The Name Game —The Dunlops and the North Industrial Park

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Next Tuesday night, October 13th, will be the time that we make our plea at the Carleton Place town council meeting.

Being a creative person I want a sign naming job. You know, the guy who decides that this neighborhood is going to have composer names for their streets, while the developer decides he is going to name all the girls he dated on his project. Then there are the people that think history does not matter, yet they sometimes have the power to make envelope addressing a living hell. So what’s in a name?

Almonte was named after a general because they liked the way the name sounded. It was known as Shepherd’s Falls ; later on it was called Shipman’s Mills, and Shipman’s Falls. Names seem to have been plentiful in those days, for it received more short-lived names like: Ballygiblin, then Ramsayville, and Waterford. To obviate this confusion a public meeting was held, and the question of what to call it was discussed. The only reason the council named their town Almonte was because there was “magic in a name.” The name of a Mexican “General, Al-mon-te, then prominent before the public, was chosen —” Almonte.”

In some towns like Carleton Place, you will notice that streets names have changed, or directions have even changed at certain points like at Napoleon and William Street. If a new developer didn’t like the name of the existing street, he would sometimes re-name his extension of it. Of course, the Town Council can always vote to change the name of a street later. Guidelines and standards for certain areas might require street names to be of a specific theme. So, instead of being tributes to Terry Fox, some named streets can look kind of silly as descriptors of … nobody–like the North Industrial Park.

I was told many times  not to bother taking on this fight of renaming the Industrial Park or even an area of it– and especially don’t bring it to council. As the minutes of the last meeting read: the staff recommendation is that no new name for the North Industrial Park be considered at this time. The North Industrial Park– that has got a ‘homey’ ring to it doesn’t it?

I don’t know the Dunlop/ Kenny family from squat, but my mantra is: when people say not to bother doing something, that’s when nothing happens. When people don’t bother– nobody bothers. People ask me why I bother writing about the town of Carleton Place. Why shouldn’t I ? I love my town and I live here.

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Much as I hate to admit it, I think I got the fight of caring about my town and the people in it from my father. My father also bothered caring about my birth town of Cowansville, Quebec and was an alderman and a deputy mayor for decades. He was told not to bother about making major changes to a town the size of Carleton Place many times, but they got done. So I know that if someone says no, somewhere, somehow, things can be changed and they can be done.

Wally Cook who was a councilman on that very council in 1964 bothered to call me three hours later after my initial phone interview about that event to make sure something was perfectly clear. There would be have been no industrial park deal, nor would then mayor Howard McNeely have made that deal within 48 hours with the Rolark Co. if the Dunlops had not bothered to care about the town of Carleton Place. The Dunlop family have been strong supporters of our town since 1828. If not for that, then for the son of Anna Dunlop, Clayton Kenny, that made Carleton Place proud as an Olympian.

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We need some feel good news in this town right now, and my plea would be to kindly ask the council to honour what was probably an agreement and a handshake in those days. As Wally Cook said: he had heard various rumours also about the name, but it was too late to do anything as McNeely was no longer mayor, and that particular council had been disbanded. What should have been made right years ago should made right now. Not only for the Dunlop/Kenny family, but for the town of Carleton Place.

Why? Because that’s what we have tried to do all these years in this town – care not only about the Roy Browns, and the Morphys, Moores, and Crams.but also care about the little folk that made our town what it is, by being strong supporters.  That’s what’s called bothering to do what’s right. The trend of naming streets after former landowners or themselves is largely in the past now, but I’d like to think that we as the town of Carleton Place care about the past. because in all honesty, it does matter. This decision should not be about present, or past council’s neglect, or staff’s opinions. It’s not about me, or you–it’s about all of us--the town of Carleton Place. That’s what’s called: bothering to do what’s right. Let’s make sure the Dunlop name is honoured the way it should be. Let this not become a name game.

Next Tuesday night, October 13th, will be the time that we make our plea at the Carleton Place town council meeting.

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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