Did You Know About the Leech School in Carleton Place?


In 1910 a public vote in Carleton Place endorsed a waterworks installation bylaw.  Twenty-five thousand feet of steel pipe was ordered from Scotland.  The excavation contractor from Kingston began work with thirty Bulgarians, who were quartered in the old Caldwell sawmill boarding house in the town park, a dozen Italians accommodated in the Leech school house building, and a dozen Romanians in addition to local excavation workers.


The Leech School was built of Beckwith limestone by marble works owner Mr. Leech as his residence along with *Isaac Willoughby. This building also served as a two-room school for many years known as the Leech School.


Marble dealer James Leech lived there and then it was owned by James Jelly turn of century, who worked for CPR as a road master. It became a school WE THINK in 1895 – that’s the first time it is marked as “school house” on a map.

Photo attached taken of Leech School in 1901–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


With files and photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


At a special meeting of the school board last evening it was decided to lease the Leech building on Lansdowne Ave­nue in order to procure additional school accommodation. Mr. H. Bonis, of St. Marys, Ont, was engaged as teacher of classics in the high school, at a salary of $700, and Miss Bella Ross, of Almonte, as teacher of modern languages, at a salary of $500.
*It was built in 1871 by Isaac Willoughby (1846 – 1899) who was married to Henrietta Bond in Carleton Place in 1868 and is identified in Central Canada Directory — 1876, as a stonemason living on Moore Street.   It is known that he and his brother William worked on the Leech School, the Jelly residence and the “large public school building” (Central School — since demolished, Post Office). Isaac was accidentally killed in 1899 when a stone hit his head while working at Cardinal, Ontario on one of the sections of the St. Lawrence Canal system.

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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