Saved By The Bell in Carleton Place? What Does the Photo Say?


1898 Ottawa Journal Social Comment


So where was this bell? A month ago I found this:

Ring That Bell — The Carleton Place Community Alarm Clock

“In 1836 a fund to pay for the ringing of a morning bell at Carleton Place, as a sort of community alarm clock corresponding to later factory whistles and bells, was raised by donations from some forty persons. At a meeting called by Hugh Boulton, with James Rosamond as chairman, it was decided the bell should be rung daily at 5 a.m. in the months of May to August, and at 6 a.m. during the other eight months of each year.  A deduction was to be made from the bell ringer’s stipend for any time the bell was rung more than ten minutes late as timed by Robert Bell’s clock”.  – Howard Morton Brown

Jennifer Fenwick Irwin from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum and I thought it was on top on one of the mills after seeing an illustration from The Toronto Daily Mail in 1898. Then yesterday I found this:


A curfew was also introduced and passed bringing sadness to the youth of Carleton Place in 1911. Beginning on the first day of July the bell at the town hall will ring at 9 pm sharp each night. All youth under the age of 16 will be required to be off the street at that time unless accompanied by parents or a guardian.

So was there a bell in the tower of the Carleton Place Town Hall?

bell tower1

I sent the picture below to my friend Diana Ani Stokely from Grafix to Go in Texas who does my book covers,  is a graphic designer, and also restores old photographs. I asked her for her opinion and this is what she said.


Diana Ani Stokely said,” Yes, i think so. I painted it pink to show you.

Look closely in the turret for the pinkish shape.


So was there a bell or not a bell? We will never really know for whom the bell tolled in Carleton Place I guess.

Thanks to our state of the art digital tools and Master Artists, we can now repair any kind of damage whether it’s a tear, a crease, water or mold damage, fading, or even if your photos are in pieces. It is amazing we can now restore old photos to their former glory.



Donovan Hastie found this photo. Any idea what the date is?

Photo restoration- This is an example of what Diana Ani Stokely does. Read below all about some of her restorations which are many.


I was given a difficult task one day, to create a portrait of a man. The only clue I had of Captain Bell’s face was a photocopy of a newspaper clipping about an inch tall. I worked on it for some time, only to be discouraged beyond hope, so I put it away. I was able to do so because the request had come informally — an acquaintance had heard I might be able to do such a job.

Many years passed. During all that time, I continued to teach myself the necessary skills in Photoshop to restore photos, manipulate them into pleasing images, and gain skills to finally approach the task again.

I spent a full two days restoring this portrait. I probably put close to 20 hours of intense and meticulous work to produce the final result. When I presented my friend (for who could remain an acquaintance after so many hours in the presence of his ancestor?) a print of the finished piece, his unbounded joy was my reward. Satisfaction all around.

Hotel in the Woods


This is another one of the old photos from my foray to the Homestead in Hico. It is too pale to discern details — all I could tell was the photo showed a group of people, and it looked like an outdoor shot. After getting it back to my shop, adjusting the light levels, and cleaning up some marks and spots, an interesting sight met my eyes.

Who were these people and why are they gathered here in the woods? Is that a hotel in the background? I counted 18 people. Five are women in aprons holding plates of food. There is a boy child. A fat man holds some kind of handled tool, and next to him sits a young man with watch chain and fob, necktie and pin. Behind him a man whittles a piece of wood. On the left, another man holds aloft some kind of handled tool, an ax? Another man holds a witching wand, or maybe it is a pair of shears.

 - I " "no " Domes naa i-n i-n i-n aamaRfd The...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  13 Jun 1899, Tue,  Page 8


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.

2 responses »

  1. Well, I guess there was a bell.

    Fantastic restorations. I have dabbled a bit with some success, but those are excellent.

    It is curious how we fight to make old photos look good and sometimes deliberately age new photos. But we are a curious species.


  2. Thank goodness we are a curious species.. Diana has been a friend of mine for years. She has worked very hard and studied through trial and error. It does not matter where you are in the world. Contact her.. I say there was a bell LOL


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