Tag Archives: sheldon’s corners

The Witch of Plum Hollow- The Carleton Place Connection

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The Witch of Plum Hollow- The Carleton Place Connection

 

 

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In 1830, William Morphy deeded 1/13 of an acre of the land on 223 Bridge Street in Carleton Place. The James Bell house was probably built later on in the decade and
remained in the Bell family until 1870’s. The elder members of this family
emigrated from Scotland to Perth in 1817.

John, Robert, William, and James were among the sons of Reverend William Bell the first Presbyterian minister of the Perth district. Robert and John established the mercantile business in Carleton Place in association with the business of William and John in Perth, which had started the previous year. Robert owned the property in question from 1846-60.

According to Howard Brown, local historian, if one man were to be selected as the father or chief public figure of Carleton Place through its first generation of growth it would be
Robert Bell. He established himself as a merchant, mill owner, magistrate,
postmaster, and district council warden in Carleton Place. He was also elected in
1848 as a member of the legislative assembly of Canada for Lanark and Renfrew
Counties and was returned to the legislature for some fifteen years.

Later owners and residents at 233 Bridge Street were Newman, McDiarmid, and Union Bank Managers. According to  Marj Whyte, in her era, the stone house was usually occupied by a bank manager. In 1919, the Canadian Bank of Commerce bought this property and the house was occupied by the bank’s manager until 1941 when George Buchanan took over possession. Mr. Scoggie of the old Union Bank and Mr. Kent of the Bank of Commerce were a few of the residents. 

In 1951 Mr. And Mrs. Vernon McCarten, the daughter and son in law of George, bought
the house and property and carried on an insurance business. In 1997, the house was transferred to Barbara Couch. A rare Ginko tree sits on this property in the front and has an unusual story. Read more The McCarten House of Carleton Place.



historicalnotes

 

Linda, the Witch of Plum Hollow had a Carleton Place connection! She was the grandmother of Amy Buchanan who was brought up in the brick house on the south corner of the Charles and Emily Street intersection. I have heard from good sources that the house is haunted!

Amy’s family ran the Buchanan Insurance Company and when she married Vern McCarten, it later became the Buchanan-McCarten Insurance Company. The family lived and ran the business from the lovely home on Bridge Street across from the end of High Street – now a real estate office. A well-known, community-minded family! Their children, Janet and Doug, live in the Toronto area, I believe, and if they read this, I hope they’ll correct anything I got wrong. Wendy LeBlanc

 

 

 - MOTHER BARNES. Sir: The article in "Ottawa... - a marker, but there is a move under way to...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 14 Nov 1945, Wed,
  3. Page 8

    Who was Mother Barnes? Find Out About the Witch of Plum Hollow April 7 Only 100 seats available!

     

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    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.,

     

    relatedreading

    An Interview with the Witch of Plum Hollow–Mother Barnes— The Ottawa Free Press 1891

    My Grandmother was Mother Barnes-The Witch of Plum Hollow

    A Bewitched Bed in Odessa

    The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

    Plum Hollow Witch and The Mountain Man of Pakenham

    Different Seasons of Witches in Lanark County

    Local Miracle Story– Woken From a Ten Week Coma

    The White Witch of Lanark County–Having the Sight

    Barnes Buchanans and McCarten Family Photos–Doug B. McCarten

    The Witches of Rochester Street

    Hocus Pocus –Necromancy at Fitch Bay

    The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

    The Witch Hollow of Lanark County

    The McCarten House of Carleton Place

Mother Barnes– Grandpa Samuel Barnes

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Mother Barnes– Grandpa Samuel Barnes

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Once upon a time, the world beat a path to the door of a tiny log cabin some 20 kilometres south of here. The great and the not-so-great came to consult Mother Elizabeth Barnes, the legendary. Witch of Plum Hollow. In her mysterious attic room, she received neighbors and politicians seeking advice on everything from lost sheep and lost loves to lost seats in Parliament. Plum Hollow still sees its share of visitors but they’re more intent on purchasing fresh curd from the Plum Hollow Cream and Cheese Co-op than on having their tea leaves read. Few are aware that near the shore of nearby Lake Eloida the derelict abode of the Witch of Plum Hollow sits empty, ravaged by time and vandals. . However for three generations of Joynt women, descendants of Mother Barnes, a visit to the tiny cabin shortly before Halloween proved a sentimental journey of sorts. Lera Joynt, daughter Carol, 11-year-old Susan Joynt and Lisa Joynt, 14, had varied reactions to the forlorn cottage.

“I recall Grandpa Samuel Barnes telling of hitching up the horses for the long ride from Smiths Falls to Plum Hollow,” Lera reminisced. Sam, one of Barnes’ nine children, was a blacksmith and mayor of Smiths Falls in 1906. Her daughter Carol felt a strong bond with her famous ancestor. Mother Barnes ‘gift’ to foresee the future appeared in every generation, she said. Lisa and Susan, daughters of Witch of Plum Hollow Painted by Henry Vyfinkel well-known farmer and auctioneer John Joynt, were fascinated. With visions of bats, broomsticks and black cats racing through their heads, they gingerly tip-toed through the debris. “There’s an old piece of wood in here that’s marked made in 1805,” Susan called out excitedly. Lisa reported with disappointment the rickety old stairs were gone. “I’ll come back in my old clothes and climb up there,” she told her grandmother. “I want to see the room where Mother Barnes read the tea leaves for all those people.” Lera Joynt’ disapproves of the dubious title of witch applied to her ancestor. “We don’t like it at all. Her kindly advice and honest predictions helped countless numbers of people.” . -1 Over at Plum Hollow Cheese factory, Claude Flood explains why he and his late wife Ella erected a monument to Mother Barnes in nearby Sheldon Cemetery.

“During the SO years I made cheese here people were always coming in with stories about Mother Barnes. Lera Joynt and other family members felt the same. Some years ago, they purchased the two acres with its original cabin, its apple trees, tumble-down barn and abandoned well. Lera and husband Percy re-shingled, the roof and cleaned up the grounds when they took over the property but it hasn’t weathered the years very well. Weeds have taken over, the roof sinks in and vandals have removed the original pine doors and smashed the windows. The Witch of Plum Hollow has. served as title for a book by Thad Leavitt now out of print a musical show produced in Toronto and an oil painting by area artist Henry VyfinkeL The huge painting dominates his studio near Brockville. “When I read that the last man hung in Brockville had been convicted of murder through her police assistance,” Vyfinkel recalled, “I believed there was something to what they were saying about her.” A seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Mother Barnes was born Jane Elizabeth Martin in the County of Cork, Ireland, in November, 1800. She was the daughter of an Irish landowner of English descent who was a colonel in the British Army, and of an Irish woman of Spanish gypsy descent.

Although her father had arranged a marriage for her to a colonel friend of wealth and distinction, 20-year-old Elizabeth eloped on the night of her wedding with a ‘Canadian army sergeant, Robert Joseph Harrison. Disowned by her parents, the couple sailed to America where Elizabeth bore a son and became a widow at 27. Several years later, she married shoemaker David Barnes, had six sons and three daughters and moved to Sheldon’s Corners near Plum Hollow in 1843. David left Elizabeth and several of the children to live in Smiths Falls with his son Sam, a blacksmith and Mother Barnes turned to fortune-telling to support the family. No explanation has ever been heard by the family as to why David walked out and his grave has never been located. Mother Barnes success brought her fame and she moved to the small cabin near Lake Eloida. Countless stories are passed along of her predictions but the one referred to by artist Vyfinkel is perhaps the most famous.

A local law enforcement officer consulted her regarding the mysterious disappearance of an English immigrant named Hunter. His friend reported the immigrant drowned, leading a search party to Charleston Lake without success. The story goes that Mother Barnes told the constable the man’s body was hidden under a fallen tree, partly submerged in water. The body was found and the friend charged with murder, found guilty and hanged in Brockville. Elizabeth Barnes was 91 when she died, leaving seven children and a legacy of love

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Who was Mother Barnes? Find Out About the Witch of Plum Hollow April 7 Only 100 seats available!

40544784_1454054755-21.jpg

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.

relatedreading

An Interview with the Witch of Plum Hollow–Mother Barnes— The Ottawa Free Press 1891

My Grandmother was Mother Barnes-The Witch of Plum Hollow

A Bewitched Bed in Odessa

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

Plum Hollow Witch and The Mountain Man of Pakenham

Different Seasons of Witches in Lanark County

Local Miracle Story– Woken From a Ten Week Coma

The White Witch of Lanark County–Having the Sight

The Witches of Rochester Street

Hocus Pocus –Necromancy at Fitch Bay

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

The Witch Hollow of Lanark County

Who was Mother Barnes? Find Out About the Witch of Plum Hollow April 7

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Who was Mother Barnes? Find Out About the Witch of Plum Hollow April 7

 

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Reenactor Elaine Farley

 

                         Who Was Mother Barnes??

 

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Reenactor Elaine Farley presents—Who was Mother Barnes?? Beckwith Township Municipal Complex-Lanark County Genealogical Society–April 7 MONTHLY GATHERING- 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. ONLY 100 SEATS Available!!!

Elaine Farley will highlight research about local legend Elizabeth Barnes the Witch of Plum Hollow and debunk some myths about her.

 

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Clipped from Vancouver Daily World, 18 Oct 1889, Fri, Page 1

 

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Elaine Farley photo and text “Mother Barnes lived in this area and was known as a “seeer”. Her log cabin is privately owned in Sheldon’s Corners/Plum Hollow”

 

                              Where?

Beckwith Township Municipal Complex–ONLY 100 SEATS Available!!!

1702 9th Line Beckwith Carleton Place April 7 MONTHLY GATHERING

1:30-3:30

Appreciated to help cover the cost of refreshments at the meeting or  help cover the cost of this event.

 

All are welcome—a five dollar donation is appreciated

 

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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.

 

relatedreading

An Interview with the Witch of Plum Hollow–Mother Barnes— The Ottawa Free Press 1891

My Grandmother was Mother Barnes-The Witch of Plum Hollow

A Bewitched Bed in Odessa

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

Different Seasons of Witches in Lanark County

 

The Witches of Rochester Street

Hocus Pocus –Necromancy at Fitch Bay

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

The Witch Hollow of Lanark County

 

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My Grandmother was Mother Barnes-The Witch of Plum Hollow

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My Grandmother was Mother Barnes-The Witch of Plum Hollow

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Circa 1940s Copper Cliff, outside Sudbury

When Roy Barnes dean of the file room at Copper Cliff steps out of Inco Service he says that when he retires he might buy himself a crystal ball, a turban with a big jewel and he will hang out a shingle that says he is a sorcerer. Not that he has any desire to be burnt at the stake or boiled in oil– but his Grandmother was Mother Barnes, the Witch of Plum Hollow.

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He remembers the little whitewash log cabin where the attic was up under the eaves and she read secrets of the past and future in tea leaves. Rich or poor lovelorn maidens or politicians, they all came to see her and her fame spread far and wide.  Jane Elizabeth Martin/Mother Barnes was of a gypsy stock, the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter, and was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1794. When she was 18 her father tried to force her into an arranged marriage to a man of his own age but Elizabeth fled the country with the man of her choice Robert Joseph Harrison and came to America. Needless to say her family disowned her.

They happily settled in New York and had a son, Robert Harrison, Jr.. and were happy until two years later when her husband died. Four years later she remarried and became Mrs. David Barnes and moved to Canada settling in Sheldon’s corners/ Plum Hollow near Athens which is about 15 miles south of Smiths Falls. Together they had nine children; six sons and three daughters. Their two oldest sons, John and Thomas, died as young children. David wasn’t the most reliable of fellas, and the shoemaker drifted away when their children were still small.  He took their youngest son, David, with him and moved to Smiths Falls, where the two stayed with an older son, Sam, who had ten children of his own. After being absent for several years Elizabeth turned to her gift of fortune telling to finance the life of her family. She never accepted more than her usual fee of 25 cents.

At first she acquired a local reputation for finding lost articles, but the stories of powers increased. She found lost animals, missing money and found a missing dead body that had been hidden in the waters of Lake Charleston pinned under a fallen tree by a murderer.

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Roy Barnes remembers his Grandmother being a small woman, slender with flashing dark eyes, and slim hands with long tapered fingers. She always wore a dark dress with a cape or shawl and frequently make dried apples and tea. Many stories could be told of her magic but sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between reality and legend. She died in 1886 at the age of either 92 or 93 and her last resting place is in the northwest corner of the cemetery at Sheldon’s where three sons and several grandchildren are also buried.

One of her sons was Samuel, born in 1838 married Agnes Chalmers and they settled in Smiths Falls where 10 children were born to them. Of these the youngest was Roy C. Barnes who was a resident of Copper Cliff  from September of 1910 until he died.

historicalnotes

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  14 Nov 1945, Wed,  Page 8

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  05 Nov 1963, Tue,  Page 2 Doug McCarten also sent me this article.. Thanks Doug!!

Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune,  17 Feb 1891, Tue,  Page 1

As much mystery surrounds Elizabeth Barnes now, more than 100 years after her death, as during her lifetime. Some sources show her date of birth simply as 1794 and her death date as 1886, while others claim that she was born on November 5, 1800 and died on February 10, 1891. Genealogical research has been unable to confirm or deny these dates.

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.

relatedreading.jpg

A Bewitched Bed in Odessa

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

Different Seasons of Witches in Lanark County

The Witches of Rochester Street

Hocus Pocus –Necromancy at Fitch Bay

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

The Witch Hollow of Lanark County

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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?

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