Merchants of Perth 1960s and 1970s at Christmastime

merchants-of-perth

Christmas Ads for these merchants included below!

A & B Motors,  Acheson’s,  Aeroquip, Albert Gale,  Alice’s Beauty Salon,  Allen’s Bakery,  Anna Mosl,  Andy’s Window Cleaning,  Antiques Vandenbosch,  Balderson Cheese,  Bank of Montreal,  Barrie’s Meats,  Ralph G. Barker,  Barr Motor Sales,  Beamish,  Ben Barbary’s,  Benny K’s.,  Bert Fournier,  Blair & Sons,  Boles Grocery,  Boyd Real Estate,  Brankin Fuels,  Bright Spot,  Brown Shoe Company,  Burchell Supply,  Burns Jewellers,  Cameo Beauty Shoppe,  Cameron Shoe,  Canadian Tire,  Caribou House,  Carolynne’s  Beauty Salon,  Carson Farm Supply,  Carson Realty, Cavanagh’s,  Cavers Jewellery, Chaplin & Code Hardware,  Chaplin’s Dairy,  Circus Surplus Store,  Cleanrite Cleaners,  Conway’s Menswear,  Co-op,  Cooper’s Furniture,  Couch’s Taxi, County Motors,  Craig Motor Sales, Glenn Crain Ltd.,  D. & K. Fabric,  Darou and McIntosh,  Dicola Fuels,  Dixie Lee Chicken,  Dodds & Erwin,  Drummond Centre Telephone Co.,  J.D. Duncan,  E-Z Clean Coin Wash,  E.B. Code and Son Insurance,  E.L. Darou Insurance,  East End Grocery,  Echlin Motor Sales, Farrell’s Store,  Franklin Fence & Furniture,  Frank’s Barber Shop,  Friendly T.V. – Klaas Van Bergen,   Hazel & Eric Fuller Store,  General Insulating,  Girdwood’s,  Golden Triangle Upholstery,  Todd Greig Accountant,  G.W.M. Gift Shop,  H & M Centre,  Holiday Take-Out,  T.M. Hansen Plumbing,  Healey Transportation,  Henderson’s Red and White,  Hodgson & Son,  Hoffman & Son,  L. Huddleston,   HY Fund Studio,  I.D.A.,  I.G.A.,  International Silver,  J.& J. Plumbing,  Jack & Jill, Jack Snow,  James Brothers Hardware, Ken Hannah Minnows,  Ken Hughes, Kerr & Duncan,  Kitten Mill,  Leach Tire Center,  Levine’s,  Lightford’s,  MacPhail Tractor Sales,  Maximilian Restaurant,  McLean Noonan,  McNamee Plumbing,  McTavish Motor Sales,  McVeety Electric,  Mill Fab,  Minute Man,  Montgomery Chiropractor,  Moss Motors,  Nelly’s Shoe Store,  D.M. Nisbet Fina,  Nixon Planing Mill,  Noonan’s,  Central Tire Supply – VanDusen’s,  Oakes’ Bakery,  Orok’s Hardware,  Pant Barn,  Perkins Bowling Alley,  Anne Patterson Laundromat,  Pattenick’s,  Perth Blue Wings,  Perkins Motors,  Perth Television,  Perth Apothecary,  Perth Banks,  Perth District Co-op,  Perth Fire Department,  Perth Flower Shop, Perth Hotel,  Perth  Motors,  Perth Pinto,  Perth Planing Mill,  Perth Tea Room,  R.T. Parks & Sons,  Robinson’s Beverages, Reed’s Smoke Shop,  Reliable Cab,  Revere Hotel,  Reward Shoe Stores,  Rolly’s Restaurant,  Rubino’s,  Russ Ellis,  Ryder’s Restaurant,  Sawdon’s Appliance,  Scott’s Chicken Villa,  Shaw’s of Perth,  Siddall’s,  Small Brothers,  Somerville Farm Supplies,  Smith’s Radio,  Soper Theatre,  Stan Cleroux Real Estate,  Stan Tufts Delivery Service,  Stedman’s,  Stanzel Plumbing  Street Travel,  Sullivan Sanitation,  Tay-Towne Cleaners,  Tay Valley Sports,  Tayside Bakery,  Teak Hair Fashions,  The Mill Store,  The Valley Book Shop,  J.A. Thomas Optometrist,  Thornbury’s Pharmacy,  Tim’s Texaco,  Town and Country Restaurant,  Van Pelt Cabinet Maker,  Vanderspank’s General Store,  Wayfare Restaurant, Rideau Ferry Inn.

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m7-town-hall

a-b-motors-dec-1970

m-achesons-mens-and-boys-wear-1963

m7-footbridge-stewart-park

aeroquip-dec-1975

m7-revere-hotel

albert-gale-dec-1965

m7-library

alices-beauty-salon-dec-1978

m7-mcmartin-house

allens-bakery-dec-22-1960

gore-st-1960s

m3-christmas-turkey

m1-anna-mosl-1967

m3-family-around-the-tree

andys-window-cleaning-dec-1975

m5-nativity-play

antiques-dec-1976

m7-st-andrews-pres_

balderson-cheese-1978

m6-rob-and-laura-petrie

m1-bank-of-montreal

m5-candlelight-service

m1-barries-meats

m3-christmas-granny

barker-barrister-dec-1966

m4-santa-coming-to-town

barr-motor-sales-dec-1965

m6-my-two-front-teeth

beamish-1974

stedmans-perth-1971

m7-st-james

ben-barbarys-dec-1970

m6-beatles

benny-ks-dec-22-1960

m4-candy-canes

bert-fournier-dec-1970

m6-bing-crosby

blair-and-sons-dec-1958

m6-brady-bunch-christmas

boles-grocery-dec-1975

m6-blues-bros

boyd-real-estate

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m-jp-brankin-fuels-1964

m6-queens-christmas-message

m1-the-bright-spot

brown-shoe-co-dec-1970

burchell-supply-dec-1958

m4-black-magic

burns-jewellers-dec-1978

cameo-beauty-shoppe-dec-1970

cameron-shoe-repair

canadian-tire-good-ad-dec-22-1960

m4-santa-parade-2

caribou-house-dec-1970

carolynnes-dec-22-1960

carson-farm-supply-dec-1970

m4-santa-parade-3

carson-realty-dec-1975

cavanaghs-1966

cavers-jewellers-mills-china-shop-dec-1975

m4-santa-parade-4

chaplin-and-code-hardware-dec-1958

m2-charlie-brown

chaplins-dairy-1969

chaplins-delivery-notice-1968

m2-chatty-cathy

circus-surplus-dec-22-1960

m1-cleanrite-cleaners

m2-christmas-7-up

conways-dec-1958

co-op-1974

coopers-furniture-dec-1970

couchs-taxi-dec-1970

county-motors-1974

m2-carpenters

craig-motor-sales-dec-1966

crain-insurance-1974

d-k-fabrics-dec-1970

darou-and-mcintosh-dec-1958

dicola-1957

dixie-lee-fried-chicken-dec-1970

m2-christmas-carole-50s

dodds-and-erwin-dec-22-1960

m1-drummond-telephone

duncan-accountant-dec-1966

dunlop-coin-wash-1974

m2-christmas-chipmunks

e-b

e-l

east-end-grocery-dec-23-1965

m2-christmas-monkees

echlin-motors-dec-1965

farrells-store-stanleyville-dec-23-1965

franklin-fence-dec-22-1966

franks-barber-shop-1966

friendly-tv-dec-1970

fuller-store-rideau-ferry

general-insulating-dec-1958

girdwoods-dec-1970

m2-christmas-patridge-family

golden-triangle-upholstery-dec-1970

greig-accountant-dec-1966

gwm-gift-shop-1974

h-m-centre-dec-1970

haliday-take-out-dec-1976

m-tm-hanson-plumbing

healey-transportation-dec-1970

hendersons-red-and-white-dec-1970

hodgson-and-sons-dec-1978

hoffman-and-son-dec-1958

m1-huddleston

m2-easy-bake-oven

hy-fund-studio-dec-1970

i-d-a-pharmacy

iga-dec-22-1960

iga-foodliner

international-silver-dec-23-1965

j-j-plumbing-1974

m2-etch-a-sketch

jack-and-jill-childrens-wear-dec-23-1965

jack-snow-1958

jamesbrothers1963-644x435

james-brothers-1958

ken-hannah-minnows-dec-23-1965

ken-hughes-motors-dec-1958

kerr-and-duncan-dec-22-1960

kitten-mill-dec-1978

leach-tire-dec-1970

levines-dec-22-1960

lightfords-dec-22-1960

m2-family-wrapping-gifts

macphail-tractor-sales-dec-1975

maximilians-dec-1978

mayor-and-town-council-dec-1975

mclean-noonan

mcnamee-plumbing-and-heating-1974

mctavish-motors-dec-1965

mcveety-electric-dec

m2-frosty-the-snowman

mill-fab-dec-1976minute-man-dec-1975

m2-g-i-joe

montgomery-chiroptactor-dec-1966

moss-motors-dec-1965

nellys-shoe-store-dec-22-1960

nisbet-fina-1966

nixon-planing-mill-dec-1970

noonans-dec-18-1958-p-11

noonans-meat-market-dec-23-1965

m2-grinch-and-mary-lou

northway-snowmobiles-dec-24-1970

oakes-bakery-1976

m2-hot-wheels

oroks-hardware-1978

pant-barn-dec-1975

m2-miracle-on-34th-street

perkins-bowling-alley

m2-lite-britem1-laundromat

m1-pattenicks

PERTH BLUE WINGS 

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m4-blue-wings-1

m4-blue-wings-3

m4-blue-wings-4

m2-rock-em-sock-em-robots

perkins-motors-1958

perth-television-service-1974

m2-rudolph

perth-apothecary-dec-1975

m2-rockin-around-the-christmas-tree

perth-banks-dec-1970

m2-santa-and-the-kids

perth-co-op-1958

m2-spirograph

perth-fire-dept-1974

m2-view-master

perth-flower-shop-1958

m21-its-a-wonderful-life

perth-hotel

perth-hotel-dec

m4-bordons-egg-nog

perth-motors-1970

m4-marshmallow-squares

perth-pinto-1974

m4-christmas-hard-tack

perth-planing-mill-dec-1970

perth-tea-room-dec-1958

r-t

m6-schwetty-balls
m-robiinsons-beverages-1963

m6-wild-and-crazy-guys

reeds-smoke-shop-dec-1970

m6-stevie-wonder

reliable-cab-dec-1975

m4-cow

revere-hotel-dec-1975

m4-christmas-stocking-little-boy

reward-shoe-store-dec-22-1960

rollys-restaurant-dec-1970

m4-santa-parade-5

rubinos-dec-1958

m4-santa-parade-6

russ-ellis-dec-1958

m-ryders-restaurant-1963

sawdons-appliances

scotts-chicken-villa-dec-1976

shaws-dec-25-1958

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siddalls-dec-22-1960

m4-santa-parade-7

small-brothers-1958

somerville-farm-supplies-dec-24-1970

m1-smiths-radio

soper-theatre-dec-1975

stan-cleroux-dec-1976

stan-tufts

stedmans-dec-1970

m4-santa-parade-8

m1-stanzel

street-travel-1974

sullivan-sanitation-dec-1976

 

Tay Basin

tay-basin

tay-towne-cleaners-dec-1975

tay-valley-sports-dec-1975

tayside-bakery

m4-shortbread

teak-hair-dec-1976

the-mill-store-dec-1975

the-valley-book-shop-dec-1976

thomas-optometrist-dec-1966

thornburys-drug-dec-1970

tims-texaco-dec-1970

town-and-country-restaurant

van-pelt-carpenter-1974

 

vanderspanks-dec-1970

perth-birds-eye-view
m1-wayfare-restaurant-1967

letters-to-santa-1978

letters-to-santa-1978-2

m4-winter-farm

m4-new-years-rideau-ferry-inn

m7-santa-and-reindeer-flying

Hope you enjoyed our visit to Perth in the 1960s and 1970s!

This post is dedicated to the merchants of Perth, large and small, as they celebrate 200 years of commerce in the community.  Many work long hours to provide goods and services for the people in the area. Many sponsor local sports teams and community events.  As we fondly recall the merchants of days gone by, let’s remember to shop locally this Christmas season, and support the local artisans, craftspeople, and neighbourhood businesses in our community!

Merry Christmas!

http://www.staffordwilson.com

vintage photos of historical Perth buildings – Perth Museum

Merchant ads from “The Perth Courier”

WWII Soldiers from Perth and Area

soldiers-from-perth

A tribute to our Lanark County soldiers

they-responded-to-freedoms-call

war-1          flag-quote

war-2never-was-so-much

soldiers-c

in-flanders-fields

war-4rcaf

war-5send-more-men

war-6

womens-army-corp

war-7

boys-from-canada

war-8young-man

war-9forestry-batalliion

war-10lets-go-canada

war-11buy-bonds

war-12lets-catch-him

war-13this-man-is-your-friend

war-14ve-day-toronto

war-15teamwork

war-16V-E Day Celebrations

war-17vetersns

war-18we-wish-you

war-19canadian-stamp

war-20poppy-field

soldiers-w

soldiers-y

Missing from this list, but not forgotten:

Ferguson, Robert

Frizell,  Ernest Darou, died 1943, buried overseas.

……………………………………………………………………

Hall, George Cecil   

irene-larocque

…………………………

Laroque, Kenneth Joseph

Lee, Joseph Patrick

ft-o-joseph-lee

(Perth Courier, July26, 1945 page 1)

………………………………………………………

Weir, William Devlin

……………………………………………………….

war-memorial

laying-of-wreaths

they-shall-not-grow-old

bugle

till-we-meet-again

In memory of all of the soldiers from the Perth area

who fought bravely for our country,

so that we might live in peace and freedom.

Lest We Forget……

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

http://www.staffordwilson.com

Memories of an Old Fashioned Hallowe’en

vintage-halloween

It doesn’t seem that long ago, back in the 1960s and 1970s, when we couldn’t wait for that magical night in October – Hallowe’en!

Preparations were made weeks in advance – deciding what we would wear.  Any of you who are familiar with the late fall weather in Lanark County knows that our costumes would need to be loose enough to fit over our fall jackets.   I recall a few Hallowe’en nights when there was  snow on the ground, which meant clunking around in a big pair of boots all night.

Today’s kids would not have been impressed with our costumes.  They were homemade, and usually consisted of a pair of old pants, an old shirt, maybe some tattered sheets.  No one in those days bought a pre-made costume, so we had to be creative.

costume     costume-2

costume-3      costume-4

One year, Kellogg’s advertised free Hallowe’en masks on the back of their cereal boxes.  All you  had to do was cut out the mask, punch two holes in it, and add a rubber band or a string.  These were all the rage!  Especially the Tony the Tiger mask!

masks-on-cereal-boxes    masks-on-frosted-flakes

Mother always helped us find a suitable sack for our candy, and we could usually choose between a number of her old pillowcases.  It was always a good idea to bring at least two pillowcases – just in case it was a busy night.

pillowcase

After we had donned our costumes and had a couple of pillowcases in hand, we’d begin the trek up and down the Third Line.  Some of the lanes were long.  Very long. So we had to debate at the end of each lane with our friends, and decide whether it would be worth the walk.

long-farm-lane

Another thing that might surprise the kids today is that people didn’t decorate their homes, nor did they have elaborate displays on their front steps or in their yards.  Most people didn’t have any decorations at all, and the ones that did would usually have a single carved pumpkin on their front porch.

jack-o-lantern

In small rural communities like ours it wasn’t unusual to be invited inside, and whoever answered the door would try to guess who we were.  We’d stay inside for a few minutes, and might be asked how our parents were doing, or how things were going at school.  Some people would even ask us to sing a song, or tell a joke to earn our candy.  It was all good-natured fun. Often the person who answered the door would remind us to be careful crossing the roads, or ask us to say hello to Mother and Dad for them.

We may have had less than glamorous costumes, and the decorations were a little bit sparse in those days, but the homemade treats and goodies made up for that.

It was not uncommon to receive farm fresh apples,  loose peanuts,  homemade fudge, and Hallowe’en Kisses

peanuts   kerrs-kiss-2

The best fudge on the Third Line was at Radford’s and Korry’s.   Mrs. Radford’s fudge was legendary in the area, and Ethel Korry’s fudge was creamy and silky smooth.  Sometimes Mrs. Korry would be cutting up her fudge into little squares when we arrived, and she’d place them in little bags for us.

cutting-fudge     homemade-fudge

One of the best stops for trick-or-treating on the Third Line was the popular general store – Cavanagh’s – owned by Jim and Helen.

Cavanagh's store - colour

The Cavanagh’s were generous with their candy, and some of our favourite treats were the Pixie Stix, the Thrills and the Gold Rush gum.

pixy-stix thrills-gum  gold-rush-candy

Kraft Caramels were always a popular treat and many of the neighbours would throw a handful into our pillowcases, along with some pumpkin teeth candies.

pumpkin-teeth    kraft-caramels

Our Mother often made caramel apples with the apples from our orchard.

caramel-apple    caramel-apple-on-plate

One of our favourite treats on Hallowe’en were Mother’s caramel popcorn balls.  She would make them, let them dry on a cookie sheet, and wrap them in plastic before handing them out at our front door.

caramel-popcorn-ball-after

Those were certainly nights to remember – the long, dark, lanes in the country, our costumes made from discarded clothes, and our pillowcase sacks.  The cool fall air and the tall bare maple trees that lined the dark roads leading up to the farmhouses all added an air of suspense as we ran from house to house.  The homemade treats fresh from our neighbour’s kitchens couldn’t be beat.   We had a little song that we’d sing on Hallowe’en and perhaps it will bring back some memories of those happy Hallowe’ens of our youth:

It’s Hallowe’en,
The lamp is lit,
And ’round the fire
Is where we sit,
A-telling ghost tales
Bit by bit,
‘Til sister Jane says “Hush!”
What’s that a-peeping
‘Round the kitchen door?
What’s that a-creeping
‘Cross the bedroom floor?
What’s that a-sweeping
Down the corridor?
Oooooh! It’s a goblin!

Happy Hallowe’en!

…………………………

The families who lived along our ‘Hallowe’en route’: Blair, Brady, Bowes, Cavanagh, Chabot, Closs, Doyle,Heney, Johnston, Jordan,Kerr, Korry, Kyle, Leonard, Majaury, Mitchell, Morrow, Munro, Murphy, Myers, Paul, Perkins, Pettigrew, Popplewell, Radford, Scott, Siebel, Somerville, Stafford, Stiller, Truelove,Turnbull,Tysick,Webber.

For more memories of Hallowe’en in the 1960s and 1970s:

“Recipes & Recollections: Treats and Tales from Our Mother’s Kitchen”

recipes-recollections-cover-1

Available at The Book Nook, The Bookworm and Blackwood Originals in Perth, Mill Street Books and Divine Consign in Almonte, Arlie’s Books in Smiths Falls, Perfect Books and Books on Beechwood in Ottawa, and on http://www.staffordwilson.com

http://www.staffordwilson.com

(photo of Cavanagh’s store courtesy of JoAnne Cavanagh Butler)

Book Fair at the Crystal Palace

Autumn’s brightest maple trees were the colourful backdrop for the 3rd annual Book Fair at the Crystal Palace in Perth, Ontario. Nestled along the historic Tay Basin, the Farmer’s Market hosted a number of local authors, along with their usual offerings of produce, craftspeople, artisans and home-baked goods.

Perth Crystal Palace

perth-farmers-market-logo

The yearly event is a wonderful opportunity for visitors and residents alike to meet with authors, share in discussions, ask questions, and discover the literary offerings produced in their community.

arlene-at-the-table0001

Anne Raina, author of ‘Clara’s Rib’, and Kay Rogers, Editor of ‘At Home in Tay Valley’ share a few words at the opening of the event.

anne-raina-and-kay-rogers0001

Author Gene Bassett was back this year with his books ‘Tall Tales’ and ‘Stolen Moments’. In Gene’s words, “Hopefully, these vignettes will give the reader time to pause, and give reflection to the humour and serendipity that keeps us in tune with life in all its ups and downs.”

gene-bassett0001

Larry Cotton, author of ‘Whiskey and Wickedness’ brought the full complement of books in his series.

larry-cotton0001

 

Kay Rogers was on hand at the event to promote “At Home in Tay Valley”, a collection of stories and memories from the people of Tay Valley.  Proceeds from the sale of At Home in Tay Valley will support an annual scholarship for a student graduating from Perth & District Collegiate Institute, or from St. John Catholic High School who has demonstrated a keen interest in history.

kay-at-home-in-tay-valley0001

 

Joel Leblanc and Thomas Uhryniw were busy, promoting the popular souvenir book marking 25 years of the Stewart Park Festival.

stewart-park-festival0001

A number of local readers as well as some out of town visitors stopped by to say hello.

chatting-with-a-visitor0001

What a treat to see a former classmate and neighbour from the Third Line – Dawn-Marie Brady, and share a few memories!

dawn-marie-brady0001

Signing a copy of my new book “Lanark County Classics: A Treasury of Tales from Another Time” for Scott Reid, member of Parliament for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston.  Scott kindly shared some fascinating stories and history of the historic Haggart residence in Perth. It was a pleasure to meet with such an avid reader and history buff!

scott-reid0001

Once again, many thanks to those who stopped by to say ‘hello’ on this busy Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanks as always to our host the Perth Farmer’s Market for sponsoring this event, for promoting local authors, and most importantly for supporting literacy in the community.

………………..

For more information about the Perth Farmer’s Market:    Perth Farmer’s Market

http://www.staffordwilson.com

35th Anniversary – Lanark County Genealogical Society

lanark-county-genealogical-society35-years

Maple leaves displaying a kaleidoscope of colour, and crisp fall air set the scene for the 35th Anniversary celebration of the Lanark County Genealogical Society.  As we drove along Highway # 7, the bright signs along the way reminded us that we’re entering the ‘Maple Syrup Capital’ of Canada, although the spectacular scenery leaves no doubt in our minds.

 

lanark-county-sign

The much-anticipated event was held in the Beckwith Township Hall, near Carleton Place, –  the perfect setting to mark this milestone for the genealogy society.

lcgs-35th-beckwith-twp-hall-20160001

lcgs-35th-anniversary-cake-20160001

A beautifully decorated cake served as the centerpiece for the buffet table, generously laden with all sorts of delicious choices for the celebratory luncheon.

After lunch, LCGS President Jayne Munro-Ouimet opened the program, welcoming one and all to the celebration.

Honoured to be the invited guest speaker, my presentation focused on ‘Genograms’, and how they can be used in addition to vital statistics, to illustrate patterns and traits in a family tree.

lcgs-35th-guest-speaker-20160001

 

LCGS member Mary Kerfoot spoke briefly on the Kerfoot family, and their proud history in Lanark County.

lcgs-35th-mary-kerfoot-20160001

 

The Historical Artifact Committee of the LCGS presented a Kerfoot Family Bible, featuring entries going back to the earliest times in the township.  The members of the committee recounted the story of how the family bible was rescued from a Salvation Army thrift shop in Victoria, British Columbia, and transported safely back to Lanark County.

lcgs-artifact-committee-20160001

L to R:  Jennifer Irwin, Rosemary Campbell, Beckwith Township Councillor Tim Campbell,  LCGS President Jayne Munro-Ouimet, Mary Kerfoot, and Brian Dowdall.

(Mary Kerfoot is a direct descendant of pioneer George Kerfoot)

lcgs-kerfoot-family-bible-20160001

Several presentations were made to distinguished members for their years of service and their dedication to the Lanark County Genealogical Society.  Below, Frances Rathwell and George Stewart receive their well-deserved recognition from the Society from Jayne Munro-Ouimet, LCGS President.

lcgs-jayne-frances-george-20160001

At the conclusion of the formal presentations, a book-signing and ‘meet and greet’ was held at the book table.

lcgs-book-table-20160001

 

A special highlight of the day was a gift from the LCGS of the heavenly liquid gold produced in the Lanark County maple trees each spring.  This particular bottle was produced at  Wheelers Maple Syrup near McDonald’s Corners.

lcgs-sign-arlene-20160001

It was a day to remember in Beckwith Township!  A proud and important milestone for the Lanark County Genealogical Society, marking 35 years of continual service in helping people far and wide connect with their family roots.

“On March 27, 1981, twenty-four genealogy enthusiasts met near Smiths Falls Ont., to discuss the formation of a local genealogy society. This group grew in scope and number to become the Lanark County Genealogical Society in 1982. In 35 years the organization has grown to include members from all over the world . The mandate of the Lanark County Genealogical Society is to assist members in researching family histories, and in the gathering, recording and preserving of genealogical information pertaining to Lanark County.”

Congratulations on 35 great years!

……..

To find out more about the Lanark County Genealogical Society LCGS

To discover the family history collections, land records, wills, and research aids held at the Lanark County Archives Archives Lanark

For information on Wheeler’s Maple Syrup Wheelers

http://www.staffordwilson.com

Lanark County Classics – Book Launch

A sunny, warm, late September day brought record crowds to the official book launch for “Lanark County Classics: A Treasury of Tales from Another Time”.

The Book Nook, a popular store on the main street of historic Perth, Ontario, was the setting for a steady stream of book lovers eager to read the latest collection of stories set in Lanark County, the picturesque maple syrup capital of Ontario.

The newly released stories in this series are set in Perth, Lanark, DeWitt’s Corners, Pakenham, Clyde’s Forks, Middleville, and the former North Burgess Township, taking the reader along on a journey back to the 1960s and 1970s in rural Eastern Ontario.

An early visitor to the store on Saturday, was Tara Gesner, from Metroland Media, a reporter covering the book launch for the local newspaper.

tara-gesner-metroland-media-sept-24-20160001

There were many new faces stopping by, after reading the glowing reviews appearing in several publications   Review of Lanark County Classics

book-launch-2016-1

 

A reader from Port Elmsley stopped by, interested in local history, and had certainly come to the right book launch for stories set around the region.

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Dianne Tysick Pinder-Moss, former classmate of the author has purchased the entire collection for her mother, who has been a fan of the series since the beginning.

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Nancy Townend, Pakenham resident, came to the launch after hearing that one of the stories ‘Perils in Pakenham’, was set in her lovely,scenic, village.

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Carol-Ann McDougall,  resident of the Big Rideau Lake, featured in the story “Lake Life – A Rideau Ferry Love Story” Lake Life – A Rideau Ferry Love Story  brought a lovely, bright yellow chrysanthemum to grace the table of the book launch.  Carol-Ann has read all of the books in the Lanark County series, and has been looking forward to reading the newest collection of stories.

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Carla Brown stopped by, as she often does, to purchase the latest Lanark County book for her grandmother Shirley Myers.

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Avid reader of local history, Tom Ayres was eager to get the latest book in the series.  Tom has read all five in the collection, and is the reader who requested the story on Antler Lodge, featured in the last book – Lanark County Connections. Antler Lodge

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One of the stories in the new book, Lanark County Classics is ‘Meet Me in DeWitt’s Corners. The story takes the reader back to the earliest days of the hamlet, recounts the history of this proud settlement, and the DeWitt family, whose name still graces the community today.   It was a special treat to have members of this founding family attend the book launch.

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Jane DeWitt Brady O’Grady – descendant of pioneer Zephaniah DeWitt, founding family of DeWitt’s Corners.

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Also, a direct descendant of Zephaniah DeWitt, and native of DeWitt’s Corners – William ‘Bill’ Cavanagh,  son of Helen DeWitt and James ‘Jim’ Cavanagh, and his wife Brenda.

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Another native of DeWitt’s Corners, and descendant of pioneer Zephaniah DeWitt, sister of Bill, JoAnne Cavanagh Butler, daughter of Helen DeWitt and James ‘Jim’ Cavanagh:

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It was a real treat to share some memories of DeWitt’s Corners with Jane, JoAnne and Bill!

Along with the DeWitt descendants, long-time residents of DeWitt’s Corners, Elaine and Dave Morrow stopped by the book launch.  Both Dave and Elaine contributed their memories and stories of DeWitt’s Corners for the book.  Owner of The Book Nook, Leslie Wallack, is standing to the right of Elaine. Leslie and her staff were busy the entire day assisting visitors to this popular store.

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Beverly Miller Ferlatte also stopped by the book launch.  Beverly shared her memories of S.S. # 4 , Bathurst, School for the story based in DeWitt’s Corners.  Beverly’s grandmother Mary Jordan was a well-loved and respected teacher at the school for many years.  The school house has been converted into a residence and Beverly’s brother Brian is the current owner of this historic building.

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Janice Jordan Gordon was another contributer to the DeWitt’s Corners story in the book. Janice was very helpful in identifying the children in several class photos from S.S. # 4 Bathurst School.

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A book launch would not be complete without a visit from former neighbours from the Third Line of Bathurst, Margery Conboy and her daughter Diana. Margery and her husband Wayne Conboy also shared their memories of DeWitt’s Corners, and the historic cheese factory that remained at ‘The Corners’ until 1979.

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Another former neighbour, Dave Mitchell,stopped by the book launch.  Dave was also interested in reading the story on DeWitt’s Corners, and finding out more about the history of the area where he was raised.

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The Book Launch at The Book Nook was a great success!  Many thanks to host Leslie Wallack and her staff, for keeping up with the steady crowds, and for providing the delicious refreshments.

A special thanks to all who came, from near and far, to stop by and chat, to share some memories, and to be a part of the busy day!

………………………………………………

Stories in “Lanark County Classics”:

  1. Baffling Banshees in Burgess
  2. Meet Me in DeWitt’s Corners
  3. Mystery in Clyde Forks
  4. Multitudes in Middleville
  5. A Grand Era in Lanark
  6. Perils in Pakenham
  7. Perplexed in Perth

 

http://www.staffordwilson.com

 

 

Port Elmsley – Drive-In Dreamin’

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Someone decided one night we should save a few dollars and put a couple of people in the trunk of a car so that they could get in for free at the Port Elmsley Drive-In Theatre.

I guess we can just chalk this one up along with the other peculiar things that we did as teenagers.  Luckily no one was hurt, but for the three bucks they each saved on admission it was a pretty undignified way to arrive at the movies.

It’s possible that we weren’t the first ones to try that little stunt.  After all, the Drive-In had been open for a long time before any of us had ventured there.

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It was in September 1952 that ‘The Perth Courier’ ran a short article about a Drive-In being constructed at Port Elmsley.  The article stated that it was the first to be fabricated in this district and it was built by Gordon White of Ottawa for W.J. Williams, of Newboro.

The article went on to say that it would be assembled on a ten acre property a half mile south of Highway 15 and that the Drive-In would have a capacity for 300 cars. It would feature a design first of its kind in Ontario, where the projector booth would be in a two-story building nearly 400 feet from the screen.  This was a distance that was 150 feet greater than any of the other Drive-In theatres at that time.  It was to open the following May of 1953 at a total cost of $75,000.  True to their word, they opened on schedule and called the new Drive-In ‘the Showplace of the Golden Triangle’.

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Port Elmsley was indeed a great location for a Drive-In theatre because it’s situated about halfway between Perth and Smiths Falls.  There were always droves of cottagers and tourists staying around Rideau Ferry and the surrounding lakes in the summer. There were also many residents of the towns and villages nearby that enjoyed a drive up Highway 15 on a warm summer night to see some great movies.

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Because the Drive-In opened in 1953, many folks had parked in that huge parking lot and viewed many movies on that big screen long before my friends and I ever made it there in the ‘70s. In fact, it was more than twenty years after it opened that it became one of our familiar haunts each summer as we passed the nights away under the stars.

Some of us were lucky enough to have gone to the Drive-In as children, dressed in pajamas, playing on the teeter-totter and swings between the first row of cars and the giant screen. As the sun sunk low in the sky, we were having the time of our lives. What could be better than staying up past your bedtime with a whole bunch of other kids, the aroma of popcorn in the air and watching the cartoons at the beginning of the show?

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Every kid knew the words to the concession jingle ‘Let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby, to get ourselves a treat.”  When we heard that song it was our cue to start heading back to our parents’ cars because the movie would be starting soon.  By the time they played the Chilly Dilly song about the big, juicy, dill pickles, we were in the back seat with our pillows and blankets, all ready for the show to begin.  Much to the delight of most parents I’m sure, we were asleep by the time the second feature began and this allowed them some peace and quiet and time alone – well, almost alone.

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We’d usually begin assembling all of our gear during the afternoon.  First, we’d pack up a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels, because there was nothing worse than having a big messy streak or some bugs splattered right in the middle of your window.

Mosquito coils were also vital to a relaxing evening.  Because of the speaker hanging off of the front window we weren’t able to close it all the way, so burning a mosquito coil would take care of any of the little pests that flew into the car.  If none of the gang had any, we’d have to head out to Canadian Tire on Highway 7 and pick some up before the show.  We’d place one of the little green coils on its small metal stand, set it on the dashboard and light it up. Many years later I happened to read on the side of the package that those coils were for outdoor use only.  Oh dear!

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A couple of pillows and a blanket were a nice touch and made movie-viewing a comfy, cozy event.  We’d also bring a small flashlight because nothing was worse for us girls than stumbling around on the gravel path trying to find our way to the washroom on a dark, moonless night; especially right after watching a scary scene in a horror movie. That just didn’t work for us.  Sometimes we’d bring a roll of t.p. from home, in case they ran out, which happened once in a while during the all-night movie marathons.

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I still recall the crunch of the gravel as we slowed down to enter through the gates into the Drive-In and began scouting for a good spot.  A good spot to us was front row centre and enough space for the three cars to park side by side so that we could socialize.  We also had to make sure that all three speakers worked so we would pull into the spots and test the speakers, otherwise we’d have to move all three cars to a new location, maybe a row behind.  Of course every row farther back that you were you would have to contend with people getting in and out of their cars in front of you or turning on their cars to clear their windows because they were fogged up for some reason.  So, the best real estate in the lot was the front row, right in the center of the screen and if we went early enough the best spots would be ours.

I think the lads liked having spots near the front not just for the sake of the movie, but so that their cars were together and very visible in the front row.  There’s no denying that they all had sweet cars.  Those three cars managed to get some looks touring around town and had been known to burn up more than a little rubber on the quarter mile runs down Roger’s Road.

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The warm summer air would be filled with strains of Foreigner’s ‘Hot Blooded’, or Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and typically a little bit of our favourite space cowboy, Steve Miller singing “The Joker’; a song that you could say became a symbol of  the times. Some have said that it was an era of music like no other, before or since and the sounds of our generation could be heard throughout the parking lot of the Drive-In on those sultry summer nights in Port Elmsley.

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As the sun slid down lower in the sky the horizon glowed first in a dusty pink, then a soft purple. There was always one car that began honking their horn because they believed that it was dark enough to see the movie.  After a minute or two, more people started to honk and then shortly after that the show would begin.

One of the things that we enjoyed the most were the ‘Dusk to Dawn’ shows where the first movie would begin at dusk and the movies would continue all night until the early morning when it became too light to see the picture on the screen.  The movies were played back to back and were often horror films like ‘The Exorcist’ or ‘The Omen’ or ‘Jaws’. I recall one night that my friend and myself, even after having consumed large quantities of pop, did not want to use the washroom just in case that giant crazy shark ‘Jaws’ had somehow compromised the plumbing system out in Port Elmsley.  We just weren’t taking any chances.

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We saw many nights come and go in Port Elmsley.  There were some beautiful, sleek, muscle cars in those days parked row after row, paint glistening in the moonlight.  We made numerous trips to the concession stand in an attempt to fill our unquenchable teenaged appetites.  We even had a few scary trips in the dark, giggling on our way to the washroom and back. We screamed a few blood-curdling screams as did some of the folks in the neighboring vehicles one evening I recall, as the character Jason appeared in his hockey mask in the thriller ‘Hallowe’en’.

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Today, the Port Elmsley Drive-In is one of a handful of drive-ins still operating in Ontario. Leave it to the folks in Lanark County to know a gem when they see one and to continue to go out and enjoy movies under the stars.  I hope that in the future that the little kids in their p.j.s, young people and not so young people will take the time to visit the drive-in and have as much fun as we did.  Take a trip to Port Elmsley and make some of your own memories!

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In its heyday, Port Elmsley had many residents and some of the family names that were common in that area were:  Armstrong, Taylor, Stone, Hunter, Weatherhead, Best, Couch, Wicklum, Weekes, VanDusen, Seabrook, Shaw, Sherwood, O’Hara, Moore, Dudgeon, Lavender, Findlay, McTavish, McVeety, Beveridge, and Clements.

…..

The full story “Dusk to Dawn in Port Elmsley” is part of a collection of stories in the book “Lanark County Chronicle”

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Available at The Book Nook, The Bookworm & Blackwood Originals in Perth,  Perfect Books & Books on Beechwood in Ottawa, Arlie’s Books in Smiths Falls, Mill St. Books and Divine Consign in Almonte, or on http://www.staffordwilson.com