Tag Archives: presbyterian

Fire at the Manse in Watson’s Corners

Fire at the Manse in Watson’s Corners
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
26 Aug 1908, Wed  •  Page 1

During Rev. McConnells’ ministry, the first manse at Watson’s Corners was built in 1893, and the next year the Zion Church was built at Watson’s Corners. During Rev. McLean’s ministry in 1908, the Manse was burned to the ground on August 20, but was rebuilt immediately after the fire.

Perth Courier, November 10, 1893

Watson’s Corners:  On the night of 31st October the minister and his family, who lately moved into the new manse at Watson’s Corners, got a very pleasant surprise by the ladies and their friends of that section of the Dalhousie congregation.  On the evening named Mr. and Mrs. McConnell were invited out to tea and while at the house of their hostess and before the hour for tea had come, two messengers arrived announcing that visitors had come to the manse and Mr. and Mrs. McConnell were wanted.  On retracing their steps they found the ladies and gentlemen to the number of 36 had taken full possession and on being ushered into the dining room they found the table loaded with everything inviting to the appetite and they were invited by the president of the Ladies Aid of Watson’s Corners to take their places at the table.  After supper, Mr. McConnell was called to take the chair for the evening and a very pleasant hour was spent in religious exercises.  Congratulatory addresses were made on the work done since the minister’s labors began in this part of the Dalhousie congregation to which the minister replied and thanked all who were present for the earnest and zealous aid he had received since his arrival at Watson’s Corners.  The ladies not only brought ample supplies for all present but enough to make a good beginning in the way of supplying the manse for some time to come.  Nor was the minister’s horse forgotten for several bags of oats were brought and stored away for him. Such a visit as this of which we have written is stimulating and helpful both to the minister and the people; and we trust the kind words spoken by those present on this occasion and the response returned by the chairman will long be remembered by all.  In concluding this brief recital of what happened at the Presbyterian manse on the night of the 31st October we may add that besides the representatives of our own church and congregation we had male and female members of the Methodist Church who were as liberal and cordial in their gifts and kind words as others.  At about 10:00, after singing “God Be With You Till We Meet Again”, etc., the chairman pronouncing the benediction the company dispersed well satisfied with the entertainment of which they were the originators and active agents.

The Landmark Pine Tree in Watson’s Corners– Gloria Currie

When Researching — Tragedy Somehow Shows Up- Fair Family- Watson’s Corners

More Photos of the Watson’s Corners Kangaroos – Thanks to Connie Jackson

The Valley Calendar 1976– Cindy Duncan–Watson’s Corners

Watson’s Corners School

Watson’s Corners

It’s the Watson’s Corners News 1895!

Social Notes from Watson’s Corners

All the Single Ladies?

It’s the Watson’s Corners News 1895!

The Miserly Woman From Watson’s Corners 1903

The Deserted Fireplace at Watson’s Corners


Watson’s Corners And Vicinity 1891–Shetland Ponies and Cheese

So…. We drove by Kangaroo Crescent

Tie Me Jackelope Down Boy–Tie Me Jackelope Down!

More about Cindy Duncan – Thanks to Connie Jackson

Another Segment in the Short Life of Jessie Comrie– Residential Schools –1919

Another Segment in the Short Life of Jessie Comrie– Residential Schools –1919

Written in the interests of the Presbyterial of Lanark and Renfrew, and addressed to the members of the Women’s Missionary Society by Miss Jessie Comrie, of Carleton Place.

In a treaty made with our Dominion Government and made with the Indians.

In 1871 there was the promise of schools for their children; to fulfill that promise our Government has undertaken a share in this work and recognizing the necessity of giving the Indians an education under Christian influences gave over the work to the different churches.

The churches have taken a part in the educational work among the Indians, believing that it would afford them an opening for Christian work among these people. The church expects the school to make the Christian work the centre and soul of all the training and teaching of every department. To lose sight of this purpose would be to not only fail In carrying out the plan of our church, but to fail in doing the Indian children any real good.

In 1866 mission work for the Indians was begun by the Presbyterian church among tribes that were untouched by any church, and in 1876 the women of our church were organized for missionary work and since then have supported teachers in the mission-schools for the Indian children.

The spiritual growth is slow as in all pagan lands, but steady advance has been made and present results are largely attributed to the secular and religious training the children have received in our schools. The teaching of the Bible each day and in Sabbath schools, morning and evening family ’ worship and thehourly,- association with Christian workers are no small factors in training our Indian boys and girls for Christian citizenship. 

There are 550 children under our care in the day and boarding schools. It is the opinion of our workers among these people that the boarding school is the best adapted to give the boys and girls a thorough education and best results so far have come from these schools.

Some of the day schools are semi boarding schools, for the children to come long distances. The Government has given an allowance that provides them with a mid-day meal which the missionary teachers make ready with the help of the older children.

Two of the boarding schools are in Manitoba, two of them in Saskatchewan, two in British Columbia and one In Ontario, named the “Cecilia Jeffrey” in memory of one of our secretaries in Indian work in the early years.This school is forty-five miles from the town of Kenora. In these schools each child, with the consent of the parents, is signed into the school and remains there until he or she is eighteen years of age. 

They study the public school course. The older boys and girls spend only half of each day in the school room, the other half they are being taught to do useful work, and helping to do the work of the institution. The aim is to give them industrial work that will be most useful in after life, the boys to till the ground, and the girls to cook wholesome food and tend to a family.

To be in a position to give this industrial training a few years ago, the Government made a number of new regulations, requiring more accommodation in all boarding schools as well as sufficient land around the school to make such a training possible; it being the wish of the Government  that sooner or later all the children be sent to a boarding school where a better industrial training is possible than in the day school. Our Woman’s Missionary Society has made it possible for the children to be kept in school by sending clothing for them every year. This supply work by the women of the Church, has been responded to generously, remembering our Master’s words:

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these ye have done it unto Me.”

But what is being done for the Indians by Church and State is only a just debt and should never be considered in the light of charity.The fruits of our mission work are seen to-day in the second generation of Indian youth who are entering our schools. Misa McGregor, our field secretary, who taught for eight years in an Indian school, urges us to “Go forward doing what we can to further this work,” because of what has been achieved in the past, and because of its possibilities. Our missionaries have had the joy of seeing many of the young accept a Saviour, who is not of the white man’s , alone, but the Indians, too. Their vision in the not far distant future is a rising generation of Christian Indian citizens in a land once theirs now ours and theirs. ■ JESSIE COMRIE, Carleton Place

Jessie Comrie drowned in Sept of 1928– was it accidental or murder most fowl? READ-

Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

When the Past Comes A Haunting- Jessie Comrie

Charlie arrived at the Cecilia Jeffrey School, which is run by the Presbyterian Church and paid for by the federal government, in the fall of 1963. Some 150 Indian children live at the school but are integrated into the local school system. Consequently, Cecilia Jeffrey is, for 10 months in the year, really nothing more than an enormous dormitory. And Charlie, who understood hardly any English, spent the first two years in grade one. He spent last year in what is called a junior opportunity class. That means he was a slow learner and had to be given special instruction in English and arithmetic. This fall he wasn’t quite good enough to go back into the grade system, so he was placed in what is called a senior opportunity class. read more here


Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

When the Past Comes A Haunting- Jessie Comrie

Name:Jessie Comrie
Birth Date:abt 1858
Birth Place:Montague, Ontario
Death Date:5 Sep 1928
Death Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Cause of Death:Drowned
*Jessie Comrie- Nurse to all the Muirhead children Death Notice–Mary Gillies Muirhead posted this note on this death card.–From the collection of Linda Seccaspina–

Presbyterian Church 1888

PAKENHAM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1897– $338.50 on the Cornerstone?

PAKENHAM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1897– $338.50 on the Cornerstone?

Screenshot 2017-06-14 at 08.jpg

Illustration-Almonte Gazette June 18 1897

Laying the Corner-Stone of the Interesting Occasion—A Report of the Proceedings.

Almonte Gazette June 18 1897

Tuesday of this week was a red letter occasion with the Presbyterians of Pakenham, for on that day the corner-stone of the new church they are erecting was laid with appropriate ceremonies by Mrs. Francis, one of the oldest members of the congregation and the head of a family to whose generosity in a large measure is due the successful carrying through of the plans of the building committee.

The day proved an ideal one, and a large crowd was present. Many Almonters drove down. A preliminary service was held in the old church at eleven o’clock a.m., at which a fine sermon was preached by an old and highly esteemed former pastor—Rev. Jas. Stuart, of Prescott.  and  the Rev. gentleman had as the basis of his remarks Ephesians 2 :20 , 21,.

From this he preached a sermon appropriate to the occasion. It was retrospective, introspective and prospective—it recounted the past, with its joys and successes, as well as the darker side of the picture, which included a reference to the absence of many of the old familiar faces, called to their reward and it looked into things as they are at present; and it spoke of the doings of the day in a spirit that hoped and expected much from the future for the congregation and the community.

The lessons were impressive, and were listened to with great interest by those who were privileged to be in attendance. Rev. Mr. Stuart is always welcomed to Pakenham,
and his visit and his words of cheer and encouragement on this occasion were greatly appreciated.

Rev. A. E. Mitchell, B.A., of Almonte, assisted at the service. The singing by the choir was worthy of mention. It was of a high order. Rev. R. J, Hutcheon, M.A., and Mr. A. Haydon, M.A., assisted in the musical part, and sang a duet during the service.


Photo —Millstone

At the close of the forenoon service the congregation, and in fact the bulk of the villagers—to appearance, at least—repaired to the agricultural hall, where for two hours a large staff of waiters were kept busy serving dinner. In the evening tea was served in the same place, in all probably 500 meals being given—a good day’s work for the committee in charge of that department.

At half-past two in the afternoon the most interesting part of the proceedings
took place—the laying of the corner-stone and the ceremonies connection therewith.On the site set apart for the sacred edifice, and from a platform erected in a suitable place a number of the clergymen delivered addresses in harmony with the occasion. Rev. E. S. Logie, the energetic young pastor, was master of ceremonies, and discharged his duties with a skill that won him great praise. He asked the audience to open the proceedings.

With the doxology—”Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” etc.—which was rendered with vigor, led by the choir and the audience. Rev. Dr. Campbell, of Renfrew, then read a suitable passage of scripture. Prayer followed, after which Rev. Mr. Logie read the list of articles to be deposited in the corner-stone, as follows: A coin of the realm, copies of the Morrin College Magazine, theDaily Witness, the Presbyterian
Record, the Forester, the Almonte Gazette, the I.O.O.F. constitution and bylaws, a list of the memb and bylaws, a list of the members of the congregation at- the present date.

Then were the names of the board of managers, the building committee, the secretary and treasurer of the congregation, and the superintendent and teachers of the Sabbath school. After the reading of this list the crowd gathered closer while the pastor presented Mrs. Francis with a handsome silver trowel and asked her to perform the work of laying the corner-stone. The stone was well and truly laid by the venerable lady, after which Kir. Logie announced that an opportunity would be given those who wished to give a contribution in aid of the building fund.

A stream of contributors swelled the receipts to a generous sum. Then came an earnest patriotic address from Rev. D. J. McLean, M.A., of Arnprior, delivered with the fluency for which that gentleman is noted. He spoke of what should characterize a temple erected to God’o service. It was an influence for good in the community, advancing the cause of civilization, diffusing the light of liberty and knowledge and truth, and promoting the highest and best interests of the people. He warmly commended the members and adherents of the Pakenham congregation for their generosity, and concluded a polished address by extending his best wishes.

Rev. Dr. Campbell, of Renfrew, was the next speaker. He is well known as one of
the oldest and ablest members of the Lanark and Renfrew Presbytery, and in his address he was able to refer to incidents in connection with the earlier life of the Pakenham branches of the Presbyterian church in a most interesting manner. He began by joining heartily in all the kind expressions made use of by the preceding

He spoke feelingly of those who in former years had laid broad and deep the foundations on which much of the success achieved had been built—of the late Rev. Dr. Mann, who came to this section nearly sixty years ago, and travelled through the length and breadth- of this and the adjoining county in the service of the Master.

The speaker paid tribute to that man of God and the work he did. He also gave credit for the foundation work done by one whom he was glad to see present—one who had travelled side by side with Dr. Mann for many years—Rev. Jas. Stuart. Both had labored earnestly and successfully in the earlier years in Pakenham for the glory of God and the good of the people, and, while many of the parents who had been brought to Christ through their efforts had been called home, their children remained to carry on the work.

Dr. Campbell closed a concise but comprehensive address with words of warm encouragement to pastor and people on the joyful occasion of laying the foundation stone of their new temple. Rev. Hugh Taylor, of Lochwinnoch, one of the brainiest preachers in the bounds of the presbytery, was next called on, and gave an address that did . credit. He was one of Mr. Logics predecessors at Pakenham, and felt a great interest in the work of the day. He congratulated pastor and people on their success in arranging for such a beautiful new edifice as had been begun. He was pleased to see so many old familiar faces present.

Some were missing—he missed them; but he was pleased to see so many of the fathers and mothers in Israel present, and that to one of them had been accorded the honor of laying the corner-stone. While pastor at Pakenham, he said, it had been long his desire to see a new church built, and, though it was not to be in his time, he was exceedingly pleased to note the success of the congregation.

The building now in course of erection was the fourth Presbyterian church in Pakenham. The first was destroyed; part of the second still remains; they had worshipped that forenoon in the third; and they would soon worship in the fourth. Their material prosperity was keeping up well with their spiritual prosperity.

He spoke of the change of site—the coming down among the people, to show the deep interest felt in their concerns; of the plan, which showed a good Sabbath school building, where the foundation of Christian life was laid; of the C. E society, one of the grandest institutions to develop Christian life in the young people of the community.

“ You are a Christian people here,” he said. Contrary to the views of many he saw no indications of church’ union, and he maintained that no one present would live to see the union of the various denominations. The spirit of union was good, but it was impossible to get people to agree. It should rejoice the hearts of all that the foundations had been laid a new church that would help the upward life of the community. He expressed the hope that many would be brought to the Lord as the result of the work now being undertaken, and closed a really excellent address with
renewed congratulations and good wishes.

Rev. Jas. Stuart spoke in terms of warm commendation of the efforts of Rev. Mr, Logie and his people in undertaking the erection of a fine new church. It was the jubilee year, and they had taken a grand means of celebrating it.

The pastor and people are to be congratulated on the success of Tuesday’s proceedings, everything being carried out most satisfactory to all concerned. The total receipts of the day amounted to over $430.00, and $338.50 of which was placed on the cornerstone.

Mr. J. McDowall, the contractor for the stonework of the church, prepared the cornerstone for laying, and as it was pronounced “well and truly laid,” so the rest of the work under Mr. McD’s. superintendence will without doubt be pronounced when
he has completed his contract, if the work he has already done can be taken as a specimen of what the whole will be like.


Almonte Gazette


Pakenham Township was named after Sir Edward Pakenham who was the brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington.

Was a postal station from 1832. It is located on the Mississippi River. It was known as Dickson’s Mills then Pakenham Mills. In 1842 the village’s population was 250 persons. It contained 3 churches – Episcopal, Presbyterian and Methodist, post office, grist mill, saw mill, carding machine & cloth factory, four stores, a tannery, two taverns and some shops.


Clipped from

  1. Ottawa Daily Citizen,
  2. 16 Feb 1866, Fri,
  3. Page 2

Cedar Hill:
The village was built around the first school (L6 C8). It was first called Upper Pakenham. In the Historical Atlas for Lanark County, it is marked Cedar Hill PO.

By the 1890s, Dalkeith Street was the location of both the Methodist parsonage and the Presbyterian manse.

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 (US


St. Andrew’s Pakenham celebrates 175th anniversary October 9– 2015– Click here–Millstone

For the Love of St. Andrew’s– 130th Anniversary

Who Really Built the Baptist Church in Carleton Place?

Old Churches of Lanark County