Investigating the Basement of the Carleton Place Canadian – If These Walls Could Talk

This was a story written by Jennifer Fenwick Irwin. She is the curator of our local Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum. The title of her story was “If These Walls Could Talk” and she has a blog page called Jenny on Argyle and it is so worth reading.

jenny on argyle
Just day to day goings on in an old house in an old town…
If these walls could talk

The Carleton Place Canadian began publishing in 1876. That’s just 9 years after Confederation. When I moved here it was a weekly – the only way to find out what was happening in town.
The Canadian has been bought up by a newspaper conglomerate and the office is closing down. I don’t know exactly when the newspaper first moved to this location on Bridge Street, but I believe it was in the early 1920’s. A long time ago.
The museum I work at was allowed to explore the basement and take anything relevant for our collection. My kind of work day! We got some great items but the greatest artifact was the building itself.
Down to the basement we went.

The plaster walls on either side of the stairway are covered with names of former employees, along with the dates they started work.

Some people preferred to carve their names for posterity!
The Findlay Foundry operated in Carleton Place from 1860 to 1974, producing cast iron stoves, furnaces and cookware. Have a look at this beautiful furnace – a Findlay’s 205!

Naturally, people have signed the furnace!

There were lots of other neat finds like these original windows that would have been at sidewalk level outside. They’ve been covered up outside by siding and inside by a window seat.
Looking up in the basement you can see that the floor boards were laid on a diagonal…..
Here’s some old issues of The Canadian (1934) used to stuff the cracks….
It’s sad that the paper’s days at this office are over, but it seems the building will retain it’s memory as best it can!

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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