Something Stinks at Carleton Place Collegiate


Boys will be boys, and in the late 1800s there was a notorious Carleton Place High School/ Carleton Place Collegiate 4th form chemistry class. One day these boys decided to do some research by themselves. You have to remember in those days the chemistry department in the old high school was only separated by a thin partition and a string of empty stove pipes projected out into the 4th form class.

Well, I am sure you can smell trouble already, and the experiment began with the making of hydrogen sulfide which had an odour reminiscent of eggs gone bad. The test tube was held in the the stove pipe and the enticing aroma seeped out into the classroom. This was followed by a flurry of purple snow flakes from using permangnate of potash followed by an addition of black smoke from homemade gun powder.

Then a few sharp explosions occurred from chlorate of potash in a mortar being struck by the pestle. This was more than the popular French teacher could stand.  Let it be known she was also at that time the only female member of the staff.

When the incident was reported to the chief chemist, Neil McDonald, you can be assured no more such incidents took place. One of the young scalawags turned out to be none other than the moderator of the United Church in Canada– The Very Rev. Dr. John W. Woodside.





Photo of one of the school books you can buy from Lanark Archives

One of the many family sagas of emigration to Ramsay township was that of the McDonald family which, after investigating other locations, chose land in the tenth concession of Ramsay north of the falls of Almonte.  Long-lived members of this family included the father, John McDonald of the Isle of Mull, who came in 1821 with his wife, three sons and several daughters, and lived in Ramsay till he reached his hundredth year in 1857.  His son Neil at the age of 100 had the distinction of living in three centuries before his death in 1901 at his Ramsay homestead. Neil McDonald, was a  Carleton Place High School teacher from 1890 to 1913.

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McDonald house (about 1907) Lot 22, Con 10, Ramsay Township.

Reverend Woodside

Dr. Woodside was the recipient of many honours:

–         Doctor of Divinity, Presbyterian College, 1926;

–         Moderator of the United Church of Canada, 1938-1940;

–         Doctor of Divinity, Victoria university, Toronto, 1938;

–         LL. D., Mount Allison University, 1940;

–         President of the Montreal-Ottawa Conference of the United Church of Canada;

–         President of the North American Alliance of Reformed Churches;

–         President, Canadian Council of Churches, 1948-1949;

–         Pastor Emeritus, Chalmers United Church, 1951.

Carleton Place High School-The  school went back again to the Central School building for a short time, until the present used building on High Street was ready for occupation in 1882.

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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