What Happened to Bill Brunton’s Roof in Carleton Place?



A month or so ago Bill Brunton had a question about his childhood home at 209 Moffat in Carleton Place. He was 8 years-old when the family moved there in 1972. Bill and his brother were looking around one day in the back of a closet on the second floor and they found a burned stairway leading to nowhere. They wondered if there was a third floor, or an attic, and never did find out the story. I went and took pictures and the first thing I noticed about the area was the majority of homes had Mansard roofs.


The roof of Bill’s family home was flat which was uncharacteristic of the area, the time, and architecture. There was nothing about the house in the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum files, and after a month of searching newspaper archives, I came up with nothing. Bill said the house next door with the grey wood porch was owned by *Winifred McRostie when he lived there. She would pay Bill and his brother in homemade Shortbread cookies for any odd jobs they did for her.

Bill always thought her house was very cool inside. There were stairs right into the kitchen, plus an ornate stairway in the front foyer. Miss McRostie had not changed the decor of the home, and it looked exactly the same until the year 2000 when she passed away.


So what happened to Bill’s roof? I am 99% sure there was a fire in the original Mansard roof. It was a very dangerous style of roof for firefighters responding to fires. Mansard roofs wrap around exterior division walls, allowing fire to spread in the cockloft.(a small loft or attic above the highest finished ceiling of a building)  That would prompt crews to open the ceiling above them prior to entry into units to ensure they are not advancing into a structure with an unknown fire overhead eating away at the chords of a truss supporting overhead weight.


You cannot deny the beauty of a Mansard roof. Everywhere you look in Paris, where it began, the Mansard roof line predominates, heavily contributing to the character of the city. Look around the older parts of Carleton Place– especially around the High Street side streets. See many examples of the once-popular and pervasive French style roofs that began with home owners that wanted the look of their homes to sophisticated and well traveled. Sorry Bill, I could not find the fire, but I am grateful the men of our Ocean Wave Fire Dept. saved the rest of the house.

*Miss Winifred McRostie

S.S. No. 13 Drummond
Flintoff’s School
The first log school, built in 1818, burnt down and a second one was erected 1870 in Drummond Centre with Mr. Stewart as the teacher. It was furnished with one blackboard, a sheepskin for an eraser and five maps on the walls. Twelve students sat in two rows of pine planks. Miss Winifred McRostie was the last teacher in 1929. Next, a modern brick building boasted a library, teacher’s room, two cloakrooms, hot-air furnace, flush toilets, pump room and play area. Start student, Roy Warner won the T. Eaton Co. Cup as Champion Pupil at the Drummond Rural School Fair, the Drummond Centre Women’s Institute prize for highest marks in arithmetic and composition, and the Lawrence James Gold Medal for the highest marks for the Entrance Exams in Lanark West and. In 1952, Mildred Stead Munro taught there for $1700 a year. Mrs. Carmel Fergusson was the last teacher in 1968 when the school closed. She died Nov 14 2000 at 97 years old.



Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting 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

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s