Weeks 12: Facts about MM

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In celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday the Town is sharing some fun & fascinating Mississippi Mills trivia. These tidbits of local info will include stories about local sports stars, award recipients & other residents who have helped put Mississippi Mills on the map. We’ve included quirky or funny stories, tragic historic events, geographic info and more recent history too. Learn how some of our local clubs started and how our individual communities began.


77) Modern invention comes of necessity in Ramsay
In the early 1930’s George Lowry of the 9th line of Ramsay plowed all night turning over the sod in the fields where today’s houses stand in Gemmill Park.  George plowed by the dim light of one coal oil lantern. His new 1020 International tractor did not come equipped with lights. His night’s work made breaking news in the local paper as the latest technology having come to Ramsay Township!

Dr. Mostyn (Michael Dunn photo)

78)  A sad day for Almonte in 1881
On March 28, 1881, Almonte was thrown into sad mourning with the deaths of two citizens who were among the most popular in the community — Dr. Mostyn and James W. Manning Jr. The two men had gone to Appleton in a rowboat and on the return trip were “by some means precipitated into the icy waters and were drowned”. After the incorporation of Almonte as a village in 1871, Dr. Mostyn was chosen as the first reeve. As a politician, we wielded a large influence — his personal popularity being unbounded — and he carried North Lanark in the general election in 1875. James W. Manning was 26 years of age, popularly known as a temperance speaker.  “A dutiful son, a genial, warm-hearted friend, an upright, honourable man, he has gone to his rest beneath the waves of the treacherous river– leaving every relative and friend heartbroken and every acquaintance stricken with grief.”

79) Mississippi Mills earned ‘Bicycle Friendly Status’
In 2016 The Share the Road Cycling Coalition awarded Mississippi Mills with Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community status. This honour is about much more than building bike lanes and trails, when presenting the award Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director of Share the Road said “In Mississippi Mills we see municipal politicians and staff working with bike clubs, public health and community groups to organize an annual Bike Month that has been a catalyst for change over the past 8 years.”  This is a great achievement for Mississippi Mills as currently only 36 communities across Ontario have been recognized.

http://www.sharetheroad.ca/bicycle-friendly-communities-p138264

80) Almonte’s conection to NHL rules of play
During a hockey game in Almonte in the 1930s, between teams from Arnprior and Renfrew, referee Fred Waghorne decided to avoid further injury to his legs by dropping the face-off puck instead of placing it on the ice and shouting ‘PLAY’.  This successful idea was incorporated in the rules of the NHL.

81) A very special opportunity for local students
In March 2008 R. Tait McKenzie Public School in Almonte was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as the first school in Canada to speak by amateur radio with Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk via the CSA’s newly operational IRLP node at St. Hubert, Quebec. Thanks to the help of great volunteers from the Almonte Amateur Radio Club (AARC), each of the 23 students from the grade 5 class were able to ask questions about his experience in space, or his upcoming mission in 2009 to the International Space Station.

82) Do you know where Graham Street is in Mississippi Mills?
County Road 29 through the village of Pakenham was formerly called Graham Street, named after Robert Graham, a wagon maker in the Pakenham Village in the 1880s.

83) Duck on a Rock
Did you know that the game of Basketball was inspired by a game Dr. James Naismith used to play as a young boy in Bennies Corners? The game was called Duck on a Rock. Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of Basketball, was born in Bennies Corners November 6, 1861. He attended primary school in Bennies Corners and graduated from Almonte High School in 1883.

To learn more about Dr. James Naismith visit the Naismith Museum. The museum is located in the beautiful historic Mill of Kintail on the banks of the Indian River. This museum interprets the early life of James Naismith. Much of the collection focuses on the heritage and development of the game of basketball in Canada. Exhibits also describe Naismith’s work at Kansas University.

2854 Ramsay Concession 8, Mississippi Mills
613-256-3610 ext. 2