Heh Miss Wilsonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! Carleton Place Heroe

Standard

Each time I read about our local coroner, Dr. Wilson, who lived on Bell Street in Carleton Place I think of Mr. Wilson from the syndicated comics Dennis the Menace. Strange– but I guess it’s just a way of brain affiliation to recall things. Wilson came to Carleton Place from Scotland in the early 1840s and was the town doctor and coroner until his death in 1887. Did you know his granddaughter, Major Evelyn Wilson R.N., lived in the home Dr. Wilson built, and is important to the history of Carleton Place?

ev4

Evelyn was a decorated veteran nurse from the first world war. The Major R.N. was a matron in charge of a ‘stationary hospital’ at bomb blasted Gallipoli and besieged Alexandria. Not only was she a proud member of our branch 192 in Carleton Place, her name is on our Carleton Place Legion front door. She was instrumental in establishing a Ladies Auxiliary for the Legion Branch, and also the founding President of the Auxiliary.

She was overseas from February 1915 to May 1919, and was awarded the Royal Cross decoration established by Queen Victoria during the Crimea war. Later she received a bar to the cross for further distinguished service. The medal was presented to her by King George V at Buckingham Palace for re-establishing a hospital in Doullen, France after it had been destroyed by the enemy. The list of honours goes on for this brave woman, and at the end of each day in her later years, she and her nurse Mae Gilhuly turned back the five-inch iron key in the coin locks on each door. It was just tradition to mark another day had passed in her life— in the home that Dr. Wilson was in 1841.

ev

The only modern thing Miss Wilson ever had in that home was an electric range, refrigerator and a 21 inch television. In 1965 when the then 89-year-old veteran lived in the home; the kitchen still had the original hearth that once cared for all the family’s needs. The house was full of clocks, beautiful collectible glass, and still had working coal oil lamps. In one of the four bedrooms upstairs still stood an ornate carved master suite set that was the original part of the house decor.

wil

Miss Wilson was an avid reader and had countless newspapers, books and magazines throughout her home. She had a great sense of humour seeing the amusing side of everyday events. Carleton Place always held her attentions with a keen interest in the town’s affairs. She was not only a longtime member of the legion, but also of the Capt. Hooper Chapter of the IODE. Evelyn never married, and was over ninety years old when she died. She was buried in the Auld Kirk Cemetery along with her mother and step-father Robert.

ev3

One of her favourite clocks in the Wilson home made by Terry and Son in Connecticut read:

“Warranted only if well used.”

Evelyn Wilson never need a warranty on life. She succeeded— 100% guaranteed

 

 

Photos by Linda Secaspina- newspaper archives files from The Carleton Place Canadian at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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

Advertisements

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s