Glory Days of Carleton Place-The Olde Barracks-Canada’s Forgotten “Little Bunkers”-Leigh Gibson


The Olde Barracks

 Today’s guest author is Leigh Gibson




The first organization housed in the Olde Barracks after the RCMP left, was Connections. At that point the Olde Barracks was owned by the Olde Barracks Community Development Corporation.  Some of the areas of the building were renovated for Connections to be housed there. There were some renovations done to the front room (which apparently is still standing after the recent fire).


The cafeteria area was renovated to be another meeting room. Connections moved in – in either January or February of 1997  to the second floor, after renovating a few rooms into a large office, meeting room & store room. An Open House was held in February to show off the building & the new renovations. Some of the organizations that moved in afterwards were the United Way of Lanark County, IES (Imagery Exploitation Services), Lanark County Food Box, Mississippi School, FII-ON (the Father Involvement Initiative – Ontario Network), NPF (National Projects Fund), the Finance Department from Lanark Community Programs, and the Family Relief Program (also of Lanark Community Programs).


All photos from

People have also had accommodations there who have participated in Pat Wolfe’s log home building course, and as Tim Campbell mentioned our twin city from Comrie Scotland. There have also been accommodations from other countries participating in specific sporting events (such as soccer). There have been conferences & workshops held there and  a newer type of wood stove was installed in the cedar room as a pilot project. The kitchen was well used by all the groups using the space.


Many tours took place at the building. However, after attempts were made to steal the large maps from the walls of the basement (bunker), that door was kept locked. If people remember the building was used by the military during the Ice Storm of 1998. Witnessing the amazing organization, skill, and efficiency of the military in action was amazing. Just a few more tidbits about the building known as the Olde Barracks (from 1997-2006).

Leigh Gibson



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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