It was just an old kitchen fall-leaf table, made of hardwood and still in its raw state with never the stroke of a painter’s brush to mar the beautiful, natural grain of the wood, but what a historic background it had. What tales it could tell of the pioneer days if it could only speak, tales of frugal repasts set on its broad surface, tales of well laden Christmas dinners with a happy family gathered abound, or perhaps of the minister’s visit when it was covered with a snowy white table cloth and the children were put on their best behavior.
But the greatest tale of all would be the time it was used, over 102 years ago. as a pulpit for the first Presbyterian service held in this district. The service was held in a blacksmith’s shop long before a church was built, and this old table, a cherished souvenir of those early days, now reposes in the basement of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church, a strong link in the life of the church from the first Presbyterian missionary from Scotland to the present day.
Pakenham was the central point of the parish, which embraced Fitzroy, Torbolton, Pakenham. McNab and Horton. But to go back to the old kitchen table which is in as good a state of repair today as it was one hundred years ago there is a wealth of sentiment connected with it. Only the spiritual life of the church can endure and go on through all the ages to eternity, but when we look back over the long trail of time and follow the lives of those who have taken up the challenge of the cross, there is little wonder that the spiritual life of the church endures and strengthens with the years.
The material things of life crumble and fade away, but the spiritual endures forever.
The story about this table was told in 1940 and I wonder if it is still around.
When I was at the Middleville Museum a few years ago they had a display of cow bells from a few neighbouring farmers. I had no idea that each bell belonged to a different cow and that is how the farmer’s distinguished them.
In Lanark County you could sometimes stop walking along the side of a back road and hear the faint clank of the cow bell. In the summer when the cows were in the pasture finding them and bringing them home for evening milking would have taken hours of searching if it were not for the cow bell. They were crafted by blacksmith or tinsmith and measured eight inches along the four squared sides.
On day as a child there seemed to be cow bells ringing in the sky and I thought it was actually a bell around the neck of a turkey buzzard often called a turkey vulture. We could hear the bell coming and first thought it was the ice cream truck but couldn’t see anybody anywhere on Albert Street. It stayed in the neighbourhood two or three days and we always knew it was around because we could hear the bell tinkling.
The bell was about the size of a small cow bell and the buzzard seemed used to it, or at least he didn’t mind it at all and it didn’t seem to bother him. My father thought it might be somebody who kept the vulture for a pet and attached the bell when he let it out for exercise.
One day my Dad was cutting the grass and the sound of that bell kept getting closer and finally he looked up. The buzzard was about 75 feet up—and he could see the bell clearly around its neck. Every time it would go up or down the bell would ring. The vulture seemed to enjoy the music as it circled around and I think it went to roost in a tree fascinated with everyone watching him. All the neighbours had seen this vulture at this point, and insisted the bird had a cow bell on him.
Adding to the evidence that there was a buzzard with some sort of bell going around one day my Dad spotted him again. He and a couple of his men went on a job in a very rural area. One of his assistants saw a flock of buzzards and finally he spotted a bell on one of them. The buzzard bell sounded more like chimes and his apprentice said, it was way too small for a cow bell. My father laughed and agreed-
“Those town folks may know buzzards” he remarked, “but they don’t know cow bells” he laughed.
Writing this story today I had no idea that “The Belled Buzzards” were a series of strange bell-wearing birds of prey that had been sighted all across the country roughly from the late 1860s and into the 1950s. One legend states that the bell around the buzzard’s neck tolls to signal the upcoming death of a notable person. For half a century, the belled buzzard was the object of headlines throughout the Southeastern United States and the subject of fascination, speculation and doubt. Those that heard its haunting ring fled into the darkness fearing that the end of the world was near.
These creatures were described as resembling normal turkey vultures or buzzards, with the exception of the strange bell they wore around their necks. Occasionally the birds were said to have worn the bells around one of their legs. The most common explanation is that the belled buzzard was part of a poorly-thought out prank wherein someone tied a bell to a buzzard they had captured. I’d like to think that is exactly what it was and leave the lingering chimes of this story now before I tell my grandchildren and scare the feathers out of them.
My grandmother was born Mary Scott, daughter of William Scott Sr. of Fallbrook,Ontario. She married my grandfather Richard Reynolds who was a lumberman. They both emigrated to Michigan in the early 1800s and a few years later they returned to Ontario in May of 1889.
The family settled near St. George’s Lake ( Oso Township) and my grandfather went to work at Allan’s Mills near Glen Tay. ( read- Allan’s Mills— Lanark County Ghost Town) Saturday was part of the work week in those days and it was very hard to spend time with family and he tried to find something closer. The new mill at Glen Tay opened up and it was busy which made housing very scare. However, they found a home that no one wanted– a haunted one. Rumour was in the area that this particular house was ‘badly haunted” but her grandparents decided to rent it, haunted or not. They lived in that house until 1883 when they moved to the toll house on Scotch Line.
When I moved to Glen Tay with my husband and family in 1961, my mother, Elizabeth Jones, with the help or Mr. Guy Leonard was able to show me almost exactly where the toll house once stood. It was on the west side of the straight stretch of the road just before the Y where the Scotch Line separates from the paved road. The road past Dr. Allan’s farm was referred to by my mother and Mr. Leonard as Kingston Hill. The toll house had been a light coloured, two storey frame building sitting very close to the road with a twin stile between the house and the gate. The gate itself was a wooden one with a box of stones on the back end to make it easier to operate.
The gate was to be closed as much as possible on the weekdays and when closed must be attended. It was left open for funerals or when there was no one around to attend it. The toll was 5 cents for a single horse vehicle, ten cents for a team and walking was free through the turnstile.
The first 7 dollars collected monthly went to the local council and anything over that was my grandmother’s wages beside the rent-free house. If the gate was closed at night, a lantern was lit, and placed on the gate post. This was left to my grandmother whether she wanted to stay up and tend to the gate. One story was told how a gypsy caravan paid their toll at night and went quickly up the Kingston Hill with a stolen neighbour boy. In short time riders from all points rescued the boy from the gypsies.
A travelling medicine road show came through the gates once and they told her to tell everyone about the show that was going to be right near Mr. Kelford’s home. Many people came to see the show and hear the music. However, the main event was a trained bear and that very evening he became angry and killed his trainer on the spot. The women and children ran from the place and someone shot the bear. The body was loaded into a wagon and they buried the man and the bear side by side in the grove of trees across from the road from the turn off.
There were weddings and loads of young people going to the dances in Stanleyville going through the gate. Some would tell my grandmother they would pay her on the way back knowing full well she would be in bed by the time they came back. But sometimes she would stay up and wait for them if there had been a good bunch going. She also told of an Irishman who kept a general store in Stanleyville but drew his wares from Perth. She recalled that most times he was the worse for wear on his trip after frequenting the drinking establishments in Perth. One trip made at Christmas that year a case of hard candy was spilled and a path of bright candy lay on the snow. My mother remembers picking them up and having the most candy of her young life.
Sometime in the mid to late 1890s my grandparents sold the toll gate and settled in the village of Crows Lake. As my grandmother grew near to the end of her life she would cry out sometimes and call in a clear voice you could hear her say,
“Open the gate Mrs. Reynolds!” and we would know that in her dear confused mind she was once again the keeper of the toll gate on the Scotch Line.
Editor’s Note- It has been reported that there was a second toll gate on the Scotch Line just past Rogers Road.
In the mid-1850s the Scotch Line Road Company established a toll-road from Perth westward along eight miles (12.9 Km) of Bathurst Concession-1, the town line between the Townships of Bathurst and North Burgess. The Scotch Line toll-road later came under the sole proprietorship of Brockville businessman John Wardrope (1816-1893) click here
The Tay Valley township comprises the communities of Althorpe, Bathurst Station, Bells Corners, Bolingbroke, Bolingbroke Siding, Brooke, Christie Lake, DeWitts Corners, Elliot, Fallbrook, Feldspar, Glen Tay, Harper, Maberly, Playfairville, Pratt Corners, Scotch Line, Stanleyville and Wemyss.
Originally settled in 1816. Stanleyville is now a quiet little Hamlet with a small number of homes, farming and a big church.
Was there a Hazelton’s Furniture Ware House in Stanleyville?
The photo below of a Hazelton Furniture store, provided by a local contributor, is thought to have a Stanleyville connection, according to the caption. Specifically, the caption reads:
“My great-aunt Evelyn Dooher (1888-1974) wrote on the envelope containing this tintype photograph: “Hazelton’s Furniture ware room Canada about 1870”. Mother always kept this. I think they were cousins as she had pictures of the Hazelton girls.” Evelyn’s mother was Mary Ann (McParland) Dooher (1861-1939), who was born and raised in Stanleyville, near Perth, Ontario. If this photo was taken in Stanleyville, I wonder if the church to the right rear of the store could be St. Bridget’s.” —From the Perth & District Historical Society
well that is wrong –Karen Prytula said-
I answered the question about the Hazelton furniture store a few years ago. It is in Newboro, not Stanleyville. See caption below the pic. It is right beside the church as you can see the church in the background on the right. I came across this information when I was doing some paid research for a McCann family in Ireland. [image: image.png]
Bye for now Karen Prytula
Circumscription: Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kingston
Please note Peterboro was originally spelled that way
Mr. A. H. Mears, commercial traveller, of Carleton Place, who is well known in Almonte, met with a serious and very painful accident last Friday evening. He was driving from Pontypool, on the C.P.R. west of Peterboro to Orono. The night was dark and the carriage was upset over a steep embankment, Mr. Mears rolling down a distance of 25 feet. He was brought home on Sunday, and is still suffering much from an injured spine, but he is not supposed to be seriously injured. Mr. Mears wore an Oddfellows’ emblem, and all along the line, while coming home, was cared for by members of the order at every station.
June 23, 1893
5557-80 (Lanark Co) Sidney John STEWART, 25, hardware merchant, Fort Covington NY, Fort Covington NY, s/o John STEWART & Sarah OWNEY married Florence Henrietta Maud MEARS, 25, Fort Covington NY, Carleton Place, d/o H.B. MEARS & Louisa JACKSON, witn: A.H. MEARS of Carleton Place & W.J. MEARS of Fort Covington NY, 15 Dec 1880,
Back in the 1850s there lived near Merrickville an Anglican minister named Morris, who was generally known as “Father” Morris. Mr. Morris, besides preaching, owned and operated a farm. He had some well bred cattle and included in his stock was a valuable big imported bull with long out-pointing horns.
This bull was nearly the cause of the death of a favourite daughter. It appears that one day the daughter went out to an open log shed where the cattle found shelter in stormy weather. It was said that the bull was a very wicked animal. While the girl was in the shed the bull came along, and seeing her, bellowed and dashed at her. The girl tried to get away and ran close to the back wall in an attempt to escape.
The bull, however, cut her off and pinned her to the log wall. Its charge was so furious that it could not extricate its horns to gore the girl. The bull’s roars of rage attracted the attention of a brother who was in a nearby field. When this brother saw what the situation was ran Into the house, got a butcher knife, and returning, cut the bull’s throat.
As soon as the bull was dead the young man got an axe and released the animal’s horns from the log wall. When the girl was released she was unconscious but not seriously injured. The happening stirred the people of the Merrickville district greatly.
This is an actual hands on photo of Mother Barnes- The Witch of Plum Hollow we were shown at the last Lanark County Genealogical Society meeting,
Sunday was a dull day in Raglan township (Renfrew County)and no one appeared to be going to church. There was no church, and the only religious services were held in the school house, the minister being a student from the Lutheran College, who made his headquarters at Mr. Yurt’s. When Sunday morning came the blacksmith’s friend inquired the distance to a church, and a man in a joking mood, told me that it was fifteen miles, and he learned later it was about ten.
The man appeared very jovial concerning church affairs and informed the gentleman that all the ‘bairns were goot’ and did not go “zu Kirche.‘ Then he added that “my bairn vent vonce a year.”
In the afternoon the gentleman found his friend the blacksmith who was working at something and apparently putting his whole soul and consideration into the work. In another place Andy, the older blacksmith was making a whippletree or mending harness which was a difficult task.
He watched his friend for awhile and then asked what he was making. “I am trying to invent perpetual motion,” said he. A very difficult thing to do, I should think said his friend.
‘Well.‘ said the smithy, “I think I can do it.” Then he added, in a joking way, I had Mrs. Barnes tell my fortune, and she told me I would not be successful. But she don’t know anything! She Is fraud! Just a minute, I will show you a letter that came from her.
Running upstairs, he got the letter, and. with an air of disgust at the contents, he carelessly tossed It over with the remark, ‘Read that. You will see she knows nothing.’ Then, indignantly, he added’ “Look what she says about my marriage. I never asked her any thing about marriage. I have as much notion of getting married as I have of hanging myself. I can hardly keep myself. I am here living with my sisters. I was hoping of getting into McLachlan’s shanty as a shoer but did not succeed.”
After he had finished his explanation his friend opened the letter and read it. He remembers the style of the handwriting which was fine and even indicating the writer was in a pensive mood. The ink was of old fashioned black ink.
The letter said:
I received your letter asking for information about your present undertaking. You will not be successful in your present work which is too difficult for you. You are working hard, but your surroundings afford you no opportunities to combine your work in order to be successful. You will be married to a young lady whom you have never seen.
Your marriage will take place in the early part of the present year. The first part of the letter is true, but I have my doubts of the second part.
The blacksmith seemed to be indignant about the matrimonial part and added that it was *money thrown away when he wrote her. She knows nothing, he said.
This incident was in February and about a month later Mr. McPhee, storekeeper for McLachlin’s and stationed at Palmer Rapids two miles distant was in need of a housekeeper. A pretty young “Gretchen” of nineteen came from Killaloe to apply for the housekeeper job. She was neat and tidy and generally wore high-coloured dresses, sometimes profusely frilled. The young blacksmith was captivated and it needed no prophet to sea that Cupid’s darts were flying thick and fast. Finally the climax came and they were married in May.
Everyone was asked to the wedding, and as his friend congratulated the young blacksmith he remarked,
“Mrs. Barnes evidently knew what she was talking about.”
” It looks that way now.” he said, “but then I could not believe it.”
*Mrs. Barnes Fees were 25 cents
This was posted on the Tales of Carleton Place yesterday by Jim Hicks and Doug B. McCarten said Jim Hicks it was extensively restored by the previous owner who just (I guess) sold it! She did a remarkable job! My family is very grateful to her for it had previously fallen into disrepair! She ran it as a museum dedicated to Granny Barnes memory. I wonder what will happen to it now? (home of the Witch of Plum Hollow)
Thanks to all of you once again we have pieced a lot of the story about this house on Princess Street in Carleton Place.
Ted Hurdis said that when they were kids the local rumour was that an old lady lived by herself there. Rumours travelled far and wide that she never left the house and never let anyone in because she had money hidden all over the house. Ted said that he never really kept track of the house through the years and remembers hearing at some point she had passed. He said he wondered who got all that money because of the old childhood rumours.
Laureen Brunke-Doucett said— I have lived just up the street for 34 years, and there was an elderly lady who lived in that home. She used to walk past my house on her daily walks, but other than that she was quite reclusive. My recall is that she became ill, and her niece from Quebec moved her into a facility in Quebec and the home has been abandoned ever since. I believe that she left about 25 years ago. I never knew her name.
Miss Ethel Sample was a cousin of Hulbert Donaldson
Stephen GilesLaureen Brunke-Doucett, the woman you saw was Charlotte Garland, the daughter of Miss Sample.
Stephen Giles said– This house was owned by Holly Donaldson, brother of the Donaldson who lived across the street and Uncle of Mrs. Empey who lived at the corner of Princess and Lisgar St.
Holly had a roommate, a Miss Sample, who rarely left the property but would sit on the front porch in a rocking chair. As I recall she wore dark glasses as she was almost blind. Having grown up on the street I can honestly say that I may have seen her maybe 10 times.
After Holly died, Miss Sample’s daughter, Charlotte Garland, came from Shawville to look after her. I also remember Charlotte’s daughter Marie spending a few days every summer at the house. Eventually the Garlands sold their farm in Shawville and moved in full time. They lived there until their deaths when at that time Marie inherited the property. My numerous calls to Marie seeking to purchase the property in the years that followed were never returned. I understand that Abbie Hurdis who lived behind the property also attempted to purchase it but he was also unsuccessful.
Donovan Hastie– I grew up around the corner from that house and they used to tap the maple trees that were beside the sidewalk in the spring. There were also raspberry bushes to the left of the house that I enjoyed. Charlott and Ernest also had chickens there too I believe. There was no shortage of heat when the wood stove was rockin’ either.
Stephen Giles– The wood stove was fired up all year long!! It would be 30C in July and it would be like a furnace in the house.
Lise Heroux– I am currently working on the story of all the people who have lived in this house, owners and otherwise. It is a far-reaching and beautiful story. The house has been passed down through a set of relatives since 1884.–The old lady some of you remember was Ethel SAMPLE. She lived to the ripe old age of 95 and died in the Carleton Place hospital, in 1980. She had been born and grew up in Montague Twp, on a farm. Ethel had inherited the Princess St. house from her younger sister, Annie.
Stephen GilesInteresting…didn’t know that she owned the property. I guess Holly was a boarder….
The Balderson Cheese Factory dates back to 1881 and was named after the village of Balderson which was originally founded by Sergeant John Balderson of the British Army. This company was created by fifty one milk shippers who collectively decided to form a dairy co-operative and build their own cheese factory which would provide them with a reliable and local market for their milk.
The Balderson Corner’s cheese factory grew in popularity and prospered over the next decate. In 1892-93 it was one of twelve local factories that was selected to contribute in the making of the Mammoth Cheese which was Canada’s unique dairy display at the Chicago World’s Fair. The company’s development continued without any major setbacks until in 1928 the factory was destroyed by fire. Fortunately the determination of the shareholders did not falter and rebuilding started immediately. No word if Carleton Place had cheese for life after that incident.
Cheesemakers: W. Brown 1881-1887, J. Milton 1888-1891, W.D. Simes 1892-1901, E.E. Haley 1902-1904, J.M. Scott 1905-1911, T.K. Whyte 1912-1917, M. Haley 1918-1921, A. Quinn 1922-1929, G. Spencer 1930, P. Kirkham 1931-1937, J.L. Prentice 1937-1939, C.J. Bell 1939-1941, J. Somerville 1941-1942, W. Partridge 1943, C. Gallery 1944-1955, R. Lucas 1956-1958, P. George 1959-1960, O. Matte 1961-1966, Y. Leroux 1966-1974, L. Lalonde 1975-1980, N. Matte 1980.
1954 Balderson Cheese Factory
John Closs—Lawrence Lalonde and Yves Leroux from Balderson Cheese on the outside.Young men. Andrea McCoy Centre
Prentice family at Balderson Cheese Factory, about 1942
Mrs.James Balderson, sr., died at the family home, ninth line of Bathurst, onFriday, the 21st instant, at the age of 74 years. She had been ill for over three months. Deceased was born on the third concession of Bathurst, her maiden name being Mary Noonan, daughter of the late James Noonan,one of the prominent men of his day in this district.
Her marriage took place on May 26th, 1858, and had she lived a week longer, her married life would have spanned fifty-one years. She settled with her husband on the ninth line, and there they lived for over half a century in peace and prosperity. She is survived by her husband and the following family: James, in Bathurst; Miss Hannah, Toronto;William at home; Miss Annie, New York; Geo. Formerly of COURIER, now in San Francisco; Tom, in Bathurst; and Robert, teacher at Harper.
James and D.R. Noonan, town are brothers,and Mrs. O’Neil, Oswego, and Mrs. Lee, of Buffalo, are sisters. Here is the first death in the family since the celebration of the golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. James Noonan last winter at which she was present. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon to St. John’s church, thence to the parish cemetery. (28 May 1909 pg 4)
Balderson in 1905 boasted few trees along the dirt road which was the main road to Perth. In the top photo from the left: the original Balderson cheese factory erected in 1881, the Noonan Blacksmith Shop, Cowie home, Anglican Church and rectory. From the right: the Noonan home, Jone’s Store, Haley property (1962), J.M. McGregor property, J.C. McGregor barn and home. Balderson at one time was known as Clarksville.– Perth Remembered