The 1945 Fire at Dr. Johnson’s Home in Carleton Place

Dr. Johnson’s home was first owned by Robert Bell. The property originally did not have this incredible red brick building. Before the massive building a small white frame home sat by the river. The mansion that replaced it was built in 1902 by Dr. M.A. MacFarlane, who fashioned the red brick home after a house in Scotland. After Dr. MacFarlane’s death, the house was rented to Doctor’s Downing and Ferrill.
In 1924 Dr. Allen Johnson bought the home, and with his wife Annie established a medical practice  that was to last 45 years. The house suffered a major fire in 1945. After the fire Dr. Johnson practiced from the McPherson residence on Judson Street. He felt it was his duty to rebuild the home and have it in better state that when they first moved there.They had the house reconstructed from the original blueprints, adding a new furnace, plumbing and wiring. Dr. and Mrs. Johnson said it was their duty as they would never be able to repay the people of Carleton Place for all they had done for them since the fire.


“Dr. Johnston said he intended on having a “modern “z-ray department” constructed with his office and parts of the building would reflect the modern trend to offer better facilities for service to the public.” Carleton Place Canadian Dec. 1945.



Photo by Linda Seccaspina and from the Carleton Place Canadian files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News


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.

4 responses »

  1. We lived here for 26 years with our two children, it was a grand house and the view of the river was ever changing. Great article Linda, it made me smile!!! Sue Scale a former Eastern Townshipper!

  2. My late beloved aunt ,Audrey Wilson, then a teenager, came home and told us about the fire and how the house was covered in ice.

    Dr Johnston was my mother’s family doctor. I visited his office as a 4 year old girl and was very impressed by the house,

    He did make a house call to my grandmothers after I had a dangerous encounter with a light socket. Curiosity nearly killed the cat

    Judith Salley

    was my mother’s family doctor I have been in the office at his home.
    He did come and pay a houe call after I had a painful encounter with a light socket as a curious

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