SHARING MEMORIES, WEEK EIGHT

Where I grew up, sometimes Halloween was a scary time in the neighbourhood, sometimes not.  I do remember one specific Halloween when I was six as particularly suspenseful.

The week before was spent making my witches costume.  We made the hat from bristol board, which was then painted black.  Pretty high tech stuff back then! A string under my chin anchored it on my head.  How it stayed in place I do not know, but I believe it did. 

One of my older sister’s outfit included an imaginative brown paper bag with the eyes cut out.  The other sister had the same headgear, plus she had made a TV set out of a cardboard box, held in place at her waist by strings over her shoulders.  My outfit was the most elaborate one of the bunch – it was all very exciting!

Finally, the night arrived.  The very, very, darkest of nights, with all of the attending spookiness.  Out we went, down the long lane and up the long road to Grandma’s house.  After Grandma’s treats, we started out for the village, which was just a short distance away, but that’s when everything went crazy.  Apparently we crossed the border between this world and the Otherworld, and our punishment involved warding off harmful spirits – aka the village boys!

We were such targets for those village boys!  Especially that TV set!  Splattered with rotten eggs and tomatoes, we ran for home. It was hard to run in our getups too, especially that TV one.  It’s all engraved on my memory like it was yesterday.  In retrospect it seemed quite the adventure!

Hope this anecdote inspires you to write down your own memories of Halloween!

Published in: on October 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm  Comments (2)  
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SHARING MEMORIES, WEEK SEVEN

THE LAST TRAIN

It’s just a matter of time before the last train whistle blows in Carleton Place.  The end of an era is at hand, and the following is an historical retrospective of how the railway affected the economic and cultural development of Carleton Place.

One hundred and fifty-nine years ago, James C. Poole, editor of the Carleton Place Herald, announced the coming of the railroad in the July 21st, 1853 edition of his newspaper:

“We rejoice to be able to announce that the By-law of the County Council, loaning the credit of the County to the Brockville and Ottawa Railway Company, has been heartily supported by the people in the different municipalities. 

The inhabitants of this ‘city’, elated at the success which had attended the railroad scheme thus far, turned out en masse and had a regular rejoicing.

The windows were illuminated.  The old cannon was placed on the bridge and several shots fired by ways of introduction.  The party formed a procession, led by the music of two drums and the Highland Bagpipes, with several flags floating in the breeze, and marched round the town.  It stopped occasionally to let off some pent up gas in the shape of hearty cheers for Jackson & Company, the Brockville & Ottawa Railway Company, the Directors, the County Council, the Press, and several private individuals whose efforts were not wanting in bringing about the final results.  About 9 o’clock the demonstration was wound up by several tremendous shots from the cannon, accompanied by a number of smaller guns, after which all went quietly to their homes.”

With the advent of the railway, and the establishment of industries like Findlay Foundry, Carleton Place saw major expansion in the 1860’s. Some ads in the Carleton Place Herald of 1859 reveal the sudden realization by local merchants and men of industry of the commercial advantages of using rail service to both obtain and deliver their goods:

“First Arrival by Railway Direct to Carleton Place!  Teas, Teas, part of the Cargo of the Ship ‘Gauntlet’, from China, 112 Boxes and 48 Catties – Also a large stock of Harvest Tools – Also by the same conveyance a further supply of fancy and staple Dry Goods and a very full assortment of Shelf Hardware, Crockery, etc. – A. McArthur, June 30, 1859.”

Beginning in 1859 with a railway link established between Brockville and Carleton Place, and again in 1870 with a link from Ottawa, the town and surrounding area was becoming an attractive and cheap recreational destination:

“Cheap Excursion to Brockville on Thursday August 25th.  Fare from Almonte, Carleton Place, Franktown, and back, only One Dollar! Leave Almonte 7:30 a.m., Carleton Place 8:00 a.m., Smiths Falls 9:15 a.m., arriving at Brockville 11 a.m. Returning will leave Brockville at 4:45 p.m., reaching Almonte at 8 p.m. – Robert Watson, Managing Director, Brockville & Ottawa Railway, Brockville, August 16, 1859.”

Several years later, in response to the possibility of war between the British and American governments, the Carleton Place Rifle Company was formed.  On June 3rd, 1866, the Company was called upon to help defend the riverfront and railway communications at Brockville from Fenian raiders.  According to Captain James Poole’s newspaper report: 

“After having been on the alert for about twenty-four hours awaiting an order to proceed to the frontier, a hurried dispatch was received about midnight on Sunday that the volunteer companies of Carleton Place and Almonte should be ready in about an hour to repair to Brockville by a special train……It was a solemn and moving sight, the moonlight giving a dim view of the outline of the ranks and the friends and relatives moving to and fro as they took leave of those near and dear to them, discharging their duty to defend our hearths and homes against the invasion of a lawless band of marauders.  As the train left the station three hearty cheers from the citizens rang the air, lustily reechoed by the true men whom we hope to welcome soon again.”

More wars followed, with the train station once again becoming the arena of emotional departures and farewells:

“The August 1914 civic farewell to the town’s first dozen war volunteers under Captain W. H. Hooper was attended at the railway station by hundreds of citizens and the town officials and two bands, with choruses of Auld Lang Syne joining the noise of the departing train of Lanark and Renfrew county volunteers.”

Founded Upon A Rock by Howard Morton Brown.

It’s easy to understand how the train became integral to the uniting & defending of the country, as well as contributing to the monetary and cultural prosperity of every community it travelled through.  Carleton Place was no exception, and benefited greatly from it stopping here, for about 130 years.

As well, as evidenced in most of Mr. Poole’s newspaper stories about the railway, there has always been an emotional impact associated with the railway, or more specifically, with the coming and going of loved ones on the train.  After all, many people used the train to leave Carleton Place permanently, some as part of the great economic migration of the 1870’s, others due to the ultimate sacrifice of war.   

The love affair with trains in this community continued unabated until the late 1980’s, when it was no longer economically feasible to retain the line running between Ottawa and Carleton Place, at which time the tracks were torn out, making the disconnection final. Only the north-south CPR tracks remain, and even though no trains on that line stop here either, the familiar whistle blowing and clickity-clack of trains on track have allowed us to pretend that the railway is still important to Carleton Place.

And now, for the great departure.  No more trains.  No more train whistles.  No more illusions.  All aboard!  It’s the end of the line for Carleton Place.

If you have any memories about the trains that run through Carleton Place, now would be a good time to write them down so that future generations will know what the time of trains was like for people in this community.

CPR Tracks – September 2012

SHARING MEMORIES, WEEK FIVE

As October is Canadian Women’s History month, I thought it would be interesting to write about a woman born & schooled in the Carleton Place area, who went ahead to make a significant contribution to the world.

Margaret Verne McNeely was such person.  Born in Beckwith Township, Lanark County on 13 August 1885, she was the daughter of James McNeely (1860-1948) and Margaret Jane Duff (1863-1930).  After completing her education at local schools in Beckwith and Carleton Place, she attended and graduated from University College at the University of Toronto in 1908.  In 1909 she became a missionary of The Presbyterian Church in Canada to China.

According to Ontario’s Archival Information Network, “from 1909 to 1914, supported by the Women’s Missionary Society, Verne assisted Rev. Donald MacGillivray of the North Honan Mission with compiling and editing the China Mission Year Book published by the Christian Literature Society.  From 1914 to 1917, Verne worked with the China Continuation Committee which developed into the National Christian Council of China.  In 1917 Verne accepted an invitation to work in a bookstore in Shanghai that specialized in the sale of English and Chinese books.  This bookstore eventually became the Kwang Hsueh Publishing House which had, by 1943, about one-third of its business in Chinese textbooks sponsored by the Nurses’ Association of China.  In 1923 Verne became the manager of the bookstore until the onset of the Second World War during which she spent two and a half years in a Japanese interment centre.  After the war she made her way to Nanking to assist the Secretary of the Nurses’ Association of China but returned to Canada in 1950, and made her home in Toronto, Ontario.”

Margaret Verne McNeely passed away on 28 Dec 1975 in Newmarket, Ontario, at the age of 90.

OLD TIME ADS FROM THE 1850’S

Old Time Ads Indicate High Times Lived In ’50s

Carleton Place Canadian, 13 March, 1958

By Howard Morton Brown

 

Vast differences exist between living conditions today and those of former Ottawa Valley generations.  There are also some perhaps surprising resemblances.  Some of these contrasts are brought to life in the files of this district’s long-established weekly newspapers.  One of the more completely preserved, with volumes extending from the 1850’s , was published in Carleton Place.  Its advertising columns offer one means of viewing almost at first hand some of the past ways of life of this region.

A few of the local advertisements of yesterday are recalled to view here.  They are taken in abbreviated form from the Carleton Place Herald at the period of its first publisher.

Advertising Rates

The Lanark Herald will be published every Friday morning, at Carleton Place by James C. Poole.  Subscription terms 10 shillings per annum in advance, or 12s.6d. if not paid until after six months.  Rates of advertising – 6 lines or under, 2s.6d., and 7 ½ d. for each subsequent insertion; 7 to 10 lines 3s4d., and 10d. for each subsequent insertion; above 10 lines 4d. per line, first insertion, and 1 d. per line for subsequent insertions.  Job printing executed.

Barter Economy

One Thousand Sheepskins Wanted – Also all descriptions of Furs and Skins.  Fresh Teas and Tobacco given in exchange.  James McDiarmid, September 27, 1850.

Indelicate Letters

Notice to Correspondents.  We decline to publish the letter of Anti-Bed-Bug, as it contains expressions which we consider indelicate and therefore unfit for our columns. – December 13, 1850.

Gaelic Kirk

Died.  At the Manse, in Beckwith, on Friday last, in the fiftieth year of his age, the Reverend John Smith, Minister of the Kirk in Beckwith Township.  For seventeen years he has diligently and faithfully discharged the duties of his office.  Mr. Smith had been in the habit of officiating both in English and Gaelic.  The deceased leaves a wife and six children – April 25, 1851.

Horse vs. Cow

Carleton Place Debating Club.  The question for last week, “Whether the Cow or the Horse is of most advantage to mankind,” was decided in favor of the Cow.  The question for next week is whether the application of Steam or the invention of the Printing Press is of most advantage to the world.  A vote of thanks was given to Mr. Johnston Neilson for the able and eloquent address with which he favored us.  – Bennett Rosamond, secretary, May 8, 1851.

New York Styles

Gents, Look Here!  – direct from New York – Spring and Summer Fashions for 1851.  – Patrick Galvin, April 4, 1851.

Oriental Circus

Jane & Co’s.  Oriental Circus will exhibit in Franktown on Saturday August 9 – at Perth on August 8 and at Richmond on August 11, 1851.

The Company on entering Town will be preceded by the Georgeous Band Car drawn by Eight Syrian Camels.  Feats of Horsemanship and Contortionism.  Magnificent Oriental Pageant.  Admission 1s.3d.  Doors open at 2 and 7.

Chest of Tea

Lost, by the subscriber on Saturday November 29, 1851, on his way from Bytown to Lanark, A Chest of Tea, marked with the initials of James and Holmes Mair.  Any person leaving the same at Smith’s Hotel, or information leading to its recovery, will receive a suitable reward. – James Forgie.

Moulders Apprentice

Wanted.  A young man of steady industrious habits, as an apprentice to the Moulding business. – Samuel Fuller, April 5, 1852.

Aged 103

Died, in Ramsay, on Saturday June 5, 1852, Mr. John Griffith, aged 103 years.

Not Burnt Up

Burnt Out!  But Not Burnt Up!

The subscribers have again got their Foundry in operation and are ready to receive orders for Grist and Saw Mill Castings – Stoves – Ploughs – Kettles, Coolers, Waggon & Cart Boxes, Road Scrapers, etc. – Frost & Wood.  Smiths Falls, March 21, 1854.

Fences Moved

Notice.  The Municipal Council of the Township of Beckwith, at their meeting held April 25th last, decided that all Fences on the public highways in the Township and on streets in Franktown and Carleton Place be removed to the full legal breadth; and that Pathmasters shall prosecute for neglect or non-compliance.  – Ewen McEwen, Clerk.  Franktown May 5, 1854.

Advertising Medium

Notice to Advertisers.  The large circulation of 2,500 to which the Herald has now attained, renders it a valuable medium. – September 12, 1854.

Smart Girls

Wanted.  At the Herald Office, two Smart Girls, to learn to set Type, fold and address newspapers; fold, stitch and cover pamphlets, etc.  Good wages will be given – June 28, 1855.

Fall Fashions

Colin Sinclair, Tailor & Clothier, Carleton Place, announces he has received a stock of Fall Goods, consisting of Broad Cloths, Cashmeres, Siberian, Lyons Cloth etc. 

Tweeds – Veilings, Gloves, Neckties, Mufflers, Shirts and Shirting – Drawers, etc. – Ladies Capeing – New York and Paris Fashions for Fall 1856, just received.

Appleton Tannery

New Tannery in Appleton!  The subscriber will pay in cash $6 per 100 pounds for any quantity of Green Hides!  Delivered at the Tannery, or will pay the Highest Market Price going during the Winter.  –  Peter & John Cram.  Appleton, November 11, 1856.

Man-Traps and Spring Guns

The Subscriber Hereby forbids any person Trespassing on his property, being the west half of Lot 23, Concession 6, Ramsay, because from depradations thereon committed he has been under the necessity of placing Man-Traps and Spring Guns.  Any person thereby injured will have himself to blame.  John B_____; Ramsay, December 10, 1857.

Mammoth Camera

W. R. Godkin would announce that he has set up his apparatus for a few days at Lavallee’s Hotel, Carleton Place.  He has a mammoth camera, expressly for taking side-light pictures.  He is now taking Pictures such as Melan Types, Cameotypes, Photographs, Sphereotypes and Ambro types. He has a new quick-working camera for all kinds of weather.  Mrs. Godkin is alsto taking likenesses at the residence of Trueman Raymond, Almonte. – January 7, 1858.

Extensive Auction

Lothrup’s Annual Auction Sale will commence at Carleton Place on January 12, 1858 at the Hotel of Mr. Lavallee, when will be opened for sale, an extensive assortment of goods consisting in part of 120 Chests Tea, 10 Kegs Tobacco, 50 bags Almonds, Walnuts and Filberts, 30 Boxes Raisins, 25 Boxes Pipes, 10 Boxes Starch, 20 Boxes Blue; also 30 cases dry goods suitable for the Season amounting to nearly £10,000 which must be sold.

Trotting Match

A Trotting Match will come off February 3, 1858 at Mr. Nicholas Dickson’s Landing on the Mississippi River near Carleton Place.  One mile heats for any horse owned in Ramsay, Drummond or Beckwith, for one set of Cutter Harness with $20 for the first class horses, and £2 for the second class horses under 5 years.  Entrance Fee 5 shillings; Judges Abraham Code, Innisville; John Wilson, Ramsay; John Roberts, Beckwith.

Good Old Corner

John Sumner having leased the premises owned by Robert Bell Esq. and lately occupied by Messrs. Campbell & Morphy, will reopen the same January 21, 1858 with and entirely new stock of Dry Goods selected by himself during the last season when in Great Britain. – No Liquors will be sold on the premises except High Wines by the Cask, any quantity of which he will sell low for cash only.  Come and pay a visit to the good old Corner and remember your old Friend.

Six Months Credit

We the undersigned merchants hereby give public notice that, in order to shorten the length of credits that are given, their terms will be:  Accounts to become due and payable on the 1st of August and the 1st of February in each and every year, and that interest thereafter will be charged until paid.  May 1st, 1858.

     Almonte:  James H. Wylie, John Menzies, Matthew Anderson, McFarlane & Anderson, H. W. Rea.

     Clayton:  Wm. Leary & Co., Thos. Coulter & Co., Wm. Wesley Austin.

     Carleton Place: John Sumner, Tennant & Struthers, John Dewar.

Boulton’s Mills

The ‘Old Favorite Miller’ has left the Victoria Mills (Almonte) and is now in Carleton Place Mills where he can give the greatest satisfaction to the public. – Hugh Boulton, September 2, 1858.

Furniture and Coffin Makers

Owing to my absence from Carleton Place for a time, Mr. John Hogg has been employed to conduct the Cabinet Business formerly carried on by me in this place.  His experience in Montreal, Toronto and Perth and thorough knowledge of Cabinet making will enable him to produce the newest styles and best of workmanship.  As Undertakers they will as usual be ready to wait on those who may require their services. – Wm. J. Bell & Co. April 7, 1859.

Liquor and Groceries

Look Here!  Liquors and Groceries – Stock consists of Champagne, Wine, Brandy, Rum, Spirits, Scotch Malt, Old Tom, Gin, Proof Whiskey, High Wines, by the barrel or otherwise, Lemon Syrup and Beer, and Quite an assortment of groceries.  Cash or Farmers Produce taken in Payment. – William Kelly, June 13, 1859.

First Railway

First Arrival by Railway Direct to Carleton Place!  Teas, Teas, part of the Cargo of the Ship ‘Gauntlet’, from China, 112 Boxes and 48 Catties – Also a large stock of Harvest Tools – Also by the same conveyance a further supply of fancy and staple Dry Goods and a very full assortment of Shelf Hardware, Crockery, etc. – A. McArthur, June 30, 1859.

Ramsay Lead Miners

Ramsay Mining Company.  Miners Wanted – good wages – Application to be made to Mr. E. H. Parsons at the office of the Commercial Advertiser, Montreal. – E. H. Parsons, Secretary, July 28, 1859.

Brockville Excursion

Cheap Excursion to Brockville on Thursday August 25th.  Fare from Almonte, Carleotn Place, Franktown, and back, only One Dollar!

Leave Almonte 7:30 a.m., Carleton Place 8:00 a.m., smiths Falls 9:15 a.m., arriving at Brockville 11 a.m.  Returning will leave Brockville at 4:45 p.m., reaching Almonte at 8 p.m. – Robert Watson, Managing Director, Brockville & Ottawa Railway, Brockville, August 16, 1859.

Runaway Apprentice

Notice is Hereby Given that Malachia McAuliffe ran away from this office before the end of his term of apprenticeship, and that any person hiring or harboring him will be prosecuted according to law. – Herald Office, January 2, 1860.

Deer Hounds $25

Deer Hounds for Sale.  A few first rate Hounds, well trained to deer hunting.  Price £5 each. – Herald Office, January 6, 1860.