Families of 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

Discover some fascinating stories about Lanark County back-roads tours, like “Mills, Mines, and Maples: Touring the Back Roads of Lanark County in the book, “Lanark County Connections: Memories Among the Maples”

Read about a WWII war-time encounter overseas, with a young soldier named Jim, from Flower Station, in “A Grand Era in Lanark”, from “Lanark County Classics: A Treasury of Tales from Another Time”

Books available at:

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:


Family Reunions – Lanark County 1970s & 1980s

Lanark County Family Reunions


Someone once said,

“Families are like branches on a tree – we all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one.” 

Many families who settled in Lanark County came from Europe – mainly Ireland, Scotland, some from England, and from countless other locations around the world.   As sons and daughters grew up and left the family homesteads, they in turn spread out across the country and beyond.  Organizing a family reunion became a yearly ritual for some families, and many advertised their reunions in the local papers.

The following is a snapshot of some of the families who held reunions in the 1970s and 1980s in Lanark County.  Our story begins with some commentary from a popular local journalist, Bill Smiley, and his personal views on family reunions…..

Family Reunion column by Bill Smiley

(December 18, 1975. p.2 – an excerpt of Bill Smiley’s column)


Lanark County Family Reunions banner


Andison Family

(Aug. 6, 1970, p.12 – “The Perth Courier”)

Andison family


Crampton Family

(October 21, 1971, p.10)

Crampton family


Schonauer Family

(July 10, 1975. p. 12)

Schonauer family


Slack Family

(Aug. 28, 1975, p.10)

Slack family


McKay Family

McKay family

June 2, 1977, p.4


Barr Family

Barr family

Aug. 18, 1977 p.16


Patterson Family

Patterson family 1

Patterson family 2

July 19, 1978 p.19


Kirkham Family

Kirkham family

Aug. 30, 1978 p.6



Love Family

Love family

News from Flower Station, Aug. 22, 1979 p.7



Geddes Family

Geddes family

Snow Road News, Aug. 19, 1979, p.31



Kirkham, Dixon, McKenacher, Truelove, and Tysick families

Kirkham family 1

Kirkham family 2

September 26, 1979, p.26


Desjardine Family

Desjardine family

Flower Station news – March 5, 1980 p.11


Barrie Family

Barrie family

Snow Road news – July 9, 1980, p.8



Rintoul Family

Rintoul family

Aug. 15, 1981, p.5


Hermer Family

Hermer family

Oct. 7, 1981 p.15 – Ardoch news


Massey – Marshall Family

Massey family

Massey family 1

Massey family 2

Massey family 3

May 26, 1982 p. 19



Caswell Family

Caswell family

July 14, 1982, p.11



Miller Family

Miller family

July 21, 1982, p.14



Camelon Family

camelon reunion

July 21, 1982, p.14



VanAlstine Family

VanAlstine family

July 21, 1982, p.14




Closs Family

Closs family

July 28, 1982, p.7



Echlin Family

Echlin family

July 28, 1982 p.14



Arnott Family

Arnott family

Aug. 4, 1982, p.3





Larmon Family

Larmon family 2

Larmon family

Aug. 18, 1982 p.27



Adrain Family

Adrain family

Dec. 22, 1982, p.22


McDonnell Family

McDonnell family

July 20, 1983 p.10 – Donnelly’s Corners


Brady Family

Brady family

July 27, 1983, p.22


Crosbie and Gemmill Families

Crosbie and Gemmill family

July 27, 1983, p.22



Devlin Family

Devlin family

July 27, 1983, p.22



Killingbeck, Koffman, & Baxter Families

Killingbeck family

Sept. 7, 1983 p.6



Bowes and Mahon Families

Bowes and Mahon families

July 25, 1984 p.3



Umpherson Family

Umpherson family

Aug. 1, 1984, p.13


McKenzie – Peters, Thomas, Morrow, Kerr

McKenzie Peters families

Sept. 26, 1984 p.14



Hill – Millar Families

Hill Millar families

Oct. 3, 1984, p.10


Chabot Family

Chabot family

Oct. 17, 1984 p.12



memories quote


Stafford family reunion 2012 Oshawa

photo: Stafford family reunion – 2012, at the Marriott Hotel, Consumers Drive, Whitby,  Ontario
Back row, l to r:  Roger Stafford, Sam Wharton, Kevin Wilson, Tim Stafford, Jim Ryan
Front row, l to r: Ruth (Parks) Stafford, Jackie Stafford Wharton, Arlene Stafford-Wilson, Marian (Salemink) Stafford, and Judy Stafford Ryan


News clippings of all Lanark County family reunions – from: “The Perth Courier”















Lanark Museum – Genealogy Tips & Tricks Sunday, September 21st 2:00 p.m.

Join us on Sunday, September 21st at 2:00 p.m. for some Tips and Tricks on researching your Family History!

What are some common mistakes to avoid?  What is the best way to find that elusive ancestor?  Find out the easiest way to organize your genealogy.  Learn about some of the best records to aid in your search.  What are some common errors found in family bibles?   How to verify a family legend or family lore.  Tips on interviewing older relatives.  Why is it important to research collateral lines in a family?   How can we use historic maps to support our research?  Tips on the best ways to use census records.  How do we find our ancestor on a passenger list?  ……and much, much, more!

Light refreshments will be served.

Lanark Museum guest speaker Sept 2014


Genealogy Tip: Record and Share Family Stories

Thomas Stafford family

We each have our own recollections of past events,our personal memories of family members, and these are the building blocks for creating and recording our own stories to preserve in our family histories.

I would like to share some tips and tricks for a successful and memorable interview with family members, and how to gather those special family stories that make each of our individual histories so unique.

Family stories help to round out the dates and facts in a family genealogy. A good genealogist will be able to tell you the birth, marriage and death dates for a given ancestor, but a wonderful way to enrich those necessary facts is a family story.

The story may be an account of a family event such as a special anniversary or occasion or may just be a simple recollection of the family member’s childhood, or their days at school.

Ask about their teachers, and ask them to recall the names of their classmates.

Roger's class from S.S. 4

Family members who served in the military may have some fascinating stories to share of their days in service and historical events that they may have witnessed. These are the stories that enhance and personalize our genealogical dates and documents.

Do you have a family member who served in the war?  Ask them to tell you some of their stories and the places that they may have travelled to.  What do they recall about the war years?


The holiday season is just around the corner and it will be a time when extended families get together to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. Let these occasions be your opportunity to record some of your family stories by conducting interviews with your relatives.

christmas dinner


Before the Interview/Event

• Who are your oldest family members?
• Will it be formal or informal?
• One on one, or a group?
• A group will give many different perspectives on the same subject


Prepare for the Interview

• Pen and paper
• Camera / video camera
• a device to record audio
• Bring ‘memory-joggers’ – old photos
• Bring old news clippings
• What local, national or world events happened during their lifetimes?

Canadian troops lead raid

At the Interview:

• Ask for permission to record/film
• Let them know what you are planning to do with the information
• Are there times during the day when older relatives are more alert?
• Take regular breaks


Skeletons in the Closet

• Every family has them
• Be sensitive about family skeletons
• Move on if a topic makes your relatives uncomfortable
• You may learn something new
• Make sure that you have permission to share the story

skeletons in closet


A Successful Family Interview
• Have a list of questions prepared but don’t follow it religiously
• If your relative is telling a story let them lead the conversation
• Let your relatives share their memories
• Ask if you can follow up with additional questions after the interview

After the Interview
• If you have taken photos or made an audio recording – make copies
• Don’t store the copies in one place
• While your memory is fresh extract the information and add it to your family tree
• Send a thank-you note and a copy of the updated family history

In closing – a little organization before and during the interview will help to ensure a successful and enjoyable time for both yourself and your relative.

Remember – What the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the stories of who we were and the tales of how we lived!

reading to child

Write your stories and pass them on!







1896 photo:  from the family collection.   My grandfather – Michael ‘Vincent’ Stafford seated on the floor, and my Great-grandfather Thomas Stafford with the white beard, seated across from my Great-grandmother Mary (Carroll) Stafford.   Thomas was the youngest son of pioneer settler Tobias Stafford who came from Kilanerin, County Wexford, Ireland and settled on the 11th concession of Drummond Township in 1816.   Mary Carroll’s father Patrick Carroll came from County Limerick, Ireland and was killed by a falling tree at age 34.  He is buried in Mt. St. Patrick cemetery, Renfrew County.


S.S. 4 Bathurst 1964 softball champions – FRONT ROW David Scott and Bill Cavanagh  MIDDLE ROW Earl Conboy and Ronnie Brown  BACK ROW; Arthur Perkins, Roger Stafford Norman Kerr Arnold Perkins Connie Conboy and Mrs Mary Jordan


photo of Corporal Audry (Rutherford) Stafford, taken in 1943, near her parents’ home in Edmonton, Alberta.