If you talk to some of the old timers in town they will tell you the Mississippi River once flowed up near Townline in Carleton Place and the powers to be re-routed the river bed to where it now flows. Somewhere down the line stories got mixed up and this week I found out the real story from Jennifer Fenwick Irwin from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum and was really shocked.
The Mississippi River flows around McArthur Island and a man made channel for the Mississippi River was built and re-directed for the McArthur mill. More on that next week. The shocking part was realizing that another channel once lapped the back doors of the old Gillies Mill. Yup–right by the back door and through Bill Bagg’s adjacent property that was once the blacksmith shop for the Gillies Mill. When Bill Bagg bought that house he found an open cistern/well inside his house and it had to be boarded up so no one would get hurt. That made me shiver and think of the film Silence of the Lambs.
So the driveway you see now and the land in front of the river is all fill. That’s right- limestone rock was brought in and they filled the channel up. I guess movements are like rivers. Dipping into them is never the same twice.
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