Tag Archives: photograph

Love in a Photograph–Linda Knight Seccaspina

Love in a Photograph–Linda Knight Seccaspina
My son Perry and his daughter Romi

Love in a Photograph–Linda Knight Seccaspina

Today I received this photo of my youngest son and his brand new baby daughter. I can feel the love between the two oozing out of the photograph. It seems like yesterday he was a small boy himself and I remember the falls, the accidents and the worries that he will have to endure with his two daughters.  But, he will also have the memories, the laughter and the stories to remember just as I have now……

Aug. 6th, 2006 at 10:38 AM

Around 2:30 am this morning a large shadow lurks inside the doorway of my bedroom and wakes me up.

“Mom, Mom, have you got any tweezers?”

Mothers have to be prepared, but somehow I think I can be excused if I am not carrying tweezers in my PJ pocket at that time of the morning. The son shows me his hand that has swollen up very badly. Seems he got mixed up with some brambles and thorns on his ATV, and it is definitely causing some sort of infection.

I look for Benadryl, and within seconds he can’t move his hand and the swelling is worse. I said, 

“Let’s go to the hospital”. 

Now, it’s not a long journey mind you, about two blocks down the street, but the “production” must begin. I have to get dressed, haul the car out without waking up the dogs and everyone else in the house, and worry every second hoping he will be okay.

Emergency is like a ghost town, no one there, except for one lone lady at the desk. She eyes us with irritation as we disturb her reading and asks us what’s wrong. I show her my son’s hand and she asks if he has taken Benadryl. With his hand now swollen up like The Incredible Hulk I want to scream that we are beyond that at this point. 

When asked to produce his health card the son has of course lost his health card and yet another hospital card. She asks if he has ever been here before. At that point I want to laugh and say,

“Yes, actually, he has been here so much as a child the doctors said they were going to name a wing after him”.

The nurse tells him to come into the emergency section and I hear Larry King interviewing Kathy Griffin on the waiting room TV.  I tell him to go by himself, as if he is old enough to drink and vote he’s good! I figure if I have to be up at 3am I might as well enjoy myself, and I am actually considering it “a Saturday night out” at this point. 

I don’t want to seem callous, but I have been through every disease and injury of the week with this son, so I know I can watch television in peace here. He will definitely pull through with a huge Hallelujah and some sort of prescription.

Thirty minutes later a doctor in scrubs walks by me half asleep hardly able to open his eyes. They had to call someone to come in, as someone went home sick. He looks at me with one eye open and bangs into the door frame–yes, my son will get good care here.

Ten minutes later the son comes out with a prescription for the infection. He is told the thorn is in deep and not to take it out just yet. The Larry King interview is over, we leave and drive the two blocks home.  By the time we pull into the garage he is almost asleep and I am wide awake with tears coming down my face relieved that he is okay. 

Being a parent can be a frustration sometimes— it’s like using a blender with no top on it, but you make do. Then you remember that years ago– both your sons’s first breaths took yours away–and it still does. You never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves–just like this photograph.

From Dublin to Drummond- Mahon Family Reunion — The Series –Part 4 — The Family Photograph!!!!

From Dublin to Drummond- Mahon Family Reunion — The Series –Part 4 — The Family Photograph!!!!

Please play While Viewing



Okay, there’s no single secret trick. If only it were that easy! So many Mahons, and at one point it was right and left, and there were the slow walkers, and those who just wanted to get it over… but this is what happened and they did it well.


The Pink Mahons– Descendants of:



And there were only two from Orange County Ca. Cheryl Moss said: 

“I took Janet and Jim Miles who came up from LA, Calif., out to the homestead of her great-great-grandfather Thomas who came from Ireland.  A few buildings remain, not in good shape after 190 years but Janet was able to feel the logs he hand cut to build his home.  It was very emotional for her and she was soooooo grateful.  The smile on her face, her laughter meant so very much to me”.  


The Yellow Mahons— Descendants of:



I got out JUST in time to catch them dispersing from the group shot. But here they were.


The Green Mahons–— Descendants of:


Now, this was a crowd– how they got together in one bunch I will never know.. but they did it and it did not take a long time.

First Try






Second Attempt








The Final Product- Well done everyone!!



My Photograph

The only Mahon to compete in the Perth Kilt Run


So– do the Irish wear kilts? Though the origins of the Irish kilt continue to be a subject of debate, current evidence suggests that kilts originated in the Scottish Highlands and Isles and were worn by Irish nationalists from at least 1890 onwards and then cemented from the early 1900s as a symbol of Gaelic identity.

More tomorrow


Stay tuned for more as:

All are welcome, all are welcome,

All are welcome in this place.



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

From Dublin to Drummond- Mahon Family Reunion — The Series –Part 1

From Dublin to Drummond- Mahon Family Reunion — The Series –Part 2

From Dublin to Drummond- Mahon Family Reunion — The Series –Part 3

A Time of its Own– The Mystery Photo

A Time of its Own– The Mystery Photo




I finally have in my hand the death notices of the Gillies family and feel like I have been entrusted to find out as much as I can about each one of them. The death notice of John Stark Gillies was tucked away with a photo of a woman whose image had been taken in Washington D.C. Who was this person? No matter how hard I tried I could not seem to find a Gillies who lived in that part of the world. So while some of this story about the life of John Stark Gillies is factual, the woman’s life is not and remains a mystery.

On the 23rd of October 1938 John Stark Gillies, age 70, president of the Gillies Company was reported to have had a heart attack at the stroke of midnight. Widely recognized in all parts of the lumbering business, the late J. S. Gillies was president of a family business that bore his name and that of his grandfather, father and brothers.

John was born in Carleton Place in 1868, a son of the late James Gillies and Eleanor Ackland and was educated in the local public and High School and later attended Queen’s University in Kingston Was this woman a friend from his educational days that he had maintained contact with throughout the years?

I envisioned this Edwardian soap-and-water beauty unassuming and funny and actually felt her spirit tripping over something at John’s funeral with her soft laughter heard throughout the building.

On October 9th,1920 John married Margaret Russell of Arnprior who I am sure was aware or was friends with this woman. I looked for signs in the photo and wondered why she was unmarried or had she been? Was she simply a spinster friend of the family?

John Gillies took great interest in the affairs of the Braeside community which was made up mostly of Gillies employees. From that first sawmill that was erected above the village of Lanark on the Clyde branch of the Mississippi in 1842 to later moving to Carleton Place family history was made.

In 1853, Peter MacLaren became a partner of the Gillies and the firm became known as the Gillies and MacLaren Company. The second timber limit was acquired by the company, the Gilmour Limit on the Mississippi River in 1862. To cut the timber for this second limit, a second mill was opened in 1866 in Carleton Place. There the firm operated under the name of Gillies and MacLaren and this quiet but studious deep thinking man was known to have 100s of volumes of books in his library. Did this friend of his past spend occasional summer nights with the family reading books and discussing the affairs of the world?

The death of John Stark Gillies brought a profound loss to his hundreds of friends, not only in Braeside, but throughout the Ottawa Valley. Gillies always had great concern for his employees and was said to have no human failings by friends. What advice, would this woman in the photograph doled out to him if she had the chance to be at his deathbed?



Gillies Grove and House National Historic Site of Canada–412 Gillies Grove–Arnprior, Ontario


The newspaper article said more than 70 cars left his late Braeside residence for Arnprior the day of his funeral  to where his interment occurred. Beautiful floral tributes covering areas from floor to ceiling filled Mr. Gillies home. The funeral parlour car was filled to the top with tributes and the cortege followed by many people on foot who slowly left the home for services.

In imagining the mystery female sitting in the sixth row at his funeral, I could see myself in this woman. She had lived a small life, as do most of us, but the world she carefully assembled was rich and meaningful in ways she never grasped, and John S Gillies appreciated her being in his life.

As the pallbearers: Robert Campbell, Brodie and Allan Gillies, and nephews Arnold  and Kenneth Muirhead  walked solemnly into the church carrying the body of John Stark Gillies you noticed that she didn’t quite fit into the family’s lifestyle. I could detect that she was holding something back in the old faded photo now sitting beside my computer.

Among the 100s of floral tributes that grazed the church her single flower revealed that it just didn’t take much for her to make a difference every day. Maybe she didn’t get to say goodbye and tell John how much his friendship meant due to the abrupt timing of his death. There is a lesson there as she probably didn’t need to say anything because her daily life was a kiss of love to all.

Three brothers and sisters remained after he died as well as his wife.  Siblings A. J. Gillies, G. A. Gillies, D. A. Gillies, Mrs. W. J. Muirhead, Mrs. N. S. Robertson and Mrs. K. C. Campbell remained to carry on the Gillies traditions.

I imagined that in the end she was just someone who once bought a ticket to the world of being friends with John Stark Gillies. She is you and she is us and she endured the most painful goodbye of words never explained or said.
But now I’ve come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
Oh, I want the truth to be said
I know this much is true



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)




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  05 Jul 1910, Tue,  Page 1



The Lost Gilles Family Ephemera Rescued

The Sad Tale of Alexander Gillies and Peter Peden

Channeling John Gillies


The Short but Illustrious Life of Dr. Daniel Muirhead

What Was it Like Living in Beckwith 1800s? Christina McEwen Muirhead

Christena McEwen– The Belle of Beckwith Part 1 -“The Woodcocks”

Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

Was a Boldt Castle Boathouse Once in our Midst? See the Home of the Daphne!

He Hailed from Carleton Place– Harold Box– The Forgotten Scientist?

“Bossin’ Billy” McEwen Muirhead –Box family

McLaren Left it All to the McLeod Sisters–His Maids!

Every Hammock Has a Story




Here’s to the hammock, the woven string bed and fixture of our pasts. To beach runs and stubbed toes and life out in the backyard. The hammock slowly fell apart,and just like our past friends slowly drifted apart. Our life changed, we grew up. It may seem like a hammock can turn people away because it is a “personal possession” but I see it as an object that people can enjoy together and share with others.”

At the new Carleton Place and Beckwth Heritage Museum display opening March 21st, we celebrate Beckwith’s own Annie Elexey Duff. She was born in 1873 at Oreno Villa, the Duff family home on the shore of Mississippi Lake. Annie was a fascinating woman – a naturalist, painter and avid photographer. As a teenager she worked for Samuel J. Jarvis, an Ottawa photographer, and later spent time working as an illustrator for Vogue Magazine in New York City in the early 1900’s. The Museum’s upcoming summer exhibit will be displaying many of Annie‘s photographs and paintings and exploring local history through her eyes (and lens!).

Drop in to the Museum and see our new exhibition “The Art of Annie E. Duff, Beckwith Photographer and Painter”. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sundays 1 pm – 4 pm.

267 Edmund Street

Carleton Place, ON

(613) 253-7013
Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum 



Photo by —Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum