CPHS Students Declare War on Mississippi Lake – 1973



Our Mississippi Lake became a battlefield for some 60 Carleton Place High School Students who declared war in Lanark County in July of 1973. Armed with an Opportunities for Youth grant they spent every weekday carrying out a massive biological study of Mississippi Lake. Laurie Mace’s group was concentrating primarily on the lake between Carleton Place and Inisville. Miss Mace said, “It’s really not really a lake, it’s an enlargement of the Mississippi River”.

Monday to Friday the group met at Carleton Place High School where they set up up headquarters and then proceeded to cruise the lake. Not only was their data collected by both Ottawa Universities, health units and cottage associations—they took it farther than that. The group was prepared to testify in court against anyone they found contributing to lake pollution.


The students had problems with fishing, and were chased away by the OPP, as they tried to catch mudpout at night  The police claimed their boats had improper lighting. The students were also working for the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority’s SWEEP program. SWEEP- “Students Working on Enviromental Enhancement Programs” was once a provincially summer work program. The group, including 20 girls, cleaned up illegal dumps, and removing refuse from roadsides and streams. They also repaired embankments –attacking weeds, and made flower beds. In Carleton Place they even helped spruce up the town’s old railway station.

Supervisor Bill Barrie was pleased that they had built a new raft for swimming lessons in Carleton Place when the town’s original one was smashed. These students made $2.00 an hour. The pay was low, the spirit tremendous because the students believed the work was meaningful.

What’s happening today?

Top photo- Linda Seccaspina

Circa 1970’s CPHS graduates photo- files of The Carleton Place Canadian- 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

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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