Was the Devil in Peden’s Store? When Matches First Came to Carleton Place

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The first match was created in 1805 by Jean Chancel in Paris. This crude match looked nothing like the modern “striking” matches we use today. Instead of using phosphorus, Chancel elected to coat wooden stick with potassium chlorate, sulfur, sugar, rubber, and then dip that stick into the small asbestos bottle filled with sulfuric acid.  The connection between acid and the mixture on the stick would start the fire and release very nasty fumes into the face of the user.

However, the “Strike Anywhere Match”,  wasn’t really invented until the late 1800s. This is essentially the same match in use today in the boxes of wooden matches with two-colored heads (separation of chemicals).

peden.jpg

Photo–Peden seltzer bottle  from the Almonte Antique Market 
A.R.G. Peden (1849 – 1935) served as police magistrate and town clerk, but also put his name to his family’s line of carbonated beverages. The family store was located at the west end of Bell Street. Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

N.B- Julia Waugh Guthrie and her husband Bruce  now own the seltzer bottle now. 

Story 1- Peden’s Store

There is a story that a farmer from Scotch Corners happened to be in the store kept by Mr. William Peden in Carleton Place. The candle having gone out, the proprietor lit a match upon the wall and relighted it.

Going home, the farmer pondering over the whole affair, met a neighbour to whom he told the circumstances as follows:

“I declare to me me goodness I believe there is some some of the Devil about old Peden.”

The astonished neighbour scratched his head as the farmer continued,

“He snuffed the candle out and rubbed his finger on the wall and lit the candle again!”

For weeks it was the talk of the town how Peden was affiliated with the devil until people understood what was happening.

 

pedenn

Photo-Town Clerk Peden (by Angelique Willard) is pictured at top left, and various artifacts from the Museum’s collection (Mary Jane Lancaster) at right. Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Story 2-

When Patrick Struthers kept a store opposite the *Carleton House, (see John Edward’s notes below) a lady called to buy some matches. To satisfy her, as she doubted they were the real thing, he took a few from several packages and lit them separately in the flame of a candle. The woman was so satisfied she purchased a large amount from Struthers.

Of course each one of those matches were good that Patrick sold, but  he was in a humourous  mood that day and played upon the credulity of the woman. When she left he told her that she was now “the conductor of light!”

 

lelandold

*The Carleton House/ Leland Hotel at the bottom of the Bell Street on Bridge.

historicalnotes

John EdwardsThe Peden store was in fairly dilapidated condition in the 1960’s and ’70’s. It looked as if it was sinking into the ground but in reality the street had been built up over time to cause moisture to run into the building (it was in the lowest part of town and likely susceptible to flooding.) and this accelerated its demise.

The picture of Bell St. above dates from 1863. I believe the Peden Store was the bakery in the photo. It likely dated from the 1840’s or 50’s. I never got inside but the second floor showed signs of the original mustard yellow, ox-blood red and forest green historic colour scheme. The lower façade still had classical Georgian elements. It was a piece of our own Upper Canada Village. I have a complete photographic record of the façade as I was, at the time, optimistic that someone might do the right thing and the photos might help.

 

Kenneth Jackson— I remember you had to go down about 3 steps from the road-way to get into the store and it always smelled musty.

 

A. R. G Peden Town Clerk – Adin Daigle

The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler

Documenting Archibald Peden — Carleton Place

Recollections of the Peden Store

The Sad Tale of Alexander Gillies and Peter Peden

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.

5 responses »

  1. The Peden store was in fairly dilapilated condition in the 1960’s and ’70’s. It looked as if it was sinking into the ground but in reality the street had been built up over time to cause moisture to run into the building (it was in the lowest part of town and likely susceptible to flooding.) and this accelerated its demise. The picture of Bell St. above dates from 1863. I believe the Peden Store was the bakery in the photo. It likely dated from the 1840’s or 50’s. I never got inside but the second floor showed signs of the original mustard yellow, ox-blood red and forest green historic colour scheme. The lower façade still had classical Georgian elements. It was a piece of our own Upper Canada Village. I have a complete photographic record of the façade as I was, at the time, optimistic that someone might do the right thing and the photos might help.

    Cheers and keep up this wonderful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope Peden and his wife ran the store till some time in the mid 50’s . As kids we used to take our empty bottles there to cash in for candy. They lived in the back of the store and would meet you at the counter when they heard the bell over the entrance door ring .
    They had a border who worked at the Supertest garage at the corner of Bell and Bridge . but his name escapes me,
    I used to meet Wayne Richards there while he was delivering milk and then get a free ride downtown .
    After Hope died and the store closed I remember shoveling snow for Mrs,Peden . She couldn’t afford to pay me , but she let me into the store and gave me a couple of packs of old hockey cards that were still in the display case . I’m sure the store had been closed for a couple of years by then .

    Liked by 1 person

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