The Riot on Edmund Street –Schools in Carleton Place


The story of high schools in Carleton Place is a lengthy one with many interesting sidelights. The corner stone of the present High School (Prince of Wales High School) was laid in 1923 and under it was placed a scroll containing the following information: The High School has made many moves since it was started, about 1848, as a Grammar School. Mr. Nelson, a highly educated gentleman, was the first teacher. The first building used was a frame one on the Central School grounds.

From there it was moved to Hurd’s Hall on Bell Street, being the upper flat of the building for many years known as McKay’s Bakery. After that the present Holiness Church on the corner of Bridge and Herriott Streets, was used for a short time. Then the north-east room in the present Central School was used.

From here it was moved to Newman’s Hall, in the rooms now occupied as temporary quarters for a High and a Public School class. This school went back again to the Central School building for a short time, until the present used building on High Street was ready for occupation in 1882.Note: Newman’s Hall is the building now occupied by the Brewers’ Retail Store and the school on High Street is the present Prince of Wales School.Wikipedia

Almonte Gazette-October 27 1871–Our thriving neighbour— Carleton Place— is going to build a town hall, to cost about 6,000 or $7,000. We understand that our townsman, Mr. Wm. Willoughby, has got the contract, and will begin work as soon as the mow disappears next spring. The now hall hall be erected on the north side of the river, and in rear of Mr. Wm. Glover’s property. It later became the Victoria Public school and then the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


1878 – A separate High School of stone construction was built on High Street called the Prince of Wales School.  During the course of bitter and widespread disputes and litigation, based on a division of business and real estate interests between the north and south halves of the town, the new school, though much needed remained unused for nearly five years.


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1879 – In continuance of prolonged controversy over the sites of the High School and Town Hall, the Town Hall on Edmund Street was converted in part into a public school, a step which brought a brief stage of physical violence followed by allegations of riot, assault and libel and a number of related court actions. The town hall settled into service as a combination Public School and village lock-up. Which currently houses The Victoria School Museum, now called The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.



The end of the Central School– Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Sirotek Construction and Company filed on the low bid at $174,470 on the Carleton Place building on the demolition of Central School and Douglas Bremmer contractors and Builders Ltd at $204,447 filed the highest tender.


Brian Thornton We were segregated at recess. Boys on one side and girls on the other. Just in case anyone had forgotten

Back row: Roger Easson, Jack McLaughlin, Bobby Richardson, Brian Clifford, Bobby Besbitt, Teddy Letts, Tim Walford, Alan Dryden. Third row: Jean Baker, Joan Baker, Christine Corneil, Lan Ann Cachrane, Linda Johnston, Deborah Johnston, Linda Miner, Cathy McNeely. Second row: Brian Saunders, Allan Parier, Allan Stevens, Barry Richardson, Victor Bennett, Paul McDowall, Steven Dickie, Ricky Caylis. Front Row: Keith Jinkinson, Ruth Wilson, Diana Wilson, Raymond Coulon, Bonnie Rasinhurg, Ross Trimble, Carol Ann Dalton, Gerald Beyers. The teacher is Miss Ollie Robertson.

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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