Before it was the Free Methodist Church, it was a Black Sock Church. Those outside the church refer to it as “Two by Twos”, “The Black Stockings”, “No-name Church”, “Cooneyites”, “Workers and Friends” or “Christians Anonymous.” Church ministers are itinerant and work in groups of two, hence the name “Two by Twos”.
It was a Christian religious sect referred to by outsiders as “Two By Twos” or the “no name church,” but we all referred to it as “meeting” or “The Truth”. When people asked me the name of the church I went to when I was a child I would say that my church didn’t have a name, we just met in homes. They all thought I was a Quaker, even though we lived in California where Quakers don’t have substantial numbers.
From the perspective of a child however, most of the mechanics of the church don’t matter much except that you have to try to figure out how to stave off boredom. Because the meetings happened with 15-20 people sitting in chairs facing each other, letting one person explain their understanding of the passage at hand, all the way around the room while skipping children and anyone who had not yet “professed”, there was an expectation that children would behave themselves. The word of God was being spoken and we should pay attention, or at the least not make any noise. It was probably a similar expectation to the way children were expected to behave at the table in the 1800s and earlier. If we did speak up, make noise, fidget too much, or otherwise fail to adhere to the expectations of the group, we would be taken into the bathroom and spanked. That only happened to me once or twice. I learned quickly to open the hymn book, look at the notes and make up stories in my head or listen to what everyone was saying while trying to figure out what it all meant.
As part of the church, we often had friends and “workers” at our house. They would have dinner with us, play cards, and chat deep into the night with my parents. The expectation was that, as children, we were to behave, eat nicely, and leave after cleaning the table. The only exception was that you could keep your mouth shut and listen as long as you liked, IF you only said anything when you had something of real value to contribute. As a child I remember sitting for hours listening to conversations just so I could find a moment to say something the rest of the table thought was valuable. I feel like this too was immensely valuable training for me as a child. I think the positive effects, both of the intellectual conversations that happened around me and of being forced to hold my tongue unless I could add value, continue to be felt in my life today.
Methodism was introduced into this area in the 1820s by missionaries from the United States. The Canadian branch separated from the American Church in 1824, forming the Canadian Methodist Conference, then united in 1833 with the Wesleyan Methodist Conference.
The Carleton Place Methodist congregation was organized by the Rev. Mr. John Black (great grandfather of the first organist for Zion-Memorial) in 1829, and in 1831, built the first church in the village of Carleton Place (Morphy’s Falls). It was a frame structure, large enough to seat 250 persons, situated on Bridge St. on the site of the present Baptist Church. The wooden church was moved, and a new brick building was built (the present Baptist Church). Read– Facts You Might Not Know About Carleton Place for our 150th Birthday – Part 3
Witches were once known as wise women. You couldn’t help staring. Dressed completely in black, her eyes outlined with black, a pentagram dangled from a chain, her presence demanded attention. No, this wasn’t Hollywood — it was NYC years ago when I was on a buying trip for my store in Ottawa. Standing next to me in a check-out line stood Laurie Cabot, the official witch of Salem, Mass. Admittedly disconcerted by the woman in black, I suddenly felt a twinge of fear– or was it admiration? Every Halloween we are confronted by witches. Ugly hags, powerful and evil, handmaids of the devil. Few images are so frightening; few are so completely wrong.
Until the Christianization of Europe, the Old Religion, with its goddesses and gods, marked cycles of time and fertility. Wise women – healers, midwives and counselors – practiced magic and folk arts of ancient earth-based spiritualities. Even as people converted to Christianity, they blended these old mysteries with the new beliefs. Male clerics, however, eventually redefined folk practices as Satan’s work or witchcraft In 1484, Pope Innocent sanctioned witch-hunting. Two years later, two Dominican inquisitors published the Malleus Mallefi-carum (“Hammer of Witches”) as an instruction book for zealous Christians to aid the cause.
An instant best-seller, the Malleus argued that women were more susceptible to the Devil’s wiles than men. By nature, women were feeble-minded, morally and sexually lax, inclined to lie, weak in faith, and prone to evil. Clerics and medical doctors identified women’s ancient arts – contraception, abortion, birthing, healing -as witch’s work. “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Exodus 22:18). Thus armed with the Malleus and the Bible, the medieval church launched one of its most successful crusades – killing women.
Although reliable numbers are difficult to discern, some scholars estimate that from the 15th to 18th centuries, approximately 2 million people were executed for witchcraft- 80 per cent of them women. During the burning times, the church terrorized women suspected of practicing the old religions. In 1585, in the Bishop of Trier, had the entire female population was murdered. Ancient beliefs died by harassment, inquisition, torture and execution. In the midst of this violence, the church – threatened by the rival female spiritual power – constructed the modern image of the witch, a misogynist image haunting our culture still.
Once, before the burning times, people revered old women, wise women – “witches” – as healers and givers of life. Now they are hags. On Halloween, some Christian women commemorate the burning times in what theologian Rosemary Ruether calls a “remembrance of the holocaust of women.” After reciting a litany of women executed as witches, participants pray, “We weep for them. We do not for get them. And as we remember them, we dedi cate ourselves to making a new world where we and our daughters can live free.”
Other women, however, have rejected traditional religion completely and embraced revitalized forms of the old ways – now referred to as wicca, god dess worship or neo-paganism. The re-emergence of witchcraft as a serious religious practice coincided with contemporary feminism. Many women believe Christianity and Judaism to be hopelessly patriarchal and, not surprisingly, violently oppressive to women. Thus, many well-educated, urban professional women have turned to the Goddess as an alternate source for spirituality According to modern witches, “the craft” is not a pact with the Devil (and not to be confused with Satanism, a separate belief.
Rather, it is a set of ritual practices aimed at healing as one connects with the universe – related to other pre-Christian beliefs found in tribal religions around the world. Halloween, or Samhain, is one of witchcraft’s most important ritual festivals. It is the witches’ New Year, the time when the veil dividing the world of the living and the dead is thin. At this time, the witches’ spiral dance celebrates death, fertility and renewal. I don’t fear witches. Rather, I fear the witch hunt – the real work of the Devil.
Pakenham Witches. —Because we are deriving very little and in some cases no butter from our travelling starved cows, many believe the cream is bewitched by a maliciously inclined man or woman, supposed to receive power from the devil. It is astonishing how many Protestants, even church members,believe as strongly in superstition than they do in the Bible. We are inclined to ask what Protestant religion is doing when superstition is cultivated to such an alarming extent, W e must be getting back near the time when the witches were burned, and perhaps in our next we can give you the gratifying news of the capture and burning of this one.–Almonte Gazette Pakenham August 6 1880 read-The White Witch of Lanark County–Having the Sight
An annual open-air worship service at the Preaching Rock of Rosetta is getting to be a tradition here. Sunday, for the fourth year in a row, Lanark County residents gathered to pray at the rock in a farm field near this tiny settlement between Almonte and Middleville. The focus of the service was the “preaching rock,” a ridge where it is said settlers first worshipped in the early 1800s before their church was built.
At the Sunday service this year a corner of the rock served as the pulpit, while an organ accompanied a small choir from the United Church congregations of Middleville, Hopetown and Lanark. The historic tale of the rock, now located on the farm of George James, remains tantalizing to people in the area. There seems no doubt that early pioneers did worship there, but exactly when and for how many years is not clear.
Local lore says early families walked barefoot as far as 26 miles to the rock to have their children baptized. Some confusion surrounds the identity of the original owner of the land, reported to have been Mrs. James Dick, a widow with 11 children who settled in the area in 1821. However, current owner George James says the land was in fact owned by a Mr. Arnott. “My uncle used to tell me he remembered worshipping at the rock as a teenager” says James, probably after the Rosetta United Church burned about 1919 and before the current building was completed. “He was the only one I heard of who had actually worshipped there.” James’s uncle, George Peacock, died in 1958 at the age of 83. The idea of establishing an annual service at the scenic rock was prompted by Lanark resident Alex Bowes. “Alex- took me to the site one Monday morning and asked why couldn’t we hold a service here again?” says Rev. Bob Condie, who presided at this year’s service.
During the winter of 1852, steps were taken to erect a new and commodious frame church building at Rosetta which was completed the next summer. It was found that at the end of the first year of the church’s history, that the membership had doubled to about 30.
The chief feature of that year’s ministry was the deep and solemn attention that was paid to the preached word and constituted the most remarkable in the history of Congregationalism in Lanark, as the great revival of religion in 1853. From the time that the excitement connected with the formation of the church subsided, Mr. Black preached a series of very searching sermons on such subjects as “The Nature of Conversion”, “The New Birth”, and “Church Membership and Those Who Are Entitled To It”
Perth Courier, March 2, 1961
Lanark Historian Compiles Congregational Church History
The chance discovery of a newspaper dated 1889 among the contents of an old trunk provided the inspiration for the following history of the Congregational Churches of Middleville, Rosetta, Hopetown and Lanark Village. The compilation was made recently by W. H. McFarlane, of Perth, a former publisher of the Lanark Era and later of the Arnprior Chronicle.
From the files of the Christmas edition of the Lanark Village Gazette, published December 29, 1889, a six column, four page paper printed by the Almonte Gazette, McLeod and McEwen publishers, we glean these interesting notices on the history of Congregationalism in that part of Lanark County, comprising Middleville, Hopetown, Rosetta and Lanark Village. The story was written for the Lanark Gazette by Rev. R.K. Black, a former pastor who at this time has moved to Sarnia to reside.
The Congregational Church in Lanark Township originated in a withdrawal from the Presbyterian Church. It was in the year 1848 or 1849 that about fifty people, most of whom being heads of families and residing near Middleville and Rosetta, left the Presbyterian Church in consequence of what they regarded as the arbitrary conduct of their minister.
First Nations children were once living in residential schools under the thumb of priests, nuns and staff charged with purging these children of their culture and traditions and replacing them with their own. Several of the churches were engaged in the management of day and residential schools. This co-operation of the churches in the case of residential schools was as follows: Roman Catholic, 44; Church of England, 21; United Church, 13; Presbyterian Church, 2, making a total of 80. I have never understood why people try to hide history–great nations should never hide their history– but we did.
Today I discovered my truth in this matter by having a flashback and putting two and two together. Funny how that works- and after I had a good cry- I realized that all truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
Years ago in the 1950s and 1960s I used to help my Grandmother with her Anglican church groups preparing “the bales” to go north as they told me. The bales were actually handmade quilts rolled up with warm mittens and scarves, along with books and treats. We made a lot of them each year, and in my young heart I envisioned they were being transported to the North Pole. Every year I saved up my allowance to buy treats for the families that I thought lived in igloos, wore snowsuits and had big smiles like in the books I read. I was wrong – they were being sent to residential schools.
“As early as 1921, one official report described living conditions in residential schools as “a national crime.” When children wet their beds, the nuns at the Sturgeon Lake residential school would wrap the soiled sheets around their heads. If they tried to run away from the school where they were forced to live until they were 16, their heads were shaved. If they dared to speak Cree, their hands were rapped with a ruler. But the thing that hurts the most is they forced their religion on the children day in and day out.”
As I type the above words I wondered if my grandmother’s church group should have sent boxes of hymn books like they used too. I was always told the children loved getting these books– and now I can see that they did not. We have rules now that the government can’t penalize you because of your religious beliefs– so why were these children forced with this injustice. The residential schools were conducted by church authorities, with financial assistance from the Dominion Government and supervised by the Indian affairs section of the Department of the Interior. Half these schools were under Roman Catholic control and they remain divided among the other denominations. An Anglican bishop in Alberta told the media churches must stop “beating themselves up” over the question of abuse at Indian residential schools and should return to the basics of preaching Christianity. Unfortunately, I can’t tell whether the bishop was being purposefully ironic, or he really couldn’t see the contradictions of his statements.
In the larger residential schools in the 1930s daily duties were allotted to the pupils, who took turns:
Set staff table. Clear away all staff dishes. Wait on the staff table. Dry staff dishes. Help to put dishes away In pantry. Sweep kitchen and dust. Clean kitchen stove and kettles.
Pack up and wash staff dishes while staff girl dries. Wash all pot and tea towel. Help with up school meal. Clean both kitchen table before meal.
Wash all tables. Sweep room after all meals. Dust the dining-room thoroughly. Sweep and tidy the lobby after breakfast and dinner. Take wood to the sitting–room when required. Keep the dining-room shelf tidy. Put all Bible and prayer books away tidily.
Dormitory Girl Every day, clean wash stands In both dormitories. Dust. Clean lamp globe.
Monday, prepare for school wash.
Tuesday, sweep and dust boys’ dormitory.
Wednesday, sort and put away clothes. Fill all lamps, also table lamp.
Thursday, sweep and dust girls’ dormitory.
Friday, sweep and dust top bedrooms.
Saturday, sweep both dormitories. Sweep sewing room. Fill all lamps.
After we packed the bales I went home to loving parents. I had a warm meal, watched television and slept in a cozy bed.The next morning I got up for school without having to do the above chores with a full breakfast in my stomach. I told all my friends how we had sent the bales to happy people in the north, not knowing it was all a lie. One hundred and forty articles knitted by the church group members, as well as cash and other things were being shipped to the residential schools. As well, I remember that our church help donate money for an organ so the children could be forced to sing hymns that were not part of their own religion. Why did this all seem so right to everyone when it was all so wrong?
So what should we do now? In a world of TV soap operas an apology is always followed by acceptance, and the story moves on after the required tears and hugs. But, it just doesn’t work quite that way in real life– and especially in this case. More than one in five former school pupils have applied for compensation for living in residential schools have been turned down. Thousands of children that were taken from their families filed claims stating they were sexually and physically abused and forced to learn English. It’s not like we can just turn a page and everything is good. We have to realize that this is not just a dark chapter in our country’s history, it’s something we as a country need to come to terms with when it comes to making decisions about everyones future. We all are connected in a circle of life that is far deeper than any of us can truly understand– and today my realized participation and ignorance came full circle. Apologies are not just enough– it’s a start– but we have to do more than that.
“In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.”
Thanks Rose Mary Sarsfield–The old church referred to here would have been the Ramsay Free Church. According to Winston MacIntoshin “The Wind Bloweth where it Listeth” there are few early records of this church. It was known as the Eighth Line Canada Presbyterian Church. It was located WLot 15 Con 8. This would be kitty corner to the Auld Kirk. The first minister was defrocked for lasciviousness. The third minister was Rev. Wm. McKenzie father of Tait MacKenzie. During his pastorate the St. John’s Presbyterian Church which is still in use in Almonte was built. The attached water colour sketch was done by Tait MacKenzie about 1888Ramsay Free Church and Manse, located on lot 15, concession 8, Ramsay Township.The manse is still being used as a private residence today, but the church has gone. You can see the church to the left of the manse in the picture. These buildings were built around 1840 – 1850.
THE RAMSAY FREE CHURCH COMMUNION ROLL — 1846
Published in the LCGS newsletter, November, 1996.Surnames have been put in bold type to aid viewing. The list is presented here as published. It seems to show the names in family groupings, thus the names have not been sorted alphabetically.THE RAMSAY FREE CHURCH OR CANADA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHThese people seceded from the Church of Scotland, the Auld Kirk in 1845 and in 1846 built the Free Church, a large frame plaster cast Church on Lot 15 West Concession 8, across the corner from the Auld Kirk. The church was destroyed by fire in 1926. It had been used as a barn. The manse, a white frame house still stands and was long used as a farm dwelling. In it Dr. Robert Tait McKENZIE was born and later it was the dwelling of Mr. & Mrs. Wm. ALLEN, Mr. David WILSON and Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth McGREGOR.The ministers who lived there were: 1846 – 185 Rev. Wm. G. JOHNSTON 1853 – 185 Rev. James SMITH 1859 – 1868 Rev. Wm. McKENZIE 1870 – 1874 Rev. Howard STEELE 1875 – 1890 Rev. Robert KNOWLES at Blakeney and ClaytonWhen St. John’s Church was opened in 1868 services were continued in the church on the 8th line, but in a few years it was decided by the Ramsay Presbyterians to close it and a church was built in 1873 in Clayton and one in Blakeney in 1876. The Free Church building was sold to the Reformed Presbyterian Church in 1876 and used until 1891.This story on the Ramsay Free Church was documented several years ago as a New Horizons Project of the North Lanark Historical Society.Rev. Wm. G. JOHNSTONE, first minister click here to read the rest http://lcgsresourcelibrary.com/articles/A-RAMSAY.HTM
Marilyn Vallentyne GendronYes of course, now I recognize this house, it’s not on the corner of the Wolfe grove and county road 8, it’s up from the corner on the left hand side on the 8th line. We were living in the house on the corner (the old manse) when Hugh and Liz Findlay bought this house probably from Grant Campbell who bought the farm farm Ken McGregor. Grant split up the farm house to have the acres and barn for the horses, so now you know the rest of the story.
BY “WHB” July 2 1926–Almonte Gazette
A foundation of historic interest was destroyed in the early hours of Friday morning ( July1,1926) when a barn, belonging to Mr. D. Wilson of the 8th Line of Ramsay, went up in smoke. This barn, where yesterday the fatted calf- disported himself, was once the place of penitence for the prodigal himself, for it was originally a church.
The ‘Great ‘Disruption in Scotland in 1843 directed the congregation of the Auld Kirk at the 8th Line; and part of that congregation, when it went out or was locked out of a church meeting during the Disruption festivities, organized a church of its own affiliated with the Free Church of Scotland. The building burnt on Friday was their church until the one now occupied by the Continuing Presbyterians was built in Almonte in the early 60’s. A graveyard was opened alongside of the old Free Church; but as the soil was not well adapted for burial purposes it was soon abandoned, and many of the bodies interred there were removed to other cemeteries.
This writer’s recollection of his first church service is that of one in the old Free Church when Rev. Mr. Steele was the minister. With other lads I walked to church barefooted, carrying shoes and stockings until the Tannery creek was reached, where linal ablutions and dolling-up were made. Little is now remembered of the service itself save that it. seemed very long, although it was divided into two parts by an intermission for lunch. Grace before and after meat as if saintly elders would have done. The Precentor with his tuning fork, as he stood up beside the pulpit to raise the tune, attracted my attention at once and well do I remember his frowning impatience with those leisurely wailers who persisted in tailing off half a line or so behind him and the bulk of the congregation in the singing of the long-metre melodies he appeared to favor.
The Caretaker was another interesting official to the country boy, for he had enviable foresight into which dogs had thoroughbred training on oatmeal. Pity the caretaker could not have exercised his remarkaible, powers of discrimination upon church members then and since, for he might have prevented many a church squabble. Taking up the collection was a fearsome ceremony. A long pole, at the end of which dangled a bag looking like a weatherbeaten wasps nest, was passed along the length of the pew, lifted over the heads of the worshippers to those in the next pew, and hauled back again to the aisle. The lady at the far end had to bow her head, in prayer perhaps, to save her bonnet being knocked off, and those across the aisle had to be on the alert to avoid being punched in the eye, by the end of the pole on its return trip.
Church-going was a sort of community reunion in those days, for everyone from babe’to grandsire helped to make “a great turn-oot on the Sawbbath.” Singly or in groups, from far and near they came, on foot, on horseback, and in wagon loads. With other gaping rustics ranged around I was filled with wonder and admiration by the appearance at church that day of a double-buggy — shining varnished (body, polished hub-caps, soup-ladle steps to the seats, real silver-mounted buggy harness on the prancing horses, and everything. Be-whiskered elders’ heads wagged- in grieved disapproval of such a display of finery at a place of worship; but I wonder what those saintly elders would have done if per of to-day had a daring flapper swept up to the church door in her limousine with her shapely silk-stockinged limbs draped gracefully over the windshield? Probably some think like what they did do at the advent of the double-buggy; retire to the privacy of the vestry to soothe their jangled nerves with a “wee drappie,” and to ponder over the vanity of human life and what the world is coming to.
But the old graveyard is neglected and overgrown, the church has vanished in smoke, even the “wee-drappie” is gone and little now is left to remind us of the seriousness in churchgoers in the old good old days save possibly the odor of sanctity of the smoke that may mingle arising from the ashes of the members of the old church.
On the last day of December in 1894 on Saturday afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Graham Forgie that lived on the 11th line of Ramsay, were driving home from Almonte. The team became unmanageable as they began their journey and finally ran away when they were on the outskirts of the town.
During the latter half of the 1800s, Ontario roads were in a serious state of neglect and deterioration. Historians call this the “dark age of the road” where roads were being uploaded and downloaded among levels of government. Roads were opened, roads were abandoned. But this would begin to change in the 1890s—when the first automobiles appeared
Mr. and Mrs. Forgie were thrown out of the buggy on a fence. Mr. Forgie escaped with a few bruises, but Mrs. Forgie was injured badly. Her breast bone and several ribs were fractured, and she was unconscious for some time. She is still in a serious state, and suffers so much that the poor woman was kept almost constantly under the influence of morphine. Dr. Hanley, who is attending Mrs. Forgie, says she is seriously injured, but is doing as well as could be expected They were also members of the The Ramsay Free Church and the congregation is praying for her.
Rose Mary SarsfieldIt was a Free Church which was a breakaway group from the Church of Scotland (Auld Kirk) Presbyterians. The picture at the top is a painting done by Robert Tait McKenzie. His father Rev. Wm. McKenzie was an early minister in the Free Church. It was on the right hand side going to Carleton Place across the Wolf Grove road from the Auld Kirk.
On Sunday, March 18, 1973, from the pulpit of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Almonte, my father taught:
About 400 A.D. a man hunched over his writing table in an austere room in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. His name was Jerome and he was translating the Latin Vulgate Bible as now called. Verse 8 of the psalm read this way in part, “et dominábitur a mari usque ad mare…”
About 1500 years later, another godly man was reading his English Bible in devotions. As he came to the verse he knew in a moment that it had the right name and motto for his then new nation. Sir Charles Tupper, a Father of Confederation, saw in “dominion” an apt name for Canada, and also the phrase, “from sea to sea” as a proper motto. Hence the national name was appointed in 1867 and the motto was formally ratified in 1921 in its Latin. Finally, Judy LaMarsh, the Secretary of State in 1967 wrote that the Centennial Psalm 72 to the tune Andre had been taken from “‘The Book of Psalms’ published by the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.”! That’s our “Blue Psalter”!
In the 1960s, my father was called to pastor the Almonte congregation. At that time, the Canadian Reformed Presbyterian Church was in decline. God gave my father a vision for The Church and he published this vision in the book, “Aurora Borealis: A History of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Canada (Covenanter) 1820-1967.” It pleads for revival. God answered through the formation of a Canadian Reformed Presbyterian Seminary and several new congregations.
Since 1830, the Almonte (Hillside) Reformed Presbyterian congregation has been honoured to welcome the community, including some of Dr. James Naismith’s descendants. If one were to join them on a Sunday morning, one might hear Psalm 72 sung A cappella.
Dr. More, Robert Marshall (PhD) Passed away peacefully in his sleep at Fairview Manor on April 29, 2014. Robert More Of Almonte, ON., at the age of 78 Beloved husband to Ruth for 46 years. Survived by his children Robert B. More (Shelley) and Sarah More. Proud “Grand-Dad” of Skylar, Cassie and Jacob. Son of the late Robert M. More Sr. and Alice (nee Braum). Sibling to Carolyn Skeens (Robert), the late Wilbur “Bill” and survived by his sister-in-law Carolyn More. He was a pastor, teacher, and author. Dr. More’s contributions enriched the lives of many. His book, Aurora Borealis: A history of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Canada (Covenanter) 1820-1967, is still in usage today. He was a licensed electrician who used his skills to help the communities in which he lived, served as a Federal Advisory Council Member for Lanark County providing jobs for the unemployed, and authored a column in the Almonte Gazette titled “A Little Bird told Me.”. In addition to providing pastoral care in Canada, he also worked as a Human Resources Specialist for the State of Kansas with First Nations’ entrepreneurs, an arbitrator with the Kansas Better Business Bureau, History Teacher at Highland Community College, a board member with the Vocational Education and Training of the Disabled and Handicapped and founded a Senior Citizen Centre and community daycare. An alumnus of Kansas State University, Dr. More and his wife celebrated Canada’s Centennial by proclaiming their marriage vows. Their partnership of almost fifty years in spreading knowledge and grace across two countries has been a model for their multiple generations to come
Joyce DeFontThank you for sharing this! Kansas connections with Almonte –My Dad was pastor at Hillside (Almonte) RP church from 1976 for about 20 years. We had come from the same little Kansas town (Denison) where Robert More’s parents lived. (Our years in Almonte were a blessing, probably more than I realized at the time.) Another KS connection is that James Naismith’s daughter-in-law was from the town of Holton, KS about 10 miles from Denison. Sarah is an excellent writer/historian like her Dad!
About the author
Sarah More is honoured to serve as the Historical Researcher for the Municipality of Mississippi Mills, (although not representing them in this instance.) Her father, the late Rev. Dr. Robert More, Jr. was a pastor, author, and historian. Her mother is a sixth-generation resident of Ramsay Township.
Like her father, Sarah received her Bachelor of Arts degree in the United States. The family later returned to their Lanark County roots where they proudly share a role in telling Canada’s story. ..
Because of a law passed in the year of 1829. Providing that only clergymen who were British subjects may perform marriage ceremonies in the Province of Quebec, was never amended, thousands of people in this province who were married in good faith before clergymen, are not legally wedded.
Remedial legislation, it is understood will be put through the Legislature this session to deal with the matter. In 1829 Quebec was known as Lower Canada and was governed or the Constitutional Act of 1791. When Confederation came in no change was made in the statute regarding marriages, Since that time nobody had over bothered about the matter, until a few days ago when matters ware brought to a head by a Unitarian clergyman in Montreal being refused a register in 1922 because he “was not a British subject”.
Quebec was immediately communicated with and the situation is now to be dealt with by the Government. The official who refused the Unitarian clergyman said that they did – so on instruction from Charles Lanctot registrating assistant attorney general of the province was obliged to interpret the law from a legal stand point. The law applies to Protestants as well as Roman Catholics.
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There is a small clearing near the upper corner of the Old Burying Ground in Perth. This is where the unmarked graves of some of the early Mahon family are located. Saturday there was a blessing of the sacred ground.
Historically, financial limitations and social status were factors in whether a person (even a famous one) was awarded a big fancy marker. Mass, unmarked graves were also common in times of widespread disease or war; plus older markers simply deteriorated over time or were stolen. Another reason might be: other grave sites reflect the wishes of the deceased or family members who simply don’t want a marker, can’t decide on wording, or plan to add one down the line when a loved one passes away and joins them in the plot.
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Everything remains as it was
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no sorrow in your tone. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.
May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. And rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
“It was a hot July day as the preacher led us out into the water…I never will forget when he immersed me and I came up…The preacher thought I was shouting but it wasn’t a move of the spirit but that the water was ice cold”.
George Frizzell has more than just a professional interest in the photographs of river baptisms that are part of the assortment of historic artifacts he oversees as curator of Special Collections at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library.
That’s because Frizzell himself was immersed in the cold waters of the Tuckaseegee River as a young boy growing up in Jackson County in the 1960s, and he has written about the subject of baptism as an adult for a historical record of Little Savannah Baptist Church that he authored in 1994 for the church’s 80th anniversary.
“I was baptized in the Tuckaseegee River near Rolling Green community where the Ashe Bridge, which is now gone, crossed the river from the old two-lane Highway 107 to Old Settlement Road,” Frizzell recounted. “For some reason I recall wearing a white shirt. Never having learned to swim, it was a startling experience to suddenly be submerged. My most vivid memories are of being totally under water while being held by the pastor and another church member and the bright light of the sun coming through the river water and my closed eyelids.”
Frizzell would have been 12 or 13 years old (he cannot remember if it occurred before or after his birthday that summer) at the time of his baptism in 1967. That was the same year that the Beatles released their groundbreaking record Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album whose track “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” with its imagery of rivers and dazzling lights, incidentally has nothing to do with baptism, unlike the lyrics of country music star Kenny Chesney’s song “Baptism.
Baptisms in outdoor bodies of water once were commonplace. In fact, they were the only game in town in the earliest days of the Christian faith, long before the development of such modern trappings as large church buildings with often-ornate baptismal pools, not to mention prior to the onset of indoor plumbing. Outdoor baptisms have remained fairly common in the American South, in part because of the slower rate at which those modernizations came to the region, and in part because of a more traditional mentality when it comes to religious beliefs and practices. And, outdoor baptisms seem to be making somewhat of a comeback in popularity—especially in the Smoky Mountain region, where the wide varieties of rivers, creeks, lakes and ponds combined with the spirituality that can be found in natural surroundings of the mountains readily lend themselves to baptisms in the great outdoors.