Photos of home being torn down: Shane Wm. Edwards
Black and White Photos-The Carleton and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Last Photo- Linda Seccaspina
With files written by Dumps Bradley-The Carleton and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Last week I sadly stared at the vacant lot next to the Stoneridge Manor. It was once a majestic Findlay stone home located on the south side of High Street. If you ask anyone, no one is really sure what year it came down. All I remember is one day it was there, and the next week it wasn’t. The demolition seemed to occur quite quickly. The home was once used as part of the manor, but it was noted the stairs were terrible, and it wasn’t feasible to carry the patients up and down.
Dumps Bradley wrote a few memories about the house, and it is on record at The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum if you are interested. Her parents, Anne and Frank Bradley, bought the house from the Findlays in 1954. The home really wasn’t that old having been built in 1910. It was built of Newfoundland Stone and the Bradleys personally renovated it themselves. Frank Bradley loved his front drive, and covered it with pristine white gravel. You didn’t dare let your vehicle leave ruts in it less you be scolded by Frank.
The verandahs were not only lovely to look at, but Anne would put her children’s beds out there so they could spend summer nights looking at the stars. Her children also loved the kitchen, and they fondly remembered lunches with Anne reading stories to them while they ate. Their piano was mentioned as it took 5 years to tune it in Canada, due to the damp weather when it had originally resided in England.
Dumps Bradley said that her father was very proud of his 50 different bottles of whiskey that he kept in their bar that resembled an English pub. Anne and Frank stripped and sanded all the floors in that home, and even stripped the dark finish off the stair rails. There wasn’t one thing they did not improve because of how much they loved their home.
There were wonderful gardens complete with strawberries and raspberries and an asparagus bed that took years to flourish. All the garden gatherings were stored in the Honey House complete with root cellar.
It sounded like Utopia so what happened?
The house was sold to an order of Roman Catholic Christian brothers before it became the Manor. Dumps said they built a very “unattractive concrete block chapel” and later others built the flat “concrete bunker” of a nurses home in the 70’s. Older residents of Carleton Place will remember sledding on a hill behind the house between the Apple trees and playing hockey on the rink.
Dumps apologized for the way she felt, but she was bitter. The beautiful home she grew up in was desecrated. She said it should have never been allowed to happen as it was built by the biggest employer in the town- the Findlay Foundry.
The house had been left abandoned for a number of years and someone told me the interior looked exactly like a horror film. Dump’s personal thoughts were that a few councilmen did not get along with the Findlays. So when an application for planning was put in, which would utterly destroy the founding Findlay house, they were only to happy to pass it. Then, it was the rot that the house suffered.
It has been said that the stone from the house was sold to Cohen and Cohen in Ottawa with 2 skids of said stone kept here. It seems it is “lost” somewhere on one of our town lots– sitting there in case we need it. Need it? Should there not be some sort of monument built from it, rather than let the stone sit there and waste away similar to the fate of that beloved home? I was told by the Manor management that they do not own the empty lot. A terrible waste of a one-time beautiful home.
This photo is from Judy Pallister.Thanks!
Update from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum: A demolition permit was issued to remove the Findlay house in September of 2005. No one is aware of the stone at the public yard.
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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