Before and After in Carleton Place — Mac Williams and The Good Food Co



.mayhew Milliner schwerdtfeger tobacconistFINAL EC

If you look at the picture of this building,  Miss Mayhew’s and  Schwerdtfeger ‘s stores became ‘As Good As New’.  The man that looks like he is holding on to the hitching post is standing in front of what is now The Good Food Co.


Before The Good Food Co. that particular location was a hardware store, a tailoring business, a grocery store and Mac Williams Drugstore. Mac Williams retired in 1982 and is still missed. If you search in the media archives online, chances are you won’t find much about Mac Williams except that maybe that he played in a baseball game at Riverside Park between junior teams of Carleton Place and of the Smiths Falls C.P.R. club in 1919.

But, if you are old enough to remember Mac William’s Drugstore, then you must have bought candy on your way back and forth from the Central School. If you close your eyes some of you can probably still see the Coca Cola cooler sitting in the right hand window. Then there was that big TV test tube testing machine in the front of the store when a television had test tubes.

Mac William’s was said to be the kindest man in town, and once in awhile he would drop off sandwiches to feed the less fortunate on the steps of the former Zion Church. Mac even spent time chatting with them.

Many town kids used his front lawn on Beckwith Street so they could slide down the hill from his house to the parking lot for the old arena. Most times the sleds were made out of cardboard, and if you didn’t have one, he would always magically come up with something suitable from the drugstore.

The children of Carleton Place were always welcome in Mac William’s yard and store. When you went into his drug store he always had a free rolo ice cream cone, or maybe some free chocolate. It’s a wonder he stayed in business so long being so giving, but I have a feeling that Mac Williams knew that being generous in spirit was the way to live.

The Good Food Co. 28-seat cafe has been serving up delectable, seasonally-inspired, from-scratch fare since August 1997. Did you now that they serve fair-trade coffee by the Equator Coffee from Almonte and that their bread is supplied by Baker Bob’s in Almonte?

In Memory of Mac Williams and his generous heart.


Photos from the Carleton Place Carleton Place Canadian files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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. I worked in the drug store for Mac Williams from the time I was 13 until I graduated from high school in 1969…great memories!

    Mary Ann Gagnon(Dawson)

  2. I have a piece of marble that I use for a cutting board. It was the base from a soda fountain in Mac Williams drug store. My grandfather Mark Anthony Rubino was a good friend of his, any way it’s still going to good use.

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