Tag Archives: rosamond

Rosamond and Victoria Mill — Rosamond Journey from Carleton Place to Almonte

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Rosamond and Victoria Mill — Rosamond Journey from Carleton Place to Almonte

The following article was published in 1954 in: “Textiles,” a leaflet published regularly by the Primary Textiles Institute of Canada, with headquarters in Toronto. When James Rosamond opened a wool cloth mill at Morphy’s Falls in the Ottawa Valley in 1845 it is doubtful whether he realized that he was founding one of Canada’s proudest, and later most unfortunate industries.

Rosamond moved the art of making wool textiles from the settlers’ home into an industrial plant and then for more than 100 years the industry developed with Canada, experiencing normal ups and downs but generally growing in stature. The Ottawa Valley remained the hub of the industry, but it spread out from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and the names of towns like Carleton Place (formerly Morphy’s Falls), Perth, Almonte, Renfrew, Arnprior, Appleton, Hespeler, Brantford) Lachute, Sherbrooke and Huntingdon became synonymous with fine woollens.

Through good times and bad the industry served the country well. Peak of operations was reached in the period 1948-1950. During World War II, mills provided millions of yards of Service fabric and in the immediate post-war era worked hard to meet the heavy accumulated demands they were expected to fill. The future was thought to hold promise. By 1950 the industry had some 16,000 workers in 200 mills and 146 communities and as a traditional Canadian industry was well established in towns where it was often the mainstay of the district. But then the industry became caught in an economic trap which had been set inadvertently fifteen years earlier, but which was only sprung by changing world conditions.

The stage was set in 1935 when the Canadian government, in the course of establishing tariffs on wool cloths entering this country from Great Britain, set a maximum duty to allow easy access to this market for a few English fabrics then considered to be in a “special” category. The blow began to fall about 1950 when increasing costs of raw wool, labour, chemicals machinery, etc., shoved most wool cloths into the bracket previously considered “special.”

The effective rate of the tariff on imports competing with Canadian cloths was greatly reduced and the duty no longer became anywhere near equalizing the wide differential in Canadian and English wages. The Labor Differential with most of their wool cloths entering Canada under a greatly reduced rate of duty English mills have been able during the past three or four years to take full advantage of their lower labour costs and shipments here have been increased in volume to take 40% of the entire market. Every yard of English wool cloth has been taken away from the Canadian industry and its workers.

Twenty eight mills have been closed. More than 6,000 people have lost their jobs and not all those remaining are working full time. Hardest hit have been Canada’s little “woollen” towns—in Renfrew the two mills that were the backbone of the town economy have closed, in Almonte employment dropped from 400 to about 45, at Carleton Place one mill closed and another is operating part-time, and in Huntingdon employment dropped from close to 700 to just over 200.

The story is the same almost everywhere. One of the casualties was James Rosamond’s historic business which was moved from Carleton Place to Almonte in 1857 and had operated there ever since. After being closed all last winter it now has 25 employees.

Mary Peden 1920s Carleton Place- Photo property Linda Seccaspina– Rosamond House in the background on Bell Street.The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler
Victoria Woolen Factory (1830s)
  • The mill stood on river bank near James St. The Rosamond House (1838) which is still standing is at 37 Bell St.
  • James Rosamond operated a carding mill from 1838-1846 and then a custom carding and woolen mill from 1846 – 1857.

From the Carleton Place Walking Tour click — By the Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce

 

The Church Wardens of St. James Church here in 1845 were Catin Willis and James Rosamond, founder of the Rosamond textile manufacturing firm.

James Rosamond of Carleton Place, a shareholder of the short lived Ramsay corporation, then moved his woollen mill operations, the first in Eastern Ontario, from Carleton Place to Almonte as the founding of Almonte’s leading manufacturing enterprise.  He bought the site of the Ramsay Company’s mill and built a four storey stone building, later known as No. 2 Mill, which he opened in 1857.  Before its erection Samuel Reid and John McIntosh opened a small woollen factory in 1854 on the former site of the Boyce fulling mill.  James Rosamond, who lived until 1894, gave the management of his growing business in 1862 to his sons Bennett and William, who doubled its plant capacity and in 1866 admitted George Stephen, Montreal woollen manufacturer, as a partner.  He became Baron Mount Stephen, president of the Bank of Montreal and first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

The new Rosamond firm of 1866 began operations by buying the Island property of some sixteen acres and building its No. 1 Mill, then one of the finest in Canada.  Bennett Rosamond (1833-1910) was elected president of the Canadian Manufacturers  Association in 1890 and was Conservative Member of Parliament for North Lanark from 1892-1904.  He was president of the Almonte Knitting Company and in 1909 donated the Rosamond Memorial Hospital to the town.  He continued as head of the Rosamond Woollen Company until his death, when he was succeeded by Lieutenant Alex Rosamond (1873-1916).

A number of other woollen mills opened soon after the original Rosamond mill in Almonte.  Among the first were those of John McIntosh (1832-1904), a large frame building on the upper falls, and of John Baird (1820-1894) and Gilbert Cannon, all on Mill Street.  Sawmills, machine shops and iron foundries followed, including among the latter the foundry operated for a few years by John Flett (1836-1900).  A local real estate boom and flurry of inflated land speculation developed, only to collapse in a severe depression of the mid-seventies.  A fire loss of over $20,000 in 1877 destroyed the Cannon mill and the machinery of its lessee William H. Wylie, who moved to Carleton Place where he leased the McArthur (now Bates) woollen mill and later bought the Hawthorne woollen mill.  William Thoburn (1847-1928) began to manufacture flannels at Almonte in 1880 and became the head of the Almonte Knitting Company and Member of Parliament from 1908 to 1917.  Five textile mills in Almonte in 1904 were those of the Rosamond Woollen Company, William Thoburn, James H. Wylie Co. Limited, Almonte Knitting Company, and the Anchor Knitting Co. Limited.

The Rosamonds.

“For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would; Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails, Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales.”

Every age, of course, has its dreamers. The Vision which Lord Tennyson expressed in “Locksley Hall” was written in the year 1842. The words have a prophetic ring about them, and might lead the incautious reader to impute just a little less than angelic insight into Tennyson, and a great deal more that human dreaming.

Yet, today, four-hundred passenger jet-powered aircraft zip in magic argosies through the purple twilight, wings outspread to span the continent in a bound, like eagles beating the air currents over a mountain pass. Nuclear power is no longer a maverick, but submits tamely to the harness. Occasionally too, after successful splashdown, men returning from a two-week rocket trip to the moon are greeted and welcomed back on earth as only ordinary heroes. It is the succeeding age that learns that dreams never do match stride with reality.

James Rosamond was a businessman in Carleton Place, but he became a dreamer in Almonte. It was thirty years after the Scots and Irish had arrived in “the place with a falls on the Mississippi” as Peter Robinson described in, and then years after Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall” had been put into circulation, and only a few months before the suggestion was made that the village might be called after a Mexican general who was then prominent in the news of the day.

Three hundred people were living in the village situated above the falls in the Mississippi River. Daniel Shipman had a sawmill below the falls, and a square timber-making yard above. The place was usually referred to as Shipman’s Mills. The age-old roar of the river in flood as it went crashing through the gorge, this was the sound that sang in the ears of the inhabitants both by day and by night. Only when summer came in and the river subsided did the roaring cease, and in its place the sounds of settlement took over, the rasp and scrape of the saw, the snick snick of the broad axe, and the clank of chains holding the boom logs together as they lapped so slightly in the current of the river above the falls.

James Rosamond emigrated from Ireland in 1827, and, after getting established, he formed business interests in Carleton Place in 1832 which comprised a wood-working plant, a grinding mill, and a custom carding plant. In 1846 he expanded the woollen end of things by adding spinning machines, and in this way he was responsible for the start of the woollen manufacturing business in Carleton Place.

In 1851 he ventured capital to become a partner in another enterprise, the Ramsay Woolen Cloth Manufacturing Company. The company’s principal share holders were local people around Shipman’s Mill. Daniel Shipman, of course, was one of them, and James Rosamond now found himself partnered with a vigorous enterpriser, and the reputed founder of the place by the falls on the Mississippi.

They acquired a mill site beside the cataract and then erected a frame mill and set to work. Demand for woollen products was very good amongst the people on the farms in Ramsay and Huntley, the mill was the first woollen mill in the place, and the future looked good. Their venture marked the beginning of what was to become the major industry of the place for the next hundred years.

Disaster, however, struck a scant two months after the mill had been put into operation. Fire broke out. The mill was totally destroyed, and the company was forced by circumstances to close down. Two years later, in 1853, James Rosamond bought the site and prepared to rebuild on the same spot. Mr. Rosamond, however was from Ireland, and this time he resolved to build in stone.

That winter of 1853 was eventful in many ways. Circumstances were just right to make an ordinary business minded person become a dreamer, and an ordinary dreamer become a prophet.

The name “Waterford” had been proposed for this place by the falls, but another locality in western Ontario had already usurped the Irish place name for itself. John Haskins suggested another to Major Gemmill. Almonte. The name was proposed officially, was accepted and remained.

For fifteen years also the Rideau Canal had been in operation and traffic moved regularly over the route from Bytown up the Rideau to Kemptville, Burritt’s Rapids, Merrickville, and a place called Smiths Falls, and thence through the Poonamalee locks and the lakes of the Big Rideau chain to Westport, on to Brewer’s Mills, Seeley’s Bay, and over the height of land at Cranberry Lake before dipping down to Cataraqui and Kingston.

Oh the canal was a great improvement. No doubt about it. It opened up the hinterland between Kingston and Ottawa, but still, transportation was a problem. Everybody knew that. Everyone talked about it, but very few seemed to have any idea what to do about it. People in the villages along the Mississippi, and especially those at Almonte, needed a means of transportation to enable them to break out of the bonds of the primitive land. The bush and the river were holding them back. They needed roads.

That winter of 1853 they called a public meeting in Almonte. The need for something to be done about transportation, that was the idea that triggered the meeting. The people wanted to find out if it would be possible to build a macadamized road the Smiths Falls where goods and produce could be put aboard boats moving through the Rideau Canal. If they could get into the big markets of the United States by shipping through the canal, commerce would be stimulated and the village would go forward.

James Rosamond was at the meeting, and was doing a lot of listening. Someone asked what could be done about the number of Irish navies who had been hired to work years before on the building of the Rideau Canal, and had been footloose, many of them, in the country since the completion of the canal. Ostensibly they were looking for work, but, of course, anyone without regular employment was suspect.

James Rosamond knew the skills of the Irish. They could build in stone. They could build macadamized roads, and they could build stone woollen mills. It took only a moment’s glance to tell there was lots of stone in the area around Almonte, and it was quite suitable for building purposes. Perhaps the Irish could be put to work on the mill he had in mind, or on the macadamized road, or both for that matter.

The someone at the meeting dropped a bomb. Heavens, the man said, why waste time on a macadamized road to Smiths Falls? Why not build a railway? In fact, why stop at Smiths Falls? Why not build a railway that would go straight through Carleton Place, Franktown, Smiths Falls, Jasper, right on down to the Front, to the St. Lawrence at Brockville? A railway would prove much more valuable for trade than the canal; it would open up the American market far more speedily than anything else for the goods and products that would come from mills now building and to be built to run from the falls of the Mississippi at this place now called Almonte.

A railway? The very idea intrigued James Rosamond. To Brockville on the St. Lawrence? Now there was vision. This Almonte was a forward looking place, and these were forward looking people. Just my kind of people, thought James Rosamond. The meeting broke up, but Mr. Rosamond, Daniel Shipman and a few others remained standing outside the meeting hall, looking at the river, the conversation continued about this new dimension in transportation. The men in the group seemed to be strangely taken. Something had come over them. Here they had come to a meeting to discuss building a macadamized road to Smiths Falls, and now, without warning, they found themselves in earnest discussion about a railroad to Brockville. For a moment Mr. Rosamond wondered if the scope of the venture had got out of control; yet, no denying it, the railroad idea had a lot of merit.

James Rosamond found his focus after the meeting had changed greatly from what it had been before. The Railroad now intruded on his mind so powerfully that he found he could neither shake free of its grasp nor swing this thoughts back to the mundane things like woolens, macadamized roads and stone mills.

In the end the clump of men outside the meeting hall decided to break up their discussion and return to their homes, but not before they took one firm resolve, they would make a journey to Brockville to discuss the matter with friends there at greater length, and, if the signs appeared favourable, to find associates in the town on the shore of the St. Lawrence, and enlist their support in sharing in a grand design, a railway to link the St. Lawrence River with the Ottawa River through Almonte.

The Mills of Carleton Place -Victoria Woolen Factory to the Hawthorn

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

Letters from Bennett Rosamond — 1894- Adin Daigle Collection

Rosamond History– The “Damn” Dam Case 1870

More Photos of the Rosamond Water Tower

Pinehurst 1898 — The Rosamond Home — 8 Years After it was Built

Five Men That Tied up the Rosamond Mill 1907

The Mules of the Number 1 Mill?

The Drought of 1871 and the Mills on the Mississippi River

So Who Was Mary Rosemond/Rosamond?

Was Working in One of Our Local Mills Like Working in a Coal Mine?

Babies in the Textile Mills

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

Letters from Bennett Rosamond — 1894- Adin Daigle Collection

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Letters from Bennett Rosamond — 1894- Adin Daigle Collection

Adin Daigle

2h  · 

A pretty sweet grab today a hand written note from Bennett Rosamond House of Commons 1894. The Rosamonds were one of the first industrial developers in Carleton place starting a woolen business in 1830. By 1846 they built a woolen mill on the Mississippi (credited with being the first known textile mill to be ran by water power in eastern Ontario). Then moving on to Almonte in 1857, they build another woolen Mill that still stands there today.

In 1862 Bennett Rosamond and his brother William leased the Victoria Woolen Mills from their father under the partnership of B & W Rosamond and embarked upon a programme of rapid expansion. In 1866, they brought into the firm, now renamed B & W Rosamond & Co-MVTM

Unexpected Almonte
January 20, 2020  · 




Adultery & desertion…
One of Almonte’s Textile Industry mill owners, Bennett Rosamond, eldest son of James Rosamond, founder, wasn’t as lucky in love & life as you might imagine…

From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography:
“His early marriage caused him great unhappiness and led to separation within a decade. The son whom he had groomed to take over his business, John M., predeceased him, as did his other children. These events may help explain the harsh, practical image of Bennett Rosamond.”

The clipping below is from an 1887 edition of the Canada Gazette (Google Books). Thanks Brent Eades for the tips for this post #Struggles #WeAllHaveEm #Almonte #HeritageMatters 
from my collection

So Who Was Mary Rosemond/Rosamond?

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 Jul 1899, Mon  •  Page 1

Adultery & desertion…
One of Almonte’s Textile Industry mill owners, Bennett Rosamond, eldest son of James Rosamond, founder, wasn’t as lucky in love & life as you might imagine…

From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography:
“His early marriage caused him great unhappiness and led to separation within a decade. The son whom he had groomed to take over his business, John M., predeceased him, as did his other children. These events may help explain the harsh, practical image of Bennett Rosamond.”

Rosamond History– The “Damn” Dam Case 1870

Pinehurst 1898 — The Rosamond Home — 8 Years After it was Built

So Who Was Mary Rosemond/Rosamond?

The Rosamond Memorial Training School

John Morrow Writes About MP Ian Murray — Gailbraith — and Rosamond

Five Men That Tied up the Rosamond Mill 1907

Rosamond History– The “Damn” Dam Case 1870

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Rosamond History– The “Damn” Dam Case 1870

No 1 Mill– the dam that would have been taken out would be at the top of the falls.

Jan 1871 Almonte Gazette

The Dam Case — Some time during last summer four of the employees of B. & W. Rosamond & Co. were charged before a Justice of the Peace with the crime of tearing away and destroying 60 feet of the dam at the long wooden bridge leading to No. 1 mill. The case was tried a t the Perth assizes in October, and a true bill against the four men was found by the Grand Jury. 

The judge, however, had no time to try the case and it was left over to the Quarter sessions — the result of the trial being that the four men were found guilty and sentenced to three months imprisonment in the common Jail.

It is rather hard for the men to be thus incarcerated, for the facts are that the men were ordered by their employers to go out and destroy the dam, and that they (the employers) would stand between them and all harm, ensuring the men at the same time that they had the highest legal authority for doing so. 

Under the circumstances we think it is a pity that the majesty of the law could not have been vindicated quite as well by a much shorter period of imprisonment. Since the trial we have heard but one universal opinion expressed In the affair, and that is, a strong feeling of sympathy for the four employees.

In 1862 Bennett Rosamond and his brother William leased the Victoria Woolen Mills from their father under the partnership of B & W Rosamond and embarked upon a programme of rapid expansion. In 1866, they brought into the firm, now renamed B & W Rosamond & Co-MVTM

Bridge on Pinehurst

photo almonte.com

Built by Bennett Rosamond, president and managing director of the Rosamond Woollen Company, one of the largest woollen mills in Canada at the time. In 1884, he started to clear his land on the “Point” in a quiet and secluded area known as Brookdale Park, and by March 1890, had announced contracts for construction of Pinehurst, “the handsomest house” at the “prettiest location in town.” This was followed by a lodge (1892), a grapery (1894), and two outbuildings (1895). Later, an iron bridge was built on the road leading to Pinehurst from No. 1 Mill and a stone wall was built along the driveway.

photo almonte.com

The Mills of Carleton Place -Victoria Woolen Factory to the Hawthorn

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The Mills of Carleton Place  -Victoria Woolen Factory to the Hawthorn

Original Newspaper ad from the files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Victoria Woolen Factory (1830s)
  • The mill stood on river bank near James St. The Rosamond House (1838) which is still standing is at 37 Bell St.
  • James Rosamond operated a carding mill from 1838-1846 and then a custom carding and woolen mill from 1846 – 1857.

In 1825, in the village of Fenagh in county Leitrim in Ireland, a gang of Catholic youths attacked the Rosamond home. The Rosamonds were staunch Protestants. James, aged 20 (born 1805) and his brother Edward, aged 15, attempted to protect their mother. A shot was fired by Edward and a youth was dead. The boys fled to Canada. James went to Merrickville where he worked for James Merrick as a weaver. Edward, still fearing arrest, worked his way eventually to Memphis, Tennessee.

          James Rosamond worked for James Merrick for five years and he came to Carleton Place in 1825. We know that by 1830 he was operating a sawmill, an oat mill and a carding and a fulling mill in Carleton Place on one side of the Mississippi River and a lumber mill on the other side of the river.

          In 1831 he married Margaret Wilson who was born in Scotland. James and Margaret were to have five children, all born in Carleton Place: Bennett, Mary Ann (known as Marion, who later married Andrew Bell, their son was James McIntosh Bell), Rosalind, William and James.

Mary Peden 1920s Carleton Place- Photo property Linda Seccaspina– Rosamond House in the background on Bell Street.The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler

          In the 1830’s, James built a very fine stone home on Bell Street in Carleton Place, close to St. James’ Church where he was a church warden for fifteen years. It was a time of great expansion. No one worried about pension funds, or the government looking after your, that was your responsibility. James burst upon the scene and started many businesses, all of which seem to have been successful.

          James, in what was to prove to be a landmark decision, decided to turn his fulling and carding mill into a woolen factory. In 1864 he advertised that he had purchased spinning and weaving machinery which he had bought from firms in Toronto, Ogdensburgh and Watertown, New York. By 1846 he was in operation and was selling “Plain Cloth either grey or dyed, Cashmere, Satinett, Flannel, all wool or cotton and wool, Blankets, etc.” James had started with three narrow looms, one spindle jack of one hundred and twenty spindles and one bolting roll. He expanded as best as he could in Carleton Place but the limiting factor was the amount of water power to make everything run. He ran his operation in Carleton Place for another ten years, but by 1857 his water rights had lapsed and he erected a stone mill in Almonte on the site of the Ramsay Woolen Cloth Manufacturing Company which had been destroyed by fire. Alex Huighes

read-The Exact Reason Rosamond Left Carleton Place

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

McDonald and Brown Carding and Fulling Mill and Woolen Factory
  • Vicinity of 71 Mill St (Mill St and Judson St).
  • This mill was located on Lot 65 Section D of the town survey. Allan McDonald operated a carding mill a at this location from 1846 – 1864, except for the interval 1861 – 1863 when he leased it to William Paisley.
  • Under the management of Paisley, it was known as the Wolverine Carding Mills. Then from 1864 it was again run as a custom carding mill under Allan McDonald and then in succession by a partnership of John McDonald and John Brown.
  • A new mill was built on 1868. On the retirement of John McDonald in 1901, it continued in operation by John Brown.

The Condo Ephemera of Boulton Brown Mill

Down by the Old Mill Stream — Carleton Place
The Brown Flour Mill Stories
One of the Many Hauntings of Mill Street
Coleman Family History–Just for Your Records
Jumpin’ Around in Carleton Place — Local Urban Acrobats

 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Photo

McArthur Woolen Mill (1871)
  • 105 Mill St, W 1/2 Lot 15, Conc 12 Beckwith Township.
  • The Archibald McArthur and Company Woolen Mill was built in 1871 and was operated by the company until 1876. The woolen mill, equipped to operate by waterpower of the lower falls, was later leased and reopened by William H. Wylie in 1877 when the country’s business depression became less severe. Wylie operated the mill until 1881.
  • It was then sold to John Gillies in 1882 and operated until 1900 under the firm name of J Gillies, Son and Company ; John and James Gillies; The John Gillies Estate Company Ltd .
  • In 1900 it was sold to the Canada Woolen Mills Ltd who went bankrupt in 1904. The reason was stated to be loss of Canadian markets to British exporters of tweeds and worsteds.
  • It was later sold to Bates and Innes in 1907. Bates and Innes Co. Limited equipped the former woolen mill as a knitting mill. In 1909 , the Bates & Innes knitting mill, after making waterpower improvements, began running night and day with 150 employees.
  • It was and still operating in 1911 as a knitting mill.

Eye Opening Conditions of the Carleton Place Mills– also update to Cardy Miller Story

The River Dance of the McArthur Mill in Carleton Place

Rosemary McNaughton- Little Red Door Arrives at Bates and Innes

Hawthorn Woolen Mill (1875)
  • 115 Emily St, NE 1/2, Lot 13, Conc 13, Beckwith Township.
  • Abraham Code operated a woolen mill from 1875 – 1878.
  • It sat idle from 1878 – 1880.
  • It was bought in 1880 by James Gillies of Carleton Place from its original owner Abraham Code at a reported price of $16,400.
  • It was then sold to William Wylie and William Fraser Latimer (subsequent firm name Hawthorne Woolen Mills) in 1881.
  • In 1889 it was sold to Hawthorne Woolen Company Limited which ran until 1899 when it was sold to Canada Woollen Mills Limited in 1900. In 1903 the Hawthorne (and Gillies) woolen mills – recently working on overtime hours with 192 employees, after six years of improvements under the ownership of Canada Woolen Mills Limited – were closed. The reason was stated to be loss of Canadian markets to British exporters of tweeds and worsteds. The company went into bankruptcy in 1904.
  • It was finally sold in 1907 to the Waterloo Knitting Company. In 1909 the Hawthorne knitting mill was closed by reason of financial difficulties, and its operating company was reorganized as the Carleton Knitting Co. Ltd’

From MVTM

Hawthorn Mill–The Early Years– 1874 -1930

The McArthurs of Carleton Place

The Revolutions of the Hawthorn Mill
The Rencraft Fire Dept Photo Brings Back a Familiar Name
The Case of the Bell that Disappeared
An Invitation to the Old Hawthorn Mill

Ring Those Bells in Carleton Place– Wylie’s Woolen Mill

More on the Mill Worker’s Stairs

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More on the Mill Worker’s Stairs
Photo- Allan Stanley-another photo of the mill workers stairs from about 1946… pic of my father all decked out (probably on a Sunday). My mother (Elsie Tosh) grew up on the “Island” and knew the stairs well.

The planned 9.5-metre steel staircase pays tribute to the municipality’s mill history and recreates a set of stairs mill workers used. The staircase will allow the Riverwalk to connect Coleman Island to the Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail. Mississippi Mills Council awarded the tender for the Mill Workers Staircase to Premium Construction at a special meeting in April.

What could be called the crown jewel of the project is the proposed Mill Workers’ Staircase between Union Street and the former Rosamond Woollen Mill. It will be a timber structure with interpretive plaques.

“It’s a rebuild,” Smithson said, stating the staircase used to provide access for workers at the former mill. “There are plans to have a viewing platform at the top.”

Stakes mark out where the Millworkers’ Staircase will be constructed on Coleman Island this fall. A grand opening is being planned for the spring.

Contract No.20-08 Fabrication and Installation of the Mill Worker’s Stair Structure


Closing: March 12, 2020 at 2:00pm

D.W. Building – $137,424.73
TLC Exteriors – $157,208.00
Premium Const. – $127,700.00
M. Sullivan – $251,157.00

Sealed tenders on forms supplied by the Corporation of the Municipality of Mississippi Mills will be received at the offices of the Corporation of the Municipality of Mississippi Mills, at 3131 Old Perth Road, P.O. Box 400, Almonte, Ontario K0A 1A0 no later than 2:00p.m. local time, Thursday, March 12th, 2020, for the Fabrication and Installation of the Mill Worker’s Stair Structure.

Tenders will be opened in public at the municipality’s offices immediately following closing time on Thursday, March 12th, 2020.

The general scope of work includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the supply of all materials, fabrication, delivery and erection and construction of a new steel staircase complete with steel landings, steel railings and hand railings, steel supporting columns, concrete slab-on-grade, concrete and helical pile footings.

Complete tender documents (electronic .pdf version, free of charge) will be available on Monday, February 24th, 2020 from HP Engineering Inc., 2039 Robertson Road, Suite 400, Ottawa, Ontario, K2H 8R2 and will be sent via email upon request.

The successful bidder will be required to provide a 100% performance bond and 50% materials and labour payment bond upon execution of the contract agreement. The lowest or any tender will not necessarily be accepted. For further information, the project manager can be contacted as follows:

below Cameron St Willard old house on the small island- Unexpected Almonte
March 27 at 8:40 AM  · 

The stairs were for mill the mill workers who lived on the other side of town from the main mill, which was on an island in the river.

Harry Walker in front of the 39 steps in Almonte from Almonte.com

Brenda Voyce MunroI remember these stairs

Margaret McNeelyRemember them well….use to climb them to go to Uncle Alec’s and Aunt Chrissie’s farm at end of Union St.

Cathy PatersonI remember Mr Walker and the stairs

Peggy ByrneNew stairs will have a rest area, not like the old days when the mill workers traversed them multiple times a day

Marty TaylorWasn’t it “39 steps”? Oh, wait, that was Hitchcock.

John CraigThat staircase would be a killer the first couple weeks till you built up your leg muscles.

John HudsonI used the steps while going to High School

Maureen ThompsonFrom my grannie Voyce’s place

The Millstone

March 28 at 11:54 AM  · Millworkers Staircase is in place near Textile Museumhttps://millstonenews.com/millworkers-staircase-is-in…/After years of planning and fundraising, the new version of the Millworkers Staircase was dropped into place on Coleman Island near the Textile Museum this week.The staircase is in the same location as a wooden version that once ran from Union Street to “The Island.” Many residents still remember playing there as children or using it as a shortcut to the high school or to work at the Mill.Completion of the new staircase was made possible in particular through public financial support–by last fall residents had contributed over $70,000 through individual donations and fundraising events. The offer by Mike Dupuis to make his private bridge by the site accessible for public use also played a key role. The installation of the staircase is a major component in the continuing work on Phase 2 of the Riverwalk. That includes: – the Mill Workers’ Walk (from Union Street to the rail trail) – the Carleton Street Walk (from Back Bridge to the Textile Museum) – the Coleman Island stone dust trail from Wellington St to the staircase on the earthen dam – four benches along the stone-dust trail – landscaping – the installation of interpretive & directional signage & of the donor recognition plaquesAs of yesterday there still a few finishing touches remaining until the staircase is open to the public.March 28, 2021 – 11:53 am

Related reading

Falling Through the Cracks at Work

More Photos of the Rosamond Water Tower

The Mules of the Number 1 Mill?

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

The Farm of Alec and Chrissie Tosh — David Tosh

The Faces On the Almonte Steps–the Rest of the Story

More Photos of the Rosamond Water Tower

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More Photos of the Rosamond Water Tower
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 May 1987, Mon  •  Page 7
Photo Credits: Town of Almonte





Former Tower Location: 
RosaMond Woollen Co. Mill water tower
, 7 Mill Street. Tower was still standing in a 1959 picture


Tower Information 
(09-05)


HeightCapacity:

Mill was erected in 1857 by James Rosamond. Part of the building still stands today (2005). The mills were sold in 1952 by Mary Rosamond.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Oct 1952, Thu  •  Page 20

may 1987 almonte gazette
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 May 1959, Sat  •  Page 9

Becoming a Nurse — Rosamond Memorial Hospital

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Becoming a Nurse — Rosamond Memorial Hospital

The Rosamond Memorial Training School- one photo if you click here Photo above thanks to Sandra Houston 1911

Hi Linda, I noticed you had old cookbooks on Tales of Almonte today. I found one the other day dated 1911 and it was for the Rosamond Memorial hospital. This is one of the ads. Sandra Houston

Photo- Sandra Houston 1911

Letter from D.G.Kells to the Canadian Nurses Association–From CLICK
Additional Information…The school of nursing was opened on April 1st 1922 and closed on June 14, 1928 with the following nurses graduating at that time./Sodie Stanley/ Marjorie Ennes/ Rose McDonald/ Laura E. Hawkins/ In 1924 the school became affiliated with the Montreal General Hospitals and the students, as you know where sent to Montreal for instruction in matters that were not available locally. – 1 year at Montreal General Hospital./ The first graduating class received their pins on October 7th, 1925 and they were as follows:/ Lillian J. Conroy/ E. Shiels/ G. McDougall… All students passed the Reg.N. examinations/ The pin below presented to Edith Young by the graduating class of 1925/ [Kells, D.G. Letter to the Canadian Nurses Association, 15 September 1978. © Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canadian Nursing History Collection, 2006.H0020.71]

In 1900, Almonte Nursing Service was organized under a branch of the Victorian Order of Nurses. Their
work was expanded in 1904 to a dwelling on Ottawa Street, which became the first hospital in Almonte.
Known as the Victorian Hospital, it had two private rooms and a public ward with two beds. The hospital
operated with a staff of one nurse and one maid.


In 1906, the Victorian hospital was found to be inadequate and the building of a new hospital was
undertaken. A year later, the late Bennett Rosamond erected at his own expense a fine stone building at
the corner of Clinton and Spring Streets which served Almonte and the surrounding communities for
upwards of fifty-two years. The Rosamond Memorial Hospital had four private rooms and two wards
with four beds in each. It was officially opened in May 1909, by Their Excellencies Lord and Lady Grey,
then the occupants of Rideau Hall.


In 1919, the Victorian Order of Nurses withdrew their support and the management of the hospital was
transferred to a Board of Managers. In 1920, an extension was added making room for a total of eighteen
adults and ten infants.


For some thirty-eight years, the Rosamond Memorial Hospital was the only hospital within the area from
Ottawa to Smiths Falls, to Renfrew and back again to Ottawa, until 1946 when Arnprior Hospital opened.
During the 1950’s, it became apparent that the facilities of the Rosamond Memorial Hospital were
becoming insufficient to meet the needs of the community. It had grown from a cottage-type hospital of
some twelve beds, plus nursery, to a general hospital of twenty-two or more beds.


Construction of the new Almonte General Hospital began in 1959. On May 4th, 1961 Dr. M. B. Dymond,
Ontario Health Minister, opened Almonte’s new forty-one bed General Hospital.


In 1982, a new twenty-six bed, Chronic Care Wing was constructed to provide long-term care services to
area residents. Expanded facilities were included for Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and a Day
Hospital. The new facility, named the Rosamond Wing to recognize the early, health-care contributions
of the Rosamond family, was officially opened on July 6, 1982, by His Excellency Governor General
Edward Schreyer. From Click

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Aug 1898, Fri  •  Page 8
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Apr 1917, Thu  •  Page 12
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Apr 1917, Thu  •  Page 12
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 May 1909, Tue  •  Page 2
almonte.com–This postcard photo, taken in 1910, shows nurses on the steps of Rosamond Memorial Hospital. The current hospital was built in May 4, 1961, and the old hospital is now apartments. The first baby born in Rosamond Memorial was Victor Horton, first cousin of local store owners Stan Morton. Photo courtesy of Ruth More.The property known as the “Rosamond Memorial Hospital” was to be completed 1 November 1907—It was used as a Hospital from January 10, 1908 – May 31, 1961

Related reading

Union Almonte and Ramsay Contagious Hospital — “The Pest House”

The Almonte Hospital Hoopla

Susie’s Kitchen Band– Names Names Names

The Rosamond Memorial Training School-

Colleen MontgomeryMy Mom and Dad both in this picture. They really enjoyed working there with the wonderful staff at that time. My Dad bottom right and my Mom top 6th from the right.

Pinehurst 1898 — The Rosamond Home — 8 Years After it was Built

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Pinehurst 1898 — The Rosamond Home — 8 Years After it was Built
Greetings from Pinehurst at Almonte, Ontario, Canada RPPC – Real Photo Post Card A Canadian Private Post Card Postmarked at Almonte on December 19, 1905 Mailed to Miss Mary Rosamond of Des Moines, Iowa –So Who Was Mary Rosemond/Rosamond?

A Few Words Concerning the Smartest Town in the District, and Something About the Palatial Home and Grounds of B. Rosamond, Esq., II. P.

That readers at a distance may get an idea of the appearance of some of Almonte’s finest residential properties the Gazette at times prints engravings of them. If this town has made marked progress in the past ten or fifteen years in any direction over another it is in the improved class of buildings that have been erected. We have the busiest and prettiest town in the district, and the steep banks of the Mississippi, with its magnificent falls, as well as its ‘windings past the islands formed in its efforts to find a way into the Bay below, have given the town a natural system of drainage that renders it more than ordinarily healthful. For the above reasons, and others that might be mentioned—its hive of industries, its fine churches and schools and mercantile establishments, its public library, market* etc.—



Download this image


Print (photomechanical)
“Pinehurst,” Almonte, ON, about 1910
1905-1914, 20th century
Coloured ink on paper mounted on card – Collotype
8.7 x 13.7 cm
Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
MP-0000.648.10


Almonte is a model place for those who wish to retire from the activities of farm or business life and enjoy the advantages and conveniences of a live town. In recent years it has attracted from the fine agricultural district surrounding it not a few of those who had amassed a competence and earned retirement.   These wanted comfortable homes, and created a demand for residences of the better class ; and the demand has been met. The result is that the residential part of Almonte has improved wonderfully in appearance, while our public buildings are of a strikingly substantial and handsome type— December 23, 1898-Almonte Gazette

The historic waterfront residence was built in 1890 by the Rosamond family, owners of the largest textile mill in Canada.

almonte gazette

Probably the first place among Almonte’s points of beauty and attractiveness is “ Pinehurst,” the residence and grounds of B. Rosamond, Esq., the representative of North Lanark in the House of Commons. We give a cut of it above. This is one of the finest residences to be found between Montreal and Toronto. It is situated between the C.P.R. track and the Mississippi River in the western part of the town. The residence, built in the finest style of English domestic architecture, is about 45×45, two-and-a-half stories high, the first story being built of the beautiful Perth sandstone, trimmed with Nova Scotia red sandstone, and the upper story being of wood covered with red tiles.

David Tosh
Here’s a photo of my mother in front of Pinehurst probably in the late 1940s.

It is roofed with slate. It has its own system of waterworks, water being supplied by means of a hydraulic ram. The interior is especially handsome in regard to both architecture and appointments. It is fitted up with bathrooms and every modem convenience. Numerous-outbuildings have been erected, including a fine conservatory, carriage-house, hennery, etc.

Wooden Bridge At Pinehurst almonte.com –A lady should not present herself alone in a library, or a museum, unless she goes there to study, or work as an artist in the late 1800s.

The grounds— in former times known as “ The Point ”— comprise about twenty-five or thirty acres, covered with magnificent original forest trees. It is approached from Union street by a solidly made gravel roadway, and from the Island by a similar roadway, passing, near the entrance, a stone cottage of neat design— the residence of the caretaker of the grounds. An offshoot from the Mississippi runs through the park, and one of the roads follows its banks as it winds its sinuous way to the Bay below.

Brent Eades I believe — but am not 100% sure — that this is the waterfall at the bottom of the Pinehurst property. It’s not really visible usually except from on the river
No photo description available.
Brent Eades

Peter Low The above would be the 5th set of Almonte waterfalls, located somewhere on the Pinehurst property I think.

https://www.joeyrudd.ca/blog/2014/10/18/meghan-davids-pinehurst-wedding-in-almonte-by-joey-rudd-photography Photo- Joey Rudd

A pretty waterfall half-way down (across which a rustic bridge is built) adds immensely to the beauty of the grounds. Other roads and paths run through Mr. Rosamond’s demesne, giving at every turn pretty views of the falls and river. These roads are bordered by beautiful hedges of spruce, cedar, etc., and in the summer season many rare exotics, as well as choice home-grown plants, are to be seen lining the roads or adorning the tennis court. 

The tennis ground occupies the fiat part of the lawn below the sloping hill in front of the residence. Handsome flower-beds are also to be seen. Besides being a man of means, Mr. Rosamond has been endowed by nature with good taste, which he displayed in an eminent degree in laying out his grounds. No expense seems to have been spared in beautifying “ Pinehurst,” and its owner is generous in the matter of allowing locals on his property.

Linda Seccaspina
Admin · July 17
One of my favourite photos— One of my favourite photos from the Almonte Garden and Home Tour at the Glen Estate 1999. Two new friends were met. Paul Robinson-City Curator for the City of Kingston, ON- the Master of the archives and The Prince of Heritage Architecture and suave– Edgar Tumak also from Kingston. Edgar found it titillating when I raised my skirts at a moments notice because I was just so hot. LOLOLOL.
People always ask me who my role models are and who I want to be like, and I don’t wanna be like anybody; I wanna be me. I look up to a lot of people, and they have had great influences on me, but I wanna be original and different and just care about my communities damn it LOLOL
Just like Paul and Edgar..

So Who Was Mary Rosemond/Rosamond?

The Ghost in the Glen

The Leaky Chancery Dam –The Forgie’s of Almonte Part 2

The Rosamond Memorial Training School

John Morrow Writes About MP Ian Murray — Gailbraith — and Rosamond

Five Men That Tied up the Rosamond Mill 1907

The Mules of the Number 1 Mill?

The Drought of 1871 and the Mills on the Mississippi River

When the Circus Shut the Town Down

Falling Through the Cracks at Work

Was Working in One of Our Local Mills Like Working in a Coal Mine?

Babies in the Textile Mills

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

Tears of a Home -The Archibald Rosamond House

The Exact Reason Rosamond Left Carleton Place

The Rosamond Christmas Party 1863-or- When Billie Brown and I Slid Down Old Cram’s Cellar Door

Tears of a Home -The Archibald The Seven-Barrelled ‘pepper box’ Revolver — Rosamond Fight — July 1875

Pinehurst Manor Bed and Breakfast

Pinehurst Manor is in the beautiful town of Almonte, 20 minutes west of Ottawa.

The historic waterfront residence was built in 1890 by the Rosamond family, owners of the largest textile mill in Canada. The Manor has been featured in films and graced the presence of many famous Canadians including 2 Governor Generals. The 7500 Sq Ft mansion features grand rooms with original woodwork, stained glass and 10 fireplaces. Enjoy the mature trees and the incredible sound and views of 2 waterfalls!

Have you ever wanted to step into yesteryear? Guests have called Pinehurst Manor the “Downtown Abbey” of the Ottawa Valley.
The Manor is ideal for entertaining and events. The “butlers pantry” separating the dining room and kitchen is perfect for serving food for large groups. The library features a custom card table and was once the office of Bennett Rosamond who served as a Member of Parliament when Sir Wilfred Laurier was Prime Minister.


Relax in the sunroom with original stained glass and incredible views or the screened porch where you can hear the waterfalls.
Bedrooms with fireplaces and incredible detail including soaker tubs the way they were meant to be.


There are 4 large bedrooms on the second floor with 2 King and 2 Queen beds. For large groups we have additional beds as follows: Queen sofa bed in Victoria Suite. Queen bed in upper sunroom (not winter)) accessed through the Rosamond Suite and Queen sofa bed in main sunroom (not winter). For additional guests you are welcome to bring your own air mattresses and bedding. The home is very large and can accommodate


20 + Guests.
The grounds are magnificent and include the original Carriage House, Ice House and beautiful flower gardens. A large stone patio with fire pit and bbq overlook the waterfalls and river with post card pictures of 100 year old oaks and maples.


Lots of great activities. Practice you short game with a 95 yard golf hole or enjoy a game of bocce ball, basketball, badminton or try your luck at fishing. Use the binoculars and get close up views of our resident blue herons, red tail hawks and wood peckers. On hot days cool off sitting in the falls!

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Sep 1928, Tue  •  Page 18
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 May 2008, Sun  •  Page 24
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 May 1927, Fri  •  Page 6
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CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Oct 1910, Fri  •  Page 4
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 Aug 1919, Mon  •  Page 2
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 May 1910, Thu  •  Page 4
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 May 1931, Mon  •  Page 20
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Dec 1982, Sat  •  Page 73

The Seven-Barrelled ‘pepper box’ Revolver — Rosamond Fight — July 1875

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The Seven-Barrelled ‘pepper box’ Revolver — Rosamond Fight — July 1875
Photo from Almonte.com

Seldom is it that the law-abiding citizens of Almonte allow their angry passions to rise, or to tear each others’ eyes out. But last week a most ludicrous conflict occurred in which the principal actors were the proprietors of two woolen mills and their respective employees.

The bone of contention between them was the proprietorship of a small piece of mill property upon which one of the parties, apparently trespassing, attempted to erect tenter bars for stretching cloth. This was perceived by his neighbour who ordered him to stop. The first party refused, and the neighbour’s foreman promptly threw the tenter bars and his opponent into the nearby river. One thing led to another until a battle took place pitting workers of the mills against each other. Weapons (handspikes and crowbars) were obtained, but fortunately no blood was spilled.

Combatants struggled in and around the water with slight interruption for three hours. Peace was finally restored when one employee produced a seven-barrelled ‘pepper box’ revolver and threatened all combatants with it unless the brawl ceased. Only after the fighting did stop was it revealed that the small revolver had not been loaded.

  • No 1 Rosamond Mill. CLICK HERE
  • Coleman Island, Lot 18
  • As James Rosamond was building the second Victoria Woolen Mill in Almonte, he realized that with the coming of the railway, the mills would be too small. He began acquiring property on Coleman’s Island near the falls which was occupied by a tannery and residences. Between 1857 and 1867 he acquired six parcels of land. The Coleman Island Mill was built in 1866 – 1867. The first building was a six story stone building, six wide by twelve windows long, centred by a tower.
  • In 1872 a three story dye house was added on the north end of the building and a 45 foot by 130 foot warehouse and a 40 foot by 45 foot counting house was added on the south. In 1887 a four story north addition was built connecting the dye house. Also, a four story addition was built connecting the main building to the counting house.
  • The counting house was demolished in 1880 and the south wing extended to Ramsay St.
  • The New Counting House
  • A new Counting House for the No. 1 Rosamond Woolen Mill was added to the west end of the warehouse in 1880. This complex is now the home of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum.

The pepper-box revolver or simply pepperbox (also “pepper-pot“, from its resemblance to the household pepper grinder) is a multiple-barrel repeating firearm that has three or more barrels grouped around a central axis. It mostly appears in the form of a multi-shot handheld firearm. Pepperboxes exist in all ammunition systems: matchlockwheellockflintlockpercussionpinfirerimfire and centerfire.

The pepperbox should not be confused with a volley gun (like the seven-barrel long gun made by Nock), a firearm that fires multiple projectiles simultaneously by use of multiple barrels.[1] The difference is that a volleygun fires all the barrels simultaneously while the pepperbox is a repeater. The pepperbox should also not be confused with or as a development of the Gatling gun, which fires rapidly by the use of rotating multiple barrels.

So Who Was Mary Rosemond/Rosamond?

The Leaky Chancery Dam –The Forgie’s of Almonte Part 2

The Rosamond Memorial Training School

John Morrow Writes About MP Ian Murray — Gailbraith — and Rosamond

Five Men That Tied up the Rosamond Mill 1907

The Mules of the Number 1 Mill?

The Drought of 1871 and the Mills on the Mississippi River

When the Circus Shut the Town Down

Falling Through the Cracks at Work

Was Working in One of Our Local Mills Like Working in a Coal Mine?

Babies in the Textile Mills

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

Tears of a Home -The Archibald Rosamond House

The Exact Reason Rosamond Left Carleton Place

The Rosamond Christmas Party 1863-or- When Billie Brown and I Slid Down Old Cram’s Cellar Door

Tears of a Home -The Archibald Rosamond House

So Who Was Mary Rosemond/Rosamond?

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So Who Was Mary Rosemond/Rosamond?

I just got the postcard I bought today in the mail. “Greetings from Pinehurst at Almonte, Ontario, Canada RPPC – Real Photo Post Card A Canadian Private Post Card Postmarked at Almonte on December 19, 1905 Mailed to Miss Mary Rosamond of Des Moines, Iowa”

In the Christmas greeting Bennett Rosamond called Mary “coz” and it was addressed to the State Library in Des Moines. I looked into some of the genealogy , but I could not find her, so I went to the newspaper archives. It was tough but I dug her up. Born in Washington, Ohio, Miss Rosemond came to Iowa as a child with her parents, Capt. and Mrs. William E. Rosemond.  Notice, that her family were cousins with the Almonte Rosamonds but the American family spelt it Rosemond.

Under the tutelage of the late Johnson Brigham and associated with many others in library work, Miss Mary Morton Rosemond engaged in building up for the state a library of economics and political science, for the use of state officials and legislators who really want to know, for the sincere students of public affairs. She served on the staff of the Iowa state library from 1809 to 1937. She passed away in 1941.

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Ames Daily Tribune
Ames, Iowa
10 Feb 1933, Fri  •  Page 7
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Mary Morton Rosemond Iowa State Census, 1905 birth: about 1873 Ohio residence: 1905 Polk, Iowa, United States

father: W E Rosemond

mother:Caroline C Baumgardner

Bennett Rosamond

The Rosamond Memorial Training School

John Morrow Writes About MP Ian Murray — Gailbraith — and Rosamond

Five Men That Tied up the Rosamond Mill 1907

Was Working in One of Our Local Mills Like Working in a Coal Mine?

Babies in the Textile Mills

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

Tears of a Home -The Archibald Rosamond House

The Exact Reason Rosamond Left Carleton Place

The Rosamond Christmas Party 1863-or- When Billie Brown and I Slid Down Old Cram’s Cellar Door

Tears of a Home -The Archibald Rosamond House