Tag Archives: teskey

Appleton Social Notes 1908 –Names Names Names

Appleton Social Notes 1908 –Names Names Names



Teskey family playing croquet in front of Robert Teskey House, c.1880 Photo--North Lanark Regional Museum



APPLETON NEWS–From the Herald– January 1908


Mrs. J. Code spent Saturday in Ottawa.

Miss Ida Paul is visiting friends at Cedar Hill.

Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Caldwell spent Christmas at Lanark.

Mr. Thos. Spiers of Hamilton is home for the festive season.

Miss Gertrude Garvin spent- Christmas Day with her parents here.

Master Arthur and Miss Jean Cede are spending the holidays at the Capital.

Mr. Ed. Robertson of North Bay visited friends in the village last week.

Mrs. John Kirkwood left last week on an extended visit to Toronto relatives.

Mr. Percy Ashman of Ottawa is visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Ashman.

Mrs. John Foster of Montreal is spending the holidays with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Fuller.

Misses Lenora and Winnifred Teskey attended the anniversary tea in the Methodist church at Antrim last week.

Mrs. Bredin of Winnipeg, who has been visiting her sister in Brockville, is spending a few days with Mrs. M. Teskey.

Mr. Alf. Devine of Fort William, is at present visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A . Devine, Sth line, Ramsay.

We must this week congratulate Miss Spiers and Misses L. and G. Teskey on their success in the teachers’ training examination tried by them recently.

Mr. Robt. Cornish and Miss Cornish left on Friday for Waterloo, to attend the wedding of Rev. D. J. Cornish and Miss Stuart, the ceremony taking place on Tuesday, Dec. 31st.

The anniversary services in connection with St. Andrew’s church will be held (D .V .) on Sunday, January 19th, when it is expected Rev. A. E. Mitchell of Erskine church, Ottawa, w ill deliver the sermons. Special music is being prepared by the choir.

At the annual meeting of the W. F.M.S. recently held in Wilson’s hall the following officers were elected for 1908 : Pres., Miss Minnie McGregor, (re-elected) ; 1 st vice-pres., Mrs. Wm. Fuller ; 2nd vice-pres., Mrs. Wm. Baird ; 3rd, Mrs. Thos. Cavers ; rec.-sec., Miss Jessie Munroe; cor .-sec., Mrs. Andrew Wilson ; treasurer, Mrs. D. M cN eely; organist, Miss McGregor.

At the close of the services on Friday evening in St. Andrew’s church, Miss Jean Baird was presented with a handsome suit case and set of brushes. Rev. Mr. Bayne read the address and Mrs. D. McNeely made the presentation. The address expressed deepest regret at the prospect of Miss Baird’s departure, and the assurance that she would be greatly missed both in the choir, In the Sunday school and the congregational work, in all of which she has been an ardent worker and exerted an influence for good which shall be felt in time to come.



Photo-Linda Seccaspina




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

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



The Appleton Mail Man Who Always Got Things Straightened Away

You Never Talk About Appleton

Appleton Tragedy

Poutine Curds From the Appleton Cheese Factory?

The Appleton Mail Man Who Always Got Things Straightened Away

The Appleton Mail Man Who Always Got Things Straightened Away


Photo-The Ottawa Journal Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Sat, Dec 22, 1956

There used to be a time when only a horse and buggy brought mail to Appleton via Carleton Place.  In the 1950s James Edward Dowdall and his sweet grey mare Daisy (3rd horse) had been doing the 4 mile trip for at least 2 decades and only missed 3 days when one of his sons had to cover for him. Then there was the time a mare before Daisy got rattled at some pasteboard boxes on the side of the road and the cutter was upset and Dairy went trotting off in no obvious direction, but as Dowdall said in typical Lanark fashion: “We got it straightened away”.

Appleton postmaster  Mr. Gamble and Harry Menzies from the Carleton Place unit had never known him to be late or lose any of the precious mail. The days of hauling the mail on a cutter in the winter was limited after they began to plow the roads and it usually took 20 minutes to a half an hour for a one way trip. Storms, blizzards you name it, Dowdall never got cold as he was manned to the hilt with warm clothing,  a buffalo robe, and felt boots up to the knee and then rubber boots as a topper.


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Photo by Linda Seccaspina-Post Office in Appleton Ontario 1871 displayed in the North Lanark Regional Museum, Appleton Ontario.

Each day he would leave Appleton for Carleton Place to pick up the mail. After he dropped off the mail at the post office he would wander over to the post office lobby to swap stories with anyone who would listen. That was his favourite part of the day Dowdall said as they talked his kind of language in that waiting  room. At Six o’clock he would head back to Appleton where some were waiting for him to collect their mail.

One would think maybe a truck would have been better for him, but like a lot of us aging folks his eyes were not the best, and night driving would not have been too safe for him. He actually got into the postal business as his doctor told him to find a “light job” as he had health issues and had retired from being a farmer. So along with some plowing and gardening jobs he made out just fine. Life was simple for Mr. Dowdall only having to change his buggy twice in his duration delivering the mail, but in Carleton Place it was another story.  Postmaster Harry Menzie’s offices were jammed everywhere storing mail. The staff worked Sundays and late into the evening and no one really complained as you did what you had to do.



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Photos–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

The Carleton Place Post Office used to handle mail for Innisville, Appleton and also sent out three rural route deliveries a day. Not only that, but they handled larger packages and with only two wickets open the lobby was always jammed. Of course Menzies  wanted another wicket but there wasn’t an ounce of space to spare in that building with boxes lined up everywhere against the walls.


March 1968

In December of 1956 the Carleton Place post office sold over 130,000 stamps that month and  James Edward Dowdall would have so much mail he would have to tie bags on the back with just a little ‘sittin’ room for himself– but all was good. Unlike some his fellow mail delivery  men he wasn’t buying gasoline or paying for repairs–Daisy wouldn’t hear of it. That old gal was never going to stop when she was tired- she was only going to stop when the mail was done. No hour of life was ever wasted between James and his horse Daisy and Appleton and Carleton Place were grateful.



The community was first known as Teskeyville after early settlers Joseph Teskey and his brother Robert who built a saw and grist mill. For a time the place was called Appletree Falls because of a riverside orchard. When the post office opened in 1857, Appleton was chosen as its name

In 1869 the population was 250 and the Appleton Post office was a money order office-The Province of Ontario Gazetteer and Directory 1869


Anita Dowdall-I married grandpa Dowdall’s grandson in 1961, his dad was Kenneth Irwin Dowdall, the eldest of James Edward Dowdall sons, he had 6 boys,my husband is the eldest of 4 kids, 3 boys & 1 girl. His name is (Borden) my oldest son Bruce has his name Edward for his middle name. Thanks for sharing a great story about grandpa Dowdall.


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun


Related reading

Inspector Coolican and His Rural Mail Delivery

You’ve Got Mail — The First Post Offices of Lanark County

The Hidden Postcard Gallery in Carleton Place

Who Worked for the Post Office the Longest in Lanark County?

How Much Did the Old Post Office Perth Sell For?

Take a Letter Maria– Carleton Place Post Office

As Time Goes By — The Old Post Office Clock

My Baby, Just-a Wrote Me a Letter– The Carleton Place Post Office

Memories of Carleton Place — The Roxy and Marilyn Monroe

Crime and Punishment? –Tales from the Almonte Post Office

Why the Appleton Bridge Collapsed…



The old and the new bridge at Appleton-North Lanark Regional Museum (2012.87.2)


In the year 1858 Albert Teskey built a bridge in Appleton at a cost of $175. At that time a good deal of timber was floated down the river, and the bridge had to be built of long spans to allow the free passage of the timber. Consequently there were five spans, making a total length of 245 feet.

The bridge was constructed of wooden piers, filled with stone, and each span was strengthened in the centre by needlebeams and braces. The stringers of this bridge were of pine, and were covered vith pine plank three inches thick, end joined in the centre and pinned down with wooden pins, consequently the structure did not last very long.

Then in the years 1866-1867 the late Dennis Sullivan rebuilt the bridge, replacing the pine stringers with cedars and covered them with 4 inch cedar planks, which in the course of time got worn, when the covering of 3-inch planks was placed on top, it had a tendency to rot the cedar.

The heels of the braces were decaying, and again to strengthen the structure a bent was placed under the needlebeam of each span. These bents were constructed by bolting a sill on the rock bottom, and posts were mortised into these sills and also into the needlebeam above and braced from the bottom of one post to the top of the next one to it from the lower side, and the icebreaker acted as a brace against them down stream.

In the bay below *Munro’s Rapids, about one-half mile above the bridge, there was always an accumulation of sawdust about three feet deep, and in the winter the water froze this sawdust to such an extent it became a hazard. In the spring of 1899 when the ice was moving away it lifted this frozen sawdust from the bottom of the river and carried it down in one solid mass. The cake of this ice and sawdust,  that was 20 feet long, came down the river and filled the space between the pier and the bent, with the result that the ice-breaker and two upper posts were carried away.

Teskey immediately notified the pathmaster, who repaired the damage by placing a long timber across the span on top of the bridge and chained the stringer to this limber. On the following Sunday they examined the bridge several times and found everything in good order. On Monday, about nine o’clock, Messrs, Teskey and Montgomery saw a piece of timber floating down the river which they thought was a post of the bridge, so they immediately ran to the bridge knowing trouble was coming.

Mr. Teskey was in the act of getting over the ruling of the bridge on to the pier to examine it when Mr. Montgomery told him that there was a team approaching.  A  carriage load from Carleton Place consisting of Mr. John Lyons, wife and child, Mr. John Morphy, and wife, and Mr. Ab. Morphy, Jr. had driven down to Appleton with the object of attending the funeral of Mr. Morphy’s aunt, Mrs. Dulmage. Teskey met the team at the end of the bridge and told them it was too dangerous. When three or four persons got out of the rig and two remained in, well,that’s when the structure gave away and the rest is history. Carleton Place resident Abraham Morphy Jr. was carried to a watery grave and his body found 150 feet from the falls.

It was in Teskey’s opinion that the bridge was perfectly safe for ordinary travel had the bent not been taken away with the ice. Did he think the bridge would stand for another year?  Mr. J. A. Teskey answered he thought it would, with a few repairs, and these repairs were made.

However, Mr. Thomas Hart wasn’t convinced–he got a petition for a new bridge, and had it largely signed, and a deputation presented it to the council at its meeting on 8th April, 1899. It was favourably received by the council, and a new iron bridge was constructed.



*Munro’s Rapids on the Mississippi near Appleton – John Munro married Janet
Patterson in 1823 in Canada – John arrived in 1821 on the “George Canning”
ship as a single male.

Screenshot 2017-01-28 at 21.jpg

From–Note on the probable origin of the Scottish surname of Gemmill or Gemmell

The Day the Appleton Bridge Collapsed

Lawsuits in Carleton Place — The Collapse of the Appleton Bridge

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

You Never Talk About Appleton




Photo- Linda Seccaspina

April 17 1874–Almonte Gazette

Dear Editor,

I have been a constant reader of your paper for several years, and I have never seen the least notice taken of the illustrious village of Appleton by any of your correspondents, so I thought it would not be uninteresting to some of your readers to hear a word from us.

Mr. J. M. Cameron has purchased the general store owned by Mr. W. Cuthbert. It is to be hoped that the post office department will receive greater attention from Mr. Cameron than has been bestowed in the past. That mail matter will not be allowed to lie in the office for days, although it has repeatedly called for.


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Photo- Linda Seccaspina- North Lanark Regional Museum


The general store owned by Mr. Thomas Arthurs is about being purchased by Messrs. J. & W. Morday and they are taking stock at present. Messrs Telskey and Wilson are fitting up a shingle mill on their new site, which they recently bought from Mr. Thomas Hart. Judging from the enterprising character of the firm, we have no hesitation in saying it will be a first class one.

We have succeeded against considerable opposition in establishing a series of *penny readings. When they were first proposed tbe minority of the old folks sat in council at their own firesides and passed tbe following resolution :

“Whereas once upon a tune there was a Temperance Society organized in this place, and whereas said Temperance Society ended in a courting school and was thereby productive of harm to our young people, and whereas we have come to the conclusion that the readings contemplated will end likewise; Therefore be it resolved, that we discountenance them— Carried.”



Teskey family playing croquet in front of Robert Teskey House, c.1880 Photo--North Lanark Regional Museum


With the parents in opposition it was difficult, at first, to get the young people to take part in them; but we succeeded in overcoming this difficulty and in making them a grand success.

The following is the programme of the last reading, held on the evening of the 7th April: W. R. Teskey, in the chair; Instru­mental Music by J. Wood; Reading, John Park; Recitation, Muter J. Sullivan; Song. Miss Mary Wilson; Reading, W. K- Teskey; Dialogue, W. Baird and A. Cram; Song, R. Wilson; Reading, John Park; Song, J. M. Cameron; Reading, R. Wilson -, Recitation, J. Freeman ; Music, String Band; Reading, R. Wilson; Reading, J. M. Cameron; Music, String Band; Stump Speech, Master J. Sullivan

There is a Young Men’s Association at present. The members meet seven times a week at night (no particular hour), in shop situated at the east end of the bridge. The Association is of a doubtful character.




Picture 1010. John Adam Teskey 1837 – 1908 and Sarah (Giles) 1833 – 1909 – John inherited Appleton Woollen Mill, Ontario-Ken McDonald.


At the township’s Apple Tree Falls, where young  Joseph Teskey drew land in 1824, the Teskey brothers later built their saw and grist mills, followed by a succession of woollen mill businesses which began about a century ago at Appleton.

*What were penny readings? Click here


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Related reading

Appleton Tragedy

Poutine Curds From the Appleton Cheese Factory?

The Abandoned Appleton Mill

Unravelled: Appleton textile mill

Glen Isle and Appleton by Air-The Sky Pilots of Carleton Place

The Day the Appleton Bridge Collapsed

Lawsuits in Carleton Place — The Collapse of the Appleton Bridge

Where Does Appleton Begin and End?

Appleton Before the Dam was Built

The Appleton General Store and Polly Parrot

The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton Ontario

The Apple Does Not Fall far from the Tree — Virtual Tour of a Teskey Home

The Unforgettable Day the Museum Burned Down

When Corn Doesn’t Grow- Neilson Chocolate Will

Before and After on Lake Ave West — H. D. Gilmour

The Appleton Chinchilla House

Where Does Appleton Begin and End?


01 (400x285)


NLRM 2012.19.3
Late 1800s – Early 1900s
Donated by Jim Lowry

Black and white photograph showing the Mississippi River at Appleton, Ontario. The woolen mill is featured on the left side of the photograph. The photo is from the late 19th century, early 20th century. The photo was definitely taken after 1880 when the three-storey addition was added to the woolen mill but before the construction of the dam in 1937.

For years Appleton was known as a  rural centre and it was difficult to pinpoint just where the village began and finished. Way before Ramsay township was surveyed, and prior to the emigration of 1821, less than a dozen families had settled into what is known as Appleton. Before signs of a village appeared it was called Apple Tree Falls and the natives used the banks of the Mississippi River to pitch their wigwams as a camping ground.

Among the first settlers were John Teskey and his family, and once they arrived on the scene the name was changed to Teskeyville. Years later two of his sons erected a saw mill, one on each side of the river and in 1882 Robert Teskey built The Mississippi Woolen Mill. In 1889 both these mills fell into the hands of Mr. T. B. Caldwell of Perth (Caldwell Woolen Mills) and it wasn’t until 1937 that Mr. Collie purchased them.


Photo by Linda Seccaspina-Post Office in Appleton Ontario
1871 displayed in the North Lanark Regional Museum, Appleton Ontario.


Did you know there were two community halls prior to the one that was built in May of 1918? Like most villages and towns a fire consumed them both. A post office was opened in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ford before it opened in the local store and the name of the village was then changed to Appleton. Appleton once boasted two blacksmith shops owned by Thomas McNeely and Mike Sullivan. The harness makers were John Leith and Sons, and they even built wagons in the village of Appleton and Duncan Miller was the proprietor.


Photo by Linda Seccaspina


Across from where the General Store now sits was the original one owned by Thomas Arthur and the village shoemaker was Frank Hall.The jewel of the village was the private school for young girls presided over by Mrs. Martin Mann. However, the first school was opened in 1830 and government grants were paid in July of 1856. The teacher’s salary was 49 pounds 1 shilling- I assume for the year. In 1857 there were 30 families listed and 85 pupils on the school roll. That one room school suddeny became a two-room school house with the growth of the town, but in 1941 the school’s attendance was declining (34) and they closed one room. Did you know that in 1860 the population of Appleton was calculated at over 300?


Photo by Linda Seccaspina

Two churches, Presbyterian and Methodist were established, but when the church union came about in 1925 the Presbyterian church was  sold and the Methodist became St. Andrew’s United Church.

One of the tragic accidents of the village was the collapsing of the bridge on April 17, 1899. Then there was the burning of the old Collie Mill in 1950 where evidence of ruins still stand today on a little island from a fire that burned for 3 days and 3 nights. Now the remains look ghostly and haunted on a foggy morning and all that remains are memories of once was.



The Day the Appleton Bridge Collapsed

Lawsuits in Carleton Place — The Collapse of the Appleton Bridge

Appleton Before the Dam was Built

The Appleton General Store and Polly Parrot

The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton Ontario

The Apple Does Not Fall far from the Tree — Virtual Tour of a Teskey Home

The Unforgettable Day the Museum Burned Down

When Corn Doesn’t Grow- Neilson Chocolate Will

Before and After on Lake Ave West — H. D. Gilmour





The Apple Does Not Fall far from the Tree


Yesterday’s blog about Milton Teskey and the Chatterton House Hotel in Carleton Place got me wanting to know more, and for six hours I read about the village of Appleton. Many of our local townsfolk worked at the textile mills in Appleton, and many also lost their jobs there. It is part of our local history.



Three miles outside of Carleton Place is what the Otawa Journal called Appleton in 1969. The once ruins of the old Teskey mill built in 1862 that once dominated the landscape are now gone. Once upon a time it was called Appletree Falls. The village got its name from the fact that the early Mississippi River explorers used the banks as camping grounds and threw leftover apple seeds on the ground– which finally grew in abundance.

The Teskey family that came in the emigration of 1823 from southern Ireland obtained a 100 acre lot on the location then known as Apple Tree Falls. On the east side of the river you might have passed by the stone house known as Burnbank built in 1843-44 by Joseph Teskey and planned by his wife Margaret Cuthbert. This modified Scottish Georgian home is one of the only two known examples in Canada. The house was designed in two parts joined by a 4-door rectangular hallway meant to keep the servants separate. This was a common practice as in my home the two servants rooms were kept separate by a door that could be locked and a back staircase that led into the kitchen.


The name Burnbank was given to the house in 1937 by Miss Sheila Stewart, then owner of the property after her great great grandfathers home in Oban, Scotland. What is interesting about the house is that Mrs.Cuthbert Tesky copied the wood paneling and doors to those of Betty Washington’s house in Fredericksburg, Va.– which was the home of George Washington.



Mississippi Woollen Mills, four-storey portion built 1862, three-storey built 1880- CREDIT North Lanark Museum.  Photo below of the fire.




The two-and-a-half storey home, on the other side of the river was built by Robert Teskey. It is unusual because it was was built into a hillside with the bedroom(upstairs) windows at the rear being level with the back garden and lawn.


The Teskey family’s origins are interesting. They were Germanic in origin, the Irish branch of the family, originating in an emigration to Ireland in 1709 from the Rhine Valley and were assisted by Queen Anne of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1702-1707) who was the last Stuart ruler. I did not find out much after this about the Teskey family, only that Milton Teskey’s daughter Kathleen was a professor in Edmonton, Alberta. She came from time to time to visit relatives and friends in Fitzroy accompanied by her mother (1926)






Please visit the North Lanark Historical Society and North Lanark Regional Museum– without these Museums we would have no history

Museum Address:
647 River Road
Appleton, Ont
K0A 1A0

GPS co-ordinates:
  N 45° 11′ 14.0″        W 76° 7′ 4.5″
= N 45.18722 °        E -76.11792 °

Vintage Photo Credits: North Lanark Regional Museum

Newspaper clippings from the Ottawa Journal

New Photos- Linda Seccaspina


The Weekly British Whig
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
09 Nov 1922, Thu  •  Page 3

The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton Ontario

The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton Ontario

Legend has it that in the sleepy village of Appleton, Ontario there is a house that was once built in the 1830’s for an affluent husband and wife that has been haunted for years.

When the couple found they had extra room in the house they invited the husband’s sister to live with them. She was a spinster through and through and life was fine until their brother passed away leaving twelve children behind to raise. Her brother and sister-in-law told the children to call the spinster: “Mummy dear”.

In time the children slowly drove the spinster to insanity, causing her to have a premature death.

The spinster’s soul never left the home and in 1970 a young family bought the very same house for a “song”.

They were never told that the house was haunted but were enthralled that the home came complete with a cemetery with seven graves.

The family started to see things out of the corner of their eyes and noted a constant cold spiritual presence when their young daughter was in one of the rooms.

They assumed that the spinster was none too happy about another child coming into the home after being driven to an early death by 12 others.

Her heart was cold and she could not let a single child’s voice disturb her further in her never ending unrest.

As years passed, she left the family at peace when she realized she would not have to look after their child. Some nights they can see her spirit roam through the hollyhocks and hear the swish of her skirts. People swear they can hear her repetitive angry whispering as the ghosts of twelve children follow her calling her “Mummy Dear!”

True story told to me this weekend and parts can be found in the book Ontario Ghost Stories by Barbara Smith.

 Some people imagine Victorian women to have been prudish, reserved, and submissive to men—but many of the ‘spinsters’ who entered that competition were anything but. They were witty, irreverent, and proudly independent. I thought that was worth sharing.

The Lanark County Spinster Convention

Witchy Woman — Isabella Mary Rutherford Laidlaw

The Plum Hollow Witch 101 – Mother Barnes

We Know About the Witch of Plum Hollow — But Have you Heard About Mother Lajeunesse?

Mother Barnes– The Colonel’s Daughter in Plum Hollow

An Interview with the Witch of Plum Hollow–Mother Barnes— The Ottawa Free Press 1891

The Witch of Plum Hollow and the Blacksmith

My Grandmother was Mother Barnes-The Witch of Plum Hollow

A Bewitched Bed in Odessa

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

Plum Hollow Witch and The Mountain Man of Pakenham

Different Seasons of Witches in Lanark County

Local Miracle Story– Woken From a Ten Week Coma

The White Witch of Lanark County–Having the Sight

The Witches of Rochester Street

Hocus Pocus –Necromancy at Fitch Bay

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

The Witch Hollow of Lanark County

When Mother Barnes Made a Mistake? Beckwith 6th Line

The Witch of Plum Hollow Files- An Evening in Smiths Falls

Mother Barnes and the Missing Money of South March