North Lanark
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New Educational Materials!

The North Lanark Regional Museum has developed a new series of educational programming material. Using a range of sources from the Museum's collection, including photographs, newspaper articles, letters, and oral history interviews, the activities focus on developing historical literacy and critical thinking skills while highlighting specific stories from the Mississippi Mills region.

Click here to access our new educational materials and resources!

The North Lanark Historical Society is working to catalogue and digitize our museum collection so that the artefacts, photographs, and documents are more accessible to the community. The Museum is committed to preserving and sharing the history of Mississippi Mills for the community.

We have highlighted a few of the most interesting pieces in our collection for your enjoyment. To learn more about a specific artefact or donation, please contact staff at the North Lanark Regional Museum. The collection is always available for researchers by appointment. For more information please call 613-257-8503 or email


A Handmade Dress

NLRM 2012.79.11

This dress was donated by a long-time volunteer and supporter of the North Lanark Historical Society, Eleanor Wright. The dress was handmade by her great-great grandmother Margaret Scobie (nee McLellan) in the 1840's for her daughter Elizabeth.

Eleanor's descendancy is traced back to James Scobie and Rebecca Wright who came to the New World from Glasgow, Scotland in the 1830's. Their son Alexander had already arrived in Lanark County, and married Margaret McLellan.

Teddy Bear

Antique Teddy Bear

NLRM 2018.4.1

Did you know that the Teddy Bear was originally named after the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt?

This teddy bear belonged to Audrey Lackey. She was born in 1931 in West Carleton, and later attended Queen's Univrsity. Audrey went on to teach in Richmond, Beckwith, and Carleton Place before retiring. She married Worley Lackey in 1954 and lived on a farm behind Prospect, Ontario for 6- years. The teddy bear was given to her as a baby, and was passed down to her four children.

Gold Pocket Watch

McPhail Family Watch

NLRM 2014.9.5

This watch was given as a gift to Rebecca Armstrong for her wedding to Andrew McPhail. They married on December 23rd, 1908. When Rebecca passed away suddenly in 1911 at 22 years old, Andrew remained a faithful bachelor in the town for many years, dedicating his time to the family farm, serving as councilor for Ramsay County Council, and raced his favoured horse ‘Betty.’ He only remarried in 1939 to Myra Cochrane.

Citizen's of Almonte World War One Commemoration Medal

Citizen's of Almonte Commemoration Medal

NLRM L2011.25.65

This medal was issued by the citizens of Almonte in commemoration of Harry McIntosh, a soldier of the First World War. Just 18 years old when he enlisted, Harry was tragically killed in service of his country on March 1st, 1917 at Vimy Ridge.

Harry was born on September 23rd, 1896 in Almonte to his parents Robert and Annie. He enlisted in the 73rd Battalion Royal Highlanders in Montreal in 1915, James Mackintosh Bell's platoon. Harry left Canada with his battalion from Halifax in 1916 heading to Liverpool, England aboard the S.S. Adriatic.

Harry was reportedly killedin action in March of 1917, when the Canadian Division was carrying out a raid on the German trenches near Vimy Ridge. He was just 19 years old, and is buried in the Villers Station Cemetery in France.

19th Century Schoolroom

A 19th Century Classroom – Glass Plate Negative

NLRM 2012.55.20

This rare photograph depicts the inside of a school house classroom in the late nineteenth century. A chalkboard and wooden desks are visible. This image was scanned from a glass plate negative from the Almonte Gazette archives.

Daily Register

S.S. #12, Daily Register – Attendance Book

NLRM 2007.1.494

This daily register was typical to those used in schools through the 1920’s. This particular register was used in S.S. #12 Ramsay in 1926. The register recorded daily attendance at the school as well as any special events or activities. Each page records a month’s worth of attendance and gives attendance totals and averages at the bottom. Teachers would have used this information would have been kept for the school board. The book was supplied to both public schools and rural schools by a school inspector. This record was examined twice by J.C. Spence, who deemed the attendance record “satisfactory”.

Historical Atlas of Lanark & Renfrew Counties

NLRM 2013.1.327
Ramsay Township Lanark County

This illustrated atlas from 1881 (reprinted in 1972) provides a fascinating look into Lanark and Renfrew counties from the late 19th century. Maps show the drastically smaller townships of Carleton Place, Almonte, and many more communities in exhaustive detail. Illustrations complement the maps with views of notable buildings, large estates, and prominent community members from the area. Also included is a beautiful two-page illustration of the parliament buildings as they appeared in 1879.

As well as expansive illustrations and maps, the atlas also contains written information about each county. This includes geological, topographical, and political information in addition to detailed history of the counties. Each township has its share of the spotlight as well, with the atlas detailing the prime industries, important community members, and much more. This atlas provides a unique and comprehensive look at the counties of Lanark and Renfrew as they were in 1881.

A digital version of the Lanark County map is available through McGill University.

Find the Lanark County map here

Burroughs Adding Machine

Burroughs Portable Adding Machine

NLRM 2013.1.113

This mechanical adding device from the early 20th century is a feat of engineering and longevity. Still working perfectly today, it adds numbers with up to 7 digits instantly, solely through mechanics. Used in banks and for accounting, adding a long string of numbers was suddenly simple, error-free, and fast. The complexity required to support this seemingly straightforward task is enormous — a vast network of tiny levers and arms working together in the blink of an eye.

But perhaps what’s most remarkable about this machine is that even with such complex machinery, almost 100 years later it still performs its original function just as effectively as when it was new. The adding machine is set up at the museum for visitors to try out.

Early Cycling

Tandem Quadracycle – Photograph

NLRM 2013.9.55

This photo depicts a woman (Miss. Bellamine) with an unnamed young man on what appears to be an early bicycle at first glance. However, upon inspection this is actually a Coventry Rotary Quadracycle from 1885. When bicycles were just starting to take off, stability was a very big issue. In response to this, tricycles and quadracycles (4 wheels) gained momentum quickly in North America. This model is of note as it was one of the earliest quadracycles to incorporate bicycle-like foot pedals instead of foot levers.

Although it is not visible from this angle, there is a fourth wheel extending behind the machine, providing added stability. As bicycles became more stable, the quadracycle largely fell to disuse, however this photo from 1930 shows that if not as practical as they once were, quadracycles were still fun!

Lyon’s General Store

Lyon’s General Store – Photograph

NLRM 2012.79.12.2

This captivating image of the interior of Lyon’s General Store in Appleton was taken by Malak Karsh, brother of the famed portrait photographer, Yousuf Karsh. Malak Karsh spent a week in Appleton in either 1945 or 1946, taking the opportunity to document Appleton’s mills and community with his beautiful photographs. During this week, Karsh stayed with the Hutchinson family, and as a thank-you Karsh gifted an album of photographs to the family. This treasured album contained select images of Appleton Karsh had taken during his stay, like this one of Lyon’s General Store. A copy of this album was given to two local residents, who recently donated it to the museum, providing a unparalleled glimpse into Appleton’s thriving community in the mid-1940’s.

Among his notable achievements, Malak Karsh became a celebrated photographer of the Ottawa region, even getting one of his photographs featured on the back of the one dollar bill. He was also one of the founders of the Canadian Tulip festival, and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996.

Appleton before dam was built

The Mississippi River at Appleton – Photograph

NLRM 2012.19.3

Black and white photograph showing the Mississippi River at Appleton, Ontario. The woollen mill is featured on the left side of the photograph. The photo is from the late 19th century, early 20th century. The photo was definitely taken after 1880 when the three-storey addition was added to the woollen mill but before the construction of the dam in 1937.

The woollen mill was built in 1862 by Robert Teskey and was known as the Mississippi Woollen Mills until 1900 when it was taken over by Thomas Boyd Caldwell. In 1937, William Collie purchased the mill and petitioned to the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Corporation to have hydro brought to Appleton, Ontario. In 1937 a dam was built at Appleton to generate hydro-electricity.


Ceramic Creamer

NLRM 2009.1.195

This creamer is a family heirloom that belonged to Dora Briggs (Cannon) Chapman, great granddaughter of William and Margaret Cannon who settled in Ramsay Township in the late 1830s.

Dr. William Cannon (B. ~1790 D. 1841) of Ireland was a surgeon in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). He subsequently served overseas in China, the East and the West Indies. Dr. Cannon and his wife Margaret (King) Cannon (B. ~1788 D. 1870) had eight children between 1816 and 1832. In about 1833 the family immigrated to Upper Canada and received a land grant in Belmont Township but then moved to Ramsay Township in about 1839 where he purchased the West and East half of Concession 7 Lot 12.

School Friends, 1918 – Photograph

Friends NLRM 2012.55.141

1918. B. Plunkett, E. Boyle, W. Oliver, E. Young, O. MacF., W. Johnston, A. Wylie, M. West, F. Lundy. Seated – G. Johnston, E. Jameison.

Sheila Babb and Ann E. Love are descendants of the Teskey family that operated the Mississippi Woollen Mills in Appleton during the 1800s. They are also related to Wesley West who married Sarah Ethel Teskey in 1900. Wesley operated a general the W. West General Store in Appleton from 1892 to 1900, he then moved to Almonte where he opened the W.W. West General Store.

Wesley and Ethel had several children in Almonte including Ethel Muriel West who is listed in the above photograph as “M. West”. Muriel married R. Oliver MacFarlane who is listed in the photo above as “O. MacF.” R. Oliver MacFarlane was an avid photographer and there is a large collection of photographs at the museum from the years 1918 and 1919 when he was a junior and senior at Almonte High School.

S.S. #11, Appleton Schoolhouse – Photograph

S.S. #11 Ramsay NLRM 2012.36.2.1

Appleton’s first school was a log building built in about 1828. By1854 there were 60 children attending the school and a larger building was needed. In 1856 a new two-room log building was built. Attendance quickly rose at the school from 78 students in 1860 to 104 students in 1864. As a result of this increased attendance a two-room red brick school was built for the Appleton students in 1879.

Appleton’s new red brick school operated from 1879 to 1969 when the local school were amalgamated and children began being bused to school in Almonte. In 1970 the building was leased by the School Board to the North Lanark Historical Society which began operating a museum. The museum officially opened on June 26, 1971 but the historic building finally fell to the ground during a fire on July 19, 1979.