Tag Archives: smiths falls

Can Anyone Help? Photograph— Smith Falls

Can Anyone Help? Photograph— Smith Falls

Stéphane Langlois

Does A Daniabus in the early part of the 1800’s century sound familiar to someone ? I own a smiling picture of her and would like to know who she was !

Stéphane Langlois

Author-Daniakr smiths falls

Linda Seccaspina I just added her picture, it’s rare to see people smile on Victorian style pictures and once I carefully removed her picture, I saw what was written, 5021, A. Daniabus or Daviakis, I can read cursive only, I can’t make out the last few letters precisely

So after weeks of searching I am going to throw this out tothe whole wide world.



Thank you

Robert Carswell Tosh & Caroline Elizabeth (Powers) Tosh Home– Can you Help? Thanks to David Tosh

The House on Thomas Street — Can You Help?

What Does the Superior and The Candy Kitchen have in Common?

What Does the Superior and The Candy Kitchen have in Common?

Mr. Claude Sylvah, proprietor of the Superior confectionery store and ice cream parlour, Mill street, Almonte, has purchased “The Candy Kitchen,” a well known business of the same kind in Smiths Falls.  Mr. Sylvah came to Almonte three ‘years ago from Smiths Falls and bought out the retail stand of the Peterson Ice Cream Co. on Mill street. Read-It Started in the Candy Kitchen Restaurant– Kerfoot Fire Smiths Falls

At this time Mr. Peterson had decided to devote his time to the manufacturing end of the ice cream trade and to his newly established milk and cream business. Mr. Sylvah was one of the most energetic young businessmen that ever struck the town. He developed the business on Mill Street by leaps and bounds adding a number of new lines as he went along.

Eventually he brought his brother Arthur to Almonte and employed him as an assistant. Arthur will continue to manage the business here while Claude will be in charge of operations at Smiths Falls. The success of Mr. Sylvah since coming to Almonte has been phenomenal and is almost entirely attributable to his ability and energy. He opened in the midst of a worldwide depression in a quiet town and succeeded in spite of discouraging conditions. His many friends wish him well in his new venture and are glad that he will continue to operate his excellent store in Almonte under the capable supervision of his brother, assisted by Mr. Arthur Scott.

And now the ‘Sup’ where high school folks
Met after school for cherry cokes.
The jukebox playing Frankie songs,
While Dinty served our happy throng.–Noreen Syme (née Kealey)  click

Smiths Falls Candy Kitchen 

One of the most up-to-date ice cream parlours and confec- 

tionery businesses in town is the Smiths Falls Candy Kitchen. 

All candies sold in this store are made on the premises. The 

Ice Cream Parlour is one of the most comfortable and elaborate 

that can be found in any of the Ottawa Valley Towns. 

The business of the Candy Kitchen increases yearly and 

Manager Katinas says that the reasons for his being able to hold and add to the trade are that only the best quality of goods are sold, the best service rendered, and the greatest variety of fancy and delicious confections sold to the public. 

Once a visitor, you will always be a patron of the Candy Kitchen. 

Smiths Falls-Corner of Beckwith St. North and Main St. On our weekly grocery shopping trip from our cottage at Rideau Ferry if we kids were well behaved we would be taken to the Sweet Shop for a treat. I always had a chocolate soda. c1958

It Started in the Candy Kitchen Restaurant– Kerfoot Fire Smiths Falls

What Did You Eat at the Superior? Comments Comments Comments and a 1979 Review

What Was the David Harum Ice Cream Sundae Sold in Lanark County?

My Fondest Memories of Almonte –Marty Taylor

From Chocolate to Lofts- Memories of Patterkrisp Candy?

Superior Sign in Almonte — What’s the Difference?

Saturday Date with “Thee Deuce” in Almonte

What Happened to Sarah Latrace?

What Happened to Sarah Latrace?


Name:James Latrace
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence:Kitley Township
Spouse Name:Eliza (Elizabeth) Counerty
Spouse Age:25
Spouse Gender:Female
Spouse Birth Place:Ontario
Spouse Residence:Kitley Township
Marriage Date:4 Nov 1868
Microfilm Roll:1030059

I had to really dig for this… really dig.. The missing daughter’s name was Sarah

NameSerah Latrace
Birth Date17 Mar 1880
BirthplaceOntario, Canada
Birthplace (Original)Kitley, Leeds, Ontario
Father’s NameJames Latrace
Father’s SexMale
Mother’s NameEliza Conerty
Mother’s SexFemale

She was born in March of 1880 and her mother died in June of 1880– but not in Kitley — In Toronto–and her child Sarah was only a few months. I assume that family came and got the child, or he gave her away as nothing could be found. There was nothing more that could be found about her. Beside her name was just marked deceased. I figure they probably changed her name.

Just a sign of the times sad to say.

Childbirth in much of human history has been a class act. The upper classes were encouraged to reproduce as much as possible, and a woman who was pregnant or recovering from childbirth took time to rest while servants took care of her and the child. The lower classes worked right up to and soon following birth, as they had to work to eat. The upper classes also had the latest medical knowledge at their fingertips, but this wasn’t always such a good thing.

At the beginning of the 20th century, childbirth was attended to naturally without the aid of a hospital or a nurse. Especially in the country where farm houses were isolated from their neighbors, the responsibility of delivering the child fell to the eldest in the family. It was even rare that a midwife would attend. While a family would be tightly united through experiencing such an event, the lack of medical attention frequently led to health and medical complications. For every 1000 live births in 1900, 6-9 women died of pregnancy related complications and approximately 100 infants died before the age of 1 year.

Eliza Latrac

Wife and mother

NameEliza Latrace
Death Date17 Jun 1880
Death PlaceToronto, Ontario, Canada
Death PlaceToronto, York, Ontario, Canada
Death Age38 years
Birth Year (Estimated)1842
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse’s NameJames Latrace


The Disappearance of Lake Tamo

The Disappearance of Frank Bates

The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton Place

Love at Flora Lake in Hull — Disappearing Lakes- Simpson Book Collection

  1. The Boy Who Disappeared From Beckwith–Gordon Taylor
  2. Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives
  3. Whippet– Whippet Good! What Happened to Arthur Milton Gunter?
  4. The Man who Disappeared– Stories of Dr. G. E. Kidd
  5. The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton PlaceThe Man of the Walking Dead of Maberly

A Trip to Lanark — June, 1940

A Trip to Lanark — June, 1940

Somehow I got the idea that Lanark was the county town of Lanark county. Since this would be just about the only county town in Ontario that I had never visited (always of course excepting Hali-burton, where even the train goes only three times a week!) I decided it would be just the thing to round out my day if I could make it to Lanark. Here indeed would be terra incognita. So turning my car toward terra incognita, I went out of Carleton Place and turned off at the church.

I struck a road that sometimes was paved, and sometimes was not, till I came to a spot called Ferguson’s Falls. By now the countryside had changed. Gone were the lush acres of Carleton Place. In their place was that undecided sort of country that exists between Brockvllle and Kingston, and west of Perth. It can’t quite make up its mind whether to be agricultural country or not. So you find pockets of good land, interspersed by stretches of picturesque rock lands. These same woods, good for maple syrup in the spring, pasture in the summer, and fuel in the winter, are not to be sneezed at, if you have some arable land as well, but you are out of luck as a farmer if all your land is this way.

Rock Piles CLICK

However, I was not out to sob over the steering wheel about the plight of the farmer who owned a rock pile, but to get on to Lanark town, and ultimately it came into view. I took a couple of squirms, went around a hill or two, and landed plump in front of the Lanark Era. Just about the easiest place to get acquainted, the quickest place to get Information, and the best place to feel at home for any newspaperman is a country newspaper office. Deadlines aren’t the disagreeable things there they are in such fast-moving sheets as The Citizen, and so they generally have time to talk to you.

I sat there and sniffed that lovely smell of a composing room, and plumped myself down to see if I could find out something about Lanark. First and foremost, Lanark produced the great George Mair, whose epic, Tecumseh, is regarded as one of the truly great literary things done by a Canadian. With that I might couple the fact that Managing Editor Robertson of Beaverbrook’s London Daily Express, is an old Lanark boy. So is George Mcllraith, Liberal M.P. for Ottawa West.

In with these important tidings, I would breathlessly add that the chain stores have not yet invaded this delightful place. Lanark today has only a few over 700 people, but it once had more. Its chief support in days gone by was the woollen mill, but this burned down at the end of the last war, or thereabouts. There was no other large industry to replace it, and today the largest payroll in the town is that of the school. Incidentally, I see the Lanark Era of the issue when I was in town said the teachers had resigned, and it was decided to advertise for new ones.

I went south on the road which they said was the bumpiest in Lanark and they misinformed me, for there is a bumpier one in Georgia and in due course I came to the outskirts of Perth. I was told by George Mcllraith that I had missed a most important item outside Perth, and that was the first bank established in Upper Canada. I was back two weeks later, but entering by another road, missed it again.

I might say that I had been through *Perth a good many times by rail, but had no idea it was such a beautiful place. Perth has a pretty park in its midst, and is so laid out, not only to give it real beauty, but to create the impression that the town is really bigger than it is. I have been in the original Perth in Scotland, and both of course, are on the Tay. While doubtless the Caledonian counterpart is more entrancingly located, the Canadian Perth, and Lanark’s county town, does not suffer too much by comparison.

Whoever laid the pavement between Perth and Smiths Falls did a good job, and my own concern was the proximity of a speed cop. Smiths Falls is pretty enough, and seems to change but little. I associate with Smiths Falls all kinds of emotions. I remember, for instance, sitting at a table in the dining room of the main hotel there, and learning that Doc Cook had “discovered” the North Pole. It was also during another momentous meal there that a fellow at the table said that the Mauretanla had just broken the world’s speed record for a steamship.

At a later date, I stopped off at S.F. to see a girl, between trains, and later again, used to drop into the Canadian Pacific station to have a chat with “Tex” Ricard, who went to Queen’s in my day, and later became a railway despatcher. But above all. I remember going down to The Falls one time at the behest of The Citizen to write about vaccination and some of its evils. I went around to all the locations first, and climaxed the day by interviewing a couple of indignant medical officials.

I returned on the last train, charged a heavy dinner up to The Citizen, and then was pleased to hear from Vincent Pask, night city editor, that it was the best story I had written for him up to date. That I had turned in a lot of bad ones I am the first to admit. The trip from Smiths Falls home through a sort of lane of a highway was dull, and I was shocked to see what a small place Franktown is. I was prepared for something better. I bypassed Carleton Place on the way back, and arrived safely at the Island Boulevard traffic circle without incident. Austin F. Cross June 1940

*The first Bank in Perth– read –It Happened in Canada! The Peculiar Captain Leslie Of Perth

 The City Bank was the first bank to establish an agency in Perth, the Hon. Roderick Matheson being agent. He transacted business in his own office, where Matheson & Balderson now are, but finding that his own business required all his attention he gave up the agency, as no other agent was appointed, the office was closed. Then the Commercial Bank opened an agency, with Captain Leslie as Manager. His office was kept in the small stone building, which still stands on the property near the old dwelling house. John A. McLaren now lives in this building. He farmed a little, as well as managed the Bank, and had in his employ an old man by the name of McFarlane, but transacted all his business himself.
           In order to do this, he had a bell put on the building, which was rung if he was wanted while out attending to his farm duties during bank hours, but he had no scruples about keeping people waiting. He was very exact and particular about paying out money, as even in these days, a stranger could not draw money for a cheque unless identified, or accompanied by a friend known to the Manager. He married a lady from Kingston, who was very peculiar. She never went out except to church, and very rarely there, and always dressed in the same ‘good’ clothes from the time she came to Perth until they left. Captain Leslie did not do a very large business, in fact, not enough to pay his salary which was six hundred dollars per year. He only had an ordinary iron box for a safe, which was built in the floor of his private office, the top opening upward from the floor like a trapdoor, so that his business could not have been very extensive.
           In 1856, he handed over the books to Mr. James Bell, who later became the Registrar of South Lanark, and the Bank was removed to his dwelling on Drummomd Street, where Mr. McArthur‘s house now stands. As the Bank quarters were not ready for him, a small brick addition was built for an office, which was pulled down when Mr. McArthur built his present residence.
This was from the LCGS Click here..

A Trip Along the Ramsay Sixth Line –W.J. Burns

Stace Bottema’s Ghostly Trip to Balaclava

A Trip Down the 8th Line in 1970

Trip Advisor 1834- Richmond to Perth is the “Road to Ruin”

Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925

Tips From the Almonte Gazette “Travel Section” 1874


The Rules of the Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place

Vintage Murders in Lanark County — Documented Titles

Vintage Murders in Lanark County — Documented Titles
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
06 Nov 1895, Wed  •  Page 2
The Kingston Whig-Standard
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
20 Apr 1934, Fri  •  Page 1

read-Dr. Wilton Pratt — Murder of his Housekeeper in Smiths Falls

I had a lot of people ask me about vintage crime in Lanark County, so if you look below you will find a series of titles that will interest the crime reader

Related reading….

The Tragic Life of Mary Paul–Hood’s Settlement- Mary Beth Wylie

The Story of Wild Bob Ferguson of Dalhousie Township

Dr. Wilton Pratt — Murder of his Housekeeper in Smiths Falls

Murder on Island Street — Henry Gray

The Deacon Murder—Away Back in Clarendon and Miller

The Buck Lake Murderer

Was it Murder?

Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

Murders and Mysteries of the Mississippi Hotel

Not Guilty in the Murder of His Grandmother –George Watt Jr.

Fame and Murder Came to Balderson in 1828

The Thomas Easby Murders in 1829 — Foulest Ever in Lanark County

Murder in Carleton Place –Peter Cairns

The Buck Lake Murderer

The Media Then and Now–Johnny Gillies Had a Gun

Shocking Murder in Almonte–Michigan Charlie

Murder on Maple Island

Bitten by the Kissing Bug — A Shocking Conclusion to the Life of Carleton Place’s Daniel E. Sheppard

The Tale of a Pirate named Bill Johnston with Pirate Dog Supermodels

Assassinated Gossip about Lincoln, Payne and the Thousand Islands

The Man Who Would Be The Revenant

Murders and Mysteries of the Mississippi Hotel

Did Samuel Pittard of Ashton Murder His Wife?

Here She Comes Miss Sandra Warner — Miss Eastern Ontario

Here She Comes Miss Sandra Warner — Miss Eastern Ontario
Don White Clipping
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Feb 1961, Mon  •  Page 9

Glamorous 16-year-old Miss Sandra Warner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Warner of Smiths Falls, a Smiths Falls and District Collegiate student, was chosen “Miss Eastern Ontario” at Perth’s seventh winter carnival held in the Perth Collegiate auditorium Saturday night Seven hundred spectators packed the auditorium and a large crowd was unable to get inside the hall. Despite a heavy downpour of rain and hazardous driving conditions, the surrounding towns and district were well represented.

This is the second occasion in which a Smiths Falls representative won the title. Miss Marilyn Allen was the 1958 winner. There were nine queens entered in the contest. They were auditioned in the Perth Collegiate on Saturday afternoon. Judges were: Renne D’Ornano, Jewell Graham, Pierre Belisle and Jim Terrell of the CBC, Ottawa. Crowns Winner Miss Warner was crowned by Miss Heather Black, Carleton Place winner of the title In 1960. The pretty young miss was presented with the Courier rose bow by N. K. H. Turner and s beautiful bouquet by Mrs. E. S. BurchelL A $200 bursary awarded by an Ottawa company was pre sented by John Spence of Ottawa.

Miss Heather Black of Carleton Place received a miniature trophy as the retiring Miss Eastern Ontario of 1960. Other contestants were: Beverly Walsh, Renfrew; Marilyn McCann, Westport; Jeanett Giroud, Amprior; Benice Campbell, Almonte; Janice McDowell, Carleton Place; Mary Ronson, South Mountain; Heather Crawford, Perth, and Sandra Tullis, Lanark. Each of the contestants received a cheque for $50 from John Dunn.

William Luxton, of Kingston, was master of ceremonies. Mayor E. S. Burchell welcomed the large crowd to Perth’s annual winter festival and particularly the many communities in Eastern Ontario who participated in the contest Trophies for winners of the local dog derby held in the afternoon, sponsored by the Jaycees, were presented by Mayor Burchell to Jim Malloy who won and to Joan Malloy who was the first girl to finish.

The talent contest was open to Eastern Ontario. The contest was divided into junior and senior sections. In the junior division, little Miss Normalyn McLellan, Perth, with her song and tap dancing was the winner. Margot Royce, Amprior, was second and Nancy Houston, Carleton Place, vocalist, was third. In the senior division, Sandra Doyle and Michael Mailey, Carleton Place, in a tap dance and piano solo, were winners. Don White and Don Eastman, Innisville, in their guitar number were second, and James P. Rae of Perth, vocal soloist and guitar accompaniment was third. Each of the winners received cash prizes. A tvro-day mixed curling bonspiel in the Perth curling rink was completed on Saturday night to bring to a climax a round of carnival events.

Photo Don White

1970s Lanark County Beauty Queens

Miss Almonte 1975

Mr. Mississippi Beauty Pageant 1982 Joe Banks

Remembering Rosy Robertson

1970s Lanark County Beauty Queens

Here She Comes Miss Almonte — Karen Hirst and other Notes

Here She Comes Miss Eastern Ontario –Photos

The Dark World of the Miss Civil Service Beauty Contests

  1. Here She Comes Miss Eastern Ontario –Photos
  2. Last Night I Saw Someone I Loved at the Halloween Parade
  3. Glamorous Marilyn Allen Miss Snow Queen and Others 1950s
  4. Miss Civitan Club 1976? Who Are These Women?

Did You Know Smiths Falls was the ‘Safe Place’ for Nuclear Fallout?

Did You Know Smiths Falls was the ‘Safe Place’ for Nuclear Fallout?

Diefenbunker- Linda Seccaspina

Smith Falls is not a probable target of a nuclear attack but it has a three-fold role to play. Major General G.S Hatton, of Ottawa, deputy coordinator of Civil Defence for Canada, told members of the Smiths Falls Rotary Club Friday. The role of Smiths Falls, if a nuclear bomb were to chance to go off a few miles upwind of the town is very slight. But, we need to justify a policy of evacuation for the surrounding areas General Hatton declared.

The dangers from “fall-out” would be to-stand fast, and to act as a reception-centre for evacuees. Those evacuees from Ottawa and surrounding area would be sent to places like Smiths Falls to stay put and meet the danger of the “fall out” from the bomb”.

Lethal radio active “fall-out” from an H Bomb covers roughly 20 times the damage area of the bomb. In view of probability that the number of random bombs that would fall in Canada under the circumstances we visualize, would be greater than the number of bombs aimed at Canadian cities, we must all pay attention to this ‘fall out” menace the speaker said.

Smiths Falls must reserve roads and be the reception area and the population of Smiths Falls would need to stay put and offer help where ever needed. If people panic and leave in a disorganized manner greater numbers might be killed because of the clash of unorganization.

In the Phase “A” plan Smiths Falls should be prepared to take in 13,200 evacuees during a pre-attack of non essential personel from the targeted areas. In Plan B the planned withdrawl of the remaining population of those cities or towns on alert Smith Falls would handle 10,100. (Feb.1977)

Calculations demonstrate that one megaton of fission, typical of a two-megaton H-bomb, will create enough beta radiation to blackout an area 400 kilometres (250 mi) across for five minutes. Total destruction spread over an area of about 3 square miles. Over a third of the 50,000 buildings in the target area of Nagasaki were destroyed or seriously damaged. Files from Ottawa Journal 1977

So would Smiths Falls be a logical “safe place” ? I had questions about that myself. When I went to the Diefunker years ago I saw the grim facts. Anyone who was in that bunker was safe, but if you were in the surrounding areas you were toast. A grim reminder who really comes first.

Diefenbunker– Linda Seccaspina

Diefenbunker Carp, Ontario

The safety of its nuclear roof would allow the Canadian government to operate safely underground for 30 days in order to assist with the governance and rebuilding of the country. A series of Emergency Government Headquarters bunkers were built across Canada and, as the largest, the federal government bunker would come to be known as the Central Emergency Government Headquarters (CEGHQ Carp).

When building began in 1959, it was a top-secret operation under the code name Project Emergency Army Signals Establishment (EASE). The former Montgomery farm in Carp was chosen as the perfect site for a 75 foot underground bunker: it was within evacuation distance of downtown Ottawa, it was in a natural valley, and it had the ideal geological conditions for protection.

Courtesy of the Canadian Civil Defence Museum Association
This is an illustration from the 1961 pamphlet Fallout on the Farm, published by the Canadian Department of Agriculture. It depicts how rural Canada would have seen the immediate aftermath of a nuclear attack

read-‘This is a real emergency’: Chilling artifacts from when Canada prepared for nuclear annihilation

Related reading

Glory Days of Carleton Place-The Olde Barracks– Sharon Holtz– Part 1

Glory Days of Carleton Place-The Olde Barracks– Sharon Holtz– Part 2

In the Year 1998… what happened?

Glory Days of Carleton Place-The Olde Barracks-Canada’s Forgotten “Little Bunkers”-Leigh Gibson

Yesterday —The Remains of the Barracks

Aerial Images of the Old Cold War Barracks Fire-Carole and Bill Flint

Dr. Strangelove’s Doomsday in Carleton Place

Was it Just a Matter of Time? The Old Barracks

Memories of the Mississippi School– Another Installment in the Olde Barracks

Shane’s School — Just off the Smiths Falls Road– Cursed

Shane’s School — Just off the Smiths Falls Road– Cursed
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 Feb 1887, Fri  •  Page 4

When I read this in the Ottawa Journal I had to shake my head. Someone not happy in North Elmsley burning the school down so I knew it had to be documented.

Concession #1, Lot 9, in South Elmsley Township (see map)

In 1873, school trustees received the deed for a property of land from Henry Shane.

A new stone building was constructed in 1875 (or 1887), replacing an older school further down the road which was subject to arson, possibly committed by a pupil. The schoolhouse was used after hours as the community church, as well as a meeting hall. Well into the 1900s, the building was used by the Shane’s Women’s Institute.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Jan 1887, Sat  •  Page 1

Shane’s Corners was a small settlement located along Highway 29 near what was the First Concession of Kitley. Shane’s Corners was settled by a man named Lawrence Shane and his wife; Mrs. Shane kept a private school here at one time. The settlement consisted of a few homesteads and very few businesses. [2]

The settlement was large enough that it was able to become its own school section in the late nineteenth century. The school was known as S.S. #2 Shane’s School, and at the time was located along the boundary of Kitley and South Elmsley townships.

Shane’s School Recorder and Times Photo (photo #2)

Shane’s School enjoyed an upswing in attendance during the 1950’s, when more people moved into the area.

The old Shane’s Road running west from Shane’s Corners on No.29 highway forms the boundary between South Elmsley and Kitley.

Known as the Town Line, the road was a natural spot for school houses. Thus at least three were set up along its route, and because education knows no boundaries, these schools became union, uniting South Elmsley and Kitley pupils.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Mar 1887, Mon  •  Page 3

Shane’s School, was destroyed by a fire set by vandals stood on the knoll that marks the junction of Shane’s Road and No.29 Highway, was a union school with around 15 South Elmsley children attending it in 1840, though it was located in Kitley.

Halfway between Shane’s Corners and Blanchard’s Hill, another public school, also union existed in the 1840’s. It has since vanished and no historian today knows where it stood.

[2] Recorder and Times]

Excerpt from Dr. Glenn Lockwood’s book “Kitley 1795-1975”

Miss Mary Goodfellow taught at the stone school in 1905 and 1906. During her teaching Dr. Kinney was the inspector. She remembered him well as he always had the same joke: “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” When she returned in 1910, a Mr. Johnson was the inspector. It is interesting to note that Miss Goodfellow’s mother taught in the present school or one on the same site. Miss Lillian Taylor was also one of the earlier teachers. At that time Wilfred Pattemore taught here. Mr. Oaks was the inspector and Fred Hewitt was trustee for many years. Other trustees who served with him were Alex Findlay, Mervin Joint, Harvey Johnston, Pete Simpson, Charlie Botham and Archie Hewitt. click here..

1926 Class: Front Row L-R: Roy Simpson, Helen O’Donaghue, Irvin Hughes, Verna Hewitt, Bill Goodwin, John O’Donaghue, Verna Simpson, Anna Mae Hewitt. Middle Row: Georgina Best. Jean Best, Violet Connell, Minnie Hewitt, Glenna Hewitt, Lena Best, Grant Sheridan. Back Row: Borden Sheridan, Jim Findlay, Charlie Dorman, Lloyd Hewitt, Irvin Cornell, Hilliard Johnston – Recorder and Times Photo (photo #3)


Related reading

Scotch Corners Union S.S. #10 School Fire

Did the Germans Start the Fire at the Portland School in 1915?

The Jasper School House Fire 1980

The Grieg School– The Fire and Mrs. Pearl McCann

Fire Drills, Loud Bells and a Whole Lot of Noise — Learning How Not to Burn in School

The Rideau Klavern — More Past History— Scotch Corners, Smiths Falls and Richmond

The Rideau Klavern — More Past History— Scotch Corners, Smiths Falls and Richmond
almonte gazette

I document history for the young readers of the future. Good or bad– I feel it must be documented so we learn from it. The fact that hate groups are multiplying these days scares me… read this and spread the word that hate should not exist. Thanks- Linda

Actually after reading the above article in the Almonte Gazette from 1927 the local Rideau Klavern was hiding more than racism under the bedsheets. J. S. Lord stated that one of the purposes of the establishment of the Klan was for the protection of the physical purity of current and future generations. They also had  a complicated financial system built on receipts from sheet sales, “Wizard” taxes and Klavern dues. Through the mid-1920s, representatives of the Ku Klux Klan would creep into Canada, sprouting branches from Vancouver to the Maritimes and enlisting thousands of followers.

Klansmen believed that Canada’s immigration policy made it the dumping ground of the world and in Smiths Falls and other Lanark County towns they encouraged folks to buy from locals, white locals, and stay away from those merchants that had just immigrated here. In the western provinces like Saskatchewan where they had a heavily saturated foot they falsely stated that out of Regina’s 8,000 recent immigrants, only 7 were Protestants. In July 1927, a Klan organizer claimed that there were 46,500 members in Saskatchewan.

 They promoted a “100 percent Canadian” policy to deter the declining influence of Protestant Anglo-Saxon Canadians as a result of increasing immigration from Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, which was primarily Roman Catholic and Jewish. On April 28th, 1926 the first Rideau Klansman’s cross was burnt. After a fourth cross was burnt by Klansman on Franktown Road, people had to wonder what it all meant.

On September 26, 1926, Smith’s Falls found our what it meant s evidenced at a mammoth Klan demonstration there Sunday afternoon and night in McEwen‘s open field (McEwen‘s Field became the Rideau Regional Centre now OPP Centre).  The estimated at one point there was 5-6000 at that field but in reality there were 12,000 to 15,000 evidenced at a mammoth Klan demonstration that Sunday afternoon and night. Read-The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls

Larry Cotten commented on one of my stories that–‘I found the picture of the KKK in Smiths Falls interesting. Many don’t realize that the Klan was well organized across Southern Ontario in the mid 1920s. There are similar pictures of parades in Collingwood, Barrie, Penetanguishene and Owen Sound in Central Ontario from the 1920s. A Catholic Church in a major city in Ontario was torched … allegedly by the Klan during that time period’.

Of course only Protestants were allowed onto the Smiths Falls grounds and the vicinity was guarded by members of the Rideau Klansmen in full costume and carrying swords. The trains dropped off hundreds, and hundreds of cars bearing American and Quebec license plates entered the town that day. All taking part were gowned in white with white hoods and masks. The horses used in the ceremonies were draped in white. A twelve-piece orchestra furnished the music, and during the ceremonies six large crosses were burned.

As the King Keagle said that day: “The Klan is here in Smiths Falls”, he said, “and it has been here for some time. At first there were only 20 members, but you can now multiply that number and put some 0’s on
it”. That night in Smiths Falls 105 new candidates were accepted in to the Rideau Klansmen and a ladies’ degree team from Kingston took a prominent part in the initiations as 22 were women. The town of Smiths Falls now had a solid group of over 700 members.

Hannah Munro-Wright commented on one of my stories and said: ‘Growing up in Smiths Falls this was something not taught to me by teachers in school but by class mates who found it in history books. Also, my parents and their friends knew of this. A lot of them believed the burning of the crosses at the 4 corners of town put some bad karma on the town.

It wasn’t the only places in Lanark County the crosses were burned as the Perth Courier and other local newspapers continued to report on cross burning incidents. Stories about local Rideau Klavern cross burnings appeared in print from 1926-1927 with various cross burnings every 4 to 6 months. One report that coal oil filled the scent of the evening one night while a cross burned in Scotch Corners.

I found an article by accident that even in the small hamlet of Richmond, Ontario a hop skip and a jump from Carleton Place– an event occurred on Sept 12th, 1929.

Imagine the astonishment on Sept. 12, 1929 when bewildered residents of Richmond,Ontario awoke to find large, white arrows painted on the village’s main street. The arrows were not through traffic directions for Model T’s, wagons or carts, but were part of one of the most bizarre incidents in the Valley’s rich history: The day Valley men embraced the Klan.

On that quiet Sunday, the Klan held a mass rally on the village’s outskirts in a field opposite what is now St. Paul’s United Church cemetery. The arrows were placed there, mysteriously, in the dead of night, to direct Klan members to the meeting place. And in the morning, an unlikely gaggle of men, many all gussied up in white sheets and hoods trundled through town on white horses clattering along to the strains of coronets and the hollow thump of bass drums.

An eerie day, indeed. One former village resident, a young girl at the time, recalled recently how terribly frightened she had been. “We could not see their eyes. There were just dark slits tn the hoods. I recall thinking at the time there were men from the area, but I could not be sure.” Another remembered: “We were on our way home from church and I recall looking across the field and seeing a great number of people milling about the field. There were men in white costumes on horseback. It was all very mysterious to us.”

Unlike Its infamous namesake of post-civil war days in the United States, the Richmond Klan was more of a protest group of rural poor folk caught in an age of change. There was little similarity between them and their race-bating U.S. counterparts. There was no swooping through the night terrifying the Innocent. There were no midnight floggings, shootings, or hangings from the nearest tree. Quite likely there were no Grand Wizards, Grand Titans, Grand Dragons or other silly titles bestowed upon chief bigots of U.S. Klans.

The Richmond Klan was a sorry group formed out of frustration. They were mostly farmers protesting falling incomes and glutted markets in the 20s. Men also rising against the erosion of family life and the decaying morals of the Jazz age. Today, for at least the agricultural reasons they march with placards on Parliament Hill, dump their milk in fields or drive processions of tractors, ant-like along highways, to snarl traffic and make their points. Braver men today, too. They don’t disguise themselves in ghostly sheets or burn crosses on the agriculture minister’s lawn.

Another aspect of the Richmond Klan was a call for a single, dominant language an issue which did not die with the Klan, but more of a scape-goat issue In those times for all the problems farmers faced. On that Sunday in Richmond a newspaper of the times estimated a crowd of 5,000 took part in the proceedings. Old accounts also say the Klan’s Richmond branch probably began about 1927 and fizzled around 1930. Lack of interest killed it And many men suspected of gliding about in bed sheets, put them back where they belong out of good old-fashioned embarrassment.

The Ottawa Journal

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

18 Oct 1976, Mon  •  Page 3

Note: This material was condensed from an essay prepared by Peter Robb, and three others during the summer of 1976. It is from material gathered under a research grant from the ‘ Ontario government to study the history of the town of Richmond, Ontario. Peter Robb is now the city editor for the Ottawa Citizen at Post Media.


The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls- Linda Seccaspina

The Ku Klux Klan Rally in KingstonThe Ku Klux Klan Rally in Kingston– Linda Seccaspina

Klan Gathering Yonder- Ron Shaw

The KKK in Ontario: Found documents tell of Klan activity 90 years ago

The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
21 Sep 1926, Tue  •  Page 2
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
24 Oct 1927, Mon  •  Page 14

Update to the Smiths Falls Fire — Ed Larmour

Update to the Smiths Falls Fire — Ed Larmour

1971 fire Smiths Falls

Yesterday I posted this photo of the 1971 Smiths Falls fire where Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place firemen were called to help fight it. Then I got this email…..

Hi Linda
My dad, Ed, was a volunteer firefighter for as long as I could remember.  He was at the massive fire in Smiths Falls. He is one of the 2 men atop the building. We had this hanging in out TV room growing up and was always amazed how a fire that big could happen.  
Glad to share with you and the group. 
Neil Larmour

Ed joined BBDNE in 1972 and started with Ocean Wave in 1972 and retired in 1991. He believes he is the person on the left but not sure. However he was on that roof during the fire.

Photo- Neil

Smiths Falls Fire-Coghlan & Moag

It Started in the Candy Kitchen Restaurant– Kerfoot Fire Smiths Falls

Fire Destroys Smiths Falls Skating Arena


Newspaper photos thanks to Joann Voyce


1975-–Embers are still smoldering in an aftermath of a $650000 fire which gutted a three -storey brick building on Beckwith street Tuesday evening leaving 25 residents without a home. Firemen from eight area departments from as far away as Westport and Kemptville battled the blaze whipped by a 20 mph wind and exploding paint for three hours before bringing it under control about 8:30 pm. It was another three houn before firemen were able to leave for home.

The fire broke out again early this morning when an oil tank located on the third floor caught fire. Flames shot 60 feet in the air at this stage before the fire was brought under control a second time. Twelve apartments and three stores Vandusen Jewellers Reward Shoe Store and Myrtle’s Paint Store were gutted two other nearby stores sustained water and smoke damage.

Police managed to evacuate all residents when the fire broke out about 5:30 pm. No injuries were reported but several firemen sustained smoke inhalation while battling the blaze. Firefighters were called upon several times during the height of the fire to douse small blazes on surrounding buildings caused by flying sparks.

The fire apparently broke out in the Reward Shoe Store and then spread to a neighboring decorating store where several hundred gallons of paint turned the building into a blazing inferno. Walker’s Store located on the north side of the burning building sustained some fire damage on the second floor and heavy smoke damage in excess of $200000 to the south Marianne’s dress store also reported heavy smoke damage.

The gutted building owned by William Justus of Kingston was valued at $500000 It was insured None of the apartment dwellers carried insurance. The fire was reminiscent of the November 1971 blaze which gutted five stores a block south of the fire area leaving 35 people homeless at the time and causing over $1 million damage.

Firemen combating last night’s blaze were fortunate in having warmer temeratures than in 1971 when below freezing temperatures hampered the fire fighting operations. As in 1971 the arrival of the aerial ladder from Almonte a community of less than 5000 people turned the tide for the firefighters this time. After it arrived at 7:30 pm Tuesday firemen were able to contain the blaze to the one building.