Old McRostie Had a Farm in Carleton Place

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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.

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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.

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Mrs. D. Findlay, Sr. (Catherine McRostie) – 1837/1933. Oldest Surviving Daughter of Carleton Place.

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.

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*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.

B/W Photos- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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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.

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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.

4 responses »

  1. what a great story! I knew a little of this from papers we received when we bought the house but just learned a whole lot more!

    Thank you

    Linda Miller

    • Linda call Jennifer at the Museum.. she might have more info on your home..They used to keep an Arabian horse in the Padlock and he was their pride and joy..:) Thanks for commenting and glad the house is in good hands.

  2. I never new any of the store about the house I grow up at 178 Flora street and when we moved in the home I was 4 years old in 1965. Where the park is now it was just a bush at the time until 1967.

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