the Abner Nichols Home on Bridge Street

The Brick Houses of Carleton Place

So What Happened to The Findlay House Stone?

The Stanzel Homes of Carleton Place

The Appleton Chinchilla House

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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?

“Done no Good” in North Lanark– A Disgruntled Ramsay Voter

By-election on 22 January 1880
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal MCDONELL, Donald Greenfield 1,107
Conservative JAMIESON, Joseph 1,009


Letter to the Almonte Gazette  re the Lanark North By-Election January 1880

It is well known the N . P. has done no good in North Lanark. In fact he has created a great deal of hardship. He has increased the cost of the necessaries of life: sugar and tea, cotton and woollen goods, all have gone up. The expenses of every family in North Lanark have increased, while the purchasing power of the labourer, and many others has decreased. The wages of the labouring man were lowered,  and in some places hours of labour were increased working at lower wages.

Mr. Jamieson who previously contested the constituency with Mr. Galbraith in 1878, promised the electors better results if the elections were carried in favour of the N . P. What has been the result? There is not a new industry in the shape of manufacturing in North Lanark that was not in it before this policy was carried. It is worse– and a  good many old ones have been closed up.

The furniture factories of Almonte and a foundry are closed-a woollen factory is for sale at Huntersville, and another at Carleton Place has been offered time and again for sale; it can neither be sold nor  leased;— and it is a good new woollen factory with all the modern appliances.

At Innisville there are two woollen factories closed under the N . P. Can Mr. Jamieson explain why this is so? In his canvassing on this ticket he preached prosperity to everyone. Why does he try to throw dust in the eyes of the electors again, or will he frankly admit that there is no good result, from the N .P .!

Mr. Jamieson wishes to build up a class of manufacturers at the expense of everybody-else. He might as well ask the farmers of North Lanark to give them a liberal bonus every year the Conservatives are in power, and give them a tariff which makes the farmer buy at their own price.

VOTER. Ramsay,4th Jan., 1880.  January 16


Joseph Jamieson (March 15, 1839 – March 12, 1922) was a lawyer and political figure in Ontario, Canada. He represented Lanark North in the Canadian House of Commons from 1882 to 1891 as a Conservative member.

He was born in Sherbrooke, Lanark County, Upper Canada, the son of William Jamieson, an immigrant from Ireland, and was educated in Perth. In 1865, he married Elizabeth Carss. Jamieson was called to the Ontario bar in 1869. He served as reeve for Almonte, warden for Lanark County and chairman of the board of license commissioners for North Lanark. Jamieson ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the House of Commons in the 1878 federal election and an 1880 by-election. He resigned his seat in December 1891 after being named junior county judge for Wellington County.

Lanark North was a federal electoral district represented in the Canadian House of Commons from 1867 to 1917. It was located in the province of Ontario. It was created by the British North America Act of 1867 which divided the County of Lanark into two ridings: Lanark South and Lanark North.

In 1882, the North Riding of Lanark was defined to consist of the townships of Ramsay, Pakenham, Darling, Dalhousie, North Sherbrooke, Lavant, Fitzroy, Huntley and Lanark, the Town of Almonte, and the Village of Lanark.

In 1903, the village of Carleton Place was added to the riding, and the townships of Fitzroy and Huntley were excluded.

The electoral district was abolished in 1914 when it was merged into a Lanark riding.

Canadian federal election, 1878
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Daniel Galbraith 992
Conservative Joseph Jamieson 949

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

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News