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

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