This to Carleton Place readers, should be of general interest showing that wild doings were enacted in the old times as well as at present. Who would expect a revolver to be fired off in the streets of Carleton Place at the present day? The item is from a copy of the ( Carleton Place Herald) of 1867:
“Shooting Affray in Carleton Place”
On Sunday last in the sober little village of Carleton Place there was almost enacted a tragedy on the highway that would have out-rivalled in boldness that of any deed that has been committed by any of the notorious Dick Turpin stripe. Two young men scarcely out of their teens, were driving furiously through the village, when some person took upon himself the responsibility of bringing them to order, when one of them drew from his pocket a loaded pistol and fired it at the person who was trying to bring them to, but without effect.
The scamps made off as fast as they could, and we understand, the person who fired the shot has since made himself scarce in this neighbourhood. But why, in the name of Justice, should young men in these townships go armed with pistols, or any such dangerous weapon, we know not. He hopes that the ‘state of affairs’ in our neighbouring villages has not necessitated any such preparation on the part of strangers, as to go armed with such a deadly weapon as a loaded pistol or revolver. But we sincerely trust that such conduct as above described may meet with that rigid punishment of which such a treacherous act deserves.
In the July 13th issue of the Carleton Place and Almonte papers the folks of 1900 were besot with what was going to happen to Gertie Nixon. Gertie did not live around these parts but lived in Orangeville, Ontario. People followed her story as she was on death’s door for days.
Ottaway Hunter, whose name was Herman Ottawa Hunter and not Ottaway loved Gertie Nelson like not other. Ottawa was 17 at the time but had fallen in love with young Gertie who had barely turned 15. For two years, even though they came from different areas he pursued her relentlessly.
By the time of the shooting, Gertie was 17 and had moved to Toronto, and Ottawa the infatuated followed her. She had found work as a dressmaker and they had returned separately to Orangeville the day before the Dominion Day festivities.
On Dominion Day in 1900 he went for the gold at Idylwyld Park in Orangeville, Ontario and demanded her love in return. Gertie wasn’t having of the sort and so when he said he was going to shoot her, she told him to go ahead., so he did, in the back, and then shot himself. The young stalker shot himself immediately and Gertie… well read at the bottom what happened to her.
No matter what the media said the paralysis never left Gertie and she needed a wheelchair. But where had she gone? Had she ever given her heart to another after all that? Betty Franklin, a volunteer researcher at the Dufferin County Museum & Archives who is familiar with the story, discovered an obituary. Gertie passed away in Toronto on July 28, 1948. She was 65. She had continued in her career as a dressmaker, used a wheelchair all her life, and never married. Do you blame her?
Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street in Carleton Place (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour walk with stories of murder mayhem and BOO!.. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!!