Tag Archives: wilbur

The Old Saw Mill Poem – Lanark County



Maberly-mill1-644x483 (1).jpg

Saw mill, grist and shingle mill established by Isaac Currie 1860 on the Fall River. Maberly. Photo: Library of Archives Canada 1870

The Old Saw Mill – By the Mississippi River–by Unknown

In a little town so still

There’s a building old and battered

‘Tis the old saw-mill.

It is twisted, it is tattered

From the toil of many years

The walls are scratched and shattered

Yet it shows no sign of fear.

The carriage growls and grumbles

As it journeys to and fro,

And the engine howls and mumbles

Making all the pullies go.


Perth Remembered

The belts all need relacing.

And the track is out of line.

The saw should have refacing.

Ere it splits another pine.

The melting snow is dripping

Through the knot holes in the roof,

But the saw goes on a ripping

She’s still running that is proof.

The saw-dust chain is whining

How that edger saw does throb

But the boss looks quite contented


Perth Remembered photo-PENMAN’S SAWMILL MIDDLEVILLE 1910

For it’s still doing the job.

No matter what the weather

The work goes on the same

There’s no excuse for stopping

For the weather man’s to blame

What’s it matter if its raining.

What’s it matter if it snows.

There is no use complaining.

And so that’s the way it goes.



Caldwell Steam Sawmill in Wilbur-photo from Ruby and Raymond Blackburn


At the edger there’s a fellow

Who is working all the day

He wears a suit of yellow

And he’s drawing steady pay.

His name is Erwin Downey

And across the track from him

Is the faithful Ira Deugo,

Who is working with such vim.

Eric Needham, known as Kelly

Is the man who piles the slabs

He is one of our best workers



Yet he loves to stand and gab.

Joey Bowman helps the teamster

And is always in the way

Yet he does his best and that is worth

The very best of pay.

Wash. Sheffield from Arnprior

Is the sawyer of the crew

He pulls and shoves the levers

While tobacco he does chew

And our well known comedian

Who is anything but green


Perth RememberedPenmans Saw Mill Gang–Middleville

Is the man who twirls the can hook

His name is Lornie Steen.

The boy who saws the slabs in lengths.

Provides us lots of fun

His name is Gordie Belford

But we always call him Hon.

The fellow that I near forgot

Is always on the go

He follows two good horses

And he doesn’t dare be slow.


unknown-mill-01 (1).jpg

Perth Historical Society Photo-Thanks to Brad Nichols, of Lanark, who advises that this is the former Caldwell Grist and Sawmill on the Clyde River in Lanark.

The horses too deserve a line

In this our loggers song.

The ever willing workers

Who are so true and strong.

And last of all the scaler

Who is the foreman too

Stands there all day and keeps the score

Of all the work we do.

He sees the boards come sliding out.

And always he’s the same

Through rain or shine through work or rest

Frank Needham is his name.

And here I end my story


Before Riverside park, there was Caldwell’s Saw Mill. Located approximately where the beach is now, this saw mill operated from 1869 to 1891. Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

I hope you’ll think its fine

The story of the loggers

Who love the smell of pine.

Now if you plan on building

A barn or anything

Here’s where to get your lumber sawed

Just visit us next spring.



Related reading

Where Was Hunter’s Mill and Huntersville?

Memories and Mentions of Names in Maberly


thanks to the Sabourin Scrapbook

The Ghost Towns of Eastern Ontario






Read about all of the ghost towns here—Lanark County is in bold below– and lots of information below.


Allan’s Mills–read about Alan’s Mills here
Beales Mills
Bedford Mills
Bellamy’s Mill
CFB Picton
Clarendon Station
Cordova Mines


Farm building next to Hall residence– From Hall’s Mills Ghost Town–©Copyright: Yvan Charbonneau– see my story about Hall’s Mills in related reading



Herron’s Mills- read more about my story on Herron’s Mills in the related reading section below.

Halls Mills-read about Hall’s Mills here
Herron’s Mills-read about Herron’s Mills here

Millbridge Station
Mohr’s Corners
Munroe’s Mills
Murphy Corners
Point Anne
Port Milford
Robertsville: Read more about Robertsville here
Rokeby: Read more about Rokeby here
Vennachar and Glenfield
West Huntingdon
Wilbur: Read more about Wilbut here
Yonge Mill




Perth Courier, November 1, 1895

Rokeby:  Dancing parties are all the rage.  A very enjoyable evening was spent at the residence of the well known and highly respected Patrick Corley the dance being in honor of Miss Johanna Corley that young lady having been much missed in social circles during her year long absence.

Rokeby A reminiscence of old times was the stumping bee called by William Greer and a good day’s work was done on Wednesday.

Perth Courier, Nov. 15, 1895

Rokeby—We are sorry to report the illness of Isaac Duffy, with inflammation of the eye, the inflammation extending to the optic nerve making a very serious case.  Mrs. Joseph Milliken is progressing favorable.  Both patients are under the care of our smart young doctor Alexander Robinson, M.D., a graduate of Queen’s College, Kingston.  Last reports of Isaac Duffy’s case were very serious.  Monday night he was very low with inflammation extending to the cerebral nerves.

Perth Courier, January 6, 1899–The saddest news we have to record this week is the death of our old townsman Judge William Doran of North Burgess which occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at his residence in that town.  His age was about 63(?) years.  Judge Doran was born in the town of Perth and was the son of John Doran, native of County Wexford, Ireland.  The family was a large one and the boys unusually strong, hearty and vigorous and it is sad and also strange to realize that not one of the list of stalwart youths and then grown up men who were so well known in town and country 20 to 50 years ago are alive today.  Of these men two of them, John and William, rose to prominence as public men; both were Liberal candidates at parliamentary elections and both became judges of the Nipissing District by appointment of the Ontario government.  The Doran family were cousins of Messrs. William, Alexander, and Patrick McGarry of Drummond and the late Rev. Father Stafford of Lindsay, Tobias of Renfrew, Thomas of Lanark Township, Henry of Almonte and John of Perth (the last two deceased).  Judge William Doran married Miss McRae of Wolfe Island and leaves behind him his widow and a family of sons and daughters.  He also leaves one sister Maggie who is a nun in Hotel Dieu, Kingston.  Deceased owned a saw mill in Rokeby, S. Sherbrooke for some years and gave up that business to accept the judgeship of Nipissing District, a position which he filled with efficiency.  About 1878 he was chosen the Liberal candidate for S. Lanark for the Ontario legislature and made the best fight any Liberal ever made in this Conservative hive going to within 169 of victory.  His opponent was the late Abraham Code.  Judge Doran was a genial, whole hearted man.  He was a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

St. John The Baptist Anglican Cemetery

Lot 19, Con 9, South Sherbrooke Twp., near Fagan Lake, Rokeby, Ont.

Burials 1881 to 1945

Perth Courier, March 29, 1889

Maberly News:  Last week Charles Strong was injured by digging stones with a crowbar and a short time after he died.  He was buried on Tuesday.  —  Mary Sargent was married to Mr. McDonald of Robertsville.  —  Word has reached Kingston that Miss Beatty, a graduate of the Women’s Medical College of that city and a resident of Perth for some time, who some time ago went as a missionary to Indore, India, has been obliged through ill health to cease her labors.  Fears are expressed that she will have to return to Canada.

Perth Courier, March 3, 1899

Elphin:  Mrs. McDonnell (ne Alice Sergeant) widow of the late John McDonnell, of Robertsville, died on Saturday night of pneumonia after a short illness, aged 63.  She was a kind mother and neighbor.  Her husband died one year eleven months ago.  Her family, except for one son, are married and have moved away.

Mrs. John McDonnell of Robertsville aged 63, died at her residence on Feb. 25 and was buried on the 27th inst. In the Crawford Cemetery. 

McDougall – On Friday, Jan. 30th there passed to his reward one of the oldest residents of our Mississippi in the person of Mr. Allan McDougall. Mr. McDougall had been blessed with good health practically all his life and appeared about as usual when the end came. He was born in Bathurst Township on Feb. 2, 1830, and when he was quite young the family settled in Palmerston Township on the farm now owned by Mrs. Duncan McDougall. After his marriage to Miss Hannah McDonald of the same township, he purchased the farm on which Robertsville was afterwards built by the Bethlehem Steel Co. After many years of residence there he removed to Wilbur, where he was employed as foreman by the mining company, and where he continued to reside until the death of Mrs. McDougall ten years ago. Mr. McDougall was widely known and respected by all his acquaintances. He is survived by two sisters: Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Lake of Palmerston, and six members of his family: Mrs. Miriam of Chatham, Mrs. Roche of Wilbur, Mrs. Sairs of Kingston, Alex of California and John and Daniel of Kisbey, Sask.

Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ McDougall was born in Robertsville on Aug. 4, 1860. In 1881 she was not living at home anymore. In 1901 she was 40 and living with her parents at Wilbur in Lavant Township, however the census says she was married, but didn’t give her married name. Also listed was a grandson, John McDougall age 10, who may be Elizabeth’s son.When her mother died in 1910, her death notice indicated that Elizabeth was married with the last name of Sairs, and was still living in Wilbur. I checked the 1881 census of Palmerston and found a George Sairs and wife Elizabeth, age 22, and I believe this is Elizabeth and she was married to George Sairs sometime between 1877 and 1881. George was listed as a Baker in 1881. In 1911 the Lavant census shows her as Elizabeth Sairs and she was living with her father, Allan McDougall, her husband was not in the census. When her father died in 1920, Elizabeth was living in Kingston, Ontario.

Hannah McDougall, born Jun 02, 1862 in Robertsville, Ontario, Canada; died Jan 28, 1914 in Wilbur.

The Wilbur mine operated until 1911. Since almost everyone in town worked for the mine, the community was abandoned after the mine shut down. The post office closed in 1913 and recent floods have obliterated almost all traces of the community. However, if you travel along the old KPR rail bed, you’ll find signs of Wilbur coming back to haunt you. The railway station sign, a building thought to be the rail station and a humorous sign post announcing your arrival in Wilbur still remain.

January 10, Halls Mills 1899 – Perth Courier

Miss Maggie Camelon is on a visit to her mother at Tatlock.

John White has removed to Jamieson and his brother Robert has already moved to the place vacated by him.

Miss Arnoldi, our popular teacher, is meeting with success in our school, and we expect she will leave a record hard to equal.

W e are sorry to state that two o f our most trustworthy farmers are leaving with their families for North Gower in the persons of Messrs. John Thomas and Daniel Rintoul.

La Grippe is gripping severely in this section. D . McIntyre has been confined to his house for nearly five weeks, but is now improving. Mrs. Arch. McGee, P. F. Barr, A . J. McKay, Mrs. Nora Whitten

Related Reading:

Halls Mills Ghost Town- Another W. H. Wylie Connection

The Gillies Home in the Ghost Town of Herron’s Mills

Photographer Finds Money in a Local Abandoned Home

Gold in Dem Dar Hills of Lanark

Have you Ever Heard about Doran? Here Come da’ Judge!

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