Tag Archives: perth

Mrs. James Lawrie and Her Ginger Beer

Mrs. James Lawrie and Her Ginger Beer



Primitive Stoneware Bottles of Canada Photo–Other bottles in his collection are marked “JL” which, he says, stands for James Laurie and later Jane Laurie, his wife. James Laurie was a baker, confectioner and later lunchroom owner from 1858 to 1925.


 - . Perth whisky had a wide reputation; a more...


September 1925 Perth Courier – MRS. JANE LAURIE retired from business.  Laurie’s Ginger Beer, in the stone bottles, was once one of Perth’s popular drinks.  Mrs. Laurie passed away in a few months after retiring.


 - V MRS. t. lAVRlH ' ' TIews has reached the...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  13 Nov 1925, Fri,  Page 13

The 1871 federal census lists James Laurie, a 33 year old baker, born in Ontario, of Scottish descent. Upon James’ death, it appears that his widow Jane assumed the proprietorship of the business.”Mrs. Jane Laurie’s Bakery and Confectionery was located on Gore Street in Perth. The three-storey white brick building was erected in 1886 as a store with residence above.

Baking and candy making were done in the basement, where the bake ovens were situated. The store was elegantly furnished with mahogany shelving and counters, topped with solid walnut. Adjoining the store was a neat restaurant in which oysters, ice cream and fruit were served in season, together with bread, cakes and pastry.

A favourite lunch consisted of buns and chunks of local cheese, with a bottle of Mrs. Laurie’s Old English Ginger Beer. The Laurie business was established in 1858 and was operated by Mrs. Jane Laurie and her daughter, Mrs. Margaret MacCormack, for 67 years. Following her daughter’s sudden death in 1925, Mrs. Laurie sold the business. She died later that same year, on November 11, 1925 at the age of 90 years.-Primitive Stoneware Bottles of Canada




Primitive Stoneware Bottles of Canada Photo



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 May 1924, Fri,  Page 21


This article comes from an issue of a local Perth newspaper


Jane Laurie – A Sweet Merchant

The buildings in town record the name of many of the major retailers … Shaw, James Brothers, Code … but what must have been one of Perth’s unique stores is not even recognized with a plaque.

Jane Laurie opened “Mrs. Laurie’s Bakery and Confectionery” in 1858. She would soon bring her daughter into the business and it would remain open for 67 years until 1925 when she sold the business. Jane was still in the store working in her 90th year.

The stories she must have witnessed, the history that passed by the door to her shop: the wide-eyed, nose-pressed-to-the-window children who one year were buying penny candy and who went on to do great things for Perth and Canada.

This would be a special story and a unique window on our heritage.

LAURIE, James A.; Fruits & confectionery……………………Gore, PERTH
LAURIE, James, Mrs.; Baker & confectioner…………………..Gore, PERTH—LANARK COUNTY– COMMERCIAL DIRECTORY — 1881/2


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)




Wondrous! The Woodcock Bakery

Cake By the Mississippi — The Bowland Bakery

Lorne Hart– The Old Towne Bakery — A Recipe is Just a Recipe

Roy Woodcock Photo -Woodcock’s Bakery

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

Bill Jenkins- Riverman and Wedding Cake Maker?

Remembering the Smells of Heaven on Earth —Davidson’s Bakery


Cowie Thompson Family– Thompson Shoe Store in Perth

Cowie Thompson Family– Thompson Shoe Store in Perth




Cowie Thompson Family

This article was so faded it was almost illegible but because I hope it might help someone.

In a recent letter to Patrick Leonard of Perth a descendent of John Thompson, an early Perth settler, Mrs. Margaret L. Burroughs, now of Twin River, New Jersey, tells some of the history of this pioneer and his descendants and the Cowie family.

John Thompson lived in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, and in April of (date illegible) he married Anne Temperly(?) Temperby(?).  A year later they had a son, William John Wilson Thompson and in (date illegible) they came to Canada.  Eventually the Thompson family settled in Perth where John started a shoe business on what is now Gore Street.

They had five children:  William John Wilson(?) who married Margaret(?) Fraser(?) or Frost(?); C – – – who married Harmon(?) Kellery(?); Elizabeth who became Mrs. Munroe(?); while Nathaniel and George remained single.

Of the second generation, William John Wilson had ten children:  Mary Ann who died young; Margaret who married William Curry and lived in Almonte; Samuel who married Henrietta Coure(?) and settled on the Scotch Line; William George who married Margaret Gamble(?) and lived in Almonte; James, Mrs. Burroughs grandfather, who married Agnes Cowie and he eventually settled in Almonte after living several years in (illegible); N – – – – – – –  Nicholas(?), who married Mary – – meson (Jameson?) and took up residence in Orillia(?); (son, name illegible) who married Martha Armour and went to Drummond; Hannah who married(?) Alexander Cameron(?) and took up residence in (illegible word) Bay; Joseph who married Jane Abby and lived in Carleton Place; David who married (illegible first name, maybe Hannah) Close and his (illegible two words) married L – – – L – – .  These couples lived in Brace – – – – – and Ramsay respectively.

Of the third generation, Mrs. Burroughs grandfather, James, lived in Glen Tay where her mother, Henriette Jane, was born.  The next three children, Robert, Margaret and Agnes were born in Almonte.

Of the fourth generation, Henrietta Jane married John Moore and resided on the 7th Line Ramsay.  There were six children as follows:  Agnes, Gertrude Malinda(?), William, Charlotte(?) M – – – – – – (Mathilda??), Margaret L who married A.A. Burroughs and moved to the U.S., and John Osborne of (Orillia??).

Cowie—Robert Cowie of Edinburgh, Scotland came to Split Rock, New York with his sister in the later half of the last century.  Robert married Henrietta Jane Adams of Split Rock who was related to John Adams, second President of the United States.

Henrietta, their first child, was born in Upper Canada.  The next three, John, Agnes and William, were born in the U.S. in Split Rock or Utica and then they returned to Perth where the next five were born:  Francis, Lillie(?) or Leslie(?), Margaret, Robert and Jane.  Of these it is not know who John married while Agnes became Mrs. James Thompson, Mrs. Burroughs grandparents; William married twice and his daughter Garvella (last name illegible, begins with a ‘S’) lives on the Scotch Line.

Janet Cowie, sister of Robert, married Mr. Allen, a lawyer who practised law and opened the first post office in Perth.  Mrs. Cowie’s brother, John Adams, came to Perth with the Cowies.  John farmed and taught music.  It is not known who John married but they had no(?) children.  They adopted his wife’s niece Louise McKay who later married Ralph Dodds and their grand daughter Mrs. Ferrier lives on the Scotch Line across the road from the old John Adams farm.


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)





The Sad Tale of the Foley Family–Foley, Harper, Sly, Bowes & Elliott

PATERSON Families of Ramsay Township

James Stewart Ferguson– Lanark County Genealogy


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The Harper Family of Perth

The Harper Family of Perth


Rev. W. G. T. Brown (1873-1951)

W. T. L. Harper (1907-1990)

By D. B. Anderson (1932 – )

After the close of Napoleon s career in Europe in 1815, many British soldiers and some naval men obtained land in what was familiarly known as the Perth settlement.

The little town of Perth did not spring up spontaneously. The site was chosen by the Government as the head of a district lying north of the Midland and Johnstown districts, comprising a great part of the Ottawa Valley in Upper Canada. Men were hired to clear the land and to erect certain buildings necessary for the administration of Justice.

To the Perth settlement from Queens County, Ireland, came James, Joseph and Ephraim Harper, with their sister, Mary Ann. Joseph Harper was born around 1766 at Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland. He served in the Yeomanry Militia during the Irish rebellion of 1798. He was not a soldier but, like many others, he came hoping to improve his lot and find a future for his children. It is not easy to visualize the long weary journey, weeks tossing on the Atlantic in a small wooden sailing ship, crowded with seasick passengers and without the conveniences of our very poorest vessels of the present day.

He and his wife, Mary Boyle, with daughters Mary, Jane, Ellen and Nancy, arrived in Canada on the “Prince Augusta” on June 2,1818. During the crossing their son, John, was buried at sea. He had been injured on the playground at school and was
afterwards a cripple. Nancy, a child of but six years, who did not suffer from seasickness, as did the others, remembered the tears and sad outcry of her stricken mother that “she had left all her friends in Ireland, and now her one little son in the sea”.

From Quebec the family travelled up the St. Lawrence to Montreal and thence still farther up by boat and portage to either Prescott or Brockville. From the St. Lawrence, the settlers would push their way back through the woods and swamps, crossing many streams that no longer exist, finally reaching Perth. Here the Government had erected some sort of protection on the “island” for immigrant families, where they might remain until the husband and father had “drawn” his land made a trip to it and built some rude shelter of logs and brush.

Joseph Harper secured land in the township of North Burgess on Lot NE 15, Conc. 8 on July 23, 1818. and there he removed with his wife and their four daughters: Mary, Jane, Ellen and Nancy. On January 31, 1819, in a rude shanty in the woods, a son was born and named Ephraim Boyle Harper. Some time later on November 5, 1820, a daughter Elizabeth (Bessie) was born.

Harper was a weaver and, as it was still the day of the hand-loom, he seems to have done a good business among the settlers. Alas, the burden of making a home in the wilderness fell heavily on his daughters. However, the family prospered and soon had not only the work oxen of every pioneer, but horses also.

The girls were good horsewomen. An occasional trip on horseback to Perth and some visits to a more distant neighbourhoods helped to relieve the monotony of life in the bush. Mary and Jane had been to boarding school in Clonmel, Ireland, but Ellen and Nancy were too young to leave their parents before the migration to Canada. As there was no school in the wilds, these two girls were never in school, but did receive some education at home. Later this was supplemented by their brother, Ephraim, while little more than a child himself. Ellen was fond of good reading and had a memory stored with the Bible and Shakespeare, Milton and other great English classics.

In their old age, Ellen and Nancy, who could remember little or nothing of Ireland, had stories to tell of their fun and mishaps in the woods of Canada – stories that had to do with horseback riding, riding colts without saddles and being thrown in mud or snow.

One story of another type of escapade must have come from their very early years. Their father had a large hollow basswood cut into suitable lengths and cleaned out for storing grain. The two little girls thought one of these might provide the thrill of a swift downhill ride. Nancy’s turn came first. She got in and Ellen started the block on its way. Once started, there was no stopping it till the bottom of the hill was reached, while inside the wild screams told of a head being bumped from side to side in the wildly careening log, as it gathered speed down the rough hill.

Mary Harper, born in Ireland November 9, 1802, was the eldest child of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper.In 1822, before she had completed her twentieth year, she married John Deacon. He had come to Canada from Kilkenny, Ireland in 1816, the son of an Irish family of the Perth settlement. (Marriage Bonds of Ontario – 1803-1834)

John Deacon of Drummond, yeoman and Mary Harper of Burgess, spinster, March 25, 1822 at Perth, Ontario.

Bondsmen: Joseph Harper of Burgess and Samuel Churchill of Ramsay, yeomen.

She settled with her husband in the township of North Burgess, afterwards moving to Perth in 1825. In 1842 they moved to South Sherbrooke, where Mr. Deacon engaged in the lumber trade. He later served as Magistrate,Councillor, and Reeve.

To them were born seventeen children, of whom six died in infancy, but eleven lived well beyond middle age. The names of these were: Ellen (Mrs. Sam Mitchell), John, James, Henry, William, Joseph, Thomas, Eliza Jane (Mrs.Thomas Dowdall), Ephraim, Richard and Mary Ann (Mrs. John McMunn)..

Mary (Harper) Deacon died December 28, 1877, her husband on May 12, 1866. They are buried in the Old Methodist Burying Ground, Robinson Street, Perth.

Jane Harper, born in Ireland in 1805, was the second daughter of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper. She married an Irishman from County Cavan, Ireland, named Thomas McCue (1798-June 18, 1880). Their first location was on the 11th concession of Bathurst, but they found the land was entirely worthless and were compelled
to abandon it after a year or two. McCue bought part of a clergy reserve lot in the 8th concession of Bathurst and here they made their home till their death.

Jane had a severe illness when a young girl and was never robust afterwards, although she lived to a great age. Her husband died on June 18, 1880 at 82 years, and she died on June 4, 1891, aged 86 years, both of senile debility. They
had no children.

Ellen Harper, born in Ireland on January 14, 1810, was the third daughter of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper.On September 3,1833 she married an Irishman, Thomas Gallagher, who was born January 10, 1810, in County Tyrone,near the village of Clogher.

He was one of at least seven children born in the house still known as Fardross. They lived there in their youth andthat is where their mother died.This estate has been in the possession of the Glodstanes for generations. How it was in the possession of the Gallagher family for years is not known. They were possibly charged a small rent to care for the place when the owners did not come to Ireland for a period of years. The family was apparently quite prosperous, as the sons received a much better education than the majority of young men of their day. Two of the sons, James and John, remained in Ireland and some of their descendants are still there. Thomas came to the Perth Settlement in 1829, when 19 years of age.

After their marriage they seem to have lived for a time in Burgess, but soon moved to a farm in Bathurst on the Tay River, a few miles above Perth. Here they began to make a home for themselves, though Thomas was never a successful farmer, nor an expert axe-man, a skill which was very much needed in the clearing of forest land. He seemed to have been expert around the small grist and sawmills of the day and his education made him useful also in the office management of these little enterprises.

A good measure of success attended the efforts of the young couple and their growing family for several years, until they were driven from their home and lost the fruits of their labor. It is not possible at this time to know the whole story
of the disaster that was too common in the early settlement of the country. Land was granted by the Government and at times purchased without careful survey of titles.

The occupants of certain farms in the Perth Settlement found that their titles were irregular. Some had the opportunity of re-purchase at reasonable rates and others had not. Apparently, Thomas had not. Fraud, incompetence and neglect had each a share in the condition but, in every case, the settler was the sufferer. The earnings and the hard labour of the family were all gone. It was an awful blow and one of which they hardly ever spoke. There was a story of neighbourly kindness when this happened. The indignant settlers came to the Gallagher’s and said, “We want you to go to a neighbour’s house and do not come out, nor ask any questions, nor know anything that is going on”. Then,from all about, came the men with their oxen, pulled down the log house, moved it across the river to a new site and there rebuilt it and soon the little home was ready again for the family.

They had eight children:

Thomas (August 20, 1834 – December 1, 1856)

John (January 29, 1836 – December 1, 1856)

Harriet (July 5, 1838 – April 14, 1880) – married James Brown.

Ephraim (March 22, 1840 – September 7, 1858)

William (May 28, 184? – June 4, 1917) – after the death of his brothers, he had to assume much of the burden of the farm, though he was quite young at the time. He never married.

Joshua Adams (July 16, 1844 – October 7, 1917) – married Margaret Linton

James Joseph (July 12, 1846 – January 22, 1928) – married Margaret Robinson .

Henry Deacon (August 16, 1851 – May 5, 1909) – married Ida Holmes and lived in Brockville.There was no farm, but the father was not tied to the land as other settlers and, were it not for anxiety about his growing family, he might have continued in other employment. When his older sons almost reached manhood, he rented a farm in the rear of Bathurst. The family, however, had to pass through greater sorrows than the loss of property.

The two older sons, Thomas and John, aged 22 and 20 years, were drowned together in the Mississippi River on December 1, 1856. The rented farm lay on this stream and the two sons, perhaps not thoroughly acquainted with the river, broke through
the ice. Both were strong swimmers and had broken much ice in their efforts to get out. No one could hear their cries and at last they sank exhausted. Nearly two years later, their next son, Ephraim, died after a long illness on September 7, 1858. Their deaths almost killed the mother and indeed she never fully recovered, though she lived to be a very old woman.

Later, Thomas bought a farm near the little village of Fallbrook, about a mile distant from the one he had rented but he continued to find employment elsewhere. He was a man six feet two inches in height, who never worried, never had a headache, never missed a meal and never had a severe accident and so, at a great age was able to boast that he had never had a spoonful of medicine from a doctor.

Ellen (Harper) Gallagher died in Fallbrook, near Perth, on October 3,1897, when she was 87 years and nine months old. Her husband, Thomas, died four years later on December 22, 1901, when he was nearly 92 years.

Mary Ann (Nancy) Harper, born in Ireland on October 2, 1811, was the fourth daughter of Joseph and Mary (Boyle)

Harper. She married Henry Sleigh (Sly) from South Crosby, on March 12,1835. They had one daughter, Mary Jane Sleigh (December 17, 1836 – July 14, 1910).

Mary Jane married William J. Keays on May 30, 1860 (1833-November 7, 1897). They had the following children:

William J. (1862-1929) – married 1) Angeline Churchill (1861-Apr. 17, 1891) buried Old Methodist Burying Ground

2) Susan Jones.

Annie H. (Mrs. Alfred J. Bell) 1885-1945 – buried in Elmwood Cemetery with her husband.

Ellen Jane (Jennie) (1867-1918) – married 1) E. James Foley 2) Howard Buffam.

Ephraim D.(1871-1911) – married Elizabeth F. McNaughton – buried Elmwood Cemetery.

Minnie M. (Mrs. Frederick Leighton) 1876-1905 – buried in plot with mother, father and brother, Harry.

Henry (Harry) (1879-1952) – unmarried. Buried in Elmwood Cemetery with mother, father and sister, Minnie.

After the death of her husband, Henry Sleigh (Sly/Slye), Nancy married John Bowes on February 27, 1850. It is said he left for the United States the day of their marriage and never returned.

One child, John, was born on June 20, 1850. He married Ann Elizabeth Bell (Sept. 21, 1853 – July 27, 1934).

To them were born three children:

Esther Wilhelmina (Nov. 22, 1878) – married John Crosbie. No children.

Harriet Ann (May 1, 1880 – Mar. 6, 1963) – married Rev. Dawson D. Elliott. No children.

Alfred Anson (Mar. 23, 1883 – Mar. 31, 1965) – 1) Ida Margaret Warren.

2) Margaret Rebecca Wilson.

One daughter, Helen Margaret (Apr. 26, 1943 – Aug. 15, 1945).

For many years, John was assessor in the township of Bathurst and was widely known and respected. He died on November 14, 1931.

Mary Ann (Harper) Sleigh/Bowes died on October 31, 1895. She is buried in a marked grave in Elmwood Cemetery.


HARPER, Ephraim B. M.A. D.D. was born in 1819 in Ontario, was received on trial in 1841 and died in 1902, 1844 Thorold, 1846 E.Flamboro, 1846 Stamford/Niagara, 1851 Bathurst Tp., 1851-1855 Elm St. Toronto West circuit, 1866-1869 Chairman Ottawa, 1870-1872 Norfolk St. Guelph (Wellington Co.)

Ephraim Boyle Harper, the only surviving son of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper, was born the year following the arrival of the family in Canada on January 31, 1819.He married Susannah Street, second daughter of Samuel Street, on May 20, 1846 at her father’s home in Thorold, Ontario. They had eight children, Cecil, Laura, Bertha, Selina (Sept.4, 1852-Nov.11, 1856) and Samuel (Aug. 1847 -Oct. 5, 1849). Only Cecil, Laura and Bertha lived to maturity..

Ephraim was accepted for the Methodist ministry and served almost all the leading pulpits of Methodism in Canada,winning honors in Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic and Syraic, having a working knowledge of fourteen languages. He died on February 6,1902 at the home of his son, Cecil, in Nantasket, Mass., and was buried at Norval, Ontario.

Elizabeth (Bessie) Harper, youngest child of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper, was born in the township of North

Burgess November 5,1820. She moved to the township of Bathurst with her parents about 1832.

Close by the Harper home, on Lot 22, Concession 9 of Bathurst Township, lived Michael Foley and his family, among which was his son, Thomas.

In the year 1834, Thomas Foley (1817-1894) sailed from Ireland with his parents, Michael and Margaret, and his siblings, Matthew (1810), Mary (1815), Catherine (1825-1913), Ann (1825), and Peter (1831). A brother, Patrick, had arrived before them in 1832. A sister, Margaret, was born in Upper Canada, Bathurst Township in 1836.

His father, Michael, was born in County Carlowe about 1783 and his mother, Margaret (Cherfer/Cheverus) was born in County Wexford in 1789. Although in their forties, his parents faced the unknown of this wild country and were looking forward to something better than what they had left in Ireland. After a number of years, an impressive stone
house was built, which stands to this day high up on the hill.

At the age of thirty, Thomas married Elizabeth Harper on May 25, 1847 in St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Perth, in the presence of his brother Patrick and sister Catherine. Although Elizabeth was a Methodist of the Church of England and Thomas was Roman Catholic, the difference in religion was not considered to be a significant factor until much later in life.

Thomas and Elizabeth lived in a log house on Lot 21, Concession 9 next to his father, Michael. They had six sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to maturity.

Ellen, born May, 1848, never married.

John Harper, born August 26, 1849, married Esther Annie Clayton (1860-1929). He died in Innisfail, Alberta on June 3, 1930.

Thomas Harper, born April, 1851, never married. He died November 14, 1887.

Michael Harper, born January, 1853, never married. He died March 31, 1894.

James Joseph, born January, 1855, married a distant cousin, Ellen Jane Keays. He died March 27, 1891.

Matthew Levi, born September 13, 1856, married Jean Orpha McMartin. He left his wife and baby daughter,

Hilda, in Perth to make his way out to Western Canada, taking part in the Klondike Gold Rush a few years later.

He died March 13, 1936 and is buried in Ocean View Cemetery, Burnaby, B.C.

At the time of Thomas Foley’s death on July 25, 1894, there was religious bickering with his sister, Catherine (Foley) Smith, who insisted he be buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery of St. John the Baptist at Perth. Only his wife, Elizabeth, sons Aaron and John, and spinster daughters Ellen and Caroline were mentioned in his will dated June 8, 1893.

Mary Ann, who married George McLellan, was living in Perth at the time of the birth of her son, Laurence, in 1899 but later moved to Vancouver, B.C.

It was on December 29,1899 that Elizabeth (Harper) Foley died after a few days illness from pneumonia. She was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Perth, beside her children Thomas, Michael, James and Eliza Jane. Her son, Aaron,was buried in the same plot at the time of his death from tuberculosis in 1900 and daughter, Caroline, also died from tuberculosis in 1905. Their graves are marked by three tall tombstones, engraved with their names.

Sadly, the family were separated from their father by religion, both in life and death.

Joseph Harper’s first wife, Mary (Boyle) Harper, it would seem, was some years younger than her husband. Her death took place many years before his. His second wife was Mrs. Jane (Bowles) Churchill, widow of Samuel Churchill, of Lanark – who had six children. On March 10, 1835, the marriage was performed by Rev. M. Harris (Bathurst Courier,March 13, 1835). His daughter Mary Ann (Nancy) married Henry Sleigh just two days later, on March 12, 1835.

Joseph Harper and his wife Jane (Churchill) sold the farm at North Burgess to a William McLean on May 13.1841.

They then purchased 66 2/3 acres of Lot northwest 21, Concession 6, in the township of Bathurst on October 2,1843 from a William Glascott for £140.00. Glascott had secured the land from the Crown. When the family moved from North Burgess to the township of Bathurst, the Post Office was named Harper and the hamlet familiarly known as Harper’s Corners.

His wife, Jane, though younger, predeceased him and, when a very old man, he was left without his once substantial property. He died at the home of his daughter, Jane (Mrs. Thomas McCue) on November 21,1874 at the age of 108 years, where she and her sister Nancy had cared for him most tenderly. His death and age are recorded in the United Church Archives, Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa, Ontario.

His remains were interred in the St. James Church burial ground in Perth, Ontario. The Rev. R. L. Stevenson officiated at his funeral service.

At the time of Joseph Harper’s death in 1874, his son Rev. Ephraim Boyle Harper was Wesleyan minister at Port Hope, Ontario. Two of his grandsons were Judge Deacon and Thomas Deacon, MPP for North Renfrew. A nephew, the son of his sister Mary Anne, Rev. William Bennington Curran was minister in the Church of England in Galt, Ontario.

(Pembroke Observer, December 4, 1874).

Received from: Dolores Anderson




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A post office in Bathurst Township, Lanark County, Ontario 7 miles west of
Perth, the county seat, nearest bank and railway point. It contains a
Methodist church and public school. Stage daily to Perth. Pop, 60.

Joseph Warren, Postmaster

Butler John, butcher
Leighton Miles, blacksmith
Marguerat Henry, cabinet maker
Rae George, agricultural implements
Warren Joseph, general store

…from 1898-99 Eastern Ontario Gazetteer and Directory

HARPER, a post settlement in Lanark County, Ontario, 7 miles from Perth, on the C.P.R. It contains 1 Methodist church, school, telephone office, blacksmith shop, cheese factory, 2 stores and 1 private bank. Pop. 60  ...from Lovell’s 1906 Canada Gazetteer

Image result for bathurst township ontarioBathurst Township one room schoolhouse

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)




Jonathon Francis and Margaret Carswell– From Scotland and Ireland to Pakenham

The Sad Tale of the Foley Family–Foley, Harper, Sly, Bowes & Elliott

PATERSON Families of Ramsay Township

James Stewart Ferguson– Lanark County Genealogy


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Number Please? First Telephones of Perth

Number Please? First Telephones of Perth


Picture of the backside of the Perth Hotel looking from North Street down Gore Street. This was picture taken before the fire at the hotel showing the third floor. The building in the foreground once housed the Bell Canada switching office where all the switchboard operators worked.–Perth Remembered

Perth Courier, August 3, 1934

Early Telephones

Forty seven years ago this month in August of 1877 the first list of Perth subscribers to telephone service in a small pocket sized directory that contained the names and addresses of all telephone users in eastern Ontario and Quebec was put out.  At that time there were 19 telephones here.

The limited number of instruments in Perth in 1887 excluded the need for telephone numbers.  Subscribers were then called by name.  A notice prominently displayed in bold type at the bottom of various pages throughout the book advises persons calling that he name of the party wanted should be “spoken with especial distinction to prevent mistakes”.  Another foot note frequently encountered throughout the directory was “do not attempt to use the telephone on the approach of or during a thunderstorm”.  Recalling a feature of the old time telephone appliances the in use in homes and places of business there appeared another note to the effect that “should the transmitter be out of order it is possible to speak through the hand telephone (receiver)”.

The following subscriber lists of August, 1877 recalls the names of prominent citizens and business establishments of many years ago:

Allan House, Gore Street

Allan, J.A., barrister, Gore Street

Bank of Montreal, Gore Street

Canadian Pacific Railway, depot

Court House

Electric Light Company, Gore Street

Elliott and Rogers, barristers, Foster Street

Farmer’s Hotel, Foster Street

Fraser, Dr. H.D., Foster Street

Hale, F.A., barrister, Foster Street

Hicks House, Gore Street

Inland Revenue Office, Gore Street

Kennedy, J.F., dentist, D’Arcy Street

Kellock, Dr. J.D., D’Arcy and Gore Streets

Kellock, J.F., druggist, Gore Street

Malloch, E.G., barrister, Foster Street

Meighen Brothers, merchants, Gore and Foster Streets

Radenhurst, W.H., barrister, Gore Street

It is interesting to note that there were no home or residence telephone here at that time and of the 19 instruments in service in offices and other business establishments, there were five located in law offices.  The late Dr. J.F. Kennedy operated with the title of “agent” in charge of the Bell Telephone Company’s Central office containing the switchboard apparatus and associated equipment located on D’Arcy Street on the same premises occupied by his dentistry parlors.





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Who remembers their two or three-digit phone number and the friendly voice at the end of the line asking “Number Please”?

That all changed September 15th, 1963 when Perth would have one of the most modern dial exchanges in Canada. There were 2,375 phones in Perth at the time. George Thompson, regional Bell Telephone manager provided the following suggestion about the use of the dial telephone: “The most important step is to be certain you have the right number and if you are in doubt consult your new telephone directory. If the number is not listed dial 411 to reach an information operator. Once you are sure of the number pick up the receiver and hold it to your ear. Listen for the dial tone, a steady humming sound. Now you are ready to dial. Place your index finger firmly in the dial opening through which the first figure of the number desired appears. Pull the dial steadily around to the finger stop. Then remove your finger and allow the dial to spin back by itself. Do not try to hurry it for doing so can result in a wrong number. If you finger slips replace the receiver and start over. After you have dialed the figures of the number listen for the signals. A soft intermittent bur-r-r signifies that the calledtelephone is ringing and a buzz-buzz-buzz means that it is busy.”

If you had a party line as many of you would remember you would dial the number, hear the busy signal and they you would hang up then both your own and the called party’s bell would ring. When the ringing would stop that would mean that the called party has answered and you would pick up and answer. We are still on a party line at the cottage at Otty Lake.

When this picture was taken in 1951 there were over 1,600 telephones in service in Perth. The picture shows the operators at their switchboard. Included in the group were operators, Primrose Lindop, Helen Dodds, Constance Horan, Joyce Code and Rhona Huddleston with chief operator Nettie Burke. In 1935 the telephone exchange was located in the Meighen block on Foster street and then moved the building attached to and behind the Perth Hotel at the corner of Gore and North Street.



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.



When the Rent was $100 a Year

When the Rent was $100 a Year




I cut this out as the newspaper was becoming extremely faded and wanted to salvage it.



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Feb 1963, Sat,  Page 35


19146137_1173415156091922_469942509443077013_n.jpgFrom Perth Remembered

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)




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When Crossroads Tearoom and The Barn Bring Downton Abbey to Carleton Place

When Crossroads Tearoom and The Barn Bring Downton Abbey to Carleton Place



Please play this while viewing..


The tea had been sold out for a month…#excitement was in the air


Crossroads Tearoom and  Julia Foley of The BARN – wedding & event venue

brought this spectacular event to Carleton Place. Thank you ladies and gents!


One of my dearest friends who has been with me since my store Flash Cadilac opened in Ottawa (1974- 1995) on Rideau Street. William (Billy) Blais who also has a Christmas CD out this season. Life moves on, but memories do not.



The Red Hat Society Ladies were there.



Had to get them all in.



Everyone arrived wearing their finery.





William Blais with some of the elegant ladies



I met these ladies at the tea and had the best time and we will do this again in May. We have made a date!



Right out of the pages of Downton Abbey



A costume winner on the left.



Photo by William Blais



Erin Rose of Carleton Place and her Mum Pam.



I apologize to Crossroads Tearoom for the empty plates. But that is how great the food was. Sandwiches, scones, quiche, mini meat pies and sweets. What more could you ask for?


Can we talk about the Raspberry Tarts?



Upstairs at the Barn




Thanks to Julie Odin  from The Old Mill Manor for scoring me a ticket as time just flew by.


Julie and I


More elegance



It was over way too soon…



Sarah ‘the servant girl’ finally got to rest. Thanks to everyone for this great event. See you in May!



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Christmas at the Tearoom comes to your home this Holiday Season. Let us cater all of your event and party needs! We offer full turkey dinners, assorted quiche, savoury platters, breakfast platters or dessert trays! Call us today to order yours! 613-267-2152–Crossroads Tearoom


Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoorThe BARN – wedding & event venue This old BARN has a new life. Hosting wedding + events. *4season venue *120 seated capacity *air conditioned *seasonal wood burning fireplaces *ample free parking onsite *in house catering *LCBO Licensed *outdoor/indoor ceremony sites *the hayloft (upper level) *the tack room(main floor) *the lean too(our two tier patio) accessible from both floors *conventions *anniversary parties *weddings *special celebrations *celebration of life






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)




Are You the Perfect Woman?

Women Arrested for Wearing Pants?

Women Smoking Pipes?

The Taber Business College- Women in the 20s

A Tale of Two Women

The Steamboat Picnics on Pretty Island

Are You the Perfect Woman?

Women Arrested for Wearing Pants?

Women Smoking Pipes?

The Taber Business College- Women in the 20s

A Tale of Two Women

When the Past Comes A Haunting- Jessie Comrie


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I Saved the Lives of 29 Men That Day

I Saved the Lives of 29 Men That Day

Perth Courier, April 28, 1911

Reminiscences of Old Perth by Alexander M. Richey

How I came to have 15,000 logs at the time the bridge at Almonte was swept away is easily explained.  I left Fall River with less than 10,000 logs but the firm of Young, Winn and Company of Ottawa purchased all of John Hall’s logs, 6,000 or more and I had agreed to drive them to the mouth of the Mississippi along with my logs.  Hall’s Mills had burned down that spring.  A steam saw mill and a long haul of the lumber to the market could not pay expenses so Hall sold his logs and went back to the square timber trade again.  For the timber trade paid sometimes, the sawed lumber did not at least according to Hall.

Near Old Sly’s 1830


A steam saw mill in those days could not compete with a mill run by water power.  There were nearly a dozen of water rover mills nearer to market then Hall’s was.  His mill was on the north side of the river just above the bridge of the Perth and Lanark Road.  Some 90 years ago a lad named Cameron ran a ferry at this place—they called him the bare foot ferry boy.  But years after he was elected to parliament from the United Counties of Lanark and Renfrew and became Hon. Malcolm Cameron.  I found the firm of Young, Winn and Company to be a staunch friend, honest and upright and liberal in every particular.  They were from the state of Maine.  Capt. Young was the practical man of the firm.  An old river driver as well as a sailor and had been owner and captain of a lumber vessel part of the time.

MIKAN 3372563 Log jam  July, 1883. [132 KB, 760 X 605]

Log Jam 1883

Captain Young was with me from the time I left the mouth of the Mississippi until we got the logs separated into booms; mine for Pontiac Mills and his for Ottawa.  He and all the men except for Pat Green and I were at work clearing out what was called the blind soy but at that time we were forced to use it to get the logs past the Shaw rapids.  The soy in times past had been the outlet of the river but got choked up with drift wood, felled trees, etc.  At one time it had been quite a stream and came out in Fitzroy Harbor quite distinct from the Shaw Rapids.



Photo- Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

The high water in the Ottawa River backed up higher than in the smaller one and sent nearly all the logs down the soy and it was a much better route for the logs in every way.  Green and I were getting a few scattered logs off the bank on the other side of the river; he had got the last one afloat and was polling it out of he current.  I was getting a flatted boom out of the crotch of a tree where it had floated during the freshet.  I heard some splashing but had been so busy with the boom stick that I paid no attention to Green until then.  I looked around and saw Green’s hat floating on the other side of the log.  I shouted for a canoe and swam to the hat.  I noticed air bubbles coming up and I dived down for Green.  He was standing straight up with 15 feet of water above him.  I got him up and onto the log before the canoe got to us.  He was filled with water but if his last breathing had not given me a clue to where he was he would have been past recovery before we got to him.  It took twenty or thirty minutes before he drew a long breath and thirty of us wee using our best skill on him.



Early in the summer of 1852 I was running the Shaw Rapids with a raft of timber and had gotten half the raft over in one trip as the water was high.  We landed at the head of the slide and started back for the other half when down came half a raft of Dunlop’s.  Away out of the channel was a high wind from the southwest. They were headed for the horse shoe falls.  Nothing could save the timber from going over.  My canoe a three and a half fathom bark could save the men.  I landed my men, fifteen of them, on the nearest point and I pulled for the raft in haste and not a moment too soon either for the poor fellows were rowing side oars up stream for their lives.  I tell you, when I got along side the canoe 14 men never embarked in a canoe any quicker in ten seconds.



Photo- Mississippi Valley Textile Museum


I heard the timber crashing over the falls of thirty feet or more.  I had hardly got them landed when another raft of thirty cribs and fifteen men came down the rapids but were blown out of the channel by the wind which was by this time almost a hurricane.  I had started to take my men off the point of land when I saw this raft in as great a danger as that of Dunlop’s men so we turned to the rescue but the pilot, a French Canadian thought he could save his raft and bring it to the slide but very soon he had to give up that idea and he and his men jumped for the canoe and listened to the timber crashing over the falls.  The reason for their trying to run at the time was on account of the high wind.  They were afraid the anchors would not hold the whole raft against the wind and strong current. Well, I saved the lives of 29 men that day and only one man Mr. Dunlop returned thanks and he was not one of those rescued either but thanked me for his men’s lives.


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.



Loggers– Arborists– Then and Now in Lanark County

You Don’t Waltz With Timber on a Windy Day

Smoking Toking Along to the Log Driver’s Waltz


Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

Your Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day

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