Tag Archives: smiths falls

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 I was on that roof during the fire.

The Vancouver Sun
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
15 Nov 1971, Mon  •  Page 6
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
15 Nov 1971, Mon  •  Page 4
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
01 Nov 1971, Mon  •  Page 2

Smiths Falls Fire-Coghlan & Moag

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

Fire Destroys Smiths Falls Skating Arena

Bylaws Of the Towns of Lanark County 1875 – or- I Fought the Law and the Law Won!

Bylaws Of the Towns of Lanark County 1875 – or- I Fought the Law and the Law Won!

The following clauses of the old civic bylaws in 1875 “to preserve order and public morals in our towns”.

In 1890 when the civic bylaws were codified and consolidated– now it makes for humorous reading in these more or less civilized days.

What fighting like a girl was all about in Georgian Era Britain ...

“No person shall keep or use in the village, pit, ground or other place for running baiting or fighting any bull, bear, dog, cock or other animal, whether of domestic or wild nature, etc.”

Did People in Medieval Times Really Not Bathe?

“No person shall wash or bathe his or her naked person in any public water in Lanark County.”

“No person shall suffer or permit to run at large within the village limits, any wolf, bear or other wild animal, of which he or she, is the owner, possessor, harborer or caretaker.”

“No person shall shout or call out (improperly) ‘Fire’ In a loud voice.”

Titles magazines in, oops! i did it again text illustration ...
A few years ago on one of my walking tours we had one dedicated to fires.. and at each building that had a fire I had everyone yell “FIRE!” I guess we all broke the bylaw LO
Taken over 140 years ago by Scottish photographer John Thomson ...

“No person shall obstruct passengers by standing across any of the sidewalks, footpaths or crossings, or by using insulting language thereon.”

The urban wild: animals take to the streets amid lockdown – in ...

“No person shall permit any horse, mule, ass, sheep, swine, or goat belonging to him … to run at large in the said city, or to permit surh …. to graze in along or upon any street lane, sidewalk, boulevard, park, square, or public ground within the said village.”

Titles magazines in, oops! i did it again text illustration ...

A year ago we wanted to run some sheep down Bridge Street in Carleton Place- someone said it was still on the bylaw books– we never found it.


Run Pig Run–Shake it Off! Convictions of 1870

Throwing a Snowball is Going to Cost you $1- Your Convictions of 1898

To Steal a Barge on Ebb’s Bay— Your Convictions of 1897

Step Right Up- Here are Your Family Convictions-September, 1894

Breach of the Town Bylaws and Other Convictions.. Sept. 11 1888

Justice of the Peace Convictions for the County of Lanark–July 17, 1885

Assault Abusive Language and Bridget McNee

The Notorious Bridget McGee of Perth

Down at the Old Perth Gaol

Justice of the Peace Convictions for the County of Lanark–Dec. 13, 1898-Who Do You Know?

Auctionering Without a License and Pigs on the Loose

Going to the Chapel –Drummond Whalen and Johnson of Carleton Place

“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” in Lanark County

Jailhouse Rock in Lanark County Part 2

The Drunken Desperados of Carleton Place

The Young Offenders of Lanark County

The Notorious Bridget McGee of Perth

Found- Maley’s Medical Knife — Jackknife– So What’s the Story Morning Glory? Jaan Kolk

Found- Maley’s Medical Knife — Jackknife– So  What’s the Story Morning Glory? Jaan Kolk
property of adin wesley daigle

So Adin found this neat jack knife this week and I was so enthralled with it I had to find where it came from. There is a heck of a lot of Maley’s in the Smiths Falls area, and at first I thought their first store was in Oxford Mills, then Kemptville because this is what I found in local directories. There name through genealogy searches is also spelled Maley or Mealey

Oxford Mills
1861 T. Maley Shoes
Maley, T. F.; 3 Russell St. W. Smiths Falls

Any clippings I found I put it in the ‘ historical area”—but I gave up and called in the ‘big guns’ — which is Ottawa historian Jaan Kolk. I sent my “request for a quest” last night and this morning I got up to this. Thanks Jaan!!!

The first thing Jaan said to me was: “Perhaps it’s a medical knife, Linda. It looks like it has… “heeling power”. D’OH—-

Adin Wesley Daigle photo

Jaan Kolk Figuring Out What is What

1-The 1857 Canada Directory has Thomas Maley General Store, Kemptville. The 1869 Province of Ontario Gazetteer has, in Kemptville, Thomas Maley Boots and Shoes. and Maley Bro. & Co., General Merchants. The 1904 Union Publishing Co. Farmers and Business Directory has W.L. Maley Boots & Shoes in both Kemptville and Smith’s Falls, so it appears that T.J. may have taken charge of brother William’s second store in Smith’s Falls while William remained in Kemptville.

2-It looks like the Maleys may not have been in the shoe business in Kemptville continuously through the late 19th century. The 1884 Ontario Gazetteer has W.L Maley Boots & Shoes in Brockville. In Kemptville, it has Thomas Maley as a loan agent, and George T. Maley with a general store. The 1888 edition had the same, with Wm. L. Maley, shoemaker, corner of King and Apple, Brockville. The 1898 Eastern Ontario Gazetteer still has W.L. Maley boots & shoes in Brockville, and the only other Maley business listed was G.T. Maley, banker, in Kemptville.

Mrs. Thomas Maley, mother of T.F. Maley, died in Smiths Falls July 25, 1912, at age 81. She was survived by her husband, son T.F. Maley, and a one daughter. It was written in her obituary that she (and her husband, I presume) had moved to join her son in Smith’s Falls about six years earlier. A social note for Kemptville in the Ottawa Citizen March 15, 1906 said “Mr. Thomas Maley was in Smith’s Falls Monday”, and another Kemptville note July 23, 1907 said “Mr. Thomas Maley of Smith’s Falls spent last week here with his son W.L. Maley.” That would be consistent with Thomas and his wife having from Kemptville to Smith’s Falls 1906-1907. From the Citizen, July 30, 1912:

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Jan 1907, Sat  •  Page 3

3-OK, now I’ve got it. William L. Malley, who established the Smiths Falls store, was the son of shoemaker Thomas Maley, born ca. 1833. Thomas was two years younger than his wife Mary, who was born in Ireland. The 1881 census shows shoemaker Thomas and Mary in Brockville, with son William L., age 20, listed as a clerk. Also listed is daughter Martha, 18, and a son, 12, “Freddie T.” who must be “T.F. Maley.” I believe Brockville shoemaker Thomas Maley was the son of wealthy Kemptville merchant Thomas Maley, born about 1809 in Quebec (although I don’t have confirmation of that.) In the 1861 census he was listed (with wife Mary) as a shoemaker in Oxford Township, Grenville, and it looks like in 1851, young Thomas Maley was with the household of Oxford shoemaker William Dougal, listed as an apprentice. From the 1881 census, Brockville:

In other things Jaan found-In 1863, The Ottawa and Prescott Railway obtained an injunction against the Township of Oxford and several named shareholders to bar them from voting in shareholder meetings. Among them were four Maley, including a Thomas Maley.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Jul 1907, Tue  •  Page 11
 - The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Jul 1912, Tue  •  Page 9
The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
01 Dec 1930, Mon  •  Page 9


Mary McNish — Joseph Coombs Druggist Smiths Falls

A. Huckels & Co. -The Story of a Bottle- Thanks to Jaan Kolk

Interesting People –R. E. Irvine — The Story of a Bottle

Blackhawk’s B & B Tonic Carleton Place — The Great Tonic Laxative

When I Say Whoa–I Mean Whoa–The Dairy Horse

Cold Milk Ice Cream and Butter —- Carleton Place

Red Letter Days of the Lanark Fair 1910

More History on the Murphy Morphy McEwen House — Karen Prytula

The World’s Fair- Lombardy Fair

The Marvellous Jaan Kolk

I’ve Got a Hex on You — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina –Historic Rabbit Hole Series

Was the Butter Tart Really Invented in Barrie, Ontario? Jaan Kolk Files

Particulars About Pure Spring Ginger Ale — Jaan Kolk and Linda Seccaspina Historic Rabbit Hole Series

Talking Through Your Hat? Jaan Kolk

So Where Was Caldwell Mills? Thanks Jaan Kolk

The Thrift Store Couple – More Information-Jaan Kolk

The House on the Hill — Up the 8th Line of Ramsay — Jaan Kolk Files

Britannia Boat House Doomed— April 1907 Ice Jam –Jaan Kolk Files

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign–Dr. Winters 154-160 Bridge Street Carleton Place –Jaan Kolk Files

Please take the Devil Out of Me? Rev. James Wilson of Lanark

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

The Cholera Epidemic of 1911

The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes

Benoit & Richardson Photo– a Mystery

Before there was Baker Bob’s There was The Almonte Bakery

Does Anyone Remember Cohen’s in Lanark Village?

A. Huckels & Co. -The Story of a Bottle- Thanks to Jaan Kolk

The Witch of Plum Hollow Files- An Evening in Smiths Falls

The Witch of Plum Hollow Files- An Evening in Smiths Falls


This is an actual hands on photo of Mother Barnes- The Witch of Plum Hollow

Mrs. Barnes the so called “witch” of Plum Hollow used to tell people things about their future which was remarkable to them. She had also had a reputation as a fortune teller finding many lost things for the folks in the surrounding area.

In this story  from the 1870s the joke was rather on Mrs. Barnes, and yet perhaps not, as it was all focussed on her, but she was certainly right in her forecast. When Mrs. Barnes left Plum Hollow and visited Smiths Falls she always went to the home of Mrs. John Fields, wife of the chief local blacksmith.

One night upon visiting the Fields everyone was invited to spend the evening with Mrs. Barnes who proceeded to tell them all mostly pleasant things that would be happening to them in the near future. Towards the end of the evening she pulled a card and gasped. There would be a death in Smiths Falls that evening. It was said that everyone went to bed that night in a sad mood while the neighbours spread the news.

Everyone woke up at the Field’s home the next morning in a good state of mind as there had not been a death in the household. Mrs. Barnes was set to leave for home soon after breakfast so Mr. Fields went to the stable to feed her horse. The horse was found dead in his stall from no apparent cause. Had the Witch of Plum Hollow been right or wrong about her prediction? It seems the good people from Smiths Falls argued the point for years to come.



We Know About the Witch of Plum Hollow — But Have you Heard About Mother Lajeunesse?

Mother Barnes– The Colonel’s Daughter in Plum Hollow

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

The Witch of Plum Hollow and the Blacksmith

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

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

When Mother Barnes Made a Mistake? Beckwith 6th Line

Mother Barnes and the Missing Money of South March

Plum Hollow Witch and The Mountain Man of Pakenham

Ted Bain Danny Arnstein and the Checker Cab

Ted Bain Danny Arnstein and the Checker Cab

img - 2020-01-22T143839.143


In 1982 for a two dollar bill and change, the townspeople of Smiths Falls could take a ride in a Checker Cab and make believe they were in the Big Apple. Ted Bain, the late owner of B & B Taxi, realized a lifetime ambition when he purchased his green and white Checker Special.

He had been  negotiating with a dealer for two years to get hold of a second-hand Checker.  Although the car was a 1979 model, it looked like it came straight out of a ’50s movie. That’s because the last time the company changed the model design was 1956.

Out of of his fleet of 13 cars, the Checker was most in demand. That $2.25 unmetered Checker ride in 1982 was going to cost more if the two cab companies met Smiths Falls council regarding a fare hike.  The council favoured installing meters in town taxis but Bain didn’t think that was the best approach.

Built by Checker Motors Corporation in Kalamazoo, Mich., the car had a six-cylinder Chevrolet engine and General Motors powertrain. Extra-wide doors allowed enough space between the front and back seats to hold a wheelchair and the car itself was extra heavy. Bain pointed out it was the same model viewers saw weekly in the popular television series Taxi. 

All parts, including fenders and rocker panels, were replaceable, Bain noted. As a mechanic and body man by trade, he did all his own work. He said a front fender costs him $80 in U.S. funds and, as the frame itself  was of heavy construction, he hoped by rebuilding to get an extra 10 years out of the car.

Despite his lifetime love affair with Checker cabs, Bain was not aware that Danny Arnstein, owner of the Yellow Taxi Cab Company in New York and Chicago, spent 30 years as a summer resident in the area until his death in 1960. His unusual $100,000 cottage on Livingston Island ( Now Colonel By Island) in Big Rideau Lake still stands and can be seen by boating visitors to the overnight docking area, owned by Parks Canada.




This is the largest island in a set of islands collectively known as “Long Island”. It was formerly known as “Livingston Island” and may still be marked that way on older charts. The flat roofed building on the Island was called “Wag’s Lodge,” built by Danny Arnstein (co-owner of Yellow Cab in New York and Chicago) in 1949-50. The cottage features two massive “peanut rock” fireplaces and “driftwood plywood” walls. Of note the building has deteriorated and Parks Canada has restricted access in and around the building.




Movie stars Allan Ladd, Jane Powell and singer Paul Anka were a few of the celebrities Arnstein entertained there. And employees of his cab company were brought up to spend their vacations on the Rideau. Bain hoped to have 14 of the famous fleet of Checker cabs on call but didn’t know how his wife would take it. “She says I fell in love with Checker and chucked her aside,” he laughed.

In memory of Ted Bain

Screenshot 2020-01-22 at 14.24.29



See pictures of abandoned interior here.. CLICK
The present building on the island was built in 1949-50 for Danny Arnstein, the owner of the Yellow Cab Company of Chicago and New Your City. The architect of the building was Horace Roberts of Westport.

The island was originally known as the “Isle of Guernsey”

In the 1940s, the Long Island Club was formed with at least three families involved, including Danny Arnstein (Yellow Cab Company). The front of the building contained four large bedrooms with baths, a very large living room and dining area and a game and sun room. All these rooms were fitted with call buttons to the kitchen. Behind the kitchen was a small sitting area for the servants, their two small bedrooms and shared bathroom. Mr. Arnstein visited the island every summer until his death in 1960 and always brought his cook and maid from New York City. The large central section of the cottage had 14 foot ceilings to match the Arnstein apartment in New York City. It boasted two 18th century chandeliers designed to hold 36 candles each. The stone in the four fireplaces was locally quarried limestone.

After Mr. Arnstein’s death in 1960, the island was acquired by Gerry Livingston of Smiths Falls and the island became known as “Livingston Island”. It was sold to Parks Canada in 1979 who renamed the island “Colonel By Island”.

 - The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
24 Mar 1947, Mon  •  Page 6

 - The New York Times
New York, New York
26 Dec 1922, Tue  •  Page 17

 - The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
21 Mar 1936, Sat  •  Page 14

Press and Sun-Bulletin
Binghamton, New York
07 Mar 1966, Mon  •  Page 19

 - Daily News
New York, New York
22 Aug 1960, Mon  •  Page 151

 - The Miami Herald
Miami, Florida
28 Sep 1960, Wed  •  Page 29



Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 1–Bud’s Taxi

Assassinated Gossip about Lincoln, Payne and the Thousand Islands

Is there Still Gold on Wellesley Island ?

Murder on Maple Island

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

Stories from Ash Island

The Almost Tragic Story of Robert Henry

Assassinated Gossip about Lincoln, Payne and the Thousand Islands

The Lost Island– Now You See it- Now You Don’t!

Gold Mines and Disappearances

Did Anyone Find the Lost Barrel of Silver Coins That Lies at the Bottom of the Rideau Canal?

Did You Know About Fettercairn Island?

Did you Know About the Wedding Cake Cottage?


Do You Remember? Memories of the Pengor Penguin

Looking for a 1930 Pontiac –Napier Connection –Ken Brisco

Smiths Falls pilot died year after enlisting, September 1943

Smiths Falls pilot died year after enlisting, September 1943


thumbnail (86).jpeg

Charles Harwood McKimm. – Photo courtesy of Veterans Affairs Canada


Hi Linda,
I thought I would share this story about my uncle written by school kids A Smiths Falls Collegiate Institute back in 2014. Might be a nice story with Remembrance Day not far away.
Graeme Hoatson Beattie


The following is part of a series of research papers completed by Grade 10 History students at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute as part of the Lest We Forget program. The features focus on residents of Smiths Falls who made the supreme sacrifice for their country during World War II.

Charles Harwood McKimm, Sergeant–NEWS Jul 10, 2014 by Josh Vincent Smiths Falls Record News

March 5th, 1924 – September 28th, 1943 Charles Harwood McKimm was a 19-year-old soldier who died during the Second World War.

He was born on March 5th, 1924 in Smiths Falls, Ontario to his mother Anita Warden McKimm and his father Charles McKimm. Charles had two brothers: George Frederick McKimm and Robert Warden McKimm. He also had three sisters: Barbara McKimm, Joan McKimm, and Sheila McKimm. He was never married and had no children.

Charles McKimm completed elementary school at Smiths Falls Public School in 1937. He attended Smiths Falls Collegiate Institute, from which he graduated in 1941. Charles was employed at Clark and Lewis Company in Smiths Falls, Ontario as a clerk from 1942 until the time of enlistment. He lived in Smiths Falls.

Charles McKimm signed up for the Royal Canadian Air Force on August 24th, 1942 in Montréal, Quebec. He was in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Sergeant. Charles was in an accidental plane crash that occurred on September 24th, 1943. He was killed instantly, as a result of several burns and multiple injuries.

In Charles McKimm’s Certificate of Medical Examination, it is seen that he had no diseases listed on the form. Charles was five feet eight inches and weighed 145 pounds. His eyesight and hearing were perfect. Charles McKimm’s complexion was fair and his development was good. His hair was fair and he had blue eyes. His religion was Protestant and he was a member of the United Church.

“Good physique, wants to be a pilot. Borderline C.T. score. However, has completed both Jr. and Sr. Matric. He is successfully, at the age of 18 years, mechanically inclined. He likes mathematics, should have no difficulty.” – Medical Officer’s assessment on Charles McKimm.

“He has driven a car for 2 years. Mechanically able, has done a lot of work on boat engines. He plays all sports extensively. He has lived in Smiths Falls all his life. Very good type of lad. Just turned 18. Keen, active and enterprising.” – Interviewing Officer’s assessment of Charles McKimm.

In the afternoon of September 28th, 1943 at approximately 1:50 p.m., Charles McKimm (the pilot of the aircraft) and a passenger were killed in a plane crash. He was flying a Harvard II three miles east of Lake Saint Germain prior to crashing. Over the time of almost one year, he has had over 225 hours of flight experience.

Charles was killed instantly, as a result of several burns and multiple injuries.

After Charles Harwood McKimm’s death, his medals were entitled to his mother, Anita Warden McKimm. Anita was given Charles McKimm’s War Medal (awarded if a soldier worked full time for 28 days in the armed forces and merchant marines from 1939 to 1945) and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with clasp (awarded to any soldier who volunteered in World War II for 18 months).

He is buried at the Smiths Falls Maple Vale Cemetery located in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Charles McKimm’s grave reference is Plot 14 and Sector 6.

Bennett Family Photos– Thanks to Andrew Gardner‎

Bennett Family Photos– Thanks to Andrew Gardner‎


All Photos thanks to Andrew Gardner

Joseph Bennett Smith Falls Ontario Lanark County



Matilda (Tilly) Bennett and Family Lanark County Ontario



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Bill Bennett and brother (can’t find a name) Lanark County Ontario


Unknown Bennett and Grandson

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Bill Bennett Myrtle Station



Bill Bennett and Mary Kirkham. Lanark County Ontario unknown year
James Bennett far left from Lanark County arms crossed. (sorry…from the postcard post…wouldnt let me add multiple photos)
Back of  Post card above from James Bennett to Joe Bennett pre WW1 Market St. Smith Falls Ontario. James was working in Alaska on the railway. Both joined up for the war when the time came..James with American expeditionary force and Joe with Canadian. James never made it back. He is far left in the photo…the youngest one.
John Bennett and Mary Ann Doyle 6th Concession Bathurst Ontario (seated…brother to John may be standing)
Aggie Bennett Lanark County
Bennett Boys 6th Concession Bathurst Ontario Lanark County unknown year
Thank you Andrew Gardner

We will build Brick Houses in Rideau Heights For $900 to $1200!

We will build Brick Houses in Rideau Heights For $900 to $1200!


Study the Reasons why Smith’s Falls will be a Railroad City. Agents Wanted in Every Town. Come in and Learn About It.

Why was our office crowded for hours last Saturday night and this week?  Why did the police force in vain endeavour to keep back the. crowd, and why was the whole town talking “Rideau Heights”.

Simply because they realized we were offering bargains in Real Estate never before heard of in Smith’s Falls, and they had just been made aware of the true value of Real Estate in a town that every citizen of Smith’s Falls knows and tells everybody else, is the most progressive town between Peterboro and Montreal.

They wanted to secure some of these bargains in Smith’s Falls property  for the inhabitants of Smith’s Falls, but they were not alone aware of these Real Estate bargains. The large orders from Ottawa and Montreal were evidence to the fact that “Rideau Heights” lots at $33.00, $44.00, $55.00, $66.00 and $77.00.  Rideau Heights was after all only nine minutes’ walk to the property from the centre of the business district.

They offered brick houses in Rideau Heights in the price range of $900 to $1200. A new railway wonder of the 20th Century would be operating in a few months Smith’s Falls  would have three great Railroads before long and the  Kingston & Ottawa Electric Line and was just surveyed to operate between Ottawa and Kingston.

It was some of the nicest property you ever stood upon they said. Terms were easy and there was no interest. Quality and Nearness This property is high, dry and very desirable for building with sidewalks, sewers, electric light and water up to “the property now.

 - The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Sep 1912, Sat  •  Page 11

 - he Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Aug 1956, Wed  •  Page 3


Smiths Falls Woman Built House With Her Own Hands — McNeil

Settler’s Stories……. Smiths Falls Record

Smiths Falls 1950s — George “Knotty” Lee etc. etc. etc.