Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage


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During the London Olympic Games, various London funeral parlours were very concerned that the masses of extra traffic on the London streets would make negotiating roads difficult for their horse drawn hearses. Victorian style horse-drawn hearses can be hired in the UK and in other countries for funerals, even Canada and the USA. While some of the Victorian accouterments and social customs have long since been discarded like giving out jewellery, braided hair art, scarves and gloves along with hired mourners, pall bearers with batons, pages, mutes and feathermen, the use of horse-drawn hearses remains largely the same today. Then you can also rent something like this.


Bill Matthews of Carleton Place had such a horse driven hearse in his undertaking business. It had very high wheels and looked to be quite top heavy. Inside were draped black curtains with a heavy silk fringe. For years Bolton Culbertson with his beautiful black horses drove the hearse. The horses wore throws or blankets in black also large tassels were positioned on the horses ears.

Joann Voyce said Patterson and Sons also had one in Carleton Place. It was stored for many years in the old Hearse House on Bridge St. She remembers back in the 50’s dragging it out onto the road and getting the boys to be their horses. They did get into a bit of trouble over that and  never saw it again! Thanks Joann!






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.

2 responses »

  1. Patterson and Sons also had one. It was stored for many years in the old Hearse House on Bridge St. I remember back in the 50’s dragging it out onto the road and getting the boys to be our horses. We did get into a bit of trouble over that and I never saw it again!

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