Church Choir Picnic – 1885 just in front of the Hawthorne Mill Emily Street–A Chronicle of the people of the Methodist Church in Canada— Photo from Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The Central Canadian was founded in January 1876, under the sponsorship of William Bredin of Carleton Place, with William W. Cliff as editor and publisher. There were 1,800 persons living in Carleton Place at the time and one of them just outside the townlines in the late 1800s was devoted to the local newspaper.
There was a rather elderly farmer in Beckwith who had decided he had worked long enough, so he turned the farm over to his son. A few years later the son got *Western Fever, so the farmer sold his farm and decided to move out to Winnipeg, Manitoba with a lot of other Carleton Place residents. One last time he came into town to say goodbye to his friends, especially his best friend, William W. Cliff publisher of The Central Canadian.
The man still wanted to read his hometown paper for the rest of his life so he asked Mr. Cliff how much it would cost to send the paper to him to Winnipeg. To cheer up the farmer, W.W. said 10 dollars would cover the cost. The publisher figured a dollar a year, for what might be a ten-year life span for the farmer, would cover it. Every week the paper was dutifully mailed to him. The old Beckwith farmer finally passed on thirty years later. The deal of the century!
*Fact- The Western Fever was one would call the West Nile virus today