Tag Archives: perth

Peter Cram of Beckwith Perth and High Street in Carleton Place

Peter Cram of Beckwith Perth and High Street in Carleton Place

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1920-02-27-01-Almonte Gazette

Brief mention was made last, week of the death of Mr. Peter Cram, one of our oldest and -most prominent citizens, which sad event occurred on the 18th instant, after a brief illness, of heart failure, although he had never fully recovered from the effects of a stroke that he sustained some 18 months previous.

Mr. Cram was born in Beckwith, in January, 1831, being a son of the the late James Cram, whose farm was that at present owned by Mr. Fred M. Cram, and who was a son of one of the earliest of the township’s settlers. The subject of our sketchsipent his early days upon the land, and shortly after the gold find in California joined a party of some half dozen young men from this locality– the Teskeys and Moffatts being of the party—and in 1852 travelled across the continent to the golden state.

A couple of years later he returned and in company with his brother, the late John F Cram built a tannery at Appleton, and made a success of it, later on adding wool-pulling as a branch of their business. While living at Appleton Mr. Cram was married, his wife being Margaret Campbell of Drummond, their marriage taking place in April, 1857.

Five children blessed their fireside, two sons and three daughters. One of the latter died in Perth, at the age of 14 years. The others survive—J. A. C., at home; John W., assistant king’s printer, Regina; Mrs. George Watters (Mary) and Mrs. Wm. Findlay. (Annie)

Mrs. Cram predeceased her husband, passing away in 1909, two years after celebrating their golden wedding. The business partnership at Appleton was dissolved by Mr. J. F. Cram withdrawing and coming to Carleton Place, and some years later Peter sold out and removed with his family to Perth, where they resided for some years, coming to Carleton Place in 1882, and a couple of years later purchasing the property on High Street, on the top of the hill, where his home has since been until the last.

He was a great reader, possessed a wonderful memory and could quote whole sections of history or chapters of the Bible at will He was a versatile writer, and on occasion could use this faculty in a masterly fashion. He always took a keen interest in public affairs, and for many years was a member of the Board of Education and also a member of the town council.

In religion, he was a Presbyterian, and the services at the funeral, which took place on Saturday afternoon were conducted by Rev. Mr. Monds assisted by Rev. Mr. Forsythe.  The pallbearers were four nephews, Messrs. Ro’bt. Cram Westboro; Colin McIntosh, A. E. Cram and F. ‘M. Cram, and Messrs. Ro&t. Patterson and Wm. Baird. Interment w as made in Pine Grove cemetery.

Mr. J. W. Cram arrived from Regina on Saturday morning in time for the obsequies. We will miss the kindly smile and friendly greeting and long in vain to hear the ring of jovial laughter and to feel again his genial presence but with the poet can say

“Cold in dust the perished heart may die, But that which warmed it once can never die.”— From C.C.


A Cyclopaedia of Canadian Biography: Being Chiefly Men of the Time …, Volume 2

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Read the rest at A Cyclopaedia of Canadian Biography: Being Chiefly Men of the Time …, Volume 2

The new fire engine was unable to save the inflammable new tannery and wool pulling plant of John F. Cram and Donald Munro, burned in 1886 with a fire loss of $10,000.

By 1840 Cram families owned seven different lots on Beckwith concessions 10, 11 and 12.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal11 Jan 1900, ThuPage 2



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal22 Mar 1900, ThuPage 7



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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)




Searching for Elizabeth Cram–Updates on Andrew Waugh

James Miller Steam Engine Man from Perth

James Miller Steam Engine Man from Perth




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal10 Jun 1961, SatPage 19


In 1961 all eyes were on James Miller as he drove his 1918 steam engine in the Little League Baseball parade. He was proud of that steam powered tractor and threshing machine that he had purchased a few years back. The last public appearance the old gal had done was she had been displayed at the Toronto Exhibition in 1918.

It’s not that the old gal had not had a good life. Thomas Cullen had initially bought her and she was later used sawing logs for O.P. Dowdall of Perth. After that her engine remained idle. In 1956 necessary renovations began and it cost Mr. Miller way more than the purchase price. All the boiler tubes were replaced and the machine received a complete overhaul. In order to keep the original wheel lugs Mr. Miller designed a special plate type rim to fit over them. He cut the tread portions from old automobile tires and fashioned them to the rims on the machine so  it could be driven over town streets.

At the time of the article in 1961 the steam engine fan’s new project was a horse drawn portable steam engine built in 1900 by the Robert Bell Engine and Thresher Co. Ltd. of Seaforth, Ontario. He purchased at an auction near Leitrum and she was soon to sit side by side with the 1918 steam powered tractor.


If you have any more  information about Mr. Miller and his steam engines, please leave comments so we can add to the story. Thank you!





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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)









PHOTO From Perth Remembered: Threshing Time at the farm of Robert Hendry on the Scotch Line in 1901. Notice the large portable steam engine. Present in the picture are Jim Dennison, Ormond Hossie, John Hendry, Frank Ritchie, Lorne Scott, Jim Steele, Bob Wilson, Jim Munro, Jim Wilson and Robert Hendry, also boys in front Ernie and Gilbert Munro.



From Perth Remembered–Grain Threshing Scene c.1916. This threshing mill was used by Henry Lewis and his son, Walter Lewis, who did custom threshing throughout Drummond Township for several years. The mill was powered by a large Waterloo 20 HP Steam Engine. Wood was used for fuel to fire in the boiler, and it would take about an hour each morning to get up steam pressure to run the threshing mill.




“Thresher Jack” Smithson and his steam engine. Photo courtesy Lanark Archives. (Perth Remembered)



From the Wanda Morrison Lee and Joan Kehoe Photo Collection Allan Stewart of Beckwith– Lorne McNeely collection



Steam engines!! From the Wanda Morrison Lee and Joan Kehoe Photo Collection Stewart Donald and Leonard McNeely



With the Steam Co. in France.

The following is a letter from Second Lieut. H. A. Powell, to his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Lowry, of Pakenham.1918

“At present I am in a very nice place and a good many miles behind the lines. We are busy building roads. My company is all steam so I am right at home. I have thirty steam wagons, fifteen Fodens non-trippers, 13 Sentinel Hydraulic tip and two Garret’s screw tippers. So you see I have a pick and choice. Their capacity is 5 to 8 tons, without trailers. The Sentinel wagons are 70 horse power poppet valve engines. Speed five to twenty miles an hour. Just now we are trying some plan to keep the frost away from the pumps but I think we will succeed. Yesterday I was at a steam conference and arguments were comical, mostly by men who only knew the difference between steam and petrol engines by seeing the smoke and steam.

The weather has been very wet for some time but now it is clear and cold, but not too cold for comfort. I have a very fine billet with a French count, his wife and daughter. They are extra well educated people and much different to most of the people I have met. Well, I suppose you have heard that I got married last 30th Oct. to a girl in London. We had a fine time at the wedding and went to Ventnor, Isle of Wight, for our short trip. We were married in St. Mary’s Cathedral, West Ealing, and then went to lunch at the Frocaden Hotel, supposed to be the finest place in London.

My best man was a Capt. Harry Driver, Bachelor of Science, D.S.O. and M.C., the two bridesmaids were Dimple and Winnie Middleton, daughter of a multi-millionaire. Their father is manager of the Universal Motor Co., Universal Insurance Co. (automobiles), and a large stockholder in the Phoenix Life Insurance Co. He gave us our lunch, also supplied all the cars to take us to church and back. Flo has been his secretary for ten years and two months. She still goes up two days a week to look after the paying of the men and do the banking. I expect to leave here some time soon to take over the duties of workshop officers at a base shop. I will be in charge of repairs to Caterpillar and Foster Daimler engines. I have passed all my tests as a work shop officer and the knowledge will be very useful in civil life. It is hard to say when we will finish up out here but I may be home in the fall of 1919. Fighting may finish next fall but it is hard to say.”



Photos!! Who is With These Steam Engines?

Glory Days of Carleton Place–So What Happened to the Moore Steam Engine?

The Old Steam Engine Tractor on Mullet Street

Hissing Steam, Parades and a 1930 Hearse–Pioneer Days Middleville

Entertainment in Rural Towns–Dancing Bears and Monkeys?

Entertainment in Rural Towns–Dancing Bears and Monkeys?





The Middle class Victorian families were at always happy at leisure in their drawing rooms or parlours playing chess backgammon or some other game board singing around their expensive upright pianos.

The Victorians had an appetite for the exotic and the strange, no doubt about it. They wanted novelty like the strange vaudevillian shows and feature presentations. They found joy in strolling entertainers around town such as dancing bears, *monkeys, the fire eaters and the jugglers. I have read many times that sometimes the Vaudevillian shows staying in our towns would provide a free street show at lunchtime… or some even sat in windows demonstrating their talents.

In October of 1887 a performing bear was listed as causing chaos in Lanark County. The postmaster of Perth shared his home with a travelling performer with his dancing bear. The postmaster accommodated the Bruin with a bed in the barn being careful to make sure he was chained at the stake.

In the small hours the bear got loose and went on a foraging expedition killing hens, skimming milk pans, and eating butter on the host’s supper table. The postmaster hearing a noise came down the stairs in his robe de nuit to see what was going on. When the two met face to face the Bruin hit down after feasting on the milk and butter. The postmaster escaped but his garment was rent. The bear’s owner was  made to leave quickly after that and the postmaster demanded  he had to pay $10.




Lewis and Wardrobe Hippolympian appeared many times at The Chatterton House Hotel.  They performed songs and choruses, acrobatic and gymnastic feats, contortions etc. The Carleton Place Herald reported that Lewis and Wardrobe also  formed themselves into a brass band and performed in the town streets wherever they went. Nothing but talented, unique, and beautiful people.–Part 6-The First Mosh Pits in Carleton Place — The Opera House of the Chatterton House Hotel


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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)




Monkeys Create Chaos in Carleton Place

The Day the Hypnotist Came to Carleton Place

Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Carleton Place

Mrs. Jarley’s Wax Works -Creepy Entertainment

Mrs Jarley and her Waxworks Hits Lanark– and they call me strange:)

The Killarney of Canada in Lanark County

John Sparrow’s Royal Parilion – Chatterton House Hotel Carleton Place

Ontario’s Version of the Marks Bros-Tales of the Queen’s Hotel




Among the Strangers There Was…

Among the Strangers There Was…





Perth Courier, Jan. 8, 1897


The “At Home” given by the young men of Perth in the town hall on the night of December 30 was the social event of the season and was a most brilliant and successful affair in every particular.  The young men and especially the few on the committee who arranged and managed everything deserve infinite credit and the sincere thanks of those present for the completeness of the arrangements and the attention given to details and the attention and courtesy shown to guests.

The fine hall was beautifully decorated with flags, drapings and many colored festoons and brilliantly lighted with incandescent lamps; the floor was well waxed and the rest seats at the back converted into a terraced dias covered with fur rugs and elegant sofas and chairs.  The supper was spread on the stage and was a rich and bountiful repast provided by the ladies of the town interested in the “At Home”.

The music was furnished by the orchestra of the Governor General’s Foot Guards of Ottawa.  Guests were present from all the neighboring towns and from the Royal Military College, Kingston, from the Ottawa, Toronto, Gananoque, etc. and no such gathering of fair women and gallant young men has been seen in our midst for many years.  The dresses of the ladies were distinguished by their taste and beauty and many by their rare costliness.  We give a list of the ladies:

The Lady Patronesses:  Mrs. McLaren, Mrs. William Meighen, Mrs. Senkler, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Drummond.

The Debutantes:  Misses Mary Hall, Jean Drummond, Jessie Taylor

Brides:  Mrs. H. Rudyard, Boulton, Gemmill, Allen, R.J. White, C. Gordon, Edwards.

Among the Strangers: ( I found this hillarious when I read it.)

Mrs. J.D. Molson, Smith’s Falls; Mrs. James Whyte, Almonte; Misses S. Wylie; Laura Ferguson of Smith’s Falls’; Aida Ferguson, Mary Wood, Florence Gould, Laura Taller of  Ottawa, Lidyard of Toronto

Some of those noticed belonging to Perth:

Misses McLaren, Mary McLaren, Kathleen McLaren, Edith Taylor, Mary Campbell, Mrs. De Hertel, Mrs. Malloch, Miss Malloch, Miss Mary Shaw and Miss Kathleen Shaw, Miss Senkler, Miss Denny, Mrs. Muckleston, Mrs. Berford, Miss B. Armour, Miss Jessie Henderson, Miss L. Henderson, Mrs. Lees(?), Misses Laura Meighen, Mabel Meighen, B. Drysdale, Jessie Hart, Isabel Hart, Edith Drummond, Carrie Drummond, Glossop, Maud Munro, Gertie Munro, Lister, Balderson, M. Bell, Agnes Bell, M. Campbell, Hattie Meighen, Ethel Meighen, Hogg, Edith Wright, Mrs. Fowler, Mrs. R. McCarthy, Mrs. John Wilson, Mrs. J.R. Mitchell.





PERTH WOMEN’S CLUB 1897. Perth Remembered–Not sure if this is a picture of a Women’s Arts Club or Women’s Temperance Club. Temperance Clubs and meetings were very prevalent during this time in Perth and Lanark County. On the back of the photo there is N.A.7 Club or W.A.T. Club indicated in handwriting so it is hard to decipher. Members in the photo were young women of Perth, daughters of familiar families and merchants in Perth. M. Bell, President, Carrie Drummond, Vice President, Florence Whalitey, Vice President, Eleanor Senkler, Mary Campbell, Secretary, Katherine Beach, Julia Senklar, Edith Drummond, Clara Armstrong, Flora Shaw, Jesse Henderson, Carrie Armstrong, Jessie Hart, Ethel Whyte, Mary Shaw. Thanks to Molly Sinclair for sending in this amazing piece of Perth’s history.



Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ 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.



The Home Guard of Carleton Place

The Art Loan Gallery Perth 1907-Names Names Names

The Art Loan Gallery Perth 1907-Names Names Names

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Perth Library, c1907, Archives of Ontario


Perth Courier, April 2, 1897

The Art Loan Gallery:  This select entertainment came to a close on Monday night and to those who attended one or more times it was very satisfactory.  It gave the people an idea of what good pictures by professional painters looked like and what good paintings our local artists could do.  Unfortunately, the attendance was not as large as generally as to encourage the directors of the public library or the committee to persist in getting such displays of art as this with all the care, trouble etc., involved to educate and amuse the public.  The committee is indebted to a great many owners and artists for the loan of their valuable property and we should say that no better display could be made by any other town in the Ottawa district.  Among the artists and owners of the exhibits were:






1)John Hart, oil paintings by Miss Hart—oil painting of grapes by William Hart all of high merit and some fine water colors by Jacobi and Coleman.

2)Henry Taylor—Some high class water colors by Verner, G.Harlow White and Fraser and an oil painting by Jacobi.

3)Hon. Peter McLaren—A large number of water colors by *Jacobi and Bell-Smith among them being views of the high falls of the Mississippi River, Frontenac County, by Jacobi; oil painting by Jacobi (upper Mississppi and the Clyde River in this vicinity); and a large and costly oil painting by Goutois; also two will executed pictures by Dr. T.W. Beeman of this town one of them being a sunset scene on the Rideau.

4)R.J. Drummond contributed a number of collections of water color paintings, chiefly his own and mostly views of this locality which were much admired.  The high falls, Mississippi, Tay River scene near Thompson Bridge and Ottay Lake all received lasting notice from his brush.  He also showed water colors by Jacobi and Humme and a beautiful picture in oil of the Lover’s Retreat in the rear of the Parliament building in Ottawa by Miss Parris of the capital city.

5)Dr. T.W. Beeman was also a very large exhibitor all except a water color by Verner being his own productions.  Those of his that were loaned by others made the collection from his brush a large and desirable collection.  Among his best were “On the Tay Near Glen Tay”, “Wild Grasses” and some landscape scenes all of which brought out the strong artistic genius of the doctor.  Among those who loaned his pictures were Mrs. (Hon.) Peter McLaren, Mrs. (Judge) Senkler, Mrs. J.T. Henderson, Mrs. J.F. Kellock, Mrs. Boulton, Miss Shaw, Miss Drysdale, Mr. F.S. Campbell and Dr. Wilson.

6)Miss Waddell exhibited several choice oil paintings from her own brush among them being two portraits of “Young Girl”, and “Old Man” also “Fruit and Andirons”, the latter being a prize taker at an exhibition of paintings.  These were all worthy of Miss Waddell’s acknowledged merits as an artist.



Robert Pilot–Perth Ontario

St. John’s, Newfoundland, 1898-1967, Québec

7)E.G. Malloch showed three paintings:  “The Cavaliers Return”, “St John the Baptist—An Allegory” and “Rocks in Autumn”.  The first two were Italian pictures and very old.

8)Col Matheson had two fine oil paintings.

9)Mrs. James Burgess had a collection of pictures in oil.

10)Mrs. A.C. Beach had a number of the same, the work of *McGillivray Knowles, one of which was “A Study on the Tay”.



The riverside walk–*McGillivray Knowles


11)Mrs. W. Moore and Mrs. (Gemmell) Allan showed several oil paintings.

12)Miss Nellie Munro showed a collection of her own pencil and palette crayon and oil paintings creditable for an amateur.

13)Miss Mary Walker, Miss Riddell, Miss Christina Holliday and Miss M.J. Wilson had oil paintings done by themselves.

14)Miss Thompson and Miss Annie McCann also exhibited paintings in their own handiwork.

15)A portrait of F.A. Hall by Sawyer in 1881 contrasted strongly by the march of years with a photograph of himself taken lately by his daughter Mary.

16)Portraits by Field, a Perth artist of merit in the lang syne of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Douglas, the late Mr. and Mrs. A. Kippen and larger one of Sheriff Thompson painted 35 years ago brought back old remembrances.



Woodland Waterfall – 1916 Tom Thompson


17)Two costly oil paintings by Thompson and Elson, eminent Canadian artists of cattle and landscape loaned by Robert Meighen of Montreal were the cynosure of all eyes.

18)Mrs. J.T. Henderson showed a fine large oil painting of Milton dictating his poems to his daughter.

19)The renowned artist G. Broenuch sent up a very large collection of water colors which were the finest feature of the gallery.  They were of various shades of merit and the more costly ones were gems which made one sigh for a long pocket book.  One representing scenes of the northern Norwegian coast “Midnight on the Coast of Fumarken—Effect of the Midnight Sun” showing the vivid red of the sun on a picturesque headland was greatly admired.

20)Miss Ella Fraser of Kingston sent many oil paintings for sale which we hope found customers.

21)Miss Poole showed quite a number of pencil drawings and water colors and a life size portrait of Mr. W. H. Grant, governor of the gaol painted by one of the prisoners whose genius could not keep him from behind prison bars, which painting attracted much attention.

22)Robert Jamieson showed crayon drawings.

23)G.E. Armstrong, Miss McKinley and Miss McLenaghan (Toronto), portraits and figures in pencil work.

24)Mr. Kelsey made a show in his own photographs and enlarged photographs by the A.U.W.(?) of their master workmen for some years back, which stood against the wall.



Hon. John Haggart

25)Mr. T. H. Marks (Tom the Comedian) sent beautiful photographs of a laughing baby Marks and a colored life size photograph of Hon. John Haggart, which was an excellent portrait of the member for South Lanark.

26)A number of large and striking steel engravings added greatly to the exhibit and a large number of drawings from the books of the pupils of the Perth public school which showed care and skill were attractions as well.

27)Miss Lever exhibited some exceedingly well done samples of decorative work; some of them original.

28)Miss Laura James showed excellent exhibits of pen scroll work and ink drawings.




29)Cartoons from Hunter of the World, Racey and Wilson(?)Wilner(?) and the inimitable Benogough of the Globe came all the way from the cities.

30)J.P. McDonald (once of Bathurst), proprietor of the Spencerian Business College of Montreal had several frames full of the most exquisite pen scrollings, pictures and penmanship.

31)On the stage were a number of cases containing china hand painting and carving.  A box, knives, etc., from the cunning hand of our stalwart friend John Brown, carved during his residence at Christie’s Lake, showed great skill for an amateur.

32)Mary Campbell of Drummond had a display of wood carvings of various types, of knives, etc., in oak, cherry, and mahogany which were truly admirable in execution.

33)Mrs. (Hon) Peter McLaren showed a unique specimen of Chinese carving.

34)Mrs. (Gemmell) Allan showed carvings in ivory and wood.

35)Mrs. R.J. Drummond showed small statuary.

36)Miss Hart and her pupils had a collection of hand painted china.

37)Miss Mary Hall, Miss Isobel Hart, Miss C.M. Drummond, Mrs. T.A. Code and Miss Maggie Armour also showed specimens of this delicate and beautiful work.





McGillivray Knowles-Click here

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ 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.


Looking for the Artist of this Carleton Place Painting

The Female Artist from Carleton Place That Never Went Viral

The Wall Mysteries of Lake Ave East -Residential Artists

October 13, 1977 George W. Raeburn of Lake Ave East— Artist and C. P. R. Man

House of Industry Athens Farmersville

House of Industry Athens Farmersville






East of Athens along Highway 42 is a mass grave site associated with the House of Industry as it operated from 1895 until 1946 housing the sick, elderly or poor. The gravesite is currently marked by a large stone simply reading “Pioneers of Leeds & Grenville 1895 – 1946”. The original plans for the burial site included space for over 480 individuals in specific areas of the site however it is unclear if these plans were ever followed.


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Photo–Created by: gravehunter


Over one hundred graves are located here, of those who lived at the House of Industry between the aforementioned years and whose bodies remained unclaimed after death. For many years it was unclear where the graves were precisely located, as absolutely no records were kept and no grave markers were placed at the time.



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Photo–Created by: gravehunter


The mass grave became abandoned in 1946 when the House of Industry came under new management who deemed the burial practices being used as undignified. A plot was then reserved in Glen Elbe cemetery for the unclaimed dead. In recent years, the long-neglected cemetery has been cleaned up and a fence was built around the stone memorial. A cooperative effort between local genealogical societies has recently discovered the approximate boundaries of the burial plot by dowsing for grave site


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Photo–Created by: gravehunter


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 Click here—House of Industry Burial Grounds List








Mr. Willoughby was called by telephone to Athens on Wednesday last by the council of that town. Some months ago the fine high school there was burned—a school which made Athens famous. The ratepayers were torn apart by mass of dissension over the problem whether to use the old walls or start anew from the ground.

Mr. Willoughby built the school forty-eight years ago—before most of us were born—and, as his name still retains the savour of architectural excellence, it was decided to invite his opinion. On Thursday he made a thorough inspection, and was able to report at a public meeting in the town hall that evening that the walls were in perfect condition and were capable of infinite and enduring power. It is probable he will be asked to supervise the reconstruction.— April 7 1905


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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)




Did You Know About the House of Industry?

Monument erected to honour 400 buried in unmarked grave

Farmersville 1859 County Directory (Athens)

The Old Woman Who Walked From Perth?

The Old Woman Who Walked From Perth?



A number of Catholic institutions were clustered around St.Patrick’s Church, a hall, an asylum for the elderly, and an orphans’ home.–Urbsite


Catherine Kelly of Perth was arrested in the 2nd week of May 1898. Why was she arrested? Well, here is her story.


With a faded brown shawl wrapped around her shoulders and wearing a black bonnet and dress Mrs. Catherine Kelly from Perth walked into the Ottawa Police Department that week of May in 1898. With slow steps and a feeble voice the 70 year-old  told the officers that she had walked from Perth to gain admittance to the *St. Patricks Asylum/Home.

The old woman told Constable Joliet after he had found her wandering along Elgin Street that she had walked 100 miles from Perth and it had taken her over a month to complete her journey. She said she collapsed on Richmond Road and a stranger had picked her up and taken her to a nearby farm for nourishment.
Mrs. Kelly’s husband had died 10 years previous and she instantly became penniless and had to live with distant relatives. She grew weary she said of bad treatment and had decided to make her to Ottawa to St. Patricks but they had refused her. The old woman slept in the cell over night and was provided food.

The next day her story began to unravel. Apparently the farmer from Richmond had driven her to Ottawa the day she got picked up on Elgin Street. She did indeed get admitted to St. Patrick’s before but she had made such a disturbance they had asked her to leave.  On fact she had been taken in twice before and left on her own free will.The woman was considered  by the nuns unruly and addicted to the use of bad language.

I don’t know about you but after looking at the St. Patrick’s ‘home’ and everyone abandoning me I might have used bad language too.


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MIKAN no. 3319467 St. Patrick’s Asylum, Ottawa, Ontario. October 1874, Ottawa, Ontario – corner of Maria & Kent Credit: Topley Studio Fonds / Library and Archives Canada / PA-059228




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*St. Patrick’s Orphanage and Asylum was founded in 1865 as “a House of Refuge for the Irish poor.” It was established by an Association of Members of St. Patrick’s Church (Kent St, Ottawa), and was run by the Grey Sisters of the Cross. It housed orphaned children and homeless elderly persons. The original building (corner of Laurier Avenue and Kent St) was torn down years ago, but there is still a St Patrick’s Home in Ottawa (Riverside Drive)

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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)



“Dominique, nique, nique s’en allait tout simplement”–The Pembroke Grey Nuns


I am a Laundry Girl

Women in Peril– Betrayed by Heartless Scoundrels 1882

The Home for Friendless Women