Flower Station

Famous Folks

of Flower Station

One of a collection of stories in the book,

“Lanark County Comfort

at The Book Nook, Perth, Ontario, Canada.

Call 613-267-2350 for information.

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.

“Famous Folks from Flower Station”, one of the short stories in “Lanark County Comfort: Homespun Tales to Warm Your Heart”

The ‘Sunday Drive

to Flower Station

Long before the days of fast-paced living, our family had a weekly ritual, known as the Sunday drive.  It always took place after church, following the noon-time meal. Families were large in those days, and Mother wanted to make sure that everyone had a hearty lunch before heading out into the country. Looking back, it seems like a curious thing to do, when you already live in the country, to drive to another part of the country, but it wasn’t uncommon in those days. 

Sunday Drive Staffords

The Staffords, getting ready for a Sunday Drive: left to right, Roger Stafford, Jackie Stafford, Tim Stafford, Tobias ‘Tib’ Stafford (Dad), Arlene Stafford, missing from the photo: Judy Stafford who was taking the photo, and Audry Stafford (Mother), who was likely making one last trip to the pantry to pack some cookies for the ride.

Home, the starting point for our drive, was the Third Concession of Bathurst Township, some called it the Third Line, or the Christie Lake Road.  After we’d all climbed into the car, we often headed straight to Balderson, to pick up a bag of squeaky curd for the trip. We almost always visited Ferguson Falls, where Dad grew up, and Lanark was another familiar stop along the way.  There was sometimes a debate in the car at this point about whether to travel up toward Calabogie. Mother often protested, saying that all those hills, twists, and turns on the back-roads made her stomach queasy.  With a twinkle in his eye, and a promise to take it slow, more often than not, Dad headed up the road toward Clyde Forks and Flower Station. 

The landscape around Flower Station was a spectacular sight to behold in the autumn, when the colourful maple leaves were at their peak. Gold, red, green, and orange, in every direction, as far as the eye could see; just like a postcard.  Small in size, but big in heart, it was one of the tiny hamlets that sprung up in the late 1800s, during the heydays of the nearby mining operations; and the Kingston and Pembroke ‘K & P’ Railroad stopped daily, bringing mail, and supplies.

“The Montreal Gazette”, Dec. 19, 1882, p.1

Historical Lavant Township, Lanark County

Families of Flower Station

Alberts, Alcorn, Arnott, Barker, Barr, Bingley, Bissett, Bradford, Brown, Browning, Caldwell, Cameron, Cardinal, Cassel, Clark, Cleland, Clements, Clifford, Closs, Cloutier, Coupland, Craig, Crawford, Crosbie, Cumming, Deachman, Deschamps, Desjardine, Dignon, Dunham, Dunlop, Dunn, Easton, Elliott, Ellis, Ferguson, Fisher, Gallagher, Gardiner, Grey, Giffen, Guthrie, Haskins, Horn, Jackson, Jamieson, Jabot, Johnston, Kelly, Knight, Lalonde, Laroque, Lee, Leahy, Love, Lyon, Machan, Mahan, Major, Majore, Majaury, Martin, McArthur, McCurdy, McDonald, McDougall, McFadden, McGonegal, McInnis, McIntosh, McIntyre, McKinnon, McLaren, McWilliams, Metcalfe, Miller, Milotte, Moffat, Morris, Moulton, Nicholson, North, O’Brien, O’Donnell, Ogilvie, Patterson, Paul, Pierce, Pearce, Percy, Peterson, Power, Purdon, Reed, Reid, Roach, Robertson, Rodgers, Rousseau, Rutherford, Sheridan, Simpson, Sly, Spencer, St. Pierre, Stedman, Stewart, Storie, Stratford, Thurlow, Turnbull, Umpherson, Wales, Wallis, Watt, White, Williams, Willis, Woods, and Wright.

K & P Railroad stops from Kingston to Renfrew

The village was named for Roswell Pettibone ‘R.P.’ Flower, Governor of New York, who financed this section of the railway. At the height of the mining operations in the late 1880s, there were three boarding houses, two general stores, a church, a school, and a railroad station. Postmaster, Gilbert White, operated the post office, and sold general merchandise, out of his residence.

Entering Flower Station
Flower Station

Thomas Miller’s General Store – 1905

“The Ottawa Journal”, May 22, 1905, p.9

Emerald Cleland

“The Windsor Star”, Aug. 31, 1910, p.8

Albert ‘Abbie’ McGonegal

“The Ottawa Journal”, April 21, 1934, p.14

Mildred Desjardins

Tragic Loss Follows Dance

at Flower Station

“The Ottawa Citizen”, June 23, 1936, p. 7

Mrs. Deachman

“The Ottawa Citizen”, July 22, 1939, p.21

Effie Giffen

“The Ottawa Journal”, June 9, 1941, p.22

Joseph Lalonde Walks 15 Miles

in 1942 to Recruiting Center

“The Ottawa Citizen”, Jan. 31, 1942, p.16

‘Granny’ Jennie Crawford Majaury

“The Ottawa Journal”, June 30, 1950 p.5

Jackson Siblings Die Within

Hours of Each Other

“The Ottawa Journal”, June 4, 1954, p. 43

George Wales

“The Ottawa Citizen”, Dec. 8, 1955, p.20

Maud Bradford Hart

“The Ottawa Journal”, Oct. 1, 1956, p.37

Calvan McGonegal Wins

James Brothers Fishing Trophy

“The Ottawa Journal”, Feb 27, 1960 p. 13

Cardinal, Lalonde, & Kells

Take Top Spots

“The Ottawa Citizen”, April 29, 1961, p.13

Minnie McGonegal Ferguson

“The Perth Courier”,
March 1 1962, p.6

Party for Wilfred Jackson

“The Perth Courier” Aug. 2, 1962 p.11

Reeve Henry McGonigal

“The Perth Courier” Jan. 31, 1963, p.1

John Coupland

Follows in his Father’s Footsteps

“The Perth Courier” Aug. 22, 1963, p.15

Robert Closs

“The Perth Courier” Sept. 19, 1963, p.13

Mrs. Eldon Majore

Peace of Mind in the Country

Mrs. Eldon Majore – “The Ottawa Citizen”, Jan 21, 1969, p. 41
Excerpt from “The Ottawa Citizen”, Jan. 21, 1969, p. 41

Adam Fisher

“The Ottawa Citizen”, Dec. 14, 1994, p. 23

Stranded by Floods

“The Ottawa Citizen, April 5, 1998, p. 18

Irene (Gemmill) Crosbie

Irene (Gemmill) Crosbie – at Crosbie’s General Store, Flower Station in 1976

Irene Crosbie’s

90th Birthday Party

“The Ottawa Citizen”, March 15, 1999 p.43
Article and photos on Irene Crosbie from “The Ottawa Citizen”, Mar. 15, 1999, p.44
Irene Crosbie working at the store
Crosbie’s store

Don and Marlene Love

Met at a Sugar Camp

Don & Marlene Love – “The Ottawa Citizen”, Nov. 16, 2003, p.33
“The Ottawa Citizen” Nov. 16, 2003, p.33
“The Ottawa Citizen”, Nov. 16, 2003 p. 34
an excerpt from a story by Ron Corbett with photos by Julie Oliver

Winnifred Closs – 1916-2008

Extraordinary Local Writer

“The Ottawa Citizen” Feb. 9, 2008, p.39
“The Ottawa Citizen” Feb. 9, 2008, p. 50
One of Winnie Closs’ columns, “The Perth Courier”, Mar. 28, 1963, p.5

As the lumber business tapered off, and the mining operations slowed down, the K & P railway never saw the volumes of traffic they had anticipated in the beginning. By late in the 19th century, the railroad was experiencing financial difficulties, and by 1894, the company, operating at a loss, went into receivership.

K & P Railroad – photo: Library and Archives Canada

The Canadian Pacific Railway, ‘CPR’ began to buy up shares, and by 1901, owned 83% of the shares, and had replaced many of the top executives with their own. The C.P.R. officially gained control of the K & P Railroad in 1913.

By the 1930s, passenger service declined and they began to operate ‘mixed trains’ of passenger cars and some freight cars. By the late 1950s, only freight cars remained. The last ‘through’ train ran on December 29, 1961. As time passed, in the 1960s, the smaller, less profitable stations along the railway line were closed, including Flower Station.

K & P Trail

The original route of the K & P is being converted, in sections, to a recreational walking and biking path, known as the “K & P Trail”

K & P Trail

Take a Sunday Drive

Visit Flower Station

The tradition of the Sunday drive at our house went on for as long as I can remember. Mother occasionally scolding Dad because he was over the speed limit, and he always countered with the same excuse – that he needed to burn the carbon build-up off of his sparkplugs.

There were often bags of squeaky curd, and sometimes a stop for ice cream cones, or a cold bottle of Pure Spring pop. Once in a while there was pushing and shoving in the back seat, met by a stern glance backwards from Mother.

No matter where those winding back roads in Lanark County led us, there was always beauty around every corner; with crystal-clear lakes and streams, quiet spots for a picnic, trails and paths beckoning us to come for a stroll.

Maybe one of these Sundays, you’ll venture out to Flower Station. Travel north on highway 511 past Hopetown to Brightside. Turn west on Waddell Creek Road to the French Line. Proceed north on the French Line Road to Joe’s Lake, then west on Flower Station Road to Flower Station.

Be sure to walk or hike the beautiful K&P Trail in the village of Flower Station. Head north past Flower Station, to Round Lake and Clyde Lake or, walk south, past Widow Lake to join Clyde Forks Road. Be prepared to enjoy the unspoiled forests, the sounds of nature, breathe in the pristine air, and spend a tranquil day in one of Lanark County’s special gems – Flower Station.

Scenic views near Flower Station

Country Drives poem

Lanark County Comfort: Homespun Tales to Warm Your Heart”

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.

“Famous Folks from Flower Station”, one of the short stories in “Lanark County Comfort: Homespun Tales to Warm Your Heart”

at The Book Nook, 60 Gore St. E., Perth, Ontario, Canada. Order online or call to reserve your copy – 613-267-2350.

LINK to Article:

https://www.thestar.com/local-perth/entertainment/books/2021/08/29/arlene-stafford-wilson-releases-new-book-lanark-county-comfort.html

The Book Nook, in Perth, Ontario https://thebooknookperth.com/shop/

The Bookworm, in Perth, Ontario https://www.bookwormperth.com/

Mill Street Books, in Almonte, Ontario – https://millstreetbooks.com/

or at:

http://www.staffordwilson.com

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