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Ladysmith Quebec History Essay

Louisa Krose, Mrs. William Olm (no photo available)

Born, May 4, 1887, Aldfield, Que.

Mother, Wilhelmina Biederman

Father, Emiel Krose

Louisa Olm lived in Thorne (Ladysmith) since she was married. Her father was a farmer born in this country. Their farm was 400-500 acres. Her mother was Wilhelmina Biederman, born in Golden Lake Ontario. Henry, Martha, Emma, Fred, Paul, Minnie, Carole-Anne are her brother and sisters. Her grandparents came from Germany - Caroline Bretzlaff and Fred Krose and Charles [Biederman] and the other grandmother (name unknown).

She went to the Lutheran Church. It burned down around 1902. The minister wanted to clean up the yard, it was windy, he didn't know the dangers of a windy day, and the church burned.

Louisa Olm pt 2

They lived five miles away so they didn't go to Sunday school. They would drive in to church with horses. She didn't belong to any of the church groups or choir. They walked over a mile to the school in Aldfield. They had all the subjects except French. She finished school in grade 4. That was a big grade then.

They had Christmas concerts where the children had recitations. They also had picnics when school ended. Their teachers were Miss Dahms and Miss Wyman. She went to German school for two years twice a week, for confirmation class. They learned the commandments and the beatitudes.

Louisa Olm pt 3

She went to work before she married. She worked in Renfrew in the knitting factory, and took up dressmaking. She knitted socks for overseas for the first world war. It was piece work. They got 28 cents for a dozen pair, and she would make up to 7 dozen pair a day, so she averaged about $29 (a month) which was great big money back then. With the money she paid her board and dressed herself, and brought what was left over home. She never worked after she married in 1916. Her husband had the mill and she did the cooking and the housework. The mill did all kinds of general work, sawing and planing, making windows and doors, cutting shingles, grinding grain for the farmers. It was a profitable business. There were three or four men working for him. "There used to be all kinds of stores here... [Fosses?] owned one and Bretzlaffs owned another... they were general stores... they had everything anyone wanted, not like today."

Louisa Olm pt 4

Louisa remembers particularly when the Russell's Hotel burned down. She was looking out the window and saw a woman waving her hands. It was -40 below, in the winter. Everyone got out alive. Back then a lot of people would come from the city and stay in the hotel for the holidays. People would walk to [Gray's?] Lake in the afternoon with their children, until they (the owners?) took a fit and closed it all off because they thought they owned the land and no one else had the right to go there.

There were two mills once upon a time. First one burned down, and then the other. Then her husband rebuilt one of them.

Louisa Olm pt 5

Whenever they had dances in the country people had them in their houses. Weddings would be at home. It was a lot more fun. They did square dancing. Sometimes there was a box social.

They built a school in Ladysmith in 1955, but later it closed and they bussed the children to Shawville.

She has lived in her house for 57 years. It was built by her father-in-law, long before her time. The house she lived in as a child is all pulled down and a new one built in its place a few years ago. Her father built the old house in 1878.

She never learned to drive... saying she was too cowardly. They had to sell their car when her husband lost his eye, and they missed it very much.

Louise Olm pt 6

They made their own soap at home. They had a big cooler that they used for boiling. They would save up tallow and then boil it up and mix it with caustic soda or other ways. It was every bit as good as what we have today and less polluting.

She used to make butter on Monday morning and by evening it was all sold. They had their own cows.

As a young girl her chores were to milk the cows, help in the garden, work the fields, and cooking. She made her own bread and butter until not long ago. She also raised her own hens for eggs, like many others in Ladysmith.

Louisa Olm pt 7

"Our recreation was work in the fields". People had to work from daylight to dark. There was not time for swimming. There were no sports in winter either. There was nothing to sport with. Skis, skates and toboggans came much later. The biggest part of time was occupied with work. They also did sewing, quilting, crochet, embroidery.

The only travelling she did was to the knitting factory in Renfrew, and she has been to Ottawa.

The biggest difference between her childhood and today is that "now everyone has so much money if you want a person to work you can't get them - they don't have to work since they get welfare and pension and all this kind of a thing... it's spoiling the country, that's all... it's a different story for people who can't work... but these young lads that's getting welfare and the likes of that... if you want a person to work for you they don't know what the dickens they want. The kids have too much today... they look for work and pray to God they won't find any."

summary by Chris Seifried

Thorne is a municipality in the Pontiac Regional County Municipality, Quebec, Canada, about 63 kilometres (39 mi) northwest of Downtown Gatineau, part of the Outaouais region.

It is named after a town with the same name in Yorkshire, England. The name Thorn(e) is rarely used alone in English toponymy where it is more common in other forms such as Thornhill, Thornton, Thornley, Thornham, Thorngrove.[5]


Thorne is located in the Gatineau Hills with its highest hills reaching an elevation of 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level. Its notable lakes are Barnes, Johnson, Mecham, Sparling, Thorne, and Toote Lakes.[6]

Its settlements include Greer Mount, Hodgins, Ladysmith, Schwartz, Thornby, and Thorne Centre.[6]


On May 1, 1861, the Township of Thorne was formed when it separated from Clarendon Township. But because it was too small to form its own municipality, it was merged with Leslie Township.[7] James Martin was its first mayor.[8]

That same year, it had a population between 450 and 465 people, made up of mixed national origin but only fourteen French Canadians.[6][8] During the next ten years, the area had a large increase of settlers from German descent.[8]

In 1867, Leslie Township separated (now part of Otter Lake) and Thorne was merged with its neighbouring townships to form the United Township Municipality of Thorne-Cawood-et-Alleyn. In 1876, the Cawood and Alleyn townships were separated, resulting in the creation of the Township Municipality of Thorne on January 1, 1877, with John Rennix as mayor.[5][7]

On August 2, 2003, the statute of the municipality changed and the Township Municipality of Thorne became the Municipality of Thorne.[5]



Canada census – Thorne, Quebec community profile
Population:292 (-31.6% from 2006)427 (+4.7% from 2001)
Land area:175.21 km2 (67.65 sq mi)174.34 km2 (67.31 sq mi)
Population density:1.7/km2 (4.4/sq mi)2.4/km2 (6.2/sq mi)
Median age:53.3 (M: 53.6, F: 52.9)48.0 (M: 48.8, F: 47.8)
Total private dwellings:374466
Median household income:$.N/A$28,898
Notes: 2011 income data for this area has been suppressed for data quality or confidentiality reasons. – References: 2011[4] 2006[9] earlier[10]
Historical Census Data - Thorne, Quebec[11]



  • English as first language: 81%
  • French as first language: 13%
  • Other as first language: 6%

See also[edit]


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