Fonds F01863 - James Carswell fonds

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James Carswell fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00239 F01863

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Dates of creation area


  • 1849-1922 (Creation)
    Carswell, James

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Physical description

2 m of textual records

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Biographical history

James Carswell was born in 1837 in the Township of Pakenham, Lanark County, Ontario. His parents emigrated from Glasgow, settling in the Pakenham area. While still in his teens Mr. Carswell started out in the lumbering business as foreman and clerk to Jonathan Francis, whose rafts of square timber he frequently accompanied to the port of Quebec. In 1866 he moved to Renfrew with his wife. He embarked in business with Messrs. Thistle and Francis in the limits on the Madawaska. This firm had sold out their business in this locality to Jonathan Francis. At this time they purchased limits on the Pettawawa and carried on operations under the name of Thistle and Carswell. This arrangement continued for several years. Later Francis became one of the partners. Thus, Carswell, Thistle and Francis became equal partners in the Madawaska and the Pettawawa. In 1884 J.H. Francis purchased his father's interest in the business and the new firm, Francis Carswell and Company, built a saw-mill at Calabogie. About 1886 J.H. Francis sold out his interest to Edward Mackay, of Renfrew and the firm name was changed to Carswell, Thistle and Mackay. Mr. Carswell was one of the founders of the South Renfrew Agricultural Society. For a number of years he was the president of the organization. He was also President of the Renfrew Creamery Company and one of the founders and an active supporter of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. For two years he was a member of the Renfrew village council. Mr. Carswell has three sons and three daughters. He died on February 22, 1922.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence for the period from 1876 to 1922. In addition there is an extensive collection of financial records including invoices and accounts, ledgers, time books and farm journals. These documents cover the period from the 1870's to 1922. There are also three diaries for 1880, 1884 and 1887. This collection documents the very important aspect of the history of lumbering in the Ottawa Valley.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by his great grand-children, Mrs. Frederick W. Gibson and Edward M. Mackay


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  • English

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Copyright provisions apply, please see archivist.

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No further accruals are expected

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  • Shelf: 5144