The Natives of Carleton Place — Violins and Deer

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We have talked about the Moores, the Morphys and the list goes on. No one really has talked about the natives that lived in various parts of Carleton Place. The falls and river which attracted them were also home to the local natives. Nomadic native Indians used to hunt, trap and fish at some of their favoured sites in the neighbourhood among the early settlers of Carleton Place. Later generations of Indians camped nearby from time to time as sellers of their furs or handicraft products. The bottom door of the old Patterson Funeral Business next to the bridge was a popular trading area for them.

They said the Carleton Place falls were twenty feet high and there is a story that has been told about a young boy who took off his shoes, and with a staff crossed the ledge. The boy was mystified by finding a path to the water’s edge above and below the falls, which he knew afterwards to be a portage path made by the natives carrying their canoes around the falls.

Howard Morton Brown told a story about Edmond Morphy’s relationship with the Natives. Edmond was a fine violinist and could read music. His violin which was made by James Perry of Kilkenny, later of Dublin. There were quite a few fiddlers in those days, but few could read music. The natives loved to hear Morphy play, and one of them even took lessons from him. Morphy was always on good terms with the various Natives that lived in Carleton Place. He once shot a deer while watching a flock of ducks. The deer stooped to drink so close to him that he killed it with only charge of buckshot.

One of the Natives had been following the deer closely and was extremely disappointed he had lost his game. The Indian told Morphy in limited English:

“No meat in wigwam for Squaw and Papoose!”

Edmund and the native quickly settled the matter justly for both and established a rule to govern in like cases.

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

2 responses »

  1. To the best of my knowledge, The building at the bridge was never a Funeral Home. It was a Furniture Store with a Casket viewing room on the second floor and an Embalming room, an office and a storage room full of HUGE bottles of Blue enbalming fluid.(The enbalming room was also where the motor for the boat was stored )The actual Funeral Home was on Lake Avenue West on the south east corner of Sarah Street across from The Olde Bakery. Joseph and Ella Patterson lived in the house and it became the Funeral Home.They were one of my best friend’s grandparents and I was in both buildings many times.A few years ago I went to have new ear piercing done and I informed them that the room I was in was the Enbalming RoomLOL

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