Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada
Early History and Pioneers

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

New January 12, 2021:

This text and photograph is from Lanark Legacy: Nineteenth Century Glimpses of an Ontario County,
by Howard Morton Brown and Glenn J. Lockwood, 1984, , page 162, 163, ISBN 0-9690289-2-X

Keywords: Smiths Falls, William Sly
(Old Sly's is just a mile from Smiths Falls on the Rideau Canal) Old Sly's powerhouse for Smiths Falls Smiths Falls Electric Power House at Old Sly's

December 14, 2020: Picture Source is from page 19 in SMITHS FALLS: A Social History of the Men and Women in a Rideau Canal Community, 1794-1994, 2047-1-X, Corporation of the Town of Smiths Falls, by Glenn Lockwood. Keywords: Native peoples, Birchbark Canoes
Painting by James Pattison Cockburn: My Canoe Portage at Smiths Falls, circa 1830

February 6, 2019:
Photo Source: Lanark Legacy by Howard Morton Brown, ISBN 0-9690289-2-X, page 173 Smiths Falls Wide Main Street (Beckwith Street)
SMITHS FALLS: A Social History of the Men and Women in a Rideau Canal Community, 1794-1994, 2047-1-X, Corporation of the Town of Smiths Falls, by Glenn Lockwood is a very good book regarding the history, people and economic development of the Town of Smiths Falls. Thanks to Robert Sample for the following photo. The handwritten date would be the date appearing in the paper. I do not know what date the photo was taken. The old Frost and Wood plant became Cockshutt and produced War materials for WW II. ... Robert Sample May 31, 2007:
Smiths Falls Industry

February 24, 2009: The Poonamalie Lock, which is about three miles (OK, 4.5 kilometres) west of Smiths Falls, was completed by 1832.
Watercolour painting by John Burrows, c. 1845, Archives of Ontario as re-printed in Building the Rideau Canal: A Pictorial History by Robert Passfield, page 103. Poonamalie Lock, near Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada
February 12, 2020:
Poonamalie Lock, near Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada Photo Source: Steamboating on the Rideau Canal, page 28, by Mike Nelles, ISSN 0823-5457.

October 24, 2009: William O'Mara from County Wicklow, Ireland was a well-known ship builder in Smiths Falls. In 1875 he built the steamer Olive.
June 15, 2010:
Source for the following text: SMITHS FALLS: A Social History of the Men and Women in a Rideau Canal Community, 1794-1994, by Glenn Lockwood, page XV Smiths Falls Text
Names for search engine: Gallipeau / Galipeau (French-Canadian), Soper (from USA), Hogan (from Ireland), Nichol (Scottish), Graham (England), Czaharynski (Polish), Fund (Jewish) and Wong (Chinese).
December 6, 2010: Hi, I'm trying to find out more information about my family. My great grandmother was Jane (Skinner) Reinecke. She married W.C. Thompson and they lived in Smith Falls and owned a button factory around 1915?. My grand- mother, Meta Anne Reinecke married Gordon W. Earl on 11/5/1921 and lived at 28 Mill Street, Smiths Falls. If you have any more info I would be grateful. Especially about the button factory, it's been a mystery to us for years. Thank you ... Meta Anne _____________________________________ Good morning, Meta: I've been looking for a photograph of the Button Factory but was unable to find one. However, here is a mention of it from Glenn Lockwood's book, (referenced above), page 368. It was called The International Button Factory and apparently began operations around 1920: Smiths Falls Intrenational Button Factory ... Al

May 5, 2012: In 1895, Calvin Bucker, a Methodist Minister from Bishop's Mills, married Jane (Jennie) Phillips, from Smiths Falls.
February 24, 2013: Here are some early records from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Smiths Falls, Ontario.
February 22, 2017: During the Great Famine (Black '47), families were sent from Grosse Isle, Quebec to Montreal and then on to local communities which were either on a canal system or where industrialization was taking place and jobs were opening up. Also, in Smiths Falls, there was an already established Irish community, some had been workers on the Rideau Canal twenty years earlier. One of them was Bartholomew Dignan who came from County Leitrim, Ireland before 1830 to work at construction of the Rideau Canal between Ottawa and Kingston. One of the towns in the Ottawa Valley which received some famine immigrants was Smiths Falls. By the time of the famine, Bartholomew Dignan was operating a successful quarry business and was in a position to offer employment and new and hospitable community for the Irish newcomers. Some of the famine emigrants stayed here in Smiths Falls and others moved on to nearby townships such as Lanark County and Renfrew County. Here are names of some folks who came from Montreal to Smiths Falls between 1845 and 1847: James Ferguson, William Devlin, Mary Foster, Thomas Coady / Cody, James Canby (sp?) and Elizabeth Corbett. All of these folks came with their families. Source: Names of Emigrants from the 1845-1847 records of James Allison, Emigrant Agent at Montreal, Irish Research Group of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, publication number 94-2, 1994, ISBN 1-55116-72-8. This publication (112 pages) is now available from Global Genealogy in either hardcopy format or as a download in .pdf format. ... Al Lewis
March 16, 2017: The town of Smiths Falls is hosting a gathering of folks from the Coolattin Estate in County Wicklow, Ireland in June of 2017. Carnew, County Wicklow and Smiths Falls, Ontario have twinned in recognition of the many early families who migrated from County Wicklow to Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, including to Smiths Falls. County Wicklow created in 1603 to help tame the wild O'Byrne Sept south of Dublin. County Wicklow was known then as "O'Byrnes Country". Many of the Irish families who came from this area of Ireland were called Byrne / O'Byrne or Burns. Here is a link to our page regarding immigrants from the great famine in County Wicklow, Ireland, including my GGGrandparents, Lawrence Burns and Margaret Doyle. ... Al (posted by Hannah)
And here is a link to the upcoming gathering in Smiths Falls (Carnew / Smiths Falls) We are also following this subject on our Facebook page We can read about the History of the Coollattin Estate on their Facebook Page and to see the passenger lists, names of persons and ships, the best book is Surplus People: The Fitzwilliam Clearances, 1847-1856 (County Wicklow) by Jim Rees, Collins Press, Cork, 2000, ISBN 1-898256-93-4.
Surplus People,book by Jim Rees

March 17, 2017: Thanks to Dale Dee for sending this link to us: Here is an informative article from Inside Ottawa Valley - more background history of the Carnew / Smiths Falls project. Dale has informed us, via Facebook, that our cousins from Ireland will be arriving on June 23, 2017, will be here for Canada's 150th birthday celebrations and will return to Ireland on July 2. March 24, 2017: And here is the itinerary for the Irish folks who are coming to Smiths Falls. N.B. Just remembered that Annette Code (was Codd in Wicklow), contributed a lot of research regarding mostly Protestant families from the Fitzwiliam Estate. Some of these names are familiar in Lanark County, Ontario (Smiths Falls, Carleton Place, etc). And Annette Code wrote an article in Ireland regarding her ancestors from Coollattin in County Wicklow to the Smiths Falls area of Ontario, Canada. Read her article at ... Al ... Allan Lewis, Ottawa, Canada
E-mail Allan Lewis

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