There are three floors in Springside Hall, plus a basement that has a steampunk room and a wine cellar. Linda and the late Angelo Seccaspina were former owners of Flash Cadilac in Ottawa. They bought the house, that has many names, in 1981. The Morphy’s called it Springside Hall as the property used to run down to Argyle Street where there is still a small spring. The Crams bought it in the early 1900’s, and it was only owned by two families after that. You will not find priceless antiques or rare art on your journey of the interior, but rather eclectic and eccentric pieces that accent the Victorian theme. In the 60’s the house was called the High Diddle Day House as it was used in the CBC Ottawa children’s production of the same name featuring Noreen Young’s puppets.
The Morphy Cram house was built in 1860 by William Morphy and it is the only known remaining house built by a member of one of the towns founding families. The house was bought in 1905 by former Carleton Place mayor Albert E. Cram who was a descendant of John Cram, the first settler to explore the Falls and the Mississippi River. The house was built in 3 sections:1860, 1906 and in 1990 the Campbell Street addition was added using stone from the same Quarry in Almonte as the original house. It took 2 years to complete the stone work that was cut by hand.
Even after a devastating fire in 1995 the interior of the 3 storey limestone home still retains the original details such as: the wood trim, french doors, and window moulding. Rooms are decorated with touches of whimsy and the original wooden telephone booth from the General Hospital in Ottawa resides in the solarium complete with a Dr. Who sign. The wine cellar walls were painted Sapphire Lace Blue, the same colour as Dr Who’s tardis. Most of the home’s pieces are from Lanark County.
After the fire in 1995 things were never the same. But, there has always remained a marriage between Halloween and Christmas with the Seccaspinas. In fact, Angelo installed a permanent Christmas tree on the second floor years ago, and it will never be taken down.
Linda has no rules when it come to decorating. Less is not more in her world, so she has taken the best of her local finds and made it work for her. Nothing in this world should ever be without meaning and the Morphy-Cram House is an embodiment of her dreams in one form or another.