I wrote a story months ago about that smart youngin’ in town called Ben White and his dealings with the old alligator hole on Lake Ave East and McNeely. It was a whopper of a tale–but honestly, there have been a ton of yarns coming out of that corner every day since I moved here in the summer of ’81.
Did you know there was once a brickyard in Carleton Place on the southeast of the McNeely and Lake Ave intersection? Mary Cook once wrote a story about Mr. Godfrey who ran that business– so, if you see her around maybe she well share a tale or two. When you drive by Shopper’s Drugmart– remember the men who worked hard to produce the bricks for our local town homes.
Thomas Godfrey from Carleton Place was one of the brick companies that made over 300,000 bricks for four months each season. Before Godfrey, it was owned by Taylor, Willowby, and Burgess before being run by Thomas. Godfrey. At night the sky would glow, and smoke would fill the air, and it all originated from the brickyard. Only 2-3 feet of clay was used to make bricks as it becomes stony below. So where did most of that clay come from? Well, it came from the old alligator hole located under all those condos now going up.
While the town of Carleton Place still ponders about the old clay hole alligator, we need consider the newsworthiness of a possible discovery of a giant alligator—even in areas where the reptile are not common. Throughout the recorded history of North American alligators, accounts of colossal alligators are abundant and often accepted as truthful in spite of a lack of hard data or evidence to affirm such reports. Last local I talked too said Digger the Carleton Place alligator measured at an even fifteen feet. Talk among yourselves.:)
Carleton Place Thought: The brickyards historical sign is located in the parking lot of Rental Village. That is a heap of a distance from its actual location. My suggestion? At the Arklan Stop sign where the tree faces are and the Ralph Shaw For Sale sign is…. well…. maybe that corner could be used to place those historical signs that are over at Rental Village now with a bench and a dedication to the old alligator hole. We have so many places that cold be tourist attractions– it’s mind boggling.