The Carleton Place Library Fire



September 24, 1986

It was 2:30 am when the fire broke out at the Carleton Place Public Library. Ken Drummond and every available man (24) used every piece of equipment they had to fight the fire. They were able to “knock it down” in a hurry, but the extensive damage had been done. There was evidence of vandalism in the library- shelves now with water soaked books pushed over and strewn across the floors.

That Sunday there had been a spree of vandalism which included a Beaver Construction site across from the Mews Plaza, Reynolds Cartage Limited at 84 Mill Street, and Kenden Industries at 150 Mill Street. The police assumed they were all connected. The sad part is we lost a library and the damage was at least one million dollars in a matter of hours. When Chief Drummond was asked who could have started such a fire he said,“They’ve got to be sick.”

Weeks later four young offenders were charged and convicted of arson and mischief for the 1.3 million dollar fire of the library. The library was moved to a temporary location for a period of time and is now our pride and joy in its original location. A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.


Newspaper clipping from the files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum–Carleton Place Canadian



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 06 Oct 1986, Mon,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 3



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 25 Sep 1986, Thu,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 3


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

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.

3 responses »

  1. In the 40s & 50s, the Public Library was located in the Town Hall. My favourite books were about the heroics of Dave Dawson and Freddy Farmer and their exploits in the RAF. This interest lead to my joining the RCAF shortly after High School. Perhaps, there may be some stories of the library from that era.


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