Desperately Seeking Information About the “Beckwith Copperhead Road”



Photo of David Whitely with his “hand crafted decoration” he has made for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum distillery display and also  entertaining Carman Lalonde and me at the Carleton Place Hospital.

Well you have heard the stories about Carleton Place’s Happy Valley and the French Line — and now the  Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum  needs your help.

Years ago they had distilleries on the 7th and  11th line of Beckwith– but,  on the 11th line it was said that it was used for only private consumption, whereas the 7th line was licensed. They also had a 60 gallon operation going on in the town of Carleton Place owned by Orrin Pierce

Today I read comments from an old newspaper column that a well known Beckwith resident known only as William G. used to say he used to  take an occasional nip of “Whusky” to sharpen his wits I began to wonder how much consumption was prvate.

Caleb S. Bellows in 1827 built a distillery at Carleton Place, operated for a few years by Francis Jessop and later by others. James McArthur (1767-1836) was also was a licensed distiller in 1827. His Beckwith township distillery was located on the 7th concession at his farm near the Presbyterian church, where the same business was continued through the eighteen thirties and forties by Peter McArthur (1803-1884) who had a 33 gallon still.

So has anyone heard stories? We would LOVE to hear them!



Photo by Linda Seccaspina at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



All the hotels in Carleton Place had a sign above the main entrance which read:

“Licensed to sell spiritous or fermented liquors”



Not Happy in Happy Valley? Head up to the French Line for some Sweet Marie

Down by The Mississippi River with The Jessops

Did You Know Where Happy Valley was in Carleton Place?


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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