Who Caught the Big Shark in Carleton Place?


“It was the third week of June in 1898, and every single day for a week the townsfolk gathered on the Carleton Place bridge overlooking the Mississippi, to catch a glimpse of something big in the water. Some said a shark had migrated into the Mississippi, but no one could say how a shark could possibly do that. Each day the crowds assembled on the bridge to watch the movements of an extremely large fish that seemed to taunt all those that tried to capture it”.


In July I wrote a story about a mysterious fish that swam under the Central Bridge every day and yesterday I found the story of who caught it.

Joe Girouard trundled a twenty seven pike on a wheelbarrow down Bridge Street the day he caught the mysterious fish that had swam for weeks on a daily basis under the Central Bridge in Carleton Place. He had a picture taken holding the fish in the same pose as the picture on the bottles of Scott’s Emulsion. We believe that people were so in awe of his catch that Joe’s picture appeared on a Carleton Place Canoe Club regatta program on that of “Old Home Week”.


Historical Fact


Even the most steadfast proponents of cod-liver oil, such as de Jongh and Bennett, admitted that the highly disagreeable taste and smell presented a significant hurdle to its use. In 1873 Alfred B. Scott came to New York City and, along with partner Samuel W. Bowne, began experimenting to produce a less nauseating preparation of cod-liver oil. Three years later they established the firm of Scott and Bowne, and began marketing their product as Scott’s Emulsion. It is still sold today.

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.

2 responses »

  1. Hello Linda,

    Loved the article. My great great grandfather was Joe Girouard of Carleton Place – would this be the same man? He was born 1835 in Rigaud, married Mary Ann Delaney of Tipperary Ireland who immigrated to Canada in 152 – had all of their children in and around Carleton Place and he passed in 1911. You have actually posted another story about the train accident Nov 21, 1905 of Joseph St Denis my great grandfather who was Joe Girouard’s son-n law. Joseph was married to Bridget Girouard and after Joseph’s death she married the widow J. J. Burke
    If you come across any info on this family I would be so grateful – other than census’ it’s like they never existed?

    Kelly St-Denis


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