Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 4–Stepping Back in Time



Photo- the gals and a gent on the Carleton Place Chamber of Commerce tour of Carleton Place– come along with us today to see The Labyrinth and Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Today is Part 4 in a new series called Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place. We have a great town and we need to explore it. What if somebody comes from out of town and asks you what they can do in Carleton Place? We, as a collective group of Citizens, need to keep on top of this and spread the history about the folks and our beautiful locations in our town that keep the wheels going round.

If you have anything to add, or places that should be in this series, then please tell me so we can write about it.




Did you know Carleton Place was ‘Founded Upon a Rock’? What else don’t you know about Carleton Place?  The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum will have most of your answers.

Who knew? It’s the best kept secret when you just need to get out of the office and breathe in some fresh air and learn about Carleton Place’s past.


 Photo by Robert McDonald



Did you know there is a labyrinth in the back?  A labyrinth is a circular path, an ancient spiral symbol that has been used for over 4000 years. A labyrinth’s path guides a participant to its centre and back out again. Unlike a maze, the labyrinth holds no tricks or dead ends. The walker is free to focus on a thought, a prayer, or simply enjoy the walk itself. Walking a labyrinth has been used for centuries to support healing, meditation and personal growth.



The first project of the Carleton Place and District Horticultural Society when it formed in 1988 was the transformation of the former hard-packed cinder playground into this lovely oasis on the north side of town.

The Garden of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum is designed, planted and maintained by the Horticultural society members who donate plants from their own gardens along with their time and gardening talents. Take a few moments to relax under the vine-covered trellis and view the original Carleton Place horse-watering trough, now a delightful planter. Then wander through the 20th Anniversary Celebration arbour and hedge to visit the Community Gardens Project.



Check out the murals in the back. The Museum undertook the “opening up” of 10 sealed up windows on the outside of the building by hiring local artists to create mural panels to fill these spaces.

These murals were produced by members of “Arts Carleton Place”, and depict the various uses of the building’s history as the Town Hall, a Lock-Up, a School, and now as the local Museum.



Erected in 1872, this heritage designated building served the community of Carleton Place as the Town Hall and lock up until 1879, and as Victoria School (as seen below) for 90 years until 1969.

The museum is run by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Historical Society with assistance from the Town of Carleton Place and the Township of Beckwith. Opening as the Victoria School Museum in 1985, the name was changed in 2011 to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum to reflect the scope of it’s collection and it’s audience.


The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum houses almost 10,000 artifacts, including three-dimensional objects, textiles, photographs, and archival documents. Their mandate is to obtain articles relevant to the communities and individuals of Carleton Place and of Beckwith Township. They obtain all of their artifacts by the generous donation of individuals in the community.


The Current Summer Exhibit

In honour of Beckwith Township’s 200th Anniversary, they present the Art of Annie Elexey Duff. Born in 1873 at Oreno Villa on the shore of Mississippi Lake, Duff was an accomplished painter, photographer and naturalist. 
She spent time working for Samuel Jarvis Photography Studio in Ottawa, and for Vogue Magazine in New York City before returning to live out her days in Beckwith.
See Beckwith through the eyes of an artist at this fascinating exhibit. Opens May 21, 2016.


Annie E. Duff at Niagara Falls, no date. Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Email :
Call: (613)253-7013
267 Edmund Street, Carleton Place ON
K7C 3E8

Related Reading

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 1–Bud’s Taxi

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 2–A Snack and a View

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place–I Threw Away my Candy at The Ginger Cafe Part 3


Related Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum posts


What Justin Bieber is Missing by Not Coming to Carleton Place

True Confessions —– I Just Shook Hands With My Vacuum Cleaner

The Female Artist from Carleton Place That Never Went Viral

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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