Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away



Rosamund House on Bell Street- Photo– Heritage Carleton Place

Yesterday Steve VanVeit said on Facebook:  Interesting article, but what captured my attention and I would like to ask is why did industry like Findlay Limited, Bates & Innes, Renfrew Woolen Mills, Superior Propane and Calhoun Stain Glass close and give up on Carleton Place!

My answer was: I have written about Bates and Innes.. Renfrew Woolen Mills (Hawthorne). it was lack of business–strikes, and running out of money– they were forced to shut down. No one wanted to shut down in those days. But, we did let a giant slip away back in the early 1800’s


rosamond house.jpg

Photo-Public Archives 1936- Rosamond/ Muirhead house is in the distance

James Rosamond, the textile king in Almonte once owned the home on Bell Street.The home is located on a piece of land originally obtained by William Morphy who came in 1819 but he never received a deed for the land until way after 1824. Morphy sold a portion of the land to James Rosamond who built the stone home that sits next to Hurd’s Hall. He was also once once of the first industrialist developers in Carleton Place.

James Rosamond built mills in Carleton Place and Almonte in the 1840s and 1850s. His sons, Bennett and James, began the large Almonte mill in 1866, in partnership with George Stephen of Montréal. Rosamond operated a woolen factory across the street from his home in Carleton Place until he had a dispute with the town council about the lease of the land. He left in disgust and began the Rosamond Woolen Mill in Almonte. It became one of the most progressive mills in Canada. Bell Street was also known as a thriving street. The street had some twenty five buildings scattered along its present four blocks.


*Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Between his home and Bridge Street there were the following businesses: McEwen’s Weaving  Room, a confectionery store, a hotel first owned by Mr. Kelly, second by McCaffrey and third by Mr. Wilson. There was Waugh’s Harness Shop, Galvin’s Tailor Shop, Williams and Halliday’s Drug Store. Glover’s Shoe Store, a barber shop, and the Arcade on the corner. The new Sumner Arcade on its Bridge Street corner was built on the site of the original 1829 store of Robert Bell, in which the post office once had been located for many years. Tanner McNeely’s home was also on Bridge Street and the back of  his building, the tannery, still sits on the on the bank of the Mississippi river.


After Rosamond left in an angry cloud of smoke Dr. Hurd, who had married one of daughters, lived in the family’ stone home. Hurd was the one that built the white frame house that still stands next door and is called Hurd’s Hall. It is the most photographed piece of architecture in Carleton Place. Hurd’s office and Sinclair’s tailor shop were on the bottom floor and he rented the floor above as a concert hall, school, and a Masonic Lodge.  The upper flat of the building was also McKay’s Bakery for many years, and even a venue for the town council in 1871. The men would use the existing side staircase to obtain entry to the upper hall which the current owner found when she renovated. if you drive down Bell Street today- it is a ghost of its once former thriving self.


Photo of Bell Street in Carleton Place by The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Bell Street heading towards Bridge Street c.1870. The photograph features some of our first hotels in Carleton Place! On Bridge Street facing the camera is the “Waterloo Hotel”, which was built in the late 1830s for innkeepers Robert and James Bell. Napoleon Lavellee took over in 1846, later renaming it the “Carleton House Hotel” after building a third floor in 1856. He operated until 1870. It was then renamed the “Leland Hotel” by Peter Salter in 1900. Finally in 1904 Michael Doyle operated the hotel and his son, Leo, took over in 1916.
On the right side of the street is “McCaffrey’s Hotel”, operated by Absolam McCaffrey from 1863 to 1870

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

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.

2 responses »

  1. Imagine…a town council discouraging business them no other option than to leave town ..sounds a bit like a recent story about a chocolate shop. Unfortunate that public input wasn’t sought back in day or in 2015. I suspect the outcome may have been different in both cases and Carleton Place better for it.

    Liked by 1 person

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