Shades of The Godfather in Dr. Preston’s Office in Carleton Place



I don’t know about you but I have a difficult time with taxidermy. I realize in years gone by it was the norm to have dead animals around your home and on the walls. A few years ago I walked into a friends home to see he had his two late dogs stuffed and on top of the television. I was horrified.


However–when does replacing books and magazines with a taxidermy head begin in a doctor’s office? I love horses, so seeing a horses head on the wall would bother me– especially if I was 8 years old.  Carleton Place’s local veterinary Dr. McGregor installed a two headed calf on his wall one day and Dr. Preston on Bridge Street decided to follow suit. What did he put on the wall?

Dr. Preston had a horse head placed on his vestibule wall and announced to all it was the real horse from “Little Vic’s Colt”.  Little Vic’s Colt was the story of a race horse with a white star between his eyes and the son of Victory and grandson of Man o’ War. Some people laughed at Little Vic and said Little Vic was too small and too jumpy to be a race horse. But when a young boy from Harlem called Pony loved a horse more than himself, great things happened–like being a jockey. Doris Gates wrote the beloved children’s book and it was published in 1951.

So my question is? Where did that horse head in Dr. Preston’s office come from? Where did it go? Do I really want to know? And-they call me strange…..

Who did the taxidermy in Carleton Place?  Seems Pete and Jimmy Garvin did a  lot of taxidermy work in their spare hours. Samples of their work were all over town and some of their best pieces used to be in the High School. Word was some of it was still hanging around until it was torn down.


Photos and files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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