Glory Days in Carleton Place– Lynne Johnson



This is how The Tales of Carleton Place  on Facebook goes.  I write, people comment on my posts, and I document them on the story. Then some send me stories which I love. Today, we have a guest author today– Carleton Place’s very own Lynne Johnson– Thank you Lynne!


Glory Days in Carleton Place– Lynne Johnson

People lived and worked in the town of Carleton Place. We walked and biked. Our dads drove to work. Harry Appleton, a beloved teacher at CPHS always walked, no matter the weather. Almost everyone worked at Findlay’s Foundry, so it seemed to me.

findlay-foundry-river-shot (1).jpg

Photo kindly shared by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
We moved to Carleton Place because my father got a job at Leigh Instruments. He came home for lunch at noon and returned to work at 12:45. My mother had a few jobs, some work at Digital before it moved, and at the Review, the “other” local newspaper, a job she loved. When the Review discontinued, Robbie Probert opened up a candle shop. A
lot of the local ladies got jobs there rolling the beeswax candles. All the stores and business in town hired local people.


Photo kindly shared by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
We all had various part-time jobs at students. Moving on from babysitting led to the Balderson Cheese outlet on Hwy. 7, Young’s Variety Store, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, Embassy Restaurant and Rolark Cheque Co. during summer breaks from university.

Little stores were throughout the neighbourhood. When we lived on Prince Street, there was a variety/candy store at the corner of Queen and Munro. The store was the front of the house, slightly larger than a porch, and a woman and her little girl lived in the house. A local teen would work part-time in the store. You could get a bag of candy for 25 cents.

There was a great deal of thought put intoselecting the perfect bag!
Linda Ready, a lover of science, obtained an Opportunities for Youth grants for two summers (maybe more) to do a pollution study on the Mississippi River. We actually had one of the Swerdfergger cottages as our “base camp”. We rode our bikes south on Napoleon to the original connection to Lake Park Road.I don’t remember any issues crossing the highway. Times were sleepy then.


Photo kindly shared by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Friends worked at Canadian Tire, William’s drugstore, dress shops. It was always a good job if you could work for the Town. There certainly were jobs to be had, but there were not as many hospitality opportunities like today, and NO box store employment.It seemed strange that anyone would “commute” to the city for work. In fact, employees at Digital were offered employment, but some declined due to having to take a bus to get there. The Queensway extension was not built. The way to Ottawa was through Stittsville, just a village in those days. There is no doubt that the Queensway extension and Bayshore Shopping Centre made a distinct mark in downtown shopping in Carleton Place.


Debbie Crain-Dulmage– Great memories from your guest author Lynne Johnson. I remember the little girl at the corner store. Her first name was Bonnie. She played with my sister and I when we first moved here in 1964.



Before and After in Carleton Place — Mac Williams and The Good Food Co

CPHS Students Declare War on Mississippi Lake – 1973

The Day the Cheque Company Bounced in Carleton Place

Findlay’s 101 and a Personal Confession

Remembering Industry in Carleton Place- Digital and Leigh Instruments

The Cottages of Mississippi Lake — Carleton Place Ontario

I Found My Thrills on the Main Street in Carleton Place



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.

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