Tag Archives: water

The Gemmill Well in Almonte 1951

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The Gemmill Well in Almonte 1951

Unexpected Almonte

April 13, 2020  · 

This old water fountain is located in Gemmill Park, #Almonte. Enter the park across from the Esso, where the road entrance is, walk down that road and when you are parallel with highway 29, you will see this fountain on your right in the bushes. Was it placed in the park near its inception – sometime shortly after 1943?

In 1943, when the blitz raged over London, Winnifred Knight Dunlop Gemmill, last of the Gemmill family, died. In her will the Gemmill homestead properties were gifted to the people of Almonte for their recreation and enjoyment. I’ve heard that this area, at this end of the park, near this fountain, was a popular picnic spot during that era. Gemmill Park is still a wonderful park, with picnic spots, trails, water and washrooms… 🙂

Thanks Kathy for the photo and directional details ❤️

August 1951

Water coming from taps in the New England section of Almonte has an unpleasant taste and wears a yellow tinge, Town Council -was told at its regular meeting Tuesday .night by Councillor Walter Morton. He said he had heard complaints from several friends who lived in that part of the town and one of them had gone So far as to say the aqua pura had an evil smell.

He asked Reeve George Gomme, Chairman of the Waterworks Committee, if he could throw any light on the subject. Mr. Gomme said he had heard some talk of the kind but as the water was tested – periodically in the Provincial health laboratories, and as every sample came back marked A l, which is the purest classification, he could not see what more there was to do in the matter.

Mr. Gomme said that he understood the local medical health officer secured samples from various sections of the town including New England. One thing sure the water was pure for drinking purposes no matter what color it was or how it tasted. It developed that other members of the Council had heard talk of the water being brackish in New England. One man suggested that it might be iron. Another said he understood the water was at its worst when the well in Gemmill Park, which is practically a failure, was turned on.

This shaft led down into a dolomite rock formation and was practically abandoned so far as a good producer is concerned. The driller said that when dolomite is encountered it means the well will be a failure. However, as the water supply at that time was most precarious and as some water could be obtained from the dud, a small pump was installed and is used from time to time.

No one in the Council was in a position to say whether the well in the park was the culprit or not. Mr. Gomme said it would be an easy matter to have the medical officer, Dr. Fred Snedden, take his next sample from some tap in New England. But again, the Reeve pointed out that while the sample would likely come back from Toronto rating the purest classification possible that would not take a nasty taste out of it nor affect its color.

It was finally decided to send a sample of the water away for mineral analysis. A small quantity of water was taken from a tap in Mr. Harvey Scott’s residence and is now on its way for this test. The laboratory experts will no doubt be able to tell what is in the water and what makes it taste and look the way it does but whether they will be able to suggest a remedy remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gomme reported, the well at the corner of Hope and Euphemia Streets was practically ready for operation. There were still a couple of valves to be installed and a pump house to be built. It is believed this is a very fine well with lots df water. If present hopes are justified it may be the answer to the complaints of New England people about the quality of the water that passes through the taps.

When it is turned on it will probably be quite sweet and if the quantity is what most people think it will be no longer necessary to use the well in Gemmill Park.

also discussed at same meeting.

Need of new doors in the local lock-up was discussed by the Council. Opinion is a child could get out of th e cells as they are.

The municipality (the Town of Mississippi Mills) supplies drinking water to approximately 5,350 people in Almonte. There are five municipal wells constructed between 1948 and 1991 varying in depth from 38 to 79 metres.

Where does the water come from?

The municipal wells draw groundwater from the Nepean Sandstone Aquifer which is well-known for supplying a good volume of quality drinking water.

Drinking Water in Almonte –read here

Gemmill Park Skating Rink May Be Illegal–1947

So What Happened to Miss Winnifred Knight Dunlop Gemmill’s Taxidermy Heads?

The Homestead – a John Dunn story

Jessie Leach Gemmill -The “Claire Fraser” of Lanark

From Gemmil’s Creek to the Riel Rebellion

Gemmill Park Forest read click

The Water in New England (Almonte) 1951

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The Water in New England (Almonte) 1951

Across The Bay To New England 1920 almonte.com

August 1951

Water coming from taps in the New England section of Almonte has an unpleasant taste and wears a yellow tinge, Town Council was told at its regular meeting Tuesday night by Councillor Walter Morton. He said he had heard complaints from several friends who lived in that part of the town and one of them had gone So far as to say the aquapura had an evil smell. He asked Reeve George Gomme, Chairman of the Waterworks Committee, if he could throw any light on the subject.

Mr. Gomme said he had heard some talk of the kind but as the water was tested – periodically in the Provincial health laboratories, and as every sample came back marked A l, which is the purest classification, he could not see what more there was to do in the matter. Mr. Gomme said that he understood the local medical health officer secured samples from various sections of the town including New England.

One thing sure the water was pure for drinking purposes no matter what color it was or how it tasted. It developed that other members of the Council had heard talk of the water being brackish in New England. One man suggested that it might be iron. Another said he understood the water was at its worst when the well in Gemmill Park, which is practically a failure, was turned on. This shaft led down into dolomite rock formation and vnas practically abandoned so far as a good producer is concerned. The driller said that when dolomite is encountered it means the well will be a failure.

However, as the water supply at that time was most precarious and as some water could be obtained from the dud, a small pump was installed and is used from time to time. No one in the Council was in a position to say whether the well in the park was the culprit or not. Mr. Gomme said it would be an easy matter to have the medical officer, Dr. Fred Snedden, take his next sample from some tap in New England.

But again, the Reeve pointed out that while the sample would likely come back from Toronto rating the purest classification possible that would not take a nasty taste out of it nor affect its color. It was finally decided to send a sample of the water away for mineral analysis. A small quantity of water was taken from a tap in Mr. Harvey Scott’s residence and is now on its way for this test.

The laboratory experts will no doubt be able to te ll what is in the water and what makes it taste and look the way it does but whether they will be able to suggest a remedy rem ains to be seen. Meanwhile, Mr. Gomme reported, the well at the corner of Hope and Euphem ia Streets was practically ready fo r operation. There were still a couple of valves to be installed and a pump house to be built. It is believed this is a very fine well with lots df water.

If present hopes are justified it may be the answer to the complaints of New England people about the quality of the water that passes through the taps. When it is turned on it will probably be quite sweet and if the quantity is what most people think it will be no longer necessary to use the well in Gemmill Park. Need of new doors in the local lock-up was discussed by the Council. Opinion is a child could get out of the cells as they are.

Ferry Cross the Mersey?– Irishtown Almonte

Memories of Augusta Park

A Conversation With Ivan Duncan — Barber — John Dunn

The Passing of the Backhouse — Bill Clark

Fear of the Life Aquatic by Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Fear of the Life Aquatic by Linda Knight Seccaspina

Oakland Ferry- San Francisco 1880

Fear of the Life Aquatic by Linda Knight Seccaspina

One hot summer day when I was 6 my mother spoke some wise words while we stood on the edge of the dock at Selby Lake in Quebec. Bernice Ethylene Knight warned me over and over not to stare at the water as she prophesied that I would fall in. While everyone was enjoying their picnic lunch I immediately returned to the edge of that dock to test her theory.

Like a flying duck making a fell swoop into the water I fell in head first. That was the day I nearly drowned and water and “boating” became a fearful enemy. When I turned 60  ten years ago, I felt I should finally throw caution to the wind. 

Oakland, California- July 2012

I walked slowly down the planked path to the dock as the seagulls flew over me with mocking cries. They could smell my fear and taunted me as I approached the dock. I could feel my stomach inching up into my throat and it felt like the church picnic at Haven Isles in the 60’s all over again. Walking across the small plank that was hooked to the dock reminded me of the swinging bridge across the river at that annual picnic at the popular Townships location. If this thing swayed like that Haven Isles bridge Linda was going to be glued to the dock in fear forever.

Seldom late for anything I arrive 37 minutes ahead of schedule to make sure I am on time to possibly die. I call my friend and leave a message that if the ferry starts going down— please pick up my call and not let it go to message.  I decide to stick my identification that I have placed in a plastic bag inside my sports bra so if the boat goes down they can identify my body quickly.

I watch the elderly tourists getting onto the Potomac; fondly known as The Floating White House. The boat was originally called the USCG Cutter Electra in 1934. I watch as they pull anchor and gaze at the waving occupants that I feel might not make it across the bay.

We all proceed on to the ferry like a funeral march, and I glance at the sign that states that if the above alarm goes off to man your stations.  Where actually is my station I ask the steward as he silently motions me to go upstairs to the second deck. Watching from above I see a child below grasping a floater. He too is unsure of his fate and I silently berate myself for not bringing a floater.

We approach Treasure Island and the water begins to get rougher. An elderly man from the old 187th Airbourne assures me everything will be fine and begins to tell me stories from WWII. The fear has now been replaced by similar droning words that I have been told dozens of times by my late grandfather. 

I am amazed at how little that holds up the Bay Bridge and realize that the bridge will fall on us if an earthquake should immediately occur.  I wonder if the captain is slowing down just to scare us as there is most certainly no backed up traffic in these waters.

Attempting to get the perfect shot of the bridge I fall on the slippery deck as the captain increases his speed. Thankfully my nightmare does not occur and Linda does not do a fatal

swan dive over the edge. The passengers are impressed as I lay there and take a picture of the under belly of the Bay Bridge. There is no way I could have gotten this angle standing up.

The captain now assumes his ferry is a speed boat and we bounce off the crests of the waves that make the nearby sailboats heave up and down. I  suddenly question whether I should immediately go in and hit the bar.

I see Pier 39 in the distance and wonder how people swim from that pier to Alcatraz Island everyday. Neighbouring passengers tell me there are dolphins in this part of the bay and I immediately think of Flipper and how he helped drowning people.

Getting off the ferry I am immediately greeted by The Silver Man whose real name is Evan. I notice the large bucket he has for the exiting passengers like myself.  My stomach silently asks what form of payment he wants. I am proud that I faced my fear head on and know that if I ever win a cruise — it is going to the first person that wants it.

Architecture Stories: The Voodoo Madam – Mary Ellen Pleasant

The Lady Who Sang the Blues-Time Travel

We Are No Longer in Gnome Man’s Land — Do You Gnome What I am Saying?

Painting the Memories with Written Word –Linda Knight Seccaspina

The Old Water Pump

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The Old Water Pump

Ask kids today if they ever heard of a water pump and chances are it is just another reminder of the past on the rural farms. I remembered my grandparents having one when I was a child as they used it to water their large garden smack dab in the middle of downtown Cowansville, Quebec. I remember hot summer mornings where everything would be silent and you knew my Grandmother had begun her day with the sound of the water pump being cranked. I swear it was the coldest sweetest water ever tasted and I would put my hand under the flowing water as it came out and will never feel such a great experience in my life.

My grandmother used to tell me we children had it easy as in the olden days there were shallow wells dug on waterfront properties and then

pumps were always a keen interest any time we kids were able to visit them,’ Doug remembers. ‘We, of course, were only interested in playing in the water. As long as the arm pumped water, I was happy. I didn’t care how it worked, it just mattered that it pumped water.’

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum photo

From as far back as anyone can remember (possibly back to the 1800’s), that old water well served as a public source of drinking water and thus as a public gathering place. People would come from miles around to fill their cans and containers with what is remembered as “the best tasting water you could drink.”

So far as I can find, no one knows just when the well came to be.

It just always was.

Wendy LeBlancMy Dad, Ken Robertson, often mentioned the water pump at Central School, but other than a poor-quality photo from the newspaper, he never found a good picture of it. He would have loved to see this. The pump certainly wasn’t there when I went to Central for Grade 5 in 1958.

Linda Gallipeau-JohnstonNo pump when I was there but lots of fence! What is the wooden path way down to the pump I wonder – is that the street sidewalk?

Doug B. McCartenAt least the Town will know where they can access fresh water 💧 when the Town intake becomes polluted and is of no further value lol!

One of my favourite photos from Aggie Yuill’s photo book by Laurie Yuill Middleville historian — sitting by the kitchen water pump

Many of you are old enough to remember the old manual water pumps. To get them going you had to pour some water in the top and pump, and pump, and pump until water started to finally come out the spout. As long as you kept pumping, the water kept coming. If you ever stopped pumping the water would go back down to the level of the well and you would have to repeat the process to get water to start flowing out the spout again.

If you grew up on a farm, you may have used it a thousand times. I still remember pumping the water, the feel of the iron handle, the resistance of the water being pulled up to the spout. I still remember hearing the churning beneath, echoing up the shaft as I pumped, then hearing the gurgle of water rising up the spout and finally pouring out. I loved pumping the water. I felt like a pioneer. I imagined I was one. And I drank out of it, too. The water tasted sweet.

Pumps were usually installed near the house or mid-point between the house and barn, so that water could be carried a minimum distance. Deluxe cabins and homes might even have the pump installed inside in the kitchen, so the family would have “running water” of sorts. The earliest pumps were hand-pumped only. For each stroke of the lever, a gush of water flowed from the spout.The earliest pumps were hand-pumped only. For each stroke of the lever, a gush of water flowed from the spout.

Pumps were usually installed near the house or mid-point between the house and barn, so that water could be carried a minimum distance. Deluxe cabins and homes might even have the pump installed inside in the kitchen, so the family would have “running water” of sorts.

Caroline AndersonI loved our old pump beside our house. Was sad when we did some renovations and redid the pipe to the well it was taken out. Our laneway loop was also taken out. As a kid, I use to go out and just see if I was strong enough to pump it till the water came out.

Karen LloydI remember getting my tongue stuck on ours……watch this lol

Stuart McIntoshWe had one at the well near the garden and a small cistern pump in the house.. finally got running water in the house in 1971.

Rose ParsonsThis is all we had to get our water when a young girl on the farm . It supplied a family of 8 people and all of the annimal as well. We also had a small pump on a stand in the kitchen that would bring the rain water collected up from our cistern which would be heated for doing dishes scrubbing and the likes as well

Barb DanisI remember having to use them we had one inside and one outside.

Barb LemayYes – at our public school. SS#15 Drummond.

Judy SalleyCarrying the full pails was worse than pumping the water

Barb LemayThis is a great picture! I attended this school from grade 1 to 8. Remember using the pump. We also had a baseball diamond close by. Many grades played together. We played anti-I-over in the summer (not sure of the correct spelling) and fox and goose in the winter.
I remember the chemical closets (boys and girls), the library (loved the Hardy Boys) and the wood furnace. We did have great Christmas concerts and special lunches when all the families would send sweet treats to share with everyone.
We had wooden desks with ink wells too!
Other special memories: the lilac bush with a hummingbird nest that we would carefully watch each day. The locus trees in one corner that would be a “safe” zone for games. The rock pile by the fence where there was only 1 good flat rock to sit on at lunch – it was a race to get to it. Tobogganing down the next door neighbours field after an ice rain – we could FLY!
Yes- I am feeling very nostalgic tonight. Thanks for allowing me to comment.

S.S. No. 15 Drummond – McIlquaham School2397 10th Concession, McIlquaham-Blair Side Rd., Lanark–Blair’s great grandfather, George McIlquham, donated the land for S.S. No. 15 Drummond in 1840. The first log building was eventually torn down and a rough lumber structure erected, but it was too small for the growing community and the site was wet and muddy, so a brick building was built across the road on Chas Campbell’s farm. The Maple Leaf Literary Society donated a 6-shelf library in 1915 and in 1925 chemical closets were installed inside the school. Various items were purchased over the years with money made at annual Christmas concerts, including a victrola, a teacher’s chair, a basketball, a water cooler, an aquarium with five goldfish, and a first aid kit. In 1948, electric lights were installed and a well was drilled. The school was finally closed in 1965 and is now a private residence owned by André Messie

before

after
VINTAGE AVON 1968 PUMP DECANTER WILD COUNTRY AFTER SHAVE 6oz.
In the days before water was piped to most houses and businesses, the public water pump supplied a very important service for many towns and villages.
There is a drinking cup on a chain attached to the pump, which was added in 1895 – a sort of early drinking fountain !
Later on people complained about the water coming out of the pump, which wasn’t quite as good as we expect these days !
The Springfield Press
Springfield, Missouri
15 Jul 1929, Mon  •  Page 11

Related reading

The Community Wells — Water Water Everywhere?

A Record of Drowning — River Falls and Cisterns

Tales of the Cistern —- Jan McCarten Sansom

Cisterns I Have Known

Do You have an Archaeological Find in Your Carleton Place Basement?

Do You have a Hidden Room in Your Home?

“The Tim Horton’s River” Under my House.. Is That the Way To Fraggle Rock?

The Community Wells — Water Water Everywhere?

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The Community Wells — Water Water Everywhere?

Before the waterworks system was introduced, it shows that the civic wells were a great source of trouble to the Councils of our areas. With the growth of the towns there were increasing demands from various parts of our towns for additional wells.

People began to tire of walking too far to draw their water and began to ask for wells closer to their homes. At first the civic wells were all “open” wells of the old oaken bucket type. When pumps came in people began to demand that the wells be covered over and pumps put in. There were good reasons why people wanted pumps instead of the buckets and chains.

The first was a sanitary reason. Mischievous people had a playful habit of dropping dead dogs and cats into the wells, and that wasn’t pleasant. The second reason was that a pump was much easier to operate than a bucket, and the people were beginning to get lazy. The third reason (and an important one) was that the open wells were dangerous. Now and again children fell into them. People were afraid to send their children alone to the wells. But, no child could fall into a pump, so pumps were preferred.

The Town Councils were also bothered by demands for wells to be cleaned out — and chains broke and the buckets were stolen. To cover an open well and put in a pump cost about fifty dollars. To dig a new well cost from $175 to $130 according to depth.

The towns were poor in the 1860s and 1870s and it was hard to find the money for the new wells or the covering of the existing ones. But then the towns had business places which required a considerable amount of water in connection with their businesses and they began to request that they be allowed to tap the wells and run pipes from the bottoms of the wells into their cellars.

One interesting thing was the wells was said to have fine water but the wells were never tested. They may have been, but there is no reference to the fact– nor complaints about the water. In those days, people were used to getting some dirt in their mouths from time to time. They drank out of delivery barrels from the hardware store which were seldom cleaned, and out of their own barrels which were frequently uncovered and subject to dust and contamination. But somehow or other they survived.

The days of the civic wells are gone, never to return, now that we have filtered water. But in the typhoid epidemic of the nineteen hundreds, the people were glad to use the new bored wells.

By the middle of the 1870’s, it was expected that a fashionable home in Carleton Place would have running water and an indoor bathroom.  This was generally accomplished by placing a large water tank in the attic which was usually lead lined — one reason the average life span was shorter back then.

One water pipe usually ran down to a boiler in the kitchen, where it could be heated.  Victorian bathrooms were virtually always located on the second floor and near the back of the house.  This served an esthetic purpose — Victorians definitely believed that bathrooms should be neither seen nor heard — and also placed the bathroom so that water pressure from the attic could conveniently supply the bathtub by pushing hot water up from the kitchen boiler.  The flush toilets of the era also worked off gravity, utilizing flush compartments that were placed as high as eight feet above the toilet, and activated by a long pull chain.

How did they fill the attic water tank in the first place?  Well, with a little luck, from rain water.  Gutters were used to funnel rainwater into the tank (which were built to hold as much as 600 gallons), and if the weather failed, the well-to-do could always depend upon wells and servants with buckets or hand pumps. Then there were the cisterns that are in our homes that I wrote about.

Carleton Place Waterworks
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Mar 1911, Wed  •  Page 2

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Jun 1912, Fri  •  Page 16

Did you know that when they laid the first water pipes in Carleton Place workers were brought in from Romania, Italy and the Baltic states? They all boarded at Leech’s School right next to Barker’s parking lot.

So it has been documented in a few places that there was a community well for years in Carleton Place on Queen Street. Jennifer Fenwick Irwin and I asked Duncan Rogers but he had no idea. So this week I went searching. I  initially thought it was at the bottom of Albert Street between Princess and Queen Street but then I drove up to the top by Coleman Street and I seriously think they were here as they were close to the C.P.R train station as mentioned in the newspapers.

There is also the fact that Mr McRae had his huge plof of Gladiolas in this space and if you look at the photo below this one the location is in the same spot and he the garden was so huge that he had water in a few locations probably from these old wells.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Benson McRae

2019

Photos from the McRae family.Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Benson McRae
Almonte Waterworks
 -
he Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
16 Aug 1919, Sat  •  Page 3
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Jul 1906, Sat  •  Page 3
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The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Sep 1906, Tue  •  Page 9
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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 May 1907, Sat  •  Page 19

A Record of Drowning — River Falls and Cisterns

Tales of the Cistern —- Jan McCarten Sansom

Cisterns I Have Known

Do You have an Archaeological Find in Your Carleton Place Basement?

Do You have a Hidden Room in Your Home?

“The Tim Horton’s River” Under my House.. Is That the Way To Fraggle Rock?

William Pattie — Built More Homes Than Any Other Man

The Lakes of Lanark County

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The Lakes of Lanark County

38772048_10155932494361886_8667840836278419456_n.jpg

 

I always question where is where and people have to help me out. Thanks to the school books from Doris Blackburn we have this great map of  reference where we know which lake or body of water is where in Lanark County.

 

map2.jpg

 

historicalnotes

 - Daring rescue brings reward ALMONTE (Special)...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 10 May 1978, Wed,
  3. [First] REVISION,
  4. Page 3 - Mississippi canoe event set for May 22 CARLETON...

    Clipped from

    1. The Ottawa Journal,
    2. 10 May 1978, Wed,
    3. [First] REVISION,
    4. Page 3

     - a poa- for PRIEST CHASED LIKE A THIEF Exporteoe...

  5. Clipped from

    1. The Ottawa Journal,
    2. 14 Feb 1906, Wed - a teen-aged WINTER OR SUMMER, they pull some...

      Clipped from

      1. The Ottawa Journal,
      2. 21 Feb 1959, Sat,
      3. Page 14 - , . FROM PERTH, we have received a brief...

        Clipped from

        1. The Ottawa Journal,
        2. 07 Feb 1959, Sat,
        3. Page 11

        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

        relatedreading.jpg

        Tales from Lake Park– A Disabled Motor and Manslaughter

      4. Adventures at Dalhousie Lake at the Duncan’s Cottages —- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

      5. Family Photos– Mississippi Lake– Darlene Page

Water so Low in Almonte Will Prosecute “Hosers”

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Water so Low in Almonte Will Prosecute “Hosers”

 - f 1- r-i Water So Low, Will Prosecute Almonte...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  14 Aug 1948, Sat,  Page 8

 

Okay, had to use the hosers word.:)

 

almonte-fire-brigade-1948.jpg

Almonte fire brigade 1948 Almonte Ontario

 

Image result for almonte 1948

Almonte fire brigade 1948 Almonte Ontario

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)

 

 

relatedreading

The Drought of 1871 and the Mills on the Mississippi River

What Do You Know About the Burnt Lands?

The Cholera Epidemic of 1911

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The Cholera Epidemic of 1911

 

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Life before bottled water???? 
This ad for bottled water from the pure spring water at Hunt Club was in the Ottawa Journal in May of 1911.Now known as the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, this is the golf course by the airport at Hunt Club and Riverside. (Linda Seccaspina on Lost Ottawa)

Did you know there was also a spring near the Borthwick Ridge (South of Hawthorne).The water was collected and pumped from a bricked well located on land belonging to the Borthwick family, north of the ridge, on lot 20 in the fourth concession. William, son of settler Thomas Borthwick, bottled the water and sold it in Ottawa in his own grocery store, and other locations, in the 1870s and subsequent years. The waters had a salty taste.

It seems people were always prepared for a zombie apocalypse all through local history. Bottled water, strong abs and plenty of canned food.

 

Thanks to my favourite Ottawa historian Jaan Kolk, information about a cholera outbreak in 1911 in the Ottawa area was posted on Lost Ottawa as this was a reason why bottled water was being advertised to heavily in the newspapers.

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Jaan Kolk– 1911 saw a serious typhoid outbreak in Ottawa that was blamed (correctly) on the city water supply – so lots of ads for spring water could be found that year. The major selling point for artificially-made ice in Ottawa was that it was made with guaranteed pure water. Here is a Journal ad from Dec. 27, 1912.

 

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Jaan Kolk–Here is part of an April 17, 1911 Journal report on the typhoid epidemic caused by problems with the city water supply

 

 

historicalnotes

The gap was capable of closing sharply. In the typhoid year of 1911, the Ottawa death rate was reported as 20 per 1,000 (about the same as a good year in the 1880s) and the birth rate as 23.6 per 1,000.

Registrar General, “Annual Report, 1911,” Sessional Papers, 1912, p. 18.
Figures vary from those of the MHO of Ottawa because of a different reporting
period. In 1911, Ottawa had the second highest death rate among Ontario
cities; Carleton County (at 21.1/1,000) had the highest county rate .

 

 

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Jeff Legault–I seem to remember we had an old water bottle (carboy) in a wooden cradle like holder at our old cottage near Low, Quebec that we used to fill and bring with us on weekends. We had no running water or electricity back in the early 60s up there. It may have had Tally Ho written on it somewhere. Looked something like this.

cholera-beacon_tp

Perth Courier, June 6, 1966

History of the Rideau Ferry Road

Empire strategists gave the village an unsuspected boast in 1826 when the government dug a canal linking Kingston to Bytown (now Ottawa), the purpose being to protect supply lines from a possible “Yankee” invasion.

This event brought 1,300 workers to the village front door.  More than 500 men died of malaria.  Upon completion in 1832, Archie Campbell erected a wharf and warehouse to handle canal produce.  Side wheelers plowed the river and wagon trains brought goods to the Campbell wharf.  In 1834 Campbell died of cholera.–Tales from Oliver’s Ferry

Cave Creek: the “scourge” of early Kitchissippi

 

 

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  09 Sep 1911, Sat,  Page 14

 

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

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.

 

relatedreading

 

 

ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

1,200 Died of Plague Which Hit City in 1847

 

The Cholera Epidemic of 1832

Think the Smallpox issue on Outlander was far fetched?

Tales from Oliver’s Ferry

Smallpox in Carleton Place — Did You Know?

The Great White Plague

 

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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?

 

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Cisterns I Have Known

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Cisterns I Have Known

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Photo of the once cistern of Springside Hall by Linda Seccaspina-Do You have an Archaeological Find in Your Carleton Place Basement?

Earl Monro from Almonte once said:  “Half a century ago there was no pasteurized or homogenized milk, no waterworks in town, except some private systems operated from their own wells or cisterns, no television, no ploughed road for automobiles, no snow tires, no school buses, no gas or electrically heated homes. However, in the humble opinion of the writer, the majority of the people were happier and more contented than they are now, even with all the comforts and luxuries of this fast moving day and age”.

After the fire in 1995 our whole basement had to be gutted and we noticed that there was a two inch open gap at the ceiling level on the far side of the wall and open space behind it. Ange and his father removed the stone wall, and low and behold there was a small room. The walls were also 3 ft thick and we figure it was once a root cellar. The dead space now joined part of the house as an official room. It became a wine cellar – but it has not been used in a decade. We found out later that it was a former cistern.

 

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Most older homes have them hidden away somewhere- and what they actually were were “subterranean” reservoirs built to store rainwater. Some people had cisterns outside their homes, and then there were those under trap doors. Before the fire there was a trap door in our living room which was right over the cistern- but I had no idea what it was then. After the fire of course the floor was redone– and now I regret I did not tell the restoration company to put another one in.

There are stories that some fathers brought home live fish and dumped them in the cisterns. Those fish grew and multiplied and a cistern full of fish had to be great pride in a small town- “but I am wondering how fresh that water tasted “.( please note that this is just a humorous comment:). Stories were told not to fool around with the trap door and sometimes tragedy happened in cisterns as noted below. There were stories of a local big brother falling in the  cistern and so disliked were they by their younger brothers that  flat irons were put on top of the trap doors to make sure they didn’t come out. I know some should have thought about the fact that it had been a dry summer  that year the brother was locked in there —and there was only 3 feet of water in that thing. Heck would reign once the older brother got out.

Spring used to be a time when you got the ladders up high and cleaned the gutters and then put the ladders down low and cleaned the cisterns. Having the biggest and deepest cistern  in town with barrels full of rainwater from the roof of the house for housework was nothing prestige. It not only provided water with a few strokes of a sink pump, but the water was also very soft for all the housewives needs.

If a cistern was beyond the financial ability of the household, a rain barrel at the eavestrough  of the house was a must. When the rain barrel and the cistern fell out of mode- that was when the soaps and water softeners came into play with the hard water that came from the taps. Some said they missed hearing the water dripping into the cistern after a rainfall and the girls never waited for rain anymore as there was always water in the cistern.

 

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January 2 1880 Almonte Gazette

On Sunday last Miss Sarah Green, daughter of Mr. Samuel Green, of Landsdowne, who lives three miles from the station, was drowned in the cistern in her father’s house. The parents had gone to church and did not return until after the accident occurred.

The only member of the family about the house besides Miss Green was her brother and he was engaged looking after horses for a short time previous. This work he finished at 2 p.m and started for a neighbour’s house, but had to pass his father’s in order to reach it. As he passed be saw his sister standing at an upper window looking out They exchanged words and he went on.

When the parents reached home they found the door of the cistern open and at once shut it. The mother supposing Sarah to be upstairs called her a number of times and receiving no answer, began a search for her. It was not until the house had been thoroughly searched that she thought of the cistern. On looking into it they discovered Sarah lying on her face quite dead. The supposition is that she had let go the rope attached to the pail, with which the water was usually taken up, and in reaching for it- lost her balance and fell in. As there was a braise on her head, there is no doubt but she fell heavily against the bottom of the cistern, which contained only two feet of water, and being rendered insensible by the fall, was unable to help herself and drowned without a motion. Miss Green was an estimable lady twenty-three years of age.

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Sandy Iwaniw–
The first house we owned in Carleton Place had a cistern in the basement. I had never seen a cistern in the basement before as the ones we had in south western Ontario were usually outside the basement but very close to the house so they could collect rainwater.
Rose ParsonsWe had one on the farm and used it all of the time. We also had a pump on the wash stand for getting the water from it to the basin for washing. Thanks for the memories!!
Arlee Barr–ours is walled up–we’ve often wondered if there are any bodies in it!
Alice GilchristI grew up in a farmhouse in Dalhousie Twp and our cistern was in the basement and was cement with walls about one foot thick with just enough space for a man to crawl in for cleaning. It was connected to a hand pump in the kitchen so there was “soft” water readily available for washing and cleaning or to put in the reservoir in the wood stove to heat. Our drinking water had to be hand carried from the outside well. The cistern was still in use when the farm was sold in 1976.

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

Do You have an Archaeological Find in Your Carleton Place Basement?

Do You have a Hidden Room in Your Home?

“The Tim Horton’s River” Under my House.. Is That the Way To Fraggle Rock?

It’s Your Decision– Roy Brown Park

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Janet sent me this letter and I was going to post it tonight.. but you can read it also in the Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette— stay tuned for more!!

Reader: Taxpayers should be properly consulted on decisions involving Roy Brown Park

 

Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette

DEAR EDITOR:

Our municipal politicians are elected to office to serve town residents and act in our best interest. It is expected that they will put their interests aside as they work for the people of Carleton Place.

I expect council members to act with integrity, thoughtful consideration and good judgement as they make decisions that affect our community.

Being a member of a municipal council is often a difficult, thankless job and there can be many powerful influences that can cause a council to stray from its mandate to serve town residents.

Regrettably, on Aug. 16 our council will be put in the position of choosing to act in the interest of town residents or bowing to the strong influence of a developer.

On June 28, council voted 5-2 against a developer’s proposal to dump contaminated storm water into Roy Brown Park instead of the developer managing the storm water on its own property. Council voted down the original proposal because it is an inappropriate use of public parkland.

The issue should have died on June 28 with the defeated motion and the developer should have respected the decision of council.

However, there was no respect for council, its authority or its decision.

With no direction from council to do so, this proposal has been put back onto the Aug. 16 agenda. Why is council being forced to deal with this issue again? Because the developer wants it. The situation puts me in mind of a persistent teenager trying to wear down parents in order to get what it wants.

However, a flip-flop should be something that you wear on your feet. It should not describe the actions of your council.

As background, in 2004, $385,000 of taxpayers’ money bought land for a park and dedicated it to the memory of First World War flying Ace, Roy Brown.

The park is to have a dog park, tennis courts, playing field and a large recreation building as well as trails and picnic pavilions. A grant from Canada 150 will be used to place signs in the park with information provided by the Roy Brown Society and historical society.

On Aug. 16, council will once again have to review a plan from a developer to dump its contaminated storm water into the park. The people of Carleton Place have not been consulted, no part of the park has been declared surplus to the town’s parkland needs and the area needed to contain the water would be the part of the park that was to be used for the dog park, tennis courts and parking lot for the recreation building.

Why would council even consider removing public uses from public parkland and replace them with a holding area for polluted water and contaminated sediment from an adjacent development? After all, it is the duty of elected representatives to manage public lands in the public interest.

Town council voted against it once already. It is imperative that they vote against it again on Aug. 16.

Our tax dollars bought Roy Brown Park for parkland. We own it.

To use a popular Lanark County phrase “Back Off Government! This is our Land!”

Janet McGinnis

Carleton Place

Is it Just Me? Where are the Words “Drinking Water”? – Opinion