Invasion Threatened When Local Units Trained
By Howard M. Brown
Carleton Place Canadian, 31 March, 1966
Fifty years before Canadian volunteer soldiers began to leave their home towns in 1914 for overseas service, men equally prepared to risk their lives for Canada were forming the first active service military units of many Canadian towns. Their fortunately brief defence service was in the years of the Fenian Raids of the 1860’s, when the last armed invasions of Canada came to challenge our national Confederation.
Among these defenders were more than fifty men of the Carleton Place Rifle Company. The Carleton Place Rifle Company was formed at the start of the first expansion of a trained and permanent volunteer militia of the old Province of Canada, made to meet the risk of possible war between the United States and Great Britain at the outset of the American Civil War. Like those of neighbouring localities and others throughout the province, it replaced a venerable succession of local but normally untrained and unarmed companies of the original sedentary militia. A view of the participation of this community, then an unincorporated village, in Canada’s first major development of its own military forces is given in the pages of the locally published weekly newspapers of that day.
When war threats and consequent militia expansion came in 1862, local demand led to the formation of the first trained and equipped militia company to be based at Carleton Place. In January of that year, in the words of the local Herald editor:
“At a meeting of some of the inhabitants of Carleton Place and vicinity, held at Lavallee’s Hotel on Saturday evening last, it was unanimously resolved that: – ‘In view of the unsettled state of affairs between the British and American governments and the possibility of war, it is expedient that a rifle company should be formed in this village and neighbourhood, to aid in the defence of their country.’
A muster roll was then opened and signed by those present at the meeting. Several others have since added their names, making in all upwards of sixty.”
This number, including some young men of nearby farms, appears to equal nearly half of the total number of men of ages 18 to 40 living then in Carleton Place.
The gazetting of the Carleton Place Volunteer Militia Rifle Company came in December, 1862, with James Poole as captain and John Brown as lieutenant. Within a month it was equipped and undertaking military training. The Perth Courier in December stated:
“Volunteer Rifle Companies are organizing in all parts of the country. In Carleton Place a Company has been Gazetted under Capt. Poole. The volunteer movement if properly encouraged will soon result in twenty or thirty thousand well disciplined men. Let it be made imperative on every Militia officer to be well drilled, and Canada would soon have her militia on a footing that would be ready for all emergencies. At present the supply of Drill Instructors is sadly inadequate.”
The newly authorized company was first paraded in greatcoat uniforms on New Year’s Day, when its captain, news editor James Poole, wrote:
“According to notice given, the members of this company assembled in front of the ‘Herald’ office on the morning of New Year’s Day. After being dressed in the coats and accoutrements forwarded by the Government from Quebec, they were drilled by Robert Bell, Jr., nephew of Robert Bell, Esq., M.P.P. for the North Riding. They paraded the streets several times, and from the manner of performing the drill, dictated by their youthful teacher for the time, have given great promise of future utility, should any unfortunate occasion arise.”
By mid-July it was announced:
“In a few days the new clothing will be ready for distribution, and Carleton Place will be able to turn out one of the best looking Rifle Companies in Canada. The Company will continue to drill as usual every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.”
Another summer notice stressed the need for target practice, as judged by the captain of the Carleton Place Company, who published the names and scores of marksmanship of each of some sixty militiamen:
“A rifle shooting match was held near this village on Saturday last, the 15th instant, between the Carleton Place Rifle Company and the Infantry Company from Almonte. The Riflemen were requested to be in uniform at the armoury at six o’clock in readiness to march to the station to meet the Almonters.
The Riflemen were uniformed in the regular Rifle dress – dark green tunics and grey pants, with red facings, dark belts and shakos to match. The Infantry wore the scarlet tunics, gray pants, white belts and shakos trimmed to suit. The shooting was conducted under the able management of Sergt. Cantlin. The shooting on both sides was bad, and much below the average, there being but a few men in either company sufficiently practiced with the rifle. The following is the score of points…”
(Totalling Almonte 107, Carleton Place 106).
A mid-winter inspection of these two companies in February, 1864, as reported by Captain Poole, showed the required drilling which lay ahead:
“The Almonte Infantry and Carleton Place Rifle Companies were inspected on Saturday last by Lt. Col. Earle of the Grenadier Guards, accompanied by Brigade Major Montgomery. The attendance of both companies was much below what it should have been – The Almonte Company mustering only 27 including officers, and the Carleton Place Company 43. The Colonel was well pleased with the condition of the arms and accoutrements of the men; but did not compliment them very highly on their proficiency in drill, which was owing to their very irregular attendance during the fall and winter.”
The American Civil War ended in the spring of the following year. Within six months the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States was building its resources for its expected conquest of Canada, and in November, Canadian troops were posted for several months duty at border points from Prescott to Sarnia.
In Lanark County, contracts for erecting drill halls were let early in 1866 at Carleton Place and Almonte. Construction of the Carleton Place armoury was aided by the promise of a £50 grant by the municipality. It was built by William Pattie on the Beckwith Street site of the recently demolished skating rink bordering the park which then was the village market square. Supported by its hand hewn beams, it remained a useful memorial of the perils of the 1860’s until destroyed in the town’s great fire of 1910. Its use was granted at times for other community purposes ranging from the Beckwith Agricultural Society’s exhibitions of the 1860’s and the ambitious annual choral and musical festivals of the 1880’s to a series of Bishop R. C. Horner’s Hornerite revival meetings. Almonte’s armoury was built for the combined purposes of the militia and the exhibitions of the North Lanark Agricultural Society.
When Fenian preparations in March had indicated they then might be about to attack, and ten thousand Canadian volunteers had been called for duty, no invasion occurred, although two minor ones were attempted. Captain Poole’s Carleton Place newspaper reports of this time said:
“The rumors of a Fenian invasion have created a great stir through the country. The volunteers are called for service and have responded nobly. In our own village the company is filled up and is drilling three times a day. The men are billeted on the inhabitants and have orders to be ready at a moments notice.”
Postponement came in two weeks, when it was reported (March 28) that:
“The prospect of a Fenian invasion of Canada is so far distant that the government feels justified in disbanding a portion of the volunteer force. An order for the disbanding of the Carleton Place Rifle Company was received on Monday evening. The bugle was sounded, and in a few minutes the whole company were at their posts. They naturally thought that marching orders had been received, and were rather disappointed.
The new drill shed is to be completed by the first of September. We would again express our gratification at the manner in which the company have conducted themselves while under arms.”
Forces on each side of the international boundary continued to prepare for a coming encounter. Other views of the Canadian preparations will follow in the next section of this story of the times of Confederation.
Morning Bell Once Rung Every Summer Day at 5 a.m., by Howard Morton Brown, Carleton Place Canadian, 30 June, 1960
A number of stories of the community activities of former citizens of the Carleton Place area have been gathered for the first time as a continuous annual record of local events. Brief reviews of these typical events, extending from the town’s beginnings down to the times of the youth of many of Carleton Place’s present residents, will be published in a series of installments of which this is the second.
A brief view of the eighteen thirties, the second decade of community life at Carleton Place, shows that this area, like other sections of the province, was taking its first steps toward local government by townships. This small and late political reform soon was followed by the seemingly unsuccessful armed rebellion against abuses of power of the province’s little ruling class or group, the Family Compact. Queen Victoria began her reign of over sixty years while the consequent threat of border raids was arousing our local citizens to take steps for the defense of their new homeland.
Post Office Opened
1830 – Carleton Place in 1830 was added to the small number of communities in the province provided with a local post office.
Caleb S. Bellows, merchant, became the first postmaster here. By one of the postal practices of long standing, the mounted mail courier carried a tin horn which he blew to announce his approach with the incoming mail. An error by postal authorities is supposed to have been the cause of the local post office being designated Carleton Place instead of the then current name of Carlton Place.
Among the 1830 newcomers here were Napoleon Lavallee (1802-1890), a legendary raconteur and sixty year resident who was a cooper and later a hotelkeeper, and the Rosamond family, James Rosamond (1804-1894) with a partner soon opened a wool carding and cloth dressing establishment and later a factory here with the first power looms in Eastern Ontario.
1831- The first church in Carleton Place was built by the Methodists in 1831. It was in the north side of the town at the Bridge Street site of the present Baptist Church, which also was built by the Methodist congregation. The original church was a frame building forty by sixty feet in size, costing 200 pounds and seating about 250 persons. Its use was granted both for public meetings and lectures and in various periods for also the services of other religious denominations.
1832 – The Carleton Place district’s second stone church building was that of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, built in 1832 and 1833 in the 7th concession of Beckwith. Part of its walls still stand. During the eighteen year term of its first minister, the Rev. John Smith, its services were conducted in both Gaelic and English. Its first trustees were Peter Campbell, James McArthur (1767-1836), Findlay McEwen, Colin McLaren, Donald McLaren, Alexander Stewart (1792-1892) and John Scott. Use of this church building was discontinued about 1870, services by its minister, the Rev. Walter Ross, being transferred to both the St. Andrew’s stone church building erected in the 1850’s at the corner of William and St. Paul Streets, Carleton Place, and a frame building of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church built at Franktown.
The building of the Rideau Canal was completed in this year, as an engineering work fully comparable for its time to that of the present St. Lawrence Seaway.
1833- Among commissioners chosen to supervise the spending of some 200 pounds of provincial grants for road repairs in the neighbourhood of Carleton Place, mainly in Beckwith township, were John Cameron, James Cram, Duncan Cram, William Davis, Thomas James, Phineas Low, John McDonell and Archibald McGregor, Robert Johnston, Donald Robertson, David Moffatt, Thomas Saunders, Stephen Tomlinson, James Bennie and William Drynan.
1834 – The population of the present province of Ontario by 1834 had doubled in ten years to reach a total of 321,000.
The first resident clergyman at Carleton Place, the Rev. Edward Jukes Boswell, was appointed a church of England missionary here in December, 1833, and remained for ten years. St. James Anglican church, a frame structure at the site of the present St. James Church on the corner of Bell and Edmund Streets, was built in 1834. It remained in use for nearly fifty years and was replaced in 1881 by the present stone building of similar seating capacity. An unkind comment on the earlier church after it was demolished described it as “one of those marvelous unshapely masses of windows and galleries of the early Canadian order of architecture, whose only excellence was that it was commodious.”
Second Woollen Business
1835- Allan McDonald (1809-1886) came to Carleton Place in 1835, after two years in the woolen mill business in Innisville. He built a custom carding and cloth dressing mill on the river bank here at the corner of Mill and Judson Streets, where woollen mill operations were continued for over 75 years.
The building of the first stone church in Ramsay township, still standing at the Auld Kirk cemetery, was completed in 1835. Its Church of Scotland members included a number of residents of Carleton Place. Its trustees in 1836 were James Wylie, James Wilson, John Lockhart, John Bennie and John Gemmill. This congregation’s first resident minister, the Rev. John Fairbairn, came to Ramsay in 1833. The first child baptized by him was John Fairbairn Cram, a later prominent resident of Carleton Place. The church was succeeded by St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, later Bethany United, of Almonte.
Taxes in 1835 paid by township tax collectors to the district treasurer at Perth 108 pounds for Beckwith township and 10 pounds 7 shillings 13 pence for Ramsay township. The district treasurer paid a bounty of 1 pound each for nineteen wolf scalps.
Early Morning Bell
1836 – A fund to pay for the ringing of a morning bell at Carleton Place, as a sort of community alarm clock corresponding to later factory whistles and bells, was raised by donations from some forty persons. Among the contributors were Adam Beck, James and Robert Bell, Hugh Boulton, Joseph Bond, Rev. Edward J. Boswell, James Coleman, William Dougherty, Thomas Glendinning, Thomas and William Griffith, Paul and Peter Lavallee, John and William Morphy, John McEwen, Robert McLaren, John McLaughlin, John McRostie, Manny Nowlan, David Pattie, William Poole, James and Henry Rosamond, Henry Snedden, John Sumner, William Wallace, Catin and Henry Willis and John Wilson. At a meeting called by Hugh Boulton, with James Rosamond as chairman, it was decided the bell should be rung daily at 5 a.m. in the months of May to August, and at 6 a.m. during the other eight months of each year. A deduction was to be made from the bell ringer’s stipend for any time the bell was rung more than ten minutes late as timed by Robert Bell’s clock.
Township municipal officers were first chosen by election in 1836. In Beckwith and Ramsay, as in other townships of similar populations, land owners chose three commissioners, an assessor, a collector of taxes, a clerk and overseers of highways and pound keepers. Those elected for 1836 at a Ramsay township meeting were John Gemmill, John Dunlop and James Wilson, commissioners ; David Campbell, clerk ; Matthew McFarlane, assessor ; and Daniel Shipman, tax collector.
A district temperance society convention was held in February at the Carleton Place Methodist Chapel with the Rev. William Bell of Perth as chairman. Delegates in attendance reported memberships of five of the local societies at numbers totaling more than a thousand persons.
The Home Guards
1837 – On the outbreak of the Upper Canada Rebellion in December, 1837, home guard forces were organized in a number of communities, including Carleton Place. At a meeting here, with Robert Bell as chairman, volunteer guards were enrolled for training and asked to arm and equip themselves at their own expense. Among those enrolled, in addition to most of the names of 1836 mentioned above, were Peter Comrie, Daniel and Peter Cram, John Graham, Edmond Morphy Sr. and Jr., James, John, David and Thomas Morphy, Ewen McEwen, Allan McDonald, Jacob McFadden and several members of each of the Coleman, Dougherty, McLean and Willis families. A number of weekly musters were held to drill on Bell Street during the early part of the winter.
The Lanark Emigrant Society settlers of 1821, after over fifteen years without a transferable title to their lands, were authorized to be granted their land patents in 1837, upon the British government deciding to relieve them of repayment of government settlement loans of 8 pounds per person – men, women and children – which had been made to each of these families.
On the death of King William IV, the proclamation of King William IV, the proclamation of Victoria as Queen was marked by ceremonies at the district’s centre at Perth.
1838- Invasion near Prescott in November 1838, by United States, Canadian and other sympathizers with the cause of the Upper Canada Rebellion led to the summoning of militia of this district for service. Seventy-five men of the Beckwith and Ramsay unit, the Third Regiment of Lanark Militia, were called up and mustered at Carleton Place under Captain Thomas Glendinning. Before they could proceed further, word of the defeat of the invaders was received with orders dismissing the militia draft.
Six woollen mill operators met at Carleton Place in March, 1838, and agreed to restrict their credit terms for the custom carding of wool and dressing of homespun cloth. They were James Rosamond of Carleton Place, Edward Bellamy of Bellamy’s Mills (now Clayton), Gavin Toshack of Bennie’s Corners (Indian River, Conc. 8, Ramsay), Elijah Boyce of Smiths Falls, Silas Warner of Merrickville and Isaiah Boyce of Ennisville.
1839- Licensed inns at Carleton Place were operated by Manny Nowlan, Robert McLaren and Michael Murphy (1805-1884), father of James L. Murphy. Those at and near Franktown were the inns of Patrick Nowlan, Peter McGregor, Widow Ann Burrows and Archibald Gillis.
Semi-annual village fairs, providing market days for “all kinds of Horn Cattle, Horses, Hogs, Sheep and Hawkers” were instituted at Carleton Place and Franktown under authority of government charters. Petitions for their authorization were signed by about 125 residents of this area. Names heading the Carleton Place petition were those of Rev. Edward J. Boswell, Robert Bell, merchant and postmaster, and James Rosamond, manufacturer.
Writer Tells How Mississippi Lake Shores, Bays Named, by Howard Morton Brown, The Carleton Place Canadian, August 13, 1939 & March 29, 1956
Some few years ago, The Canadian was privileged to publish a story by Howard M. Brown on how the various bays and islands on the chain of Mississippi lakes obtained their names. The story was published in early spring, so we will repeat it for the benefit of many summer residents along the shores
It happens to be exactly 140 years ago since some of the province’s Indians of the nineteenth century were in sole possession of Lanark County, and all of Eastern Ontario, above a line a few miles north of the Rideau Lake and River. In the rest of Ontario the white settlements were still further south. That actually is no longer ago than the time of the grandparents of the last generation ahead of our senior generation of today. Another thirty-five year before that time the whole of Ottawa except around a few military forts or fur trading posts was in the hands of the Indians.
One of the reasons for the settlement of this new section in Lanark County was to help relieve a post war depression in the British Isles. The area was opened with a partial survey and first settlement of the three neighboring townships of Bathurst, Drummond and Beckwith in 1816. Within less than ten years practically the supposedly tillable land in Lanark County and the north half of Carleton County except government reserves, had been occupied by settlers, including more than a few who had been encouraged to clear land which proved worthless for cultivation. In the first year only about sixteen settlers got established as far north as the Mississippi or into any part of Beckwith Township. When we get to the east shore of the Big Lake, and near Tennyson, I will mention a few of them,
The Indians dispossessed here were Mississaugas who were a subtribe of the large nation of Ojibways. They had moved in from farther northwest after the Iroquois raids ended. They were a tribe which made an unusually wide use of wild plants for food, harvesting and storing large quantities of wild rice for the winter. They knew how to make maple sugar and to prepare dried berries and fruits for winter use. As hunters and fishermen they moved their camps about, by canoe in summer and by snowshoe and toboggan in winter. Their main efforts in this area were directed to moose in the winter, beaver small game and fish including suckers, pickerel and pike, in the spring and summer, while after the fall rice harvest they speared the larger fish spawning along the shores of some of the lakes, lake trout, whitefish and sturgeon. The Indian rights to this district were surrendered in a treaty made with the Mississaugas in 1819 at Kingston.
As the Indians were crowded out from the land on the north side of the Mississippi in the 1820’s, they gradually retreated northward and westward. Their Mississauga descendants are on reserved lands in the Kawartha Lakes area now. A few chose to stay near the new settlements in Lanark County, in areas not suitable for farming. In the 1890’s those still living at points near Carleton Place included groups at McIIquham’s Bridge and at the Floating Bridge. Big Joe Mitchell and Joe Baye were among the better known of the last local Indians.
John Cram left us the first settlers’ story of the Indians and the river here.
He was one of the nearest settlers to the river in this immediate vicinity. He came with the emigration in 1818 of about 300 persons from Perthshire to Beckwith Township, and his land included the site of the United Cemeteries. He left a story of finding the river by hearing the sound of a waterfall on a still day when he and a neighbor were clearing land together. They agreed on an exploring expedition. The next day, going along old Indian trails and new surveyors’ line they followed the sound until they reached the head of the falls, first viewing it from the present site of the Carleton Place Town Hall. On arriving according to his story as last told by him over 75 years ago, they saw a tall Indian woman leave the shore and plunge across in the shallow water to the north side, where there was an Indian camp. At that time and until the first dams were built, a long rapids extended above the falls here. At the place between the present Ritchie mill and the powerhouse there still was a rocky tree-covered island less than a hundred years ago, as well as a falls.
The next year the Indian campground became part of the farmland grants of Edmond Morphy and his family, newly arrived from Littleton in Tipperary. Four members of the family drew two township lots that became the centre of the town, from Lake Park Avenue to the township line. At the same time (which was September 1819), William Moore and his sons William and John obtained 300 acres extending from the present Lake Avenue to the 11th line road, including the greater part of the present town area south of Lake Avenue. The village had its start with the building of Hugh Boulton’s grist mill in 1820. Its future as a town was assured when the railway arrived some 40 years later in 1859. The bigger sawmills began in the 1860’s. Municipal incorporation as a village separate from Beckwith township, came in 1870 (village population 1,226) and new industries and a railway line to Ottawa. The railway shops and further growth followed in the 80’s and 90’s with incorporation as a town of over 4,000 in 1890. Then came the further expansion of the foundry and the textile mills, from the early 1900’s.
Passing over the story of the beginnings of the town and heading up the river, Manny’s Pier, the only restored pier of the lumbering days, is one of the first landmarks for our purpose. It’s name has a settlers’ story to it. The land along the north shore, from the Morphy’s to the mouth of the river, and running back to the town line road, was taken up in 1820 by six settlers. One was David Moffatt, ancestor of the Moffatt’s of Carleton Place. The next land east of the Moffatt’s was Manny Nowlan’s whose name we have in Manny’s Pier.
Manny Nowlan later owned the Morris Tavern where the long misrepresented Battle of the Ballygiblins of 1824 started. This first inn of the new village was on Mill Street, next the river and immediately east of the present Public Utilities Commission Office. At that time the north side of the river was still new farmland and forest. There was no bridge and the river crossing was by boat. The first few commercial buildings were on and around Mill Street. The first local road, which ran from the Road at Franktown and including the present Bridge Street, Carleton Place was authorized by the District Magistrate in 1823 and cleared in large part in 1824. Through the last century this road then a township road retained its original name of the Mill Road.
On the east side of Manny Nowlan’s farm the land was occupied by two settlers who did not stay there long. One was Thomas Burns. They were succeeded within about ten years as farmers on these two properties, by the second Peter Cram and John McRostie. John McRostie’s original stone home, standing at the river bank at Flora Street on the east side what was his farm was built in about the 1830’s.
At the other end of the row of six farms was Nicholas Dixon whose name we have in Dixon’s Point at the mouth of the river. Before passing Dixon’s Point we can look across to Indians Landing on the south shore. Fred Hunter recalls that when he was a small boy, Indians still came there in the spring on their way down the Mississippi with their season’s furs loaded in their long canoes.
On the return trip they camped against Indians Landing, sometimes staying there for most of the summer. Joe and Johnny Baye made their local headquarters there in the 1880’s and 90’s. They sold boats including dugouts made of ash and basswood, and many of their axe handles and colored hampers and clothes baskets were sold in the stores of the town. Joe Baye and his white wife also lived at the Floating Bridge on the Indian River in Ramsay. He died in the Almonte hospital in 1928.
Below Indians Landing the land at the end of Lake Avenue was the 100 acre farm of George Willis, who came here in 1820 and was the great grandfather of Henry Willis. His son, also named George, farmed there after him and raised a musically inclined family, including the third George who in his youth seems to have been the best known local musician of his time. With his bagpipes and his fiddle he gave the Scots and Irish their favorite airs, according to the occasion from the Flowers of Edinburgh to the Reel of Tulloch, and from Rory O’More to the Boys of Kilkenny and Donnybrook Fair. Around the time of the Fenian Raids he was a bandmaster of an early town band.
Above Indians Landing the farm running from the mouth of the river, to the eleventh line was the Fisher farm ; settled by Duncan Fisher in 1821, and the little point there was Fisher’s Point. The farm was owned by Brice McNeely in later years and still remains with that family.
Crossing back to Dixon’s Point, Mr. Dixon was an Englishman who came in 1820 with a wife and seven children. His farm where he lived for over forty years, and his stone house appear to have included part of what is now the Caldwell Lock End Ranch. He had a potash works on the part facing the river, called Dixon’s Landing, opposite Indians Landing. The trotting races held on the ice at Dixon’s Landing began as early as 1858.
The next stop in the Lower Lake is Nagle’s Shore now owned by the McDiarmid Estate. Richard Nagle had lived his latter years at the present Caldwell Summer home until 1891. His brother Patrick occupied the adjoining farm along the shore. Nagle’s Shore was bought by William McDiarmid in 1900, including W. P. Nagle’s lakeshore residence. This north shore, a regatta centre now and 75 years ago, came next to Lake Park for some years as the most popular place for this purpose. One of a series of several annual regattas of the early 1880’s was held off Nagle’s Shore at a time when rowing races had caught the public fancy almost to the extent of football or World Series baseball now. Ned Hanlen, famous world champion and world-travelled oarsman, brought the crowds to Carleton Place for two of these regattas, which drew competitors from such district rowing centres as Brockville, Prescott, and Ottawa. Sponsered by the local Boating Club, these annual events wound up in the evening in the lower river with open air concerts, fireworks, and torchlight parades of decorated boats. At one of them the added attraction, a balloon ascension, ended with a wind blowing the balloon into the river.
Along the northwest side from the Birch Point cottage shore to the upper corner of Kinch’s Bay the lake is in Ramsay Township. The Hogsback Shore running from near the former Thackaberry farm towards McCreary’s Creek is of course named for the raised hogs back ridge along the water’s edge. McCreary’s Creek, navigable for its first half mile takes its name from the well known McCreary family nearby where William McCreary settled in 1823. His grandson, Hiram, was the local member of the Legislature in Premier Drury’s Farmer Government after the first World War. The big bay itself with its wild rice and unusual deeper channels, is named for John Kinch, whose farm was between Mcreary’s and the upper side of the bay. After his death in 1865 his son farmed there and the farm later became Bowland’s.
How Black Point got its name does not seem to be known. It could well be that it was named Black Point from the early deaths by drowning here. The first recorded drowning in the lake was that of a pioneer settler, John Code who was drowned near here in 1849. The double drownings took place off this shore, Alex Gillies and Peter Peden in 1878, and Dick Willis and Noble Bennett in 1893. All the drownings were from boats capsized in the rice.
Poole’s Point was called McCann’s Point for many years until the early 1900’s both names coming from the owners of the adjoining farmland.
Code’s Bay, the northwest side of the Second Lake, well filled with rice and sometimes with duck hunters, is another of the locations named for the first settlers as is Code’s Creek and Landing, John Code Sr., John Jr. and George Code, each drew farms with the Scotch Corners Settlement of about 12 farms in 1822. George Code lived to 1890 and the age of 93. Another long lived Scotch Corners resident was Wm. Henry Poole who died there at the age of 96 in 1928. He was an enthusiastic hunter and trapper in his day as well as a farmer.
Coming into the third or Middle Lake King’s Bay, extending from above the Two Oaks cottage shore to the cottages of Squaw Point was named for Colin King of the 1822 Scotch Corners settlement. The official names of the point at the Two Oaks Shore, and the island beside it commonly called Dinky Dooley, are King Point and King Island, according to the government map.
Aberdeen Island was bought and named in 1893 by Colin Sinclair, son of John Sinclair who came to Scotch Corners in 1822. It was Colin Sinclair who started his Carleton Place tailoring business in the early 1850’s. He also bought King Island. The nickname Dinky Dooley was for Bell Saunders and Charlie Morphy who had a camp there.
The high and rocky Laurentian formation of much of the upper lake shores starts here. (According to the geolist, this was a seashore in some distant age, as shown by the numerous fossils in the limestone on the other side of the lake.)
Squaw Point, one of the best known landmarks on the course, looks like a logical Indian campsite, with a lookout and a sheltered landing and we have it on the authority of Fred Hunter that that is what it was. The depth of this part of the lake increases greatly and out of it near the middle rise the tops of the Two Crabs, the smallest islands in the lake.
Willis’ Landing is the next old northwest shore, headquarters. The nearby island, separated from the mainland by a narrow, rock-sided channel was named Sinclair’s Island for the Sinclairs of Scotch Corners whose original farm was near here. In the middle of the lake here is Green Island, which had that name before it was bought as a cottage site in 1915 by Mr. W. J. Hughes.
Eagles And Vultures Once Flew Around Mississippi Lake by Howard Brown, from the Carleton Place Canadian, December 22, 1955
“The Canadian is fortunate in receiving a number of articles from Howard Brown of Ottawa concerning early hunting and fishing stories around Carleton Place. The series includes one on the first game club, deer hunting, bird protection, Mississippi fishing, the beaver, wildcat and lynx, introduction of pickerel to the Mississippi. The first article follows:
Hunting and Fishing Stories of our Grandfathers
Lanark and Renfrew counties, well supplied with woods, lakes and marshes, have a record as a favourite fishing and hunting district which antedates their first English speaking settlement. Referring to the immediate neighbourhood of Carleton Place, William Bell, pioneer Lanark County pastor and an observant man if not an experienced fisher or hunter, wrote soon after his 1817 arrival at Perth:
“The Mississippi Lake, its length about 12 miles and its breadth varying from four miles to half a mile, affords an abundance of fish for the settlers in the neighbourhood, who kill them with spears in great numbers in the spring when ascending the river to spawn. Some of the islands in the lake are still inhabited by Indians, whose hunting ground is on the north side and who are far from being pleased with the encroachments our settlers are making on their territories.
The animals most troublesome to the farmers are squirrels, brown and grey, equally destructive to crops both in fields and gardens. They do most mischief in the spring by taking the seed up out of the ground. I have seen a field of Indian corn entirely ruined by them so that it was necessary to plant it a second and even a third time. The number killed by some farmers in a year almost exceeds belief. There is another species called the black squirrel but it seems scarce, being seldom taken.
Of birds there are many kinds. The principal are eagles, vultures, owls, night hawks, fish hawks, cranes, geese, wild ducks, partridges, snow birds, teal, wild pigeons, blackbirds, thrushes, larks and various other kinds. The wood pigeons pass to the northward in the spring and return in the fall in immense numbers. Great numbers of them are taken in nets, but they are more frequently shot, and are generally found to be fat and good eating. When they happen to alight upon a field they scarcely leave a grain, if not disturbed.”
The story of these famous clouds of passenger pigeons, which usually frequented wooded regions rather than farmers’ fields and which, at 40 cents a pair, were still sold on the Ottawa market in the 1870’s, is well known. After wanton whole sale killing they were exterminated from the continent to the last bird. Some larger fur bearing animals, such as the marten and fisher, the lynx and the otter, soon retreated in these counties, like the Indians themselves, before the axe and the plough.
First Game Protective Club:
Forty years after the white man had settled in the local scene to dispossess the North American Indian, the second generation in this area, had begun to lessen the seeming abundance of some useful wild animals and birds to a point at which a local Game Protective Club was undertaking enforcement of existing legislation (19-20 Vic. C, 94) for their preservation. An 1859 Carleton Place announcement gave notice that a sportsmen’s club, composed of persons resident in this and adjoining townships and prepared to prosecute and punish breaches of the game laws “exists in this village as some unseasonable slaughters of game may yet learn to their cost. The Club has thought proper to offer a reward of $5 to be paid by the Treasurer of the club to any person giving such information as shall ensure the conviction of offenders. The company have also employed a Lawyer to conduct their business and attend to the prosecution of all parties complained of without respect of persons.”
The seasons of prohibited hunting still left a six months open deer and moose season from August to January, six months of grouse or partridge hunting from September to February, and gave no protection for waterfowl beyond an eleven week closed season from mid-April to the end of July for “Wild Swan, Goose, Duck of kinds known as Mallard, Grey Duck, Black Duck and all kinds of Teal.”
An 1862 visitor observed: “There are few villages in the interior, off the main streams the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa, that can rival Carleton Place in scenery and we know of few places where a day or two’s fun can be better appreciated than up on the Mississippi Lake. In fact fishing and hunting has become almost an institution among the inhabitants and the fame of the Mississippi Pike and Ducks and we may add Deers or Dears, has reached distant sections of the Front.”
The Game Protective Club, interested chiefly in increasing the deer population, became the Lanark and Renfrew Game Protection Society, as formally constituted at a March 1861 meeting of district deer hunters at Pakenham, home town of the then retired Andrew Dickson, prominent as a deer hunter as well as in Eastern Upper Canada public affairs.
Cases of convictions for winter killing of deer in the closed season were cited at the Society’s meetings. “A Law Abiding Hunter” wrote to the deer-hunting editor of the Carleton Place Herald at the end of the 1861-62 season:
“It is estimated that upwards of 700 deers were butchered on the crust last winter and spring in the Counties of Lanark and Renfrew, and that about 150 deer have been killed in these counties in the past year during the time allowed by law. In settlements where liquor can be procured the most of the venison that the Indians kill is sold to procure whisky. It is stated that one Indian, who stopped near Arnprior, killed no less than 90 deers on the crust last winter and spring – a crime.”
Early court records of deer hunting in the two counties were not limited to cases for deterring hunting out of season. Others concerned appropriation of hounds or of the hunter’s quarry. In an 1865 trial at Almonte dealing with an October deer hunt at White Lake, magistrates James Rosamond and John Menzies, after hearing many witnesses, dismissed a charge based on the information and complaint of a Pakenham resident to the effect that James Poole, W. Morphy and James Cram of Carleton Place “did with force of arms take and carry away one deer the property of John McManagle.” The implication of the decision seemed to be that hunters stationed at a lakeshore in shooting and attempting to keep possession of deer which had been run out by another hunting party did so at their peril.
Remarkably large packs of dogs were maintained by some deer hunters. Andrew Dickson, ex-sheriff of the United Counties and onetime warden of the Provincial penitentiary at Kingston, was once reported to be the owner of over thirty. In the same period large numbers were kept by James Poole of Carleton Place. A granddaughter’s account of Andrew Dickson’s last farewell to hunting and to his dogs is given in Senator Andrew Haydon’s Pioneer Sketches in the District of Bathurst.
The scene is in 1868 at the Dickson home in Pakenham :
“The last time I saw my grandfather was just a week before he died. The dogs had broken out of their kennels and rushed into the house, Sport, the favourite, on the bed, the place of honor, earned by years of devotion, and the other dogs with noses resting on the quilt, and on the gray old plaid they had so often followed. The tears ran down his face, but he beckoned to me. I took the whistle, which I could hardly use for crying, I led the way to the kennel, but Sport would not come.”
In the early 1880’s the district game supply and the hunting restrictions both continued to be generous to the hunter. A pair of hunters are reported returning to Carleton Place from a five week deer hunt in which they shot forty deer, followed by an advertisement “Good Venison for Sale,” James Presley opposite the Methodist Church, Carleton Place. Moose in the Upper Ottawa were meeting a similar onslaught which they could less readily withstand. A Carleton Place “Protect the Moose” editorial May 1887 said:
“Steps are being taken to have the Governments enforce more stringently the laws for the protection of this noble game. As an instance of the terrible slaughter of moose deer that has gone on in the Upper Ottawa this season, it is mentioned that Montreal man who hunted on the Mississippi River killed 27. A Pembroke man killed 40. It is computed that all the carcasses would weight 53,600 pounds. The Montreal man killed his moose during the legal season, but his companion killed during month of March and is reported to be killing yet.”
Restrictions following 1887 included in the case of deer a season limit of 3 to 5 per person depending on the size of the hunting party with a season opening November 15th.