Tag Archives: port elmsley

What’s In a Name? Lanark County 101– Or What’s What in 1934

What’s In a Name? Lanark County 101– Or What’s What in 1934

Lanark was a provincial riding in Ontario, Canada, that was created for the 1934 election. In 1987 there was a minor redistribution and the riding was renamed to Lanark-Renfrew. It was abolished prior to the 1999 election. It was merged into the riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke.

In 1933, in an austerity measure to mark the depression times, the province passed an update to the Representation Act that reduced the number of seats in the legislature from 112 to 90. The riding of Lanark was created from parts of Lanark North and Lanark South and consisted of the townships of Beckwith, Bathurst, Burgess North, Dalhousie, Darling, Drummond, Elmsley North, Lanark, Lavant, Montague, Pakenham, Ramsay, Sherbrooke North and Sherbrooke South. It also included the towns of Almonte, Carleton Place, Perth, and Smith’s Falls and the village of Lanark


W H A T ’S in a Name? Sometimes very little. Scores of townships in On- ” tario are called after old-time members of the Provincial Legislature big frogs in the little political puddles of their day—whose names mean nothing to this generation. Sir John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, gave his own name to one of our counties. Lady Simcoe claimed a share in the work; and to this day three of the townships in that county bear the names of her pet spaniel puppies, Tiny, Tay and Flos. •

 But often in the place names of a community there are suggestions of its ” early history and the origin of its pioneers. The Highlanders who settled Glengarry county have left proof of their love for the old land in the names we find there—Lochiel, Dunvegan, Lochinvar, Dalkeith, Athol, Glen Roy and a dozen others. The Highland emigrant never forgot. 

Lowlanders who came to our own country in 1811-1822 for- or fail to renew in Canada the names of shires and streams and towns which they had known a t home. Lanark, county, township and village,—the Tay, the Clyde, Kilmarnock, Clyde Forks, Glen Tay, the Scotch Line, all remind us of the districts in Scotland from which thousands of our first settlers came. But now our townships, for the most part, preserve the names of the great or near-great men then concerned, in their colonial government or their friends. 

BURGESS, probably from the Bishop of Salisbury, school-mate and friend of Prime Minister Addington (Did you know that North Burgess is now part of Tay Valley?) read- McLaren’s Phosphate Mine — BurgessWood Housing– Anglo Canadian Phosphate Company

ELMSLEY, after Hon. John Elmsley, second Chief Justice of Upper Canada;  Read-A Town Called Barbodies–Port Elmsley 101

BECKWITH and MONTAGUE after Commander J. Beckwith and Admiral Sir George Montague who were friends and guests of Earl Dalhousie Quebec during his term as Governor; – Read-The Beckwith McGregors or readThe Barren Lands of Montague?

DARLING, after Col. H. C. Darling, Military Secretary to Lord Dalhousie for whom he made an inspection and report regarding the Perth and Rideau settlements in 1822. By the way, many years ago I was told by one of the ‘oldest inhabitants’ that this township was named in honour of Grace Darling, the heroic lighthouse girl who, alone in her frail skiff, rescued nine sailors from the wrecked schooner, “Forfarshire” in the storm swept North Sea. Every school reader fifty years ago contained the story of that braV’e deed. One would like to : believe that the township owed its name to her; but she was only eight years old when the survey and naming were completed, and the more commonplace explanation must be accepted.  Read-People are Afraid to Work– Jennie Majaury- Darling Township

DRUMMOND—Sir Gordon Drummond was born a t Quebec .where his father was paymaster of the military forces. Sir Gordon entered the army and served with distinction in Holland, Minorca, Egypt and Gibraltar before coming back to Canada in 1813 to take a gallant part in the war against the United States Read-Drummond Centre United Church — and The Ireton Brothers 38 Year Reunion–Names Names Names

SHERBROOKE—Sir John Cope Sherbrooke followed Drummond as Governor. Perhaps in Quebec he might have worked out some peaceful solution of the troubles and conflicts, even then becoming acute, between the French Canadians, and the British minority there. But the shuffling policy of the British Colonies office convinced him that the task was hard, and his failing health hastened his resignation.  Read-What’s Happening at Christie Lake June 23, 1899

LAVANT—Sherbrooke was succeeded as Governor by the Duke of Richmond. Richmond Village, the Goodwood river (commonly known as the “Jock”) and the townships of Fitzroy, March and Torbolton in Carleton county get their names from the Duke’s family or estates, and our township of Lavant recalls a village near the Goodwood racetrack on the Duke’s estate in Sussex, England. Read-The Lavant Station Fire 1939

Driving between Ottawa and Franktown one passes a cairn on the roadside in memory of the tragic death there of Charles Lennox, fourth Duke of Richmond. 

The story has been often published with varying details. But the account written by his son, Lord William Pitt Lennox, has not, I think, been reproduced in recent years. It may be of interest to read his own words:

That a far cry from the glitter and glamour of his vice-regal courts at Dublin and Quebec, from his sumptuous entertainments at Goodwood, from the gorgeous ball at Brussels where the Richmonds entertained Wellington and his officers on the eve of Quatre Bras and Waterloo, to this poor crazed Charles Lennox, running madly through a Canadian swamp, and dying at last on a pallet of straw in a back-woods cow byre. “He was born in a barn, and he has died in a barn” said the gossips, when the news reached England. Which was true. Read-The Haunted Canoe from the Jock River

Immigration/ settlers stories

Ramsay W.I. Tweedsmuir History Book 1—SOME EARLY RAMSAY HISTORY

Plans For the Lanark County Townships, 1827, with Names Names Names

How Did Settlers Make Their Lime?

Mothell Parish familes that are in the 1816-1822 1816 – 1824 Beckwith Settlers Names

The Old Settlers Weren’t so Old After All

Dear Lanark Era –Lanark Society Settlers Letter

Ramsay Settlers 101

Beckwith –Settlers — Sir Robert the Bruce— and Migrating Turtles

Come to Canada– the Weather is Fine — Immigration Links

Lanark Settlement Emigrants Leave Scotland

Sheppard’s Falls — Shipman’s Falls — Shipman’s Mills –Waterford — Ramsayville Victoriaville and Almonte — Senator Haydon

ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

Rock the Boat! Lanark County or Bust! Part 1

It Wasn’t the Sloop John B — Do’s and Don’t in an Immigrant Ship -Part 2

Riders on the Storm– Journey to Lanark County — Part 3

Documenting the Roadmasters Road Club? Beth Sweeney

Documenting the Roadmasters Road Club? Beth Sweeney
Beth Sweeney
Jeaneth, Gloria, Jo, me…back in the day💖

Hi Linda,

Just wondering if you have ever run across pics or stories of the Carleton Place boys Roadmasters Road Club? It was in the late 60s. I have my own stories but it would be great to hear from others. Jim Lay(rip) (blue Chevy Impalla), Bill Thom (rip), Billy Crampton, Lloyd Chamney were just a few of the lads. We girlfriends used to sit outside of the location (Old Coleman’s Dairy, converted into a garage) waiting for the guys to take us for a drag race down the Townline!

The lads were pretty fond of their cars. Lots of spit and shine, and lots of shinny hubcaps. I recall how all of us young dating couples would congregate in a lineup of lads, ladies(?) to steam up the car windows (innocent necking days back then). There were always trips to Port Elmsley Drive In theatre to watch a great movie under the stars. There were trips to Rideau Ferry to dance the night away, and of course we all stopped either at A&W drive thru or spent Friday nights at Carleton Place Curb Service, back in the day. In those days the food servers roller skated to your car with those great burgers and fries! Let’s Have Some Curb Service!

As I sit here though I am now remembering Ronnie Latham was part of the Roadmasters (I need help remembering them all). The guys had the greatest jackets made up and I wish I had photos.

Much appreciated! Thank you Linda

No thank you Beth Sweeney!!!!

SO who has photos??? It would be fun to hear stories and see photos.


Linda Gallipeau Johnson emailed me last night with this comment:

Linda, in a conversation about racing yesterday i was telling my grandson about the go-kart race track on the far end of High Street – the ladies that raced were called “Powder Puffs” as i remember. Also remember our neighbor Marion Menzies – Grade 3 teacher at Central used to race as well as her husband. Wonder if there were ever any pictures taken?

Let’s Have Some Curb Service!

In the late 80s Dwight Neron hoped to revive “Curb Service” on Townline that once flourished as the former popular Elmdale Lunch. Elmdale Lunch at one point in time was THE hang out for Carleton Place’s local teenagers. Neron’s dream was to have his new business remind everyone of the nostalgic TV sitcom Happy Days and even set up a real curb service where people could get served in their cars. He even wanted the outdoor waitresses to wear roller skates!

Ted HurdisClorise Anderson the pool place out on the corner of the eighth line. In front of Reids landscape.

Ted HurdisI remember both well. Funny side note we were talking about curb service last night at curling. My buddies and I would meet there almost every Sat. As we were convinced a milkshake, cheeseburger and fries cured the cobwebs out from our Friday night partying. Hahaha it seemed to work.

Beth SweeneySo miss Curb Service. It was a great place to meet up with friends. Good food, good times!

Margaret MartinCurb Service had the best hamburgers & great service, it was missed when it closed.

Ray PaquetteOnly a hang out, the Elmdale Lunch, for those fortunate few that owned or had access to a car! The rest of us hung around the Olympia, the Pool Room or Bellamy’s…

Dale CostelloWorked at Curb Service in the mid 50’s as a car hop. One of my school buds pArents owned the restaurant. They just don’t make them like Curb Service anymore. Sad.

Photo 3 of Mr. Blackburn in a Carleton Place parade in one of his bathroom appliance vehicles.. Notice the CURB SERVICE on the toilet… One of the most requested photos of Carleton Place. Thanks to Karen Blackburn Chenier

A couple of pillows and a blanket, were a nice touch, and made movie-viewing a comfy, cozy event.  We’d also bring a small flashlight, because nothing was worse for us girls than stumbling around on the gravel path, trying to find our way to the washroom, on a dark, moonless night; especially right after watching a scary scene in a horror movie. That just didn’t work for us.  Sometimes we’d bring a roll of t.p. from home, in case they ran out, which happened once in a while during the all-night movie marathons— read more Port Elmsley – Drive-In Dreamin’ Arlene Stafford

Photo- Arlene Stafford- Rideau Ferry Inn – Those Hot Summer Nights!

Oh, those hot summer nights at the Rideau Ferry Inn!  The dancing, the laughter, stolen kisses, sneaking drinks in the parking lot, and the best live rock and roll around!

Its official name back then, was the Poonamalie Pavilion, but nobody called it that.  To my friends and me, it was simply the Rideau Ferry Inn; and you could find us there most weekend nights in the summer, socializing, laughing, and dancing the night away.

Rideau Ferry Inn – Those Hot Summer Nights!

Rideau Ferry Road– Black Snakes Bridges and SS#6

Tales from Oliver’s Ferry

The Tragic Tale of the Rideau Ferry Swing Bridge

The Coutts House- Rideau Ferry Inn

Plans For the Lanark County Townships, 1827, with Names Names Names

Plans For the Lanark County Townships, 1827, with Names Names Names


Perth Courier, Sept. 22, 1933

Plan of Lanark Village and other Townships, 1827, with names


(Donated to the Perth Museum by T. Arthur Rogers of Perth)  This plan, dated Surveyor General’s Office, Toronto, June, (year illegible), and is signed by John Macaulay, Surveyor General.  The names of the east and west (approximate) streets were Argyle, Prince, George, York and Canning while Hillier, Clarence, and Owen ran at right angles to these.  Most of the lots had the names of the owner written thereon and the dates on which the patents had been issued.  James Mair was at that time the largest property owner with 14 lots in his name while William Mair was down for one.  These were all dated July and August, 1845.

John Hall, Esq., had five lots (1843-44-45); J.R. Gemmell, one, 1844; Jas. McLaren, one 1845 and the Baptist Society with two lots (date illegible).  The Caldwells do not appear to have yet arrived on the scene but in 1830(?) Boyd Caldwell and Co. founded the woolen mill which was the principal support of the village during the succeeding half century.

Set of Maps or Plans of the Townships of Lanark County, with the exception of Dalhousie, Ramsay, Beckwith and North Sherbrooke which are missing.  Like the plan of Lanark Village, the names of the then owners and dates on which they had been granted are inscribed on the occupied lands.  Some mention of these names may be of interest to descendents of these pioneers many of whom are living on the original locations.  For this purpose each township will be taken in its turn.




www.bytown.net… Map of Drummond Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada, in 1879


On the first concession we find the names of such well known pioneers as Dr. Thom, A. Fraser, J.T. and R.(?) James, Nathaniel and William Stedman, J. Hand and James Bell.  On the 2nd Concession (the part within the town of Perth)—Col. Taylor, Capt. Marshall, Greenly, Harris, Malloch, and Haggart and going eastward C.H. Sache, Henry J.T.&R, William StedmanR.(?) or N.(?) James and Thomas Hands (1855)  On Concession 3—R. Greenel, B. Glen, James and W. Morris, Sutton Frisell, J. McPhail, John Tatlock (1851), T. Doyle, Michael and John Foy (1853).  On Concession 4 Thomas Poole, J. Richmond, J. King (view the 1830(?) grant of the east half of Lot 12 in the museum), W. Morris, Hon. R. Matheson, T.M. Radenhurst.  On Concession 5 Martin Doyle (1853(?)), G. Richmond, Charles Devlin.  On Concession 6, D. Macnee, D. Campbell, P. Campbell, T. Bothwell, W. Thompson, and James Codd (Code).  On Concession 7, D. Campbell, F. McIntyre, T. Whyte, P. Campbell (Beech Groove Lot 6, birth place of Archibald Campbell, Sr., and now owned by the Carr-Thompson family), McGarry, W. Shaw, J.&D. McLaren.  Concession 8, J. Balderson (of Balderson’s Corners), T.&J. Richardson, W. Fraser, T.&W. Stedman, W., M.J. & G. Gould, J. McLenaghan, and P. Sinclair.  Concession 9(?) (paper shows “IV” must be misprint) J. McIntyre, C. Campbell, J&W. Tullis, P. McIntyre, P. McTavish, (initial illegible) and N. McLanaghan, D. & J. Robertson.  Concession 10(?) J. Campbell, J. Cuthbertson, W. & J. McIlquham.  Concession 11 J. McIlquham, R. Matheson, Esq. (1846?)  Concession 12 L. Drysdale (1845?), Hon. Malcolm Cameron (East(?) Lot 9, Concession 12 and west ½(?) Lot 13, all dated 1845 and north of the Mississippi River)





RootsWeb – Ancestry.com Bathurst Twp.


Bathurst Township

Concession 1(?) (West to East along the Scotch Line) Robert Boarnes(?), Anthony Katz, John & William Ritchie, James and John Bryce, Thomas McLean, S.(?) Wilson, heir of George Wilson, A. & James Fraser, Alexander Dodds, Jas. Boarnes(?), T. Cuddie, Francis Allan, William Old, t. Consitt, John Adams, Jas. Allan.

Captain Adams owned Lot 21 (1847) and west ½ of Lot 20 on Concession (number not listed) while Thomas Manion was on Lot 17, Concession 3(?)

  1. Cameron, Esq., had the west ½ of Lot 13,Concession 5; John Doran had been granted Lot 1 on Concession 3(?) (at the west end of Bennett’s Lake) on July 4, 18?7) (Transcriber’s note, the third digit in the last date was illegible). W.A. Playfair owned lots 22 and 23 on Concession 12(?) and John P. Playfair got Lot 21, Concession 12 in 18?? (last two numbers illegible)./

Christies Lake was then called Myers Lake and its outlet to the Tay River.



Perth Historical Society

North Elmsley

The fourth concession south of Rideau Lake were still vacant.  J. McVeity was located on the north shore of Rideau Lake on Oct. 8, 1846.  Patrick King, ditto in the same year.  Thomas Dudgeon, ditto, 1850 and J. Beveridge the next year.  William Croskery and Rev. M. Harris each had a half lot on Lot 27, Concession 9 north of Otty Lake.  This place is inscribed “Surveyor General’s Office Kingston Jan. 11, 1844.  True copy, signed Thomas Parks


burgessnorth1879 (1).jpg

www.bytown.net–Map of North Burgess Township, Ontario, Canada, in 1879


North Burgess

Prior to the “Irish Invasion” George McCullen(?) McCulloch(?) secured 87 acres at the west end of Otty Lake in 1845.  Alexander Cameron got the east half of Lot 5 Concession (number illegible) and the south portion of the west half of the same lot in 1849 and George Palmer obtained Lot 10, Concession (illegible) in 18??(illegible).  John Holliday, Sr., was down for the Clergy Lot 3(?) in the 9th (?) Concession.  Between 1850(?) and 1859(?) the following Irish settlers arrived on the scene coming largely from the counties of Down and Armagh:  Messrs. James O’Connor, Pat Booker(?), Sam Chaffey, Pat Kelly, T. Donnelly, James Deacon, Thomas and William Ryan, Felix Bennett, Francis O’Hare, John Doran, Jas. Lappen, Bernard Farrell, Bernard Byrnes, Peter Power, Pat O’Neill, John Farry(?)Parry(?), Patrick McParland, Michael McNamee, M. Byrnes, Jas. Byrnes, John McVeigh.  Black Lake was then called Salmon Lake and its outlet was the Salmon River.  Hon. R. Matheson owned lots at both Otty and Rideau Lakes.  Dr. James Wilson held the east (?) half of Lot 2, Concession 2(?)3(?) (west side of Otty Lake), John Oatway had lot 23(?) 22(?) Concession 10 (1852(?)1862(?) and T.B. and William Scott secured land on the Upper Scotch Line in 18??(illegible).  However, about half the township was still open for settlement.




RootsWeb – Ancestry.com—-South Sherbrooke Twp.

South Sherbrooke

Hon. William Morris and Dr. Wilson owned Lots 18, 19, 20, on Concession 2(?) on the north shore of Myers (now Christies) Lake—the location of the Christie Lake Iron Mine.  And these two Perthites likewise held hundreds of acres of adjacent ground—probably to protect possible extensions of their iron deposits.  There were many Corry (or Korry), Deacon, and Elliott holders and Hon. R. Matheson, John Playfair, William Lees, and Thomas Brooke had sundry lots.




Lanark Township

Its principle feature is the River Clyde which intersects its western part from north to south.  Such names as James Mair (1845), G. Watt, John Close, Robert Robertson, Patrick McNaughton, Robert Craig, Jas. Rankin, Neil McCallum, Alexander Stewart, Alexander Yuill (1858(?)) and J.W. Anderson indicates its Scottish character.

Pakenham Township

About the middle of the last century the Dickson family appears to have been the largest land owners here.  Samuel Dickson is credited with 850 acres or more while Andrew Dickson (the third sheriff of the District of Bathurst) held 650 acres and Robert James and William Dickson some more.  The Hilliard and Combs(?) farms were also extensive holders as were James Wylie, William Wylie, Hon. William Morris, and James and Alexander Snedden (1858 and 1853).

Lavant Township

With the exception of the large holders probably in connection with lumbering operations of Boyd and Alexander Caldwell, William McKey and John Gillies, this township appears to have been practically unsettled during the 1850’s.


lan-m-lanark wm craig.jpg

Darling Township

Like Lavant, this area seems to have been given up to lumbering operations, sundry lots being held by Messrs. James Gillies, and Peter McLaren (1856), Alexander Caldwell (1855), Robert Haley (1846(?)), C. Henry Bell (1856(?)) and M. Cameron.




www.bytown.net Map of Montague Township, Ontario, Canada, in 1879


Mostly vacant but Patrick Gilhuly had Lot 27, Concession 7 (1841) and J.G. Malloch owned part of Lot 27, Concession 3(?) (1856)


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)



Just a Field of Stones Now? “The Old Perth Burying Ground” Now on Ontario Abandoned Places?

The Old Settlers Weren’t so Old After All

Some Cold Hard Facts- First Tailor in Ramsay and a Cow Without a Bell

Dear Lanark Era –Lanark Society Settlers Letter

Ramsay Settlers 101

Beckwith –Settlers — Sir Robert the Bruce— and Migrating Turtles

EARLY SETTLEMENT OF DALHOUSIE-Tina Penman, Middleville, Ont.

Lanark County 101 — It Began with Rocks, Trees, and Swamps

What Was Smiths Falls Perth and Port Elmsley like to Joseph and Jane Weekes?

Rock the Boat! Lanark County or Bust! Part 1

It Wasn’t the Sloop John B — Do’s and Don’t in an Immigrant Ship -Part 2

Riders on the Storm– Journey to Lanark County — Part 3

ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

Rolling down the Rapids –Journey to Lanark Part 5

Barbadoes or Barbodies– and General Benedict Arnold



Photo of the Pamphlet I picked up at Archives Lanark Saturday


So I heard Port Elmsley was named Barbodies from a few people and I thought that was darn strange– but when I read it ina  few places I had to go along with it. Until Saturday– I picked up a pamphlet Pike Falls Storied Past and I can officially say it was called Barbadoes not Barbodies— although I think the latter is a more interesting name LOL.


For such a little place, Port Elmsley has managed to attract its fair share of attention over the past two centuries. Originally part of the more than 13,000-acre land grant awarded in 1803 to *General Benedict Arnold for his defection to the British army during the American Revolution, it came to life in the 1820s and ’30s with construction of *Weatherhead’s sawmill and dam, and the Tay Canal.

Several warehouses also sprout up at this time, catering to the transhipment trade between Perth and Montreal. Originally named Barbadoes, in honour of founder *Samuel Weatherhead’s birthplace, many saw potential over the years in the power generated here by Pike’s Falls. By midto late-century, the village boasted two hotels, three stores, two blacksmith shops, two churches, a cooperage, a post office, a school, a railway station, a town hall, and several mills. However, when Port Elmsley was bypassed by the Second Tay Canal in the 1880s, that proved to be a sign of things to come.– from Pike Falls’ Storied Past–Lanark County Tourism


Perth Courier, May 15, 1947

The History of Port Elmsley

By Mrs. D. Clements, historical conservator of the Port Elmsley Women’s Institute

“Barbodies” is believed to have been the first name of this village.  But in 1843 it was referred to as Pike Falls and was no doubt a military settlement, Perth being the county seat, business was transacted there–A Town Called Barbodies–Port Elmsley 101



Perth Courier, Sept. 25, 1891

Wilson—Died, at his father’s residence on the 7th Concession Drummond on the 12th Sept., Andrew William Wilson, 4th son of Mr. George Wilson, aged 21.

37 years ago Findlay McCormick left the 7th Line Drummond and settled in the County of Perth, Ontario.  He rose into prominence in his locality and was for a time Reeve of the township of Hibbert in that county.  He died on Friday last of cancer at the age of 64 and his remains were brought to this town and interred in the old Presbyterian burying ground beside the almost forgotten bones of his long dead friends there whose resting places are marked by tombstones placed many years ago.  The burial of Mr. McCormick took place on Sunday afternoon last and 6 of his old neighbors acted as pallbearers:  Messrs. John Sinclair, William McGarry, Donald McLaren, D.D. Campbell, Donald McPhail, John Bothwell.  The deceased never married and lived with his sister who survives him.  Mr. A.C. Jones of Stratford, who left Pike Falls 25 years ago and has married a niece of the deceased, brought the body down.

Perth Courier, September 11, 1874.

Armstrong—Died, at Pike Falls, on Thurs., 27th Aug., Mr. Kennedy Armstrong, aged 39 (or 35?) years.

Perth Courier, June 6, 1966

Continuing along the road at the corner the road turns towards the right to Port Elmsley.  A short distance along this road is the site of the old graphite mine on a property known to old timers as the “Grierson” place.  John Grierson, a miner of early days, may have located the deposit of graphite but the mine was opened up and operated by Rinaldo McConnell and later by the Globe Graphite Company.  The ore was drawn by teams of wagons to a mill at Pike Falls where it was processed for shipment.  The mine has been inactive and non productive for many years.

Perth Courier, Nov. 30, 1888

It is but right that a short notice should be made of the death of one of the oldest residents in order that the many friends and former neighbors now at a distance may be made aware of the fact.  Patrick King died at his residence in Elmsley on the 18th (?) day of October after 10 days illness.  Old age may be said to be the cause of his death he having lived to the age of 89 years.  For many years, Mr. King was unable to work but could walk around and converse with his many friends and neighbors who came to see him.  His funeral took place on the 20th Oct.  A large number of friends and neighbors turned out to honor him by following his remains to the R.C. burying ground at Perth.  Mr. King was a life long member of the R.C. Church.  The deceased came to Canada from Ireland in 1832 and arrived in Elmsley by way of Ottawa (then Bytown).  When coming to Perth, he was wont to tell, that when crossing the burying ground bridge he asked a man how far it was to Perth.  “Why” said the man, “you are in Perth now”, Perth then having been not much more than a scattered village.  The first time Mr. King went to Smith’s Falls he passed only one home on the road after he left Pike’s Falls and that was Mrs. McNabb’s.  Mr. King lived to see Elmsley transformed from a wilderness into a well-cleared township and Perth become a fine town and the center of a rich agricultural country.  He was one of the hardy pioneers by which Canada has been transformed from a wilderness into a great and rich province and the many hardships attending pioneer work Mr. King had his full share.  He was a good man, a fine neighbor and had the respect and regard of all who knew him.  He has left three sons, John King, Edward King, and James Kingand two daughters, Margaret and Mary



*Samuel Weatherhead
Birthdate: 1756 (67)
Birthplace: St. Philip, Barbados
Death: Died December 11, 1823 in Augusta Twp, Grenville, Ontario, Canada
Place of Burial: Blue Church, Augusta Twp, Grenville, Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family:
Son of David Weatherhead and Sebella Hunte
Husband of Magdalene Haskins
Father of Margaret Arnold; Alexander Weatherhead; Eleanor Weatherhead; James Weatherhead; John Weatherhead and 2 others
Brother of David Weatherhead; Mary Weatherhead and William Weatherhead

Around 1829, Alexander Weatherhead built a sawmill at what would later be the location of Lock 3, and made plans to throw a dam across the river, raising water levels and bringing power to his mill. Weatherhead was an agent for the Arnold Family, who owned most of the land around what Weatherhead named ‘Barbadoes’ after the British colony where his father had been born (and which would later be called Port Elmsley); his sister was married to Richard Arnold, son of Benedict Arnold. Weatherhead’s mill was, in fact, the first development in the area, and the village began to grow around this site over the next several years. (H.R. Morgan “The First Tay Canal”; pg 3) (Larry Turner “The First Tay Canal in the Rideau Corridor, 1830-1850”; pg. 11)

Not everybody was content with Weatherhead’s plan to dam the Tay, though. William Morris (who had previously tried to set the wheels into motion for development of a canal along the Tay) and his supporters at first sent a formal letter to Weatherhead, stating that they believed that his dam would interfere with navigation on the Tay, and with their plans to develop the river. Morris then wrote to Colonel By, who was supervising the construction of the Rideau Canal. Morris suggested that the dam would interfere with communication down the Tay with the Rideau. By agreed, calling Weatherhead’s dam ‘illegal’, and suggested that the petitioners contact the Lieutenant-Governor. Subsequently, Weatherhead was warned by the Attorney-General that if he were to dam the Tay, he would be liable to prosecution. (H.R. Morgan “The First Tay Canal”; pg. 3) (Larry Turner “The First Tay Canal in the Rideau Corridor, 1830-1850”; pg. 12)–Read the rest here: Click here


Benedict Arnold– click here

A Town Called Barbodies–Port Elmsley 101

What Was Smiths Falls Perth and Port Elmsley like to Joseph and Jane Weekes?

Dragstrip Girl was Playing on The Port Elmsley Screen — Passion in the Back Seat

What Was Playing at the Port Elmsley Drive in 1970?


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


A Town Called Barbodies–Port Elmsley 101




Port Elmsley:
Was originally called Barbadoes and then Pike’s Falls. The railway station in the Historical Atlas of Lanark County is named Pike’s Falls station

Perth Courier, May 15, 1947

The History of Port Elmsley

By Mrs. D. Clements, historical conservator of the Port Elmsley Women’s Institute

“Barbodies” is believed to have been the first name of this village.  But in 1843 it was referred to as Pike Falls and was no doubt a military settlement, Perth being the county seat, business was transacted there.  Council meetings were held in the school and sometimes in Smith’s Falls which was a small village at that time.  Later, a new township hall was built and on December 22, 1854 the council held their first meeting in the new hall.  At the time the reeve was J. Best and the counselors were H. Cullen and A. Couch.  A crude road ran from here to Perth  part of it plank.  It was kept up by statute labor and was very bad.  There were board walks in the village and between Pike Falls and Perth there were two toll gates one at Lester Polk’s side road and one at Richardson’s side road near Perth.  Charges for a team and wagon were five cents; for a man and horse three cents; for a man walking nothing.



Perth Remembered-*Graphite Mine


A good part of the land was covered by bush so of course there were lumber mills, one west of the river Tay near the Porritt Haouse (where Mrs. Long now resides) and one near the village.

From these mills a wooden roan was built to the point at the present cheese factory.  Here the lumber was loaded in barges which came up the river Tay and by canal drawn by oxen.  Lumber was also loaded at the point at Mr. Elliotts’ known today as J. Wood’s farm.

B.S. Snyder owned a grist mill at the point where the cement house now stands.  There were also locks here. B.S. Snyder’s was near or on the exact spot where later Mr. McConnol, who operated the graphite mill, built the cement block house.

Mr. Snyder’s home was quite a show place with lovely orchard and grape vines.  Incidentally, this house is still in use having been moved farther up the village.


Lonestar-Cheesefactory-Port-Elmsley-644x407 (1).jpg

Perth Remembere Lonestar-Cheesefactory-Port-Elmsley

There were two warehouses at the Elliott farm (later Judge Elliott) and supplies were drawn from here to Perth by team.  In the early days supplies were “backed” in.  Houses in the village were mostly made of logs and in 1851 there was one tavern in Pike Falls.  Later, there were two hotels and a post office and a blacksmith shop.  There were also two stores.

Mr. Porrit owned a shoddy mill on the upper side of the dam and opposite, in what is known today as the “old mill” was a very fine woolen mill, a graphite mill.

Skating was a great past time in the old days and Pike Falls has always been famed for its fish.  Older inhabitants tell of the days when hundreds came to fish at what is known today as “Lavender’s Point” and the “block dam”, many bringing their teams and wagons.  Fish were taken there by the wagon load.

Most of the settlers came from Ireland and many of their descendents still live here.  There are a few Scottish descendants of the early days.  Some of the old names are Best. Lavender, Findlay, Moore, Clements and others.



The first school was a log building just west of the village.  Later it was considered necessary to erect a new and larger school in a more central location.  Land was purchased on the east side of the village from a Mr. Shaw, who owned the farm and land where Mr. and Mrs. E.  Lavender now live.  A frame building was erected.  In the year 1872 this building was blown down by a terrible wind storm at that time the trustees were Henry Hunter and B.S. Snyder.  These men decided to build a stone school two stories high to accommodate two classes.  The contract was given to Robert Elliott of Perth and work was begun the following spring and in the meantime classes were conducted in the township hall by the teacher who were teaching when the school was blown down, Miss Barbara McPherson.

In the fall of 1873 the new school was opened with Miss Margaret O’Hara (later Dr. Margaret O’Hara of India) and Miss Marjory Robinson in charge.  This was the only year that both rooms were used.  In the early days as many as 120 pupils attended.  In the frame school Isobel and Rachel Elliott taught (sisters of Judge Elliott) and Nathaniel McLenaghan who later became a member of the provincial legislature.

At the first meeting in the new township hall it was agreed to allow church services to be held in the hall.  Later, Mr. Shaw gave a piece of land where the old Anglican graveyard is.  Here a church was built which was intended as a community church.  It was called the Anglican church and was built in 1860.  Rev. H. Campbell, who came from one of the islands off the coast of Scotland was instrumental in building St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in 1886.


The lovely little church which stands in the village today, St. James Anglican Church, was built in 1900.  Rev. Mr. Low organized the building of the church and there is a story of how when Rev. Mr. Low asked for donations to build the church, a small boy, when leaving the church after the service, gave Rev. Mr. Low ten cents.

As far back as 1858, the name Port Elmsley was being used, but the writer was not able to find out when the name was changed or the meaning of it.


In a statement defending his later plans to build a dam across the Tay, Port Elmsley mill-owner (and ostensible founder) Alexander Weatherhead described the pre-canal state of the Tay as a means of transport. The river in its natural state runs about the distance of a mile and a half a very strong rapid with twelve or fourteen inches depth of water, which is only in the month of April. The rapid is such that it is impossible to propel the lightest craft, even a bark canoe, in any way against it.

From Barbadoes To Port Elmsley— great photos


*The Graphite Mine- Perth Remembered

The mine was situated on the Rideau Ferry Road about three miles from the village. A mill was built at the mines, run by steam, but ore could not be successfully processed. In 1901-02 the Globe Refining Co. (an American company) took over the mine. They bought the woolen mill and installed close to $100,000 worth of machinery. Rinaldo McConnell was the manager of the mill. A dam was built above the mill, and remnants still remain. Much of the earth was stripped from village lots to build the dam. Thirty-five to fifty men and some ties more were employed. Teams of horses hauled the ore to the mill. Large stables were built and the company’s horses pastured on what is known as the Company Lot. The “Back Dam” is the remains of a dam built by the Graphite Co. The company bought much of the land in the village around 1908 and housing accommodations were provided for the employees. By 1924 the supply of graphite was petering out and it still could not be processed satisfactorily and was abandoned. Eventually beginning in 1930 and ending in 1936, all the graphite property and machinery were sold for taxes by the township.


A small post village situated in the Township of North Emsley, 
and County of Lanark. It contains an Episcopalian Chuich, is 
distant from Perth, the County Town, 6 miles, and its population 
is about 100. 

Allan, A., woollen factory 
Borrowman, David, waggon maker 
Frost & Wood, saw mill proprietors 
Sherwood^ Hamilton, saw mill proprietor

What Was Smiths Falls Perth and Port Elmsley like to Joseph and Jane Weekes?

Dragstrip Girl was Playing on The Port Elmsley Screen — Passion in the Back Seat

What Was Playing at the Port Elmsley Drive in 1970?


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


What Was Playing at the Port Elmsley Drive in 1970?


So what was playing at Port Elmsely in 1970? You can remember the drive-in here in one of my old stories.


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Let’s All Go to The Drive-in!

Let’s All Go to The Drive-in!

In 1950’s, there were over 5,000 Drive-In movie theaters that dotted the American landscape– and in the province of Quebec there were none. The Catholic church labeled them pits of sin, so most of us that lived in the southern Eastern Townships crossed the border to go to the Richford Vermont Drive-In Theatre for our Friday night movies. All our neighbours and friends cars lined up while our parents hooked up the speakers on the half closed windows. The Drive- In Theatre was the first time I saw Bambi and cried all the way home while watching hundreds of car lights in front and back of us also containing crying children in the backseat.

There was nothing like being in love on a warm summer night, when the fireflies were blinking, and snuggling with someone special in your car, while enjoying a movie (if you were paying attention to the movie). It was  Pepsi “for those who think young” and there was no candy hunger going on with the sweetness coming from some of those over-heated cars.

In the 60’s I lived with my grandparents on Mercer Island just across the Puget Sound from Seattle and every Friday night we went to the local Drive-In. It was the first place I had a Space Burger named after the Space Needle and then watching my first risque picture called Irma La Douce with Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon. My grandparents warned me not to tell my father that they had subjected me to lust and hookers.

Two movies I saw that did me in for life were: The Exorcist and Jaws. I remember going to see Jaws at the Britannia Drive- In and our 100 pound German Shepherd was in the back seat. The day before he had stolen the Easter ham off the counter at my fathers and was not feeling his best.

Britannia Drive-In in Ottawa, CA - Cinema Treasures

As the movie began I had my eyes covered and the dog began heaving in the back. At the sight of the “first kill” the dog threw up in the back seat and I almost passed out in fear. Needless to say I have never swam in lakes after that mind-numbing day.

I remember the Drive-In refreshment commercials like it was yesterday with the tap dancing hot dog and fries. It left such an impression on me that during intermission at a few of my Flash Cadilac fashion shows I used to perform on stage as the tap dancing hot dog and my friend was the pack of french fries. I do not remember one dance number ever being completed because we would end up on the floor laughing.

Fond memories, the movie social scene, and sneaking people into the the Drive-Ins brought hopes a few years ago when the Chinese bought AMC they might reconsider bringing them back, but they didn’t. Instead  I have to replace my memories of summer nights at the Drive-In to playing Drive-In Bingo  and writing about Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!

But Wait!


A summer night spent at the drive-in brings nostalgic feelings for millions of kids who grew up listening to the tinny sound coming from the speaker hooked to the car window at their local drive-in theater. On June 6, 1933, the world’s first drive-in theater opened in Camden, New Jersey. This revolutionary concept transformed automobiles into “private theatre boxes” allowing guests to “smoke, chat, or even partake of refreshments.”

Richard Hollingsworth, Jr., the inventor of the drive-in theater, developed the idea during the midst of the depression. He was out of work but figured there were two things people weren’t willing to give up – their cars and going to the movies. He tested his concept by setting up a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his family car and projecting pictures onto a screen nailed to a tree in his yard.

The Morning Call – Allentown, Pennsylvania 06.04.1933

The novelty of watching a movie from your own car was a draw for families who could put the children to sleep in the back seat and enjoy a movie. Viewing a movie from your car also didn’t require you to dress up, a common practice when attending the theater in that era. The problematic sound issue and a depressed economy kept the idea of drive-ins from spreading for the rest of the decade, but after WWII the era of the drive-in movie theater entered its golden age. More than 4,500 drive-in theaters opened between 1948-1955.

By the 1970s, the popularity of the drive-in waned. The 1980s brought an explosion of VHS tapes and movie rentals. The transition to digital projection also provided a challenge for theater owners because of the steep price tag at a time when attendance was down. As a result, many theaters began to shut down. Increased land values also pressured many owners to sell their property for development.

Wasn’t so much about what movie was playing but more about hanging with everyone! Better world then, or sure seemed so.

The Drive-In theater for your big screen movie needs during ...

What Was Playing at the Port Elmsley Drive in 1970?