When Mrs. John Blakeley bid good bye to her brother 38 years ago, when she was a little girl, she was devastated. Then years later she heard that he was dead. Over 23 years ago a certificate of death issued by the Foresters of which society he was a member. Then to find him walk calmly into her home on Wednesday morning and announce himself alive was the experience of Mrs. John Blakeley, of Almonte, wife of the manager of the Yorkshire Wool Stock Company. ( Read-MIDNIGHT FIRE DESTROYS THE YORKSHIRE WOOL STOCK MILL 1923)
Mr. J. C. Wilson, the long lost brother, lives in Minneapolis. He has prospered during these long years that he was supposed to be dead. Apparently the rumor of his death arose through a similarity of names, some one of the name of J. C. Wilson having really passed away.
A week or so ago Mr. Wilson was determined to revisit Canada and see once again the members of his family. He went to Brantford where he had been ‘brought up’. When he arrived in the morning and found that his father at the age of 89 still lived in the red “brick house” of his boyhood. The old gentleman was pale and hearty. His father had never really believed that his son was dead, and when his daughter announced that a gentleman-whom he had not seen for a long time had come to visit him he asked:
“Is it my boy, Jake?”
Mrs. G. H. Fair, the sister of Mr. Wilson, who resides with her father In Brantford, accompanied her brother to Almonte. So this week in the Blakeley home in New England part of Almonte was a family gathering which renews acquaintance.
In the 1921 Census.. he was named as visiting along with his sister and her daughters from Brantford.
John Wilson65 Visitor
|Racial or Tribal Origin:||English|
|Birth Year:||abt 1870|
|Year of Immigration:||1883|
|Residence Date:||1 Jun 1921|
|Residence Street or Township:||Malcolm St|
|Residence City, Town or Village:||Town of Almonte|
|Residence Province or Territory:||Ontario|
|Relation to Head of House:||Head|
|Spouse’s Name:||Emma Blakeley|
|Father Birth Place:||England|
|Mother Birth Place:||England|
|Can Speak English?:||Yes|
|Can Speak French?:||No|
|Months at School:||31-01|
|Employment Type:||2 Wage Earner|
|Nature of Work:||Work?? B|
|Duration of Unemployment:||0|
|Duration of Unemployment (Illness):||0|
|Home Owned or Rented:||Owned|
|Class of House:||Single House|
|Materials of Construction:||Wood|
|Number of Rooms:||6|
|Enumerator:||Geo Fred Lee|
|District Description:||Ward 1, Polling Division No. 2 – Comprising the remainder or balance of said Ward|
|Neighbours:||View others on page|
|Household MembersAgeRelationshipJohn Blakeley51HeadEmma Blakeley52WifeArthur Blakeley23SonWilliam Blakeley19SonJohn J Blakeley17SonEdna Blakeley14Daughter John Wilson65 VisitorAnnas Barras26VisitorEdna Mary Barras6DaughterGrace Barras3DaughterLevere Barras1DaughterMay Morrison21Visitor|
BLAKELEY family street naming application information for the Town of Almonte– click here..
My Great Grandfather, John Blakeley, came to Almonte with his family in 1919… over a hundred years ago. He took up residence on 24 Malcolm St. in April of 1919, and managed the Shoddy Mill for about 10 years until his death in 1929.
The Almonte Gazette archives show that he was elected to the Town Council in 1921, as well as to the Board of Education in 1925. He was involved in many of the town’s activities over the years, even being named an Honorary President of the Almonte Hockey Club.
The Blakeley descendants have had a long standing and prolific presence in Almonte over the years. My grandparents, Tom and Lillian Blakeley, raised seven children in their home at 229 Ann Street, and Uncle Bill and Aunt Clara Blakeley raised four children at 115 Colina Street.
John Blakeley’s sons, Tom, and Bill, and Bill’s son, Keith, were all longstanding members of the Almonte Fire Dept.; my grandfather Tom Blakeley retiring after 35 years in 1958, and his brother, my Uncle Bill, served for 51 years. Keith rose to the position of Deputy Chief of the Almonte-Ramsay Fire Dept. until he passed away in 1983.
My Uncles Don Blakeley and Earl Blakeley, and Bill Blakeley’s son, Wally Blakeley all served overseas, but Wally did not make it home. In a June 17, 1944 letter… 11 days after D-Day… from my Uncle Don to my grandmother while he was overseas he wrote “I bet there was quite the excitement the day we landed, eh! I’d have liked to seen one of the papers. ”. Almonte was there and was part of D-Day!! There is a graphite portrait of my Uncle Earl in the Canadian War Museum as part of an exhibit of 14 portraits of Canadian War Veterans.
My Aunt Clara Blakeley, wife of Bill Blakeley, was a Silver Cross Mother because her son, Wally, was killed in action. In addition to our family’s wartime service, in peacetime, my dad, Murray Blakeley, first served in the Royal Canadian Navy aboard the HMCS New Liskeard, as well as in the mid 1950s he was a soldier in the Regular Army stationed at Camp Borden.
Our family’s service information can be verified by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 240.
My mother, Marion Blakeley, was a nurse in the Rosamond Memorial Hospital, and then in the new Almonte General Hospital when it opened in 1961. As I recall being told, she was involved in the delivery of the last baby to be born in the Rosamond Hospital, and the first baby to be born in the new hospital.
My grandmother, Lillian Blakeley, worked at the candy counter and my grandfather’s sister, Edna, worked at the ticket booth of the O’Brien Theatre for many years. Keith Blakeley, in addition to his service on the Almonte Fire Dept., was also Director of the Almonte Fair Board for a number of years. Keith and Stella Blakeley’s daughter, Bonnie, was a school teacher in Almonte and Pakenham, and their other daughter, Sherry, served on Almonte Town Council for 7 years under Mayors Dorothy Finner and Ron Pettem.
The archives of the Almonte Gazette follow the progress of myself, my siblings, and my cousins as we progressed through school year after year, as well as a number of articles telling of the happy events and the sad ones our family experienced.
Murray’s Taxi —- Frank Blakeley and other Rides
Clippings of Earl Blakeley from Frank Blakeley
Francis Shaw Pakenham Postmaster Gone Missing —Elizabeth Shaw — Residential School Teacher
Drummond Centre United Church — and The Ireton Brothers 38 Year Reunion–Names Names Names
Missing Berkeley Series – Larry Thrasher
Effie McCallum —– Missing Milliner
Explosives Go Missing! Stories From Old Photos