2021 Release – “Lanark County Comfort”

Book Launch: Saturday, September 11th, 1 – 3 p.m.

at The Book Nook, 60 Gore St. E., Perth, Ontario, Canada

For information: 613-267-2350

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 – Oakes Bakery: Tasty Treats in the Town of Perth

Chapter 2 – Pant Barn Dances: Blue Jeans & Rock and Roll

Chapter 3 – Famous Folks of Flower Station

Chapter 4 – Perth’s Millionaire Bachelor

Chapter 5 – Calvin United Church 125th Anniversary

Chapter 6 – Arliedale Lodge, Christie Lake

In this collection of short stories the author invites you to visit some extraordinary places and meet some fascinating people who left their mark in Lanark County. Come to cottage country and visit Arliedale Lodge on Christie Lake, playground of the rich and famous, where the legendary Marks Brothers hosted unforgettable parties. Meet the Oakes family, and discover the tragedies and triumphs of their much-loved bakery in Perth. Spend an unforgettable evening at a Pant Barn Dance, meet the rock and roll bands, and find out what went on behind the scenes at these legendary concerts. Celebrate with the members of a 125-year-old country church at an old-fashioned strawberry social and learn the secrets of the popularity and longevity of this special place. Take a Sunday drive into the Lanark Highlands, meet the fascinating folks of Flower Station who may have uncovered the secrets of the fountain of youth. Meet Perth’s millionaire bachelor, discover a legal scandal that rocked the town of Perth, and find out who inherited his fortune.

About the Author:

Arlene Stafford-Wilson grew up on a small farm in Lanark County. Former Newsletter Editor and long-time member of the Lanark County Genealogical Society, Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and mother of one son, Alexander, she and her husband, Kevin, live in Ottawa, a few blocks from Parliament Hill.

New Book is # 9 in the series of Lanark County Books

A summary of each book can be found on the link below:

“Lanark County Comfort” Previews:

Chapter 1

Oakes Bakery:

Tasty Treats in the Town of Perth

Win Oakes – photo courtesy of Kristine Oakes
photo: courtesy of Shirley Oakes

Discover the tragedies and the triumphs of this well-loved Perth business. What was it like to work there? Stories and anecdotes from members of the Oakes family and from former staff-members. Re-live the glory days, follow the drivers on their delivery routes, and visit behind the scenes with the talented bakers. Read about that fateful night in 1947 when a local police officer discovered a fire at the bakery that could have ended it all……

Chapter 2

Pant Barn Dances

The Pant Barn 51 Foster Street, Perth, ON

Discover the unforgettable concerts, the rock and roll, and go behind-the-scenes with the bands, all the special memories – With stories and anecdotes from Perry Weagle, and former staff of The Pant Barn and the Perth Community Center. The story that captures the memories – “The Legendary Pant Barn Dances”, part of a collection of short stories in new book, “Lanark County Comfort: Homespun Tales to Warm Your Heart”

Chapter 3

Famous Folks

of Flower Station

Discover the fascinating people, their unique qualities, and their achievements, in the story: “Famous Folks of Flower Station”. Meet the people who may have uncovered the secrets of the fountain of youth – like Jennie ‘Granny’ Majaury – who walked every day, smoked a pipe and lived to be 104. Another famous resident Irene Crosbie who gave birth to 18 children, worked in her family’s store, and lived to be 95. You’ll read about Joe Lalonde, known as the ‘husky young woodcutter from Flower Station’. Nothing could stop Joe from joining the army and serving his country. Winnie Closs, another famous resident, was a newspaper columnist for over 50 years, wrote her columns in long-hand, and lived to be 91.

Chapter 4

Perth’s Millionaire Bachelor:

Who Inherited His Fortune?

The story of John McLaren, Perth, Ontario’s whiskey baron, and eligible bachelor millionaire, is one of the town’s most intriguing tales. Inventor of the ‘Mickey’, McLaren amassed a fortune during his lifetime, and when he died, unmarried and childless, there was a great deal of interest in who would inherit his money.

Read about the McLaren fortune, the scandalous court case that rocked the town of Perth, and the people who tried to claim a share of his millions. The story, “Perth’s Millionaire Bachelor” is one of a collection of short stories in the new book, “Lanark County Comfort”

Chapter 5

Calvin United Church:

125th Anniversary

2021 marks a milestone in the long rich history of this very special place. To commemorate this 125th anniversary, the history of Calvin United Church is part of a collection of short stories in the book, “Lanark County Comfort: Homespun Tales to Warm Your Heart”.

The story begins from the earliest days before the present church was constructed, and takes the reader through the unsettled times of the first and second world wars, the changing ways of the 1950s -1980s, and into the present days with the challenges of the world pandemic.

Recollections from former and current members, thoughts and insights from current minister, Rev. Micheline Montreuil, as well as stories and memories of many of the members throughout the history of the church.

Discover the social clubs and ladies’ auxiliaries, learn about the lively debating clubs, the romantic box socials, the infamous car races, the strawberry socials, and some of the church’s most distinguished members.

Calvin United Church, Tay Valley Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada

Chapter 6

Arliedale Lodge

Christie Lake

Playground of the Rich and Famous

Arliedale Lodge, Christie Lake

Discover the history and the mysteries of this legendary resort, built on a peaceful lake in Eastern Ontario. From the heydays of the famous Marks family and their distinguished guests, hosting the who’s-who of the entertainment industry, and the many owners throughout the years. Read the shocking rumours, learn about a mysterious fire, and what became of this fashionable resort at Christie Lake.

Will also be available at The Bookworm, Perth, ON 613-264-7257

or at:


The Stafford House – the author’s childhood home, and inspiration for many stories

“Come join me in a kinder, gentler place, set against a backdrop of peaceful green meadows, under tall sprawling maple trees, and enjoy some good old fashioned Lanark County comfort.”


6 comments on “2021 Release – “Lanark County Comfort”

  1. Noreen Tyers says:

    I can not wait to get a copy of the book. Love when you put the pen to paper.

    Noreen (Regan) Tyers

  2. Jackie Wharton says:

    Well done, Arlene, lots of interesting info and photos to tantalize your readers.

  3. Kathryn Stock says:

    Congratulations AGAIN Arlene! Especially looking forward to the bakery essay. Lots of family memories of that place 😊

    Sent from my iPhone


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