Twin Oaks Motel Opens -1959 — Highway 7 Landmarks


twin oaks

Photo- Ottawa Citizen 1959


In 1959 the brand new Twin Oaks Motel opened and the motel was touted as another incentive  for tourists to stay over in Carleton Place. It was owned and operated by John and Natalie Mikolaitis and John acted as his own general contractor in the construction of the motel. The Twin Oaks Hotel was renowned as one of the first in Ontario to be entirely heated by electricity.

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Installing baseboards for heat was a novel new idea. In the late 50s there was an increasing interest in electric heat for the home. Each of the 12 units in the motel had their separate heat controls, complete 4 piece bathroom, wall to all carpeting and absolutely fire proof.




 photo courtesy of Tammy Marion


Postcard Shane Wm Edwards

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The Miklaitis also installed a  special water softener to assure that guests had soft water at their disposal. Television sets were offered with each unit at no extra cost.



Photo from EBay

Other Highway 7 landmarks —


Peter Watkins submitted this information and photo of the Gourmet.. Thanks Peter!

My Grandfather James Murray was the original owner of the now Gourmet restaurant which he sold to his daughter Janet and husband Paul Watkins (my parents) in 1950. They operated the business as a shell gas station, auto repair and dinner style restaurant until 1958. It was then sold and was operated as Heidi’s Restaurant. I have included an early arial photo taken during the 1940’s or so. Myself and my sisters have fond memories of the area which was known as the “four corners”. My eldest sister Pam and I attended the one room school house down at the corner. There was also another gas station near the school operated by Levi Ray, not sure but possibly an ESSO station.





Pond motel photos from

Tim Bell added: My parents bought the ” Pond Motel ” just down the road on hwy 7, i think in 1961. Sold it 5 years later. We had baseboard heating through out the motel also.

Sigma 7 on Highway 7 near the four corners– I found this postcard titled: The Sigma 7 Restaurant Shell Station in Carleton Place on Ebay.


February 1966 classified ad


After- The Gourmet Restaurant



Jim’s Restaurant







Heidi at Jim’s Restaurant 1967 Donna McFarlane


Jim Mikolaitis added:

Interesting article..
My parents built the Twin Oaks. Also built a “Frozen Custard” stand. We sold Dairy Queen product….there was only one DQ in Ottawa at the time. I was six years old and I used to make cones and served the public. Every year they would have a free ice cream day to start the season! Anyone remember that?




Fire at Big Jim’s farther down the road thanks to Donna Mcfarlane


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. Interesting article..
    My parents built the Twin Oaks. Also built a “Frozen Custard” stand. We sold Dairy Queen product….there was only one DQ in Ottawa at the time. I was six years old and I used to make cones and served the public. Every year they would have a free ice cream day to start the season! Anyone remember that?

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