So Who Lived at 410 Franktown Road?

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In December I wrote a story called: What Do You Know About this House? It took awhile, but I finally made it to the Ontario Land Registry offices last week in Almonte. So what did I learn? I found out that the original grant of land went all the way down to the Woolgrowers, and through the years piece by piece was severed off. Joseph L. McNeely  is listed as the original owner of the home.

Hi Linda…..I wish my father-in-law was alive…he could tell you all about the McNeely house on Franktown Road…..he was Lorne McNeely and he knew the two McNeely sisters who lived there.  They offered the house to him and that he could pay them whatever he could as they wanted to keep the house in the McNeely but my mother-in-law didn’t want to move out there at that time.  My hubby does remember the sisters living there and that they drove a 1939 Buick.  Wish I could tell you more.

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I felt sad when I read another McNeely family had originally owned the former farmhouse. Muriel McNeely Simpson, Howard McNeely’s sister, used to live across the street from me on Campbell Street. There was not a day that did not go by that she did not tell me the story about  her  beloved”McNeely farmhouse” that she was born and raised in. Her home once sat just below about where Mitchell’s Independent’s Grocery now sits.

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I often heard stories about life on the farm and how every day she got more depressed as she watched the building fall apart from neglect similar to the McCrae farm across the road. Muriel did not live to see the day of box stores and having the new road and bridge named after the McNeely’s, and I often wonder today how often she would be complaining about the new structures. She would probably throw in a “Hmmph” and “For Land’s Sake” in the conversation every 60 seconds. Of course there is no doubt she would throw her hands up in the air and repeat what she would tell the neighbours when we were building the addition on my home.

“Do these people know what they are doing?”

So I felt sad that somewhere down the line another McNeely farmhouse will eventually be expropriated for a sub-division. I know progress is progress– but personally, I would still like to keep history alive, especially since one McNeely farmhouse was abandoned and destroyed for commerce. But, that is just me, and life moves on–I am simply old and too sentimental for some of this stuff.

So what do we know about Miss Prisicilla Victoria McNeely? Not much, and I am hoping some people will remember something about her and the old farmhouse, so we can document it and keep it for posterity.

Pricilla McNeely’s Brother

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Gary Box–
This is a wonderful but sad story…..it is one of my favourate homes when I visit CP. We used to call it the “Widow’s House” when we were kids. It should be made a Historic Site!

The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum has the following documents in their files.

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1.      Rectangular paper diploma with writing and illustrations in black.”Collegiate Institutes High Schools and Continuation Schools of Ontario, It Is Hereby Certified That Hilda Cram has compleied with the requirements of the department of Education for admission to a Collegiate Institute, High School or Continuation School. Dated at Carleton Place, July 20, 1921, R.C. Rose, Secretary, Priscilla V.M. McNeely, Chairman“.

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2.       Black and white photograph on grey card backing. It appears to be a school picture from CPHS possibly taken between 1914-15. There are very few boys in the class and one is wearing a military uniform. The photograph was taken by Hammond of Carleton Place.The names listed on the back are:

Front Row L to R; Ethel Weir, Mary McFadden, Millicent Lusher, Elsie Williams, Mary Hill, Bessie McCallum, Wilena McRorie.

Second Row L to R; Dorothy Findlay, Annie Mullett, Marjorie Taber, Irene Lusher, Helen Findlay, Jean Craig, Helen Mullet, Norma Weeks, Gladys Paul.

Third Row L to R; Janet Wilson, Jessie McTavish, Hazel Robertson, Blanche McKim, Alma Hammond, Priscilla McNeely (Form Teacher), Irene Campbell, Millie McIntyre, Jean McLaren, Bulah Leach.

Fourth Row L to R; MacFarlane Neilson, Fraser McDougall, Barnet Armstrong, Orval Gorm, Bill Cram, Joe Corkery, Ernest Hammond.

Obituary October 1959

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Pinegrove Cemetery

In Loving Memory of

Joseph McNeely, his wife, Susan Lasharity, Their family Miriam Jane, John S. L., H. Elizabeth (Betty), Priscilla Victoria.

Historical Note: This picture is from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum CPHS 1966 annual– Top row number 5 is my friend Dot Smith. She was the niece of my late neighbour Muriel McNeely and her uncle was iconic Howard McNeely

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December 1 2021

What would “Jane Jacobs” have done? She would have voted no or asked to have the developer incorporate with the heritage.. That’s what I did.. I voted no..




Photos Jennifer Fenwick Irwin and Roger Rattray—

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.

8 responses »

  1. Gosh I used to play in the field beside the house. lots . my grandparents, the Jamiesons lived across the Franktown Rd. from the 1900s to the 1950s. They knew al the McNeely’s. I am distantly related to Mrs Muriel
    McNeely. I Used to play in the field beside the house as a child in the 1940’s. .We jumped on the big juniper bushes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a wonderful but sad story…..it is one of my favourate homes when I visit CP. We used to call it the “Widow’s House” when we were kids. It should be made a Historic Site!

    Like

  3. I lived in that house for 6 months in 2001/2002. Beautiful inside, but haunted AF. Doors would open in their own, shadows would appear out of nowhere, scared my kids. I am surprised that it was never deemed a heritage home as it was there over 100 years. Kind of a shame really. But I do not miss the ghosts

    Like

  4. Interesting history I loved walking by this area and seeing the beautiful house wondering if anyone lived there what a beautiful house they had Has it after always been empty..!?
    So sad it’s forever gone it didn’t need or look like it needed to be!.,,,
    Someone could have loved to live there I would if I could have

    Like

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