The Crazy Town World of Mr. George Arthur Burgess of Carleton Place


Burgess (2)

Things were different in the old days. People lived by values, and when they felt the world’s values were not tough enough they created their own. Inside the beautiful home down at the end of Lake Avenue East once lived the Burgess family. George Arthur Burgess was a wealthy local businessman, who also served as Mayor of Carleton Place in 1903 and in 1922. Burgess was also farmer who once operated a large dairy mill, sawmill and of course the brickyard. But, he also had another side to him some were not aware of. Well, maybe they were. It wasn’t only Dr. Howard in the town of Carleton Place that had tongues wagging.

Burgess was also an eccentric who expressed his views in guest speaker appearances to anyone who would listen. In a flyer that was given out at an engagement in Las Vegas he stated many things that today might be considered controversial. Burgess wanted everyone to know that he was a truthful, honest, sober,  and a bodily-peaceful person. But, he was also a mental fighter for what he believed to be right, and was totally against what was wrong.

In the same sentence he said he had traveled ‘This Great World’ at least six times but refused to “accept a lease” (refuse to consent to the sublet if there are reasonable grounds) of every restaurant in Carleton Place.


The eccentric said he had been cruelly and unjustly charged in the Supreme Court of Ontario as a supposed lunatic, by a greedy untruthful wife aided by bigoted, untruthful, jealous persons. Those would be the solicitors for his ex-wife Marjorie Burgess-Stewart,  Hope and O’Donnell of Perth, Ontario.


Did you know that businessman and former CP mayor was a little nutty as stories go? His wife tried to get him declared insane a couple of times. Clipped from The Ottawa Citizen, 14 Jun 1923, Thu, Page 3

Burgess studied law in Reno, Nevada, Cumberland University, Lebanon Tenn. and believed he was qualified to practice law anywhere in the USA— even though he had been told otherwise.

The pious man believed that Jesus of Nazareth tried deception and trickery to induce men to follow him so he might gain King David’s Kingdom. I will spare you about 150 words about what else he believed in, only to say George Arthur renounced the Christian religion and was utterly delighted to state that he was NOT a Christian. He said he worshiped God DIRECTLY, and therefore he called himself a Godlian.

Alright Mr. Burgess– welcome to Carleton Place’s Whimsical People lineage. Please stand right next to Dr. Howard of Carleton Place if you please. I am sure I will be joining this list when I pass on– in fact I am quite certain! After all, life is all about finding people who are your kind of crazy.


CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada22 May 1922, Mon  •  Page 8

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.

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