Burnin’ Old Memories –The Mississippi Hotel Fire

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This is a short excerpt from a blog I did called:

Murders and Mysteries of the Mississippi Hotel

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In 2009 Chaps Paranormal attempted to uncover if the old Mississippi Hotel was indeed haunted. The team experienced personal sensations of heavy chests and a smoke filled hall was witnessed. The names Jacob, Heddy and Stan were all felt by them and multiple EMF spikes were captured in places, as well as catching a moving apparition on camera.

In the end everything was recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Their final verdict was that the hotel was haunted and it is listed in the top 100 haunted places in Canada. So what has happened in the past that has made it a haven for spirits?

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In 1872 Napoleon Lavalee built the Mississippi Hotel now called the Greystone Hotel on land that was originally deeded in 1824 to Carleton Place, Ontario settler, William Morphy. Lavallee operated it as a hotel and the town council meetings were held there until 1883. Of course as any small-town hotel in those days, there was a room in the back where gentleman played cards complete with an automatic cigar lighter. There was said to be three deaths in the hotel during the Lavalee ownership even though no records can be found. Some thought they had occurred when it was a TB hospice or from an argument over gambling debts.

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The hotel was purchased in 1883 by Walter Mcllquham who doubled the room capacity to 56. Walter’s son, Clyde Mcllquham and his family ran the hotel from 1907-1959 and according to history his son Watty was quite the character and would sell bottles of booze right out of his dad’s hotel bar. At 4:30 am on April of 1959, the Mississippi Hotel suffered a major fire. Fireman, aided by a crew and pumper from Smiths Falls eventually confined the blaze to the fourth floor and roof. Before anyone noticed the blaze, it had already broken through the roof on the south end of the building. Flames quickly ate along the studding between the ceiling and roof and soon the fire had engulfed every top floor window. For five hours they poured water on the fire and the ground floor was swimming in water and the damage was extensive.

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The devastating blaze had been caused by a defective south-end chimney right beside caretaker  Bill Green’s room. In the end most of the Mississippi Hotel was rescued except the top floor (fourth floor) and the extensive ornate verandas had to be removed. Sadly, fireman James Garland who had been manning a heavy hose lost his life that day. He suffered a fatal heart-attack and was removed to hospital in an ambulance. Garland is said to haunt the hotel to this day and the footsteps heard in unreachable places are his.

 

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Jennifer Fenwick Irwin–Carleton Place Museum This was taken the morning after the fire.

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The day after the fire Jennifer Fenwick Irwin– Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
 
And was this one taken from the tracks.

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It was a sad day in Carleton Place.

The beautiful renovated hotel is now for sale.

All above photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  13 Apr 1959, Mon,  Page 1

 

relatedreading

Romancing the Mississippi Hotel

Murders and Mysteries of the Mississippi Hotel

Thieves at the Mississippi Hotel–When Crime Began to Soar

All About Lorraine Lemay –Mississippi Hotel

Architecture Stories: The Hotel that Stompin’ Tom Connors Saved

The Napoleon of Carleton Place

Grandma’s Butterscotch Pie

Mississippi Hotel Beer — Brading’s Beer

In the Mississippi Hotel Mood with Mrs. Glen Miller

The Mystery Murals of The Queen’s and Mississippi Hotel

Burnin’ Old Memories –The Mississippi Hotel Fire

Romancing the Mississippi Hotel in 1961

Where Was Linda? A Necromancer Photo Blog -Victorian Seance at the Mississippi Hotel

Spooky Night at the Seccaspina Hotel

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (US

 

 

So come along for the informational and fun walk and I will stop at these above places for 10 minutes. If you want to stay longer than 10 minutes or even come back and visit them after the tour all good. It’s about about local history and open doors– so come have fun!!

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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores.

This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

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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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