When “Building Assetics” Go Wrong!


Today I was looking for some information about the Hugh McMillan home on Bridge Street and came across this 1980’s news article about “the little yellow house”  and its continuing struggles. Just more information on the fight over a renovation—one that was assured to all that “it would compliment the area”.


It began in November of 1986 when Judith Hughes, then owner of “the little yellow house,” began her battle against the proposed renovations to the former John Deere building 4.5 feet away. The one storey cinder block, owned by self-employed contractor Al Roberts, sat snugly in between the Abner Nichols and one of the Miller’s homes. Hughes said if  Roberts proceeded with his plans she would sue him for of the loss of enjoyment of her property.


She also argued that the projected ‘ghastly’ renovations would destroy the quaint streetscape of Bridge Street, which she had personally worked hard to preserve. Roberts assured her that the heritage type renovations he planned would compliment her home. He also cited himself a heritage restoration expert to the Ottawa Citizen. The contractor said he had carried out more than 50 such jobs in Lanark county in the past five years.

Well, we all know the outcome of this story. The little house sits unoccupied, dwarfed by the “complimenting” building next door. This week I have noticed “a ‘we’re going to dig’ construction sign” on the front porch of “the little yellow house”. Who knows whats next?



Photo- Linda Seccaspina.. newspaper photo- Ottawa Citizen 1986

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

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.

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