When the Circus came to Carleton Place


download (63)

P. T. Barnum’s Great Travelling World Fair, Museum, Menagerie, Caravan Circus and Colossal Exposition of all Nations will pitch its Mighty Metropolis of twenty Centre Pole Pavilions at Carleton Place on Wednesday, July 15 and at Perth on Thursday, July 16 1896. The only time a circus could not perform in Carleton Place was in the late 1800s  when Van Amberg’s Circus bivouacked there one day in Franktown because both Perth and Carleton Place were too small to entertain so massive an establishment.


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum: We believe the Grandstand was built shortly after the town established Riverside Park in 1904. In 1905, “Use of the Town Park was opened by the visit of a three ring circus with a thirty cage menagerie, a twelfth of July celebration attended by 5,000 out of town visitors, and a lacrosse game between Renfrew and Carleton Place teams at the newly built grandstand and fenced athletic grounds.”

We are unsure of the exact date that the second section was built, however we have photographs of it as early as 1945. Here is one of the Grandstand on V.E. Day!

Bob White posted this photo–Found this Old photo in my scrap book. I would think a lot of people remember the Grandstands at Riverside Park in Carleton Place . Bob Bryce coached us in little league Hard Ball for many years as we traveled the Ottawa Valley. Kenny Jackson was our other coach. I would think this was taken about 40 some years ago.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s