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.