The House that Skated to Carleton Place — Kennedy House

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Doing the research for the Dunlop homes on Heritage Carleton Place yesterday I  saw another interesting tidbit that would be of interest to anyone that lives in Carleton Place. Did you know that we have a house in town that was literally moved down the Mississippi River from Innisville to Carleton Place in the dead of winter? That would be the Kennedy House on the corner of Flora and High Street.

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This house was originally built in Ferguson Falls and then moved to Innisville, Ontario. Not content with its location, it was later moved to the town of Carleton Place where it still resides on the corner of High and Flora Street.

If you are to believe the tales, the home was placed on large wooden wheels and moved on the frozen ice of the Mississippi River and lake to Carleton Place. Similar to Moore House it was moved from the rivers edge to its present location. There are disputes as to how it actually moved. Was it in one or two pieces?

Was there a bridge there someone asked me? Highway 7 came down High Street, across Bridge Street and out to join Highway 15 which in turn ran from Smiths Falls to Almonte across Bridge Street to the Townline  Whatever it was I cannot even imagine a feat like this happening.

Still don’t believe it? Years ago David Findlay noticed a  set of large wooden wheels at the Innisville Museum. Could these be one and the same?

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Findlay recorded the event of his findings and this actual document is at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. He wrote the following:

“Charles Hollinger of Ferguson’s Falls confirmed the story , and referred me to a photo of a needlework sampler in a publication “Primitive and Naïve Art in Canada” by Blake McKendry. The sampler, dated 1845, was done by Catherine Ferguson, and shows a structure in that community identical to that of 144 High St. We know nothing about the reason for moving the building, but it is interesting that it was built in the “plank on plank” manner, common in early houses built where sawn lumber was readily available”

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The Kennedy house was built in 1845 and was moved approximately around the years around 1900. The distance was 18.3 km via the roadways and much longer by waterways. Doug Kennedy, a Kennedy descendant, had heard the story but said there never had really been any proof, so he didn’t know what to believe. Moving a home down the Mississippi down to High Street seemed like it was a lot of extra work.

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But, he did mention 100 years ago something similar had happened in Calgary and the Maritimes. There had also a riverbank to negotiate, so who is to argue. It could be done. He also mentioned there was slab construction in the walls and it would be interesting to date a core from the walls or basement to determine the age.

Making a life change like moving is enough to scare anyone. Imagine physically moving your home.

Sadly this house will be no more as it had a fire in August 2021- read-

An Update to the Kennedy House — Harold “Ozzie” McNeely

The Name of the Man that Moved the Kennedy House

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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.

4 responses »

  1. Douglas Kennedy, my father, was born & raised in western Ontario & had no connection to the house or the previous owners until he bought it in the fall of 1950. He is not a “Kennedy descendent”. We were told it was floated down the river, not wheeled in the road. What date was Douglas Kennedy interviewed?

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