Did You Know Where Happy Valley was in Carleton Place?





From an article in Prohibition Canada

To say that not everyone in Canada supported prohibition is an enormous understatement.  One has to understand that when prohibition was enacted in most provinces, it was the circumstances of the referendums (many men were at war, many women were voting, it was seen as being patriotic to support prohibition) that tipped the vote on the side of majority.  Nevertheless, liquor was banned, yet many still wanted liquor.

There were numerous ways to get around the system of provincial prohibition, and just hide from the government.  Some of these places and tactics include: doctors’ prescriptions, speakeasies, or blind pigs, and bootlegging among others.  One way people tried to obtain alcohol legally was through a doctor’s prescription.  If given a doctor’s prescription, that person could go to the local drugstore and fill the prescription by buying alcohol, as at the time it was common to drink alcohol if one was sick.

In Ontario from 1923-1924, doctors had issued a total of 810,000 prescriptions for alcohol, which would seem suspicious, but the outbreak of the Spanish Flu at the time accounted for many actually being ill and others pretending they had influenza just for the liquor.  As public sale of alcohol was outlawed, the drinking went underground to private places not everyone could access.

Speakeasies, or blind pigs, were private saloons set up during prohibition that were accessible only by password and were highly popular because they were bootlegging (the sale of alcohol as a beverage) at a time were alcohol was not as easy to come by.  Despite the fact that the sale of alcohol was banned, these speakeasies still obtained good liquor from brewers and distillers through bribery, and falsified contracts.  Though not all liquor going around at that time was good liquor, some who could not obtain real liquor, produced their own moonshine, which was homemade liquor.



So, we have read about an area around Santiago Street called Chiselville in the 1800s a few months ago. But where was Happy Valley? Well chances are if you talk to someone who has lived her a spell, they will tell you that Happy Valley was just off Townline Street in the Lanark and Carleton Street area, where you could get yourself some illegal booze no questions asked.

I am still waiting for some stories to come out of the locals to write about this area–so if you know of any stories about the white lightening of Carleton Place do tell please. I am all ears!




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal07 Apr 1950, FriPage 12


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. In the 1960s and earlier Happy Valley Carleton Place started at the end of Neelon Street. Neelon Street ended at Lisgar Stree then. One side of Happy Valley went from Neelon to the Mississippi River. As you walk toward the river from Neelon, to the right was Happy Valley, to the left was the town dump. The soccer fields are built over the town dump and the arena is where Happy Valley begins. Happy Valley extends over Begley Street and Patterson Crescent to the new Curling Club, all were open fields and wooded area. It ended around McNeely Ave. where farmland began and there was no McNeely Ave on that side of Lake Avene then, just a farmers road. I believe it was called Happy Valley because War Vets suffering what is now know as PTSD, then had no treatment or diagnosis and were left to their own to deal with the traumas of war. Here is where they went to escape their trauma, in a bottle of wine. Our then treatment of Vets a sad disgrace on our society. But as a small child it was a wonder land of nature that I lived, grew and explored in.

      • Good question. This is my understanding. You may want to review it with people who lived in the area. I lived at 12 Neelon. I was a kid so….. John Edwards was a year or two older than me so people of that era, or older, may be able to verify the accuracy of my memories.

      • Okay Peter… this is how I work.. I begin with a story and people add comments.. ad that is how we piece it together..:) So I will being if that is okay..:)

      • Sure, post it. I’m involved with researching the ships made in Mahone Bay Nova Scotia. we have several hundred names and are now looking to find their stories. The people who built them, sailed them, where they sailed etc. Is this a good forum to start gathering hundreds of different stories?

  2. Linda there seems to be two threads to this. The other thread is much more active and has refreshed my memory on Happy Valley, or more accurately Treasure Valley. My response in the other thread was:
    What an active blog! Glad I returned to see if my comments were posted. Wendy LeBlanc is correct the area I described was Treasure Valley. I’d forgotten about Sh1t Creek until reading Joann Voyce comments. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    • Peter.. all is well– Happy Valley was the first blog.. the comments are on the most recent one.. so now we know is was Treasure Valley and will add that.. This is why we do this.. we gather info.. 🙂

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