The Brick Houses of Carleton Place

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brickhouse

A few months ago I wrote about our local brickyards and the clay pits of Carleton Place. The clay pits were situated where I  put the No Alligators sign under Ralph Shaw’s sign at the Arklan School 4 corners.  The Godfrey brickyards were located just about where Shopper’s Drugmart is located now. About 300,000 red soft bricks were made in the brick season which lasted 4 months. It was owned by Taylor, Willoughby and Burgess before being purchased in 1914 by Thomas Godfrey.

The Godfrey’s lived down the street at 284 Lake Ave East and Thomas Godfrey’s son, Charlie, used to visit his father’s plant almost on a daily basis.  He was assigned chores, but he used to love to watch the men working in the clay pits removing clay with picks and shovels. The back breaking work never stopped and then the employees would have to load it all up on flat beds that were later hauled to the brickyards by horse.

After the bricks were formed and dried for two weeks they would fire up the kiln and once that fire was lit it would not go out until the bricks were brunt to their proper colour. The glow of the fire was said to be seen for miles at night as work at the brickyard was in shifts but open 24 hours a day.

Most of the bricks were sold locally and some of Carleton Place’s finest homes in their days were constructed out of our local brick. Architecture begins when you put two bricks together and Findlay’s Foundry and the original Carleton Place High School also had their beginning at our local brick yard. Next time you pass by a brick home in Carleton Place, think of the work it took just to make one lone red brick.

 

“Ow, it’s a brick house
Well put-together, everybody knows
This is how the story goes”

With files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Thrilled to get this comment from Ken Godfrey

Hi Linda, I remember this brick house well, as it was my home from about 1953 to 1969. It was built by my grandfather, Thomas Godfrey, and he and his wife, Laura McLachlan, lived in it most of their lives! The main floor joists are in fact cedar logs, and I recall peeling some of the bark from them as a kid. Great memories, and thanks for your story.
Ken Godfrey

 

Original sign hanging in the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

ally (1)

New sign I had put up thanks to Ralph Shaw and 53 Colours on the  lake Ave east four corners

alligatr

 

 

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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.

4 responses »

  1. Last paragraph ‘Most of the brick…’. Wow, an ‘ah, ha’ moment. To think, this was a town that was self-sufficent. Opinion – we sure fell off the wagon. Don’t care how that happened, how do we get back on the wagon?

  2. Hi Linda, I remember this brick house well, as it was my home from about 1953 to 1969. It was built by my grandfather, Thomas Godfrey, and he and his wife, Laura McLachlan, lived in it most of their lives! The main floor joists are in fact cedar logs, and I recall peeling some of the bark from them as a kid. Great memories, and thanks for your story.
    Ken Godfrey

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