Nancy Code Miller– A Chip Off the Old Block

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Nancy Code Miller has been a fixture on Bridge Street in Carleton Place for years. Her mother was from Ashton, and her Dad, Alan Code, was from Scotch Corners. The family is still part of this area, with the farthest offspring located only a hop, skip, and a jump in Manotick. Her Dad, is no stranger to these parts, having owned the Volkswagen dealership for years on Townline, and on Highway 7.

Nancy went to the local High School, was “head girl”, and involved in “spirit raising”. When I asked her what you did to raise spirits, she told me it was all about fund raising. But, she dreamed of becoming becoming a fashion designer, and graduated from Ryerson College in Toronto. Like me, she realized, the fashion designer of any company had to die before one younger might become successful. Nancy, was also dating a local man at the time, and had a strong desire to keep her roots close to her family in Carleton Place.

In 1983, she opened Nancy’s Impressions on Bridge Street, and 1985, she opened Phase II across the street until 1998. I know that must have been a huge workload, as she was also raising her daughter, Alicia, who went on to become a teacher.

Nancy appreciates the size and beauty of Carleton Place. She says it is a wonderful place to raise a family, and has a tremendous amount to offer in culture and sports. She believes in our local hospital like I do. The care the Carleton Place hospital offers our local population is second to none, compared to the big city. It all comes down to everyone knows your name, and even though the hospital staff are overwhelmed, you will still get that small-town care. Nancy wishes that we, as the citizens of Carleton Place, would focus on being more positive, and celebrate the successes, rather than dwelling on the negatives.

When I was there I told her how her father had saved someone’s life. In the early 90’s I taught aerobics at the Sussex Club in Ottawa. One of the members was on the verge of depression. Her husband had left her, she had two small children, and was destitute. When a friend was driving her to Smiths Falls, she saw Alan Code’s dealership and stopped to look at the cars. She had advised Mr. Code she would probably not be able to afford it, but he patiently sat down with her, and they picked out her car from the colour to the upholstery. The delivery date of 6 months was her goal to get her life in order. I don’t think she ever did pick up the car, but she eventually got a job, and all was right in the world. She told me she credited her success for the future to Mr. Code. He had given her hope. In talking with Nancy today, I can see the apple has not fallen far from the tree. Tip of the hat, and a big hug to you both, for believing in our small town of Carleton Place.


Tilting the Kilt, Vintage Whispers from Carleton Place by Linda Seccaspina is available at Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street, the Carleton Place Beckwith Museum in Carleton Place, Ontario and The Mississippi Valley Textile Mill in Almonte.  available on all Amazon sites (Canada, US, Europe) and Barnes and Noble

Carleton Place- The Happiest Damn Town in Lanark County

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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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