Submitted by Marilyn Snedden
Originally published in the Almonte Gazette, 26 Nov. 1897.
From the LCGS Newsletter, June, 1999.
Notes from a Gazette Correspondent, Fort Stewart, Hastings Co., Ont.
It may be of interest to many readers of the Gazette to hear of a large community of Lanark and Renfrew people who settled in Carlow and Mayo townships some years ago. Leaving the OA and PS railway at Barry’s Bay, by boat in summer or stage in winter, connection is made via Combermere with the stage to L’Amable and Central Ontario Railway at Boulter PO, Carlow Township. The southern portion of their township is a fine stretch of farming land, said to be the best in North Hastings. Some 30 years ago settlers from Lanark and Renfrew counties discovered this fertile tract and were followed by others. The adjoining Township of Mayo also has a number of these settlers.
Mr. Archie McArthur and son William ran the only sawmill in the community on the Mississippi Branch — probably called so after the home river in Lanark County, because it heaps up towards the source of that river.
Mr. Robert Harvey, formerly of Fitzroy, a son-in-law of Mr. McArthur, owns land and assets at the sawmill. A thriving community has grown up around the mill, a commodious schoolhouse has been erected — Presbyterian services held every Sabbath evening. Ramsay folks will be pleased to hear of these old friends.
William Rankin, formerly of Lanark Township, has a store at Hermon and engages in lumbering jibbing for J. R. Booth. He is one of the leading men of the township. The school was formerly taught by late Dr. W. J. Belton and A. Lang — both Ramsay boys. Belton, Mather, McMunn, and Dodds are other Lanark County families in Mayo Township, while three families of Bowes came from Renfrew County.
In Carlow Township — Wilson, Allison, Stewart, Campbell, Graham, Mackie, and Dick will be familiar names. Andrew Dick, a brother of John Dick of Almonte and formerly of Ramsay, and James Wilson are elders in Carlow church. Alex Graham, a nephew of Robert Graham of Pakenham, Robert Harvey and James Mather are elders of the church and will be ordained (D.V.) next Sabbath. John Stewart, Sr., of Fort Stewart is a prosperous farmer and lumberman. He came from Bristol and is a cousin of John and Robert Stewart of Rosebank.