Nomadic native Indians used to hunt, trap and fish at some of their favoured sites in the neighbourhood among the early settlers of Carleton Place. Later generations of Indians camped nearby from time to time as sellers of their furs or handicraft products.
The nightly howling of wolves or of an occasional prowling lynx could be heard at times near farm clearings or at the village borders, providing a disturbing serenade for timid persons and owners of unprotected young livestock. Some have said they still hear howlings coming from somewhere called “the dead grounds” near the St. James Cemetery.
One summer night in the 60s two young Carleton Place boys took their flashlights and went down to the woods that circle the St. James cemetery. Suddenly they began to hear a distant howling and saw a wolf standing on a rock looking at them with yellow eyes that actually looked like flashlights themselves. It kept staring at them for long time and they both stood there unable to move. Finally they pointed the light right at it and it disappeared, but they heard the howling once again.
At that point in time they decided it was time to go home. When they were walking back they looked behind them and saw the same wolf standing on the same rock looking right at them. Back at their Grandmother’s farm house one of the boys asked his grandmother if there are any wolves around there. She told him that she never saw any wolf there, but she had heard many stories about a wolf who kept coming around the area. One of the farmers had caught a wolf trying to eat one of the horses, so he chased him down to the woods and shot him there. Was the wolf reliving his past, or was he now a guardian over the wooded area of St. James cemetery?
One of the monument installers came one day to do a job at the cemetery and he saw a dog run past him and stop dead in his tracks near the woods. The dog backed up and attempted his journey again. Once again he stopped, and his ears went up. No wanting to see what he was seeing again the dog quickly turned around and went in the other direction. The man said he had never ever seen anything like that in his life, and it shook his soul Was it the wolf protecting the children of the cemetery as their personal guardian?