10th Anniversary Celebrations at The Book Nook in Perth, Ontario

Leslie and Arlene Book Nook 10th

Through the ages, we have always marked births, marriages, the change of a season, harvest time, and turning the page to a new year.  This month, in the town of Perth, we mark another special event – the 10th anniversary of a popular bookstore on the main street – The Book Nook.

As part of the celebrations for this important milestone, owner Leslie Wallack invited special guests to her store, for each of the four Saturdays in May.  It was my pleasure to take part on Saturday, May 20th, to mark this happy occasion, in the pretty town of Perth.

When we arrived on Saturday morning, The Book Nook was decorated with cheery signs inside and out, and as visitors came through the store they were reminded of the special draws being held for prizes, throughout the day.  On this particular Saturday, the three separate draws featured prizes of distinctive, natural wood, hand-crafted containers – a lovely addition to anyone’s home.

Looking around the store, I paused a moment to recall the history of this building, and that 60 Gore Street East was not always home to The Book Nook.  In my teenage years in Perth, this was the location of Haggis’ Candy Store.  My friends and I were frequent visitors, and often scrounged our pennies together to buy some peanut clusters, or horehound candy, made with care by Mrs. Sophia Nee.   I looked around, remarking to Leslie that in my youth Mrs. Nee’s large glass and wooden display case was near the front window, and minutes later Leslie reappeared with an old photo of Mrs. Nee in front of the store.

Haggis' candy store front

photo: courtesy of Leslie Wallack

Leslie remembered when she first took over the store, there was a cot in the rear where former owner Mrs. Nee would often sleep, after a long night of tending to her candy-making.  Clearly, this store has a proud history of women operating a business.

horehound  sophia-haggis

photo:  Sophia (Haggis) Nee

The Book Nook enjoyed steady traffic all day, in and out, with the large section of children’s books being a popular spot for browsing, and picking up special gifts.

We were lucky to have such beautiful weather, and the warmth and sunshine streamed through the windows of the store, and reminded us that spring was finally here.

Arlene at table 10th anni Book Nook

Kevin paused to take a rare moment on the other side of the camera.

Arlene and Kevin 10th Book Nook

While the entire day was filled with happy moments, and good conversation, one of the highlights for me was three special ladies who dropped by to say ‘Hello’, and chat for a while.

I had a great visit with Rosetta Van Alstine, sister of former classmate Anne.  With the annual maple harvest just passed, we discussed some of the history of the early maple producers  – her Uncle Ken Van Alstine among them.  I learned that Rosetta’s grandfather was also a maple producer, going back yet another generation.  Her Uncle Ken was one of the first in the 1960s to use plastic tubing to transport the sap for part of his maple harvest, as well as using the traditional methods of horse and sleigh.

To read more about some of the legacy maple producers like Rosetta’s uncle – Ken Van Alstine – Lanark County’s Maple Legacy

Arlene and Rosetta Book Nook 10th

photo:  Arlene and Rosetta Van Alstine

It was a real delight to have a visit with Shirley (Kerr) Scott.  Shirley is the sister of my former classmate Marie Kerr.  The Kerr family goes back for generations in the DeWitt’s Corners, former Bathurst Township community. Shirley was my sister Jackie’s classmate, and they sat together on the school bus each day, and were the best of friends. Shirley shared a story of visiting Jackie out west, and how much she enjoyed the time they spent together; a reminder that special friendships continue through the decades, growing richer as the years pass by.  I had my own memory for Shirley, a reminder of the time as young girls Jackie had invited her to stay overnight when our parents were out of town, and when Shirley’s parents learned that the girls were alone, they came to the house and brought her back home. Young girls today would be surprised to learn how much stricter our parents were back in those days!

Arlene and Shirley Book Nook 10th

photo:  Arlene and Shirley (Kerr) Scott

Another special visitor was Carol-Ann McDougall.  Carol-Ann, originally from Kirkland Lake, now makes her home in a delightful water-front property, built on the shores of the mighty Big Rideau Lake.  Carol-Ann and her husband Ken purchased a piece of land along the shores fifteen years ago, and came up to visit each summer, dreaming that someday they would build a home there.  Last year, their dream came true, and an account of their heart-warming tale is titled  “Lake Life:  A Rideau Ferry Love Story”.

Lake Life – A Rideau Ferry Love Story

Arlene Carol-Ann Book Nook 10th ann

photo: Arlene and Carol-Ann McDougall

Another highlight of the day was the draw for prizes!  I was honoured to be asked to pull three names from a basket.  The three winners each received a beautiful, hand-crafted wooden case – a lovely container for special keepsakes and treasures. These were generously donated by  Simply Shaker , makers of one of a kind, hand-made furniture, on the main street of Perth.

Draw for the prizes at Book Nook

photo:  Arlene, Leslie’s Mom, and Leslie

It was a special day to mark a milestone for The Book Nook.  It was also a time to reflect on the history of the store, and to recall another woman entrepreneur Sophia Haggis Nee.   Like Sophia Haggis Nee, Leslie Wallack will take her place in the history of the town of Perth, another woman entrepreneur making her mark, adding to the charm and character of this delightful and historic main street.  Congratulations Leslie!

Arlene Book Nook 10th

 

An event is always more memorable when it’s  shared with some special people.  Many thanks to all of those who stopped by, and congratulations to the lucky winners of the draw!  Happy 10th Anniversary to The Book Nook, and wishing you much success in the years to come!

…….

 

We all become stories

 

…….

 

http://www.staffordwilson.com

Perth’s New Year’s Babies 1947-1987

 

perths-new-years-babies

No birth has been as widely documented, or made as public through the media than the first birth in a new year.  It’s not clear when the tradition of announcing the arrival of a town or city’s first baby began across Lanark County.

In the early 1940s, “The Perth Courier” began to mention the ‘New Year’s baby’ in their listings of social and community events, but it was not until January 1947 that this venerable newspaper started to showcase  the area’s newest resident with a feature story and often a photograph of baby and mother.

In the January 2nd 1947 edition of “The Perth Courier” for the very first time, there was a long list of prizes to be supplied by local merchants, and instructions to new parents on how to claim the title of “Perth’s First Baby of 1947”:

“All the parents need to do to secure all these good things for Perth’s first baby of 1947 is to give the Courier a statement of the time and date of the arrival, signed by the doctor or attending nurse.  The Courier will then provide a statement to the parents, which will enable them to pick up the merchandise.  News of the arrival must teach the Courier by Monday, January 6th to qualify.”

In honour of those special New Year’s babies born in Perth, four decades of announcements follow, from “The Perth Courier”, beginning in 1947 through to 1987:

1947-n-y

 

1947-baby

1947 – Ronald Gilchrist  –  Snow Road

1947-baby-part-2

1948-n-y

1948 – Audrey McCurdy  –  Lanark, Ontario

1948-baby

 

1949-n-y

1949 – Robert Frank –

Canonto, North Frontenac

1949-baby

 

1950-n-y

1950 – Diane Egge  –  Perth, Ontario

1950-baby

 

1950-part-2

1951-n-y

1951 – baby ‘Dustin’,  Perth, Ontario1951-baby

1951-102-year-old-part-1

1951-102-year-old-part-2

1952-n-y

1952 – baby ‘Foley’  – Balderson, Ontario

1952-baby

 

1953-n-y

 

1953-baby-part-1

1953 – baby ‘Thomas’, Balderson, Ontario

1953-baby-part-2

1954-n-y

1954 –  baby ‘Mooney’,  R.R. 1,  Perth, ON

1954-baby

 

1955-n-y

1955 –  baby  ‘Bell’,   Perth, Ontario

1955-png

1956-n-y

1956 –  baby  ‘Dickson’ , Perth, Ontario

 

1956-baby

 

1957-n-y

1957 –  baby ‘Young’  R.R. 2, Maberly, ON

1957-baby

 

1958-n-y

1958 – baby ‘St. Pierre’,  Sharbot Lake, ON

1958-baby

1959-n-y

1959 –  baby ‘Fielding’,  Perth, ON

 

1959-baby

 

1960-n-y

 

1960 – baby ‘Kerr’,  Perth, ON

1960-baby

 

1961-n-y

1961 – baby ‘Cordick’,  Perth, ON

1961-baby

 

1962-n-y

1962 –  baby ‘Daoust’,  Perth, ON

1962-baby

 

1963-n-y

 

1963 –  Heather Pratt, Clarendon, ON

1963-baby

1964-ny

1964 –  baby ‘King’  R.R. 5, Perth, ON

1964-baby

 

1965-n-y

1965 –  Sheldon Barr,  R.R. 1,  Perth, Ontario

1965-baby

1966-n-y

1966 –  Heather Paul,  Perth, ON

1966-baby

1967-n-y

1967 –  baby ‘Murphy’ , Perth, ON

1967-baby

 

1968-n-y

1968 – Diane Haughian, Perth, ON

1968-baby

 

1969-n-y

1969 –  baby ‘Cameron’   R.R.5, Perth, ON

1969-baby

1970-n-y

1970 – Eric Brousseau,  Perth, ON

1970-baby

1971-n-y

1971 – Tammie Adam, McDonald’s Corners

1971-baby

1972-n-y

1972 – Peter Alexander,  R.R. 5, Perth, ON

1972-baby

1973-n-y

1973 –  Matthew Lowery,  Parham, ON

1973-baby

1974-n-y

1974 – baby ‘Blackburn’, R.R. 1  Maberly

1974-babypart-1

1974-baby-part-2

 

1975-n-y

1975 –  Gregory Young, R.R. 4, Perth, ON

 

1975-baby

 

1976-n-y

1976 –  Erica Labelle, R.R. 2  Lanark, ON

1976-baby

1977-n-y

1977 – Duncan Campbell, R.R. 1, Lanark, ON

1977-baby

 

1978-n-y

1978 – baby ‘Gardiner’ , R.R. 5, Perth, ON

1978-baby

1979-n-y

1979 – Christa Rintoul, Clayton, ON

1979-baby

 

1980-n-y

1980 – Trevor Tysick,  Lanark Road

1980-baby

1981-n-y

1981 –  Nicole Moore, R.R. 4, Perth, ON

1981-baby

1982-n-y

1982 – Liam Ryan, Elgin  ON

1982-baby

 

1983-n-y

1983 – Natalie Lowery,  Perth  ON

1983-baby

1984-n-y

1984 – Jennifer Campbell, R.R. 4  Perth, ON

1984-baby

 

1985-n-y

1985 – Wayne Drysdale, R.R. 4, Perth

1985-baby

1986-n-y

1986 – Victoria McMunn, Perth, ON

1986-baby

1987-n-y

1987 – Jennifer Roy ,  Perth, ON

1987-baby

…………………………..

These babies, now aged 30 to 70 began their lives as tiny celebrities in the community, lavished with many gifts from local merchants, some would say had a lucky start to life.

I wonder where these New Year’s babies are today, and if lady luck has followed them throughout their lives?

As they used to say in the 1960s, “You’ve come a long way baby!”

…………………………

 

 

 

 

http://www.staffordwilson.com

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.

m1-christmas-store-hours-1961

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

jackson_5.jpg

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 

m4-blue-wings-2

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

shaws1-644x336

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