Tag Archives: Racism

Fiery Cross At Middleville 1926

Fiery Cross At Middleville 1926

I document history for the young readers of the future. Good or bad– I feel it must be documented so we learn from it. The fact that hate groups are multiplying these days scares me… read this and spread the word that hate should not exist. Thanks- Linda

June 1926 Almonte Gazette

October 1926

Read-The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls

Also read-

The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls

The Ku Klux Klan Rally in KingstonThe Ku Klux Klan Rally in Kingston

The Rideau Klavern — More Past History— Scotch Corners, Smiths Falls and Richmond

Carleton Place Fights Racism 1963

So What Happened to the Lost Colony of St. Armand?

Being Black in Rural Ontario 1900s

Slavery — Not in My Backyard?

Down by The Mississippi River with The Jessops (Mrs. Jessop was a former slave owner)

Weird and Thrilling Concert in Carleton Place? The Jubilee Singers of Tennessee University

Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Carleton Place

Carleton Place Fights Racism 1963

Carleton Place Fights Racism 1963
Jane Burns High School Teacher 1963 The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
14 Mar 1963, Thu  •  Page 5
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
15 Mar 1963, Fri  •  Page 1

A discordant note has been heard amidst the more usual tones associated with the Sweet Adelines movement. A Negro housewife has been barred by the American headquarters of the International Sweet Adelines in Ottawa. The statement follows are in the United States Association and recent refusal of a Carleton Place Negro woman to the Ottawa chapter of the Sweet Adelines, the women’s division of the barbershop singing organization. The organization has a bylaw that all members must be white. Jane Burns, a High School teacher from Carleton Place resigned her post as president she said she was a Canadian citizen and did not have to uphold the rules of the American Sweet Adelaine’s group. March 1963

Lana Clowes, was mentioned in several newspaper articles as being from Carleton Place also. I have no idea if she was, or it was a newspaper mixup, but Jane Burns was definitely from Carleton Place.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Mar 1963, Thu  •  Page 6

A Negro housewife has been barred by the U.S.-based headquarters of the International Sweet Adelines, Inc.. from singing with its Ottawa branch, local officials of the female barbershop singers said here. A representative from the Tulsa, Okla., headquarters was reported to have informed the Ottawa group last weekend that Mrs. Lana Clowes, a Negro tenor, can no longer sing with the group. Jane Burns, president of the Ottawa Sweet Adelines branch, told reporters Wednesday night the group would be happy to retain Mrs. Clowes but the club spent the night in Sherbrooke. must abide by the rules.

Miss Burns, a Carleton Place, Ont., high school teacher, said the Sweet Adeline’s constitution states that members must be “white girls of good moral character.”

“I know this colour bar goes against the Canadian Bill of Rights and that the international group does believe in segregation,” she said. “But I don’t see the issue on Christian principles. I see it on the constitution.” Miss Burns said the club would not withdraw from the 13,000 -member international organization, but would “just have to wait until the U.S. residents change their civil rights laws.” She said, however, the group would not be against singing for a Negro audience.

Meanwhile, Rev. Gerald Fee said the Sweet Adelines had informed him they had cancelled a scheduled appearance at a concert Friday at Eastbrook United Church. Following a closed branch meeting Wednesday night, other Sweet Adelines members were reluctant to comment further. Reporters were told “too much has been said already” and “write to Tulsa for a statement.”

Earlier, two executive members, Mrs. Beverley Perkins and Mrs. Barbara Cowan, founder of the local group, said they would quit the club. “I personally cannot go along with this.” said Mrs. Perkins. “There is no reason why we should be forced to abide by ; that regulation up here.” She said Marion Bucannan, ethics officer of the international organization, visited Ottawa last weekend to inform members that Mrs. Clowes must leave the club. “She laid it on the line,” said Mrs. Perkins.

So now this is on the Sweet Adeline’s cover page and it looks like the women who resigned formed the Captial Chordettes

Capital Chordettes— Lana Clowes is in the middle.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Mar 1963, Mon  •  Page 6

Read-Unknown Blind Civil Rights Leader in Carleton Place — Ken London

So What Happened to the Lost Colony of St. Armand?

Being Black in Rural Ontario 1900s

The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls

Slavery — Not in My Backyard?

Down by The Mississippi River with The Jessops (Mrs. Jessop was a former slave owner)

Weird and Thrilling Concert in Carleton Place? The Jubilee Singers of Tennessee University

Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Carleton Place

The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls

The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls




Author’s Note–A 12 foot cross was erected near Chambers Street on April 28,1926. A month later a second cross was burned on the outskirts of town and a third cross a week later at Rideau Heights. In mid June a  fourth cross was burned on Franktown Road, a mile and a half north from town.–These notes are files from —Smiths Falls by Glenn J. Lockwood–also available at Heritage House Museum in Smiths Falls ( open seasonally)


Ku KIux Klan Demonstration Attended by Several Thousand

With files from the Almonte Gazette– Sept. 24 1926

That the Ku Klux Klan- of Canada is strongly organized in Smiths Falls was evidenced at a mammoth Klan demonstration there Sunday afternoon and night in *McEwen‘s open field. Impressive demonstrations were given, concluding before midnight. It is estimated that between *six and seven thousand people were in attendance at the demonstration, Hundreds motored to Smiths Falls from Kingston, Belleville, Brockville, Perth, Ottawa and the whole countryside. Klansmen and Klanswomen were also from Kingston, Brockville and Smiths Falls which exemplified the degree work in initial meetings.

The celebration was given over the initiation of 22 local candidates.  During the ceremony 6 huge crosses burned while the demonstraton proceeded. Programs held both afternoon and evening were under the chairmanships of a Klan’s knight leader from London, Ontario. A brother Klan leader, who is known with the local movement gave the addresses and told them that the Klan was part of Scottish legacy and insisted that only the stores of white Protestants be patronized.

The square in which the services-were conducted were marked off with British flags, as well as an elevated platform for the speakers. On another platform was stationed a twelve piece orchestra under the leadership of Mr. Wm. Yarwood which led in the singing of sacred and patriotic selections.

All taking part in the ceremony were gowned in white, with white hoods and masks. The horses used were likewise draped. A noticeable feature was the omission of names of knights or those taking part. Against a beautiful moonlit sky the evening service was most impressive and included the full initiation and obligation. For the evening service crowds most were assembled before six o’clock and automobiles formed a long procession from the town to the field.

An impressive part of the service was the announcement given by the London speaker about a railway accident the previous night. A former Smiths Falls resident, a C.P.R. engineer, and one of the first to join the Klan in western Ontario, had been dangerously injured.  A two minute silence was observed and prayers offered. The injured man, whose three comrades were killed outright, had expected to be at the Smiths Falls demonstration that day.

At the afternoon meeting the speaker informed thousands that the Klan had received 150 new local members of which 22 members were women. At its first meeting in Smiths Falls some time ago,  the Klan had steadily grown in numbers until today- with a large membership of several hundred. A cloud of secrecy entirely surrounded all proceedings and numbers of Klansmen fully robed from out-of-town stationed themselves among the crowd. The Vice Wizard spoke to the crowd many times on the evils of white women marrying outside their race and contaminating the blood line.

Author’s Note–So what did it bring to the then depressed town of Smiths Falls?  They received more than their share of sensational media and Protestant unhappiness with the local Orange Lodge. Half the folks were from out of town and the only reason it was held in Smiths Falls was because it was easily accessible by train as it was a hub. There never was another Klan meeting that anyone knows of in the area, and no evidence to say how long the Smiths Falls membership met in secret. Luckily, the Klan was on their way out in Canada by 1927.


*McEwen‘s Field became the Rideau Regional Centre now OPP Centre

*It was estimated there were actually 12,000-15,000 people not 5 or 6 thousand.


Hannah Munro-Wright– Growing up in Smiths Falls this was something not taught to me by teachers in school but by class mates who found it in history books… also my parents and their friends knew of this. A lot of them believed the burning of the crosses at the 4 corners of town put some bad karma on the town.

Larry Cotten–I found the picture of the KKK in Smiths Falls interesting. Many don’t realize that the Klan was well organized across Southern Ontario in the mid 1920s. There are similar pictures of parades in Collingwood, Barrie, Penetanguishene and Owen Sound in Central Ontario from the 1920s. A Catholic Church in a major city in Ontario was torched … allegedly by the Klan during that time period.


Related reading


Knights of the Ku Klux Klan standing in front of a cross in Kingston–DateAugust 31, 1927

The Ku Klux Klan Rally in KingstonThe Ku Klux Klan Rally in Kingston

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 and now in The Townships Sun


October 1926

And so it begins.. “An Ape in Heels”



It hasn’t taken long for racism to rear its ugly head since the United States election ended over a week ago. Racist graffiti popping up all over the United States is terrible, but yesterday’s Facebook post by a director of a state and federal-funded nonprofit in West Virginia is inexcusable.

Clay County Development Corp. director Pamela Ramsey Taylor posted :

“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels.”

To make matters worse Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling replied to the comment, “Just made my day Pam.”

Of course they deleted their posts soon after– but it was too late- screenshots were taken all over the world. At 5:35 yesterday  it was announced that Beverly Whaling, would be resigning as mayor of the town of Clay, effective immediately.  Both women insisted it wasn’t meant to be racist– and they expect people to believe that–that’s the second insult. Only difference is: unlike the first insult, the second insult isn’t racist–it’s an insult of people’s intelligence.

What’s worse than a racist? One that turns around and denies what they said or did. If you said it, then own it and deal with the consequences. Is she aware that the future first lady posed nude, allegedly worked illegally in the US, and lied about her education? No other First Lady in history has that dubious distinction. Classy is not the word that comes to mind either–but hey, that’s just my opinion.

This is only going to get worse, and the level of racism, homophobia, and xenophobia has reared its head in less than a week. In the words of the late Gwen Ifill“They decided this culture of meanness was fine — until they got caught. My concern about a lot of people and a lot of the debate in this society is not that people are sorry that they say these things, they are sorry that someone catches them.”

But, maybe a Trump win needed to happen so the United States could be exposed, and now they need to decide where to go from here. Of course racism is a thing of the past right?  The Supreme Court in its 5-4 decision eliminating a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, said so. However I am reminded of what one southern gentleman, William Faulkner, once said…“the past isn’t dead. It’s not even past.” But if the Supremes say, we live a post-racial society, it must be true, right?

Maybe we can add a new cycling event to the Olympics–racist backpedalling.




Thanksgiving 2015–Nothing has Changed in a Year


This was written last year– nothing seems to change

Chicago Braces After Video of Police Shooting Is Released

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, generally a day of gratitude and reflecting with family. After this week we can no longer deny the world we live in, and the next step in healing the nation begins with us and our families.
How do we fix Ferguson?  How do we stop the killing?  Opinions are abound everywhere and most had the same visions until I watched a Youtube video by rapper Richard Williams/Prince EA from St. Louis. In only 4 minutes a young man’s out-of-the-box thoughts were to look deeper and think about who you are and your place in this life.  Love knows no colour, but ignoring race, privilege, supremacy, etc. is not going to make anything disappear.
As I said in a comment this week  I am a firm believer that dialogue is needed in order that conclusions are no longer being assumed but rather worked toward. Race doesn’t actually exist in terms of our DNA. That it is a cultural construct. First, we are human and second, we are a colour.
We need to take a good hard look at the systems, principles, institutions, and mind sets that have supported, and perpetrated racism and discrimination for so long.  Are we being pitted against the other so we don’t see what is really going on?  Do you think if we were ever unified we might choose a better way for ourselves?  If we are going to solve all this reoccurring tragedy we have to question everything that we’ve been programmed to believe.
As the 26-year-old-activist said, the black and white message is to think for yourself, not as you have been told to think. Stop and see the truth behind what many have told you. In reality we should not be each others enemies, as all we want is a better future for our children. If we as human beings could educate our way to a future that ever looks past skin colour, and accents, we would finally realize we are all alike.
None of us are alone in this, and it’s a simple reality nobody wants to hear or face.  Who you really are is who I really am, whatever you do to others, you do to yourself. Everyone talks about changing the world. Very few talk about changing themselves.

Tim Horton’s ‘Racist’ Steak Sandwich Display



I didn’t think people on The Rock could get offended by anything– but they have. A Corner Brook, Nlfd. Tim Hortons has come under fire for a new Western themed promotion for a steak sandwich. 


John Michelin, originally from Sheshatshiu, had a beef with the new promotion when he saw pictures of it on social media this week. Michelin said he noticed photos on Twitter of a display at a Corner Brook Tim Horton’s that depicted a series of cowboys pointing their guns at a group of Indians. He was upset and furious about the display, describing it as racist. 


Personally, I think the word ‘racist’ is being used too liberally these days. It should not be used as a blanket description of everyone who is not ‘politically correct’. Maybe I am wrong, but shouldn’t it be reserved for true racists?

After the complaint the manager was quick to take the display down. Now, the person complaining wants more. Michelin wants the store’s manager to issue a public apology on social media. What’s next? Asking the manager to repeat the alphabet backwards? 

This issue should have been closed when the store manager took down the alleged offending display. How many times do we have to say “we are sorry” before the message finally sinks in? It is a part of history. There are many things humanity has done– ignorant, horrible things that are now ‘politically incorrect’ with the delusion that historical wrongs can be forgotten or erased. History is history, it may be painful and difficult but you cannot change it. Political correctness will not replace historical facts. Cowboys and Indians are a stereotype, and hopefully one that we are over now. Give it a rest.

There is absolutely no way on Earth to make everyone happy. There is always going to be someone offended by something. There are a lot more important things going on these days, like what just happened in Paris and in other cities. Be offended by how many U.S. stores Tim Horton’s closed this week and employees now out of a job.  Be offended that what should be a Canadian company is now owned by a company in Brazil and Juan Valdez is serving us Brazilian coffee now. This should be the focus, not an advertisement for a sandwich.

Personally, I’m offended at how easily people are offended now. Why don’t we all agree that the world is just one big offensive world and move on.

NB—this was an op-ed– and I did ask in my blog am i wrong?- AND I never asked why ” native people should really not be offended by blatantly racist and historically inaccurate and insulting stuff” because I believe insulting people is wrong. I am JUST tired of people questioning every minute detail of life and that is what it was about….I always open my blogs to opinions and respect them .. Thank you


Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Profiling Robert Allen Zimmerman – Linda Seccaspina – Open Salon



Profiling Robert Allen Zimmerman – Linda Seccaspina – Open Salon.


“Since when has it become a crime to walk about a neighbourhood?  No one will ever convince me that it ‘s okay to follow, harass, or approach any unarmed person with a gun and shoot them.”

I was Born White — Paula Deen Got Served! – Zoomers



I was Born White — Paula Deen Got Served! – Zoomers.



“If I did not watch E! News I would have no idea what is going on with Paula Deen, the Food Network and Deen’s many racial issues. Canadian news is full of the tragic floods in Alberta, the lying cash-spending Canadian senate and the Princes Harry and William attending a wedding at Hogwarth’s castle. We have a large Caribbean and Somalian culture in Canada but no one seems to talk about racial profiling. I know it exists– but Canadians just don’t discuss it– nor is it plastered in the news.”