This document contains the following articles

Historic Lanark County Documents from the Perth Courier

Received from: Christine Spencer - [email protected]

This document contains the following articles:

History of Port Elmsley (Pike Falls) by Mrs. D. Clements

Reminiscences of Old Perth by Alexander M. Richey

Two Perth’s Men’s Names Engraved on the Vimy War Memorial

Early Regiments of Discharged Soldiers

Almost a Centenarian:  Mrs. Mary McIntyre

The Perth Expositor

Boyd’s United Church

The McLachlin Family of Beckwith by J. F. McLachlin

The Early Settlers of Harper by Everett Bowes

The Woolen Mills of the Mississippi

Picture of the Last Meeting, Session of Municipal Union

Daniel Shipman and the Rebellion of 1837

Smith’s Falls and District Baptist Centennial

History of Scotch Corners by Mrs. William Dezell

History of Innisville by Mrs. W. J. Armstrong

Early Settlement of Balderson by R.S. McTavish

Almonte’s Bad Fire

Perth Courier, May 15, 1947

The History of Port Elmsley

By Mrs. D. Clements, historical conservator of the Port Elmsley Women’s Institute

“Barbodies” is believed to have been the first name of this village.  But in 1843 it was referred to as Pike Falls and was no doubt a military settlement, Perth being the county seat, business was transacted there.  Council meetings were held in the school and sometimes in Smith’s Falls which was a small village at that time.  Later, a new township hall was built and on December 22, 1854 the council held their first meeting in the new hall.  At the time the reeve was J. Best and the counselors were H. Cullen and A. Couch.  A crude road ran from here to Perth  part of it plank.  It was kept up by statute labor and was very bad.  There were board walks in the village and between Pike Falls and Perth there were two toll gates one at Lester Polk’s side road and one at Richardson’s side road near Perth.  Charges for a team and wagon were five cents; for a man and horse three cents; for a man walking nothing. 

A good part of the land was covered by bush so of course there were lumber mills, one west of the river Tay near the Porritt Haouse (where Mrs. Long now resides) and one near the village.

From these mills a wooden roan was built to the point at the present cheese factory.  Here the lumber was loaded in barges which came up the river Tay and by canal drawn by oxen.  Lumber was also loaded at the point at Mr. Elliotts’ known today as J. Wood’s farm.

B.S. Snyder owned a grist mill at the point where the cement house now stands.  There were also locks here. B.S. Snyder’s was near or on the exact spot where later Mr. McConnol, who operated the graphite mill, built the cement block house.

Mr. Snyder’s home was quite a show place with lovely orchard and grape vines.  Incidentally, this house is still in use having been moved farther up the village. 

There were two warehouses at the Elliott farm (later Judge Elliott) and supplies were drawn from here to Perth by team.  In the early days supplies were “backed” in.  Houses in the village were mostly made of logs and in 1851 there was one tavern in Pike Falls.  Later, there were two hotels and a post office and a blacksmith shop.  There were also two stores.

Mr. Porrit owned a shoddy mill on the upper side of the dam and opposite, in what is known today as the “old mill” was a very fine woolen mill, a graphite mill.

Skating was a great past time in the old days and Pike Falls has always been famed for its fish.  Older inhabitants tell of the days when hundreds came to fish at what is known today as “Lavender’s Point” and the “block dam”, many bringing their teams and wagons.  Fish were taken there by the wagon load.

Most of the settlers came from Ireland and many of their descendents still live here.  There are a few Scottish descendants of the early days.  Some of the old names are Best. Lavender, Findlay, Moore, Clements and others. 

The first school was a log building just west of the village.  Later it was considered necessary to erect a new and larger school in a more central location.  Land was purchased on the east side of the village from a Mr. Shaw, who owned the farm and land where Mr. and Mrs. E. (?) Lavender now live.  A frame building was erected.  In the year 1872 this building was blown down by a terrible wind storm at that time the trustees were Henry Hunter and B.S. Snyder.  These men decided to build a stone school two stories high to accommodate two classes.  The contract was given to Robert Elliott of Perth and work was begun the following spring and in the meantime classes were conducted in the township hall by the teacher who were teaching when the school was blown down, Miss Barbara McPherson.

In the fall of 1873 the new school was opened with Miss Margaret O’Hara (later Dr. Margaret O’Hara of India) and Miss Marjory Robinson in charge.  This was the only year that both rooms were used.  In the early days as many as 120 pupils attended.  In the frame school Isobel and Rachel Elliott taught (sisters of Judge Elliott) and Nathaniel McLenaghan who later became a member of the provincial legislature.

At the first meeting in the new township hall it was agreed to allow church services to be held in the hall.  Later, Mr. Shaw gave a piece of land where the old Anglican graveyard is.  Here a church was built which was intended as a community church.  It was called the Anglican church and was built in 1860.  Rev. H. Campbell, who came from one of the islands off the coast of Scotland was instrumental in building St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in 1886. 

The lovely little church which stands in the village today, St. James Anglican Church, was built in 1900.  Rev. Mr. Low organized the building of the church and there is a story of how when Rev. Mr. Low asked for donations to build the church, a small boy, when leaving the church after the service, gave Rev. Mr. Low ten cents. 

As far back as 1858, the name Port Elmsley was being used, but the writer was not able to find out when the name was changed or the meaning of it.

Perth Courier, April 28, 1911

Reminiscences of Old Perth by Alexander M. Richey

How I came to have 15,000 logs at the time the bridge at Almonte was swept away is easily explained.  I left Fall River with less than 10,000 logs but the firm of Young, Winn and Company of Ottawa purchased all of John Hall’s logs, 6,000 or more and I had agreed to drive them to the mouth of the Mississippi along with my logs.  Hall’s Mills had burned down that spring.  A steam saw mill and a long haul of the lumber to the market could not pay expenses so Hall sold his logs and went back to the square timber trade again.  For the timber trade paid sometimes, the sawed lumber did not at least according to Hall.  A steam saw mill in those days could not compete with a mill run by water power.  There were nearly a dozen of water rover mills nearer to market then Hall’s was.  His mill was on the north side of the river just above the bridge of the Perth and Lanark Road.  Some 90 years ago a lad named Cameron ran a ferry at this place—they called him the bare foot ferry boy.  But years after he was elected to parliament from the United Counties of Lanark and Renfrew and became Hon. Malcolm Cameron.  I found the firm of Young, Winn and Company to be a staunch friend, honest and upright and liberal in every particular.  They were from the state of Maine.  Capt. Young was the practical man of the firm.  An old river driver as well as a sailor and had been owner and captain of a lumber vessel part of the time. 

Captain Young was with me from the time I left the mouth of the Mississippi until we got the logs separated into booms; mine for Pontiac Mills and his for Ottawa.  He and all the men except for Pat Green and I were at work clearing out what was called the blind soy but at that time we were forced to use it to get the logs past the Shaw rapids.  The soy in times past had been the outlet of the river but got choked up with drift wood, felled trees, etc.  At one time it had been quite a stream and came out in Fitzroy Harbor quite distinct from the Shaw Rapids.  The high water in the Ottawa River backed up higher than in the smaller one and sent nearly all the logs down the soy and it was a much better route for the logs in every way.  Green and I were getting a few scattered logs off the bank on the other side of the river; he had got the last one afloat and was polling it out of he current.  I was getting a flatted boom out of the crotch of a tree where it had floated during the freshet.  I heard some splashing but had been so busy with the boom stick that I paid no attention to Green until then.  I looked around and saw Green’s hat floating on the other side of the log.  I shouted for a canoe and swam to the hat.  I noticed air bubbles coming up and I dived down for Green.  He was standing straight up with 15 feet of water above him.  I got him up and onto the log before the canoe got to us.  He was filled with water but if his last breathing had not given me a clue to where he was he would have been past recovery before we got to him.  It took twenty or thirty minutes before he drew a long breath and thirty of us wee using our best skill on him.

Early in the summer of 1852 I was running the Shaw Rapids with a raft of timber and had gotten half the raft over in one trip as the water was high.  We landed at the head of the slide and started back for the other half when down came half a raft of Dunlop’s.  Away out of the channel was a high wind from the southwest. They were headed for the horse shoe falls.  Nothing could save the timber from going over.  My canoe a three and a half fathom bark could save the men.  I landed my men, fifteen of them, on the nearest point and I pulled for the raft in haste and not a moment too soon either for the poor fellows were rowing side oars up stream for their lives.  I tell you, when I got along side the canoe 14 men never embarked in a canoe any quicker in ten seconds.  I heard the timber crashing over the falls of thirty feet or more.  I had hardly got them landed when another raft of thirty cribs and fifteen men came down the rapids but were blown out of the channel by the wind which was by this time almost a hurricane.  I had started to take my men off the point of land when I saw this raft in as great a danger as that of Dunlop’s men so we turned to the rescue but the pilot, a French Canadian thought he could save his raft and bring it to the slide but very soon he had to give up that idea and he and his men jumped for the canoe and listened to the timber crashing over the falls.  The reason for their trying to run at the time was on account of the high wind.  They were afraid the anchors would not hold the whole raft against the wind and strong current. 

Well, I saved the lives of 29 men that day and only one man Mr. Dunlop returned thanks and he was not one of those rescued either but thanked me for his men’s lives.

Perth Courier, July 24, 1936

Two Perth Men’s Names Engraved on the Vimy War Memorial

The names of George Edwin Bothwell, 1st Mounted Rifles, aged 26 years, killed in France Sept. 15, 1916 during the World War, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bothwell of Perth and George James Stokes, 38th Battalion, aged 21, killed November (date illegible) 1916, son of George Stokes and the late Mrs. Stokes of Perth, afterwards of Ottawa, are engraved on the Canadian War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France, according to the list of names appearing in Monday’s Ottawa Citizen, by a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, which had a part in the capture of Vimy Ridge from the Germans on April 7, 1917.  (Transcriber’s note, I checked this twice, the battle was in 1917 but the paper shows the men’s deaths as 1916, but read on).  The article leads off as follows:  As one stands in awe before the towering Vimy Ridge Memorial, how fitting is this magnificent monument as a witness to Canada’s efforts and sacrifices in the Great War.  It is the first of the national monuments erected on the battlefield familiar to all Canadians.  It is also the memorial to the Canadians in France who have no known grave.  The names of the 7, 024 Canadians dead in Belgium whose graves are also unknown are entered on the Menin Gate at Ypres. One’s head almost swims as one sees the names of 11,283 dead on the Vimy Memorial—about 1/5th of the total Canadian dead in France and Belgium.  But one thing stands out clearly in one’s impression of this noble pile that stands on hill #145(?) on the highest level of the ridge nearly 200 feet above the plain of Denai(?).  All the names are in alphabetical order on the monument and in the printed register a copy of which will be given to each next of kin of all the names engraved on the monument.  The particulars given on the register have been compiled from information given by the graves registration section of the Department of National Defense and the next of kin.  In all cases the relatives have been asked to furnish the personal information they wish to appear in the registry.  Of the painstaking care and accuracy of the graves registry section under L.E. (Stone??) one cannot speak too highly.

Perth Courier, June 29, 1936

Early Regiments of Discharged Soldiers

Spanning a long gap between the Brown Bess and the Lee Enfield stretches the stirring history of the present Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment.  While this splendid unit observes this year its 100th anniversary yet in origin it goes back further than that—to those scattered groups have a long list of famous line regiments whose members—officers and men—elected to form the nucleus of soldier settlements in this part of Upper Canada.  In fact the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment claims the Canadian Fencible Infantry (1798?) as the original unit since many of its officers became officers of the 1st Lanark regiments.

With the exception of the Glengarry Fencibles, there is probably no other militia unit in this section of Canada senior to it in length of service.  And there are very few militia units with as colorful a history and background of soldering in the wars of the Empire.  On its parade down through the years were men who had served in campaigns and battles from the tropics to Copenhagen.  Its “old Sweats” were hard bitten fighting men who had trod the roads of war in long forced marches under Wellington on the Peninsula; who had stormed the walls of Badajox(?); who helped to chase Soult’s army through the passes of the Pyrenees to the siege of Toulouse; stamped out a black rebellion in Grenada and who received Ney’s Guard on their bayonet in those unbroken squares at Waterloo. 

Among its commanding officers were such prominent men of Upper Canada as Chief McNab, Col. Jas. H. Powell, Lt. Col the Honorable William Morris, Col. Fitzmaurice, Col. Andrew Playfair, Col. Alex MadDonnell, Col. Josias Taylor, Lt. Col. Sir Francis Hincks(?), Lt. Col. Andrew Dickson and others by virtue of outstanding personal achievement.

Discharged soldiers of 1812 were given every assistance in land settlement so that even before the stream of immigrants arrived, the nucleus of population was a strong infiltration of army veterans.  The ultimate plan was to establish a chain of such military settlements from Nepean Point to Kingston.  When Rev. William Bell came to the settlement in 1817 he records that Perth and vicinity then had a population of 1,890 of which 1,124 were discharged soldiers and their families.

Famous line regiments--Col. Garners’ records reveal that the British regiments which had just finished the last campaigns of 1812-14 were keen on settlement in Canada.  His regimental histories also show this:  “Great enthusiasm was shown by the men of the Glengarry Light Regiment raised in Canada by Lt. Col. Richard John Macdonnell (Red George) of whom 165 joined the Perth settlement; the 13th Regiment of Foot (now the Somerset Light Infantry) which had proceeded from Martinique to Quebec in 1813, was employed on the Canadian frontier during the war and returned to England in 1815; the 104th Regiment of Foot which performed a memorable forced march on snow shoes through the back woods from Saint John, N.B. to Quebec in the winter of 1812-13, did good service in the war and was eventually disbanded in Montreal in 1817; and the de Watteville Regiment which was a Swiss Regiment in the British army and had distinguished itself at the Battle of Chateauguay.”

A wide diversity of regiments was represented in the military settlement of Perth and Richmond.  Col Gardner’s records of the regiments which supplied pioneers to these military settlements enumerates approximately 45 exclusive of cavalry, artillery and naval units.  Several of these are:

76th Regiment of Foot (now the Second Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) served during the Rebellion of 1796 in Ireland; was present at the capture of the Capt of Good Hope in 1806; fought in South America at the capture of Buenos Ayres from the Spaniards; and then participated in the Peninsula Campaign.

41st Regiment of Foot (now the Welsh Regiment)—Rushed to the Island of Grenada in 1793 when the slaves rebelled and murdered the governor; formed part of the expedition to Trinidad in 1797 and there fought as infantry against the Spanish ships of war.  Then it proceeded to the Dutch settlement at Surinam and mopped it up.

49th Regiment of Foot (now the Royal Berkshire Regiment)—Served in Holland in 1794 and afterwards formed part of Sir Ralph Abercrombie’s force in Egypt.

89th Regiment of Foot—Served under Lord Howe at the blockade of Malta; in 1800 it was transferred to Egypt.

7th Regiment of Foot (now the Royal Fusiliers)—This outfit fought half way around the world and back again, expeditions to the West Indies and present at the capture of Demerara then to Holland from whence they hopped for the Baltic and participated in land operations against Copenhagen.  It helped to take Martinique before embarking for the Spanish peninsula; crossed the Atlantic again to have a go at the Yankees at New Orleans.

3rd Royal Guards—Served in the English rebellion and also on the continent

81st Regiment of Foot—Served at the siege of Copenhagen thence tot eh Peninsula Campaign.  Was at the expedition to Wacheran and the siege of Flushing.

The above is a partial list of the units represented in Lanark County.  There were many others such as the 37th Regiment, 99th Regiment, 100th Regiment, 68th Regiment, 17th Regiment, 19th Regiment, 9th Regiment, Royal Artillery, Naval Artillery, and the Royal Navy.  In addition, there were the colonial units such as the Glengarry Fencibles, Canadian Fencibles, New Brunswick Fencibles, and the Royal Newfoundland Fencibles.

Perth Courier, Sept. 16, 1932

Almost a Centenarian:  Mrs. Mary McIntyre

Photo accompanies article

After a curved or crooked course of many miles through rocky channels, past dense forest growth of birch, poplar and ever green trees where cultivated farms alternate with rocky barrens and hills the wide Mississippi river comes to a formidable crisis in its path at the high falls of the Mississippi where the leaping stream furnishes the greatest water power for the hydro development between the Ottawa river and the Trent system.  A mile or so further down the wild water furnishes a minor power for the saw and roller mills of Walter Geddes; then after a rapid descent past high picturesque hills, one finds peaceful rest for a time on the broad expanse of Dalhousie Lake.  On the wide beach of the lake and backed by all kinds of native trees and shrubbery have been built neat summer cottages owned by holiday people from far and near on the hill just above stands the home of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Geddes overlooking the lake and cottages and hills and farms which border the beautiful lake.

In this comfortable and hospitable dwelling an aged lady finds a welcome home.  This is the mother of Mrs. Geddes, Mrs. McIntyre, of whom we were privileged to see and converse with a short time ago.  Mrs. McIntyre was born in North Sherbrooke in 1834 and is now therefore 98 years old—an age somewhat remarkable as life comes and goes in this sphere. 

With the original settlers about 1820 came the representatives of two Highland clans—Duncan Ferguson of Argylshire and Alexander McDougall from Perthsire.  Soon after their arrival in the new land,  a son of Ferguson married Miss Violet McDougall and to them a daughter, in 1834, was born, the subject of this sketch.

The parents could speak little or no English only their native Gaelic and the little daughter, taught in this parental home, could speak it fluently and in fact never wholly forgot it to this day.  Association with lowland neighbors and teaching in school brought her a knowledge of the Anglo Saxon tongue and this practically became her thinking language.  Here we must mention that the first schoolhouse in North Sehrbrooke was built at Elphin in 1834 in the east half of Lot 10, 2nd Concession.  Mrs. McIntyre has seen the greatest growth in the township in farm cultivation and improvements through many a year of hardship and privation of the settlers until the original cabins have been changed into comfortable farm homes and the very primitive log school houses succeeded by ones of frame and brick all over the two townships.  And so the course of progress along life’s highway has been the history of her own life—the sickle, scythe, cradle, mowing and threshing and binding machines and the kindred working implements have all passed before her life’s work on the farm; and it is a pleasure to know that in her daughter’s home she has found congeniality and affection after life’s burdens have been laid down.

Mrs. McIntyre can yet put a neat patch on a garment and another patch on that even better than the first, so say her friends.  In her girlhood days there was no bridge across the Mississippi in the two townships and their way to market at Perth or Lanark involved much hardship that we can hardly imagine now.  She has walked to Perth, rode there on oxcarts, on horseback, on rough sleds and cutters—and in motor cars as well—and she has heard and seen the airplanes flying far above. 

Perth Courier Jan. 17, 1936

The Perth Expositor

An important business deal was closed on Wednesday of this week which provided for the purchase of the plant, subscription list, etc., of the Perth Expositor by the Perth Courier Publishing Company, Ltd.  By this purchase the Expositor ceased publication this week and Perth enters the list of one paper towns with the Courier as the only paper to be published as usual in the Courier block on Gore Street.

In 1850(?) 1860(?) the Perth Expositor was launched by Thomas Cairns, who came here from Kingston.  Mr. Cairns conducted the paper for a short time when he took into partnership Thomas Scott, afterwards Col. T. Scott of Red River fame.  After the appointment of Mr. Cairns to the position of postmaster at Perth, the paper was conducted by Col. Scott for a short time eventually being taken over by Messrs. Edward Elliott, afterwards Judge Elliott of London, Ontario and William Burford both deceased.

In 18?? Col. A.J. Matheson became the proprietor and editor soon afterwards becoming Ontario Provincial Treasurer and had the late Capt. J.W. Motherwell as the publisher.  Both these worthy men have long since passed to the great beyond. 

In 1886, Charles F. Stone, fresh from the P.C.I., entered the Expositor as “printer’s devil” and completed his apprenticeship in September, 1890 when he secured a position on the Deseronto Tribune and later on the Wiarton(?) Echo and Petrolia Advertiser.

In 1893 as a result of the illness of Mr. Motherwell, Mr. Stone accepted the position of publisher for the Expositor.  Three years later after Col. Matheson had received the endorsement of the electors of S. Lanark to represent them in the provincial legislature, the control of the Expositor passed into the hands of Mr. Stone who was its editor and proprietor until early in 1914 when the paper passed into the hands of N.G. Dickson.

Afterwards, the paper was taken over by the Perth Expositor Publishing Co., Ltd with J.A. Blackburn as managing editor.  When the two distilleries ceased operation in Perth the internal revenue branch became extinct along with Mr. Stone’s position and he then traveled from place to place as an inspector for the sales tax department of the federal government and was later attached to the Toronto office of the service and he remained there until the end of 1932 when he returned to Perth as managing editor of the Expositor.

Perth Courier, June 30, 1933

Boyd’s United Church

Carleton Place Central Canadian

(Not Transcribed in Full)

Centenary services were celebrated on Sunday when capacity congregations assembled both morning and evening at Boyd’s United Church.  Besides the regular congregation, there were many visitors present from various points among whom were several former residents who had come home to take part in the celebration.  The speaker in the morning was Judge J. Arthur Jackson, a native son whose forbears were among those who had taken a leading part in the church in bygone years.  In the evening the speaker was Rev. T. Holt Murray, of Prescott.  Since 1931 the Boyd’s circuit has been under the care of Rev. J.S. Ferguson, B.A., of Zion United Church of Carleton Place and he had charge of the service throughout the day.

Judge Jackson reviewed in considerable length the history of the congregation.  He stated that the early settlement of this country began about 1817 when discharged soldiers with their families took up land in what is now known as Bathurst Beckwith, Elmsley, Drummond and Burgess.  Again in 1820, 900 more came out mostly from Scotland taking up land largely in Dalhousie and Lanark and at that time the first settlement was opened in what was to become Boyd’s.  In 1821 some 2,000 more settlers arrived and these people located largely in Ramsay, Sherbrooke and Lanark Village.

The early church was formed by the Methodist body minister coming over from New York state to which point he had been sent years earlier from the old land.  This early church first took root in the township of Augusta the circuit embracing Elmsley, Montague, Marlboro, N. Gower, Lanark, Beckwith and Goulbourne.

The first minister to reach this settlement was Rev. J.G. Peale who was located to Perth in 1821.  He did most of his traveling on foot and shortly after his arrival he journeyed to Boyd’s where he conducted services.

The speaker noted that he had often heard his grandfather speak of those early days when all their supplies, including their flour were carried into Perth, the nearest point at which there was a mill.  A few years later a mill was started at Morphy’s Falls (now Carleton Place) and as this was much closer, a blazed trail was marked through the woods to this point in order to bring in their supplies.

In 1830 separation with the U.S. conference came into being and in 1831 Wall Street Church was built in Brockville.  In this year a chapel was built at Carleton Place which would seat about 200 people.  In 1832 a resolution was passed authorizing the erection of Boyd’s Chapel.  Previous to this, services had been held at the home of the people in the district and frequently in the open.

Following the morning service the congregation and all visitors were invited to the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. Willows for dinner and supper over 300 partaking of the noon day meal.   The afternoon was quietly spent in recalling the days of long ago and meeting old friends.

In the evening another large congregation was present for the service, the music being supplied by Zion Church of Carleton Place.

From the historical sketch which had been prepared for the occasion by the church we might quote the following:

In 1821 Rev. J. G. Peale was stationed at Perth.  In 1825 Rev. Samuel Bolton was sent to what was called the “new townships”.  In 1826 these wee united with Perth with a united membership of 290.  In 1827 Rev. W. H. Williams was sent to Mississippi and the circuit was known by that name until 1840 when it was changed to Carleton and Pakenham.  It is difficult to understand the large extent of territory included in the circuit but in 1833 the Bonnchere was linked with the same Mississippi in naming the circuit.  An account is given in a family history by Mrs. H. Hammond, formerly Margaret Boyd, of the first Methodist minister walking out from Perth carrying his saddle bags on his back and held services in their home and from that time services were held from shanty to shanty and then in the log school house until the first church was built.

In 1831 or 1832, the first quarterly conference was held at the school house on what was known as Jackson Street in the County of Lanark.  About the same time it was decided to build a church in Carleton Place.

In the first quarter of 1832 when Rev. James Brock was the minister on the Mississippi circuit and Rev. Ansen Green was the presiding elder a resolution was passed to build a church which was to be known as the Jackson Street Methodist Episcopal Church, 12th Concession Lanark.  The building committee was F. Stern, Andrew Stevenson, William McGee and Thomas Jackson.

In 1875 the present church edifice was erected.  The former building was located in the cemetery about fifty yards easterly from the present entrance gate.  The new site was more convenient and upon high ground.

Several ministers came out of the church.  Among those may be mentioned Rev. Elisha Tennant and Rev. Richard M. Hammond both of whom filled important pastorates in Canadian Methodism.

This sketch would not be wholly complete if mention were not made of the choir of this church.  For years it was blessed with a choir of unusually talented singers.  The families of Thomas Code and John Stevenson furnished several of these.  Thomas N. Code led the choir for many years and when he left the neighborhood, Mrs. Wesley Willows continued this important part of church service.

In 1925 Boyd’s with all the Methodist churches in this district entered the United Church of Canada.

Perth Courier, Jan. 2, 1931

From Old Time Stuff in the Ottawa Citizen

The McLachlin Family of Beckwith by H. F. McLachlin

H. F. McLachlin still lives on the 1st Concession Beckwith two miles from Franktown and is a great admirer of our column “Old Time Stuff”.  When Mr. McLachlin was in Ottawa a couple of days ago the editor had a very interesting chat with him.  Besides being a farmer, Mr. McLachlin conducts a service station on the town line near Smith’s Falls.  Forbears of Mr. McLachlin have been residents of Beckwith township since 1818 and the farm on which Mr. McLachlin resides has been in the family since 1827.  In the year 1818 Mr. McLachlin’s great grandfather (first name he cannot remember) came to “somewhere” in Beckwith.  At that time grandfather Robert McLachlin was a youth.  In 1827 Robert McLachlin took out a patent for land on his own behalf and started to farm for himself on the 1st Concession Beckwith.  Since that year the farm on the first concession remained in direct descent in the family. When great grandfather McLachlin came to this country he brought with him a cherished memento of the old land, a “grandfather’s clock”, which stood nearly seven feet high and in fact was so tall that the low log shanty he built in 1818 would not hold it.  So he was forced to ask the jailer in Perth to let him keep it in the jail there until he could build a house with ceilings high enough to house it.  And in the jail the clock remained for a number of years.  The jail had not had a clock until the McLachlin clock arrived.  The clock was no ordinary clock.  Its works were of solid and heavy brass.  It was, of course, an eight day clock.  From the jail the clock went into the hands of grandfather Robert McLachlin.  By him, the clock was willed to a nephew John Ferguson of Torbolton(?).  From John Ferguson the clock went to Robert McLachlin, Jr., the father of H.F. McLachlin, the narrator of the story.  The clock is now in his possession and from him it will descend, all things willing, to his son.  The interesting part of this story is that the clock although well over 112 years old (it was old when it came from England) is still going and never misses an hour and keeps excellent time.  Mr. McLachlin says his clock is real “old time stuff”.

Perth Courier, October 14, 1837

The Early Settlers of Harper by Everett Bowes, SS10, Bathurst

We pupils of SS10, Bathurst thought we would find out more about the early settlers of the village of Harper.  I wish to thank Patrick Tovey of Bathurst for the following information.

We will now take you back to the time of 1850.  About this time where the village is now situated it was covered with forest.  The emigrants from Ireland, Scotland and England came out and started a small settlement which they thought was well situated.  These early settlers were mostly tradesmen.  There were two blacksmith shops.  One was owned by Miles Leighton.  Kenneth Cameron is the present owner.  William McVeigh conducted another blacksmith shop.  He was also noted as a “vet”.  His place of business was located on the present Ferguson farm.

There were two hotels.  One was run by Miles Leighton and the other was next to our present school grounds.  It was operated by a Mr.Cole.

There were two cabinet makers by the name of Marguerite.  Henry Margurite lived at the present home of Mrs. Robert Ferguson.  James Marguerite lived where James Warrington is at present.  The Marguerites were of Swiss origin.

Tom Churchill had a small farm.  He also made barrels which were used as potash containers.  Mr. Kerne now lives on the farm.  Joseph Warren a former school teacher, conducted a general store and post office.  William Keays now owns this property.  On the same land was a house where lived Mr. Harper, commonly known as “Daddy Harper”.  He was a former school master.  On the north corner of our school grounds was a log house owned by Mr. Wiste.  He was a shoe maker.  Across the road where Mr. Alden Watt now lives, Richard Darou conducted a butcher business.  Later a general store now owned by John Spaulding was built by John Butler.  The farm now owned by Gerald Cunningham was first cleared and settled by Mr. Fisher.  Two other men, both named Fisher also got Crown deeds for farms on the 7th Concessionlilne.  The home of Mr. Perkin was first settled by Mr. McNee.

A “grange” stood where our school is now.  This was operated by local residents who distributed grain and other things to those who desired it.  A library on a small scale was also here.

About the year 1885 a church was built by the Methodist congregation of the district.

Our present school was formerly located on land north of the village.  However, the location was not considered suitable for school grounds.  In 1920 it was moved to the present site.  The land was purchased from Eli Blackburn.

Perth Courier, April 29, 1938

The Woolen Mills on the Mississippi

Reprint from the Ottawa Citizen “Old Time Stuff”

In an interesting pen picture of the many thriving woolen mills which dotted the Mississippi River from Innisville to Almonte in the 70’s and 80’s, J. Sid Annabie(?) draws attention to the fact that one of the pioneer industries was a blanket mill which operated above the bridge at Innisville by the late Abraham Code father of the late T.A. Code of Perth.

The initial purpose of this pioneer venture was the manufacture all wool blankets for the river travelers and shanty men on the upper Mississippi and its tributaries.  It was the largest industry in that district in the 60’s and 70’s and provided employment for many of the inhabitants.

Abraham Code was one of the leading figures in Lanark County.  He represented the county in the Ontario legislature.  After severing his connection with the industry some time in the 80’s he was appointed Inspector of Weights and Measures with headquarters in Ottawa.  He was a son of the late John Code who came to Canada from Ireland in the early ‘20’s of the last century and was one of the pioneer settlers of the Innisville district.

The Innisville blanket mill was destroyed by a fire in 1879 and in the following year Mr. Code moved to Carleton Place and commenced operation on the first steam mill on the Mississippi River at that point.  This old mill was constructed of stone and was five stories high, 70 feet wide, 100 feet long.  All of the looms and in fact all of the machinery was brought from Scotland as well as 20 families who were brought over to work in the mills and operate the complicated machinery.

Two years later, Mr. Code was obliged to sever his connection with the mill and it was taken over by W.W. Wylie of Almonte who continued the operation for many years.  Mr. Wylie took an active interest in the civic and military life of Carleton Place.  He was made captain and later colonel of the 41st Battalion of Volunteers and under him Capt. Joe McKay, Lt. Brown and Sgt. Jack Annable served.

In 1880, James Gillis built a stone woolen mill below the railroad bridge, taking the lower waters by flume for his power.  The factory was a success from the start and brought to Carleton Place many skilled workers.  Bob McGregor was boom weaver, Sam Berryman was head of the finishing department and the drying house was under the supervision of Jack Clark.  Their high grade of worsteds were in great demand all over Canada.  This historical plant is still running and is being operated by Bains(?) and Innis.

Three miles further down the Mississippi at Appleton another mill was operated by T.C. Caldwell of Lanark. 

With reference to Almonte, Mr. Annable says:  “Almonte was the most natural spot for water development.  William Thoburn established, I believe, the first woolen mill at this point.  Then Bennett Rosamund built the largest broad loom on the river and brought expert weavers from Scotland to work init.  Later he built his #2 mill and still later absorbed the Thoburn interests.  In the 60’s and 70’s the village and thus it soon became known as the woolen mill center.”

Perth Courier, Feb. 18, 1933

Reprinted from the Ottawa Citizen  “Old Time Stuff”

In the office of the county clerk at Perth there hangs a group of photos, yellow with age and dimmed with years that hold a special interest for the citizens of this day and generation either in Lanark or Renfrew Counties.  It is the group of representatives gathered for the last session of what was then the municipal union known as the “United Counties of Lanark and Renfrew”.  Among the group are men whose names will always be associated with the early history and development of the two thriving counties as they exist today.

In 1865 the present county building in Pembroke was erected and in the fall of 1866 the final meeting of the dual Counties of Lanark and Renfrew was held in Perth, the old chapter closed and a new era began.  Those present at the final meeting together with the municipalities they represented were:

Obrial Marshall, Ramsay

Young Scott, Pakanham

Patrick Struthers, Beckwith

Peter Guthrie, Darling

John Doran, Perth

John Ryan, Lanark

Peter Clark, Montague

John Rankin, Ross

Michael Mulligan, Bromley

William Brown, Stafford

S.G. Lynn, Algona

George Best, Elmsley

James Holliday, North Burgess

John McDonald, North Sherbrooke and Lavant

Jas. Taylor, Smith’s Falls

William Robertson, Lanark Village

A Cole, Drummond

John Harvey, Arnprior

Robert Low, Ralph Buchanan, Wylie and McKay

William Lees and James Noonan, Bathurst

T.M. Carswell, Westmeath

J.S.J. Watson, Brudenell

John Fisher, McNabb

Alex McNee, Bagot and Blythfield

Perth Courier, Nov. 4, 1932

Daniel Shipman and the Rebellion of 1837

Recopied from Ottawa Valley Days in the Ottawa Journal

A lone dragoon rode through the valley settlements in the early summer of 1838. He was riding hard through the forest trails on the king’s business.  With fresh relays of mounts his course had taken him from Chief McNab’s frontier outpost on White Lake right down to St. Lawrence “front”.  Weary and jaded, he stopped at each cluster of log huts and told his findings to the chief ranking army officer or the leading citizen.  Upper Canada had burst into rebellion during 1837 with the skirmish at Montgomery’s Tavern in Yonge Street.  There had been a lull during the early part of 1838 but the rebellion had flamed anew and recruits were immediately required for active service.  That was the message the dragoon was carrying to Col. J.H. Powell at Perth.  His duty was to “raise” the settlement.

There was some hesitancy on the part of the settlers to rush to arms.  In the first place they were extensively engaged in clearing the land and wrestling their homesteads from the wilderness.  Faced with the necessity of living off a few cleared acres and making themselves as comfortable as possible against the rigors of the Canadian winters they realized the urgency of establishing themselves as soon as possible.  Besides, although many of them had soldiered, they considered that putting down a rebellion was a job for regulars.  They had to get on with the work of colonization.  For them it was a serious thing to have this work stopped unless in case of an emergency like a foreign invasion.

Then too, it was a time when the family compact was the dominant factor in the colony and the family compact was most cordially disliked by those who were not basking in the backsheesh of office.  Anybody who opposed it was held in suspicion.  In fact, the line between “rebellion” and “reform” was often drawn pretty fine.

This it was there was no great eagerness to leave the broad axe and plough and take up the musket.  This fact angered many of the military politico leaders who were linked with the family compact and who were ready to lead the “toilers of the soil”  to “death or glory” as old Chief McNab expressed it.

On Daniel Shipman, one of the honored founders of the village of Almonte, there was concentrated a petty persecution that was ludicrous to the nth degree.  From an old copy of the Almonte Gazette in 1839 we come across a most interesting account of how Daniel Shipman eluded a troop of cavalry and constables who tried to arrest him on suspicion of being a Reformer.

Daniel Shipman came to the beginning of Almonte about 1821. Almonte was then known as Sheppard’s Falls.  Financed by his father-in-law, a man by the name of Boyce, who had come from Brockville, Dan Shipman bought out David Sheppard’s saw mill and built a grist mill the next year.  The place then became known as Shipman’s Falls because just at that point, the Mississippi River breaks into a singing cascade.  The District of Bathurst at that time comprised the counties of Carleton, Lanark and Refnrew. 

Shipman first incurred the ire of a certain clique because he tried to persuade his young son not to enlist in the militia.  “This offence” says the old Gazette account, “marked him out as a suspect and finally as a victim for some months of stupid and misdirected loyalty.”  With the fresh breaking out of the rebellion in 1838 there developed an unreasonable wave of prejudice against all Reformers and any who bore the name.  In the village of Richmond there resided a Captain Lyon who decided to stage a spectacular raid.  Lyon’s armed cohorts earned the derision of the whole settlement by a wide flanking maneuver that had as its object one lone and inoffensive man.  Daniel Shipman completely outwitted the cavalry.  Lyon armed a small troop of horsemen at Richmond and began his surprise march on Danny Shipman residing peacefully at Ramsayville as Almonte was then called.  Instead of approaching the village singly or in quietness, the whole troop cantered in at twilight, crossed the bridge, passed down Little Bridge Street and around the bay to Wylie’s with a jingling of accoutrement that would have done credit to a squadron of cuirassiers.  “this was the only spectacle of its kind” observed a witness “that has ever been seen here by the past or present generation and it is to be hoped that the like will never again be seen in our town”.  Well, the “cavalry” debouched in front of Danny’s house.  He saw them advancing in extended deployment and decided upon a strategic retreat.  He retired behind his lines of Torres Vedros somewhere back of the Mississippi. There he dug in.  The cavalry retired without any blood on its lances.

In mid winter, Shipman mysteriously returned to Ramsayville.  With the zeal of a witch burner back came the military.  This time the mounted constabulary were sent into action.  They decided to surround the barn in which Shipman was working.  They spurred up tot eh front door, demanding admittance and called on him to surrender in the Queen’s name.  Danny could not see what that had to do with repairing a sleigh or whatever it was that he was doing and decided to ignore the call as long as the barn stayed on its hinges.  When he saw he moment had arrived, he leaped out the pasture gate and into the barn yard and from thence to safety.  The constables came to the postern gate and found that Shipman had dropped in a jump of over 8 feet.  This was too big a leap for them.  They then paraded the streets shouting and calling upon all Her Majesty’s loyal subjects to come and help them find and arrest Shipman and people just laughed at the two constables.  The unwarranted persecution of Shipman was dropped but in all his long and honorable career this pioneer of Almonte must have enjoyed many a reflection on this exploit.  H.J.W.

Perth Courier, November 10, 1933

Smith’s Falls and District Baptist Centennial

Celebrating 100 years of progress, members of the Baptist Church of Smith’s Falls, together with former members of the congregation and many prominent visitors, observed the centenary anniversary of the organization of the church in this district.  The celebration opened with special services on Sunday, October 29, special speakers assisting in the celebration.

The main feature of the 100th anniversary celebration was the dedication of a memorial on the Perth Road about three miles from Smith’s Falls which marks the site of the home of Elder Duncan McNab, organizer of the church in this district.  The memorial is a stone column which was the original chimney of the McNab home and on it has been placed a beautiful bronze plaque.  Grounds about the memorial have been beautified and a concrete platform has been built about the base.

An interesting glimpse of the past was provided by an address by Tom Farmer of Perth, a great-grandson of Elder McNab.  Though the Smith’s Falls Baptist Church was organized in the home that stood on the site of the memorial 100 years ago, for the men and women who had urged the organizers, had probably spoken of them to accept Christ earlier in their lives.

Continuing, Mr. Farmer sketched the early life of Duncan McNab and his wife Catherine Ferguson and of their coming to Canada in 1815(?)1825(?), to take up residence in Beckwith.  Some few Baptists were in this district then but no meetings were held and Mr. and Mrs. McNab soon arranged for these gatherings.  Often he would leave his loom on a Saturday afternoon and walk barefoot through the swamps and bush trails preaching at various spots.  In the district in which he preached, the Carleton Place Baptist Church was organized in 18??, the Smith Fall’s Baptist Church in 1833  and the Drummond and Beckwith churches later.  After 15(?)16(?) years spent in Beckwith the McNab family moved to a farm in Elmsley Township and here they carried on aggressive Christian work.  The home which stood where the memorial is now located was soon became a centre where settlers met to worship God and very soon organized what is now the 100 year old church.

Members in the Baptist Church possess a proved heritage, a noble inheritance built up by labor, the sacrifice and the righteousness of those pioneers who built so well that today we might worship in the comfort of he church built by their labors.  He spoke of the names of Henderson, Anderson, McPhail, McLaurens, who rode through the woods from settlement to settlement up and down the St. Laurence, the Ottawa and the Rideau, preaching in lumber camps, school houses and log cabins.  Our pastors McDiarmid, Denovan, McGregor, Lenule(?) and Luchens laid the foundation of the New Testament principles so broad and deep that they were still quoted to us.

Amid a hushed silence the unveiling of the plaque which adorns the memorial took place, Miss Flora McNab, a great granddaughter of Elder McNab removing the Union Jack which covered the tablet.  As she did so, the audience rendered the Doxology and the service at the memorial was brought to a close by the singing of “Onward Christian Soldiers.”

In the evening the large dining hall of the church was filled with members, former members, and friends from out of town for the annual Thanksgiving offering supper.  Seated at the head table were Rev. H.W. Wright, B.A., of Beamsville, a former pastor; Rev. and Mrs. H. Bryant; W.T. Ferguson; Mrs. W. T. Clark, 92 years of age and the oldest member present; Mrs. J. Stobo(?); Miss Mina McNab of Arnprior; Mrs. G. McVean; and Mrs. And Mrs. Norman McLeod.  Mr. McLeod is the oldest deacon.

Miss Beulah Miller, granddaughter of Mrs. Duncan McEwen, a pioneer member, contributed a large birthday cake which was cut and enjoyed by all.  Letters and greetings from former members were read these including:  Miss L. Dayton of Remsen, New York; Mrs. E.J. Stobo of Toronto; Everton Miller of London; Miss Christine Ferguson of Preston; Mrs. Edna McKinton of Vancouver; Mrs. Jean Banks of Ottawa; Mrs. Gordon Keith of Toronto; Mrs. W.T. Trappscott of Victoria, B.C.; Rev. T.J.H. Rich of Arnprior; Harold Sheppard of Detroit; Miss Mina Gile of Salem, Oregon; Mrs. G.W. Rudden in memory of her husband, a former deacon; Messrs. Robert and Herman Gile of Salem, Oregon; Mrs. P.W. Brown of North Bay; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Allport of Cobourg; Mrs. R. Sheldon of Ottawa; Mrs. A.R. Miller of Ottawa; Rev. E.P. Laws of Brantford; Dr. Jessie Allyn and Nurse(?) Laura Allyn, missionaries in India and former members.

A complete history of the Smith’s Falls Baptist Church was read by Miss Anna Ferguson.  Miss Ferguson’s reading detailed the progress made since the days of Elder Duncan McNabb in 1833 to the present time with the splendid church in Smith’s Falls with its affiliated organizations and societies brings the word of God to large congregations at each service. 

Mrs. Bryant read the obituary of Mrs. Duncan McNab who passed away in 1874 at the age of 88(?) years.  The article was written by Rev. R. Lennie.  Miss Washburn read a Christmas letter to the Church in 1891 by Archie McDougall of Pilot Mound, the first clerk of the Baptist Church in Smith’s Falls.

Perth Courier, 1947

History of Scotch Corners

By Mrs. William Dezell

Scotch Corners lay north and west of the Mississippi Lake in the township of Beckwith, though not on a highway, and is rich in history of the brave and hardy settler


The earliest Scotch settlers made their appearance in 1828.  Little is known of how these settlers reached here but no doubt the trip was long and arduous.  All the earliest settlers were Scotch natives of Perthshire, Scotland and hence the name Scotch Corners.

The journey by sea took at least seven weeks and the going overland was full of dangers and very slow.  The came, carrying with them their prized possessions to start a new life and to build a foundation for a glorious Dominion.  The came with courage in their hearts.

The McDonalds, the Stewarts, the Sinclairs, the Hamiltons, the McIntoshes, the Kings, the Willows, came to hew a dwelling place in the midst of solid bush and swamp and to leave a worthy heritage for us.

The original deeds for the land are interesting.  One notes that all the gold and silver mines and all the white pine trees are the property of the province and also that the settlers were allowed but three years to build “a good, self sufficient dwelling”.

In the days of the early settlers it was considered best to have one’s location near a body of water so that seems to explain why these people traveled to the lake.  The canoe and sled took them to the Auld Kirk on the 7th Line Beckwith where one of the first Presbyterian churches was established.  These old settlers were a God fearing race and church to them was as necessary as food and drink—no travel was too long or tiresome to allow them to turn aside from the paraphrased Psalms sung to the pitch of the tuning fork.

At first, Brockville was the nearest town and then Perth, and people traveled from the Scotch Corners on foot with their bags of wheat on their backs, to be ground for flour. If it rained, it was necessary to take refuge in the nearest farm home otherwise the flour would be ruined.

Wheat was grown in small patches.  Methods were primitive and the hardships to be borne were many so that the food shortage was apt to be encountered.

If the head of the house failed to return at a certain time with the bags of flour, the mother often had to feed her children on basswood buds.  Many Indians roamed the woods at that time but it appears they were a friendly lot who often left presents of fresh fish on the door step and were eager to trade fish for pork.  The marshes surrounding the lakes abounded in fur bearing animals but with the coming of the settlers they disappeared rapidly.  Times make many changes and today the farms are peopled by those of Irish descent.

The Sinclair farm is now owned by George and Olive Gardiner; the McLaren and McIntosh farms are owned by John and Joseph Channey and great grandfather Ed Channey came to Scotch Corners about 1855 from Scotch Bush where he first settled.

Charles Gardiner born Feb. 9, 1824 in Mayon, Ireland settled on the farm now owned by James Gardiner in 1863.  Thomas Code originally owned the Silez(?) and George Cook farms and the one still owned by William Code, Jr.

These farms were all settled about 1863.  John Lowe now owns what was known as the Stewart farm.  James King settled on the farm now owned by Ellard(?) Lowe and better known to most of us as Poole’s upper place.  Colin King owned part of the farm on which William Dezell now lives as did the Millars.

These farms were settled inJuly, 1828.  It seems that William McDonald and Mrs. William Dezell are the only descendents of the original Scotch settlers left in Scotch Corners.

Gradually things became easier, roads were built and many of us can remember clearly the original corduroy roads.  The path the road follows from Beckwith, Ramsay town line is reminiscent of a forest trail and it is quite reasonable to believe that it was.

Markets sprang up and in the fall and winter farmers killed their pork and drove with horses to Ottawa, then known as Bytown.  They left Scotch Corners around 2:00 am and arrived in Ottawa about noon the same day.  They had lunch for themselves and always fed the horses at Bell’s Corners.

I have not been able to find out when the first school was built but I expect it was about 1830.  It was believed that the original school was burned and the present school was built in 1872.

The post office was located across the road from the school and was built 55 years ago.  Dougald Sinclair was the only postmaster and the mail was always delivered on Wednesday and Saturday.

In 1905, or thereabouts. The post office was removed to McCreary’s Cheese Factory and remained there until 1913 when rural mail was instituted.

In 1913, the telephone was also introduced.  These items are just an outline of the history of Scotch Corners and I hope these dates are fairly accurate.

Many stories were told by the older people that were very interesting to listen to—a lesson of fortitude might be gained when one looks back on the hardships these early settlers endured—a lesson of doing without and making a little go a long way.

Perth Courier, April 24, 1947

History of Innisville by Mrs. W. J. Armstrong

Innisville, a little village in Lanark County, nestles in a valley on the banks of the Mississippi River in Drummond township.  It is now situated on Lot 20, 11th Concession and is on Highway 15.

The first settlers came from the “old land” (England, Scotland and Ireland) in the year 1814 to what was known as Upper Canada in the District of Bathurst and settled on both sides of the Mississippi river.

The settlement was first known as Fryer’s Falls.  The whole country was dense forest and when in 1817 the McLeans and McCarthy’s settled on homestead farms now owned by Leonard Miller and James Hammond on the Scotch Line of the river about half a mile from the present village they did not know there was any river near them although they could hear the roar of the water in the rapids.  It was a long time before they knew the location of the river.

Up until 1822 the settlers got their patent or first deed given for land in Bytown now Ottawa.  After this date they could get their deed from Perth, the county town.

The first settler on the north side of the river was John Morris.  He was a Highland Scotsman and he slept in a niche in a rock for over a week and kept fires burning at night to keep wild animals away until he built a shanty of longs on the farm now owned by Walter Stewart and Roy White.

The first white child born on the north side of the river was George Crampton.  He lived to be 90 years of age and was one of the outstanding men of the community.

There were many farms settled there about this time—the Crampstons, Codes, Ennises, Churchills, Hughes, Murphys, Rothwells (or this might be Rathwells), Stewarts, Ruttles, McEwens, and Caswells.

From 1850 until about 1880 there was a hive of industry with its grist mills, woolen mills, saw and shingle mills, cloth factory, foundry, wagon shop, blacksmith shop, cooper shop, shoe shop, hotels, churches and schools.

John Murphy, operated the first store.  Jas. Ennis built a grist mill on the north side of the river and made a fine grade of flour and other grades of provender.  People came from miles to have feed ground here.  They were noted fro making the best feed in the Ottawa Valley at that time.

The first woolen mill was owned and operated by Abraham Code.  George Code and Crain operated a mill and manufactured Halifax tweed cloth.  John Code had a potash works and made potash for the tannery and for making soap.

The tannery was across on the point near the grove.  The Ennis people ran a saw and shingle mill.  It was operated by Jas. Jackson.  Robert Hughes was the first blacksmith and his sons Robert and Jonathan carried on the business.  They also manufactured wagons and ploughs.  Robert’s wife lived to be 102 years of age. 

William Code was the first hotel keeper.  It was later taken over by Jas. Young.  Jas. Jackson also ran a hotel.  William Churchill ran a cooper shop where barrels and firkins were made.

The shoe shop was owned and run by W.H. Brown and later by Swain.  Abraham Code was reeve of Drummond for many years and in 1869 in a by election in South Lanark defeated John G. Haggart.  He was a member until 1871.  He moved his family to Carleton Place and built the Hawthorn factory there.

At one time Innisville really boasted a doctor, a man by the name of York.  Mrs. R. Hughes at one time owned some of his surgical instruments.  He lived in the house owned by Cecil Jackson and is buried in St. John’s Cemetery.

Innisville at one time was called Ennisville but it was later changed to its present name as the mail used to get mixed up with Ennesfail.  A post office was opened in Innisville on June 6, 1851 with Michael Murphy as post master.  The mail left Carleton Place for Innisville every Friday morning. 

In those days lumbering was one of the chief industries in the Ottawa Valley.  All the timber along the vast wilderness of the Mississippi and Clyde Rivers which have their source about eighty miles west which had rapids about 500 yards in length along which the industries were situated and it meant a lot of extra work for the river travelers to get their logs through the rapids.  Slides had to be made to put the logs through.  It required skill and care to get them through safely without jamming and endangering the traveler’s life.

The big lumber men of this section were the Caldwells and McLarens (later Senator McLaren of Perth).  The logs were brought down from the headwaters together and separated here below the bridge.

This took time and the river drivers camped along the river.  This caused quite an exciting time in the village and many a slice of hot bread and beans were consumed by the young lads of the village.  The bread and beans were baked in the hot coals of a fire on the bank of the river.

McGarry’s hotel was torn down in 1945.  It was first used as a general store and post office by Thomas Code.  It is 65 years since it has been used as a hotel.  Jas. Young was the proprietor.  It was then taken over by David Ennis.

Innisville at one time had a temperance society.  It was called Star Lodge #632(?) of the I.O.F.T. of Canada.  The minute book is dated Feb. 4, 1876 until August of 1877.

The Orange Hall was built in 1880.  The machinery from the woolen mill was taken to  Glen Tay and the building was bought by John Code and used on the farm owned by Charles Crampton.

The grist mills were bought by Ed Duncan and moved to his place near Appleton in 1923 and used as a barn.  Trinity Church was taken down in 1923 and taken to Ferguson’s Falls and used in building the common hall there.

Perth Courier, May 8, 1947

Early settlement of Balderson—from a paper prepared by R.S. McTavish and presented at a meeting of the Balderson Women’s Institute.  It was first published in the Lanark Era in 1943

The modern historian has to a large degree discarded the idea of history of countries consisting of battles, treaties, invasions, etc., and  we like to link ourselves up with the history and lives of the pioneers who settled in our immediate neighborhood.  In so doing, I find that the history of Balderson dates back to Sgt. Balderson who crossed the Atlantic in 1816 and halted at the pretty little hamlet that is now Balderson and gave it its name.

Sgt. Balderson was a fine specimen of English soldier.  He was a quiet and peaceable man, a kind neighbor, and respected by all who knew him.  He was born in Lincoln, England in 1783 and came to Balderson in 1816 and died here in 1851.  He served eleven years under Wellington and received a medal for his service.  Sgt Balderson had met the Duke of Wellington and had a personal interview with him.

In 1815 he married Annie Hewitt.  Mrs. Balderson and Mrs. Josias Ritchie were the first white women who slept in a house in Perth.  Another soldier who came to the neighborhood of Balderson about the same time was Lt. Gould whose grandson was a resident of Perth and two granddaughter’s Mrs. Donald McIntyre and Mrs. Peter McIntyre (same name both times) both lived at Balderson.  In those days the social advantages were practically nothing except in so far as these sturdy young pioneers kept up their love of literature, education and religion.  Later on the soiree became an annual outing for the people of every clan.

In the early days one of the great difficulties was to get enough money to satisfy the modest demands of the tax collector.  Exchange or barter was the order of the day and there were very few cash transactions.  Pork, oats and potash were the staple articles the farmer of that day had to sell.  Later on the farmer, as his clearance increased in size, ventured to sow wheat and barley for the market.  The trade in cattle, sheep and lamb was then in its infancy.

The first school house at Balderson was a little cottage roofed building that stood near the site of the Lanark toll gate or rather where it was.  The first school teacher was Peter Stewart.  He was supposed to have been a very cross teacher and usually carried the tows on his shoulder and when he saw a pupil whose eyes were not on his books, he would throw the tows to that pupil and tell whoever it might be to return the tows and he may well know what happened.

Then a John Campbell taught and he was noted for his kindness.  Then followed Andrew Allan, Alexander Shaw, and William Reed in 1867-69 and then Petter Cannuary.  After that the school had two teachers and the names below are the senior teachers since that time:  Duncan Stewart, Peter McIntyre, J.P.(?) Anderson, Hugh Robertson, A.E. Smitherman, Neil McDonald, Dun. Robertson, John F. Warren, Christina McNaughton, Ed Cooper, Peter Clement, John A. McDonald, John Forrester, Miss Ferguson, John Hope, Miss McGarry, Amanda Donaldson, Robert Balderson, Veronica Noonan, Ernest McDowall, Laura Keays, Ethel James, Teresa Johnson, Annie McLean, Miss Ganon, Gert Livingstone, Well. Duncan, Gladys Warren, Ka.(?) Huckabone, Elsie Barkley, Mrs. K. Bell.

It was not expected in fact it would be a libel on the character of these old Perthshire Highlanders to ever harbor the idea that they would remain any length of time without a church and minister and in 1834 they started a subscription list to raise funds to build a church.  From among the names of the first contributors we fine a few that would be still familiar:  Alexander Montgomery, Peter Campbell, Patrick Campbell, (the Campbells mentioned used to live where Colin McNichol lives now), John McCallum, Hugh McCallum (one of these men lived where William Mather is now), John McLaren, Findlay McIntyre, Duncan McNee, Peter McTavish, Arthur Tullis and a number of Perth men subscribed.  Here are some of them:  John Haggart, Robert Gemwell (Gemmil?), Duncan Kippen.  The Sunday collections amounted to about four shillings and six pence in those early days (1836).  There were two Presbytrerian churches in Perth at that time St. Andrew’s and Knox.  Rev. William Bell was the minister at St. Andrew’s  and Rev. T.C. Wilson for Knox.  Rev. William Church and later on Rev. Bain, D.D. were also ministers.  In 1877 when another branch of Presbyterians of Drummond joined Balderson this action had to be taken to the Brockville presbytery as the Perth church at that time belonged to the Brockville presbytery but when Balderson got established they joined the presbytery of Lanark and Renfrew.  When the Drummond people made this change, Duncan McLaren from Drummond was elder and he had to inform the Brockville presbytery of the desired change and it was granted.  This Duncan McLaren who was referred to was the grandfather of the McLaren family living at Drummond Centre.  After this action was taken the Balderson and Drummond churches became self sustaining in 1877.  Although it was not supplied by a stationed minister until 1881 the congregation was taken care of by Rev. Bain.  Rev. J.G.Stewart first preached at Balderson in 1881 and was at Balderson nine or ten years.  Rev. J.S. McIlraith followed him and was at Balderson 21 years followed by Rev. J.G. Greig, Rev. G.G. Treaver, Rev. N. McRae, Rev. C. Currie, Rev. T. McNaught, Rev. Beattie, Rev. R. Dickson and Rev. N. Graham.

Now the history of the Anglican church was started about the same time.  They, too, were supplied by ministers from St. James Church, Perth, Rev. Michael Harris, who was known far and wide as a very kindly man, greatly beloved by all who knew him not only by his own people but by everyone.  Next to him was Rev. Pyne then Rev. Stevenson.  It was during Rev. Stevenson’s time that the Anglican Church at Balderson liked up with Lanark.  Before that they were served by St. James Church, Perth.  The first minister who took the Balderson charge as far as can be found out was Rev. Cruder, then Rev. Gulias(?).  Next was Rev. Farrer, Rev. Holg(?), Rev. Heaven(?), Rev. Seale, Rev. Aborne, Rev. Phillips, Rev. Hodder(?), Rev. Vaughan, Rev. J.S.K.Tyrell, and Rev. Roberts.  Both denominations have handsome church properties and are a credit to the pioneers of those days showing that their interest in religion was backed up by work as well as faith.  Here are some of the names of the people who subscribed to the support of the Anglican Church:  William Cunningham, George Cunningham, Jno. Charles, George McCue, G. Willows, and William Keayes.  It might be of interest to call attention to the site of the original churches.  The Presbyterian Church stood almost on the same site the United Church is now.  The original church is now being used by John McGregor as a machine shed.

Now a word about the people of the immediate neighborhood as there were a number from here who filled important positions.  It has produced school teachers, school inspectors, doctors, missionaries, members of Parliament, authors and nurses.  Amont them we fine names quite familiar to a number of us.  R.L. Richardson was an author.  Afterwards he became a member of Parliament and then the Hugh McIntyre family that lived right alongside of the Richardson farm, and produced a son who qualified as a doctor and missionary.  Two of the same family were authors, another brother a high school inspector and another brother still who once taught school at Balderson.  He was a member of Parliament to the Dominion government and was appointed postmaster general for Winnipeg.  Another outstanding man was P.C. McGregor a high school teacher.  He was a man much respected and whose write up of Balderson years ago is responsible for much of this ancient history for I took a lot from his early account of Balderson’s Corners.

The good work of Balderson has been kept up in recent years.  There were two school teachers in the William Allan family, two from the McIntyre family of the meadow, three from the Robert Whyte family, one from the Herb Stewart family, a nurse from the herb Stewart family, a nurse from the Martin Doyle family.  Those I have mentioned all came from families living on the 8th Line Drummond.  Then in Bathurst there was the Richard Warren family that produced two school teachers, a college professor, a doctor and a member of parliament.  The other teachers that I can recall are Robert Balderson, Thomas Balderson and Henry McNaughton.

Now as to the charge from the ancient days to the present times in the immediate hamlet.  A hotel was owned and operated by one Angus McDonald in the same building that Well. McDougall owns.  After Mr. McDonald passed on his widow started a small store but did not carry on long.  She rented the property to Mr. Armstrong from Perth and he carried on only a short time.  Then John Doucitt(?) carried on a number of years then James Gould and Robert Cowie operated a store for a short time.  The McDougall property was sold to William Jones who carried on for a number of years.  Jones sold to Jas. Watt and Watt sold to Harvey McCue who sold to Mel McDougall.   He sold to Arthur Cooke and he sold to Well. McDougall.

The other store has a different record.  In 1868 J.W. Cowie came to Balderson from the Scotch Lilne in the month of February and started a small store.  The same place of business is still going strong under the management of his daughter Tily Cowie.  The post office is kept by Miss Cowie.  The two stores, post office, blacksmith shop and cheese factory were the most important places of business.  At one time there was a cheese factory owned and operated by one Moffat Bersee(?) and another on the 9th line Bathurst owned and operated by Jas. Keays.  He bought the milk and hired a cheese maker.  One of them was George Publow and his house was at Balderson where Jno. McDougall now lives.  Publow was a young man twenty years old when he hired and formed an agreement with Jas. Keays that he would give Keays one pound of cheese for every ten pounds of milk delivered and he did it.  This George Publow later became Chief Dairy Inspector for Ontario.  Then, in 1881 the farmers in the neighborhood of Balderson started a cheese factory which later developed into a Cheese and Butter Association and was incorporated with rules and bylaws drafted to conduct the business accordingly.  The original structure was destroyed by fire in 1929 and was rebuilt the same year with cement blocks as material and is, I believe, the best equipped cheese factory in Ontario.  Instructor Barr made that statement when he was addressing a meeting in Toronto shortly after he had seen the Balderson factory.

Perth Courier, September 17, 1909

Almonte’s Bad Fire

The Woolen Town on the Mississippi Once More Visited by Fire, Loss of $75,000

Fire swept through Almonte last Friday, 10th.  The chief business block on the main street was completely destroyed.  The sufferers are the Commercial Hotel, West’s General Store, Patterson’s Drug Store, Kaufman’s Hardware Store.  The loss will reach $75,000 and the insurance will not exceed $38,000.

The fire originated from unknown causes in the rear of the Kaufman store at 3:00 am and soon got beyond control  It was discovered by Alex McLean, a baker who lives near by and gave the alarm.  The volunteer fire brigade turned out and the engines from the Mississippi Iron Works, Wylie’s Flour mills and the woolen mills also turned out.  The Carleton Place Fire Brigade offered to help but by this time the fire was under control.

The fire may have been caused by a soldering machine in a tinsmith’s shop.

A.S. Henshaw, manager of the Bank of Montreal was hit by a falling telegraph pole while assisting the firemen and received injuries which may prove fatal.  Mr. Henshaw was struck by the cross bar of the falling part which broke his collar bone and three ribs.  He lies in critical condition at his home under continuous medical care.  At noon, Mr. Henshaw had not recovered from the shock of the accident and little hope is held by his physician for his recovery.

The loss analyzed:

The Commercial Hotel, sheds and stables owned by J.K. Cole worth $10,000 insured for $4,000

West’s General Store owned by William Thoburn which is thought to be worth about $6,000.  Mr. Thoburn is at Toronto and the exact amount of insurance is not known.

Patterson’s Drug Store owned by M. Patterson estate worth $6,000 insured for $3,000.

A dentist office and the Masonic Hall owned by T.R. White worth between $8,000 and $10,000—he is away it is said there is no insurance.

Wesley West’s general store, worth about $22,000.  He is away at Toronto it is said the insurance is about $15,000.

D.J. McDonald whose hotel is equipped with 30 rooms is valued at $4,000, insurance for $2,300.

J.T. Patterson druggist, $5,000 loss insurance for $3,500.  He lived over the store and had to hurry his family out of the building the loss of furniture in his living apartments is $1,000 insurance $400.

Masonic Hall regalia, equipment and new organ worth $300  all together valued at $1,200 insurance $550.

Dr. T. R. Patterson’s dental rooms and equipment worth $1,000 insured for $500.

George Young boot and shoe store stock kept in part of the Commercial Hotel building loss $7,000 insurance $3,000.

J.K. Cole – part of residence in rear of fire scorched and furniture damaged by moving every bit of it out of the house loss $100.

H.H. Cole general store next to where the fire raged damaged to an extent of $200 or $300.

It was only the absence of any wind and with the excellent work of the fire brigade under Capt. Young which saved the destruction of the entire business and manufacturing section of the town.

Within fifteen minutes of sending in the alarm the full fire brigade were on the scene.  With the assistance of adjoining factories, 7 lines of hoses were kept in play.  Half a dozen telegraph poles fell and the municipal power was paralyzed as a result.

The escape of some 30 occupants of the Commercial Hotel was a narrow margin.  Proprietor McDonald had only time to shout “fire” through the halls to the sleeping guests and all escaped in night attire.  It was not possible to save furniture or personal belongings.

An exciting rescue of a horse in the hotel stable was effected by ex-Mayor Donaldson and Ben Boulton.  The two entered the stable to loose the horse when exiting by the door they were cut off by flames.  The men were entombed.  Seizing a crow bar they smashed  their way out through a brick wall of double thickness and successfully escaped.

The fire was first seen by Tom Rutherford a night clerk in the Belmont Hotel.  A shed in the rear of Kaufman’s Hardware Store was aflame and the fire rapidly spread into West’s store and the Commercial Hotel.  A quantity of gun powder and rifle ammunition were among the stocks of the hardware store and the explosions of these hindered the firemen in their work for some time.

The front of Patterson’s building fell into the sidewalk breaking the telegraph pole which struck Mr. Henshaw.  The Sterling Bank was saved.  The manager, Jno. Bain, removed all the books and furniture, hopeless of saving the building.

Chief of Police Lowery says an investigation of the fire will be held although no one is suspected of incendiarism.  The stores were fully stocked for the fall trade and exhibition week and the town trade will be seriously crippled.

The stock of H.H. Cole’s general store removed for safety across the street, was pilfered by spectators to a great extent. This matter will be investigated.

An act calling for more than average nerve is related of William Kaufman, proprietor of the hardware store.  With the rear of his store burning, Kaufman entered and succeeded in extracting 7 kegs of blasting powder.  In doing so his hands were severely burned but his act prevented the blowing up of the adjacent buildings.

Harry Eccles and Miss Hattie McCarthy had a strenuous five minutes during the burning of the Patterson drug store.   The made a last dash to secure some clothes for the occupants of the apartments above when they discovered the door had been securely locked from the outside by another who was apparently satisfied that the building was empty.  Their position for several minutes was dangerous and exit was finally obtained by smashing down the door.

Posted: 06 February, 2006.