Tag Archives: what happened?

What Happened to Basil Flynn’s Ducks.. ahh Geese?

What Happened to Basil Flynn’s Ducks.. ahh Geese?

These ducks are really geese..

For years I used to drive along William Street looking for these critters as I love animals and Basil Flynn’s flock amazed me. I always used to take photos of them and follow them. I think the reason they did not like me was because I called them ducks. Yes, I am a country girl, but I tend to get certain critters mixed up. These are geese by the way. John Nephin told me so last night. LOLOL. People also posted some great photos and memories so I thought I would document them so everyone will remember them as they exist no more. I took this video in 2011.

Dan Williams-Basil was a good friend of my dad’s. He used to visit us often. A really great guy. For some reason he always called mom Polly.

Kelly NephinThe last 3-4 were there until about 3 years ago. We never saw them again after the flood.

Lorraine NephinWhen Basil passed my dad fed the geese for many years. They would show up at our back door and honk to let him know they were hungry. The local grocery stores would provide them with scrap produce free of charge. When dad passed our kids continued to feed them. Then one day a new couple moved in on William street and they called bylaw and the geese were caged and taken away. They had lived on the river for over 10 years. So sad.

Author’s Note- John Nephin says the ancestry of Basil’s geese flock went on for 30 years on William Street

Joan StearnsLorraine Nephin I never knew what happened to those Geese. We all loved seeing them. And how they would come up from the river every night. How sad that someone would be so small minded.

John Andrew NephinShould have tried to change the bylaws then. Funny to think back that birds have been on the property since I was in high school with multiple generations as the pictures are the children of Basil’s geese.. Please visit change.org to sign the petition

Kelly Nephin

The geese with Evelyn Sadler
Lorraine Nephin Bruce Sadler feeding the Basils Geese

Lorraine Nephin
21h  · 

2008 still there
Greg Nephin
20h  · 

A handsome young lad feeding them

The Neelin Street Geese — Where are They Now?

Basil Flynn of William Street

Construction of 198 William Street– Photos from Greg Nephin

Pollock and Dora McDougall’s Rose Garden — 47 years later …..

Pollock and Dora McDougall’s Rose Garden — 47 years later …..
Paradise in Hopetown 1973

Deep in Lanark County, in the township of Dalhousie, Pollock and Dora McDougall’s rose garden was the talk of the area. Located a hop, skip , and a jump near Watson’s Corners 100’s of tourists used to visit this rose garden each year. In 1973 there were 415 rose bushes and McDougall decided to specialize in Peace Roses and all were said to be of exhibition quality.–Paradise in Hopetown

In the end I never found Wilson’s Corners where the McDougall House was –Posted on October 23, 2017 

Until today June 7th, 2020– a few years later-– Today, Jennifer Ferris drove me to see the former McDougall property. There was nary a rose bush 47 years later–instead it was overgrown, but they did have a lovely garden and they were growing hops.

Dozens of farmers in the Canadian province of Ontario dove into growing hops in recent years, encouraged by an explosion of local craft breweries. Hops are an incredibly difficult crop to grow. To do it very well, you really need to babysit it as it’s a very assertive plant. I wonder what this place will look like in another 47 years.


2020- house behind trees on right unvisible
growing hops now


Paradise in Hopetown

Lost in Hopetown — A Photo Essay

It was 1945

It was 1945



Major News Stories included: USS Indianapolis is sunk by Japanese Submarine, War In Europe Ends May 7th ( V-E Day ), Adolf Hitler and his wife of one day, Eva Braun, commit suicide, Harry S. Truman becomes US President following the death of President Roosevelt, Nuclear Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan surrender on August 14th ( V-J Day ), Germany Concentration Camps Liberated, Yalta Agreement signed, Germany is divided between Allied occupation forces, United Nations Charter creates United Nations. Some British children had grown up without seeing bananas and oranges and tried to eat them with the skins on them.

English war brides were began to arrive on the shores of Canada after meeting young Canadian men during the war. During May the Soviet Union and Allied troops entered Berlin and captured the city. Nazi Germany soon signed an unconditional surrender, ending World War II in Europe. Several high-ranking Nazi leaders were captured and several others, including Hitler, committed suicide prior to the surrender. The war had lasted for six years and several million people died as a result of the conflict. People throughout the United States, United Kingdom, and formerly occupied Western Europe celebrated the victory on May 8, , and the Soviet Union declared victory one day later on May.

Cost of Living 1945

How Much things cost

Mans’ New suit-$19.95

Average Cost of new house $4.600.00

Average wages per year $2,400.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas 15 cents

Average Cost for house rent $60.00 per month

Girls Dolls House $3.19

Average Cost New Car $1,020.00

Ladies Fur Coat $70.00

Men’s Shirt $2.50

Portable Typewriter $68.37

Ladies’s hat $1.98

Chocolate Bar 5 cents


1821-1945 Oldest Family Farm Property –Mcllquham Genealogy

May 8 1945 V. E. Day in Almonte – Photos

Stories from a Photograph–The Class of 1944-1945

Remembering Private Gordon Willard Stewart WW 2 Veteran

“Nanny Shail’s Nephew”– Gerald Whyte World War 2 Veteran

So What Happened to Thomas C Spence of Perth? Spence Genealogy

So What Happened to Thomas C Spence of Perth? Spence Genealogy




A local businessman in Perth, Thomas C. Spence went missing in March of 1929 in the bush outside the Lanark County town. After 40 hours of searching the landscape and swamps in which he was believed to be wandering there was no trace of his whereabouts was discovered. With the idea setting in that he might have fallen into the canal. in order to drag parts of the canal they blasted the waters of the canal and fencing was strong across the canal at Dowsett’s Bay.

Provincial police from Smiths Falls were called in as well as  400-500 citizens of Perth came out to find the popular businessman. His wife remained at home with their two children, David, age 5 and Thomas age 2  and was bearing up well despite the predicament. The search began at 7 pm and at 5 am  citizens of the town were still carrying lanterns, calling out his name through 300 acres where he had last been seen en route to his brother in laws farm

The only tracks that had been seen were that of footprints in the snow where he had started off in the direction of William’s Landing. He had been wearing only his Mackinaw coat, brown felt hat and gumboots. He had spoken to Mr. McLean who was in a boat and said he was taking the shortest distance home and he had also spoken to Oscar Kaugh who expressed his opinion that Spence had wandered a considerable distance from the town and hopefully he had taken refuge in some farmhouse along the way.

His hat was later found by Abe McKerracher in April and five weeks later his body was found floating in the Tay Canal by John Burke and Edwards Ferguson two and a half miles from town. Dr. Blair gave evidence at the autopsy that no foul play was done, but it was noted Thomas Spence probably lost his way because he was still not over the flu. He was 42 years old.

His wife Marguerite lived until 1971. Only one son David was mentioned in future references, and Thomas was never mentioned anywhere. David passed away in Poland, Lanark County in 1990 at the age of 74.


 - Thomas C. Spence Buried At Perth Funeral of...


Thomas C Spence
Birth Date: 1887
Death Date: 1929
Cemetery: Elmwood Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place: Perth, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Has Bio?: Y
Children: David James Spence


 - SPENCE, Marguerite At the Great War Memorial...


 - McLEAN. Isabel Susan Sud denly at her...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 21 Oct 1974, Mon,
  3. Page 41


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

For the Love of Paris Green –Another Local Murdoch Mystery?


Another mystery-The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton Place

Any murder or ill doing in town was always labeled in the newspapers as:

                                                ” Carleton Place Sensation”



July 1898-Perth Courier–Read the Perth Courier at Lanark Archives

The junction town of Carleton Place has once again had another sensation.  It seems that Peter Blair, 75, came home from Stittsville to Carleton Place on the 26th of June 1898, a Saturday, and died on Sunday somewhat suddenly, the spark of life going out as he was endeavoring to get into bed.  A wife and four children survive.

The body was entered in St. James Cemetery on Tuesday.  Now comes the question. On formal information, Dr. Burns, coroner, was summoned to Carleton Place on Wednesday to hold an inquest, it having been alleged that there were suspicious circumstances in connection with the old man’s death.

A jury was empanelled and six witnesses were examined—Mrs. Blair, her son Joseph, William Cameron, D.H. Griffith of Lorain, O., Dr. E. McEwen and John Lamb—and nothing that would indicate unnatural cause of death was developed in the evidence.  The body was exhumed and Dr. McFarlane  of Carleton Place made a post mortem examination of it.  The inquest then adjourned until this (Thursday) forenoon.



This is not Peter nor Millie- but if anyone has a clue, please contact me:) Taken at Willis Studio


August 1898- Perth Courier

The Coroner’s Jury at Carleton Place, in the Blair case, returned a verdict last night that the deceased Peter Blair came to his death on June 26 by being poisoned with Paris Green but by whom administered is unknown.

It will be remembered that Blair died suddenly at his home at Carleton Place the morning after his return from an absence at Stittsville where he was working as a laborer.  An autopsy showed he died of poison in the shape of Paris Green and as there were some suspicious circumstances, an inquest was held.

The principal evidence yesterday was that of Mrs. Blair.  She testified that Blair had come home complaining of having been ill for days, also with a bad cut on his leg from an axe.  He was vomiting all night.  She gave him two times a teaspoon of ginger in hot water but nothing helped.  Paris Green was in the house about three weeks before his death.

The coat and pants had been burned because it was better to do so in case of blood poisoning as Dr. McEwen had pronounced the cause of death to be.  Nelson Kane, the man who had been spoken of, was in there when Mr. Blair died.  He came on the 28th.  Kane had never made any suggestions about the witnesses’ husband.

Kane first came to the Blair’s house to help dig a foundation for the house.  She had always agreed with her husband.  She did not want him to do work away from home, but he insisted upon going to Stittsville as he could more easily get work there than at home.  The coat on which Mrs. Pollard, a daughter of the deceased, found Paris Green, was identified by Mrs. Blair as the one the deceased brought from Stittsville in April last and was hung on a beam in the shed from that time until the discovery was made.  The other evidence taken elicited nothing of special interest and the jury after some deliberation returned the above verdict. Nelson Kane later committed suicide by hanging himself.

What had been going on between Mr. Kane and Mrs. Blair?

What did I dig up about Peter Blair?

Peter was 75 when he died, making his birth year 1823 and that his wife was Millie (which is a nick name of Amelia). He was at least 17 years older than Millie who according to the 1901 census records her as 40 with a birth date of 2 Mar 1860 but in 1891 census records she recorded as being 50. Typical findings from hand written records were kept.

The death registration lists Peter Blair as being of the Church of England. Peter’s death and burial, recorded in the parish registers of the Anglican Church in Carleton Place, and now held by the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa Archives may list the names of his parent(s) and his birth place. No record of a gravestone is found in the St. James database either.

Author’s note–Many notes were made that Peter was a Catholic in 1891, so the death registration may be in error. Peter was a moulder as many men were employed in Carleton Place as moulders.

Name Peter Blair
Event Type Death
Event Date 26 Jun 1898
Event Place Carlton Place, Lanark, Ontario
Gender Male
Age 75
Birthplace Prov., Quebec
Birth Year (Estimated) 1823
Reference ID yr 1898 cn 12692
GS Film number 1854386
Digital Folder Number 4174865
Image Number 1073


Read the Perth Courier at Lanark Archives



Saturday, July 2, 1898 Hamilton Spectator

BLAIR (Carleton Place, Ont.) July 27 – A number of people here believe that Nelson King, who hanged himself yesterday, had something to do with the death of Peter Blair, who died under suspicious circumstances some weeks ago. From an analysis of the contents of Blair’s stomach it would seen that arsenic had been administered in sufficient quantities to cause death, and evidence of an important character may be brought out at the adjourned inquest tomorrow.

Some time after Blair’s death, King borrowed a pick and shovel from William Cameron, and said he was going out to fix up Blair’s grave. While he was at work at the grave, William Watters, who had been ordered to exhume the body, came along and told King he intended removing the body. The latter dropped his shovel and turned deadly pale. When King returned to town, he was in a very nervous state and left for Smith’s Falls after. It is suspected he intended removing the body, so that no examination of it could be made. King had probably brooded over the trouble and in desperation took his own life.


In the 1890s, medical authorities in Italy were concerned about the unexplained deaths of over a thousand children. A chemist, E. Gosio, was consulted. Gosio did not examine the children, but the rooms where the deaths occurred. He discovered the deaths had two common factors: Paris Green wallpaper in the rooms and a presence of mildew. The children, being shorter and playing on the floor, inhaled the heavy arsine, the byproduct of arsenic and dampness. The removal of Paris Green from wallpaper prevented further deaths.

George Willis Photographer– George Willis, Henry’s Uncle operated a photographic studio. When taking pictures of a child, the youngster was told to ‘watch for the bird.’