Tag Archives: renfrew

Leclaire Lake 1940– Rodger Somerville– L. C. Affleck

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Leclaire Lake 1940– Rodger Somerville–  L. C. Affleck

Renfrew County
Renfrew County – Keysource Thomas-Thor Renfrew County

Almonte Gazette-November 21 1940

Starting on the return journey from a hunting trip Mr. Rodger Somerville, governor of Lanark County jail, and L. C. Affleck, publisher of The Lanark Era, had a narrow escape from drowning Friday morning. Leaving their hunt camp on Leclaire lake in the Matawatchan district (near Renfrew), early in the morning, the two hunters had to cross the lake to their cars. The boat was powered by an outboard motor and about one hundred yards from the camp shore, the boat suddenly submerged and the two men had to strike out for shore.

Each grasped an oar which enabled them to keep afloat but were hampered considerably by their heavy clothing and long boots. Mr. Somerville was the stronger swimmer and reached shallow water first and shouted encouragement to Mr. Affleck. Both men were exhausted when reaching shore. Shouting to other campers across the lake, about 800 yards distant, they came to the unlucky men’s assistance and supplied them with wood and blankets. After drying their clothes they were able to continue their way home. A considerable amount of camp equipment and personal belongings went to the bottom of the lake when their boat submerged.

Leclaire Lake

Leclaire Lake is a lake in Ontario and has an elevation of 260 metres. Leclaire Lake is close to Little Lake.

The Township of Matawatchan had two communities: The Village of Matawatchan and Camel Chute. Camel Chute was originally named Campbell Chute after a local logger, but when surveyors arrived and asked residents the name of the place the local brogue was misheard as Camel. Matawatchan is an Indian name (probably Algonquin) and in some records it is spelled as ‘Mataouschie’. Some believe it means “running through rushes”, but Indian Affairs says it means “first settlement.” Some current long-time residents think the name should be translated as “hidden village.” It suggests that there may have been an Aboriginal settlement here before the Europeans arrived.

While Griffith was primarily Irish and French in the early days, the population of the geographic township of Matawatchan was primarily Scots and French. Local memory says that the first settler in the Village of Matawatchan was a MacDonald, but soon after there were Wilsons, MacPhersons, McLellans, Hutson’s and many others. Many of the French families are still here but their names have become anglicized over the years. The LeClaire family were very early settlers, and they are still prominent in the area. Read more here– CLICK

W. Rodger SommervilleNotes

Name:
W. Rodger Somerville
Birth Date:
1896
Death Date:
1962
Cemetery:
Saint John’s Parish Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:
Perth, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Has Bio?:
Y
Spouse:
Mary Jane Somerville
URL:
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/85089421/w.-rodger-somerville

L. C. Affleck Notes

In 1921 the year electricity came to Lanark, the Era installed a typesetting machine, the Linotype.  This truly was a labor saving device.  The first linotype operator to be trained by myself was Miss Bell Currie, now Mrs. Austin McFarlane.  She later became operator on the Ottawa Citizen.  The Era was the first hydro-power user in Lanark as I did away with the gas engine and bought an electric motor to drive the press.

With a desire to move on to a larger newspaper field, I sold out in 1929 to L.C. Affleck, who continued to build up the business for 19 years.  In 1947 the Era was on the market and Erroll Mason decided to try his luck in journalism.  Mr. Mason passed away in October of 1961 and the Era continued under the proprietorship of Muriel Mason, and her staff, the Somerville brothers, Ivan and Leonard.

Arnprior Chronicle April 11, 1930
Arnprior Chronicle April 11, 1930

Mr. and Mrs. Albert Somerville Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

Looking for History on this Home – Earl and Ann Somerville?

Photos of Laurie Yuill- Somerville/Mather Picnic 1937–Charles Home, Lloyd Knowles House–Foster Family

Nelson Affleck Blacksmith Clippings and Genealogy

Words of Mary Borrowman Affleck

Robert Drader Bill Shail Saved from Drowning May 28 1957

Tales from the Mississippi Rapids

Spring 1909 Pakenham — James Lunny William David Story

The Dangers of the Mississippi River-Arnold Boner 😦

HIGH SCHOOL CADETS RESCUE CHILD IN RIVER

James J. Hands – Dies in Perth — Former Mayor Accidentally Drowns in House Bath

So What Happened to Miss Eva Reid of Renfrew?

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So What Happened to Miss Eva Reid of Renfrew?

This postcard was sent by a friend in 1907 asking Eva to come visit her in Carleton Place. I always love buying these as I try to find out who they are. The sender only had their initials, but I still could track down Eva Muir from Renfrew. Eva passed away in April of 1930. I could find out no more information about her.

Photo Inquiry Postcards

Story About A Postcard —– Baldy Welsh to Horace Merrill 1908

The Carleton Place “Booth Era” Postcards — Vintage Postcards Soon to go on Sale!

Be Very Proud Carleton Place — Postcards and Booze

Debunking a Postcard 1913 — Strange Ephemera

A Postcard to Caldwell’s Mills

The Hidden Postcard Gallery in Carleton Place

Another Postcard Look at Carleton Place

Carleton Place 1912 Postcard

Carleton Place Postcard– What Year Was This Taken?

A Street With More than a Name–When Postcards Bring Back Memories

Know Your ” Pop Stars” from the 1900s —Marie Studholme — Emma Buffam Files

The Postcard Courtship of Emma Buffam and Dugald New – Episode 3

Vacationing with the Lanark County Folks in 1000 Islands 1938

To Trespass or Not to Trespass??? Ghosts of Al Capone?

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To Trespass or Not to Trespass??? Ghosts of Al Capone?

A Hart in ThaiA Hart in Thai –We searched the forest for Al Capone’s Secret Last Hide Out in Canada. After talking to a few locals of the where about, then to go here and there getting lost but after 2 hours driving in circles we found it! Its on Private Property and we did get caught. But after got permission to video and photograph the outside and interior. We didn’t venture into the basement as to dangerous. The cabin is huge many rooms and bedrooms and beautiful fireplace. Low escape windows and suppose to have secret tunnel in basement. Its in the forest no river and lakes near?

At 4:32 in the YouTube video the police show up so please realize that this is Private Property and it chould be respected. IT IS UNSAFE

Renfrew , Ontario. Canada. photo NOT MINE from the site
March 30, 2016  · 

At 4:32 in the YouTube video the police show up so please realize that this is Private Property and it should be respected.

There has always been a rumor that has been circulated around the Ottawa Valley that Al Capone may just have had a secret hideaway deep within the Madawaska Valley. I knew that Al Capone spent some time in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and heck, they even spotted him in Kemptville! The rum runners created a tunnel system in Moose Jaw so the bad folks could shuffle from one building to the other without their derrieres freezing off off in the dead of winter. Of course there was a rumour that he did that in Carleton Place, Ontario at the Queen’s Hotel too.

Mike ToporowskyThe Moose Jaw story is probably correct. The only difference is that the tunnels existed already. They were created during a time when Chinese immigrants were charged a head tax. The Chinese community laboured to create these tunnels to stay out of sight, decades before Al Capone and crew arrived

The legend (and even has been advertised) that some local Lanark County residents have claimed they saw Capone and Jack Demsey frequenting Lake Park Lodge and even the Queen’s Hotel. Seeing the man sold tons of illegal liquour from Canada, there is probably some slight truth to the rumour.

LODGE IS CLOSED

The tunnels were used for gambling, prostitution and warehousing illegal booze. Some tunnels went right under your local CPR stations and opened into a shed in the rail yards. That way it was possible to load and unload rail cars without any risk of being seen by the police. Rotgut whisky was made locally, but all the good stuff came from the Bronfman distillery in Montreal.

So one day I saw a 2016 posting and photo’s about Capone’s Hideway on What’s Up Renfrew, Ontario and decided to share it in my local history groups. It’s not every day that you see things like that right? Five years later (2021) I received quite an angry email from a woman who thought I took the photos. She proceeded to tell me that she was going to call the police because I had been trespassing. She also insisted the log cabin had nothing to do with Al Capone and that I had must have jumped the fence as I seemed to be very close to the building in the photo, and I was in big trouble with her lawyers.

WTH?

my gangsta cane

Well the day she emailed me was my birthday and I had just turned 70. I have a weak right leg and use a cane. But don’t clock me out just yet, my cane is silver glitter but yes, my fence jumpin’ days are long over. I live through the rest of you, so keep those cards and letters coming as they say LOLOL. It took a couple of emails, but she finally realized I was just a writer, and not Nancy Drew. BUT, let this be a lesson in getting permission first please on unoccupied properties.

So yes, I believe that Capone was in Carleton Place and especially near Casey’s Hill (get this near Letterkenny Road) ( no, this not a typo). Even though these gangsters insisted they did not come to Canada, I am sure they did. Have you ever read about Billy the Boodler who showed up in Carleton Place? read-Billy the Boodler Comes to Carleton Place Or what about the cow shoes?? Read-Did The Bootleggers in Lanark County Wear Cow Shoes? I mean there has to be something there right?

Read-Did The Bootleggers in Lanark County Wear Cow Shoes?

For more than forty years, that reputation alone was enough to keep Capone’s Quadeville hideout a virtual secret from the rest of the world.

The secluded hideout was established in the 1930’s just north of Quadeville. Well hidden off Letterkenny Road, members of Capone’s gang sought sanctuary here from rival gangs and the police.

Quadeville is a short distance east of the small town of Combermere. This secret hideout has become a fascinating story over the years for many local residents and visitors to the area.

A long, sturdy, log building was built by local carpenters to the specifications laid down by Capone’s second-in-command; one of Capone’s star gunmen. The building no longer looks like the fortress it once was when Capone’s gang was there. It has since been converted and furnished as a summer home. At one time, it was owned by Harvey and Rene Mesdag of Toronto.

The building and property has since been sold several times. It is presently owned by someone of Pembroke. It’s windows and doors boarded up from the present day vandals. Carved initials can be seen on the log exterior. Anything of value left inside the building is now pretty much ruined.

According to the Mission House Museum, it is also rumored that a former property owner, who also provided the pine logs for the structure, became uneasy over non-payment. He decided to go to Toledo and presented himself at the gangsters’ headquarters. Unexpectedly, he was met by a ‘front’ man.

Once there, the Canadian was grilled by one of Capone’s lieutenants, who happened to be wearing a holstered handgun. “Now we can settle this matter between ourselves in the back office or you can come and take it up directly with the big boss at 10 o’clock sharp.” These were the two choices he was given. The words were loaded with menace. The Canadian replied that he would return and talk to the boss.

Next, he walked quickly to his waiting cab where the nervous driver warned him to get back to Canada as fast as he could. And so he did just that. That Canadian was August Quade and the amount of money owing to him was $1,500 which was a pile of money in the 30’s. It is interesting to note that no one ever saw Capone at the hideaway or in stores in the area. Read the rest here CLICK


CLIPPED FROM
National Post
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
25 Oct 2001, Thu  •  Page 6

Canada’s allure as safe haven made famous by Capone Roy MacGregor north of Quadeville, Ont. It’s not hard to see the attraction if you happen to be on the run. The fortress chalet sits on the side of a difficult hill, surrounded below by impossible swamp and beyond by impenetrable bush. The windows now either broken or partially covered by plywood afford a perfect view of the winding laneway and, beyond the Private Property sign, the narrow road that heads south toward the sleepy little village and north to nowhere. The basement windows are kicked in, and the hidden tunnel that some locals claim exits at a secret spot far back in the deep woods may be home now to a family of raccoons.

But once, so they claim, the legendary Chicago gangster Al Capone, hid out here in the deep Canadian forest 180 kilometres east of Ottawa, having fled America until it was safe to go home again. Many Americans honest, law-abiding Americans are said to be looking north once again for safe refuge from everything from hijacked airliners last month to anthrax this month to fears, even, from nuclear terrorism in an increasingly uncertain future. Last week, CBC Radio reported that there has been a significant rise in U.S. inquiries coming into Toronto-area real estate offices, most from large city dwellers looking for condominiums with low-risk addresses. Marinas in the New York City area are besieged by buyers looking for used boats in which they might, if necessary, escape north to the Maritimes.

The Ottawa Citizen reported this past weekend on a new “survival” trend: small-centre Americans making sure they have money and food cached in fully tanked cars, ready to flee for the Canadian border at the first sign of new trouble. “I feel very safe there,” Rhode Island banker Georgina Cormier told the newspaper. “There is a sense of safety and security when I go to Canada. If I had to go somewhere, that’s where I would want to be.” Al Capone may have felt the same even if Old Scarface did once tell a reporter, “I don’t even know what street Canada’s on.” Some Saskatchewan oldtimers have long maintained that, in fact, Capone knew River Street in downtown Moose Jaw as well as he knew the back alleys around Chicago’s infamous Lexington Hotel. According to Moose Jaw leg end, Ca pone’s gangsters moved into an underground maze of tun nels originally built by Chinese immigrants hiding out to avoid pay ing Canada’s notorious “head tax.” Capone is said to have liked Moose Jaw’s proximity to the U.S. border, and with prohibition ending there nine years earlier than it would in the States, the little Prairie city made an excellent centre out of which to run his expanding bootlegging operations.

Laurence Moon Mulhn, an el derly Moose Jaw resident, claimed several years ago that he used to earn 200 tips running errands for the gangsters, and another local said her barber father used to be called down into the tunnels to cut Capone’s hair. Those tunnels, excavated, cleaned up and lighted, are now called “Little Chicago,” and are Moose Jaw’s top tourism draw. There has, however, never been any documented proof that this happened, or even that the notori ous gangster ever visited any part of Canada. Capone, however, despite the best efforts of a 300-man special detective unit to find him, went missing for three months in the summer of 1926. Some said he was in Wisconsin. Others thought Michigan. A few even claimed he’d fled to Italy.

There are people around Quadeville who think he came here but not until the early 1940s when Capone was finally released from the prison where he’d been serving time for income tax invasion. According to local legend, the cabin on the side of the hill was built, to specifications, out of huge squared pine timber in 1942. The man who built it travelled to the States to collect on an outstanding construction bill for $1,500, only to be threatened by a gun-carrying henchman and told that “Da Boss” would deal directly with him later, in the day. The builder turned tail, ran back to Quadeville, and the outstanding account was never again mentioned.

Madawaska Valley historian Harry Walker wrote about the cabin and the Capone connection decades ago, but could quote no sources, since area oldtimers refused to speak on the record about what they’d seen and heard of the cabin. They did talk to him, however even when Walker showed up with a former county warden to serve as witness and he came to believe that there was indeed something to the Capone legend. “Even today,” Walker wrote in the early 1970s, “the memory of the event instills fear in those who came in contact with the gangsters.” But other investigations by the Eganville Leader and The Toronto Star not surprisingly produced no concrete evidence. After his release from prison, Capone was seriously debilitated by the effects of syphilis and was often hospitalized.

He died after a long illness in 1947. It is hard to imagine him roughing it in the Canadian bush during those years, far from the comforts of electricity and running water. But historical fact seems to matter little to those who say they remember big limousines heading out Letterkenny Road, beautiful women, big men in fancy suits and a particular man the local kids were told to call “Uncle Al.” A few kilometres down Highway 15 at Latchford Bridge, the nearest village to Quadeville, 79-year-old Leonard Moysey stops raking his leaves and offers a unique perspective on it all.

Moysey grew up in Moose Jaw and would have been a youngster there in the very years Capone was supposedly hiding out in the tunnels beneath River Street “When we were kids,” he says, “we never knew anything about that. Never heard a word about Al Capone. It was all talk that developed later, way after the war.” Moysey believes that the stories of Moose Jaw and Quadeville are both seriously flawed, made up by wishful thinkers and over-extended imaginations. The abandoned cabin may merely be a northern version of the infamous “Secret Vault” of Capone’s that was found during a Chicago excavation 15 years ago and ceremoniously opened by Geraldo Rivera on national television only to discover there was nothing inside.

Back in Quadeville, the men gathered over morning coffee at Kauffeldt’s little rural post office are more interested in talking about the current state of the world the news on television, the moose hunt than they are in going on the record about any possibility that Al Capone ever lived up the road. “We used to go up there when we were young lads,” says one coffee drinker, “but we never saw nothin’. “Once the rumours started about it being Al Capone’s place, people started breaking in. But I don’t know what they thought they might find there’s nothing there.” But that, of course, in fall of 2001, is precisely the attraction. National Post

Did You Ever Hear About the Hole in the Wall? Prohibition 1920s

Johnny J. McGregor — Still Buster and Mayor

Constable Frank Rose – Moonshine, Indians, Raids, Drunks and Dances –The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Bathtub Gin Makes Mr. Bubble Go Flat

Did You Know Where Happy Valley was in Carleton Place?

Renfrew Fair 1953-1953-Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

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Renfrew Fair 1953-1953-Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson
1953-Thanks to Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

These photos are from the 104 page1953 magazine ” Renfrew and its Fair Through 100 Years” By Henry J. Walker who wrote the Carleton Saga. Donated by- Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

The greatest fair in the Ottawa Valley since 1853.” It is an exciting four days with ample amount of activities such as: Beef Shows, Heavy & Light Horse Shows, 4-H & Interclub Shows, Swine & Lambs, many more Livestock events, Exhibits, Art, Domestic Science, Women’s Institute Displays, Floriculture, Fruit, Vegetables, Junior Classes, Needlework and so much more.

Renfrew Fair 2021!!

September 9-12, 2021– CLICK HERE

1953-Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

1953-Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

1953-Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
16 Sep 1953, Wed  •  Page 20
CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 Sep 1953, Thu  •  Page 23
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
19 Sep 1953, Sat  •  Page 34

Clippings and Memories of Mac Beattie — The Buchanan Scrapbooks

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Clippings and Memories of Mac Beattie — The Buchanan Scrapbooks

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

Mac Beattie was the Ottawa Valley. And for almost everyone who knew him he will always be the personification of the area he loved. Even in death. Monday Beattie died in the Arn-prior Hospital having lost his five-month battle with cancer. Born at Braeside, near Arnprior, 65 years ago, Beattie spent more than 40 years celebrating his native valley in song and poetry, lie was one of the first artists to appear on national television when CTV first came into being, performing on Cross Canada Barn Dance out of CJOH.

He and his Mclodiers were frequent performers in the early days of radio station CFRA, founded by the late Frank Ryan, as well as on national radio out of Pembroke and on television’s Don Messer Show. When news of his death circulated around town it was obvious nothing else would be talked about, nothing was as important. In the Cameron Country Hotel the oldtimers had their Beattie stories to tell. “He wanted to give people a little bit of enjoyment,” Max Mooney said. “He was the Ottawa Valley, his father before him was a fine musician.

His father used to sit in this very bar room and when he’d play the bagpipes, we’d all rush to the door to sec who the band was.” Murray Dark of Belleveue Farms recalls “hundreds of dances with Mac in Pukenham and at Sunny-dale Acres in Lake Dore where Mac found his inspiration for the Lake Dore Waltz. “Mac and the Melodiers used to drop in at my place every time they came by,” says Jim Reid, owner of what was then Reid’s Fine Foods. “My wife played the piano and they sometimes set up the band for a little bit.” “He was a hell of a hockey player; a goaltender,” Mooney remembers. “He played Junior hockey for years three of the Major Leagues were after him.” But music and the valley kept Mac.

He married Marie McMunn, raised his three children in Arnprior, and daughter Bonnie began to sing with her father’s band at a young age. A year ago, some 400 people attended a testimonial dinner for Beattie at Renfrew Armory, when he was presented with a plaque on behalf of Premier William Davis for his outstanding contribution to country music in the Ottawa Valley. He recorded nine albums, mostly of his own music, and published a book of poetry in the ’60s. He leaves 80 poems, which will be published, and at the time of his death was writing some of the history of the Valley, with particular attention to the lumbermen who worked the Ottawa River. His most successful song was The Logdrivers’ Song. 5 June 1982

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

John MacNab Beattie (Mac) was born where the Madawaska and Ottawa Rivers converge at the town of Arnprior, Ontario, in the year 1916. His father, Jim, was away at war in Europe and would not see him until it was ended. When Jim Beattie returned home the family moved a few miles upstream to the village of Braeside where he would take a job with the Gillies Lumber Company.

Jim Beattie, a harmonica and bugle player, ventriloquist and jokester, would spend his winters in the shanty camps of the Gatineau Hills in Pontiac County, Quebec. It was at these camps that Jimmie would hear the songs and stories of shantymen from all over the valley. They’d sing Irish songs, Scottish songs, French songs and songs of the shanty life. They’d dance the reels and entertain themselves to pass the monotony of daily life in the winter camps.

When Jimmie came home each spring, he’d bring back those songs and stories that would fascinate his family. It was in this atmosphere that Mac grew up. It was in this folklore of the valley that he would dedicate his life. His love of the stories, the lives of the people, of the gentle times, the hard times, it all hit home by the time he was a teen-ager. Mac Beattie utilized these spiritual forces to forge ahead during those very interesting times.

Listening to Mac Beattie’s lyrics now, you could not fail to notice his frequent mention of the people and places of the Ottawa Valley. You would also probably notice the strange way he used his voice to enunciate his words, the old-style inflections he utilized in his poetic ballads. I have not heard anyone else sing like this, and even now in the Valley with its distinct Irish/Scotts accent, Mac’s accent remains unique.

Mac Beattie never played a melodic instrument other than a bit of harmonica. Instead, he chose the washboard to accompany his songs. Along with friends Gaetan Fairfield and Garnie Scheel, he formed a band called the Melodiers in the early 1930s to mimic the sounds of the big dance bands of that era.

It is probably because his songs were either learned or composed without the accompaniment of a melodic instrument that Mac’s vocal patterns remained in theold traditional style. He didn’t have a wonderful voice, but what he had he used well. He sang a cappella, using the syllables of words in the traditional way of Celtic melodies. He’d teach these songs to his friends who would then work out arrangements to fit around his singing style.

In time, Mac Beattie would go on to become Mr. Ottawa Valley with his Melodiers, riding the ups and downs of the music business for over 5 decades. During that time he would be heard and seen on national television and radio; he would associate his show with step-dancing great Don Gilchrist; he would make lifelong friends with important cultural leaders of both sides of the Ottawa River. And lastly, he would be inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame as its second inductee (at Mac’s insistance, his late fiddler, Reg Hill, received the honour of being the first to be inducted). He would also leave us with 90 tracks of music spanning 9 LPs recorded between the years of 1960 to 1975.

And Now there is great news! Peter Beattie has just released The Best of Mac Beattie and the Ottawas Valley Melodiers CD – this means that you can now purchase Mac’s wonderful music for the first time in years. Contact Peter at p.beattie@sympatico.ca Read —Mac Beattie and the Ottawa Valley Melodiers __ CLICK

With his oldtime music group, the Ottawa Valley Melodiers, he was heard regularly on CFRA radio, Ottawa, until the late 1950s and on CHOV, Pembroke, until the early 1960s. He also performed at local fairs, dances, and clubs. The Melodiers included at various times Beattie’s daughter Bonnie, the steel guitarist Garnet Scheel, and the noted fiddler Reg Hill. Beattie’s first 78, ‘The Log Driver’s Song,’ released by Rodeo Records in the early 1950s, was followed by 11 LPs under Rodeo’s various labels. Many of his songs were based on Ottawa Valley events, people, and places – eg, ‘Lake Dore Waltz’ and ‘Train Wreck at Almonte’.

Memories of Bob Whitney and his Wobbleboard Carleton Place

Memories About Bernie Costello

Remembering Etta Whitney Carleton Place

Reserve Me a Table –The Silver Fox –Ron McMunn

Good Old Lanark County Music–From the 70s to now

Fiddling in Lanark County by David Ennis

Looking for Info on The Happy Wanderers etc.

The Hayshakers — Charlie Finner

All About Lorraine Lemay –Mississippi Hotel

Remembering an Accident 1966 Larry Clark

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Remembering an Accident 1966 Larry Clark

I noticed a comment regarding my 63 Chev wagon that was parked in front of the ESSO station; that and the tragic news of David Hagerman’s death caused me to reflect on a most fortunate conclusion to a head-on collision we had on the Friday 1st Dec, 1966. ( Dowdall’s Esso and Hank’s Tire- Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown and Larry Clark)

The accident took place on Hwy 17 between Cobden and Haley Station Rd.  There were six of us in the car (Chev wagon) I was driving, Beth sitting beside me in the front seat and my 7-8 month pregnant sister, Eleanore beside her (loved those bench seats). The three children in the back. 

My youngest son Keith was lying on the back seat and the other two were way in the back, luggage area (probably fighting?) surrounded by a variety of Christmas presents. 

It was dark of night (very black). I had just turned my head slightly to speak to Eleanore, when my attention was drawn to an on-coming car breasting the hill, but one with four headlights-I reacted quickly as two of them were in my lane. Here my memory is rather vague-I must have cranked the wheel severely to the right-and then oblivion. I must have been out for only a couple of minutes and my next memories were of being in a stranger’s car being driven to Renfrew hospital-not sure who else was with me-perhaps the other adults (children?). 

Dec 2 1966

Arriving at the hospital, in a state of confusion, I very relieved to find out that everyone had survived albeit with a variety of broken bones , cuts and contusions. The doctor wanted to examine me but I  insisted he look after the others first. Later determined the Beth had a broken collarbone and a very large gash along her jawline requiring many stitches  (the gearshift lever); Eleanore some bleeding and was being monitored closely (the two of them had numerous small facial cuts from flying glass); Brent a small gash on his face; Aimee and Keith, no apparent injuries. 

In the middle of all this, the other driver was brought in but quickly ambulanced to Ottawa with a severe eye injury (I knew him from CP but forget his name, which is why I was looking for the newspaper article). Not a way to meet someone from our home town.

I called my parents with the bad news and arranged for a family member to come and drive myself and the children to my parents as Beth and Eleanore, were being held overnight (in fact Eleanore was being driven to Carleton Place Hospital by ambulance) in hospital. I would regret this decision later when, a pain in my left/ankle of which I had been dimly aware of, manifested itself in an increased, barely bearable throbbing, with which I had to put up with for the remainder of the night. 

Throughout the night I had to keep immersing my foot in near boiling water to distract from the throbbing. I did make it through the night and arranged to be driven back to Renfrew to gather the remainder of our belongings, visit the accident site, take pictures of the car and most importantly to arrange for the release of Beth from the hospital. I also persuaded a nurse to provide me with pain pills. 

A few days later, a friend (Dave) who was on course in Ottawa, joined Beth and I on a visit to Eleanore in Hospital. It must have been a sight coming down the hall, three abreast as I was limping, Dave was on crutches (broken ankle due to a fall off a ladder) and Beth with a large bandage on her face and left arm in a sling. It was cause for another bit of excitement.

Nine months late, having lost my limp, I was in a very fastidious (didn’t much like him for that reason) doctor’s office for my annual medical (ATC licence) and on questioning/examining me, pulled out a great protractor-type thing and upon applying this gismo to my arm, asked when I had broken my arm/elbow. 

I explained about the accident which of course arched his eyebrows and led to a much more thorough examination which alarmed me a little but nothing more was determined other than my arm was 20 degrees from being straight. This, over time resolved itself to near perfection (like the rest of me:)

A year and more later, I attended the trial of the other driver; he was defended by a very good lawyer (one of the Anka’s-Paul’s uncle, I believe) and by the time the trial was over it was hard to believe that the accident had actually happened. 

I was of little or no help as I didn’t remember much. The charges were dismissed. However the other witnesses (the ones being passed) tried their best to paint a complete picture. I took them to lunch and it was only then that my memory came flooding back (or at least their version). 

I had forgotten that I had cursed the onlookers who had gathered- for not acting quickly enough in getting the kids out of the back seat. I passed the kids, one at a time through the opening that should have been the windshield except that I couldn’t find Keith. He had been sleeping on the back seat and when the other two were projected forward, breaking the rear seatback and covering him when he was forced to the floor. This would have slowed their forward movement so that it had (probably) minimized the effect on those of us in the front seat and reduced or nullified any potential injuries they may have suffered as a result of the crash. 

The main witness testimony (a truck being passed) was that when they perceived what was about to happen they pulled to their right leaving their lane virtually clear but the overtaking vehicle. He, instead turned to his left thus colliding with our vehicle (he may have attempted to turn back) thus turning a head-on into a partial head-on??

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Did You Ever Watch Two for Joy?

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Did You Ever Watch Two for Joy?

If you are wondering why I am documenting a lot of Mary Cook’s archives it is because she says she doesn’t have a lot of the newspaper archives. I feel it all needs to be documented for future readers to come so that is why I am doing it.

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Oct 1992, Sun  •

Having her books turned into a TV series isn’t quite what Carleton Place writer Mary Cook thought it would be. “I thought I’d be there on the set with my own chair, yelling out instructions,” laughs Cook, well-known local broadcaster and author of a series of stories about her Depression-era childhood in Renfrew County.

 

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The stories have been pounced upon as the basis of a proposed CTV series, Two For Joy. Actually, Cook has been so far removed from the process of turning her touching, humorous family recollections into prime-time Canadiana that she didn’t know the show’s pilot had been shot until a friend sent her a clipping from the Orangeville Banner. “Television crew turns Alton into movie set,” is the headline over a story that tells how a town of 400 south of Orangeville was dressed up to stand in for the Ottawa Valley.

The clipping was Cook’s first indication the series had gone beyond the script-writing stage, a process in which Cook was only peripherally involved. Then “like a bolt out of the blue,” executive producer Sheldon Wiseman of Ottawa’s Lacewood Productions phoned her last week and asked whether she’d like to see the pilot.

“I expected to hate it,” she admits. “I thought, I can’t sit through this and be sober.” Her fears proved to be unfounded. “It was wonderful. They’ve caught the feeling of the “30s exactly”. “The little girl who they’ve got to play me is a wonderful actress. She’s better than I was.”

There were some disappointments. “I was sorry to see they annihilated two members of my family, but I suppose that was to keep the budget down.” Word is that CTV officials are also quite taken with the project, which is co-produced by Lacewood and Toronto’s John Delmage. Wiseman says the pilot will be'”‘ taken to the international TV market”, in Cannes later this month in search of foreign sales to help with financing.

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Did You Watch Maggie Muggins?

Taverns the Press and the other End of the Valley

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Taverns the Press and the other End of the Valley

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A long time ago journalism used to be frank and very descriptive rather than political to sell papers.

In 1887 a Perth correspondent upset a local politician because he appeared at a public meeting in one of the local taverns with his hair parted in the middle. He wore a circular comb such a little girl wears at school pushed back over his intellectual brow to keep the hair from shading his “massive, frontal developments”.

There was a “gold boom” in the township of Madoc and that overshadowed politics as it was reported that settlers along the Hasting Road had gold on the brain. The first refugees from the European-oppression countries were also arriving in the same area. These were from Poland, and the reporters at the Pembroke Observer noted that a party of Polish emigrants arrived by the steamer Jason Gould.  The steamer operated on the Muskrat from Cobden to Pembroke, and the emigrants settled temporarily on the hill at the western end of the village before moving to the back townships and were strong and healthy.

 

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The Union House on McKay street around Hunter’s store in Pembroke informed the public of “good stabling and attentive hostlers”, with “the table supplied with the” best the market affords”.  Renfrew village was prospering as the terminus of the “Iron Horse”. Its’ Dominion Hotel, under Craig and McDonnell advertised that its “Table and Bar will be kept well supplied with all that can be desired”. Its rival, the Albion Hotel, advertised that it was “at the Railway Station” and then added superfluously: “free bus to and from Pembroke, Portage du Fort and Eganville stages –call at the Albion Hotel”.

 

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The County was flourishing and Francis Hincks the Prime Minister that lasted for 10 weeks, had  made his home in Renfrew’s Exchange Hotel in Room Number Six looking for a political haven when Sir James A MacDonald’s regime began to crack.

 

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Most accommodation in those days were in private homes that had been converted into serving the general public. Of course with the growing population and the railways, private homes became too small and new public buildings were built and called hotels with everything one would need to look after the travelling public.

Of course men became to be owned by the whiskey bottle as some said. Newspapers began flexing their literary muscle with their temperance thoughts blaming those in power for the condition of the very wet counties.

 

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 and The Tales of Almonte

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Jonathon Francis and Margaret Carswell– From Scotland and Ireland to Pakenham

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Jonathon Francis and Margaret Carswell– From Scotland and Ireland to Pakenham

Jonathon Francis born 28 June 1820 in Lurgan, County Armagh, Ireland, died 08 October 1888, buried Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ont.–Photo-Fay Bennett

Family of Jonathon Francis and Margaret Carswell by– Fay E Bennett, Descendant of Elisha Francis of Northcote

JONATHON FRANCIS, the 6th child (of 11 children) of JAMES FRANCIS and RACHEL STUART, was born 28 Jun 1820 in Lurgan, Co. Armagh, Ireland. James, Rachel and their 6 oldest children, traveled from their home in Lisaccurran, Co. Armagh to Belfast to embark on their journey to Canada in 1822. They settled in Kilmarnock, a small settlement on the Rideau River, between Smith’s Falls and Merrickville. The 50 acre farm was located on Concession B, Lot 24, Wolford Twp., Grenville County. Two of Jonathon’s brothers settled in Renfrew County. Samuel was an axe maker in Renfrew, and Elisha was a jobber and farmer in Admaston Twp.

 

Margaret Carswell, born 22 December 1828 in Barony, Glasgow, Scotland, died 10 February 1904, buried Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ont.–Photo-Fay Bennett

 

Jonathon was christened on November 05, 1883, at the age of 63, at the Methodist Church, Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario. He died 07 Oct 1888 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario. He married MARGARET CARSWELL 20 Feb 1855 in Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario, daughter of ALLAN CARSWELL and JANET HARVEY. The marriage was witnessed by Allen Carswell and Arthur McArthur. She was born 22 Dec 1828 in Barony, Glasgow, Scotland, and died 10 Feb 1904 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario.

 

James Harvey Francis, born 22 November 1859, Pakenham Twp., died 08 October 1931 in Saskatchewan.–Photo-Fay Bennett

Jonathon was a successful lumberman during the last half of the 1800’s. Jonathon and Margaret lived in Pakenham Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Con 11 Lot 16. He was a councillor of Pakenham in 1868.

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George Frederick Francis, born 11 July 1864 in Pakenham Twp., died April 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario.–Photo-Fay Bennett

Jonathon built a Gothic revival house between 1850-1850, about 1 1/2 miles from Pakenham. It was a showplace with picket fences and gates, orchards, flower and gardens. The Francis family was active in all aspects of the village including agriculture, business, politics, sports, and were leaders in the social activities. Jonathon died at age 68 on October 07, 1888 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario. Margaret died 16 years later on February 10, 1904 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario. A large granite stone marking their resting place in Pakenham Union Cemetery, overlooks the village.

 

Jonathon Albert Francis, born 28 April 1867, Pakenham Twp., died 10 April 1948.-Photo-Fay Bennett

Children of JONATHON FRANCIS and MARGARET CARSWELL are:

2. i. ALLAN STUART FRANCIS, b. 23 Nov 1855, Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 05 Jun 1927, Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario.

3. ii. JAMES HARVEY FRANCIS, b. 22 Nov 1859, Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 08 Oct 1931, Saskatchewan.

4. iii. GEORGE FREDERICK FRANCIS, b. 11 Jul 1864, Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario; d. Apr 1945, Ottawa, Ontario.

5. iv. JONATHON ALBERT FRANCIS, b. 28 Apr 1867, Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 10 Apr 1948.

6. v. MARGARET FRANCIS, b. 29 Mar 1869, Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 17 Sep 1954, Toronto, Ontario.

Generation No. 2

2. ALLAN STUART FRANCIS was born 23 Nov 1855 in Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 05 Jun 1927 in Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario. He married MINNIE MATILDA DICKSON 07 Apr 1885 in Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario, daughter of HUGH HENRY DICKSON and MARTHA HEMMINGWAY. The ceremony was performed by Rev. H. Taylor. She was born 05 Mar 1865 in Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 19 Jul 1934 in Toronto, Ontario.

Allan, like his father, was a pioneer lumberman. Allan Stuart Francis was selected by the Lumber Baron Festival Committee in Renfrew to be honored in 1999. A Francis Family Reunion was held in conjunction with this event. He lived in Renfrew at the time of the 1891 and 1901 census. Allan’s Uncle Samuel also lived in Renfrew and his Uncle Elisha lived close by at Northcote. Allan was active in Renfrew community life and lived in grand homes. He was known to race horses and curl in his leisure time.

Allan died June 05, 1927 in Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario at the age of 71. Matilda died seven years later on July 19, 1934 at the age of 71. Allan and Matilda are buried in the Francis family plot with his parents in Pakenham Union Cemetery.

Child of ALLAN FRANCIS and MINNIE DICKSON is:

i. MARGARET ISABELLE FRANCIS, b. 27 Aug 1895, Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario; d. 25 Jan 1981, Pierrefonds, Quebec; m. Q.C. JAMES RAMSEY MORRIS, 09 Nov 1921, Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario; b. 26 Jun 1893, Pembroke, Renfrew Co., Ontario; d. 02 Feb 1954.

3. JAMES HARVEY FRANCIS was born 22 Nov 1859 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 08 Oct 1931 in Saskatchewan. He married (1) ISABELL ARMSTRONG FRASER 18 Apr 1894 in California, U.S.A., daughter of RICHARD FRASER and NANCY ARMSTRONG. She was born 04 Jul 1872, and died 01 Nov 1894 in Cork, Ireland. He married (2) JEAN CRAIG BRYSON 06 Jun 1906 in Fort Coulonge, Pontiac C., Quebec, daughter of GEORGE BRYSON and ELLEN CRAIG.

Harvey was a lumberman and businessman in Pakenham. He is credited for reviving the industrial life around the Pakenham Falls. He is known to have visited Ireland and it was there that his first wife died, on their around the world tour for their honeymoon. Harvey later moved to Manitoba and purchased a farm there. Harvey died October 08, 1931. Harvey and his first wife are buried in the family plot at Pakenham Union Cemetery.

Child of JAMES FRANCIS and JEAN BRYSON is:

i. JONATHON BRYSON FRANCIS, b. 08 Aug 1907, Indian Head, Saskatchewan; d. Oct 1981, Victoria, B.C.; m. GRACE EVELYN EWING, 24 Apr 1945, St. Andrews Church of Scotland.

4. GEORGE FREDERICK FRANCIS was born 11 Jul 1864 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario, and died Apr 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario. He married MAUDE M BRAZEAU 07 Jul 1910. She was born 1876, and died 1967. George was also a businessman in Pakenham, operating a woolen mill in partnership with C.A. Brazeau. They lived in Pakenham, Renfrew and Ottawa. George died in 1945 at the age of 81. Maude died 22 years later in 1967. They are buried in Pakenham Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ontario.

Child of GEORGE FRANCIS and MAUDE BRAZEAU is:

i. MARGARET FRANCIS, b. 1911, Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 1994, Ottawa, Ontario; m. ANTHONY VINCENT HENEY, 07 Feb 1935, Ottawa, Ontario; b. Of Arnprior.

5. JONATHON ALBERT FRANCIS was born 28 Apr 1867 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 10 Apr 1948. He married MARY MCCREARY 24 Dec 1912 in Ottawa, Ontario. She was born 03 May 1890, and died 30 Mar 1971. They lived in Arnprior and Pakenham. Jonathon died April 10, 1948 at the age of 81. Mary died 23 years later on March 30, 1971 at the age of 80. They are buried in Pakenham Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ontario.

Children of JONATHON FRANCIS and MARY MCCREARY are:

i. JONATHON FRANCIS.

ii. JEAN FRANCIS.

iii. MARY FRANCIS.

6. MARGARET FRANCIS was born 29 Mar 1869 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 17 Sep 1954 in Toronto, Ontario. She married JOSEPH ANDERSON 28 Jul 1908 in Breezy Heights, Pakenham, Ontario, son of DAVID ANDERSON. He was born 1874 in Hastings, Ontario, and died 16 Oct 1959 in Toronto, Ontario. Margaret and Joseph lived in Toronto. He was a Bank Manager. Margaret died at the age of 85 in1954. Joseph died 5 years later at the age of 85. They are both buried in Pakenham Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ontario.

Child of MARGARET FRANCIS and JOSEPH ANDERSON is:

i. JOSEPH FRANCIS ANDERSON, b. 1912; d. 1977; m. ELIZABETH GRANT; b. 1904.

 

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

 

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James Stewart Ferguson– Lanark County Genealogy

 

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Renfrew The Creamery Town 1900

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Renfrew The Creamery Town 1900

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  17 Nov 1900, Sat,  Page 14

 

RENFREW,ONTARIO by du_uuh, via Flickr

 

historicalnotes

MCNAB Township ( Renfrew County ) DIRECTORY – 1851 

A Township and Village in the County of Renfrew , C.W. Population of the Township about 1500.

ALPHABETICAL LIST OF PROFESSIONS, TRADES, & c.

MORRIS, JAMES, postmaster and county registrar

Bourke, Edward, innkeeper

Devine, Mathew, shoemaker

Dickson, Robert, weaver

Frazer, Rev. S., Church of Scotland

Henderson, Archibald, weaver

Forrest, John, weaver

Leckie, David, innkeeper

McNab , D.C. , school teacher

Martin, John, lumber merchant

Mackie, David, carpenter

Morris, Peter, & Co., general store

Morris, William, lumber merchant

Morris, James, jun., town reeve

Neil, Nicholas, cooper

Rochester , George, miller

Rochester , William Y., general store

Sutherland, John, tailor

Stewart, Allan, township clerk

Wright, Nathaniel, innkeeper

 

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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

 

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Heritage Renfrew

The Directory of Renfrew

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

I Saved the Lives of 29 Men That Day

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