A long time ago journalism used to be frank and very descriptive rather than political to sell papers.
In 1887 a Perth correspondent upset a local politician because he appeared at a public meeting in one of the local taverns with his hair parted in the middle. He wore a circular comb such a little girl wears at school pushed back over his intellectual brow to keep the hair from shading his “massive, frontal developments”.
There was a “gold boom” in the township of Madoc and that overshadowed politics as it was reported that settlers along the Hasting Road had gold on the brain. The first refugees from the European-oppression countries were also arriving in the same area. These were from Poland, and the reporters at the Pembroke Observer noted that a party of Polish emigrants arrived by the steamer Jason Gould. The steamer operated on the Muskrat from Cobden to Pembroke, and the emigrants settled temporarily on the hill at the western end of the village before moving to the back townships and were strong and healthy.
The Union House on McKay street around Hunter’s store in Pembroke informed the public of “good stabling and attentive hostlers”, with “the table supplied with the” best the market affords”. Renfrew village was prospering as the terminus of the “Iron Horse”. Its’ Dominion Hotel, under Craig and McDonnell advertised that its “Table and Bar will be kept well supplied with all that can be desired”. Its rival, the Albion Hotel, advertised that it was “at the Railway Station” and then added superfluously: “free bus to and from Pembroke, Portage du Fort and Eganville stages –call at the Albion Hotel”.
The County was flourishing and Francis Hincks the Prime Minister that lasted for 10 weeks, had made his home in Renfrew’s Exchange Hotel in Room Number Six looking for a political haven when Sir James A MacDonald’s regime began to crack.
Most accommodation in those days were in private homes that had been converted into serving the general public. Of course with the growing population and the railways, private homes became too small and new public buildings were built and called hotels with everything one would need to look after the travelling public.
Of course men became to be owned by the whiskey bottle as some said. Newspapers began flexing their literary muscle with their temperance thoughts blaming those in power for the condition of the very wet counties.
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 and The Tales of Almonte
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun Screamin’ Mamas (USA) and The Sherbrooke Record