TOUR STOP 9: Home of John Bracken - 172 Main St.

John Bracken was a good and decent man, that really tried his best to deliver efficient, good government, and had a strong sense of public service for building a more equitable country.born on Ellisville Rd in the log house beside our farm (which was the Lawrence McConnell farm when I grew up, now owned by David and Lisa Berry - there's an historic plaque on the side of the road there).  His father (Ephraim, my Great-grandfather's brother) sold and moved to Seeley's Bay and built the farm where Cathy de Graaf lives now (interestingly, the Simpson farm was also a Bracken farm, and vanOverbeek farm also has a Bracken connection).

John Bracken thought he failed his senior metriculation in high school at Brockville Collegiate as they didn't publish his name in the Recorder and Times (a slip up apparently), and then farmed full time for a number of years.  When he found out that he did pass, he was able to fulfill a dream to attend the Ontario Ag. College in Guelph where he excelled.  He landed a job with the Dominion Seed Bank first in Ottawa, and then in Winnepeg.

I believe he helped build and was Principle at the Ag College in Saskatchewan and then was recruited by the leaderless Progressive Farmers of Manitoba to be their leader/Premier when they won the Manitoba election in 1922 where he served for 20 years as Premier.  His time as leader in federal politics was relatively short, with his main contribution being the change of party name to the "Progressive Conservatives" as a condition for his becoming leader.  He was not a "party politician" though with all it's machinations, and also not an inspiring public speaker, and was subsequently pushed out of the leadership after losing the 1945 election to Mackenzie King.  Sadly, the current Conservative party does not really aspire to the "progressive" ideals that once were a strong part of the party's backbone.  He's buried in Manotick.

Interestingly, this farm has the distinction of sending three men into politics. Wm. Richardson owned the land and represented Leeds County in the Provincial House from 1878-1883.  Hayden Stanton grew up on this farm and represented Leeds County in the Federal House of Commons from 1953-1960.

Seeley's Bay Heritage Walking Tour - 130 Mill Street
  1. TOUR STOP 2: Seeley's Bay Wharf and the Rideau Queen - 130 Mill St.
  2. TOUR STOP 3: Seeley's Bay Saw Mill (Hartley's) - 136 Mill St.
  3. TOUR STOP 4: The Plane Crash - 130 Mill St.
  4. TOUR STOP 5: Horse Racing and Ice Cutting on the Bay
  5. TOUR STOP 6: The Dr. Christie House - 148 Mill St.
  6. TOUR STOP 7: The National Hotel - 160 Main St.
  7. TOUR STOP 8: The Brown House- Bootlegger - 179 Main St.
  8. TOUR STOP 9: Home of John Bracken - 172 Main St.
  9. TOUR STOP 10: The Hotchkiss House Murder - 196 Main St.
  10. TOUR STOP 11: Coleman's Hotel - 152 Main St.
  11. TOUR STOP 12: Dr. Gardiner House- presently Ridgway Confections - 159 Main St.
  12. TOUR STOP 13: The Bank - 148 Main St.
  13. TOUR STOP 14: Stage Coach Depot/ George Cheetham's Blacksmith Shop - 103 Bracken St.
  14. TOUR STOP 15: Kelly’s Fresh Mart formerly Sweets - 144 Main St.
  15. TOUR STOP 16: St. Peter's Anglican Church - 155 Main St.
  16. TOUR STOP 17: Dr. Bowen's House -145 Main Street
  17. TOUR STOP 18: Seeley's Bay Masonic Hall - 108 Adelaide St.
  18. TOUR STOP 19: Seeley's Bay United Church - 129 Hellen St.
  19. TOUR STOP 20 - A. Neal and Son, Brick and Tile Co. Circa 1900 - 109 Hellen St.
  20. TOUR STOP 21: A.J. Sly's Furniture and Undertaking - 140 Main St.
  21. TOUR STOP 22: Gilbert Carriage Works - 129 Main St.
  22. TOUR STOP 23: Gilt Edge Cheese Factory - 118 Main St.
  23. TOUR STOP 24: Sunny Acres- The Ashery - 119 Haskins Point Rd.
  24. TOUR STOP 25: Haskins Point - 148 Haskins Point Rd.