The First Mosh Pits in Carleton Place — The Opera House of the Chatterton House Hotel



                                               El Niño Farini with drum, mid 19th century. © Victoria and Albert Museum

Today I published a story from my book Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac where I was a prime suspect in a mosh pit at Limelight in NYC. I always thought that mosh pits were part of our present history.  Not so fast!  I learned online in one of our local papers that the idea of tossing someone through the front lines began eons ago. In fact it even occurred in our local hotel The Chatterton House Hotel.


In 1897 at the Opera House of the Chatterton House Hotel in Carleton Place, life was not much different than any other theatre pit. Kindred attractions may be remembered as of the prevailing taste of our play goers. An interesting diversion of the theatre seating pit would be tossing. A boy on the back bench would say:”Toss Me,” and two or three of his companions would pick him up and swing him over the heads of those in front. The latter, whose heads he had landed upon would forward him with another swing, and, finally he would arrive at the front bench, where he was privileged to stay as a reward for the hardships of his flight. Small town newspaper editors were very unhappy with the theatre going behaviour of some sections of the audience. Some young men sat at the back and heckled the entertainers and shouting and whistling through out the show.


Lewis and Wardrobe Hippolympian appeared many times at The Chatterton House Hotel.  They performed songs and choruses, acrobatic and gymnastic feats, contortions etc. The Carleton Place Herald reported that Lewis and Wardrobe also  formed themselves into a brass band and performed in the town streets wherever they went. Nothing but talented, unique, and beautiful people.


Photos from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

More stories from the Desk Books of The Chatterton House Hotel (Queen’s Hotel) Carleton Place from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Part 1- Tales of the Chatteron House Corset — Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place- can be found here.

Part 2- Hell on Wheels at Lady Chatterton’s Hotel in Carleton Place– can be found here.

Part 3- I Will Take Some Opium to Go Please —The “Drug Dispensary” at the Chatterton House Hotel

Part 4- Chatterton House Hotel Registrar- George Hurdis -1884

Part 5-What the Heck was Electric Soap? Chatterton House Hotel Registrar

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tillting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

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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