Yesterday’s blog about Milton Teskey and the Chatterton House Hotel in Carleton Place got me wanting to know more, and for six hours I read about the village of Appleton. Many of our local townsfolk worked at the textile mills in Appleton, and many also lost their jobs there. It is part of our local history.
Three miles outside of Carleton Place is what the Otawa Journal called Appleton in 1969. The once ruins of the old Teskey mill built in 1862 that once dominated the landscape are now gone. Once upon a time it was called Appletree Falls. The village got its name from the fact that the early Mississippi River explorers used the banks as camping grounds and threw leftover apple seeds on the ground– which finally grew in abundance.
The Teskey family that came in the emigration of 1823 from southern Ireland obtained a 100 acre lot on the location then known as Apple Tree Falls. On the east side of the river you might have passed by the stone house known as Burnbank built in 1843-44 by Joseph Teskey and planned by his wife Margaret Cuthbert. This modified Scottish Georgian home is one of the only two known examples in Canada. The house was designed in two parts joined by a 4-door rectangular hallway meant to keep the servants separate. This was a common practice as in my home the two servants rooms were kept separate by a door that could be locked and a back staircase that led into the kitchen.
The name Burnbank was given to the house in 1937 by Miss Sheila Stewart, then owner of the property after her great great grandfathers home in Oban, Scotland. What is interesting about the house is that Mrs.Cuthbert Tesky copied the wood paneling and doors to those of Betty Washington’s house in Fredericksburg, Va.– which was the home of George Washington.
Mississippi Woollen Mills, four-storey portion built 1862, three-storey built 1880- CREDIT North Lanark Museum. Photo below of the fire.
The two-and-a-half storey home, on the other side of the river was built by Robert Teskey. It is unusual because it was was built into a hillside with the bedroom(upstairs) windows at the rear being level with the back garden and lawn.
The Teskey family’s origins are interesting. They were Germanic in origin, the Irish branch of the family, originating in an emigration to Ireland in 1709 from the Rhine Valley and were assisted by Queen Anne of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1702-1707) who was the last Stuart ruler. I did not find out much after this about the Teskey family, only that Milton Teskey’s daughter Kathleen was a professor in Edmonton, Alberta. She came from time to time to visit relatives and friends in Fitzroy accompanied by her mother (1926)
Please visit the North Lanark Historical Society and North Lanark Regional Museum– without these Museums we would have no history
647 River Road
N 45° 11′ 14.0″ W 76° 7′ 4.5″
= N 45.18722 ° E -76.11792 °
Vintage Photo Credits: North Lanark Regional Museum
Newspaper clippings from the Ottawa Journal
New Photos- Linda Seccaspina