I never really thought much about the little stone house that sits quietly on the end of Flora Street in Carleton Place. It wasn’t until I was doing some research about the old floating bridge that spanned the Mississippi River to the old Hawthorne Mill that I wanted to know more.
The little home that grew into a farm was built in 1840 by John McRostie. The land was first cleared by Thomas Burns, but what few know is that the grounds you see are probably the approximate upper limit of the long rapids which once existed. It has always been known among historians as the place where the Ramsay Settlers of 1821 had their last overnight camping spot before they traveled by water from north Lanark to Almonte. Locals now know it as Centennial Park. As time went on, the McRostie’s prospered and moved into more elaborate homes.
Thomas Burns held the first crown grand of 80 acres in 1828, but Robert Johnston was shown as the owner in 1829. John McRostie bought the property in 1840, built the house and it remained in the family until 1919. It was then sold to Alec McClean who actually flipped it to Daniel Sullivan. In 1923 Albert Powell took possession with the acreage at this point being drastically reduced and it was bought by Howard Dack.
Mrs. D. Findlay, Sr. (Catherine McRostie) – 1837/1933. Oldest Surviving Daughter of Carleton Place.
There is the old McRostie home on Flora Street-Shane Wm Edwards— The house in the background shows a front door with a stone surround but I seem to recall hearing that it may have added later and there are at least two other similar stone surrounds on the front door of houses in town. At one time it seems that decorative embellishments like this were sold by door to door salesmen.
The stone home didn’t come back into its own until Howard Dack bought it and proceeded to restore and renovate it. When Dack bought the house from Albert Powell in 1946 the stonework had to be completely redone including the stone trim of the front door. Old wooden shutters were attached to the windows, and the sun porch facing the river was an addition. The large fireplace that sits in the living room came from the old Captain Glendinning home on Glen Isle.
*Glendinning House in Glen Isle
The original pine floors still exist on the top floor, but all had to be replaced on the first level. Like most older homes, the enormous cedar beams in the basement are as solid as they first day they were installed. Seeing the house today, you have to stand there and remember a time gone by when it was a farm and Centennial Park was abuzz with livestock and then Ab Nichols lumber yard.
The Glenndining home is said to be the oldest stone house in Beckwith, this home is located on Glen Isle. It was built c. 1820 by Captain Thomas Glendinning, the man who helped incite the Ballygiblin Riots of 1824.
Glendinning, a native of England, served in the British army as a Lieutenant before retiring on half pay in Beckwith Township. According to legend, Glendinning escaped the Irish Settlers on day two of the Riots by hiding in a large chimney recess above the fireplace in this house. Unable to find him, the Irish carried on to the Morris Tavern in Carleton Place, where they broke in and damaged the now vacated tavern.