West to Marmora, Hastings County, Ontario

June 18, 2012

As I left Perth, I left behind the research on my McDonald family for a little while. I would resume my search for my McDonald origins in Ontario when I reached Kingston and headed to Glengarry County (Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry County). 

So it is time to switch over to my other blog:  The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg: A Canadian Story

The Brown family is the family of my grandmother Ethel Adella Brown my mother’s mother.  They came from Ireland.  The father, William Brown, and several of his sons to settle in Hastings County, Ontario sometime in the 1830′s.  Some stayed there and are buried there while others moved on to Lambton County, Ontario, then Lapeer County, Michigan and others headed for Manitoba.  I wanted to see if I couldn’t find out more about their time in Hastings County.  I also wanted to find out more about my 3rd great-grandfather William Brown. 

There was method to the madness and the real reason I stopped in Lanark County was to break up my trip to Hastings County, Ontario.  I probably could have skipped Lanark County but since there was a large concentration of McDonald’s settling there along with McPherson and Camerons I thought I best do a little checking.

Hwy 7 is a two lane highway and it was very easy.  I was out in the country now and it was going to take a good two hours and slightly more to get to Marmora in Hastings County, Ontario.  Traffic was not bad and the sun was shining so I had good weather. 

There are these low rock formations along the road that reminded me of mini versions of Utah’s monument valley and swampy areas with cat tails.  I actually saw a beaver house out in the lake, something I have not seen since my childhood. Hwy 7 reminded me of Minnesota.  There are lots of lakes and cabins with signs pointing the way and many many campgrounds.  http://members.shaw.ca/kcic1/beaver.html

I entered the county of Frontenac or rather the Central Frontenac area and drove through the middle of that county.  To the south was Kingston which is on the eastern part of Lake Ontario where the St. Lawrence River begins.  I would be there in a few days for the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference.  These counties along this area are long counties reaching north into the middle of the southern portion of Ontario.  They are like large rectangles and touch Lake Ontario.  Here is a great map with the townships that helps to get oriented.  Find Shabot Lake and that is the road I was on:  http://www.frontenacmaps.ca/pdfs/Accommodations.pdf

Shabot Lake a website: http://www.sharbotlake.com/index.html  I did feel like I was climbing but according to the map Hwy 7 is probably getting into the lower areas and to get higher I would need to go further north. 

The Digital Atlas website has a great map of 1880 showing the counties in Ontario:  http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/searchmapframes.php  Frontenac is #31, Hastings in #28 and #30 is Lennox and Addington.  You can click on the map of that county and do more exploring.  This is useful for studying all areas of Ontario at that time.

I arrived in Kaladar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaladar on Hwy 7 and it was not long after that I came to the sign for Hastings County.  I was very excited.  I never dreamed I would find my mother’s family and especially get as far as I have on the Brown surname.  I owe my cousins a great deal of gratitude for all their hard work in piecing this family together.   Go to this link to follow me on the Hastings County adventure:  The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg: A Canadian Story 

Entering Hastings County, Ontario


Perth, no time to dally!

June 18, 2012

Smith Falls disappeared behind me.  I arrived in Perth very early I had no time to explore because I had to get to Belleville via Marmora, Stirling and Trenton. I took Hwy 43 to Perth.

Yes another sign! Perth!

As I was taking a picture of the Perth sign I turned on the road that crossed a railroad track and there was this cemetery.  I couldn’t resist so I took some pictures.  The name of the cemetery I do not know but it is right there along the highway and across from a very serious industrial plant.  Click on the photo and it will get bigger (hit your back button to return to the blog).  If you look closely at the photo you can see the tall spires of the plant.

The cemetery by the sign and highway

The Last Duel in Canada was a very big deal in 1833:  http://www.town.perth.on.ca/siteengine/activepage.asp?PageID=91 

The Last Duel in Canada Campground

Another cemetery in Perth - The Old Burying Ground:

The Old Burying Ground, Perth

Perth’s clock tower in the downtown area.  I can see that Perth would have been a great town to explore.  It was quite charming.

Photo doesn’t do Perth justice


Smith Falls and the Rideau Canal!

June 17, 2012

At dinner the night before, the waiter told me that they really needed the rain to clean the air.  He was right.  As  I wandered along the Rideau Canal in the morning it was apparent that the rain and freshened not just the air but the plants seemed happier.  It was so still and peaceful.

Smith Falls Rideau Canal

 

Smith Falls Rideau Canal looking west

 

Straight across – a little park on the Rideau Canal

 

A boat prepares to lower?


Lanark County: Smith Falls, Ontario

June 17, 2012

Leaving Ottawa, I took Elgin St. to Hwy 417 and was soon on my way west.  Do watch out for one way streets it can be a little confusing or signs that say “No Left.”

This time I was heading into the interior of Ontario.  Hwy 7 took me to Carleton Place where I stopped briefly to gas up the car and get my bearings.  I then turned down Hwy 15 (Dakers Rd) and made my way to Smith Falls.  I arrived very early and found the Comfort Inn on Centre Street right on the Rideau Canal and they kindly obliged me with a room at that early hour. 

Comfort Inn & the Rideau Canal

The room was a luxury from the Econo Lodge in Ottawa.  It had a table with chairs, a desk, nice comfy bed, coffee maker and it was roomy.  I didn’t feel the urge to start making home repairs.  It also had a lanai which was great, so I was able to go outside and gaze upon the Rideau Canal. 

Yup, right on the Rideau Canal

My goal was the Lanark County Genealogical Society which is housed in the Heritage House Museum.  They didn’t open till 10:30 am so I had plenty of time to relax and settle in.  http://www.smithsfalls.ca/museums.cfm

Heritage House Museum

To get to the museum you go southeast down Hwy 43 (main road in Smith Falls) and turn right at Old Slys Road, cross the bridge and turn into the parking lot which is a little beyond the museum and passed a group of trees  It is not the grassy area where the wooden fence is in front of the museum.  Trust me!

There was something going on.  Two ladies were moving chairs and things around over by the gazebo to the left.  I was to learn they were having a volunteer appreciation day barbecue.  So there was lots of activity.

There is a small  fee which was either $2 or $5 and they showed me where the genealogical collection was located.  Of course it was down a very steep staircase but you can go around to the left of the museum and come in the door at the basement. 

I set to work trying to stay out-of-the-way of their preparations.  A little later the Librarian, Shirley Somerville appeared and shook my hand.  She started pulling items from the stacks. 

The Lanark County Genealogical Society website:  http://www.globalgenealogy.com/LCGS/  I think they have a wonderful website so please check it out.  They have links and information about the Archives Lanark, a separate entity which I did not really have a reason to visit at this time since I did not know for sure if my family had been there or settled there? http://www.globalgenealogy.com/archiveslanark/  The website explains how to find them and more.

Don’t forget about the Smith Falls Public Library which also has some information at this link: http://www.smithsfallslibrary.ca/genealogy.html

I wanted to learn more about Alexander McDonell who settled at Sand Point in Renfrew County and new the Laird of McNab.  He was supposed to have settled in Perth first, then went to Glengarry and then up to Sand Point.  I did find a book:  “Renfrew County People and Places” by a Carol Bennet and D.W. McCuaig.  It has a whole section on McNab township which I will need to review.  You never know what you will find at each archive or library. 

The stacks of the Lanark County Genealogical Society, Smith Falls

This trip had been very difficult to plan and prepare for and I didn’t get to really learning about some areas of Ontario like Lanark County and the Scottish settlers who migrated there.  It was settled very early and I need to do more studying.  So I mostly collected interesting tidbits that had anything to do with McDonalds, McPhersons and Camerons.  I left a copy of my McDonald booklet with Shirley. 

Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue – Smith Falls Museum

The guests had arrived and the program had begun so Shirley headed out to get a seat and some food.  I probably could have asked if I could join them by offering some money but I decided I needed to get some rest and relax for the next day was going to be extremely busy and I had a lot of territory to cover. 

As I was working in my room, I started to hear rumblings.  I looked out and storm clouds were approaching.  It was not long after that the rain started coming down.  Yes, it was a downpour.  I had to close the lanai door because the rain was bouncing everywhere and threatening to come into the room.  You can see from this picture that it had rained, note the rooftop of the restaurant.

After the storm

Dinner time came and I kept it simple and headed for the restaurant next to the Comfort Inn.  I was able to get a booth by the window so I could look out on the Rideau Canal and enjoy the view.  My dinner was delicious a lovely salmon served by a pleasant tall and thin waiter.  It was the best dinner my whole trip!  The name of the restaurant Chuckles Jack.  I am not kidding!  http://www.chucklesjack.com/


Ottawa: A Pub and the Rideau Canal!

June 17, 2012

On Sunday night, May 27th I wandered down Rideau Avenue in search of the Highlander Pub.  While planning this trip I was studying the various restaurants and pubs in Ottawa and getting a big kick out of the names.  I was looking forward to seeing and experiencing the real thing.

The Highlander Pub, Ottawa

The Highlander is the first pub for another another mall area with more restaurants like The Dubliner and shops.  Souvenirs shops that had T-Shirts but they all had Ottawa stamped on them. I was looking for just Canada which would cover a lot of ground for my ancestors came from many areas of Canada.  

The Highlander is right on the corner of Williams and Rideau, the northwest corner.  They lead me to a seat in the back where I could view all the action and the comings and goings. http://www.thehighlanderpub.com/

My Aunt Eddie loved her Scotch so she would be very proud of me for at least visiting.  I know she would have sampled the menu, which is very detailed and amazing.  I was tempted to try some of their offerings but resisted the urge.  The bartender was wearing a kilt with a sporran.  Yes, I am telling the truth, honest, I checked.

Ottawa is indeed a very interesting and colorful city.  My walks along Rideau Street were always an experience for a people watcher like me.  I would return to Ottawa at the end of my journey and do a little more exploring.  It was time to move on.  I would be heading west and south to Smith Falls in Lanark County, Ontario. There was a large Scottish settlement in the area of Perth and I was curious to learn more about it. 

Inside the Highlander Pub

 The Dubliner is next door, maybe another time! 

The Rideau Canal is not too far from these two establishments and I did do some exploring after visiting the LAC.  The Rideau Canal and I would meet on several occasions as I journeyed through Ontario.  Too bad the Culbute Canal is gone and hard to reach, sigh!  Archibald McDonell my great grandfather was lockmaster for the Culbute which is located between Allumette Island and Chichester Township in Pontiac County, Quebec. 

The Rideau Canal travels from the Ottawa River down to Smith Falls and further down to Kingston.  It was built to connect the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario.  It is still in use today mostly for pleasure craft.  It is located where Elgin Street meets Wellington and meshes with the big fancy hotel that looks like a castle the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. I was tempted to go inside and see it and maybe have dinner there?  It would be expensive!  I had considered staying there.

The Fairmont – the west side is next to the Rideau Canal

In the photo above there is a  rectanguler structure and on the far side of the Fairmont is a staircase that leads to a balcony area were you can enjoy the view but the massive railing is too tall and I was having trouble getting good photos over it. It is where Wellington meets the Rideau Street:

A meshing of streets

They had a timeline display of Queen Elizabeth’s visits to Canada along the wall which is part of the Fairmont Hotel.  I believe it was in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee? http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/

The Queens Wall – A Timeline of her visits to Canada

There is the Bytown Museum right on the Rideau Canal.  It does have an archive you can visit by appointment:  http://www.bytownmuseum.com/en/main.html  To the right there is a trail for more exploring.

Bytown Museum & Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal where it meets the Ottawa

 

 


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