Tag Archives: stewart

The Stewarts and the Shiners of the Gatineaus

The Stewarts and the Shiners of the Gatineaus

Irish Stick Fighters from Ottawa Valley Stickfighters, believed to be Beckwith Shiners from the Foresters Falls – Roche Fendu area…. Taken from The Perth Courier, Nov.29, 1872, 

Between the 1840s and 1850s in the Gatineau district in the province of Quebec, there was a very wild stretch of country, with settlements few and far between. Supplies were carried up the more remote sections in canoes, and there were many cascades in the river. The voyager was frequently obliged to portage along with the freight until they could find a place where he could trust himself in the water again. There existed in that partof the area a body of men who the public called “Shiners”. The operations of the Shiners extended from Bytown (Ottawa) to many miles up the Gatineau and wary be the man or woman who fell under their displeasure.

This group of men were recruited from the ranks of the Irish emigrants who were coming in droves to Canada.These men were not content to let the old feuds from the old country rest in peace, but sought to escalate them in Canada. In the old land the Orange and Green had been at war for a very long time and neither side wanted to bury the hatchet. The Shiners were of the old school Irish Roman Catholic, and the tales emerged of how little value they put on human life.

Early in the 1840s a Scotchman named Stewart took up a large tract of land in the Gatineaus, about 150 miles from Hull, and he brought his wife and three children to settle. All his friends thought he was crazy to even think of taking his delicately bred wife so far away from civilization. However no amount of opposition could deter Stewart. His intention was to procure as much land as he could so later on his children could divy up the land for their families and call that tract of land ‘The Stewarts of Stewartsville’. A log home was put up in the wilderness and he finally sent for his wife and children.

Ill times began for the family as soon as they got there and their rations dwindled to nothing during the first long and lengthy winter. Mrs. Stewart fell ill and nearly died. A small grave was dug beside the home and in it was placed their first male child. Any other man might deal with half of this and decide to go home but not Mr. Stewart as he was a stubborn man.

When Stewart had been living up in the Gatineaus for almost six years, an incident happened that well cost him his life. Feelings were running high between the Shiners and their opponents. An election had been held in Hull, and Mr. Stewart having been down there at the time indulged a little more freely in consuming the spirits and during conservation and expressed how he really felt about the Shiners. That probably wasnot the best of ideas.

He made the journey home safely, but a few days later recieved word that the Shiners would be paying him a visit shortly. That surely meant trouble, but Stewart laughed at the threats. His wife however spent the next three days in hysterics. Three days later an old Scotch priest, Father Paisley, and a friend who were travelling down the river stopped at the Stewarts house to rest. Three of their children were then unbaptized. As the Stewarts were Presbyterian they were determined to seize the day and give them their family a good Christian baptism while Father Paisley was there. They were invited to dinner and stayed the night.

At one in the morning a loud door knock was heard. Mr. Stewart knew it was the Shiners and they told him to come outside. By this time the whole household was up and Mrs. Stewart was on her knees with her children around her praying. The Shiners were not happy with the delay and tried to force the door open. Suddenly Father Paisley with his supplice on and an uplifted crucifix in his hands, stepoed in between Stewart and the 20 masked and armed Shiners who have now broken the door.

Seeing the priest the Shiners backed up and demanded he stop protecting Mr. Stewart who is cowering behind the priest’s burly form. Father Paisley screamed that they would have to kill him first and commanded them to leave the house in the name of HIM who was on the crucifix. The Shiners retorted that he was an Orangeman. The priest replied that they had all been baptized in Ireland and he had baptized the Stewart children yesterday and because of the kindness of being taken in he would protect Mr. Stewart from their wrath. The Shiners had a war meeting and decided not to harm Stewart and would leave him alone.

This was not to be the last time there was to be a record of how religious intervention stopped the shed of blood in the Ottawa area. As for the Stewart family they lived in the Gatineaus for many years and are laid to rest in the vicinity. There is no doubt that stories were told through the generations about the visit from the Shiners.

Lost Ottawa


Morning of Weirdness. Here is a stamp of Joseph Monterrand, known among English speakers as Big Joe Mufferaw.

Joseph was apparently a six foot four French Canadian — truly big for that time — famous as a lumberjack in the Ottawa Valley, but even more famous as one of the few people in the Outaouais willing to stand up against Ottawa’s infamous Shiners.

A real person, he died in 1864. Then his life was appropriated to become the stuff of legends—

Andrew Leamy & Jos. Montferrand – The Two Solitudes, Through a Lens Darkly– Click

The Shiners’ War

Lumbermen in the Ottawa Valley, late 19th century, Topley Studio.

Library and Archives Canada, PA-012605.

20 October 1835

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada31 Aug 1935, Sat  •  Page 2

The Last of the Fenians Sons— Bellamy’s Mills — James Ingram

When the Fenians Came to Visit

When the Fenians Came to Visit

The Rare Fenian Medal of Private W. Rorison– Carleton Place Rifle Company
Fenians OR Ballygiblins? Fighting Irish 101

Fenian Raid Sale– Get Yer Boots Before You Have to go Fight Again

Debunking the Stories My Family Told Me

The Rare Fenian Medal of Private W. Rorison– Carleton Place Rifle Company

A Carleton Place Fenian Soldier’s Photo

Ballygiblin Riots in Carleton Place — Were We Bad to the Bone?

The Hidden Hideaway On Glen Isle

Samuel Hawkshaw- Carleton Place–Carleton Blazers of Bells Corners

So About that Ballygiblin Sign…. Fourteen Years Later!

Stewart House Clippings and Memories

Stewart House Clippings and Memories

Name of creator

Stewart House Incorporated (Pakenham, Ont.)


Administrative history

Stewart House Incorporated was a United Church of Canada learning centre located in the Village of Pakenham, Ontario. In 1962, Art and Elsa Stewart offered their home in Pakenham to serve as a learning centre since the other learning centre in Ontario, Five Oaks, was seen as too far away for the eastern presbyteries of the United Church of Canada. A joint committee of representatives from Renfrew and Ottawa Presbyteries was named to administer the project. The Stewarts then donated the property to the Renfrew and Ottawa Presbyteries in 1966 to serve as a permanent Christian Education centre or “retreat house” for Eastern Ontario. Stewart House was officially incorporated on February 6, 1965 and the operations were overseen by a Board of Directors. It was an accredited educational centre of the United Church of Canada. Stewart House closed in 2006.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
31 Oct 1962, Wed  •  Page 50


Turning over of Stewart House at Pakenham to United Church Sunday took place when Mrs. Elsa Stewart, ( read-History Clippings of the the Centennial Restaurant – Pakenham)

left, hands Rev. Murray McBride case containing golden key, while he already holds deeds given to properties. Other property is White House next door to shelter those on lay retreats and conferences. Photo by Peter Greene

At largely attended ceremony, – **Church accepts Stewart House **- Stewart House, spacious lay retreat house in Pakenham, and its adjoining White House, used for overnight accommodations, were formally turned over to the United Church of Canada in a largely attended ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Chairman of the Board, of Stewart House Inc., Rev. Murray McBride of Arnprior accepted the deeds and a gold key from the donor, Mrs. Elsa Stewart. “I’m told that my idea of Stewart House is 25 years ahead of its time,” Mrs. Stewart said, and I nevertheless feel very moved at this time to see so many who have turned out for the occasion from which quietness and fellowship in small groups of those to use the project will derive much inspiration and spiritual joy.” 85,000 say thanks.

Mrs. Stewart wanted credit to go to all concerned, but she did want to mention the names of Mrs. Errol Amaron, of Admaston, who could not be present, and Rev. Lloyd Shorten and Dr. Norman Coll of Ottawa. Receiving thanks from Mrs. Stewart for caring for the reception part of the occasion were the Church ladies of Pakenham Cedar Hill and Blakeney. Rev. McBride, in reply, said that Mrs. Stewarts gift was “no ordinary act, on no normal day, and it gives me great honour when I speak for all our Church people in the Ottawa and Renfrew Presbyteries to extend 85,000 thank you’s.” It was said that Art and EIsa Stewart had given their personal dimension of generosity and dedication to the gifts, and that the salutary benefits from the retreat center would “have value to the extent of the imagination of those using it.”

Rev. McBride recalled that the project idea had been formed eight years ago by the Stewarts and has been fostered by many in the interval to make it “a vision made real”. The opening invocation was given by Rev. John Angus of the Renfrew Presbytery, and the closing benediction was said by Chairman of the Ottawa Presbytery, Rev. Richard Carson. Leisurely spur. The guest speaker was Rev. George Young, Director of the Five Oaks retreat and leadership center, Paris, Ont.

Rev. Young reviewed the Church’s first project in retreat houses in British Columbia some 20 years ago, and traced their growth down to the splen­did Stewart House complex in so beautiful and inspirational a setting. The speaker said increased leisure these days has stimulated thoughtful people to avail themselves of lay training centers from which foundations of hope grow anew. “Those who come to Stewart House will be transformed people, and transforming disciples,” Rev. Young assured his numerous listeners, and to show the extent of the continuing challenge he said “with the birth of every new child, God hath not yet despaired of man.” “Stewart House will be a place of renewal, and a core of mission, in a fearless confrontation of a secular world more and more exposed to Christ,” the speaker confirmed.

Rev. Young closed with the words “Lead on, oh King Eternal, the days of March have come.” Directors noted. Rev. McBride, Stewart House Board Chainman, asked the other Directors to step forward and receive recognition for their contributions and sacrifices. They are: Mrs. John Harrington, Rev. Hank Weiler, Secretary, Al Monaghan, Rev. Ken Robinson, Mrs. Errol Amaron (absent), Jack West, Miss Jean Connery, Treasurer, and Mrs. Elsa Stewart. The presence was noted of Anglican Pakenham Rector Rev. C. C. Conliffe. Those attending the function numbering 600, were shown through Stewart House, and the 9-room White House.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Apr 1966, Sat  •  Page 26

Alice Paige

The Stewart family did so much for Pakenham and area. Humble, modest and generous!

Pakenham’s Stewart Community Centre was named for Art and Elsa Stewart who greatly contributed to the restoration and revitalization of Pakenham in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. It was opened in 1974, replacing the old Community Hall. Art and Elsa were awarded the Order of Canada in June of 1983. Operators of a model livestock-breeding farm, the Stewarts were active in many farm organizations and founded university entrance bursaries to the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph for local students. From the Millstone

Andrea MacFarlane-Grieve

January 21  · 

I found this picture in a collection of photos that Danny Paige had put together several years ago. It shows Austin Stanton and a friend in front of a gas station/garage and I believe the location was in what is now the empty parking lot across the street from the once-upon-a-time Stewart House.
It would be interesting to know the history on this building and who owned it over the years …. although I am sure it is in the Tweedsmuir History if I went and looked.

Having said that though and if I am correct on the location, then have a funny story to tell that most people of my age group would remember. After the garage was torn down, the only thing left was a cement retainer wall at the back of the proper to stop the hill from collapsing. One Halloween, someone (whose name I know but won’t tell) wrote F*** OFF in big block letters on that wall. Well, it only took a few days for someone to come around and paint over it ….. however …

For about 15 years afterwards, every spring after the thaw, the cover-up paint decayed and lo-and-behold, the wonderful message would reappear as clear as day on the wall.
And every time it did, it got a chuckle from most of the youngsters in town. 

Peter Stanton

My dad is in photo and I am in the baby carriage. Winter of 54- 55. He had garage along with drill but the drilling business got much busier so he stopped garage about 56.

Shirleen Duncan

Hi, my husband says it was originally Allan Scotts garage, he remembers it being there. The Scott’s lived across the road from the Cedar Hill school house. Both of Allan’s sons are listed on the cenotaph in Pakenham. Mary Shaw (née Scott) is 105 years young and lives in Arnprior, so say’th Bill.

Andrea MacFarlane-Grieve

Bonnie MacFarlane Take a closer look Bonnie. This is not the garage that was beside the Stanton’s house. Check out the house at the top of the hill to the right …. it is Ralph McKenzie’s place.. That is why I said it was the garage that used to be in the Stewart House parking lot.

Cathy Lyon

Brian Kenneth Needham Yes, you are right it was Allie Scott. Maybe he sold the garage and property to Austin Stanton after he retired. He and his wife Laura lived up on the hill beside my Dad, Wm. Y. Wood. I remember them both very well. I lived with them for awhile after my Mother died.

April 11,2022 

Robert GardinerPakenham History: 1823-2023

In light of last night’s devastating fire on the main street, it’s worth pointing out the heritage value of the property. This building dated back to at least the 1870s-80s, if not earlier, when Benjamin Dunnet built a large limestone store at the site (see circled image below). Over the years it was used as a general store, residence, office, and service station.

In 1957 Art and Elsa Stewart bought the property and demolished the stone building with the exception of one wall at the back. They built themselves a house on the site, which was later used as a church building and more recently as a restaurant. Even until recently many people still referred to it as “Stewart House”-Pakenham History: 1823-2023

Pakenham History: 1823-2023

Kelsey Braendli

My husband and I are the current home owners of “The White House” and to see the fire last night was devastating. We are extremely thankful to all of the fire departments who arrived quickly and stayed throughout the night to prevent anyone from getting hurt.

Alice Paige

How awful! Stewart House ( and the White House next door) were run by the United Church. I used to stay there in the late 70’s when Art and Elsa Stewart were traveling. I would stay in the office to help with any needs while groups were there. It was a busy place. Marguerite Millar and Lois Grainger were the cooks. I even got a few cooking lessons from them. They often made meals for 10-50 people. Meetings, youth programs, marriage renewal classes, spiritual retreats and more were run and I always thought well attended. There was a beautiful Findlay oval cookstove in the rec room which was in perfect condition. It was a fine place! I believe the United Church sold it because they didn’t have the funds to run it. Maybe others know more?

History Clippings of the the Centennial Restaurant – Pakenham

The Pakenham Fire of June 1939 –Names Names Names

Mayne Store–Memories of the Pakenham Fire 1940

  1. The Pakenham Fire of 1940
  2. July 8, 1940 Fire at the Mayne Store Pakenham
  3. Dickson Hall Fire Pakenham-H. H. Dickson
  4. Fire at Pakenham Woollen Factory with Town Directory
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Sep 1973, Sat  •  Page 27

D.W. Stewart Farm -Kenmore Farm– Illustrated Station

D.W. Stewart Farm -Kenmore Farm– Illustrated Station

Name:John Stewart
Birth Year:abt 1863
Birth Place:Ramsey, Ontario
Marriage Date:28 Dec 1887
Marriage Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:Duncan Stewart
Mother:Christina McDongall
Spouse:Hughena Roberts

Name:Duncan Stewart
Racial or Tribal Origin:Scotch (Scotish)
Marital Status:Married
Birth Year:abt 1890
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1 Jun 1921
House Number:21
Residence Street or Township:Ramsay
Residence City, Town or Village:Township of ??
Residence District:Lanark
Residence Province or Territory:Ontario
Residence Country:Canada
Relation to Head of House:Son
Spouse’s Name:Isabel Stewart
Father’s Name:John Stewart
Father Birth Place:Ontario
Mother’s Name:Hughena Stewart
Mother Birth Place:Ontario
Can Speak English?:Yes
Can Speak French?:No
Can Read?:Yes
Can Write?:Yes
Months at School:00-80
Occupation:Farmer’s Son
Employment Type:2 Wage Earner
Nature of Work:Fathers Farm B
Duration of Unemployment:0
Duration of Unemployment (Illness):0
Enumeration District:97
Sub-District:Ramsay (Township)
Sub-District Number:38
Monthly Rental:01
Number of Rooms:0
Enumerator:A. S. Duncan
District Description:Polling Division No. 3 – Comprising the east half of the 8th concession from lot no. 1 to lot no. 14 inclusive; also the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th concessions from lot no. 1 to lot no. 15 inclusive except that portion belonging to the town of Almonte
Neighbours:View others on page
Line Number:12
Family Number:21
Household MembersAgeRelationshipJohn Stewart56HeadHughena Stewart46WifeDuncan Stewart31SonIsabel Stewart26Daughter-in-lawAlexander Stewart8/12Grandchild

It would be impossible to give an entire list of the names of the early immigrants of Beckwith, but some of the earliest as follows:Duncan McEwen, Donald Anderson, John McLaren John Cram, and John Carmichael in the 10th concession.Peter McDougall,  Duncan . McLaren, AIex. and Donald Clark, John and Peter McGregor, in the ninth concessionAlex McGregor, Peter Anderson, John Stewart, and Donald Kennedy in the eighth concessionFindlay McEwen, Archie Dewar John and Peter McDiarmld in the seventh concessionRobert, John James, and Duncan Ferguson, and Duncan McDiarmid in the fifth concession.

From a glance at the names it is pretty obvious that the folks came from the “heathery hills of Scotland”, but it might be of interest to know that they came to form a miniature colony. Although a few returned to there original homeland most would never see their loved ones or homes again.After six weeks journeying across the Atlantic they arrived at Montreal, and proceeded in small open boat’s up the St. Lawrence to Bytown/ Ottawa. Then they began another weary journey to the solitude lands of Beckwith, where there travel was more impeded than ever. No railway lines, no roads, simply a narrow blazed trail through the leafy woodland. Read Beckwith 1820 Census Lanark County–Who Do You Know?

The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
23 Apr 1898, Sat  •  Page 5

People of the 7th LINE in Beckwith

Thanks to Margaret McNeely

Here is a pic of my father-in-law Lorne McNeely he was 18 so would be 1929. Taken on the farm on 7th line Beckwith
Know your ancestors thanks to Donna Mcfarlane

Know your ancestors thanks to Donna Mcfarlane

This is the Rev. James Carmichael who preached one of the last sermons at the old church on the Beckwith Township 7th line….mentioned in one of your articles– Have you read The Spirit of the 7th Line?

Photo from Corry Turner-Perkins.. Beckwith School on 7th Line about 1960 Top Row- Keith McNeely, Miss Griff, Dennis(?), Dave Turner, Donnie McNeely, Ronnie MdNeely,Jim NcEwan,Raymond Stanzel, 2nd row from top- (?) Jorgenson, Jerry McNeely, Edward Stephens, Bert Jorgenson, Joyce Spoor, Nancy McNeely, (?) White, 3rd row-Arlene McEwan, Jennifer White, Barbara White, Sharon McGregor, Lorain McNeely, Dorothy Stanzel, 1st row- Wayne McNeely, Eddie(?), Hallie Flegg, Perry Stephens

Related reading

Beckwith Mystery — Anyone Remember a Meteor Coming Down on the 7th Line?

The Spirit of the 7th Line

The Manse on the 7th Line of Beckwith

Saw this online a 7th line property for sale

for sale click

Information about the D.W. Stewart Farm came from:

About WI
Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

The identity of the Women’s Institute still lies profoundly in its beginnings. The story of how this historic organization came to be is one that resonates with women all over the world, and is engrained in the mission and vision Ontario WI Members still live by today. CLICK here–

McFarlanes –Stewart’s Fire– and Other Things in Ashton

McFarlanes –Stewart’s Fire– and Other Things in Ashton

Donna McFarlane sent me this note yesterday:

“Sometime before 1874 the old log house across from the mill pub in Ashton was a hotel or stopping place operated by Donald McFarlane. I noticed that it was now restored to log.. Donald’s son William later opened a hotel at Youngs Point”.

So I am looking for information about the hotel. If anyone knows anything or has heard stories- leave comments, PM me, or send me an email sav_77@yahoo.com




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal15 Apr 1887, FriPage 3


Meanwhile I found this..



In the old days the more outside buildings you owned around your home or farm- the more prosperous you were.  Or people thought you were. The complex at the old McFarlane farm in Ashton as it came to be known consisted of many log buildings scattered around the property.

The first building was a log shanty, and they threw it together quickly because they had too. Those buildings were the one with the large spaces between the logs that blew in the cold air in the winter. However, those shantys grew too small for growing families, so they were abandoned and usually a new frame house was built until the ultimate home could be achieved. That would be a stone home–meaning: they were now at the top of the heap in prosperity and social stature.

The McFarlane’s finally added a stone home to their complex and it had everything from the newel posts at the bottom of the stairs to the square fanlight and side lights. These were all the signatures of a master builder. But, it is the outbuildings that are a fascinating part of this farms history to me. Small medium and large log buildings frame the vista of meadows, flower and vegetable gardens making it a rich overall feel of rural contentment.

The Crown deeded the property to James McFarline in 1828. Similar to a lot of misspellings in those days his last name was later changed to McFarlane. When he died in 1867 the farm was given to his children and in 1891 his eldest son, James McFarlane was listed as the owner. James Lorne McFarlane was the last of the family dynasty to own the property obtaining the title in 1949.

In 1966 the McFarlane family ceased owning the property.



Updates from Donna McFarlane– Thanks Donna!

The comments in the article above are not all accurate as the information was given by the owner at the time of the open house.
The farm lot 24 conc 10 was settled by James Mcfarlane in August of 1820
and settlement duties completed it was deeded in 1828. After his death
his youngest son James bought out his siblings (Catherine Drummond, Grace
Mccuan, Ann,Elizabeth,Janet, Martha and William) and retained this
property. James sr also owned Lot 23 conc 9 Beckwith which oldest son
William bought his siblings out and retained.
The log home was burnt and replaced by the stone home. The small two
storey log home that was used by the Mcfarlanes for a hen house was
actually moved by Lorne from lot 25 conc 10 (property that Lorne owned)
In Feb 7 1964 the properties were deeded to John Mcfarlane with Lorne and
Gladys having a life interest however because the farm could not support
two families John went to work off farm and it was sold.
Donald of Ashton and James of Beckwith and William of Goulbourn were
three brothers from Comrie Perthshire Scotland.




Joseph Arthur Mcfarlane who was dean of medicine at
U of T was born on the Gordon Bourne property that his father Joseph son
of William of Goulbourn owned. He attended the Derry School.–Donna McFarlane
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Ashton Choir no idea of year–I’d say 50s??
Photos sent to me by Donna McFarlane



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal19 Feb 1897, FriPage 5


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal10 Mar 1945, SatPage 18



Mary Jane was daughter of Donald of Ashton.. the other was granddaughter of James of Beckwith–Donna McFarlane

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal03 Jan 1929, ThuPage 22



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  10 Feb 1900, Sat,  Page 7


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)


Related reading:


The Ghost of the Lanark County Old Log Cabin

Home and Garden Before Home and Garden Magazine