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

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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