Tales From Arklan Island –The Midnight Heist



Arklan–All photos are from our sky pilots- Bill and Carole Flint

These pictures show the old mill remains near Jerry Flynn’s home. Note the long sluice.  It could back up water overnight for use in the morning. The stone remains of the mill are downstream on the north side. The island had a bridge near Gerry Flynn’s and another bridge somewhere on the north shore.  Doug Allan told me stories of the first Carleton Place electricity being produced there. It was DC power.  Bill Flint

Tales From Arklan –The Midnight Heist

Bill Douglas was superintendent of The Gillies and McLaren sawmill in Carleton Place. It was said he lived in the white frame house on Bell Street that was across from St. James Church.

The Gillies mill was running night and day- two shifts of 11 hours each. One night about ten o’clock a mishap occurred. The crown gear of the water wheel broke which was a very serious matter as it left the plant idle.

Bill was called in the middle of the night and he had to sit there for a bit and think about how to fix this problem. With a couple of helpers he went to Arklan where there was equipment with the same kind of water wheel. Working quietly they removed the much needed part and returned without being detected, and before morning things were humming along as usual.

Bill’s employers of course reimbursed the Arklan people not only for the machine part, but also for the loss of time ensued. The Arklan Mill was only operating part time whereas if the sawmill closed it would have meant a two week closure which was necessary to obtain a new gear. It would have meant a sever loss not only to the company but the 200 or so employees that worked there.


Arklan–All photos are from our sky pilots- Bill and Carole Flint



Arklan–All photos are from our sky pilots- Bill and Carole Flint



Arklan–All photos are from our sky pilots- Bill and Carole Flint



Arklan–All photos are from our sky pilots- Bill and Carole Flint





This is the second panel of the Giant Tiger Mural. It’s a full one! From left to right: Mary McDiarmid, local teacher and David Findlay, founder of the Findlay Foundry, with the Gillies McLaren sawmill and workers in the background, at center, an ariel view of Carleton Place showing the Findlay Foundry on the north bank of the river, a wagon load of stoves heading to the train station to be shipped and the CPR train bridge with a train heading north. Various lumber mills, churches and our town hall fill the background. Carleton Place has a full and varied history!– Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Gillies McLaren Mill 1896.


GilliesMcLarenMill (1)

MacLaren Mill formerly Gillies.

MacLarenMillformerlyGillies (1)


The ONLY Way to Get to This Place in Carleton Place is by Boat

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s