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

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.

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

    Liked by 1 person

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