Tag Archives: photography

The Devil Went Down to the PUMPKINFERNO!

The Devil Went Down to the PUMPKINFERNO!



So what do you think? I was taking pictures at night while waiting in line to get to Pumpkin Inferno and this appeared in my photo! Unedited. Most likely just a light reflection, but because it has a shape I really wondered about it! It is Halloween! Tammy Jordan photo


The Climax of Action at Crysler’s Farm by Adam Sherriff-Scotts

I would call the area next to Upper Canada Village called Chrysler Farm a sacred site. “The dismantling of the St. Lawrence Campaign during the War of 1812 was a two-step process. The first part was the Battle of Châteauguay in Lower Canada. The second part and the subject of today’s post was Crysler’s Farm. On November 11, 1813, John Crysler’s farming fields became the site of the decisive battle that marked the end of the attempt to capture Montreal.

The two sides met on a Crysler’s fields on the morning of November 11th. Since Morrison had picked the battleground, he was able to choose better positions for his men. To even get to the battlefield, the American troops were forced to make their way through two large ravines. Then they had to cross the actual field itself, which was muddy due to early morning rain and it was littered with split-rail fences”. The Battle of Cryslers Farm

The battlefield is a sacred place that few ventured near in days gone by. Medicine Men were known to sleep by them fasting for a long time until an evil creature came out so they could cast it out. I think the aboriginal people had it right, as if you think carefully to wars past, almost all were started by someone evil.

Near Crysler Farm it was said that a 3 month old baby was picked up by one of the soldiers as she was strapped to the back of her dead Mother. That soldier adopted the wee child fearing for her welfare and reared it as his very own.

Although the child never remembered what happened to her she inherited a notable trait– afraid of her own shadow. To those who have studied aboriginal culture this is an odd thing as most natives regard shadows as the ghost of another person. The aboriginals are obliged to respect nature, rocks, deer and the sun and the moon and so on. They say each of them carry a multitude of ghosts on either side of them in tribute. None the less spirits of any kind are very real to them. Every native has its ghost or devil place which are haunted localities. One of them seems to be the area Tammy Jordan took the above photograph.

That a malicious spirit or a form of the devil lives in this area is indisputable because practically every member of that aboriginal band that lived nearby had seen it. Stories were told that they used to go in number, hold hands and chanted while they waited for him to appear. From my point of view the red thing seen in the photograph has a tangible shell which contained a potency of some type of spirit. It was a definite malevolent spirit that goes flying about.

In the Indian mythology nearly every ghost seen near a battlefield is descended from from an ancestral giant of ferocious and dangerous attributes which was finally killed by some tribal heroe. As that little native girl that was adopted after the Crysler Farm war would learn years later, you just can’t run from the shadows– but you can invite it to dance. Like Tammy Jordan did taking photos.



Award-winning Pumpkinferno returns featuring a selection of specially designed Canada 150 themed pumpkin-carved displays! This mesmerizing installation of artist-inspired, glowing pumpkins is a not-to-be-missed event for ALL ages!

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.


The Next Time You Bite into Laura Secord– The Sweet Facts


Assassinated Gossip about Lincoln, Payne and the Thousand Islands

Murder on Maple Island

The Tale of a Pirate named Bill Johnston with Pirate Dog Supermodels

The Lost Island– Now You See it- Now You Don’t!

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The Lost Gillies Family Ephemera Rescued

The Lost Gillies Family Ephemera Rescued

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All photos by squeakyc

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Read the story here:The Sad Tale of Alexander Gillies and Peter Peden–The 1878 notice is for the drowning of Alexander M. Gillies 21 and Peter Peden 22 who drowned on September 17th while duck hunting at night near Black Point in the lower Mississippi Lake.

Funeral notices and newspaper clippings of the Gillies family from Carleton Place. They date from 1878 to 1935.

The others all relate to other members of the Gillies family. Notices are for Mary C. Gillies, James Gillies, William Gillies, John Gillies, Eleanor Ackland wife of the late James Gillies, Ellen Gillies, Miss Christina Gillies, George Henry Gillies, Edna Mary Gillies and others.
They were a very prominent and important family in the Carleton Place area and were heavily involved in the lumber business, leaders in industrial growth and politics. This is a great piece of Lanark history and am sad to say it was being sold to the general public on EBay. The group lot never sold so I just wrote an email to the seller so hopefully I can get ahold of this and save it.
UPDATE– This is now been rescued and I should be getting it in a few days.. I had historical  nightmares about this.

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)


For the Love of Money-Gillies Gilmours and the McLarens

Life Inside and Out the Gillies House –Photos 1910

The Gillies Home in the Ghost Town of Herron’s Mills

Ring Those Bells in Carleton Place– Wylie’s Woolen Mill

Channeling John Gillies

The Great Gatsby’s of Lanark County?

Fires in Carleton Place–James Gillies House

Spring at the Gillies Bridge

The Media Then and Now–Johnny Gillies Had a Gun

Other Lost Families

The Aitkenhead Family at 20 Frank Street in Carleton Place

Are These Memories Just for Ourselves? — The Family in a Box

Does Photography Remove Your Soul?


I used to love the very few times I got to spend with my mother before she died. When she was out of the hospital on her good days; we used to roam the forgotten cemeteries in the countryside. My father sat shaking his head in his old Ford reading his Perry Mason paperbacks as he watched us read one crumbling stone after another.


Almonte cemetery- photo Linda Seccaspina

I will never know why she had such a fascination for these places but she always reminded me it was important to remember the dead as their families soon forget about them. So one day, long after she had passed, I started collecting antique portraits of the deceased at country auction sales.



I gave them names and created stories because like my mother; I wanted them to know someone cared. My favourite picture is a huge Victorian mourning shadow box from 1919. The little girl died a year after her communion and inside the gold framed shadow box is a veil, her picture and dried calla lilies. An elderly friend told me one day that the little girl had probably passed because the photographer had stolen her soul. I never really thought about it again until I went to Peralta Junction years ago in Berkeley and encountered a soul photographer there.


So was it true? Did photographers really steal your soul?



In some cultures any image taken may cause great distress because of religious beliefs, as they believe your reflection is your soul. If you look at some pictures of your great grandmother or possibly grandmother (depending on your age) you will notice no one smiles. There was popular belief that people didn’t like to have their pictures taken and the reason was because it stole your soul.

According to legends, mirrors when you look into them, reflect your soul and do not reflect back light that hits them. There is also an extension of the idea that your shadow is a reflection of your soul. Mirrors were considered an important part of the Mayan religion and culture as they thought mirrors opened portals into the other world, allowing ancestors and gods to pass through between the two planes. They believed when praying to a saint, the soul leaves the body. To help the soul find its way back into the body, mirrors are placed in front of saint statues to reflect back the soul. Many religions today still cover mirrors with black cloth when someone dies so the soul does not get trapped inside the mirror after death.



Most people today allow their photograph to be taken, however some still protect their infants as some still believe the souls of infants are fragile and are susceptible to leaving the body. Photographing an infant could harm the soul, preventing its return to the body. The soul is believed to be composed of thirteen parts, and photography damages or even removes some of these components and a shaman is sometimes brought in to restore a person’s soul.



I believe that photos are frozen moments of time and everyone knows first hand you do not get time back. You live for today as there might not be a tomorrow – so why worry about a disappearing soul?

Anyways, current word on the street is using a digital camera does not steal the subject’s soul, film cameras do.  So was Sears Inc. with their family photography promotions in on the soul stealing business all along; because I swear the woman below looks like my soul sister on a bad-hair day.


Linda- 1996 – 7:30 am the morning after one of her old stores fashion shows. The flowers survived but looks like she did not. Looks like her soul was sucked out!

Want to see more? 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

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 

Saved By The Bell in Carleton Place? What Does the Photo Say?


1898 Ottawa Journal Social Comment


So where was this bell? A month ago I found this:

Ring That Bell — The Carleton Place Community Alarm Clock

“In 1836 a fund to pay for the ringing of a morning bell at Carleton Place, as a sort of community alarm clock corresponding to later factory whistles and bells, was raised by donations from some forty persons. At a meeting called by Hugh Boulton, with James Rosamond as chairman, it was decided the bell should be rung daily at 5 a.m. in the months of May to August, and at 6 a.m. during the other eight months of each year.  A deduction was to be made from the bell ringer’s stipend for any time the bell was rung more than ten minutes late as timed by Robert Bell’s clock”.  – Howard Morton Brown

Jennifer Fenwick Irwin from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum and I thought it was on top on one of the mills after seeing an illustration from The Toronto Daily Mail in 1898. Then yesterday I found this:


A curfew was also introduced and passed bringing sadness to the youth of Carleton Place in 1911. Beginning on the first day of July the bell at the town hall will ring at 9 pm sharp each night. All youth under the age of 16 will be required to be off the street at that time unless accompanied by parents or a guardian.

So was there a bell in the tower of the Carleton Place Town Hall?

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I sent the picture below to my friend Diana Ani Stokely from Grafix to Go in Texas who does my book covers,  is a graphic designer, and also restores old photographs. I asked her for her opinion and this is what she said.


Diana Ani Stokely said,” Yes, i think so. I painted it pink to show you.

Look closely in the turret for the pinkish shape.


So was there a bell or not a bell? We will never really know for whom the bell tolled in Carleton Place I guess.

Thanks to our state of the art digital tools and Master Artists, we can now repair any kind of damage whether it’s a tear, a crease, water or mold damage, fading, or even if your photos are in pieces. It is amazing we can now restore old photos to their former glory.



Donovan Hastie found this photo. Any idea what the date is?

Photo restoration- This is an example of what Diana Ani Stokely does. Read below all about some of her restorations which are many.


I was given a difficult task one day, to create a portrait of a man. The only clue I had of Captain Bell’s face was a photocopy of a newspaper clipping about an inch tall. I worked on it for some time, only to be discouraged beyond hope, so I put it away. I was able to do so because the request had come informally — an acquaintance had heard I might be able to do such a job.

Many years passed. During all that time, I continued to teach myself the necessary skills in Photoshop to restore photos, manipulate them into pleasing images, and gain skills to finally approach the task again.

I spent a full two days restoring this portrait. I probably put close to 20 hours of intense and meticulous work to produce the final result. When I presented my friend (for who could remain an acquaintance after so many hours in the presence of his ancestor?) a print of the finished piece, his unbounded joy was my reward. Satisfaction all around.

Hotel in the Woods


This is another one of the old photos from my foray to the Homestead in Hico. It is too pale to discern details — all I could tell was the photo showed a group of people, and it looked like an outdoor shot. After getting it back to my shop, adjusting the light levels, and cleaning up some marks and spots, an interesting sight met my eyes.

Who were these people and why are they gathered here in the woods? Is that a hotel in the background? I counted 18 people. Five are women in aprons holding plates of food. There is a boy child. A fat man holds some kind of handled tool, and next to him sits a young man with watch chain and fob, necktie and pin. Behind him a man whittles a piece of wood. On the left, another man holds aloft some kind of handled tool, an ax? Another man holds a witching wand, or maybe it is a pair of shears.

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  13 Jun 1899, Tue,  Page 8


Somewhere Over the Rainbow – A Photo Essay – Zoomer



Somewhere Over the Rainbow – A Photo Essay – Zoomer.