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.
91) Curling and Counting
In 1894, James Templeton was honoured as Almonte’s oldest citizen and the oldest active curler in Canada. He was 90 years old. When he was seventeen years old, he began “curling and courting”. At age 90 he said “I have been at the rink, ready for a game with the besom and stanes. I don’t think there are many who can beat that score”. Templeton built his house for his family on the eighth line of Ramsay. Mrs. Templeton and the children were brought from Smiths Falls by hired teams to their new home, but the long journey was too much for the baby’s strength, and she died within half-an-hour of the family’s arrival — the only death that occurred among his eight children.
92) Manzer Guitars
Did you know Mississippi Mills Resident Linda Manzer is internationally know for her handmade guitars? Ms. Manzer has been designing and building world-class flattop and archtop acoustic guitars since 1974. Famous musicians who own Manzer Guitars include Paul Simon, Bruce Cockburn, Gordon Lightfoot, Carlos Santana and many others.
This year Linda is speaking as part of Mississippi Mills Arbour Week – “I Hear Music in the Forest” Tuesday, April 25, 7 pm at Almonte’s Old Town Hall. Linda will be discussing wood choices for acoustical instruments, wood selection and availability past and present including what the future looks like for the musical instrument wood availability. She will bring some guitars and wood samples so people can get a tactile sense of what a luthier looks for when selecting wood.
93) The Pakenham Horticultural Society Celebrated 90 years in 2015
The Pakenham Horticultural Society was first organized in 1925. Mrs. T.A. Ross, was the President and membership stood at 61 in 1926. The society has served as a local gardening club to Pakenham and the surrounding area for 90 years. They also have a Junior club, for children interested in learning more about gardening. Regular meetings are held on the third Wednesday of most months at St Andrews United Church Hall, Pakenham at 7:30 PM unless otherwise noted. They welcome new members and say “you don’t have to be an expert to join!” Their next meeting is Wednesday, April 19 2017 at 7:30PM“Xeriscaping and Rockeries” with Judy Wall from Rock Wall Gardens.
94) The North Lanark Highland Games annually bring 6000 people to Almonte
Celebrate the Scottish culture and heritage of the Ottawa Valley at the North Lanark Highland Games in Almonte. The Games offer a traditional format and size attracting about 6,000 visitors. Twenty pipe bands, a hundred dancers and champion heavyweight athletes combine to present what is recognized as one of the Ottawa valley’s premier summer events.
95) Brothers of the Wind
Did you know Canadian pioneers R. Tait McKenzie and Dr. James Naismith, both born in Mississippi Mills, became the best of friends later in life and spent much of their time at McKenzie’s home at the Mill of Kintail. Often refereed to as Brothers of the Wind it is appropriate that the museum collections depicting these two amazing men’s life and work are now housed together at the Mill of Kintail. Operated by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority these museums welcome about 8000 visitors each year.
96) The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visits Mississippi Mills
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario chose Mississippi Mills as a place she wanted to see while on her official visit to the Ottawa area from March 23-25, 2017. As Canada is a constitutional monarchy with The Queen as Sovereign and head of state, the Lieutenant Governor is The Queen’s representative of Her Majesty the Queen in Ontario. Her Honour’s visit consisted of three components: a private meeting with His Worship, Mayor Shaun McLaughlin; a roundtable discussion with 15 community members and leaders and a meet-and-greet reception with invited guests. Before leaving town she visited the James Naismith Statue in downtown Almonte as well as the world-renowned Hummingbird Chocolate factory.
97) Ambitious Jimmy Morrow
In the 1890s P.C. Dowdall’s Drug Store was on Bridge St. in Almonte near the railway. In the entrance, the weather forecasts were posted up daily, providing a point of interest each day for the children walking to and from the Church Street school. Jimmy Morrow worked in the drug store for many years. He wanted to be a druggist but this was not possible for him. But Jimmy was ambitious, so he studied chemistry by mail. In the absence of Mr. Dowdell, he was able to read and fill the Latin prescriptions. Having no degree in pharmacy made this a bit out of the ordinary, but everybody knew about it and there were no objections or complaints.