Dance Hall Days with The Coachmen




If you did not read the story about Dance Halls in Lanark County by Arlene Stafford Wilson this week– click here. 

This spurred on a heap of conversation as they say and Donovan and Stan Hastie sent me these fabulous pictures of The Coachmen to share with everyone.. Thank you so much!

Norma FordAntler Lodge Friday night during the summer, Merrickville in the winter (of course these were country music halls), Rideau Ferry Inn was for rock and roll. Saturday night, Port Elmsley Drive Inn. Those were the days that will never happen again, such good memories. Met all your friends, socialized even though the same people were in school with you, and had a good time. The parking lot was as busy as the halls were. The rest of the time, we all met up at “curb service”. Damn, I am old

Valerie EdwardsI remember, somewhere around 1966-67?, dances at the Carleton Place Canoe Club, with frequency. Same wonderful old wood floor, as others. Also, there was a group called the Staccatos in ,Ottawa. Made it to Rideau Ferry Inn once or twice- 2 bands , 1 at each end, they spelled each other.
Linda Gallipeau-JohnstonValerie – oh yeah! who could forget those and do you remember Dave Brown playing there – good dances some right after a regatta.The first one I went to my Dad drove me there and picked me up right after – almost off a TV Sitcom.
Dale CostelloDoes anyone remember the Cheese Factory in Tennyson? Spent many a summer night there feeding the jukebox.

Ann Stearns RawsonYes, my parents stopped every so often to buy fresh curds.

I will ask Bordy, I know he remembers the hall in Ferguson’s Falls whenever we drive up that way. I had never heard of one in Tennyson. There was also one on the Richmond Road, I believe Prospect at one time as well.

Doug B. McCartenAttended Rideau Ferry Inn on many occasions as well as the CP Canoe club! What memories! Thanks for the trip!



Starr Hillman1968 my sister and brother-in-law, Carol & Ross Mitchell took me to a dance in Carleton Place, I was 16 and had a blast. Wayne & Linda Preston, Dale & Elaine Wilson might have even been there, they were all best buds and had cottages on the lake.

Llew LloydRideau Ferry Inn was a Saturday night must. House band. ” The Continentals”–Dennis Staples ex. Mayor of Smiths Falls guitar and vocals.

Allan WingRideau Ferry, rock and roll, big band sound alternating each set. Always extra OPP on duty after the dances on the road leaving the dances.

Keith GiffinCanoe club my brother Terry. And Dave Brown , Jack Shail , Stan Hastie played at the club

Doug B. McCartenI remember….

Keith GiffinDale my wife Nancy tells me the Colmans had the cheese factory back then and dances were held there.


Dale CostelloIf I missed a summer night at the Cheese Factory, I was sick.

Linda Gallipeau-JohnstonKeith – my memory is telling me that Dave Brown had a song called “Peanut Butter” yes? Those guys were always the best – I have a picture of them at a High School reunion somewhere but Wayne Hedderson was in it.

Debbie Roy They were the Coachmen. My uncle, Jack Shail, was in the group too.


 Ann Stearns RawsonI remember going to a teen nightclub somewhere in Ottawa where the Coachmen played quite often. And, I definitely remember “Peanut Butter”.

Donovan Hastie- My father Stan Hastie was in the Coachmen as well. My Dad has an audio recording of that reunion


Linda Gallipeau-JohnstonDonovan – I have what could be best called snap-shots as for whatever reason your Dad was not in them. I have Bob Covell Ian Mcgregor Wayne Hedderson Terry Giffin and Jack Shail – all wearing light blue tee-shirts with The Coachmen ’85 on the front. They were wearing burgundy colored ballcaps with a gold bear on the front. I need to get my scanner working!



Donovan HastieThe original drummer of the Coachmen from 1962-64ish was Lorne Hudson who also played that night of the reunion.

Debbie RoyStan Hastie, Bob Coville, Wayne Hedderson, Jack Shail. I can’t remember that drummer’s name.
Llew LloydActually that’s Gary Saunders on keyboards . it’s a very early picture of this group . Lorne Hudson and Terry Giffin both played drums with this group and in it’s earliest incarnation Ian McGregor played sax



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.

16 responses »

  1. Just reminiscing makes you feel like a teen again. I was a Rideau Ferry Inn gal from Smiths Falls. Thanks for the memories

  2. Use to go to the Canoe Club to see the coachmen all the time. My favourite song was “Satisfaction”

  3. Great to see pictures of the guys when we were all much younger – my brother-in-law Lorne Hudson was the drummer with the Coachmen for a while. Remember him coming home from northwestern Ontario in 1985 for the reunion. Great memories Linda , keep them coming.

  4. Linda Gallipeau….The Coachmen ’85 shirts ant the burgundy hats were from their appearance at the ’85 High school reunion

  5. I don’t remember the juke box in Tennyson but I sure do remember feeding the one at McCullough’s Landing. Does anybody besides me remember the band that played regularly at the canoe club before the Coachmen. They were called The Barons. They had a place at Lake Park and used to boat down to play. As far as an effort to stop the drinking it really didn’t work. I’ve often said if they ever dredged the river just out from the old boathouses they’d be rich.

  6. “The Barons” in the early 60s was made up of 4 Ottawa friends – Bob Kentfield (whose family had a cottage at Lake Park), Brian Lewicki (later of the Esquires), Bob Coulthart (later of MRQ – died last year) & Tim Wolfgang. They were well-known in the Ottawa area. Played at the C.P. Canoe Club around 1961-2 & the place would be packed to the rafters – fun times.

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