First Nations children were once living in residential schools under the thumb of priests, nuns and staff charged with purging these children of their culture and traditions and replacing them with their own. Several of the churches were engaged in the management of day and residential schools. This co-operation of the churches in the case of residential schools was as follows: Roman Catholic, 44; Church of England, 21; United Church, 13; Presbyterian Church, 2, making a total of 80. I have never understood why people try to hide history–great nations should never hide their history– but we did.
Today I discovered my truth in this matter by having a flashback and putting two and two together. Funny how that works- and after I had a good cry- I realized that all truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
Years ago in the 1950s and 1960s I used to help my Grandmother with her Anglican church groups preparing “the bales” to go north as they told me. The bales were actually handmade quilts rolled up with warm mittens and scarves, along with books and treats. We made a lot of them each year, and in my young heart I envisioned they were being transported to the North Pole. Every year I saved up my allowance to buy treats for the families that I thought lived in igloos, wore snowsuits and had big smiles like in the books I read. I was wrong – they were being sent to residential schools.
“As early as 1921, one official report described living conditions in residential schools as “a national crime.” When children wet their beds, the nuns at the Sturgeon Lake residential school would wrap the soiled sheets around their heads. If they tried to run away from the school where they were forced to live until they were 16, their heads were shaved. If they dared to speak Cree, their hands were rapped with a ruler. But the thing that hurts the most is they forced their religion on the children day in and day out.”
As I type the above words I wondered if my grandmother’s church group should have sent boxes of hymn books like they used too. I was always told the children loved getting these books– and now I can see that they did not. We have rules now that the government can’t penalize you because of your religious beliefs– so why were these children forced with this injustice. The residential schools were conducted by church authorities, with financial assistance from the Dominion Government and supervised by the Indian affairs section of the Department of the Interior. Half these schools were under Roman Catholic control and they remain divided among the other denominations. An Anglican bishop in Alberta told the media churches must stop “beating themselves up” over the question of abuse at Indian residential schools and should return to the basics of preaching Christianity. Unfortunately, I can’t tell whether the bishop was being purposefully ironic, or he really couldn’t see the contradictions of his statements.
In the larger residential schools in the 1930s daily duties were allotted to the pupils, who took turns:
Set staff table. Clear away all staff dishes. Wait on the staff table. Dry staff dishes. Help to put dishes away In pantry. Sweep kitchen and dust. Clean kitchen stove and kettles.
Pack up and wash staff dishes while staff girl dries. Wash all pot and tea towel. Help with up school meal. Clean both kitchen table before meal.
Wash all tables. Sweep room after all meals. Dust the dining-room thoroughly. Sweep and tidy the lobby after breakfast and dinner. Take wood to the sitting–room when required. Keep the dining-room shelf tidy. Put all Bible and prayer books away tidily.
Dormitory Girl Every day, clean wash stands In both dormitories. Dust. Clean lamp globe.
Monday, prepare for school wash.
Tuesday, sweep and dust boys’ dormitory.
Wednesday, sort and put away clothes. Fill all lamps, also table lamp.
Thursday, sweep and dust girls’ dormitory.
Friday, sweep and dust top bedrooms.
Saturday, sweep both dormitories. Sweep sewing room. Fill all lamps.
After we packed the bales I went home to loving parents. I had a warm meal, watched television and slept in a cozy bed.The next morning I got up for school without having to do the above chores with a full breakfast in my stomach. I told all my friends how we had sent the bales to happy people in the north, not knowing it was all a lie. One hundred and forty articles knitted by the church group members, as well as cash and other things were being shipped to the residential schools. As well, I remember that our church help donate money for an organ so the children could be forced to sing hymns that were not part of their own religion. Why did this all seem so right to everyone when it was all so wrong?
So what should we do now? In a world of TV soap operas an apology is always followed by acceptance, and the story moves on after the required tears and hugs. But, it just doesn’t work quite that way in real life– and especially in this case. More than one in five former school pupils have applied for compensation for living in residential schools have been turned down. Thousands of children that were taken from their families filed claims stating they were sexually and physically abused and forced to learn English. It’s not like we can just turn a page and everything is good. We have to realize that this is not just a dark chapter in our country’s history, it’s something we as a country need to come to terms with when it comes to making decisions about everyones future. We all are connected in a circle of life that is far deeper than any of us can truly understand– and today my realized participation and ignorance came full circle. Apologies are not just enough– it’s a start– but we have to do more than that.
“In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.”
The death notice of Andrew Boyd , states he was killed at one of Caldwell’s mills in Perth . Perth remembered , shows a picture of the Caldwell Mill in Lanark , stating that the location was likely the location where Andrew Baird met his fate . I don’t believe Boyd Caldwell had any operations in Perth . I knew Margaret and Nettie Baird , Andrew’s two daughters .
Thomas Boyd Caldwell came from a business family. In Carleton Place his father had operated a sawmill while in Lanark Village the family operated a sawmill, a woollen mill and a general store.
After his father’s death in 1888, Thomas Boyd Caldwell continued to operate Boyd Caldwell & Co. in Lanark Village. In 1899 he expanded the business to include the woollen mill in Appleton and later he purchased a woollen mill in Perth.
Splinters of bark and wood flew with each thunk of the timber axe. Clearing thick forests near Lanark in the 1840s, muscles rippled and grunts emanated with vigorous swings of the axe. Trees crashed to the ground and then were delimbed, prepared to be sent to the mills. One teenager delighted in lumbering and later in commerce. Peter McLaren found his calling. Read more
Three years later, retiring lumber magnate “McLaren sold his interests in the area. Boyd Caldwell’s death followed in 1888, marking the end of one of the most influential disagreements in Canadian legal history,” according to Cision.
This story about the Kamloops Residental School is hurting my heart in such big way. it just makes me so mad and angry. As a kid I grew up in orphanage. I have seen it all how how kids were treated and the way I was treated.- Petya Lowes–One of The Children of Chernobyl
People call Canada the one of the greatest countries in the world, but we have our faults: slavery, British Home Children, imprisoning the Italian and Japanese during the second world war and the stories of The Residential Schools do not stop. One by one horrible facts come out and as my friend Kyle said: time for the memorials to stop- it’s over due time for fresh drinking water and liveable homes on the reserves etc. These residential schools were not to treat the children of natives better- they were to take the native out of the child and make them white to get rid of the native issues. There is no other answer.– none at all.
We are enlarging the education of the Indian children now growing up to be a reproach to the white population, or made useful members of society and capable of getting an honest and honorable livelihood for themselves and those depending upon them- Kamloops Industrial school-Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 22 Jul 1890, Tue • Page 1
It is very satisfactory to learn, as we do by correspondence in another column, that the Industrial School at Kamloops is succeeding so admirably. This excellent institution, established by a paternal Government to elevate the Indian races, is situated on a lovely spot on the South Thompson River, the buildings themselves being of modern design and admirably suited for the education.
We look far into the future and see the little girls now clustering about the Christian ladies who are teaching them the lessons of life becoming wives and mothers, and eating those truths which are the blessed inheritance of the white man, uplifting and broadening their character and aims; while one need not lie a prophet to predict that the day is not far distant when some of the boys who are now climbing the rough road to learning will emulate their fellows in the Northwest who have made names for themselves in the history of their native land.-Vancouver Daily World Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 22 Jul 1890, Tue
The Kamloops Industrial School was opened, under Roman Catholic administration, in 1890. It became the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system. Enrolment peaked in the early 1950s at 500. In 1910, the principal said that the government did not provide enough money to properly feed the students. In 1924 a portion of the school was destroyed by fire. In 1969, the federal government took over the administration of the school, which no longer provided any classes and operated it as residence for students attending local day schools until 1978, when the residence was closed. (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)
The dilapidated wood-frame school was partly destroyed by fire in 1924 while a new main building was under construction, the structure that still stands today. Additions were made over the years. The exterior walls are made of local red brick with granite chimney caps, coping stones and detailing. Large timber trusses support the shingled roof, while a galvanized iron bell tower dominates the symmetrical design.
1925– An Indian department policy is expressed in the quarter of a million dollar Indian residential school, whose newly-completed brick and granite walls overlook the South Thompson River near Kamloops. Rising from the north bank and commanding a view of the sunny city across the river and of the rolling hills behind, it stands out from a perfect hillside background. Mount St. Paul and Mount St. Peter form a protection from the wind and add a touch of guardianship to the picture.
The Indian school has been designed as a large central educational and training headquarters as distinct from the small and numerous centres of the past. Centralization has succeeded the system of detached local units in British Columbia. Generally, the area from which the pupils will be drawn comprises Penticton, Westbank, Head Lake, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Tappen, Chase, Shuswap, Kamloops, Chu Chua, Davidson’s Creek, Bonaparte, Shulus, Coldwater, Douglas Lake, Quilchena and some points of the Lytton agency.
Two-thirds of the building is completed. In due course a boys’ wing will be added to the present units which consist of the administration building and girls’ wing. The building was designed by the architectural branch of the Indian department. The contractor of the central portion was Mr. Thomas Carson of Vancouver. Claydon Company of Winnipeg constructed the girls’ wing. Exclusive of furnishings, the cost to date rather exceeds $175,000.
The scheme in its entirety will cost approximately $250,000. Rev. Father James Macguire, O.M.I., whose zeal is manifested in every department of the school work, is the principal. The staff will consist of eight sisters of St. Annes, celebrated all over the country for their deep devotion to educating these children. There will also be a male instructor in agriculture and one in trades. The school has been designed under a three unit system, the administration block in the centre, girls’ wing on the east and boys’ wing on the west of brick and tile construction, the salient features of the design are brought out in granite.
Facing the visitor is the eighty-foot dining-room, seating 250. At the north end two rooms have been reserved for workmen’s dining-rooms. Two exits lead into the yard and playground. Next the large dining-room are two sculleries one for girls and the other for boys the former giving access to the minor kitchen wing containing the kitchen itself of 28 by 38 feet, a store, a dairy and pantry. There is nothing above the kitchen and this permits of the maximum amount of additional light and so allows or getting rid of all odours with glazed brick. All walls are lined with white There are also two staff dining rooms on the floor, each 24 by 15 feet.
I’ll never forgive the Catholic ‘ church for what they’ve done to my ‘ people,” said Bill Seward, 76, of Nanaimo. “When I spoke my language, I got ‘ punished, and there were a lot of times I went three or four days without food. That was my punishment,” said the ‘ former band chief. “I had to kneel in the corner, some- ; times all night. That’s how I got bad knees.”
To the immediate west is the boiler room, at a lower level. On the ground floor are the principal’s roomy offices and waiting-room, a parlour and staff rooms. Principal Macguire’s sitting-room and bedroom are here also and there are bathrooms and storerooms on the same floor also. The main corridor gives access to the chapel, as yet unequipped and with seating capacity for 250 and vestry with immediately adjacent two fire- escapes. On the first floor are the boys’ and girls’ infirmaries, with nurses’ rooms, bath, linen and general storerooms, ready for all contingencies. Passing through the connecting link, giving access from the administration building, the visitor finds himself in the girls’ wing. On the semi-basement floor are two staff bedrooms, with connecting bathroom, twelve children’s bathrooms, lavatories and washrooms. Under the recreation room is a particularly well laid out, splendidly equipped laundry and disinfecting room. On the ground floor of this wing are the sisters’ community room, girls’ (senior and junior) sewing-rooms; two large classrooms and four staff bedrooms, with bathrooms and toilets.
The first floor is devoted to dormitories, clothing-rooms and the necessary staff rooms for supervision. On the second floor are dormitories, staff bedrooms and staff duty rooms, so placed as to avoid or minimize supervision over the dormitories. The floors of the lavatories and washrooms are to avoid fires made out of terrazzo. Floors of corridors, dining-rooms, kitchen and stores and dairy are of asphaltic mastic.
Doors and trim generally are of British Columbia fir. Ceilings are of metal. In connection with such an institution the kitchen is of much importance that in this particular connection, one is not surprised to find a huge finely equipped refrigerator plant. Ice-making is also provided for. The water supply is self-contained, coming from the nearby river. Pumps have been installed to take care of both domestic and irrigation supplies. It is expected that another pumping unit will be added In the near future.
Children were forcibly removed from their homes once attendance became mandatory by law in the 1920s, with their parents under threat of prison if they refused. The children were not allowed to speak their native language nor practise their own spirituality. Many children ran away and some disappeared and died.
The farming land in connection with the school is approximately 160 acres, all capable of cultivation. Here are growing in profusion: Alfalfa corn beets potatoes, cabbages, while and vegetables. There are eighty head of cattle, many horses and hogs, turkeys and chickens by the hundred. There is a very fine barn, also carpenter and blacksmith shops, poultry houses, root and vegetable cellars. Here boys receive instruction in agriculture and such training as will enable them to carry out the necessary farming operations on their own land some day.
Girls’ training includes instruction in all domestic problems, including cooking, making butter, preserving fruits and vegetables, all branches of sewing and knitting and that general knowledge of domestic economy which will make them good Indian housewives of the future. At the beginning of September there will be about 150 pupils in residence. The complete scheme will afford accommodation to at least 250
A former student, who asked not to be named, said one of the brothers would come into the dorm two to three nights per week. He would crawl into bed with the boys, ‘ kissing and fondling them’. “When we heard him coming we’d say, who’s going to get it tonight?’ It was terrible,” said the man, who was molested by the brother.
“The ‘Heathen’ School opposite the Carleton Place Baptist Church is now in operation.”
What was a ‘Heathen School’? Was it a school dealing in Wicca? Is that where the Witches of Rochester Street got their education? The ‘Heathen School’ was built, in part, to convert the world through seeded evangelism. Carleton Place was not the only town that had one. People from so-called “heathen” nations would attend, learn to spread the gospel. Sons of some of the most prominent Aboriginal leaders of the time (many of mixed ancestry) received their education at the Foreign Mission School in Conn., later becoming distinguished members of their nations. It seems that Carleton Place felt it needed its own.
A sad accident occurred on Saturday afternoon when little David Warren, son of Mr. and William Warren, met death in the Mississippi river at the Bates & Innes bridge. The boy had secured permission to attend the Star theatre and was returning from there at about five o’clock, accompanied by a playmate Jackie Harper, when the fatal accident occurred. The boys when last seen before the accident were playing with a kitten on the lawn before the Bates & Innis mill.
According to the story of Jackie Harper the boys, when passing over the bridge became interested in the water plunging over the stop-log at the edge of the bridge. Boy like, they scrambled into the railing and watched the water take the drop. Intensely interested David leaned over the edge of the railing just a little too far and losing his balance fell into the seething waters.
Jackie, alarmed at seeing his comrades’ predicament ran to Mr. Alexander McDiarmid’s for help which was immediately secured but not before the lad was drowned. The body was recovered in less than fifteen minutes.
David George was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Warren. Mr. Warren, who is a traveller for the Mount Forest Carriage Co. was at the time of the accident at the firm’s headquarters in Mount Forest. He received word of the death at 6.30 and by 6.45 was motoring to Toronto where he took the train arriving here early Sunday morning.
The funeral was held on Monday afternoon from the home of the child’s parents to the 8th line cemetery, Ramsay. The services were conducted by Rov. Melvin Taylor, assisted by Rev. W. A. Dobson.
The pallbearers were playmates of the child: Jackie Harper, Clara Syme, Lester Kemp, Peter Donald, Lawrence Virtue and Harold Virtue, As the cortege passed the town hall school the pupils formed lines as a last tribute to their departed fellow pupil.
David, who was eight years and eight months old, was the second eldest of a family of five children, the remaining members of which are James, Jack. William and Isobel.
A large number of friends of both Mr. and Mrs. Warren from the surrounding district accompanied the body to the cemetery, and the flower expressions of sympathy were many.
A large number of friends of both Mr and Mrs Warren from the surrounding district accompanied the body to the cemetery, and the floral expressions of sympathy were many. Wreaths were from Mr and Mrs Stanley McColloch, Tweed; B.Y. Williams and family, Jackie Harper, Mrs Harper and Mrs Jefferson. Sprays from the mother and father; Mr and Mrs W.H. Wood, Ottawa; Mr and Mrs Geo M. Warren; Mr and Mrs F.C. Donald, and Miss E. McLaren, from the little cousins Clara and Myrtle Syme and Helen Naismith, J.H. McFadden and family, Mr and Mrs J.R. Robertson and Miss Olive, and Kathleen Findlay, Cut flowers were received in profusion from Master Harold Lewis, Bert Kingston, Andrew and Russell Cochran, little Lulu and Iona Boale, Miss Edith Hughes, Mr and Mrs Greville Toshack, Mr and Mrs H.M. Snedden, Lena Saunders and little Jennie Saunders and other little school friends.
1929, Friday January 11, The Almonte Gazette front page Wm. J. Warren of Carleton Pl. Dead Well known Sportsman Passes After Brief Illness of Pneumonia William J. Warren died on Monday at his home in Carleton Place after being ill only a few days. He had been under the doctor’s care for some weeks but his case was not considered serious and a rapid recovery was looked forward to. However, a few days ago he caught a cold that is so prevalent and when he developed pneumonia his strength failed him and he gradually grew weaker until he passed away. He was the son of the late James and Mrs Warren and was born in Carleton Place in 1883. He was one of the best known sportsman in the Ottawa Valley and his keenest delight was in horse racing. During the Old Home Week in Carleton Place in 1924 he was placed in charge of horse racing and it was due to his untiring efforts and his keen wisdom and fairness that the event was such a huge success. He was a familiar figure in baseball and hockey and dearly loved both games. For any years he was a member of the executive of both these branches of sport and during all the years he was a member he never missed a meeting, unless unavoidably absent from town. For many years he was the representative for the Mount Forest Carriage Company and in the performance of his duties he travelled from coast to coast. Of a very jovial disposition he had a host of friends both at home and abroad and it has been said that he one of the best known and most popular travellers on the road. In politics he was an ardent supporter of the Liberal-Conservative party and he will be greatly missed the local councils. In religion he was a devout member of Memorial Park Church and was always active in church work. In the political sphere, in sports, in fraternal circles and in all things pertaining to the welfare of the town, his death had made a void that will be hard to fill. He leaves to mourn his widow, three sons and one daughter, a little boy was accidentally drowned in the Mississippi river a few years ago. Also surviving are on brother George M. of Carleton Place, one sister Mrs W.H. Woods of Ottawa. The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon. Rev J. Osrhout of Memorial Park Church conducted the funeral services at the home and the remains were placed in St. James’ Vault. Mrs Warren nee Isabel C. Snedden, is a daughter of Mrs D. E. Snedden, of Almonte.
983, Wednesday December 12, The Almonte Gazette page 6 Isobel Cochran Warren One of Almonte’s oldest residents died recently at Fairview Manor at 100 years of age. Isobel Cochran Warren (nee Snedden) was born on the eighth line of Ramsay township in 1883, and died Dec 12, 1983 after living all her life in this area. Mrs Warren was the daughter of David and Ellen Snedden, both of Ramsay township. She was educated at the Bennie’s Corners school and married William James Warren in 1911. The deceased was a member of the Zion Memorial United Church in Carleton Place. In the past, Mrs Warren represented the Canadian Legion ceremonies as a silver cross mother. A son and a daughter survive Mrs Warren. They are William H. Warren of Rexdale, Ontario and Isobel Robertson of Carleton Place. She is also survived by a sister, Mabel Syme of Almonte. Three children predeceased Mrs Warren, including a son, Sgt Observer James S. Warren who lost his life in the Second World War, and sons David George and John McCullouch. The long-time area resident was also predeceased by three sisters, Laura Snedden, Nell Naismith and Elizabeth Robertson, all of Almonte. She is survived by seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. The funeral service was held at the Allan R. Barker Funeral Home in Carleton Place on Dec 14 at 2 pm with Rev Wesley Mitchell officiating. Mrs Warren was buried in the Auld Kirk Cemetery near Almonte and pallbearers were D Kennedy, T. Barnett, D Robertson, G. Greer, K. Robertson and A. Marshall.
Ron W. Bates and J.A. Innes took over the woolen mill built by Archibald McArthur in 1871. Located on a man made island in the Mississippi River in Carleton Place, this 4 story stone mill had several owners before they purchased it in 1907. It was built of rubble wall construction – with exterior and interior walls of one foot thick limestone blocks with another foot of gravel between. The turbine wheels are still visible today, mounted on free standing timbers outside the stone walls to prevent the end of the mill from being shaken and damaged.
Our calendar features several well known Bates and Innes logos – they were famous for their “OV Brand”, (Ottawa Valley), “Pure Wool Underwear, Weight and Warmth for the Out-of-Doors Man”. It also advertises “Velvoknit – Distinguished for its Softness and Fineness”.
During World War One, the firm was busy meeting military needs for blankets, underwear, cloth and knitted puttees. They were the first mill in Canada to use flat-lock seams on heavy rib combinations. During the Second World War, the mill ran night and day in all departments, providing military blankets, underwear, puttees and and a long run on a 40 ounce knitted duffle cloth, with water proofing treatment that was used in naval pea jackets. The wheeling yarn department turned out tens of thousands of pounds of yarn for the Canadian Red Cross to be hand knit by the women of Canada into warm socks, mitts and sweaters for the men overseas.
Bates and Innes ceased operations in 1963, due, in part, to the introduction of synthetic fibres. The property is currently for sale and awaits a buyer with vision to restore and operate this historical building.
The Mississippi River once again exacted its grim toll, when two care-free boys, Jack Lyons age 15 and Harold McGrath, age 14 drowned in its icy waters about 4.30 p.m. on Saturday. Both were members of a Boy Scout patrol which had gone up the river to Andrews’ Point where they planned to spend the night.
The purpose of the trip was to try tests for proficiency badges. In the group were Assistant Scoutmaster Peter Griffin; Patrol Leader, John Graham; Troop Leader, Donald Pink; Patrol Leader, Billy Ritchie, and Scouts Jerry Sinett, Lenis Davey, Jack Lyons and Harold McGrath.
About 4.30, the boys entered an aluminum canoe and crossed the river up stream. They were soon lost to sight and there was no other boat at the camp a t the time. Both boys were thoroughly familiar with the river but when they did not return for supper at 7 p.m., concern was felt for their safety. A little later, John Graham returned to camp in a skiff with an outboard motor and he and Mr. Griffin set out to search the upper river.
They found the empty canoe at the second inlet and realized that the boys were lost. O.P.C. Donald Osborne was notified by telephone at 9 p.m. and at 9.10 the fire siren sounded and 15 boats carrying some 50 men and boys started up river. The search went on all night and at 7.55, Sunday morning, the bodies were found a few feet apart and about 60 feet from shore about half a mile above camp.
O.P.C. Scott of Perth was in charge of the dragging operations. On hand when the bodies were found was John Lyons, father of Jack Lyons and he assisted in the hardest task that he will probably ever have to do—that of helping to lift the lifeless body of his son into the boat. Harold McGrath, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thosnas McGrath, was 15 years of age. He joined the Scouts when they were re-formed in January, 1948. He passed the tenderfoot test in February, 1948 and received his second class badge in December, 1949. He also received his two years’ service star at the Scout birthday party in January, 1950.
He was appointed second in command of the Eagle Patrol in October, 1949. Besides his parents, he is survived by two brothers, Harvey and Merville; two sisters, Dorothy and Ethel, all at home. John Francis (Jack) Lyons, son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Lyons was 14 years of age. He joined the Scouts in the fall of 1949, passing his tenderfoot test in December. He also received his badges and certificates at the birthday party.
He is survived by his parents, two brothers, Patrick of Toronto and Bernard at home; five sisters, Joan, Doreen, Nora, Dora and Lorraine, all at home. Funerals Same Day Attended by large numbers o£ sorrowing friends and relatives, the funeral of John Francis Lyons was held from his late home on Water Street on Tuesday morning at 8.45 to St. Mary’s Church for Requiem High Mass at 9 -a.m. Rev. Canon J. Cunningham officiated.
Fifteen members of the First Almonte Scout Troop, under Scoutmaster A. E. Perfitt and Assistant Scoutmaster Peter Griffin, attended as a guard of honor. The pall-bearers were: Desmond Miller, Wilbert Barr, Bernard O’Neill, Claude Miron, Michael McAuliffe, Wm. Proctor, of Almonte, and Leo McIntyre and Edward Burns of Carleton Place
Interment was in St. Mary’s Cemetery. The funeral of William Harold McGrath was held on Tuesday afternoon at 2.30 p.m. from his parents’ home on Ottawa Street. Service was conducted at 2 p.m. by Rev. H. L. Morrison of Trinity United Church. The large attendance at the service and the lengthy cortege were evidence of the sympathy extended to the bereaved parents and family. The Boy Scouts and Grade VI pupils of the Public School marched in the procession. The pall-bearers were: Claude Miron, John Graham, Desmond Houston, Leo McIntyre, Wm. Proctor and Len Sonnenburg. Many Floral Tributes Among the floral tributes were wreaths from Teachers and pupils of Grade 6, Almonte Public School; Almonte Branch Canadian Legion, No. 240; Almonte Fire Brigade; 1st Almonte Boy Scout Troop; Producers Dairy, Local \o . 12, Almonte; International Operating Engineers, Local No. 869, Ottawa; Producers Dairy Limited and N. Carrie; U.T.W.A., Local No. 104, Almonte; Pupils, teachers and lionald Crawshaw of Almonte Public Schools; Employees of Thoburn Woollen Mills; Menders of Rosamond Woolen Mill, Trinity United Church and the Peterson Ice Cream Co.
Among the many floral offerings received by the Lyons family were pieces from the Almonte Boy Scout Troop; Almonte Branch 240 Canadian Legion; Employees, I Almonte Public Utilities CommisI sion; Almonte Public Utilities Commission; Almonte Fire Brigade; the Menders, Rosamond Woolen Mill; Almonte Rosamond Memorial Hospital Medical Board; Nursing Staff, Rosamond Memorial Hospital; Employees Thoburn Woollen Mills; Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Brown and Employees of Strathbum Dairy; Producers Dairy Ltd.; Producers Dairy, Local 12, Almonte; Mr. Ernie Bigelow, Lines & Cables Accessories; Mr. A. S. Robb, Munderloh & Co., Ltd; Stedmans Store; The Women’s Card Club; Carleton Place. Chums 21; Carleton Place Chums 3; The Neighbours and the Peterson Ice Cream Co.
As so often happens in drowning accidents, the two boys were good swimmers but the icy water apparently was too much of a shock to them when they were thrown out of the canoe. When found the light aluminum craft was floating in an upright position. There is some difference of opinion, as to whether it would right itself if it had capsized. The fact that two pairs of rubber boots were in the canoe when it was found would lend credence to the theory that the craft didn’t turn over.
It may be that one boy lost his balance and was thrown out and the other jumped in to save him. There were no witnesses to the accident and no one will ever know exactly what happened. Almonte Gazette May 1950
On the 13 Jul 1942, Robert G. Wilson, 14-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Scott Wilson of the eighth line of Ramsay, was accidentally drowned today while wading in the Mississippi river at Glen Isle. With another teen-age companion, Robert Rivington, young Wilson, a poor swimmer, was wading in the river when he fell into an eight-foot hole in the river bottom.
Rivington, who (managed to reach shore, sounded the alarm and John Cram of Glen Isle and Elmer Reid went out in a boat. After a search Cram managed to recover the body, but by then it had been in the water about two hours. Dr. A. Downing, coroner of Carleton Place, ordered the removal of the body to the Combs funeral home, Almonte. His parents moved to the district 18 months ago from the West, where they had farmed.
1942, Thursday July 16, The Almonte Gazette, front page
Glen Isle Scene Of Sad Fatality Ramsay Boy Drowned While Swimming In Mississippi River
Robert G. Wilson, 14, son of Mr and Mrs W. Scott Wilson of the 8th line of Ramsay, was drowned Sunday afternoon while swimming in the bay at Glen Isle, about two miles from Carleton Place. The youth, accompanied by a neighbour, Robert Rivington, of approximately the same age, was wading into the river when he stepped into a hole and sank out of sight. The Wilson boy was a fair swimmer and it is thought he got excited when he suddenly found himself in deep water. He is said to have gone down three times.
The Rivington lad held his footing and got safely ashore. He immediately went for aid but it was some time before he found anyone. John Cram and Elmer Reid, both of Glen Isle, guided by Rivington, rowed to the spot where the Wilson boy went down but it was almost two hours before the body was recovered. Artificial respiration was applied but when Corner Albert Downing, Carleton Place, arrived he pronounced life extinct.
Robert Wilson was born in Watson, Sask., and moved here with the family some years ago. He was popular at the High School in Almonte where he was in attendance. He is survived by his parents and a brother and sister, Lennox and Kathleen. The funeral, which was largely attended took place Tuesday afternoon from the family home to the Auld Kirk Cemetery, with Rev W.J. Scott of Bethany United Church, Almonte conducting the service. Six young friends of deceased acted at pallbearers, namely, Billy Pierce, Jack Gilmour, Jerry Guthrie, Jimmy Metcalfe, Billy Naismith and Bobby Rivington. Among the floral offerings were pieces from the Almonte High School pupils and pupils of S.S. 6 & 7, Ramsay, and the U.F.W.O. The sympathy of the whole community goes out to the bereaved parents and the brother and sister.
In 2017 I wrote a story about the The Jinxed House of Crown Point. It was a story about a home that certainly had its sinister history. When the Bender family left Kanata in 1975 and moved into the two storey stone structure located near Constance Bay on what is called Crown Point they joked about its haunted history. When they later moved out of the home they no longer joked about the house with a horrible history as many things had happened to them.
You would think that only one or maybe two stories would be necessary to document this house. Like my home, if things go bump in the night, they go bump in the night, and not much you can do about it. In November one of my readers, Lynn Lefevbre sent me a newspaper clipping from the West Carleton News from the late 1990s. It was a story written by Sarah Trant about the old Grierson Home, which is yes, The Jinxed House of Crown Point.
Maybe I should save it for Halloween I thought and it has been sitting in my pile of papers next to my laptop for months. That was until yesterday. Do I believe these stories about haunted and cursed homes? Why yes I do, as I live in one of these ‘shadow homes’. The only spirits in my home have been documented by myself the first week I moved in here, a psychic, a local hospital board member, and a bunch of ladies that like to sage homes to protect them. These spirits have not bothered me much, but they have bothered visitors and the only way my home is cursed is because of the constant things that break down every day and need to be fixed.
Last night, this clipping somehow found its way to the top of my pile and my brain started to wander. I always feel when something like that happens, the story needs to be told as soon as possible. It’s a sign. Doug Hill was the owner of Grierson House in the 90s after the Benders had sold it to him. The Benders had told him about the ghostly presences before he signed the dotted line as they wanted no surprises when he assumed ownership. There was even a clause on the deed of the sale that said: “local law has it that ghostly phenomenon have been noted on the property” Mr. Hill had no issue with the clause and thought it historically interesting for the 150-year-old home. No sign was posted over the property saying: “This is the famous haunted house” –but almost everyone in the area knows exactly where it is OR was.
In the first few weeks affer the Benders had bought the home, all five family members suffered a mysterious rash which, after several doctors, was diagnosed as poison ivy. Their boat, moored to their dock, disappeared during an overnight storm, never to be seen again. Mrs. Bender’s father died of complications after a cancer operation. An old woman came to the house with a Ouija board and the board insistently pointed to one fact: “There are ghosts here.”
Then, the worst tragedy of all happened in April of 1975. Their three-year-old daughter Natasha was let out to play. She always played near the house. But this time, for some reason, her footprints in the snow led directly to an open patch of water in the ice-covered Ottawa River. Police divers recovered her body in May of 1975.
Mr. Hill never discounted after occupying the house that things were not going on although he was not aware. He said he was a down to earth person but had heard all the stories the locals provided him with. However, some of his more ‘sensitive guests’ and his children did say they could feel a ‘presence’. A few years ago one of my friends here in Carleton Place told me when she lived near the Grierson house, she could not even turn around in the driveway of the home because she would feel physically sick.
One could say that it might have been mind games but no it was not. Mr. Hill had invited guests over for dinner at one point but was running late. Upon arriving home his guests were not there and after a phone call found out one of them had become desperately afraid and sensed an evil influence as soon as they pulled into his driveway so they turned around and went home. After that Mr. Hill thought maybe an exorcism would be the right way to go but Reverend Peter Coffin who was then Dean of Christ Church Cathedral suggested it might be better not to stir things up.
According to Pat Berney, the former house on Crown Point still exists and is a private home. Hopefully the only evil spirits remaining lie under a coffin shaped rock along with the stories of gold hidden deep under that rock guarded by………… Yes readers, the dots have to remain in the story and we will never know what or whom the gold is guarded by as the story was cut off. Perhaps, that is for the best. My job is done- for now, until “they” call again.
My name is Sandy Kerry (nee Snyder). My mother is Judy Sprague, daughter of David Shafer Sprague who played football for the Ottawa Rough Riders and is in the hall of fame. He owned this house in 1967. I was 2 when my 4 year old brother and I were sent to play in the snow in March of 1967. We went to the river to walk out to the sailboats and the ice cracked because it was melting. My brother got on shore but I went under. They thought I was dead when they pulled me out but I was in a coma and after being transported to the hospital had a blood transfusion. I am very lucky to have survived. I’m sure I was under much longer than what a person can manage without dying due to the cold but I try not to think about that.
David Sprague had been in the basement with my mother and had just come up the stairs and was at the top but very shaky and my mother had to help him. When he arrived at the top he had a massive coronary heart attack and died. Not long after the house was sold. It must have been 1971 since it was purchased from a sports dealer records state.
I find it interesting that Mandy Bender and I share a similar story though sadly she didn’t survive. I’m so sorry for her family.
I wanted to share this information with you since I believe my grandfather’s spirit may be one that is trapped there.
2006--“At Crown Point a fine stone home, now occupied by Mr. Al Federer & family, was the eventual home of the large Grierson family. After the Grierson’s, the property served for a time as a tavern and Inn for travelers. It is referred to in the “Carleton Saga” and other writings as the ‘haunted house.’ Apparently, a superstitious innkeeper refused to let a stranded traveller into the inn during a storm night because he thought it was the devil.So, in spite, says the legend, the exhausted wayfarer crawled away to die and returned to haunt the house.” There is also an old family plot is in Crown Point, Dunrobin road, as you come down the last hill before you hit Crown Point Road. Its in the field up the hill to the left.
I believe in this as I was living in West Vancouver on Inglewood we sold the house kids were young the lady across the street 3 houses up the aunt knew me. The new the lady that passed she offered us the house to rent till we found one that we were going to buy again. She moved the furniture from the deceased grandfather that passed in that room, and across the hall the lady his daughter passed recently into a room in the basement and was locked. His workbench was there as he left if full of stuff when he passed years earlier. We moved in put kids in “his room” first night but next day decided to move kids into front room and we moved our bedroom furniture into his bedroom, we had a cat also. Took son to school next morning and daughter to preschool at end of street . After cleaning up etc sat on made bed with the puffy comforter on it (it was Nov) and was reading when I felt something sit down heavy on the end of bed near the door. I jumped up and look at comforter no mark then I looked under the bed, then looked in hallway (knew cat as outside) this happened at night too lots of times, also he would turn off power just for me so I would go down stairs and climb up on his workbench to get to electrical box to switch power back on. I didn’t say anything even when I felt I was being watched more than once. older Brother came for Christmas and we let him have our bedroom the second night , he never swore in front of me, got up next morning and said your fn bedroom is haunted , so I told him and husband who I hadn’t said anything too about this what I had been experiencing since we moved in./ Husband said he experienced haunting in the bedroom on his side of the bed. and didn’t want to say anything to me either. Found out that it was the grandfather who had his bed on a different wall and was not happy it was taken out of the room for sure, I spoke to a couple of the elderly ladies on the block and they said it was him as the daughter mentioned he did was in the house haunting it too. I had no idea. We spoke with the university or something to see what to do. However we moved out the next month ps brother said it went on every night he was in the room for the week too.l I am not joking about this, It was quite an experience and once I will never forget. Lucky the kids were to young . There is lots more of the haunting that he did but too much to put down here.
Lee B Wainwright
Yes, and I along with other members of the local fire department assisted the OPP divers in diving search. The search was hampered by the current along with old wooden structures that we felt may have been part of a large docking station. The search was called off after two or three days. It wasn’t until the next spring that someone spotted a coloured object floating off shore and about a kilometer or more from the original search site. It was a sad day for us and one that will always be remembered.
The Great Molasses Flood, also known as the Boston Molasses Disaster or the Great Boston Molasses Flood, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighbourhood of Boston,
What a sweet story and quite true. They say on warm summer days you can still smell a scent of molasses in the air around the fire station!
Results were devastating.
“First you kind of laugh at it, then you read about it, and it was just horrible
A molasses wave 40 foot high poured out of the container killing 21 people. Imagine living in a basement apt and having this sweet sticky liquid pour it. It was like fly paper.
A sea of more than 1,500,000 gallons of molasses, freed by the sudden explosion and col-lapse of a giant iron tank, sent a tidal wave of death and destruction-stalking through North End Park and Commercial st shortly after noon yesterday. Casualty lists furnished by the various hospitals total 11 dead and 50 Injured. Six wooden buildings were demolished, one heavy steel support of the elevated structure was knocked down and others were so weakened that they will have to be replaced. A score of Public Works Department horses were either smothered In their stalls by the flood of molasses or so severely Injured as their stable collapsed that they were shot by policemen to end their suffering. The giant molasses tank, having a capacity of 2,360,000 gallons, was located at 529 Commercial st, west of North End Park. It was the property of the Purity Distilling Company, a subsidiary of United States Industrial Alcohol Company. The tank and contents were valued in round figures at $250,000. It Is estimated the total property loss will not exceed $500,000
The molasses was distilled into industrial alcohol used to produce military explosives and the anarchy movement. The tank owners stated that anarchists blew up the tank. Then there was the fact that molasses was used in booze and prohibition was knocking at the door. Most of the residents of the North End were Italian, they were immigrants, and they were not citizens, so they had very little to say.
So this monstrous 2.3 million-gallon tank placed 3 feet from Commercial Street was erected without a whimper of protest, and no city official complained even after it started to leak from day one. The molasses flood did for building standards what the Coconut Grove fire did for fire codes as there were no regulations at the time. The molasses tank, which was 50 feet tall and 90 feet in diameter, didn’t even require a permit. After the judge ruled in favour of the plaintiffs, construction standards began to get stringent, first in Boston, then in Massachusetts, and finally across the country.
Buildings swept away West of the tank, were buildings occupied by the Bay State Railway Company. Between the giant tank and the water front is the house of . Engine 31, a fireboat of the Boston Fire Department, and next beyond that, on North End Park, is a recreation, or headhouse, on a small pier. East of the tank, and adjoining North End park, near Commercial St, were the buildings of the North End Paving Division of the Public Works Department of the city of Boston. These included a small office building, a stable and some sheds. All these buildings,, as well as the frame dwelling of Mrs Bridget Clougherty at 6 Copps Hill terrace, which is across Commercial st, were quickly destroyed.
There was no escape from the wave. Caught, human being and animal alike could not flee. Running in it was impossible. Snared in its flood was to be stifled. Once it smeared a head–human or animal–there was no coughing off the sticky mass. To attempt to wipe it with hands was to make it worse. Most of those who died, died from suffocation. It plugged nostrils almost air-tight.
During the four years it was in operation, workers reported hearing groaning noises every time the tank was filled with syrup, and it was well known that the structure was leaky, particularly to neighbourhood kids. Kids would collect and eat the molasses that oozed out of the tanks. The tank leaked constantly, worrying employees and neighbours. But in their rush to keep up with demand, company officials just repainted the tank in the same colour as the leaking molasses.
They said when metre readers went into the basements of those buildings across the street from the molasses company years later they could still smell molasses. Which makes perfect sense to me, because those basements were filled up to the first floor with molasses.
I saw this on Charles Dobie’s history pages and really had to find out the story behind this photo. If you love photos from the past this page of Mr. Dobie’s is the place to check out.
So where today would this location be? Thanks to
David C Elgear – well, the tracks actually hit the SJAM just past the beach (where the Transitway merged). I would assume it was a little further along. Lawn Avenue is also in the story….it is up parallel to Carling Ave just past Carlingwood…..a little bit of a hike
Ottawa Journal Thursday 26 June 1913
Saw Train Wrecked; Tells Thrilling Story of the Scenes After the Crash Westboro Resident was Watching Express from Electric Car
Four Coaches Suddenly Jumped Outwards Into the River – Terrible Scenes Immediately Followed.
Mr. H. Hill, of Westboro, witnessed the wreck. Mr. Hill and his wife had taken a car ride to Britannia. He says: “Returning, when near McKellar Townsite, between McKellar homestead and Mason’s mill. I noticed the train coming. Two track-layers had just stood aside to allow the train to pass when suddenly four coaches upset. Two fell inwards and two outwards into the Ottawa River. The two which upset towards the shore side of the tracks fell on the two track men. They must have been killed.
“The engine and first three coaches and the last two did not leave the rails. The engine and first three coaches broke away from the wreck and went forward. Then the last coach of the three broke loose again from the engine and front two cars. The last two coaches stood on the track. They did not telescope. Two of the cars, the ones which fell inwards, buckled and fell nearly lengthwise. We got one man out from right underneath one of these cars. His chest was badly mangled and he died immediately afterward without gaining consciousness.
“The cars in the river were only half submerged and when the rescue party arrived we broke in the windows and commenced to pull out the people in these cars'”
“Some of the dead came from these cars. Whether they were pinned down and drowned in that way, I do not know. They may have been stunned and drowned in this manner.
The first people we took out of the cars on the bank were a man and a boy with their hands badly injured. They were placed in the ambulance and hurried to the hospital. The first doctors to arrive on the scene were Dr. I.G. Smith and Dr. Kidd.
We took a Salvation Army girl out of the first coach to go into the water. She was uninjured and was taken to the Salvation Army headquarters in the city. Another old gentleman, his wife and five children were in the last coach to overturn. The old gentleman broke a window and climbed out. They were all uninjured. A girl of about seven years of age and her brother of fifteen years were on their way to Edmonton, to meet their father. They were with their mother and she is as yet unaccounted for. They were taken from a coach which overturned into the water, and the supposition is that their mother was drowned.
“There were quite a number of foreigners, Russians, Scandinavians, and others in the colonist car which overturned into the water.
From what I could see they will be unable to find just how many are in the cars which went into the water until the wrecking crew lift the cars. One of the cars broke of its trucks and fell in the stream nearly turning upside down. It finally lay on is (sic) side.
Old Man’s Story “The old gentleman with the five children told me his experience of this wreck. ‘I was standing up’, he said, ‘when I felt the car going over. After the first shock I braced myself and fell into the corner without any injury. I was merely shaken up. Although it happened in a second it felt as if it took the car half a minute to fall on its side. The Salvation Army girl was thrown violently from one side of the car to the other side of the car but was uninjured.
“The first men on the scene were the section men,” continued Mr. Hill “I and some other people in the car ran across the fields to the train, but the section men commenced the work of rescue immediately.
“Two girls who live close to the wreck, the two Misses Barrie, did heroic work in attending to the injured. They carried pails of water and stimulants around to the injured, helped dress wounds and assisted the surgeons. “Mr. Dunning, who lives close to the scene of the wreck, telephoned to the Chief of Police, also for ambulances and doctors, and it was due to him that ambulances and autos to care for the injured reached the scene of the wreck so quickly. He also provided linen to dress the wounds received by the injured. The first ambulance arrived about 15 or 20 minutes after the wreck had taken place.
“There was a lady and her daughter taken from the first car to turn into the water. The lady’s head was badly crushed. Her daughter was uninjured but hysterical. The most pathetic incident was that of the two children bound for Edmonton. They searched the faces of each injured person taken from the wreck, looking for their mother.
“Whether the accident was caused by a spreading rail or not I do not know. When I got there one of the rails was turned clear of the ties altogether. I do not know what the section men were doing at that spot but I imagine that they were engaged in laying new ties.
There is no curve at that spot, so I imagine that the track was weakened in some way and that the weight of the engine spread the rail and the swing of the back coaches would strain the weakened track and bulge it to one side. I didn’t hear any of the officials discussing the cause of the wreck.
The insides of the cars were very badly wrecked, although the cars themselves were not telescoped. The seats were ripped every way , all torn from the floor. The floors were not turned up, but the sides on which the cars fell were caved in and smashed to splinters. I think that the majority of the people hurt were on the side which fell and that the fall of the heavy seats, torn from their fastenings, caused quite a number of fatalities.”
Ottawa Journal 26 June 1913
Over 5,000 visited scene of wreck. Inquiry is ordered. Enquiry into the cause of fatal wreck ordered injured recovering Death list now totals 8, and injured sixty-five
CPR will open inquiry tomorrow – woman believe dead is found alive – woman passenger disappears. The inquest in connection with the tragic wreck of the Imperial Limited at McKellar Township yesterday afternoon was opened by Coroner Dr. Craig at noon today. The jury met at Rogers and Burney’s undertaking parlors, Laurier Avenue, and adjournment was made till tomorrow night in the courthouse, Nicholas Street.
All that took place today was the formal identification of the body of John Peace, Glasgow, Scotland by his chum, a man named Cutt of the same place. The inquest will be nominally into the death of Peace, but will really concern itself with the whole tragedy and it cause.
Messrs George Hodge, general superintendent, and C Murphy, general superintendent of traffic for the CPR arrived in the city this morning, and the company’s inquiry into the circumstances will begin tomorrow at the Broad Street Station. Superintendent Gilliland of the Ottawa – Chalk River division of the CPR on which the accident occurred is here from Smith Falls.
Seen by a Journal reporter, Mr. Gilliland denied the report that any section men have been killed, but admitted that section men had been working on the right-of-way in the vicinity of the wreck. “I don’t know how the report that section men had been crushed to death had his origins,” he said. The Montreal – Ottawa division of the CPR over which superintendent Spencer has jurisdiction and responsibility, has its western limit at the end of the Broad Street terminal yards, or about 2 miles east of the place where the derailment happened.
The monetary loss to the company will not be great, according to opinions expressed this morning. While the two cars that went down the embankment into the river are now of practically no value the other two that were twisted into the opposite direction can, according to Mr. Gilliland, be still repaired and used.
The track was cleared by 6:30 this morning and a great part of the morning was spent in raising the four cars. This will take some time.
There are several changes in the list of fatalities. Mrs. Bunting, of Winnipeg, and her little child were reported this morning to have been among the killed. As a matter of fact they are stopping at the home of Mr. E. Hurry, of Woodroffe. Mrs. Bunting and her four children came through the accident with no very great injury, although the mother has slight injuries about the back.
The body supposed to have been that of Mrs. Bunting proved to be that of Mrs. McClure and Edmonton woman, of about 52 years of age. She was on her way out to Edmonton after a visit. The child found and said at first to be the daughter of Mrs. Bunting is the granddaughter of mrs. McClure. Its mother who escaped from the wreck with only slight injuries is at 131 Lawn Avenue, the home of Mr. John Sarsfield. Woman disappears.
Strange things can happen at times of great excitement, such as that which prevailed after yesterday’s accident, and strange things did. One of the most remarkable was the sprinting away of a woman who had come through the wreck physically unscathed but with her nervous system badly shaken. She was standing beside the cars sobbing her sorrow for the less fortunate friends, when a helpful woman took her, and led her away. Those taking the names of survivors failed to get a record of this woman’s identity, and since the accident she has not been heard from. Superintendent Spencer of the CPR is anxious to get in touch with her. John Donnelly of Glen Island, has left St. Luke’s Hospital fully recovered. He was pinned under a seat and nearly drowned.
During the afternoon and evening the Ottawa Electric Railway carried about 5,000 passengers out to the wreck. Cars from every service in the city were rushed on to the Britannia line to accommodate the overflow.