Mount St Patrick
Editor's note: Wes Bomhower is responsible for gathering these personal recollections about Mount St. Patrick from a few residents who have memories that go back to an earlier time.
Mount St. Patrick and the surrounding area, probably more than any place in Ontario, is like a little piece of Ireland itself, with what is left of the village, the beautiful old church and ancient burial grounds, the Holy Well, and most of all the big mountain in the background. The view from up there is spectacular any time of year and in autumn when the leaves are in full colour, it would bring a lump to any man's (or woman's) throat, be they Irish or not. Mount St. Patrick was a settlement, complete with church and school, long before many other villages in Renfrew County, but for unknown reasons there is little remaining except the church and a few houses. It is off the beaten path, so to speak, but probably the automobile had more influence on the decline of the village and the business establishments that may have flourished at that time. It is a wonderful place to remember and come back to, nevertheless. Just attend the autumn dinner held usually in late September and it is like Old Home Week. People are coming from all corners of the Earth to be with kith and kin once more, and to relive their childhood memories of "The Mountain".
MOUNT ST. PATRICK-Bernardine (Sheedy) Murphy's story
"Bernie", now a retired school teacher living in Calabogie, was born in the village of Mount St. Patrick right across the road from the church in 1939. Her mother was Katie Hunt from the Mountain and her father Michael Sheedy, who built a house and store in 1934 across from St. Patrick's church and operated the store until 1965. Business was good, especially on Sunday mornings during summer when Mass was held twice, and they would sell gallons of ice cream. The building still stands today though badly in need of repair, and it breaks Bernie's heart to see it so. Bernie recalls Father John Harrington, followed by Father Kennedy and Father Jones in her childhood. She lived in Mount St. Patrick until her marriage to Leo Murphy in 1960. The Holy Well, which was near the shore of Constant Creek and a little distance behind the church, was known for its healing qualities since long before Bernie's time and is still in operation. Over the years, several priests and nuns originated from Mount St. Patrick and surrounding area. There are those mentioned in Margaret Hunt's story, which follows, plus Father Bernard Hunt from up on the Mountain itself, Sister Alberta (Leona Colterman) from the flats toward Dacre, Father Lynch from the new road built out to132 Highway and Father Kylie from the English Road, just east of the village, to name a few. Incidentally, Father Kylie was an uncle to Mickey Bolger whose story will be appearing in Out on the First Concession at a later date
MOUNT ST.PATRICK, Margaret (Norton) Hunt's Story
Margaret bas born in 1909 and spent most of her early years with her grandfather, Dan Kennelly, just west of Calabogie where Jim Mercer now lives. With the aid of an old chair, she could harness a horse at the age of five years and drive the horse too. Margaret still loves horses. Her first memories of Mount St. Patrick were in 1925, and were connected with the wedding of Beazie Hunt of Ferguson Lake to John Pat Maloney who lived on the Mountain. They were real celebrities because after the wedding at St. Patrick Church, the couple went to live in Detroit, Michigan, practically on the other side of the planet everyone thought. There were two stores operating then, Mary Hunt's variety store and John Carter's general store. Jack Hunt did a thriving business with a blacksmith shop in the village, and this same man fathered four important clerics in later years, namely: Father Tom Hunt, Sister Hilda, Sister Gerard and Sister Bertille. Margaret married Dennis Hunt in 1930 and took up residence at Ferguson Lake, just a bit east of the village where Margaret lived until going into Quail Creek Retirement Centre in Renfrew a few years ago. She now resides in Bonnechere Manor. She well remembers Father Harrington, the priest who officiated at her wedding.
He did the hiring and firing of the crews who were building the road from the village to what is now Highway 132. If you were not in church on Sunday morning, you had better have a damn good reason or you would not have a job on Monday morning. A new crew was hired every two to three weeks, enabling everyone a chance to work in those hard times. Margaret's husband, Dennis, worked on the hoists at Black Donald Mines for many years.
Shortly before Margaret's marriage, a couple by name of James and Katie Legree sold part of their property below the Mountain-1000 acres, to purchase a new Star automobile.
She recalls one day at her grandfather Dan Kennelly's home when Jim Kelly of Black Donald drove up with his mother to visit. Kelly's mother went in the house and Kelly tried to put his horse in an outbuilding but the door was too small. Grandad Kennelly, who could swear like a trooper was watching from the house and he called out: "You stupid Irish so and so, can't you tell a hen house from a horse stable?"
Back in those years, Margaret knew everyone on both mountains (St. Patrick and Kennelly), Maloneys, Hunts, Kennellys, Scullys, Mulvihills, etc. and she knew all the families for miles around below the mountains too. One family on the flats, the Salmons, held frequent parties and dances at their house. This continued for some time until one night Father Quilty and Father Harrington took a drive out, and that was the end of that. The priests certainly held a lot more authority in those times, and life centred on the church much more than today.
Margaret loved the general area and the people of Mount St. Patrick, and though she remembers a lot of hard work and many more hard times, she does not regret one minute of her life and would not have it any other way.
Okay, I have it figured out now.
To recap: the late Bishop Windle, descendant of Thomas Quilty & Johanna Scollard, told me that a
brother or cousin of Johanna went to Ennismore and was the ancestor of Bishop David Scollard,
Bishop of Sault Ste Marie. (Canada.)
After going over the data you sent, I now see that William Scollard (wife Mary Sullivan) was the
Bishop's grandfather, through son John who m. Catherine O'Connor. William obviously died between
1846 and 1852. The James Scollard you listed is his son, not the same man as our James here.
Now, the Scollard brothers of Ballyhahill were John and Nicholas. James of Renfrew was a son of
John, and there were five other children of John who went to Australia. A descendant there tells
me that there was one more son, who may have come to "America." She doesn't know his name, but it
may have been William.
Nicholas Scollard had four children and I believe that Johanna Quilty and Honora Enright were among
them, because they were not daughters of John. Apparently a son Pat inherited the farm, and he may
have been the fellow who, according to Bishop Windle, came out to Canada to visit the family.
I was excited to find an older widower, John Scollard, living with William's family in Ennismore in
1861, because I think it may have been John of Ballyhahill. The Australians have no trace of him in
Ireland after 1852 and he didn't go to Australia. I've written to a descendant of the Scollards at
Ballyhahill and hope she can confirm my findings.
You asked if Bridget O'Connor, first wife of Renfrew James Scollard, and Catherine O'Connor, daughter-in-law
of William of Ennismore, could have been sisters. I doubt it, as there was about a 30 year age gap between them.
I was interested to see that the Youngs, PR settlers of 1825, married into the Scollard familiy.
McCuaig, Carol. The Kerry Chain, the Limerick Link. Renfrew, Ont.: Juniper Books, 2003,
Scollard Farm in Ballyhahill, West Limerick, was in the 1820's divided between brothers,
John and Nicholas. John went to Australia and Nicholas' son, Patrick, took over the land.
John Scollard of Ballyhahill, b.c1792
James b.c1815 md. Bridget O'Connor. left Ireland c1842 for US and then Ontario, Renfrew Co.,
Bagot Twp., lot 26, con 9
Honora b.c1822 md. James Enright, came to Ontario with son, Stephen, settled lot 25, con 8 Bagot.
Daniel b.1824 went to Australia in 1852
Johanna b.1827 went to Australia in 1850
Garrett b.c1830 went to Australia
Mary b.1830 went to Australia in 1850
Ellen b.1833 went to Australia in 1852
James Scollard, wife died, and in 1850 married (James d. 1899)
Margaret Jourdan at Mount St. Patrick
John b.1839 married 1, Catherine Culhane in 1860, 2,Elizabeth McWilliams in 1871
Amy b.1843 (Amelia)
John Scollard (son of James) died in 1893, age 53, buried in Holy Well graveyard at Mount St. Patrick
Elizabeth McWilliams born in Belfast. She died 1914.
James b.1874, did not marry, died in 1941.
Annie b.1876, married Michael John Mulvihill in 1903.
Bridget b.1879, married James David Windle in 1909. She died in 1947.
John Joseph b.1881, lived at Ashdad. Never married. He died in 1961.
Mary Ann b.1885 ("Mamie) did not marry. She died in 1936
Nicholas Scollard of Ballyhahill
Patrick b.c1820 remained at Ballyhahill, where descendants still live.
Johanna b.1820 married Thomas Quilty, and came to Canada, Bagot Twp., lot 27, con 11.
Johanna died in 1833.
Patrick Scollard (son of Nicholas)
Margaret Dinsen of Athea
John b.1858, married Margaret Mulvihill of Glin
Townland AKA Acres County Barony Civil Parish PLU Province
BALLYHAHILL T. xx Limerick Shanid Kilmoylan Glin Munster
Ballyhahill 605 Limerick Shanid Kilmoylan Glin Munster
ATHEA T. xx Limerick Shanid Rathronan Newcastle Munster
Athea Lower 552 Limerick Shanid Rathronan Newcastle Munster
Athea Upper 1,986 Limerick Shanid Rathronan Newcastle Munster