Tag Archives: tay valley

Documenting Brooke Valley Hippies 1992

Documenting Brooke Valley Hippies 1992


Ormond Lee has a question. And he’s serious: “Have you ever done a psychedelic?” The 40-year-old tree planter seems disappointed that his visitor has not experimented with hallucinogenic “psychedelic” drugs such as LSD or magic mushrooms. “If you haven’t, you might not know what we’re talking about.”

Lee and his friends are discussing how they’ve managed to hang on to hippie values and lifestyles long after most fellow baby boomers traded their love beads for power suits. Brooke Valley is one of numerous pockets across North America where the 1960s never really went away. This rural area west of Perth became known by locals as “hippie valley” after it was settled by American draft dodgers in the 1960s. Young people from all over Canada came here to drop out of mainstream society and turn on to drugs, communal living and cosmic love. Today, several dozen people subsist in a variety of odd houses, including one with a sod roof. They make their own music, run an alternative school and shake their fists at police helicopters patrolling for marijuana over their organic vegetable gardens.

Yet within the privacy of the community there is whispered debate about whether they have truly escaped consumer culture and expanded their spiritual’ consciousness or whether they are being tainted by the materialism of the 1990s. “This is a very yuppie community .now,” says Dawn King, 45, one of the original Brooke Valley hippies. “Ours is one of the few families without a TV or VCR.”

Morning Glory Farm is a former hippie commune that has learned to adapt to the 1990s with success. Located about 200 kilometres northwest of Ottawa near Killaloe, it started 23 years ago with about 15 people in two houses sharing work and meals. Today six adults and nine children live in six houses. Each family owns a share of the 100-acre site. “Everyone is happy with the way it is now,” says resident Christina Anderman. 33. “We consider it a neighborhood except closer. We have our separate lives, but we take care of the land together.” Anderman’s husband Robbie, 44, was one of the founders. He dropped out of University of Toronto’s Rochdale College (which later earned notoriety as a drug centre) to help buy the $4,300 parcel of land. “The original idea was to learn to live on the land as a community, with everyone helping each other,” he recalls. “Basically it was an open door for years.” It eventually evolved into separateon: dwellings because of disagreements about lifestyle (some wanted to build new buildings, while others got stoned and disappeared for days), gardening techniques and food. “People couldn’t agree whether we should eat meat or not, whether we should just eat grains or macrobiotic or raw food,” says Robbie. Similar disagreements and tendencies towards individualism led to the breakup of a commune at McDonald’s Corners, near Brooke Valley, where Or-mond Lee lived for 11 years. He had taken a vow of poverty and shared his material wealth with anywhere from 18 to 60 fellow residents. The commune disbanded in 1985 and many of its residents drifted into Brooke Valley.

“Up to that point we put all our money into one pot and shared it out as we needed it,” said Lee. “Then people started wanting to have their own money. That’s when I stopped enjoying it.” While Iee won’t disclose whether he still uses dings, he says they’re one reason he has maintained his hippie values. “Good clean acid opens up your heart. It shows you compassion. It shows that you’re one with the universe, that you have to take care of everything around you.” Dawn King challenges this rosy picture. “They’re using it to deaden consciousness, not expand it.” Today the word “commune” is a faintly embarrassing anachronism that conjures up an image of group sex. The current hip term is “intentional community.” “The word ‘commune’ makes people think we want a whole bunch of people to keep coming and living here and that’s not really true,” says Christina An-derman. “It also tends to attract guys who are drunk and want to see if we’re working in the garden with no clothes on.” Kenneth Westhues, a sociology professor at University of Waterloo who studied the hippie movement, estimates that tens of thousands of North Americans are still living communally. “But most (hippies) got married, got kids, got a mortgage and now vote left,” says Westhues. The goals of the movement were transformation of western society through social justice, peace, spirituality and a back-to-the-land lifestyle. “We don’t want to spend as much money or spend that much time making it,” explains Olga Zuyderhoff, 39, of Brooke Valley. She and her common-law husband Cam Gray, 41, support themselves and their three children on about $15,000 a year.

“Having these alternate values is really swimming upstream,” says Gray. “Lots of people pay lip service, but even around here people are getting bigger and better cars and swimming pools.” Gray is a self-employed carpenter by day and rock musician by night. Zuyderhoff is homeschooling their children, Orion, 9, Flinder, 7, and Marlen, 3. They have an outhouse, chickens and a 1975 Buick Regal. “We try and define what our values are and maintain them by staying close as a family,” says Gray. The entire family sleeps in two double beds pushed together. Zuyderhoff had her children at home and nursed them until they were two years old. “It’s an experiment,” she says of their child-rearing. “I don’t know what the end result will be. I think my children are learning to become nice human beings.” But Dawn King, who worked as a midwife while raising four children without electricity or running water, is tired of experimenting. “That lifestyle is so physically exhausting and time-consuming that it was self-abusive,” says King, who is on social assistance. “We were trying to go back to the way pioneers did it. I’m much more realistic now.” Although she still raises most of her own food, she has electricity and a washing machine. “I’m not going to wash clothes by hand anymore.” At the Morning Glory commune, Robbie Anderman also recalls the difficulties of the early days. He shakes his head at the memory of middle-class city kids learning how to garden, chop wood and survive winter in the bush. “We made a lot of mistakes.”

Robbie avoided the Vietnam War draft because his parents got a psychiatrist to write a letter saying drug use made him unfit for service. Today Robbie is the volunteer principal of the farm’s alternative elementary school. He makes dulcimers, a wood folk instrument, while Christina works part-time at a health-food store in Killaloe. They have a well and a solar panel, which provides energy for their fridge and stereo. The Andernians support their children Daniel, 13, Daryl, 11, Ethan, 8, and Benjamin, 4 on $12,000 a year. His parents bought them a car. And they are hoping to earn some savings through sales of a child backpack carrier they invented. “Basically it’s fun here,” says Daryl, adding: “I don’t miss having a TV. Some of the stuff they put on it is pretty absurd.” The Andernians stopped smoking marijuana with the birth of their first child. “If a child needs me, I can’t be too spaced out,” says Robbie. The “free love” of the ’60s was part media invention and part sad myth, says Robbie. He and Christina got married barefoot in an apple orchard near his parents’ home in New York. He is Jewish, she is Quaker and the ceremony was American Indian. “Part of free love is avoiding responsibility,” he says. “That’s why in this area there are a lot of women with children and no men around.” While most former hippies have become mature adults, others retain a certain narcissistic, self-indulgent quality, says Westhues. Indeed, Cam Gray shows impatience when attention is directed to someone else during a discussion at Brooke Valley. “You’re losing me,” he snaps. “I’m getting uninterested. This is just trivialities.” Westhues says the hippie movement’s legacy is greater sexual freedom, feminism and environmentalism. But he says it fell short of genuine political change because people don’t get involved. Gray sees it differently: “Our lifestyle is a political statement.”

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada29 Sep 1992, Tue  •  Page 21

The beginnings of a wonderful school-

Brooke Valley School
click here

Brooke Valley School –The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

The Hagarty Township Hippies 1981 – The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Anyone Remember The Farm???? The Hippie Years of Lanark County

Hippies Wars in Carleton Place

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Go Back to Your Holes!

Woodstock in Carleton Place– Let the Tambourines Play and — And About That Junk Pile!

No Hippies in Carleton Place! — The Children of God

Do You Remember Yoshiba’s Retreat? Clayton

Documenting The Brooke Valley Hippies – 1981

Documenting The Brooke Valley Hippies – 1981


The locals call it Hippie Valley. But on the map it’s known as Brooke Valley, a sprawling spread west of Perth that looks more like the Ponderosa than a hippie haven. It’s a place where the folk are so self-sufficient, some have decided to take the education of their children into their own hands. Jim and Ruth Dcacovc, both former public school teachers, did it for 12 years. Recess for the Deacove girls used to be a game of basketball or a cross-country ski in the back field with Dad. Science class was helping out in the garden. “We’re self-admitted renegades,” says Jim, who with his wife Ruth now make cooperative games. “We did our 12-year duty and fulfilled our social work contract with society.”

This year Tanya, 13, and Christa, 12, went back to the public school in preparation for high school. The girls are products of young professional parents who have joined a number of Canadians who believe public schooling is not all it’s chalked up to be. The Canadian Alliance of HomeschoolerS now numbers about 300 families across Canada. It was founded two-and-a-half years ago as a support system for parents who wished to take their children out of public school, by Wendy and Rolf Priesnitz who live in a rural area near Hamilton. “There are a lot of people very unhappy with the school system,” said Priesnitz.

In the Perth area there are just two children now in home instruction and just a handful of “homeschooled” children in urban areas. Right now, there are none in Ottawa-Carleton. The concept of home instruction seems to attract the young professionals who have moved to rural areas to seek a different lifestyle. The Kerrs, who live abcut 80 kilometres east of Ottawa, just outside the little village of Dalkeith, Ont., still practise “homes-chooling.” The Kerr kids learn about fractions by baking whole-wheat bread or bran muffins. “I guess we were considered mavericks at first.” says Pat Kerr. The Deacoves and the Kerrs say they enjoyed their years in the school system. All four are university graduates, but they, began to realize with their own children that public schooling was not the answer. As well, the two couples wanted to be closer to their children, watch them grow up and have more of a hand their development than is possible in most families. While home instruction is not encouraged by boards of education, parents do have the legal right to educate their children.

“I wouldn’t contemplate it (home instruction) knowing the benefits of the school system to children,” says Bob Cressman, director of education for the Lanark County Board, whose board takes in the Brooke Valley area. Parents are not required to have a teaching certificate in order to teach their children at home. As long as the program and studies set out by the parents is satisfactory to education officials, parents are allowed to excuse their children from school for one year.The inspection process is usually repeated on an annual basis. Cressman considers the idea a “fad” that started in the early 1970s with the increase of communal living.

“I’m not even sure from my point of view if it’s a good idea having everything come from the wife and husband … I don’t see it as a broad enough education. “Home instruction depends a lot on parents,” he says. “If they are former teachers, the instruction given them could be excellent, but how they would develop on a social and emotional level in a restricted environment is perhaps questionable.” Ken Johnson, provincial school attendance counsellor, is in charge of investigating all complaints by school boards if children are not attending school. He and his staff are asked to investigate about two cases of home instruction every year.

“A child is excused from attending school if he or she is receiving a satisfactory education at home or elsewhere.” Parents who teach their children at home can be charged by their boards of education if the program is not found suitable by board officials with neglecting a child’s education and if found guilty, can be fined a maximum $100. Few charges in year Johnson figures there are about two or three cases a year in the six Ontario educational regions. “We have to protect the child’s right to education,” said Johnson. “Most parents 99.9 per cent of them are well-meaning, but some are over-indulgent or over-protective of their child. “Of course it causes concern with boards because of declining enrolment, but there is no panic,” said Johnson. “It’s not popular.” Parents who teach their children at home agree it’s not for everyone. The Deacoves say parents must be dedicated and be willing to devote a lot of time to their children. Their days must be structured and disciplined, but the benefits to learning at home are immense a one-to-one teacher-student relationship and incorporating education into everyday tasks.

The family began their routine at 9 a.m. and finished at 3:30 p.m. The day consisted of reading, writing and math. Subjects such as home economics were picked up by the girls when they mended clothes, science class became working in the garden and learning about crop rotations and pollination of flowers. “After teaching in public school systems we experienced a lot of discontent about the role we had to play,” said Jim. “An immense amount of time is spent on things other than learning and developing as a person.” They wanted an alternative for their children a system in which the kids wouldn’t be under constant competitive pressure. “There are an awful lot of tests and exams going on perpetually … in our view they tend to shift the emphasis on learning to extraneous factors such as rewards, status and privileges,” said Jim. “But with our homeschooling approach they took our progress checks and if they didn’t understand a concept we tried a different perspective. “Academically I don’t think they suffered,” said Ruth, who did question the lack of social contact the girls might have missed. But they always had friends and at one time were part of a small school started in the valley by her parents.

Time to join others last September, the Deacoves felt it was time for their girls to go to regular school. Tanya would soon be entering high school and taking subjects the Deacoves felt they couldn’t handle. “She (Tanya) needed a thorough year of immunization before the big pressure situation.” They say they’re enjoying it and finding it easy. “Teachers don’t expect very much,” said 12-year-old Christa. “They ask you to do an assignment and expect it in two weeks . . I figured we had to hand it in the next day.” Both girls said they had trouble adapting to some things. Tanya is worried about exams and Christa said grammar was foreign to her when she first started back at school. “I didn’t even know what a noun or a verb was, but I passed my exam with 90 per cent.”

The Kerr’s have five children. Their eldest, Carolyn, is back at school after two years at home. Sunny, 7, will stay out of school until he feels ready to attend. The Kerrs said they set up a schedule for their children a rigid school-like system that lasted only two weeks. It didn’t seem to work. “I felt she, (Carolyn) was demanding too much … she expected me to be her teacher.” Their oldest child, Carolyn, had a difficult time at school. She just hated going. “We also wanted to keep in touch with them and see them learning and growing,” said Pat. “We wanted to be with them while they were doing it.” A lot of what she did was practical working in the kitchen and outside. The Kerr’s pick up books for their children at book sales and taught them to read from them. While Carolyn has a well-rounded vocabulary, she was behind in math. Remedial classes fixed that. The Kerr kids will attend school when, they decide they are ready.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 May 1981, Thu  •  Page 45

The beginnings of a wonderful school-

Brooke Valley School
click here

Brooke Valley School –The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

Documenting Brooke Valley Hippies 1992

The Hagarty Township Hippies 1981 – The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Anyone Remember The Farm???? The Hippie Years of Lanark County

Hippies Wars in Carleton Place

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Go Back to Your Holes!

Woodstock in Carleton Place– Let the Tambourines Play and — And About That Junk Pile!

No Hippies in Carleton Place! — The Children of God

The Devil’s Rocks Grant’s Creek — Buchanan’s Scrapbooks

The Devil’s Rocks Grant’s Creek — Buchanan’s Scrapbooks

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Dec 1958, Fri  •  Page 19
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
07 Jun 1975, Sat  •  Page 31
Allan’s Mills, named for William Allan, was a small milling hamlet located just west of the town of Perth in Lanark County. The community got its start after Allan built saw and grist mills, followed by a general store and blacksmith shop. A post office was opened in 1872.
At its height, Allan’s Mills included a wagon maker, shoemaker, carpenter and two blacksmiths. The surrounding area was dotted with other small mills that included the McCabe Mill, the Ritchie Mill and the Bowes Mill. A school located on the Scotch Line was shared by all the surrounding settlements.
By the late 1890s, business was beginning to slip. Timber supplies had become depleted and farmers were making a gradual transition from wheat to dairy farming. Many of the mills did not survive the upheaval. Read- Allan’s Mills— Lanark County Ghost Town
Roadside view of Bowes Mill, on Bowes Road, Bathurst Ward, Tay Valley Township; Former dam and millpond at right. CLICK
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Oct 1955, Wed  •  Page 26

Perth Remembered

March 12, 2015  · GRANTS CREEK at DEVILS ROCKS 1910 Postcard. Anyone remember going back in there, behind what is now Conlon Farm and St. John’s HS?

Paul GordonIt was also a favorite Playground of myself and my good friends:Keith Fournier,Greg Bowes,Bart Young,and Bruce Blackburn–what an amazing natural setting–visited many times over the years.

Lyle MoodieGreat spot for spearing frogs & cranberry picking

Debra Sistywhat an adventure to be there for a day, we thought we had walked for miles.

Bryant MoodieI used to go there by duck boat from the “ice house” where my dad manufactured ice.

Stephen FortnerThere use to be goats up there too. Not sure who owned them 

Jeff WrightWow, used to canoe or walk up there most evenings, either fishing or hunting. That brings back a lot of good memories.

Richard FrizellI spent hours and hours and hours playing there when I was a kid !

Grant’s Creek at
   Glen Tay Road click

Postcard was bought at John Hart’s Book Store in Perth

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Aug 1861, Fri  •  Page 1

Perth Remembered
January 22, 2018  · 

This photograph taken in 1901 at the time of Queen Victoria’s death shows the John Hart Book Store on Gore Street, decorated for mourning and remembrance of Queen Victoria. Mr. Hart, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, opened his establishment in the 1850’s. He did not only sell books, his retail merchandise included heavy goods, paints and oils which were stored in a two-storey building behind the shop. He also sold wallpaper and other fancy goods and fine prints.

The Wendigo’s of Devil’s Mountain

The Devil’s Telephone? The Ouija Board

Memories of When the Devil Visited Drummond Township

Please take the Devil Out of Me? Rev. James Wilson of Lanark

Here Comes the Devil

Running the Toll Gate on Scotch Line– Mary Scott Reynolds — The Buchanan Scrapbook

Running the Toll Gate on Scotch Line– Mary Scott Reynolds — The Buchanan Scrapbook
The Old Toll Gate – Heritage Place Museum

Stock photo

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

With files from Mary Ann Chabot

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.

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..


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-

Hi Linda

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

Church of St. Brigid Stanleyville

Circumscription: Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kingston

Type: Roman-Rite Church Church

Rite: Roman (Latin)

History: 1889

Population: 160

Location: 87P5RM5R+92 Google Maps

Address: 869 Stanley Road, Stanleyville, ONTARIO

Country: Canada 


Related Reading

Minnie Jones — Born Next to the Old Lanark Toll Gate

For Whom the Toll Gates Tolled– Revised

Armstrong’s Corners: Cross Roads of History

The Toll Gates of Lanark County on Roads that Were Not Fit for Corpses

Allan’s Mills— Lanark County Ghost Town

Lanark County’s Toll-Roads

Name:Mary Reynolds
Marital Status:Married
Birth Year:abt 1861
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1891
Residence Place:Bathurst, Lanark South, Ontario, Canada
Relation to Head:Wife
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
French Canadian:No
Spouse’s Name:Richard Reynolds
Father’s Birth Place:Ontario
Mother’s Birth Place:Ontario
Division Number:1
Neighbours:View others on page
Household MembersAgeRelationshipRichard Reynolds33HeadMary Reynolds30WifeWilliam Reynolds13SonSophia Reynolds9DaughterEdward Reynolds4SonElizabeth Reynolds2Daughter
Name:Mary Reynolds
Racial or Tribal Origin:Irish
Marital Status:Married
Birth Year:abt 1861
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1 Jun 1921
House Number:130
Residence Street or Township:Oso
Residence City, Town or Village:Township of Oso
Residence District:Frontenac
Residence Province or Territory:Ontario
Residence Country:Canada
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Spouse’s Name:Richard Reynolds
Father Birth Place:Ontario
Mother Birth Place:Ontario
Can Speak English?:Yes
Can Speak French?:No
Religion:Church of England
Can Read?:Yes
Can Write?:Yes
Enumeration District:8
Sub-District Number:7
Enumerator:J Wesley Thomlison
District Description:Comprising the whole township of Oso. Sharbot Lake, Oso station, Clarendon, Crow Lake
Neighbours:View others on page
Line Number:23
Family Number:141
Household MembersAgeRelationshipRichard Reynolds63HeadMary Reynolds60WifeLloyd Reynolds22SonHarold Reynolds19SonEber Reynolds16Son

Deed of Mines? Linda’s Mailbag — Amy De Ridder

Deed of Mines? Linda’s Mailbag — Amy De Ridder




Good morning! Recently purchased a property on Black lake and found a pile of old information and wills and a very little about a deed of mines on a large property by a Bernard Farrell in 1872 I’m interested if you have ever heard of any mining property near Black Lake and any history about that area! Thanks Amy De Ridder




Lake Details: Black Lake contains many islands and inlets to explore. There is a large wildlife population within its vicinity.

Dimensions: 846 acres, Maximum Depth of 70 feet

Graphite was next discovered on Lots 24 and 25, Concession 5 of old North Burgess Township southwest of Black Lake (outside the TRW) in 1917. The occurrence consists of lenses highly charged with flakes of graphite, within crystalline limestone, a contact metamorphic deposit related to intrusion of a pegmatite dyke. The Timmins Mine, as it was known, was worked from 1918-23 by Noah Timmins of Montreal. Numerous pits were opened, and diamond drilling carried out. A mill was installed and operated experimentally, but the operation was never economically viable.–Geology, Mineral Deposits and History of Mining in the Tay River Watershed

1881 Census

Name: Bernard Farrell
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Age: 76
Birth Year: 1805
Birthplace: Ireland
Religion: Catholic
Nationality: Irish
Occupation: Farmer
Province: Ontario
District Number: 111
District: Lanark South
Sub-District Number: F
Subdistrict: Burgess North


The first mining “magnate” in the Tay River Watershed area was an interesting combination of medical humanitarian and industrial visionary. Dr. James Wilson (1798-1881) was a physician and surgeon from Scotland, who emigrated to Ontario in 1818 at the age of 20, a young man fresh from medical school in Edinburgh. He first settled in the village of Lanark, but moved to Perth in about 1822, setting up a rural medical practice there until 1869, when he returned to his birthplace in Scotland to retire. By the 1830’s, he was starting to take a strong interest in the various rock outcrops that he encountered as he made his rounds to his rural patients in his horse and buggy. He was particularly fascinated with the variety of colourful minerals in the Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks west of Perth, and in the fossils that he found in the Paleozoic sedimentary rocks east of town. At that time, the science of geology was in its infancy. The conventional view was that the rocks and fossils had been placed where they were by the hand of God at the time of Creation, and hadn’t moved since. To contradict this concept was considered to be blasphemous in the least, as Charles Darwin was to discover some 20 years later. Whether or not Dr. Wilson worried too much about challenging the conservative beliefs of the majority of his pious neighbours we shall never know, at any rate, he was particularly interested in minerals that might be worked for the benefit of mankind. Untrained formally in geology himself, he kept in touch with the leading earth scientists of the day, including Sir Roderick Murchison, a British pioneer in stratigraphy. He accompanied Sir William Logan, founder of the Geological Survey of Canada, on some of the latter’s surveys, and supplied him with much information on local geology, for which he did not always receive Logan’s acknowledgement. He was the first to recognize the presence of the minerals apatite (calcium phosphate, useful in making fertilizer) and phlogopite (a form of mica) in old North Burgess Township, and to encourage the entrepreneurs amongst his friends to exploit these deposits for profit. These men included his good friends the Honourable Roderick Matheson, a wealthy merchant, magistrate and later senator who lived on Gore Street in the lovely stone house now occupied by the Perth Museum, and William Morris, who headed up the company which built the first Tay Canal. Dr. Wilson and Matheson first obtained property on Lot 5, Concession 8 of North Burgess Township (Crown grant to Matheson of the north half on Feb. 23, 1852, and the south half on October 6, 1853). Wilson obtained a grant of the north half of Lot 2, Concession 8 on July 8, 1852, and Matheson bought the south half on July 16, 1853. Actual working of the deposits (on Lot 2) began in 1855, Canada’s first phosphate (apatite) mine. Interest eventually shifted to Matheson’s property on Lot 5 (now part of the Burgess Wood subdivision), where in 1870, the first recorded commercial shipment of phosphate occurred. By this time, Wilson had returned to Scotland. Before he left, he gave his extensive rock and mineral collection to the Honourable Mr. Matheson, who stored them in his warehouse in Perth. Matheson died of a stroke in January, 1873, while writing a letter to his friend Dr. Wilson, no doubt telling him of the success of their first joint mining venture. The mineral collection was donated by his son, Colonel Allan Matheson, to the local museum, then housed in the high school. When the Perth Museum opened in 1967 in  the former Matheson House on Gore Street, the collection found a permanent home there.


That very first mine was later sold by the Matheson estate to Robert Chamblet Adams and Joseph S. Roper in 1878. The mineral rights were leased to the Anglo-Canadian Phosphate Company, Ltd. in 1886-93. In 1907, William Lees McLaren, son of lumber baron and Senator Peter McLaren (the latter had worked an adjacent property on Lot 4, Concession 8 together with Arthur Meighan in previous years), bought the property, and worked it for mica for a number of years. This became known as the McLaren Mine, and was one of the largest in this part of the province. After the initial work on Lot 2, Concession 8 commenced in 1855, other phosphate mines soon opened up in the vicinity within the TRW, including the Byrnes (1870), Otter (1870), Old Anthony (1871), and Smith (1883) workings, all now within the Mica Mines Conservation Area. Larger phosphate mines just outside the TRW in old North Burgess Township included the Munslow-Martha (1871), Hanlon (1890’s) and Silver  Queen (1903) Mines. It is interesting to note how many of the old mining families are buried in the old Roman Catholic cemetery in nearby Stanleyville, including Byrne, Hanlon, Smith, Adam and others.


The mineral phlogopite (white mica) had also been recognized by Dr. Wilson, and was produced as a by-product with the apatite in the early days of mining in old North Burgess Township. At first, it did not have much of a market. The first mine worked purely for mica was the Pike Lake Mine, on Lots 16 and 17, Concession 9 of North Burgess Township, at the eastern end of Pike Lake, which was first opened in 1860 by a New York Company. The first sheet mica produced here was shipped to France, where the French navy used it in their battleships. In 1880, Belden’s Historical Atlas of Lanark County noted that, although the operation had been discontinued, ” the supply is in great abundance and the quality of the article first class”.The mine was reopened in 1892 and again in1902, and for awhile, supplied the French Navy with sheet mica for port-holes in its battleships. The mine was so important at the time that the village of Stanleyville was known then as “Micaville”.By 1896, with markets for local phosphate drying up, mica became the most economic product, and a new mining “boom” took place within North Burgess Township, including the TRW. Local businessmen dreamed up new uses for this mineral, and the old phosphate mines were soon being reworked for mica. In time it was being used for stove and furnace windows and doors, irons, toasters, spectacles, goggles, gas-masks, lamp shades, fuse-plugs, separating leaves in electrical conductors and insulators in electric motors. Scrap mica was used for covering steam pipes and boilers, and was built up into sheets called “micanite”, using shellac as a cement. Ground mica was found to be useful in making wall-paper (it gave it lustre), a filler in paint and rubber, as a lubricant in axle-gease, and in pipe-coatings, insulation, fire-proofing, patent roofing and telephone receivers. At one time, there as many as 30 mica mines operating in old North Burgess Township alone. One of the reasons for this region’s viability for mica production was its close proximity to the Rideau Canal, which afforded a cheap transportation route to markets.


Farther from Perth in the TRW, apatite, and later, phlogopite mica, were mined in old South Sherbrooke Township in Lanark County, and old Bedford and Hinchinbrooke Townships in Frontenac County, in the latter two, in the Bobs Lake and Eagle Lake areas respectively. Just outside the TRW in North Burgess Township, the Silver Queen Mine (Lot 13, Concession 5) produced phlogopite mica from 1903 to 1909, and apatite from 1903 to1912. The mica was a light silver amber colour of excellent quality, hence the name. In its heyday, the operation boasted a boarding-house for 20 men, a boiler-house to generate steam for 3 drills and a hoist. Three pits up to 15 metres deep were worked, as well as underground chambers. The Munslow-Martha Mine (Lot 13, Concession 6, North Burgess Township) was another large producer of phosphate in the period 1887-1902, was reworked for mica from large pits in 1891-1907, again in1940 – 42 during WW II. The Hanlon Mine (Lot 11, Concession 6) had a large camp and buildings, with a shaft reaching 53 metres in depth, and produced mica from the late 1890’s to 1909. At its peak, 115 men were employed, making it the largest mining operation in old North Burgess Township.


Major mica mining in the area ended in 1912, and had practically ceased by 1925 when cheap mica began to be imported from Madagascar. Within the TRW, production of mica ceased in the Byrnes Mine (Lots 11 and 12, Concession 7, North Burgess Township) in 1904, at Smith (Lot 9, Concession 7) in 1906, in South Sherbrooke Township in 1911 (McEwen Mine), in the McLaren Mine (Lot 5, Concession 8,  North Burgess Township) in 1918, but in the Eagle Lake area (Green Mine) in 1942, Bobs Lake Mine in 1948, and Otter Mine (Lots 10 and 11, Concession 7, North Burgess Township) as late as 1952.  –Geology, Mineral Deposits and History of Mining in the Tay River Watershed


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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)





Gold Mines and Disappearances

Is there Still Gold on Wellesley Island ?

Did Anyone Find the Lost Barrel of Silver Coins That Lies at the Bottom of the Rideau Canal?

What Happened to the Gold on the Ramsay 7th line?

Gold in Dem Dar Hills of Lanark

So What Happened to the Marble at the Tatlock Mine?

My Daddy was a Miner — was Yours?

The Mysterious Tatlock Mine

The Early Days of Working in the Ramsay Mine — Going Down Down Down

Looking for the Artist of this Carleton Place Painting-The Lime Kiln

A Giant’s Kettle in the Middle of Lanark County

Where Were the Miracle Salt Springs in Pakenham? I Love a Challenge!

Gold Mines and Disappearances

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series–Volume 16– Newman’s Hall

Tales From Rocky Narrows

Tales From Rocky Narrows


Situated six miles from Portland from Oliver’s Ferry, on the Rideau Lakes, is a picturesque little spot known as the Rocky Narrows. It is little more than a memory now. It was a busy place back in the 1850s, when square timber rafting on the Rideau was at its height and the only reliable means of transportation between Ottawa and Kingston was by water.

The only passenger boats In that period were the John Stewart and the Bytown, but Innumerable tugs and barges plied up and down the river and the inhabitants of the Rocky Narrows, as well as those of other points along the river, made a living by supplying these boats with wood and provisions.

The land around the Rocky Narrows was first owned by the late Elias Chamberlain, whose forebears were U.E. Loyalist stock, but in the 1850s it was purchased by the late Patrick McCann, a highly respected gentleman who came from the county of Cavan, Ireland, and settled near Portland.

Later he moved to the Rocky Narrows where he made his living by selling cordwood to the steamboats and tugs: coal was an almost unheard of in quantity in those days. The place known as McCann’s Wharf  became the summer home of the descendant of the late Judge Cross, of Montreal, and the lower landing place was the summer home of the family of the late Dr. McCallum, of Smiths Falls.

In the fifties an Indian known as Little John lived in the neighbourhood by Rocky Narrows wharf. He appeared to be self-supporting but the inhabitants knew very little about his activities. One day he disappeared and was never heard of again. There were other natives from the St. Regis Reserve, who visited the place every spring. Here they trapped and fished and made baskets which they old to the neighbouring farmers.

A thickly settles farming district one mile above the Rocky Narrows was inhabited 150  years ago by a Scots family, and this locality naturally enough received the name of Scots Point. In later years it was inhabited by six families, noted for their intelligence and charitableness. They were the McEwens, Readys, McMeans, Willis,Wills and Polks, all natives of Ireland. A few of their descendants occupied the old homesteads and it’s said that these people maintain the friendly tradition of their ancestors and are held in high esteem throughout the district.


Map of Rocky Narrows, Tay Valley, ON

The Setting
Originally known as the Upper Narrows (to distinguish it from the Lower Narrows, the area now known as Rocky Narrows), this was a shallow, narrow section of Rideau Lake. At this time, Rideau Lake was one lake, stretching from the Westport area to First Rapids (Poonamalie). Samuel Clowes’ 1824 survey indicated that the width of open water separating the north and south shores was 363 feet (111 m), however surveys in 1827 reported widths of only 100 to 150 feet (30 – 45 m). The depth of water in summer was about one foot (0.3 m), and it was commonly used as a ford. The length (along the line of the lake) of the shallows at Upper Narrows was estimated to be 250 feet (76 m) by MacTaggart, and 1,000 feet (305 m) during a later survey by Lt. Frome. The discrepancy in those numbers is likely simply due to the naturally fluctuating water levels of Rideau Lake. Read more here.. CLICK

 - Played Trick on a Balky Horse Animal Went Up...

 - Portland - On Rideau as Was Known Back in Year...


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.


Tales from Oliver’s Ferry

Rideau Ferry Road– Black Snakes Bridges and SS#6

The Tragic Tale of the Rideau Ferry Swing Bridge

The Coutts House- Rideau Ferry Inn

The Remains of the Bethel Methodist Church

The Remains of the Bethel Methodist Church


Photo by: fiso

Bethel Methodist Church

Concession 11, Bennett Lake, Bathurst

In 1893, the Bethel Methodist Church was built. The brick building was erected to replace an old log building which was much too small for the congregation. In order to start a fund for the building of the church, Mr. William Pratt donated $100. Dedicated to the cause, Mr. Pratt also collected funds for the church, gathering $300 in one day. Members from the community all pitched in where they could donating money, lumber and hard work.


Photo by: fiso

Mr. Dick Campbell was responsible for the stone work, the Bishop Bros did the framework and Messrs. Charlton and Buchanan did the brick work. The minister at the time, Reverend Barry Pierce painted the church. During the construction of the church, the workers boarded free of charge at Mr. William Pratt’s. The church was free of debt when it was completed, and with the small remaining funds, a shed was built for the church.


Photo by: fiso

The church held no socials or suppers and people donated what they could. Money, food, fuel and horse fodder were all donated to the minister from church goers. The first wedding to be held in the church was between Thomas North and Margaret Pratt, and the last wedding, the union of Harold McGinnis and Violet VanAlstine was held in 1942.

In 1947 Maberly’s sister church, Bethel United Church, built in 1893 and located eight miles north of Maberly on the 11th concession of Bathurst Township, collapsed. The roof collapsed in 1959 and at this point the building had been vacant for some time. A monument can be found where the church once stood on Bennett Lake Road.  With files from Tay Valley History


Photo by : fiso

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

  1. relatedreading

The Almonte Fire 1955– Almonte United Church

For the Love of St. Andrew’s– 130th Anniversary

Who Really Built the Baptist Church in Carleton Place?

Drummond Centre United Church — and The Ireton Brothers 38 Year Reunion–Names Names Names

Notes About The First Baptist Church in Perth

Smith’s Falls and District Baptist Church

Memories of The Old Church Halls

Tales From the Methodist Church in Perth

Knox Church– McDonald’s Corners

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

St. Augustine’s Church and Christ Church

Before and After — Auld Kirk

Another Example of Local Random Acts of Kindness- Zion Memorial United Church

The Beckwith Baptist Church

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976

What did Rector Elliot from St. James Bring Back from Cacouna?

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

A Sneeze of a Tune from St. Andrew’s Church in Carleton Place

Let The Church Rise– A Little History of St. James Anglican Church

The Harper Family of Perth

The Harper Family of Perth


Rev. W. G. T. Brown (1873-1951)

W. T. L. Harper (1907-1990)

By D. B. Anderson (1932 – )

After the close of Napoleon s career in Europe in 1815, many British soldiers and some naval men obtained land in what was familiarly known as the Perth settlement.

The little town of Perth did not spring up spontaneously. The site was chosen by the Government as the head of a district lying north of the Midland and Johnstown districts, comprising a great part of the Ottawa Valley in Upper Canada. Men were hired to clear the land and to erect certain buildings necessary for the administration of Justice.

To the Perth settlement from Queens County, Ireland, came James, Joseph and Ephraim Harper, with their sister, Mary Ann. Joseph Harper was born around 1766 at Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland. He served in the Yeomanry Militia during the Irish rebellion of 1798. He was not a soldier but, like many others, he came hoping to improve his lot and find a future for his children. It is not easy to visualize the long weary journey, weeks tossing on the Atlantic in a small wooden sailing ship, crowded with seasick passengers and without the conveniences of our very poorest vessels of the present day.

He and his wife, Mary Boyle, with daughters Mary, Jane, Ellen and Nancy, arrived in Canada on the “Prince Augusta” on June 2,1818. During the crossing their son, John, was buried at sea. He had been injured on the playground at school and was
afterwards a cripple. Nancy, a child of but six years, who did not suffer from seasickness, as did the others, remembered the tears and sad outcry of her stricken mother that “she had left all her friends in Ireland, and now her one little son in the sea”.

From Quebec the family travelled up the St. Lawrence to Montreal and thence still farther up by boat and portage to either Prescott or Brockville. From the St. Lawrence, the settlers would push their way back through the woods and swamps, crossing many streams that no longer exist, finally reaching Perth. Here the Government had erected some sort of protection on the “island” for immigrant families, where they might remain until the husband and father had “drawn” his land made a trip to it and built some rude shelter of logs and brush.

Joseph Harper secured land in the township of North Burgess on Lot NE 15, Conc. 8 on July 23, 1818. and there he removed with his wife and their four daughters: Mary, Jane, Ellen and Nancy. On January 31, 1819, in a rude shanty in the woods, a son was born and named Ephraim Boyle Harper. Some time later on November 5, 1820, a daughter Elizabeth (Bessie) was born.

Harper was a weaver and, as it was still the day of the hand-loom, he seems to have done a good business among the settlers. Alas, the burden of making a home in the wilderness fell heavily on his daughters. However, the family prospered and soon had not only the work oxen of every pioneer, but horses also.

The girls were good horsewomen. An occasional trip on horseback to Perth and some visits to a more distant neighbourhoods helped to relieve the monotony of life in the bush. Mary and Jane had been to boarding school in Clonmel, Ireland, but Ellen and Nancy were too young to leave their parents before the migration to Canada. As there was no school in the wilds, these two girls were never in school, but did receive some education at home. Later this was supplemented by their brother, Ephraim, while little more than a child himself. Ellen was fond of good reading and had a memory stored with the Bible and Shakespeare, Milton and other great English classics.

In their old age, Ellen and Nancy, who could remember little or nothing of Ireland, had stories to tell of their fun and mishaps in the woods of Canada – stories that had to do with horseback riding, riding colts without saddles and being thrown in mud or snow.

One story of another type of escapade must have come from their very early years. Their father had a large hollow basswood cut into suitable lengths and cleaned out for storing grain. The two little girls thought one of these might provide the thrill of a swift downhill ride. Nancy’s turn came first. She got in and Ellen started the block on its way. Once started, there was no stopping it till the bottom of the hill was reached, while inside the wild screams told of a head being bumped from side to side in the wildly careening log, as it gathered speed down the rough hill.

Mary Harper, born in Ireland November 9, 1802, was the eldest child of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper.In 1822, before she had completed her twentieth year, she married John Deacon. He had come to Canada from Kilkenny, Ireland in 1816, the son of an Irish family of the Perth settlement. (Marriage Bonds of Ontario – 1803-1834)

John Deacon of Drummond, yeoman and Mary Harper of Burgess, spinster, March 25, 1822 at Perth, Ontario.

Bondsmen: Joseph Harper of Burgess and Samuel Churchill of Ramsay, yeomen.

She settled with her husband in the township of North Burgess, afterwards moving to Perth in 1825. In 1842 they moved to South Sherbrooke, where Mr. Deacon engaged in the lumber trade. He later served as Magistrate,Councillor, and Reeve.

To them were born seventeen children, of whom six died in infancy, but eleven lived well beyond middle age. The names of these were: Ellen (Mrs. Sam Mitchell), John, James, Henry, William, Joseph, Thomas, Eliza Jane (Mrs.Thomas Dowdall), Ephraim, Richard and Mary Ann (Mrs. John McMunn)..

Mary (Harper) Deacon died December 28, 1877, her husband on May 12, 1866. They are buried in the Old Methodist Burying Ground, Robinson Street, Perth.

Jane Harper, born in Ireland in 1805, was the second daughter of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper. She married an Irishman from County Cavan, Ireland, named Thomas McCue (1798-June 18, 1880). Their first location was on the 11th concession of Bathurst, but they found the land was entirely worthless and were compelled
to abandon it after a year or two. McCue bought part of a clergy reserve lot in the 8th concession of Bathurst and here they made their home till their death.

Jane had a severe illness when a young girl and was never robust afterwards, although she lived to a great age. Her husband died on June 18, 1880 at 82 years, and she died on June 4, 1891, aged 86 years, both of senile debility. They
had no children.

Ellen Harper, born in Ireland on January 14, 1810, was the third daughter of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper.On September 3,1833 she married an Irishman, Thomas Gallagher, who was born January 10, 1810, in County Tyrone,near the village of Clogher.

He was one of at least seven children born in the house still known as Fardross. They lived there in their youth andthat is where their mother died.This estate has been in the possession of the Glodstanes for generations. How it was in the possession of the Gallagher family for years is not known. They were possibly charged a small rent to care for the place when the owners did not come to Ireland for a period of years. The family was apparently quite prosperous, as the sons received a much better education than the majority of young men of their day. Two of the sons, James and John, remained in Ireland and some of their descendants are still there. Thomas came to the Perth Settlement in 1829, when 19 years of age.

After their marriage they seem to have lived for a time in Burgess, but soon moved to a farm in Bathurst on the Tay River, a few miles above Perth. Here they began to make a home for themselves, though Thomas was never a successful farmer, nor an expert axe-man, a skill which was very much needed in the clearing of forest land. He seemed to have been expert around the small grist and sawmills of the day and his education made him useful also in the office management of these little enterprises.

A good measure of success attended the efforts of the young couple and their growing family for several years, until they were driven from their home and lost the fruits of their labor. It is not possible at this time to know the whole story
of the disaster that was too common in the early settlement of the country. Land was granted by the Government and at times purchased without careful survey of titles.

The occupants of certain farms in the Perth Settlement found that their titles were irregular. Some had the opportunity of re-purchase at reasonable rates and others had not. Apparently, Thomas had not. Fraud, incompetence and neglect had each a share in the condition but, in every case, the settler was the sufferer. The earnings and the hard labour of the family were all gone. It was an awful blow and one of which they hardly ever spoke. There was a story of neighbourly kindness when this happened. The indignant settlers came to the Gallagher’s and said, “We want you to go to a neighbour’s house and do not come out, nor ask any questions, nor know anything that is going on”. Then,from all about, came the men with their oxen, pulled down the log house, moved it across the river to a new site and there rebuilt it and soon the little home was ready again for the family.

They had eight children:

Thomas (August 20, 1834 – December 1, 1856)

John (January 29, 1836 – December 1, 1856)

Harriet (July 5, 1838 – April 14, 1880) – married James Brown.

Ephraim (March 22, 1840 – September 7, 1858)

William (May 28, 184? – June 4, 1917) – after the death of his brothers, he had to assume much of the burden of the farm, though he was quite young at the time. He never married.

Joshua Adams (July 16, 1844 – October 7, 1917) – married Margaret Linton

James Joseph (July 12, 1846 – January 22, 1928) – married Margaret Robinson .

Henry Deacon (August 16, 1851 – May 5, 1909) – married Ida Holmes and lived in Brockville.There was no farm, but the father was not tied to the land as other settlers and, were it not for anxiety about his growing family, he might have continued in other employment. When his older sons almost reached manhood, he rented a farm in the rear of Bathurst. The family, however, had to pass through greater sorrows than the loss of property.

The two older sons, Thomas and John, aged 22 and 20 years, were drowned together in the Mississippi River on December 1, 1856. The rented farm lay on this stream and the two sons, perhaps not thoroughly acquainted with the river, broke through
the ice. Both were strong swimmers and had broken much ice in their efforts to get out. No one could hear their cries and at last they sank exhausted. Nearly two years later, their next son, Ephraim, died after a long illness on September 7, 1858. Their deaths almost killed the mother and indeed she never fully recovered, though she lived to be a very old woman.

Later, Thomas bought a farm near the little village of Fallbrook, about a mile distant from the one he had rented but he continued to find employment elsewhere. He was a man six feet two inches in height, who never worried, never had a headache, never missed a meal and never had a severe accident and so, at a great age was able to boast that he had never had a spoonful of medicine from a doctor.

Ellen (Harper) Gallagher died in Fallbrook, near Perth, on October 3,1897, when she was 87 years and nine months old. Her husband, Thomas, died four years later on December 22, 1901, when he was nearly 92 years.

Mary Ann (Nancy) Harper, born in Ireland on October 2, 1811, was the fourth daughter of Joseph and Mary (Boyle)

Harper. She married Henry Sleigh (Sly) from South Crosby, on March 12,1835. They had one daughter, Mary Jane Sleigh (December 17, 1836 – July 14, 1910).

Mary Jane married William J. Keays on May 30, 1860 (1833-November 7, 1897). They had the following children:

William J. (1862-1929) – married 1) Angeline Churchill (1861-Apr. 17, 1891) buried Old Methodist Burying Ground

2) Susan Jones.

Annie H. (Mrs. Alfred J. Bell) 1885-1945 – buried in Elmwood Cemetery with her husband.

Ellen Jane (Jennie) (1867-1918) – married 1) E. James Foley 2) Howard Buffam.

Ephraim D.(1871-1911) – married Elizabeth F. McNaughton – buried Elmwood Cemetery.

Minnie M. (Mrs. Frederick Leighton) 1876-1905 – buried in plot with mother, father and brother, Harry.

Henry (Harry) (1879-1952) – unmarried. Buried in Elmwood Cemetery with mother, father and sister, Minnie.

After the death of her husband, Henry Sleigh (Sly/Slye), Nancy married John Bowes on February 27, 1850. It is said he left for the United States the day of their marriage and never returned.

One child, John, was born on June 20, 1850. He married Ann Elizabeth Bell (Sept. 21, 1853 – July 27, 1934).

To them were born three children:

Esther Wilhelmina (Nov. 22, 1878) – married John Crosbie. No children.

Harriet Ann (May 1, 1880 – Mar. 6, 1963) – married Rev. Dawson D. Elliott. No children.

Alfred Anson (Mar. 23, 1883 – Mar. 31, 1965) – 1) Ida Margaret Warren.

2) Margaret Rebecca Wilson.

One daughter, Helen Margaret (Apr. 26, 1943 – Aug. 15, 1945).

For many years, John was assessor in the township of Bathurst and was widely known and respected. He died on November 14, 1931.

Mary Ann (Harper) Sleigh/Bowes died on October 31, 1895. She is buried in a marked grave in Elmwood Cemetery.


HARPER, Ephraim B. M.A. D.D. was born in 1819 in Ontario, was received on trial in 1841 and died in 1902, 1844 Thorold, 1846 E.Flamboro, 1846 Stamford/Niagara, 1851 Bathurst Tp., 1851-1855 Elm St. Toronto West circuit, 1866-1869 Chairman Ottawa, 1870-1872 Norfolk St. Guelph (Wellington Co.)

Ephraim Boyle Harper, the only surviving son of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper, was born the year following the arrival of the family in Canada on January 31, 1819.He married Susannah Street, second daughter of Samuel Street, on May 20, 1846 at her father’s home in Thorold, Ontario. They had eight children, Cecil, Laura, Bertha, Selina (Sept.4, 1852-Nov.11, 1856) and Samuel (Aug. 1847 -Oct. 5, 1849). Only Cecil, Laura and Bertha lived to maturity..

Ephraim was accepted for the Methodist ministry and served almost all the leading pulpits of Methodism in Canada,winning honors in Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic and Syraic, having a working knowledge of fourteen languages. He died on February 6,1902 at the home of his son, Cecil, in Nantasket, Mass., and was buried at Norval, Ontario.

Elizabeth (Bessie) Harper, youngest child of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper, was born in the township of North

Burgess November 5,1820. She moved to the township of Bathurst with her parents about 1832.

Close by the Harper home, on Lot 22, Concession 9 of Bathurst Township, lived Michael Foley and his family, among which was his son, Thomas.

In the year 1834, Thomas Foley (1817-1894) sailed from Ireland with his parents, Michael and Margaret, and his siblings, Matthew (1810), Mary (1815), Catherine (1825-1913), Ann (1825), and Peter (1831). A brother, Patrick, had arrived before them in 1832. A sister, Margaret, was born in Upper Canada, Bathurst Township in 1836.

His father, Michael, was born in County Carlowe about 1783 and his mother, Margaret (Cherfer/Cheverus) was born in County Wexford in 1789. Although in their forties, his parents faced the unknown of this wild country and were looking forward to something better than what they had left in Ireland. After a number of years, an impressive stone
house was built, which stands to this day high up on the hill.

At the age of thirty, Thomas married Elizabeth Harper on May 25, 1847 in St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Perth, in the presence of his brother Patrick and sister Catherine. Although Elizabeth was a Methodist of the Church of England and Thomas was Roman Catholic, the difference in religion was not considered to be a significant factor until much later in life.

Thomas and Elizabeth lived in a log house on Lot 21, Concession 9 next to his father, Michael. They had six sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to maturity.

Ellen, born May, 1848, never married.

John Harper, born August 26, 1849, married Esther Annie Clayton (1860-1929). He died in Innisfail, Alberta on June 3, 1930.

Thomas Harper, born April, 1851, never married. He died November 14, 1887.

Michael Harper, born January, 1853, never married. He died March 31, 1894.

James Joseph, born January, 1855, married a distant cousin, Ellen Jane Keays. He died March 27, 1891.

Matthew Levi, born September 13, 1856, married Jean Orpha McMartin. He left his wife and baby daughter,

Hilda, in Perth to make his way out to Western Canada, taking part in the Klondike Gold Rush a few years later.

He died March 13, 1936 and is buried in Ocean View Cemetery, Burnaby, B.C.

At the time of Thomas Foley’s death on July 25, 1894, there was religious bickering with his sister, Catherine (Foley) Smith, who insisted he be buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery of St. John the Baptist at Perth. Only his wife, Elizabeth, sons Aaron and John, and spinster daughters Ellen and Caroline were mentioned in his will dated June 8, 1893.

Mary Ann, who married George McLellan, was living in Perth at the time of the birth of her son, Laurence, in 1899 but later moved to Vancouver, B.C.

It was on December 29,1899 that Elizabeth (Harper) Foley died after a few days illness from pneumonia. She was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Perth, beside her children Thomas, Michael, James and Eliza Jane. Her son, Aaron,was buried in the same plot at the time of his death from tuberculosis in 1900 and daughter, Caroline, also died from tuberculosis in 1905. Their graves are marked by three tall tombstones, engraved with their names.

Sadly, the family were separated from their father by religion, both in life and death.

Joseph Harper’s first wife, Mary (Boyle) Harper, it would seem, was some years younger than her husband. Her death took place many years before his. His second wife was Mrs. Jane (Bowles) Churchill, widow of Samuel Churchill, of Lanark – who had six children. On March 10, 1835, the marriage was performed by Rev. M. Harris (Bathurst Courier,March 13, 1835). His daughter Mary Ann (Nancy) married Henry Sleigh just two days later, on March 12, 1835.

Joseph Harper and his wife Jane (Churchill) sold the farm at North Burgess to a William McLean on May 13.1841.

They then purchased 66 2/3 acres of Lot northwest 21, Concession 6, in the township of Bathurst on October 2,1843 from a William Glascott for £140.00. Glascott had secured the land from the Crown. When the family moved from North Burgess to the township of Bathurst, the Post Office was named Harper and the hamlet familiarly known as Harper’s Corners.

His wife, Jane, though younger, predeceased him and, when a very old man, he was left without his once substantial property. He died at the home of his daughter, Jane (Mrs. Thomas McCue) on November 21,1874 at the age of 108 years, where she and her sister Nancy had cared for him most tenderly. His death and age are recorded in the United Church Archives, Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa, Ontario.

His remains were interred in the St. James Church burial ground in Perth, Ontario. The Rev. R. L. Stevenson officiated at his funeral service.

At the time of Joseph Harper’s death in 1874, his son Rev. Ephraim Boyle Harper was Wesleyan minister at Port Hope, Ontario. Two of his grandsons were Judge Deacon and Thomas Deacon, MPP for North Renfrew. A nephew, the son of his sister Mary Anne, Rev. William Bennington Curran was minister in the Church of England in Galt, Ontario.

(Pembroke Observer, December 4, 1874).

Received from: Dolores Anderson




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A post office in Bathurst Township, Lanark County, Ontario 7 miles west of
Perth, the county seat, nearest bank and railway point. It contains a
Methodist church and public school. Stage daily to Perth. Pop, 60.

Joseph Warren, Postmaster

Butler John, butcher
Leighton Miles, blacksmith
Marguerat Henry, cabinet maker
Rae George, agricultural implements
Warren Joseph, general store

…from 1898-99 Eastern Ontario Gazetteer and Directory

HARPER, a post settlement in Lanark County, Ontario, 7 miles from Perth, on the C.P.R. It contains 1 Methodist church, school, telephone office, blacksmith shop, cheese factory, 2 stores and 1 private bank. Pop. 60  ...from Lovell’s 1906 Canada Gazetteer

Image result for bathurst township ontarioBathurst Township one room schoolhouse

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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




Jonathon Francis and Margaret Carswell– From Scotland and Ireland to Pakenham

The Sad Tale of the Foley Family–Foley, Harper, Sly, Bowes & Elliott

PATERSON Families of Ramsay Township

James Stewart Ferguson– Lanark County Genealogy


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Glory Days of Carleton Place-Jan McCarten Sansom– The Story of Petey Joe Kirkham

Glory Days of Carleton Place-Jan McCarten Sansom– The Story of Petey Joe Kirkham


Jan McCarten Sansom's Profile Photo, Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Thanks goes to Jan McCarten Sansom for this story.. Please send your photos and stories in.

Petey Joe–True or myth I’m not sure but I always heard this story said Jan. Doug McCarten said-the story may or may not be true, but Petey Joe and his brother Strawfed were actual people and their last name was Kirkham.

Petey Joe used to go to Perth (Jan says Carleton Place- Doug says Perth) to frequent the local hotel and bar. He always rode in by horse and buggy. On this particular evening he had quite a bit to drink, so he lay down in the buggy for the ride home as his horse knew the way home without a driver.

At the crossroads, the buggy was met by a couple of ladies from the Temperance Society. The ladies were disgusted and said,

“Petey Joe, you are going straight to Hell” with this he sat up in the buggy and said “Oh I thought this was the road to Fagan’s Lake”




Lake Details: Fagan Lake is connected to Bennett Lake by means of the Fall River.





Temperance Movement


Effects of excessive consumption of alcohol became a nineteenth century social problem.  Commonly caused or aggravated by other social conditions, it appears to have been a conspicuous contributor to crime and to other broader social losses.  Local temperance societies were formed as early as about 125 years ago to combat its evils.  At the outset of settlement at Carleton Place the Ballygiblin Riots of 1824 – joined in the name of law and order by participants of the areas from Perth to Almonte, with gunfire casualties including loss of a life – had been sparked by a drunken military Donnybrook on Mill Street in Morphy’s Falls.

A period of restriction of sale of alcoholic beverages, imposed in Lanark County in the 1870’s under the Dunkin Temperance Act, was ended for this county in 1879.  Its suspension was reported by editor James C. Poole (Herald, June 18, 1879):

“Hotels – The hotels throughout the county are again in full swing, though to be candid they “swung” just as freely while the Dunkin Act was in force.  Our genial landlords can now remove the syrup labels off their brandy bottles.”

Lanark and Renfrew hotel keepers two years later were found getting together to raise the prices of meals and liquor.  As reported in Carleton Place, “The hotel keepers of this section held a largely attended meeting at Arnprior, and unanimously agreed on raising the price of liquor to ten cents a glass, and meals to thirty-five cents.”  Similar liquor prices seem to have prevailed for many years, as suggested by a 1905 report from Brockville, relating that “Brockville hotel men have combined to raise the price of liquor dispensed over the bar.  Five cent drinks will hereafter be ten cents.”

1865 – A temperance society known as Temple No. 122 of the Independent Order of Good Templars, was formed at Carleton Place to oppose the sale of alcoholic beverages.  A proposal to apply a local option Temperance Act to Beckwith township including Carleton Place was rejected by a majority of thirty votes


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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)



Glory Days in Carleton Place— Jan McCarten Sansom

Did you Know that Temperance Drinks Are all the Rage Now?

Image result for carleton place seccaspina

Glory Days in Carleton Place- Tom Edwards– Horrick’s and Air Raid Sirens

Glory Days in Carleton Place— Jan McCarten Sansom

Glory Days in Carleton Place- Ray Paquette

Glory Days of Carleton Place–This and That–Ray Paquette

Glory Days in Carleton Place— Jan McCarten Sansom


Glory Days of Carleton Place-The Olde Barracks– Sharon Holtz– Part 2 



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Harper Lanark County—It Wasn’t the Harper Valley PTA







Author’s Note–HARPER, was  a post settlement in Lanark County, Ontario, 7 miles from Perth, on the C.P.R. It contains 1 Methodist church, school, telephone office, blacksmith shop, cheese factory, 2 stores and 1 private bank. Pop. 60  ...from Lovell’s 1906 Canada Gazetteer. The village was named after Joseph Harper w ho settled in the area.


Men waiting for their mail at the Harper Post Office–Photo from–Tay Valley Township–The Harper General Store c.1910. The building was bought by John Butler in 1877 for $340 and the store served the community until about 1970. From left in the photo are Gerald Cunningham, James Cavers, Bob Anderson, G.E. “Ned” Wilson, John Butler, Jack are and George Brownlee. Photo: The Perth Courier


Perth Courier, October 14, 1837

The Early Settlers of Harper by Everett Bowes, SS10, Bathurst

We will now take you back to the time of 1850.  About this time where the village is now situated it was covered with forest.  The emigrants from Ireland, Scotland and England came out and started a small settlement which they thought was well situated.  These early settlers were mostly tradesmen.  There were two blacksmith shops.  One was owned by Miles Leighton.  Kenneth Cameron is the present owner.  William McVeighconducted another blacksmith shop.  He was also noted as a “vet”.  His place of business was located on the present Ferguson farm.We pupils of SS10, Bathurst thought we would find out more about the early settlers of the village of Harper.  I wish to thank Patrick Tovey of Bathurst for the following information.

There were two hotels.  One was run by Miles Leighton and the other was next to our present school grounds.  It was operated by a Mr.Cole.

There were two cabinet makers by the name of Marguerite.  Henry Margurite lived at the present home of Mrs. Robert Ferguson.  James Marguerite lived where James Warrington is at present.  The Marguerites were of Swiss origin.

Tom Churchill had a small farm.  He also made barrels which were used as potash containers.  Mr. Kerne now lives on the farm.  Joseph Warren a former school teacher, conducted a general store and post office. William Keays now owns this property.  On the same land was a house where lived Mr. Harper, commonly known as “Daddy Harper”.  He was a former school master.  On the north corner of our school grounds was a log house owned by Mr. Wiste.  He was a shoe maker.  Across the road where Mr. Alden Watt now lives, Richard Darou conducted a butcher business.  Later a general store now owned by John Spaulding was built byJohn Butler.  The farm now owned by Gerald Cunningham was first cleared and settled by Mr. Fisher.  Two other men, both named Fisher also got Crown deeds for farms on the 7th Concessionlilne.  The home of Mr. Perkin was first settled by Mr. McNee.

A “grange” stood where our school is now.  This was operated by local residents who distributed grain and other things to those who desired it.  A library on a small scale was also here.

About the year 1885 a church was built by the Methodist congregation of the district.

Our present school was formerly located on land north of the village.  However, the location was not considered suitable for school grounds.  In 1920 it was moved to the present site.  The land was purchased from Eli Blackburn.

Related Reading:


This is a manuscript in the Perth Museum research files.
Transcribed by Charles Dobie.

The buried gold is not the only lost treasure in the Harper District. Back a good many years ago, my mother’s father, Lupton Wrathall, and his brother, George, paid a visit to the wise-woman at Plum Hollow, who told him that there was a silver mine on his farm, Lot 15 in the Sixth Concession of the Township of Bathurst. Either Mother Barnes was having an off-day, or Grandfather didn’t dig deep enough in the right place, for so far as I know, a silver mine has never been found in the district. I asked the Department of Mines about the possibility of silver being found in the area, and I was told that outcroppings of silver bearing rock might occur, but it was unlikely that it would be in a large enough quantity to make it worth while developing a deposit. The Geological Survey conducted in this area by J. Dugas of the Department of Mines, Ottawa, during the summers of 1948 and 1949, makes no reference to a silver deposit having been indicated on Lot 15, Concession VI, Bathurst Township.

 As most of you know, Walter Cameron‘s mother and my mother were sisters, so I asked Walter about the silver mine. He could tell me very little more about the story, except to say that our grandfather had never taken Mother Barnes seriously, and had made no great effort to find the mine. He recalled Uncle George and Uncle Archie Wrathall showing him the site of the mine, which was supposed to be on the face of the hill north of the barn, now long gone. Uncle Will Wrathall took more interest in the story than the other members of the family, but never got more than the exercise in payment for his efforts. LCGS read click