Merril Munro, 9 year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Munro, Jr., 11th line of Ramsay Township, was the object of an intensive search from Monday evening until he was found on Tuesday. Mr. Munro purchased Mrs. W. H. Robertson’s farm on the 11th line at the first of this year. At the back of the farm is a large swamp which runs down to the Mississippi river. The boy had gone to bring the cows home and thought he heard a cowbell in the swamp.
It is thought that he merely heard an echo as the cows had come home themselves. He became completely lost and when he came to the river bank he made a comfortable bed of leaves (so he said) and slept until morning. In the meantime a search party had been organized and shots were fired to try to attract his attention.
The searchers gave up at midnight but continued their search at daylight. Mr. Thos. Command who was patrolling the river in a boat about 10 a.m. Tuesday discovered the lad and rowed across to Percy Drynan’s on Highway 29. From there he was brought to his home. It is noteworthy that the boy was not afraid nor did he complain of being cold. It is understood some of the searchers kept on looking for the lad for some time after he had been found until word reached them to that effect.
Saturday I wore an oversized green rhinestone alligator necklace on my Ghost Story Ride for Pumpkinfest. First thing I asked everyone? Why I was wearing this huge thing around my neck that fit more into a hip hop video LOL. Of all the people that came on board only two folks knew the reason why.
I wore it because of the sign originally put up by David White at the corner of Lake Avenue East and McNeely, where the clay pits once were and later turned into a swamp. Now there are condo buildings there. All that sign said was :“No swimming …Alligators” Colleen White Comden said: “This is my dad’s (David White) sign. I remember when he put it up and was getting a kick out of it. He has a great sense of humour and and particularly enjoyed an article about it that was in then local paper a few years ago.”
This sign still exists on the wall of the foyer at Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. It is a great collectors piece, so make sure you drop in to see it.
Years ago I had Next Gen signs make me a replica and it was on the chain fence for a couple of years thanks to Ralph Shaw and then Hydro took it down.
For years the No Swimming Alligators sign sat on a tree the swamp where they used to get clay for the brick factory. No one really ever did see an alligator, but then again you can’t really be sure.
In August of 1935 in Waterloo, Ontario a six – foot alligator had been seen by two people in the marshy section adjoining the Bridgeport Road. It appeared to be much more fact than fiction. The Town Engineer C. B. Necker received a letter from H. Gordon Green, tanner and local fur dealer. Mr. Green advanced the suggestion the alligator seen here might have been one that escaped from his yard in the spring of 1934. Mr. Greene said the animal that escaped was six feet long and a female. A year later a young boy found a small alligator in the waters of the same area. Was it offspring from the escaped one?
In 2008 the swamp was drained and trees cut down for apartment buildings. So what happened to the Alligator of the Lake Ave East Swamp? No one knows for sure, but I might check the Coleman apts..:). You just never know.!
One of our local poets Carol Stephen even wrote a poem about it. Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The wedding ceremony was so brief, so simple, and the words uttered in such a rushed way that there was some doubt in the minds of the lovers as to whether they were really married. But Reverend Buchanan had informed them that they were married, so they were. As they got back on to their horses the husband spoke to his wife that perhaps they had better go to Carleton Place and see someone who was an ordained minister, but the young woman said no, that it was just as binding “in law and before God.” Her husband joking replied that it was his new wife’s desire to further conserve that five-dollar bill that prompted her not to acquiesce to the danger of parting with a fee to another preacher.
I was all set to tell you where I went today, BUT as I sat here looking at the computer screen; I had to get something out of my system. Today I drove by at least a dozen swamps, and as I complained in the Blakeney and Beckwith blog- there was no way I could handle situations like that in those early years. I repeat, NO way my lace up granny boots of years gone by were getting wet for any man or Promised Land. Are you saying I am allergic to pioneer exercise? Honey, I still haven’t found the right exercise yet–let alone then.
Lanark county has 47 provincially significant wetlands. Some of the largest are Blueberry Marsh (north of Perth), the Innisville Wetlands (upstream of Mississippi Lake) and the Goodwood Marsh south of Carleton Place. Those would be the major ones-there are thousands of minor ones. Settlers tell of long stretches of swamp where, by actual measurement, the black mud was over three feet in depth
Since I have shrunk now to 5ft 5, that would leave me 2 feet of clearance. Well, there goes the knickers and part of the camisole and I refuse to ever be a soggy-bottom gal. (Okay, no mention to aging women changing their underwear after sneezing) There were also thousands of stinging and biting insects and forests full of wild pigeons sometimes flying in flocks of “five acres”. Five acre flocks of poop dropping pigeons? You know what happens–some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are the statue. You want pioneer women to carry guns too? Oh hell I know, those early illegal Lanark squatters aren’t going to shoot themselves.
“The trails and bridle-paths by which they came, sometimes carrying their belongings, sometimes leading oxen with an ox-cart, wound laboriously through towering forests and dank swamps, across flooded creeks, up log-strewn hills and around black morasses. And when, at last, some summer evening, they reached their destination, they found a still denser wilderness, with only the frogs and the wolves to sing a chorus of welcome”.
Wolves like in the Fiddler’s Hill wolves? Oh Lord-I can’t even think about this now. It’s like potato chips. I hear about one darn swamp, a few wolf howls, think back, and I just can’t stop complaining. It’s seriously a disturbing amount of knowledge.
As a beginning, the new-comers, unused to axe-work, were obliged to cut a road twenty miles long through the wooded wilderness before they could reach the principal place of settlement, and, arriving there, found the surveying of their lands only beginning. Sometimes, too, the promised rations were stopped for very slight reasons.
I’m sorry, but I even hate camping. I am a “mints on the pillow” “fresh towels” sort of gal. I wouldn’t have done this for any man, not even if he had an over sized wagon with jacked up large tires and big springs. I would have told my pioneer husband right away: Don’t make me wade through a bunch of your personal issues and three-foot mud to find a new life in wherever the-hell-it-is. I don’t give a crap about your never-ending issues and desires, I’m not your therapist. I just want to get to the damned Promised Land somewhere in Lanark County- and make that pronto!
Listen, anyone cooking in a designer toga and cooking in a 900 square foot stainless steel and granite kitchen should not be calling herself pioneer anything. My Grammy had a recipe for baked chicken and the first line was, “Catch yourself a good size chicken”. Well, that shot my cholesterol up to about 9000- especially after the thought of having to deal with struggling animals. Was there really dignity in being a pioneer woman? Sorry, mine is under the stove somewhere. Did Lanark County male pioneers really want to be trekkies before their time? Count me out! Stay tuned tomorrow to where I really went-without the complaining.
No person who has never been in a new settlement can conceive how fatiguing and unpleasant it is to wade through swamp and bushes, and climb over rocks and fallen timber under a burning sun and surrounded with clouds of mosquitoes. Every night when I reached home I was ready to drop down both with corporeal and mental fatigue.