One spring when Rosanna was just 14 two young shantymen both husky lads, came to the Ouelette door and asked for a drink of water. One was French, the other English and both were about 18 years of age. The lads lingered long at the Ouelette door. It was evident that the English youth had taken a shine to the pretty French rural girl. Pa and Ma Ouelette were in the fields. The young men announced they were on their way to join a raft to Quebec. The English lad told her through his friend, that he was going to write to her. Becoming afraid, the girl said “No, no. he mustn’t!” A month later when the girl went to the post office for the family mail, the postmistress told her that there was a letter for her from Quebec.
The girl opened the letter and it was in English. She could not read it and in desperation she told the whole story to the postmistress and asked her to read it in confidence. The lady read the letter and then she told the girl that Richard Holden had written to say that he loved her and wanted to marry her. He would come back that fall and claim her.
At the girl’s request, the postmistress wrote back to Richard Holden that he had better stay away as their dog was wicked, and her father was worse. She said she couldn’t marry anyone for years yet and anyway she didn’t know him. That letter must have scared Richard, as the girl did not hear from him for over two years. Then he wrote to say that he still loved her and would call the next year and ask for her hand in marriage. The girl did not answer the letter.
As promised Richard appeared at the Oulette home a year later. He sought out Mr. Oulette and formally presented his case. As the news was known to Pa Oulette he nearly took a fit. He summoned Rosanna and the whole story came out. There was much talk and finally Rosanna admitted she wasn’t averse to marrying her seldom seen lover.
Prior to all this Richard had told his family history and presented good credentials of character and that he belonged to Chichester. Mr. Ouelette told the young man to return the next day. That night there was a family council. Mr. Ouelette declared that as the girl was now 17 she could get married if she wished, but his mind was made up that she must stay at home till she was 20.
She was too young to start housekeeping. She must spend the next three years learning housekeeping and the duties of a wife. Mr. Ouelette said the marriage could be carried out at any time, but only under the conditions named. The next day both Richard and Rosanna agreed. Then Pa announced that the wedding would be the finest wedding ever pulled off within many miles from La Passe. He said that as he only had one daughter it was his duty to see that she received a send-off befitting the fact. In passing it may be mentioned that Pa Ouelette was the richest farmer in the La Passse district. The story of the wedding is next.
The Wedding of Rosanna Ouellette
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.