In celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday we’re 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.
50) The First Telephone Service in Mississippi Mills
In 1886 the Bell Telephone Company built a line between Ottawa and Pembroke. Later that year lines were extended connecting Pakenham to Carleton Place, Almonte, Arnprior and Renfrew. At first the exchange was operated from a home but in 1932 Preston Burgess purchased the house on the corner of Graham & Elizabeth Streets where many female operators worked over the years at the Bell exchange. In 1962, Bell converted to the Dial system and a new building was built on Margaret Street.
51) Almonte’s Forgotten Travelling Medicine Shows
The covered market place on Brae Street in Almonte (next to the original curling rink) often held medicine shows. The medicine hawkers would set up a little platform with a torch light on a pole and proclaim the virtues of their medicine — curing everything from fallen arches to ingrown toenails. There was a good deal of heckling from the crowd, and sometimes things got out of hand, with heckling and pitching of rotten eggs at the men. Eventually, the platform was torn down.
52) Almonte Celtfest
Celtfest is a fun weekend of Ottawa Valley and Celtic entertainment, performed in the natural amphitheater of Gemmill Park in the heart of Almonte. It is a time to share the historical Celtic traditions with today’s local performers. Celtfest also presents a select group of unique artisans and vendors of specialty goods with a Celtic flair. Donations are welcomed at the gate. Celtfest began in 1997. Motivated by a love of Celtic heritage, Brian and Dan O’Connell, along with Terry Currie, looked for a way to keep their musical traditions alive and pass on the legacy of the Celts to the wider community.
53) James Rosamond
February 14, 1805 James Rosamond was born in Fenagh, County Leitrim, Ireland. He came to Canada in 1825, settling first in Carleton Place, and eventually moving to Almonte, where he built the Rosamond #1 Woollen Mill in 1867. He died August 8, 1894 and is buried in Saint Paul’s Anglican Cemetery, Almonte.
54) Mississippi Mills Resident Noreen Young receives the Order of Canada
Awarded on April 13, 1994; Invested on March 1, 1995
A masterful puppet builder and puppeteer, Noreen has effectively used puppetry to educate children on such crucial issues as safety, nutrition, environmental awareness and addictions. She also delighted adults and children alike with her puppets Iggy, Jacob and Gloria in “Under the Umbrella Tree”, the popular television show she produced. Her Canadian, family-oriented programs, all of high quality, have been a breath of fresh air in a medium often dominated by other countries and by violence.
55) Stanley Cup Winner Kent Huskins
NHL Defenceman Kent Huskins was born and raised in Almonte. Kent played for the Anaheim Ducks, the San Jose Sharks, the St. Louis Blues, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Philadelphia Flyers. He won the Stanley Cup in 2007 while playing with the Anaheim Ducks.
56) Almonte “Pest House”
At one time Almonte had a “Pest House” (fever hospital). Men returning from the lumber camps were sent there when they contracted contagious diseases. Use of the fever hospital was discontinued so long ago that no dates could be confirmed. It was a frame building located between King Street and Hwy 29.