A man who took up residence in the little railway station at Blakeney and who was there for upwards of a week was arrested Saturday morning by Chief Green of Almonte, on complaints made to him by women residents of that section. It appears the old fellow, who gave his age as 70, took advantage of the miniature depot and the stove installed in there to make himself comfortable. The C. P.R. employes either did not know about their new tenant or paid no attention to him. At any rate no action so far as can be learned.
Women residents of the neighborhood were perturbed, however, over the presence of “the unknown” and feared he might burn down their handsome railway terminal and perhaps a barn or two as well. At any rate they protested to the fullest. The unwelcome guest was not armed to the teeth as some suspected and gossiped about.
He gave up quietly and when he appeared in court was sentenced to 10 days for not having a registration card and to 10 days for vagrancy, terms to run concurrently. Contrary to their first intention the C. P. R. laid no trespass charge.
The extension of the railroad to Rosebank (Blakeney) was another huge development. In 1859 Almonte became the northern terminus for the railroad until enough money was raised to extend the railroad, in the early 1860s, past Rosebank. Because the flour shipped from the A&D Snedden Flour Mill was a large part of the train freight, the stop at Blakeney was named Snedden Station. This was a flag stop where it was a thrill for me as a child, to accompany my father with our two or three cans of milk to load on the train going north at midnight. You lit the big red lantern in the station, ran out waving it on the tracks and the huge steaming monster pulled to a stop. The cans were then loaded and empties thrown off to replace them. There were many stops like this until North Bay was reached, where farmers received a small bonus per hundredweight. This was in the 1950s before farmers in the country received the better prices those near the city did. That’s where the term ”Milk Run” came from.
After 39 years of serving the community, Mr. and Mrs. D. W Snedden have retired from their pharmacy business at 24 Mill Street and have sold the Rexall Store to Mr. Darcy Farden, recently from Ottawa and formerly of Saskatchewan. Following his graduation from the Ontario College of Pharmacy in Toronto on June 6th, 1924, Wilf Snedden served his apprenticeship at the present location, then owned by Mr. M. R. MacFarlane.
He eventually sold the business to Mr. Snedden who took over January 1st, 1934 and later purchased Mr. MacFarlane’s home at 190 Church Street where he and Mrs. Snedden still reside. For many years one of the most popular spots in Almonte on a Saturday night was the soda fountain at Snedden’s Drug Store. On many occasions the ten stools would be filled and just as many or more people waiting to be served.
As time went on, however, and the fountain equipment wore out and a wider variety of frozen treats began to appear, the soda fountain lost its appeal and was finally removed when renovations were carried out in 1967. An avid sports fan, Mr. Snedden hopes to have some time to get in a little golf and follow the baseball teams more closely. Through the years Wilf Snedden has been a staunch supporter of sports in the Almonte area.
Several changes are planned for the store by its new owner, major one being a change in name to the Almonte Pharmacy, although the outlet will remain Rexall store. Mr. Farden, a 30 year old bachelor, was born and raised on a farm in Saskatchewan. He graduated in 1965 from the College of Pharmacy, University of Saskatchew an and moved to Ottawa in 1968. For the last four years he has been manager of an Ottawa Pharmacy. An avid curler and golfer, Mr. Farden is also an active pilot.
He will shortly be receiving his commercial pilot’s licence at Bradley Air Services at Carp. Staff at the Almonte Pharmacy will remain the same, with Elenor McPhail, Elizabeth Duncan Alice Landry remaining on and’ being joined by Miss Janet Smythe who has worked with Mr. Farden in Ottawa for three years. Miss Smythe has many years of pharmacy experience, especially in the field of cosmetics.
New hours of operation will be as follows; Mondays, 1 p.m. till 9 p.m.; Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. till 9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. Commencing in May, Mr. Farden indicates that the pharmacy will be open Sundays from 12 noon until 3 p.m. A grand opening sale will be held from June 5-8th, 1973
Reads as long as it takes to glimpse the passing of the torch…….
The premises of Kerry’s Furniture & Appliances / Pharma Save Pharmacy, was owned by my father John Kerry from 1954 to 2019.
It was purchased from Mr. W.E. Scott in 1954. Ed Scott had rebuilt the furniture store in 1904 following a major fire. At that time he had two storefronts constructed, which has continued to exist thru these current times.
Mr. Wilf Snedden, Pharmacist and prominent resident of Almonte, rented the smaller portion of the divided building. Many will recall that he had a wonderful old fashioned soda fountain bar and stools to compliment the drug store and pharmacy services … it would be lovely to have that service reinstated somewhere for today’s lover of everything ice cream !
In my father’s era of ownership, there has been four pharmacy businesses, to be followed by the current Quilt Supply Store. What for many years housed the Furniture & Appliances side of the store, is currently an Antique Store.
Prior to being sold, my father saw the building thru an outer face lift and some internal upgrades leaving the premises with its best foot forward for the next generation of users.
With its sale completed in 2019, the history of the bricks and mortar, along with the businesses carried out within its walls by its proprietors, becomes another chapter in the continuing story of daily commercial life carried out on Mill Street.
I remember the Soda fountain too, great milkshakes and sundaes, and yes Wilf Snedden was a great gentleman.
Then it happened, even as he knew it would. It was Monday the last day in February, 1927. He had stopped at M. R. MacFarlane’s drug store (now Wilf Snedden’s) about 11:00 a.m. He spoke to a number of people between there and the Post Office (Don Campbell was one of them), and then he drove home with the horse and cutter. He stepped out of the cutter at the door, collapsed and died on the spot.
The word ran like grassfire along the pathways of Almonte.
“In the 1890s P.C. Dowdall’s drug store was on Bridge St. in Almonte, near the railway. (It’s pictured below, far right, “PC Dowdall” on the awning.) In the entrance, the weather forecasts were posted up daily, providing a point of interest each day for the children walking to & from Church Street school.
“Jimmy Morrow worked in the pharmacy for many years. He wanted to be a druggist, but this wasn’t possible for him. Yet Jimmy was ambitious, so he studied chemistry by mail. In the absence of Mr. Dowdall, he was able to read and fill the Latin prescriptions. Having no degree in pharmacy made this a bit out of the ordinary, but everybody knew about it and there were no objections or complaints.” #SmallTownLife#LocalLore#Almonte
Source: 365 “Fun facts about MM” were co-ordinated by Tiffany MacLaren, Community Economic and Cultural Coordinator for Mississippi Mills in 2017 & posted in weekly instalments at Millstone News. The “facts” wouldn’t have been possible without amazing volunteers and history buffs who contributed information. Special thanks went to Jeff Mills, Donna Lowry, Margie Argue, Rose Mary Sarsfield, Renate Seiler, Marilyn Snedden, The North Lanark Historic Society, The Naismith Basketball Foundation, The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, Neil & Lucy Carleton, Fern Martin and others. “The Tales of Almonte”, Linda Seccaspina’s page, also posted this anecdote, earlier.
In the 1890s P.C. Dowdall’s Drug Store was on Bridge St. in Almonte near the railway. In the entrance, the weather forecasts were posted up daily, providing a point of interest each day for the children walking to and from the Church Street school. Jimmy Morrow worked in the drug store for many years. He wanted to be a druggist but this was not possible for him. But Jimmy was ambitious, so he studied chemistry by mail. In the absence of Mr. Dowdell, he was able to read and fill the Latin prescriptions. Having no degree in pharmacy made this a bit out of the ordinary, but everybody knew about it and there were no objections or complaints. ( Facts about MM- The millstone)
Marilyn won over the other two contestants, Margaret Blair, Lanark; RR 1 and Carolyn McLenaghan, Perth RR 1. Each girl milked a cow in turn with special stalls set up outside. All the contestants made excellent showings when preparing the cow and equipment, milking and then washing fthe equipment with Marilyn was chosen as winner by the panel of judges, J. Bogaerts, Dairy Inspector from Almonte; C. E. Butterill, Dairy Inspector from Perth and E. T. Rodgers, Cheese Instructor for Lanark from Arnprior.
Marilyn Robertson will represent Lanark County in the Ontario Queen. Finals at the Canadian National Exhibition. Joan Stewart from Lyn, the Dairy Princess from Leeds County was present and presented Marilyn with the “Dairy Princess of Lanark County’’ ribbon. Then Marilyn received a cheque for $50.00 from Mr. Bogaerts on behalf of the committee, $25.00 for placing first and $25.00 for travelling expenses to the C.N.E. Held in conjunction with the Lanark County Holstein Breeders’ Association at their Twilight Meeting at-the farm of John E. James.
Marilyn Robertson was a strong contender for the simple reason that having no brothers she and her sister Rosalyn were their father’s right hand men at their home farms. Each family farm, 10th line of Ramsay received $5.00. The milking stalls, motor, pipeline and most of the equipment were provided by Carson Farm Supplies, Perth.The Perth District Co-Op provided the milker. Assisting with the competition were Carl McIntosh, Almonte RR 5 and James Lowry, Almonte RR 3.
The prize money was donated by all the dairies and creameries in Lanark County along with the main milk producer organizations, Lanark County Federation of Agriculture and Lanark County Junior Farmers’ Association. At the C.N.E. in Toronto she. will be required to milk by machine where time and general efficiency will count. Her father, Mr. George Robertson sold his farm this spring and the family now live on Water Street, Almonte. A ll Marilyn’s friends will be pulling for her, especially during the most trying part where each contestant is interviewed and required to make a short speech on the Dairy Industry in Ontario. Marilyn Robertson will represent Lanark County in the Ontario Queen Finals at the Canadian National Exhibition.
In 4-H Club work, Marilyn has an excellent record, having completed nine 4-H Homemaking Club and five 4-H Agricultural Club projects. This year, Marilyn is Assistant leader of the Cedar Hill 4-H Garden Club and a member of the Almonte 4-H Calf and 4-H Grain Clubs. In 1957 she was chosen as one of five representatives from Lanark to the Provincial 4-H.
Marilyn has competed in several livestock and seed judging competitions placing fifth in the Intermediate Division of the Lanark County Livestock Judging competition last year and third in the Junior Section o f the County. She is past president of the Pakenham Junior Farmers Girls Club and this year is secretary-treasurer of the Lanark County Junior Farmers’ Association.
Miss Kathleen Downey was chosen as “Miss Almonte High School ” at the regular meeting of the Almonte Lions Club held in St Mary’s Assembly Hall on Tuesday evening in the form of a banquet at which time the six contestants in the contest were guests of the club. Judith Scott placed second and, Marilyn Robertson third in the contest which was jointly sponsored by the Almonte Chamber of Commerce and the local Lions Club.
Others vying for the honour of being the “queen” were Gayle Mohr, Dorothy Walters and Donna Rintoul. Col. E. D. P. Taylor, president of the Almonte C. of C. was present and said that this was the first time th at Almonte had ever been entered in a contest such as this. He said the winner would now go to Perth for the contest when the winners from the various towns participating in this event would try for the title of “Miss Eastern Ontario.”
His Worship, Mayor George Gomme presented th e winner and the two runners-up with suitable gifts for their part in this affair. The Mayor was acting on behalf of the Lions Club and the Chamber of Commerce in this capacity. Under the chairmanship of Lion Harry Gunn the judging was done by Mrs. Anigus Morrison, Almonte; Mrs. Clarke McGlashan of Bell’s Corners and John Robertson of Ottawa In the contest points were given for the following: Poise, Personality, Dress, Natural Beauty, Academic Standing, Athletic Prowess and Outside Interests.
Guest speaker for the evening was John Clarice McGlashan, of McGlashan Silverware Limited, Bell’s Corners, who was introduced by president W ard McGill and thanked by Dr. Jim Coupland. The speaker who attended the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Conference on “LabourManagement Trends,” gave a brief but interesting talk on the subject. One of the topics brought out in his talk was on “How to live, with Unions and visa versa.” Lion Stewart Lee, speaking foi the committee in charge of thel annually sponsored Public Speak-, ing Contest, announced that the event this year would be on Friday, Jan. 31st when the contestants would battle it out for the T. A. Thompson Trophy and the Almonte Lions Club prizes. The area finals are to be held in Smiths Falls in early March. Dr. Otto Schulte, speaking on behalf of th e gathering, thanked the ladies of St. Mary’s Church for catering to the banquet. Jan 1958
While going through a box full of old photograph plates in the stockroom at the rear of D. W. Snedden’s drug store, Mr. Kenneth Johnson, who is an ardent amateur photographer, unearthed a treasure trove. Apparently the late M. R. MacFarlane, or one of his staff, followed the same hobby as Mr. Johnson. Those were the days of large cameras with glass plates almost as big as a school slate. And they made good pictures, too, as can be seen by the samples Mr. Johnson developed and which are now on display in Mr. Snedden’s drug store window.
A reproduction of one of them appears on the top section of this page. The scenes developed from the old plates recall memories for the elder generation of this town and would be appreciated by out-of town readers of the Gazette who are no longer in the junior age group.
We see among them a picture of the late Dr. Hanley sitting in his buggy in front of M. R. MacFarlane’s residence on Church Street. He wears a hard-shell hat and the horse looks tired, like most doctors’ horses did in those days.
There are pictures of Dr, Oliver MacFarlane and Jack Taylor in the knee-length pants worn by children of that period; groups of women in long skirts and big hats of their time, few of them who can be identified; splendid scenes of the old stone bridge on Main Street, the churches of the town, the town hall, the Almonte Flour Mills with the railway bridge then supported by stone piers the old steel bridge with the arches, later to be replaced by the present one; up and down views of Elgin, Church and Country Streets, and, as the auction sale bills say, many others too numerous to mention.
One of the priceless pictures shows Mr. Porritt’s ancient automobile with young MacFarlane standing on the front seat. It is said to be the first horseless carriage to arrive in Almonte, and what it did to the horses can better be imagined than described. Maybe we’ll get around to printing a picture of it one of these days. The whole collection of pictures which Mr. Johnson has resurrected is most interesting and should be grouped, framed and placed in the public library or the council chamber.
In the street scene printed above can be seen the edge of the late H. H. Cole’s store, Kelly’s Hotel which had been sold to a Mr, Me-Donald, Shorty Young’s shoe store and shoe shine, Patterson’s Drug Store, the Riddell & McAdam Building, then occupied by Wesley West; J. McKinnon’s, Shaw’s Hardware, John O’Reilly’s general store, and on the left— J . L. Hamilton, photographer, in the brick building later moved back from the street and occupied at that time as an office for Baird’s Mill, later to be used as an office for the P.U.C,, arid demolished some ten years ago; and in the distance, the clockless post office. The clock came about 1913. Read—The Mystery of the Almonte Post Office Clock –Five Minutes Fast and other Things….
This is my mother and father at their rental house behind the museum in Carleton Place. I am not sure of the year. Their names were Francis and Isobel (Warren)Robertson. All photos from Gail McDowell- thank you!
In 1908 my grandfather was the main salesperson for mount forest company here in mount forest ontario.He was a long time resident of Carleton Place.his name was W.J.Warren.
My uncle was killed in action and i have photos of him. His name was James (Jim) Warren from Carleton Place.
Son of William James Warren and Isobel Snedden (nee Cochrane) Warren of Carleton Place, Ontario; husband of Ordelia Giles (nee West) Warren of Ottawa, Ontario. Brother of Isobel, Jack and William, predeceased brother David. On Wednesday, September 17, 1941, Miss Hilda Cram’s class held a remembrance service in Memorial Park in Carleton Place, Ontario. All of the pupils placed flowers at the base of the cenotaph’s single shaft. Prayers were said and the oath of remembrance prayer was recited. Leonard Baird sounded ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ on the trumpet. The class was the students taught by Jimmy Warren before his enlistment for overseas service. The Town of Carleton Place remembered Sergeant Warren by naming a street in his honour.
Ordelia Giles West Early 1950s —Renfrew, Ontario, Canada- Wife
Ordelia Giles West lived in Carleton Place, Ontario, in April 1941. Ordelia Giles West married James Snedden Warren in Ottawa, Ontario, on March 18, 1941, when she was 24 years old. Her husband James Snedden passed away on June 17, 1941, in Devon, England, at the age of 28. They had been married 3 months.
This was my grandmother,also a CP resident Isobel Robertson
When Isobel Cochrane Snedden was born on August 4, 1883, in Lanark, Ontario, her father, David, was 28, and her mother, Ellen, was 25. She married William James Warren on August 16, 1911, in her hometown. They had five children during their marriage. She died in 1983 in Ontario at the age of 100, and was buried in Almonte, Ontario. Her son James Snedden passed away on June 17, 1941, in Devon, England, at the age of 28. (see above)
The first cheese factory was opened in the former Snedden stone home on the hill but in 1932, a building was moved from Pakenham to the north end of the bridge where a farmer’s cooperative operated the Rosebank Cheese & Butter Co. until 1954. Then the building was converted to Nontell’s Dance Hall. This dance hall was an exciting addition to the community until it burned to the ground a few years later. — Marilyn Snedden
If you didn’t meet your dream boat tonight, there was always next week at the Dance Halls. These were wonderful places – full of hopes and dreams, full of music and song, full of youth and vitality, noise and energy.
Anticipation and hope lit up the dull days in between. Girls and boys, from all over the country, came to dance the night away. In the 1950s they waltzed and fox-trotted to the big bands and in the 60s they jived, huckle-bucked and twisted to the fabulous music.
We set off to the dance hall every weekend, hungry for excitement. When we arrived there it felt as if our world had gone from black and white to color.
In the cloakroom, we watched girls who had cycled in from the country remove their headscarves and raincoats. We watched as they backcombed their hair and applied their ‘battle red’ lipstick. Some men, in the 1950s, were known to rub goose grease onto their hair in order to style it. Later in the night, this melted under the bright lights of the dance hall. It ran down their faces and smelt terrible, I am told – for this was before my time.
Other friends remember the local carnivals, which took place in villages. Dances were held in a marquee erected in a newly mown hay field. The priest would come, armed with a blackthorn stick and hit the cocks of hay, behind which couples were engaged in ‘close kissing and embracing, repeated and prolonged.’
How can sitting on a sofa with a smartphone be compared with all the excitement of those dance hall days!
Carleton Place Canadian 1958
Classified Announcements for Dance Halls that issue 1958
Dancing Saturday Nights– Town Hall– Carleton Place–Music by CFRA ‘Happy Wanderers’ Admission-75 cents
Heirlooms and antiques, the property of old families in the Ottawa district, were brought together in one of the most interesting exhibits of the Ottawa Exhibition Golden Jubilee program. This exhibit, which will be located In the women’s handicrafts building in 1937. The exhibition was in the form of a parlor in a well-to-do home of 1887. To give a contrast there was another exhibit, that of a modern living room, with all the comforts and conveniences
As the exhibition was celebrating its 50th birthday, the idea of having an exhibit to show what the “properly equipped” parlor of the year 1887 when the exhibition was first held in Ottawa, and another exhibit to show the great strides made in style and furnishings for a home, was developed by the exhibition management with the co-operation of Mrs. J. K. Kelly, of Almonte.
To Mrs. Kelly went the credit for finding the magnificent heirlooms and antiques which were used to furnish the “parlor of 50 years ago.” Among the first settlers in what is known as Blakeney or Snedden’s Station, were members of the Snedden family who came from Rosebank, Scotland. They named the place where they settled Rosebank and it is still known by that name in that vicinity.
Among the treasures the Snedden family brought from Scotland were brass candlesticks, brass curtain tics, pictures of Robert Burns, ‘the poet’, and of Rev. Robert Burns, who was the Presbyterian minister in the kirk where the Snedden family worshipped, a chair worked in needlepoint, a small Brussels rug and a table cover.
All these treasures were loaned by the Snedden family to help furnish the parlor. Another Scottish family coming from Braehead, near Glasgow, was the Young family. Their contribution to the parlor was a mantel clock, well over 100 years old and still keeping good time; a farmer’s seed wreath made by a granddaughter 85 years ago and a needlepoint cushion, beautifully worked. The farmer’s wreath was a work of art and few of them are in existence today.
From the descendants of James Stewart, Scottish blacksmith, the exhibition received the loan of wonderful samplers, old family pictures, walnut what-not, curtains knit years ago by a granddaughter, Jessie Stewart, and several other articles including an old family Bible. The curtains were made of cotton warp twisted and a yarn, homespun and home-dyed by another granddaughter.
The Bible originally belonged to the Tyner family of Toronto and was a wedding gift from Mrs. Robert Knowles, mother of the well known novelist. Mrs. Bower Henry, wife of the immediate past president of the Central Canada Exhibition Association contributed a fireplace almost 100 years old, which was built into the original home on the Silver Springs farm, the Henry home on the Richmond road.
A lovely student’s lamp, an outstanding example of old craftsmanship, was loaned by Mrs. Rose of Pakenham. This lamp was brought here from Baltimore more than 50 years ago.
Miss Annie Arthur, donated a feather wreath which she made when a young girl. The colors were well blended and the flowers-still had a natural appearance. This is an art which is almost lost today. Miss Arthur also loaned an organ, which was one of the first In the Almonte district and was over 85 years of age. The tone was still mellow and true.
One of the smaller ‘ pieces, a little pitcher, well over 125 years old, and a work basket, were loaned by Miss Arthur. Another pitcher and curtain poles were loaned by Mrs. Toshark. Miss K. McDougall was contributing a footstool in needlepoint, very old and beautifully worked. All the items loaned for that Golden Jubilee in 1937 were examples of a pioneer industry or art which had practically disappeared at that point.
NE 1/2, Lot 25, Conc 9, Ramsay Township, on the Mississippi River
Blakeney is one of the prettiest places anytime of the year– and especially in the Spring with the raging waters. The tiny hamlet was originally called Norway Falls because of the incredible Norway Pine trees. But, like most of the small towns here the name was changed a few times. It also became Snedden’s Mills because of the amount of industrial growth in the area and its historical beginnings with the iconic Snedden family.
Alexander Snedden became a militia officer and in 1855 gained the rank of Lieutenant colonel in command of the Ramsay battalion of Lanark Militia. His adjutant was Captain J. B. Wylie, Almonte mill owner. Around the Snedden establishment a small community grew at Norway Falls, known as Snedden’s Mills until in the eighteen fifties it was named Rosebank.
It was renamed Blakeney when the post office of the area was moved here in 1874 from Bennie’s Corners with Peter McDougall as postmaster. In the 1850s the name was changed to Rosebank, but similar to Carleton Place and its postal issue, the name Rosebank was already being used and it changed one more time to Blakeney. The nearby railway station continued to be called Snedden, and the name Rosebank also persisted.
Other early industries at Blakeney included a woollen factory, a brewery at the Pine Isles, a second sawmill and a tannery. A three storey woollen mill of stone construction operated by Peter McDougall, was built in the eighteen seventies. The flour mill at Blakeney continued to be run for some years after the turn of the century by Robert Merilees.
Did you know Blakeney once rivaled Almonte in growth? However the railway chose Almonte as their destination because of the Rosamonds and their textile mills and Blakeney lost the industry to their neighbour.
The Snedden family who came from Rosebank, Scotland, named the place where they settled Rosebank and it is still known by that name in that vicinity. Here the Reform Association conventions of the old District of Bathurst and of the United Counties of Lanark and Renfrew of the eighteen forties and early fifties were held.
Among the treasures this family brought from Scotland were brass candlesticks, brass curtain tics, pictures of Robert Burns, ‘the poet, and of Rev. Robert Burns, who was the Presbyterian minister in the kirk where the Snedden family worshipped, a chair worked in needlepoint, a small Brussels rug and a table cover.
A discriminating traveler of 1846 wrote of “Snedden’s Hotel, which is kept in as good style as any country Inn in the Province.” Another travelling newspaper contributor of fifteen years later added in confirmation: “Who in this portion of Victoria’s domain has not heard of Snedden’s as a stopping place? Ask any teamster on the upper Ottawa and he will satisfy you as to its capabilities of rendering the traveler oblivious to the comforts of his home.” Built in the 1840’s by Alexander Snedden, the white frame structure was well know throughout the Ottawa Valley.
“Who in this portion of Victoria’s domain has not heard of Snedden’s as a stopping place,” one diarist is quoted of commenting regarding the Inn. “Ask any teamster on the Upper Ottawa and he will satisfy you as to its capabilities of rendering traveller oblivious to the comforts of his home.”
Preceded by a log building which had been destroyed by fire, the frame building operated as a stopping place until the mid 1860’s. According to the book, one of the inn’s least welcome lodgers was the man infamously known as the villain of the valley, the notorious Laird Archibald MacNabb. The authors state that MacNabb would produce a 20 pound note to pay for his lodging and since there generally was not sufficient cash on hand to provide change, he would simply walk out and say that his account was settled.
Since its closure as an inn, the building has been utilized as a residence and is now home to Alexander Snedden’s great great grandson, Earle and his family.
The Snedden’s have retained many of the original features of the stopping place including the pine interior doors and the heavy front door that boasts a deep axe scar, courtesy of a drunken patron enraged at being ejected from the premises.
Earle’s wife Marilyn has been told that lumbermen used to “roll up” in blankets and sleep in the two large rooms in the downstairs portion of the house. One of the large rooms on the second floor, she says, served as a dining room while the stopping place was operating.
The original white pine boards on the lower level are now covered by hardwood. Until the change in the 1930’s, people were able to pinpoint the location of the bar through the cigarette butts on the flooring.
The Rosebank flour mill was built by four brother, Alex., David, Jimmy and Willie Snedden. A Mr. Henderson was the first miller. John Usher purchased the mill from the Snedden brothers, and after his death, John Merilee, who came from Fallbrook bought the mill from Mrs. Usher. This was in 1888.
There used to a number of thriving mills in Blakeney, but those structures have long since been demolished.The Rosebank Woolen Mill belonged to Mr. Peter McDougall. It was a large stone building, the ruins of which are still partially standing, and was powered by a large water wheel. It was erected in 1873 and in operation under McDougall until 1901. By 1905 it was being operated by Peter Campbell who purchased the mill in 1906. In 1906 it was sold to the Blakeney Woolen Company Ltd with George C Francis as president.
The Mississippi River turned below the bridge and divided into three parts before resuming its course downstream toward Pakenham. Three dams were built across the three channels to the two Islands formed by the division. One dam served the sawmill, one served the flour mill and one the woolen mill.
The sawmill was built by William Snedden on the north side of the river. The lumber companies, MacLaren and Caldwell, floated squared timber from the upper Mississippi and the Clyde Rivers down through Rosebank, so a “slide” was built below the Peter McDougall property, which ran the logs into what is known as the Bay, a quiet pool of water below the woolen mill.
The village brewery a frame building, was north-west of the woolen mill. The early brew master was Mr. Gomersall. Later the brewery was turned into a home for Mr. Peter McDougall, owner of the woolen mill, and his family who lived there until Mr. McDougall built a brick house at the foot of “Granny” Campbell’s hill. The McDougall house is still standing.
The tannery, also a frame building, was south of the woolen factory. William Reilly was the tanner. His two sons, William and Wellington Herman became doctors and practiced in Montreal as partners. (by Helen Theimer)’
It was not until the late 1860s that lovers of the “stanes” in the Almonte district formed a club and built rinks in the town, but at a much earlier date pioneer Scotch settlers gathered on the Mississippi river at Rosebank, four miles below Almonte, and had the time of their lives. They fished nicely rounded stones from the bed of the river, decorated them with fancy silver-mounted and ebony handles and then “curled” to their hearts’ content.
17 August 1870
It had been a dry spring and even drier summer. By mid August, little rain had fallen in four months, parching the fields and forests of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. On 17 August 1870, a work gang clearing a right-of-way along the Central Canada Railway between Pakenham and Almonte near the village of Rosebank set brush on fire along the tracks. It wasn’t the brightest of moves. With a strong wind blowing from the south, the fire quickly got out of control and spread into the neighbouring woods. Despite efforts by railway workers to douse the flames with water pumped from the nearby Mississippi River, it could not be contained. Racing northward through the tinder-dry forest, the fire sent massive columns of smoke into the air blanketing the region.
Almonte Gazette – Aug, 27, 1927. Read the Almonte Gazette here Robert Snedden Died Suddenly in his Office. Prominent Merchant of Pakenham Expired After Opening Up For The Day.
Belonged to Well Known Ramsay Family. Taught School before Entering Business In Almonte and Later in Pakenham. Mr. Robert Archibald Snedden, merchant of Pakenham, and one of the most prominent business men of North Lanark, died very suddenly this Thursday (25 Aug 1927) morning in his office shortly after 8:00 o’clock. While for some time he had not been in the most robust health, his condition was never regarded as serious, nor was it contemplated that his end was so near. Shortly after opening up for business for the day he suddenly collapsed and expired immediately. He was 58 years of age. Mr. Snedden belonged to one of the most prominent families in this district.
Alexander Snedden, his grandfather, was a noted lumberman in the early days. William Snedden, his father, was also in the lumber business for a time and owned the old sawmill at Blakeney. William Snedden was a power in the Liberal political circles in his day. The late Mr. Snedden was born on the family homestead on the ninth line of Ramsay. He was a graduate of the Almonte High School and was a schoolmaster for some years and many of the residents of that district will speak of his capable care of their education when he was in charge of the Rosebank School.
Photo from the 70s of a mill that once existed by rapids in Blakeney
Names on the map above: (also from the McGill Digital County Atlas Project)
Last Name First Name County Township Town Occupation Birthplace
Barker James Lanark Ramsay Farmer Ramsay Tp., Canada
Barker James Lanark Ramsay Farmer Ramsay Tp., Canada
Black James Lanark Ramsay Farmer; Deputy Reeve of Ramsay Tp. Glasgow, Scotland
Bond J.H. Lanark Ramsay Almonte Tinsmith Lanark Co., Canada
Bowland John Lanark Ramsay Farmer Wicklow Co., Ireland
Coffey John F. Lanark Ramsay Almonte Roman Catholic Priest Ottawa, Canada
Fumerton Archibald W. Lanark Ramsay Appleton General Merchant; Hotel Proprietor, Appleton Ramsay Tp., Canada
Galbraith Daniel Lanark Ramsay Almonte Member of Parliament Glasgow, Scotland
Gemmill James D. Lanark Ramsay Almonte Retired Merchant; Major of Militia Lanark Co., Canada
Gilmour John Lanark Ramsay Almonte Butcher Lanark Co., Canada
Gilmour William Lanark Ramsay Farmer Scotland
Kitson William Lanark Ramsay
Lang John Lanark Ramsay Farmer Ramsay Tp., Canada
Lynch D.P. Lanark Ramsay Almonte Physician and Surgeon Allumette, Quebec, Can
Marshall Robert Lanark Ramsay Farmer; School Trustee Lanark Co., Canada
McCreary Joseph Lanark Ramsay Farmer Ireland (McCreary’s Beach on Mississippi Lake?)