Tag Archives: women

Strange Folklore from Ontario –BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD

Strange Folklore from Ontario –BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD

Canadian Folk-Lore from Ontario. 25 


336. It is popularly believed that a child may be affected prenatally 

in various ways. Hand-like discolorations in infants, for instance, 

are attributed to blows received by the mother. Even the sight of 

unpleasant objects are supposed to produce similar effects. One woman 

was frightened at a mouse, in consequence of which her child exhibited 

a mouse-like excrescence. Another was frightened by a rabbit, upon 

the child was born with a hare-lip. 

337. Children may also be afflicted with various cravings as a result 

of such influences. A certain woman had an abnormal desire for an 

alcoholic beverage, which was denied to her by her husband. As a 

consequence the child had a similar craving. The same idea is held 

with regard to various foods. In such cases, if the woman’s appetites 

or desires be satisfied, the child will not be injuriously affected. 

338. A baby should have a fall before it is six months old if it is to 

have good sense. (An Ottawa informant.) 

339. A gift of some kind should be placed in the hand of a newly- 

born child the first time you see it. This is for luck. Any sort of 

trinket will do. (An Irish woman living in Toronto.) 

340. The first house an infant is taken to will have a birth in it 

within a year. 

341. To kiss a newly-born baby brings good luck. 

342. A baby must not see itself in a glass, or it will be vain.  

343. If a child is born with a tooth, it will be hanged,  

344. If its mother carries it in her arms the first time she walks in 

the open air after its birth, it will never take a serious cold.  

345. The first house its mother enters with it in her arms will be 

sure to receive a similar blessing (i.e., have a baby, too) during the 


346. To take a newly-born babe into the topmost room of the house, 

then into the basement, and then into every room in the house, is 


347. It is unlucky to name a baby after a dead person. The child, 

it is said, will die very young. 

348. If a child has two crowns on its head, it will live in two king- 


349. If it is born with a “veil” covering the face, it will be gifted 

with “second sight.” 

Did You Know About Dr. Barnardo’s Baby’s Castle? British Home Children — Home Boys

Thomas Sloan Inventor Baby-Walker Carleton Place

Does Anyone Want to Adopt a Baby? 1900s

The Reed Baby Carriage

Laundry Babies – Black Market Baby BMH 5-7-66

Babies in the Textile Mills

Updates–What Happened to the Cardwell Orphans?

The Children of Ross Dhu Part 2 Hilda Martin

Who Won the Baby Contest in 1889?

You must have been a Beautiful Baby–Lanark County Family Names

The Children of Ross Dhu –Evacuation to Canada

The War Children that Tried to Come to Canada–SS City of Benares

The Hart Children of Lanark — Laurie Yuill


Miss Almonte 1975

Miss Almonte 1975

As over 700 people looked on, Sunday August 3 rd, 18-year-old Dianne Vaughan was crowned “Miss Almonte 1975” . Dianne, who is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Vaughan, was chosen from eleven other contestants in the pageant which kicked off the week-long celebrations of Almonte ’75 “Old Home Week “. Blonde haired and blue eyed, Dianne is working this summer as a playground supervisor in Almonte and will be returning to Almonte High School as a grade thirteen student in September. The competition, which was held in the arena, was emceed by Shelley Emmond of CFRA Radio who did an excellent job despite problems with the sound system . 

Entertainment was provided by Linda Vaughan (Miss Almonte 1974) and Cynthia Gunn, who presented vocal selections. They were plagued by more trouble with the sound system . The highpoint of the evening came with Dianne being named “Miss Almonte ’75” ; first runner-up being Debbie Merrithew , a 17-year-old ADHS student, and second runner-up was 20-year-old Anna Beckman, a dental assistant in Almonte.

The other girls who competed for the title were Karen Maynard , Heather Cochrane , Andrea Gilmour, Mary Anne Dunn, Angela Gosset, Julie Carroll, Franny Scissons and Angela Scott. Over $1,000 cash and prizes were distributed among all the girls, with Dianne’s prizes including luggage, a gold watch, jewellery , a lamp , a record player, gift certificates and cash prizes. Judges for the very difficult task of choosing Miss A lmonte and her runners-up were Mr. and Mrs. Doug Wiseman; Miss Eastern Ontario, Karen Barclay; and Pat and Walter Trenholme, Civitan Governor of Canada District East. Dianne will represent Almonte in the Miss Eastern Ontario Pageant at Perth in March.

1974 Queen

Related reading

1970s Lanark County Beauty Queens

Here She Comes Miss Eastern Ontario –Photos

Mr. Mississippi Beauty Pageant 1982 Joe Banks

Jean Duncan Lanark Dairy Queen

  1. Last Night I Saw Someone I Loved at the Halloween Parade
  2. Here She Comes Miss Almonte — Karen Hirst and other Notes
  3. Miss Civitan Club 1976? Who Are These Women?
  4. The Dark World of the Miss Civil Service Beauty Contests
  5. Glamorous Marilyn Allen Miss Snow Queen and Others 1950s

I am Woman — Hear Me Roar? Linda Knight Seccaspina


Robert McDonaldRobert McDonald Photography–From the Mississippi Mudds – Aladdin Jr production on February 18, 2017–Phototaken on the mezzanine of the town hall.

I am Woman — Hear Me Roar? Linda Knight Seccaspina

In 1911 Sir Wilfrid Laurier came to speak in the grand hall of the small hamlet of Carleton Place situated in Lanark County, Ontario. This was an important event for those voting in Carleton Place and the local women worked for days preparing the hall and the luncheon. Some women wondered if they could also hear the words of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and were soon told that they would be allowed to sit on the upper floor as long as they remained quiet.

For women today this notion seems incredible, but you have to remember that in 1911 artist Emily Carr abandoned her love of painting in British Columbia because Canadian critics and buyers were not ready for her work. A woman could not use the term ‘martial abuse’ in 1911 and would be condemned to life imprisonment for any harm done to her husband, even if she was not at fault.

In 1974 iconic Ottawa Valley writer Mary Cook wrote that there was one area in which Lanark County was completely backward and that was in electing or appointment of women to municipal or community office. Have times changed since 1974 when Mary wrote that article in the Ottawa Citizen?  I was curious, and when the North Lanark Age Friendly group asked me to write an article about the subject I had an inkling of the answer I was going to get.

I asked a few female politicians if they felt they were treated less by men and all of them answered yes. Yet, no one really wanted to give me their names for exactly the same reason Mary Cook received in 1974. Anyone she queried asked her that they remain anonymous so it would not jeopardize their chances of ever becoming appointed to a committee or being elected to public office.

The documented fact is that women are still underrepresented in politics. When I ran for office as a councillor a few years ago; I was asked by some if I should not consider my age or my health. Honestly, I would rather drop dead representing my community than sit on a chair and watch reruns of The Crown. The fact that I am in my senior years doesn’t make me any less effective, nor am I too delicate to lead. Once baby boomers, we are now aging in a society that celebrates beauty and youthfulness and our opinions sometimes become invisible.

In the early 1960s I was passionate, not by politics, but by the incredible social change led by the youth movement.  I told my father that anyone over the age of 30 should be sent out to farms. I really drank the Kool Aid blaming the older generation for the VietNam war and the condition the world was in. In 1981, I turned 30 and the first thing my father asked me was: “When are you leaving for the farm?”

By then I realized that being a woman in the current world was going to be more difficult. Trying to get a job and being discriminated against for wearing avant garde fashion and my strong opinions were my worries now. In my grandmother’s case in 1981, they were still being treated like 1911 and had to listen to a speech by the Bishop from the confines of the church kitchen after organizing complete events.

We as women, and as senior women, are still invisible to some and when we stand up for something we are not acting “like your mother” or having “a hot flash”. After speaking with these women in politics this week I realize we still have issues with female authority, and women are still the most underused resource. While it is no longer the mentality of 1911 I understood these women’s concerned comments of continuing gender bias despite their great performances.

In 1974 one civic minded female from Carleton Place summed up the situation this way to writer Mary Cook. “Women have a lot to offer, but for some reason men are terribly afraid they might lose some of their prestige if they open their doors to women in public office”. Why do women still have more to prove than men when it comes to politics and other issues?

It doesn’t matter where you live–women belong in all places where decisions are being made. As Shirley Chisolm once said: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring your own folding chair”.

Lady Aberdeen and Lady Taylor
Lady Aberdeen (at right), first president and founder of the National Council of Women of Canada with Lady Taylor (at left), her successor as president, Ottawa, Ontario.
(Mrs. John H. Acheson. Library and Archives Canada, PA-057319)

How many women have been in Carleton Place government? Only 7 since 1901 when Dr. Preston became the first mayor (before that there were reeves)

Linda Seccaspina

Theresa Fritz

Wendy LeBlanc (mayor)

Linda Schmidt

Melba Baker (mayor)

Barbara Walsh

Trudie Dickie

It’s Hard for Women to get into Office in Carleton Place — 1974 –Mary Cook

Words to Wear Pants By—- Linda Knight Seccaspina

Words to Wear Pants By—- Linda Knight Seccaspina

Words to Wear Pants To—- Linda Knight Seccaspina

I looked at a photo of my Grandmother today posing with yet another one of her regular house dresses on and realized I had never seen her wear her pants in her life. I remember the drawers of pinkish Eaton’s corsets, the array of stockings and her many hats and gloves. Evening in Paris bottles graced her bureau along with a tiny container of rouge and a stack of assorted hankies. 

She had 5 or 6 dresses hanging in an old wooden closet along with a wire hanger full of assorted belts. Belts that wrapped around her bust line were a must and the ones that came with the Eaton’s dresses were versatile. I even knew one of her friends who ordered dresses and then returned it but kept the belt because they were that desirable.

None of her friends that I could remember wore pants either. Maybe it was the odd conversation around a table at the local Legion that kept these women in tow. I remember my Grandfather and his friends ask if the whining would come from a different direction if the women wearing pants were drafted for service.

My mother Bernice had two pairs of cotton capri pants, one white and one blue which she wore with a sleeveless blouse and a tiny scarf tied sideways across her neck. My father never had complaints about it and said his wife had been wearing the pants in the family for years. He blamed everything on the war anyways– or her celebrities in the Photoplay magazine. They were the root of all evil according to Arthur J. Knight.

I can’t remember when I started wearing pants except for shorts in the summer as a small child. The first time I walked into my grandparents home sporting a pair of jeans Grampy Knight asked me if I had been hired for agricultural work. I loved those jeans and refused to wash them less they would shrink to a point where I could not get into them. My Grandmother was horrified and for six days when I got Strep throat she monitored them on the chair beside my bed. Every day she would beg me to wash them as jeans in such unkempt condition were probably against the Bible doctrine and maybe even provincial health laws.

In the late 60s the local hotels and fancy dining rooms banned women for wearing pants. As a teen we were not allowed into church dances with them, and even local offices banned them as office wear. The clothing manufactures went into overdrive realizing the business they could lose and petitions were begun by female office workers. It’s not like it was a new thing as some women had been wearing pants for decades.

Some folks were still up in arms including my Grandparents who quoted Deuteronomy again. “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”  Of course they had a specific verse for The Beatles too– not that there was anything wrong with that.

According to some, pants were the beginning of the loosening of morality and jeans, hot pants, long hair and bell-bottomed pants were not only offending good taste, “they were also stimulating the sexual passion to such an unbearable degree that there wasn’t even one young man left pure in that moment of time in the Townships.” Of course they mentioned that about drive-ins too.

Sometime in the lates 70s, my stepmother began wearing “the pant suit” or the power suit as they called it. Suddenly my father was telling me I should buy a couple of pant suits and conversing with my Grandfather that the Royal Bank had issued a statement that they were taking a fairly liberal attitude to clothing on the job. There was no objection to women wearing pants for work, although pant suits and coordinates were preferred.

After my bout with Strep Throat I never wore jeans again until the mid 2000s. Maybe because it just wasn’t considered rogue anymore for a woman to wear pants. Or, maybe because yoga pants suddenly had become the bacon of clothing.

My Grandmother was buried in one of the dresses she wore throughout her life, and I’m sure she never really wanted to wear pants. For her granddaughter, me, wearing jeans and pants encouraged women they could make change. Granted some days I sometimes ask myself if I should wear the smarty pants or the fancy pants, but I am still controlling the zipper.

A young woman has appeared twice at the Clinton, Ontario skating rink in male attire, and she is promised a visit from the magistrate if she repeats the performance. “Any woman who wants to dress as a man must come to police headquarters to get permission.” February 1887 Almonte, Ontario Gazette

The 1960s Almonte Fashion Show — Names Names Names

The 1960s Almonte Fashion Show — Names Names Names

Women’s age-old interest in clothes was demonstrated again when a total of 400 which included a sprinkling of males, attended the Fashion Show in the town hall, sponsored by the Almonte Ladies Curling Club. Mrs. R. A. Jamieson was convener of the Show and practically all the members assisted in some capacity to make the event  an outstanding success. The stage which in the raw, is a most depressing sight, was transformed into a rose garden with an arbor forming the entrance to the ramp down which the models walked.

 There were rose covered trellises, a picket fence, etc., all arranged to form an attractive setting for the attractive models. Mrs. Parrett, proprietor of the Lanark Shop, opened the show and acted as commentator throughout. 

The merchandise was loaned by Pimlott’s Ladies’ Wear, Milady Dress Shop, Johnson and McCreary, Smolkin’s Men’s Wear, The Mariette Shoppe, The Lanark Shop, The Misses Hogan, J. H. Proctor, Phil. Needham and the Canada Fur Manufacturing Company of Toronto, of which Mrs. K, Burns is the local agent. Mrs. Parrett introduced the models all of whom are local. 

They were Mrs. Joyce Hill, Mrs. Muriel Hill, Miss Mary Hourigan, Mrs. Clare Kitts, Mrs. Freda Levitan and Mrs. Irene Duncan. Modelling men’s clothes were Gordon Clifford and Gerry Green. Three children who also acted as models, stole the show for a time. They were Ruth Leishman, Barbara Ann Duncan and Donald Duncan. Mrs. Clare Kitts, wearing a black gabardine suit and two piece mink neckpiece from Milady Dress Shop, was the first model. 

With this she wore a pink blouse and milan straw hat and black accessories. The next was Miss Mary Hourigan wearing a turquoise crepe dress from the Mariette Shoppe. Mrs. Freda Levitan next featured a blue and white cotton from Pimlott’s Ladies’ Wear. Mrs. Muriel Hill modelled a navy taffeta from Pimlott’s Ladies’ Wear with a hat of navy blue trimmed with taffeta and white flowers. 

Mrs. Joyce Hill was introduced next, wearing grey gabardine slacks and T-shirt from the Lanark Shop. The sixth model was Mrs. Irene Duncan, wearing a three-piece suit in rayon herringbone from Pimlott’s, with green kid shoes with platform soles from Proctor’s Shoe Store. There were 40 costumes shown in all with the models appearing more or less in rotation. One especially attractive ensemble was shown by Mrs. Joyce Hill–It was a grey kid jacket worn over a green gabardine suit The fur jacket was lined with matching green gabardine was from Milady DressShop and was supplied by the Canada Fur Manufacturing Company (J. T. Conway and Son.) Another fur coat by the same company that excited considerable pleased comment was a full length muskrat coat made with a border. This was worn by Mrs. Muriel Hill with a smart cocoa brown gabardine one-piece dress. Mrs. Irene Duncan also displayed a handsome g controlled by darts. 

The show closed with Mis. Joyce Hill and Mrs. Clare Kitts appearing as bridesmaid and bride respectively. Joyce wore a yellow bengaline taffeta with two net overskirts, gold sandals from Proctors and flowers from Misses Hogan. Mrs. Kitts’ wedding gown was. of all over chantilly lace over taffeta and she wore a floor length veil of French net with hand embroidery. Both the bridesmaid’s dress and the bride’s dress were from Milady Dress Shop.


related reading

1960’s Fashion Shows– Once a Huge Extravaganza!

The Alice Walker Fashion Show 1974 Carleton Place

You Better Work it Girl! Cover Girls of Carleton Place 1965

Miss Civitan Club 1976? Who Are These Women?

Mary Cook’s Deportment Classes for Young Ladies in Carleton Place

Carleton Place Mod Fashion Show 1960’s

And Then There was Cook’s– and Most of All Mary Cook

Remember Halo Shampoo?

Remember Halo Shampoo?

Hair products. Halo Shampoo. 1985.0460.126, 1985.0475.187, 1984.0351.325. https://americanhistory.si.edu/

There were limited shampoo choices in the 1950’s and 1960’s; Halo, Prell, or Breck The 1970’s ushered in many many new shampoos to choose from–loaded with gimmicks, promises and lures.  It conjures up images and smells of bath time when I was small.

I wanted my Mom to buy Halo shampoo because the model was blonde, and she had a pageboy hairdo, that “swished” when she shook her head. I thought that my hair would swish if I used Halo shampoo When I entered my teens I used to buy Prell because of the pearl in the shampoo.

In 1938 the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company in Jersey City, N.J., introduced Halo, the zero soap shampoo. Their slogan was “Soaping dulls hair, while Halo glorifies it.” The product came with a double-your-money back guarantee. Advertisements claimed that the lack of oils and harsh chemicals made the product clean-rinsing and safe for children.Over the years the Colgate-Palmolive Company used celebrities and program sponsorships to endorse their product. In the 1940s, the product jingle, “Halo, Everybody, Halo,” was introduced on the radio and early TV. Through the following decades, many celebrities and recording artists, including Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and Eddie Cantor, sang the Halo jingle. Halo was still being sold in the late 1970s.While the Halo bottle retained its distinctive shape, at the end of 1954, Colgate-Palmolive introduced this new blue, white, and gold packaging. In 1956, their ads claimed they were “America’s #1 Selling Shampoo.

Chicago Tribune
Chicago, Illinois
24 Mar 1940, Sun  •  Page 89

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 May 1947, Thu  •  Page 10

read–Flour Shampoo

The Stack Perm or the Disco Wedge ? 1970s Hair Fashion

Why Were These Folks Facing Backwards?

The Best Little Chin Hair Post on the Prairie

Lois Lyman–A Hair of a Blunder!

To Die Dying Your Hair

What Did We Marry You for?

What Did We Marry You for?


Mlle Fraser, Montréal, Qc, 1897
Wm. Notman & Son
1897, 19e siècle
Plaque sèche à la gélatine
12 x 17 cm
Achat de l’Associated Screen News Ltd.
© Musée McCord

A humorous Perth story dating back to the 1880s kind of made me laugh and I thought I would share.. An old man, a widower, and his unmarried son lived together happily till a girl came into the life of the son. Finally the time came when the son had to announce that he was going to bring a young wife home.

At first the old man didn’t like the idea, but gradually become reconciled to the new order, especially when it occurred to him that the girl “might be useful about the place.”

Things went along smoothly for about a month. Then one day came the first jar. The old man came to the conclusion that it was about time for the girl to make herself useful. So getting a pair of his socks the old man went to her and politely asked her to darn them. The girl’s answer was quick and emphatic: “I am not going to darn your old socks.” she said. “Darn them yourself. What did you do before I came here?”

The old man was flabbergasted. His castle cf dreams of helpfulness fell down with a crash. However, he finally gathered himself together sufficiently to say: “Well, what did WE marry you for?” Curtains!”

Their key purpose was to look for a husband, give birth and take care of their husbands through out their entire lives. The roles as house wives were to bear children, take care of the young ones as well as submitting to the husbands. Socially, women were considered weaker hence unequal to their men counterparts. Some people would compare such a condition as slavery. Women were not supposed to divorce; they were expected to live with their husbands even if it meant to live in miserable marriage.

Do all the cooking for Sunday on Saturday, or, if it is absolutely necessary that some cooking be done, have it all completed at breakfast, and the fires extinguished for the day.

Bad dinners go hand in hand with total depravity, while a properly fed man is already half saved..


Battle of the Hatpins — Women of Local History

Women Gave Police Lots of Trouble in the 1800s

The Almonte Ladies Barber

Women in Prison 1900s

Women Arrested for Wearing Pants?

Lanark County “Bad Girls”– Bank Street 1873

“Wenches” in Almonte??

A Town Founded by Women and Gossip

There was No Shortage of Wives in Carleton Place

It Wasn’t Raining Men in Carleton Place!

Women in Prison 1900s

It is Important to Remember your Marriage Vows and in Particular your Commitment to Obey Him — Reader’s Warning

It is Important to Remember your Marriage Vows and in Particular your Commitment to Obey Him — Reader’s Warning

This is an actual extract from a sex education textbook for girls, printed in the early 1960’s in the UK. It was posted by my friend Jackie Cowan and I did the research and it is actually fact.

We have come so far!!

“When retiring to the bedroom, prepare yourself for bed as promptly as possible. Whilst feminine hygiene is of the utmost importance, your tired husband does not want to queue for the bathroom, as he would have to do for his train. But remember to look your best when going to bed. Try to achieve a look that is welcoming without being obvious. If you need to apply face-cream or hair-rollers wait until he is asleep as this can be shocking to a man last thing at night.

When it comes to the possibility of intimate relations with your husband it is important to remember your marriage vows and in particular your commitment to obey him. If he feels that he needs to sleep immediately then so be it. In all things be led by your husband’s wishes; do not pressure him in any way to stimulate intimacy. Should your husband suggest congress then agree humbly all the while being mindful that a man’s satisfaction is more important than a woman’s. When he reaches his moment of fulfilment a small moan from yourself is encouraging to him and quite sufficient to indicate any enjoyment that you may have had.

Should your husband suggest any of the more unusual practices be obedient and uncomplaining but register any reluctance by remaining silent. It is likely that your husband will then fall promptly asleep so adjust your clothing, freshen up and apply your night-time face and hair care products. You may then set the alarm so that you can arise shortly before him in the morning. This will enable you to have his morning cup of tea ready when he awakes.”

The Personal Ad of June 9th 1966

The Personal Ad of June 9th 1966

This morning I saw this ad in an old Carleton Place Canadian. It was not only in the classified section– the editors also felt it need front page exposure. It said “the mother had deserted her child”. There is always two sides to every story, and we will never know if she had no way out, or postpartum depression. One thing for sure is it looks like there was no family to help her. In those days many did not know what to do as it was the age of respectability and one went away quietly.

Image may contain: text that says 'under. Phone 257-1864. WANTED RE Shav- run- es. of self even less hut- ade it m- ith ed is 15 1. DEAD STOCK Quick pick-up of dead and disabled horses cattle. Allen Fur Farm, phone Toledo collect 50-r-2 or Car- leton Place 257-1744. License No. 3-C-66. 17tf GOOD HOME for small dog, just a pup. Dial 257-3430. 23-1tx HOME for 18-month-old baby boy; seven days a week. Reply stating wages required Phone'
1966 Carleton Place Canadian

The life of the average married woman in the 1950s and 60s was very different from that of today’s woman. This was the age of conformity and very few women worked after getting married; they stayed at home to raise the children and keep house. Girls were trained to look after their husband, their children and whatever else was needed.

Shopping for food in the 1950s and 1960s was done every day as storing fresh food was difficult. There were no supermarkets, so the housewife would visit the local baker, the butcher, and the grocer individually, carrying all her shopping home in baskets or in a pull-along trolley. The local shops would also deliver your groceries, bread and meat, the delivery boys using bicycles to make their rounds.  I remember when the A& P opened up in Cowansville– people marvelled at it.

Monday was washing day in most households. No just popping the clothes into the machine and then into the drier for these women. If you were lucky enough to have a washing machine, it would be a wringer washer. This had to be filled from the tap. One side had a washing machine, the other a spin dryer. After the clothes had washed they were lifted out of the hot water with large wooden tongs, fed through the ringer. The whole kitchen would fill with steam as first the whites were washed and then the coloured clothes as the water cooled. 

Entertainment was provided by the radio and more and more people were acquiring televisions. Some, like telephones, were rented, not owned. All televisions showed programmes in black and white, and there were very few channels. The milk man came daily and delivered your milk right on to your doorstep – again he would take away the empty bottles to be washed and reused.

Clothes were often homemade, either sewn or knitted. Knitted items when outgrown were recycled by being unravelled and re-knitted into something else. When collars on shirts became frayed, they were unpicked, turned inside out and sewed back on. All buttons and zips from old clothes were saved for the button box. Socks and stockings were darned.

Dinner would be on the table ready and waiting for the man of the house on his return from work. Housework and the care of children was considered women’s work so the man would expect the house to be clean and tidy, meal ready, children fed and washed and his clothes all ready for the next day at work.

The Allan as they called it

Best of times or worst of times? Bit of both it appears.  Should a woman find herself in a loveless or violent marriage, she was trapped; she had no money of her own and no career. Or what happened when you had postpartum like my mother did after she had me. You cried in secret or were diagnosed as having a ‘nervous condition’ and sent away like my mother to the Royal Victoria Hospital/ The Allan Memorial and she was treated with all sorts of things that were not guaranteed to work.  My son sent me a link to “The Allan” yesterday and I felt terrible all day that my mother had no choice but to endure all this.

My grandparents were left to watch over me and my father moved back in with his parents. Each and every few days he made the two hour drive to  Montreal  to visit his wife who was receiving electroshock therapy to help treat “nervous conditions”. That was a common catch-all phrase used to cover everything from postpartum depression to mild psychosis. It was a very common treatment choice for the time and because of it her postpartum lasted over two years where she didn’t know me or my father.

No one spoke to Bernice Ethylene Crittenden about postpartum depression. No one explained to her that it was normal for her to feel like something was wrong.

So who knows the true story behind this classified ad see in the local paper? There is always two sides to the story, as I personally know, and I hope whomever this child was– he was loved and cared for.

READ the sequel-My Name is Bernice — A Letter to a Daughter

Do You Hate Me and My Stetson Hat?

Settler’s Stories……. Smiths Falls Record

Begging Your Husband for Forgiveness? What? What? What?

  1. Several Shades of Christina Gray –Home for Friendless Women in Ottawa
  2. Women of Ramsay – Spindles and Flyers–Sarah Ann
  3. The Remedy Women of Lanark County

A Video About Lysol — the Marriage Hygiene

A Video About Lysol — the Marriage Hygiene


“Curiously, I know many mothers who use “Lysol” regularly for marriage hygiene, but who never think of giving the whole household the advantage of its many health benefits. Isn’t that a bit thoughtless … or even . . . selfish?”

And this was before they had the wipes. This was a cruel marketing strategy, and dangerous, too. Moral of the story— always be wary of advertising.


img - 2020-04-27T180834.126

The Morning Post
Camden, New Jersey
20 Aug 1945, Mon  •  Page 8

The Almonte Ladies Barber

A Town Founded by Women and Gossip

Six Women in Town but Lots of Logging

Women in Prison 1900s