Where Does Appleton Begin and End?

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NLRM 2012.19.3
Late 1800s – Early 1900s
Donated by Jim Lowry

Black and white photograph showing the Mississippi River at Appleton, Ontario. The woolen mill is featured on the left side of the photograph. The photo is from the late 19th century, early 20th century. The photo was definitely taken after 1880 when the three-storey addition was added to the woolen mill but before the construction of the dam in 1937.

For years Appleton was known as a  rural centre and it was difficult to pinpoint just where the village began and finished. Way before Ramsay township was surveyed, and prior to the emigration of 1821, less than a dozen families had settled into what is known as Appleton. Before signs of a village appeared it was called Apple Tree Falls and the natives used the banks of the Mississippi River to pitch their wigwams as a camping ground.

Among the first settlers were John Teskey and his family, and once they arrived on the scene the name was changed to Teskeyville. Years later two of his sons erected a saw mill, one on each side of the river and in 1882 Robert Teskey built The Mississippi Woolen Mill. In 1889 both these mills fell into the hands of Mr. T. B. Caldwell of Perth (Caldwell Woolen Mills) and it wasn’t until 1937 that Mr. Collie purchased them.

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Photo by Linda Seccaspina-Post Office in Appleton Ontario
1871 displayed in the North Lanark Regional Museum, Appleton Ontario.

 

Did you know there were two community halls prior to the one that was built in May of 1918? Like most villages and towns a fire consumed them both. A post office was opened in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ford before it opened in the local store and the name of the village was then changed to Appleton. Appleton once boasted two blacksmith shops owned by Thomas McNeely and Mike Sullivan. The harness makers were John Leith and Sons, and they even built wagons in the village of Appleton and Duncan Miller was the proprietor.

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Photo by Linda Seccaspina

 

Across from where the General Store now sits was the original one owned by Thomas Arthur and the village shoemaker was Frank Hall.The jewel of the village was the private school for young girls presided over by Mrs. Martin Mann. However, the first school was opened in 1830 and government grants were paid in July of 1856. The teacher’s salary was 49 pounds 1 shilling- I assume for the year. In 1857 there were 30 families listed and 85 pupils on the school roll. That one room school suddeny became a two-room school house with the growth of the town, but in 1941 the school’s attendance was declining (34) and they closed one room. Did you know that in 1860 the population of Appleton was calculated at over 300?

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Photo by Linda Seccaspina

Two churches, Presbyterian and Methodist were established, but when the church union came about in 1925 the Presbyterian church was  sold and the Methodist became St. Andrew’s United Church.

One of the tragic accidents of the village was the collapsing of the bridge on April 17, 1899. Then there was the burning of the old Collie Mill in 1950 where evidence of ruins still stand today on a little island from a fire that burned for 3 days and 3 nights. Now the remains look ghostly and haunted on a foggy morning and all that remains are memories of once was.

 

RELATED READING

The Day the Appleton Bridge Collapsed

Lawsuits in Carleton Place — The Collapse of the Appleton Bridge

Appleton Before the Dam was Built

The Appleton General Store and Polly Parrot

The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton Ontario

The Apple Does Not Fall far from the Tree — Virtual Tour of a Teskey Home

The Unforgettable Day the Museum Burned Down

When Corn Doesn’t Grow- Neilson Chocolate Will

Before and After on Lake Ave West — H. D. Gilmour

 

 

 

 

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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