The Old Nichol’s Swimming Hole in Carleton Place



This photo taken from the south shore of the Mississippi River shows the foundry to the right, with the Findlay family’s boathouse at centre. Foundry buildings took up the whole property, right up to High Street.–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


In the old days according to the files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum only the boys swam at the old Abner Nichols Mill. The girls swam at the old Findlay Boat house behind the foundry.

old hole

Boys being boys would skinny dip, and it didn’t matter if it was day or night. Heck, they just knew there wouldn’t be any girls around. Abner Nichols & Son had their sawmill at the riverside on Flora Street. Nichols always supplied a wide plank for a diving board and they would call him Old Bill when he was out of earshot.


William A. Nichols – 1870/1933-Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Mayor of Carleton Place – 1902 – Planning & Sawmill Owner.

Bob Dowdall was the sawyer. He would roll the logs with a cane hook into the saw carriage, and it rolled back and forth on rollers. The planks were cut off by a man named Tom Hastings. He trimmed them and produced long pieces of slabs.

Memories from Ron MacFarlane

Historical Note


Detail of a log dog and log chain with the initials “A.N.” for Abner Nichols
Late 1800s Early 1900s- North Lanark Regional Museum via Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

lumber-camp (1).jpg
Photo from Carleton Place Canadian files-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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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