I Can’t Afford a Carriage


The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum has recently been recognized as a “bicycle friendly tourist attraction” by Ontario By Bike!

 It’s the first day of spring! Alex Taylor was ready for a springtime bike ride in 1882. He must have been proud of this bicycle, to have his portrait taken with it at Peden’s Art Studio!


Perth Courier 1899–Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Pink, after a pleasant six weeks visit with his brother(?) brothers(?) in London and Sarnia returned home on Wednesday.  The visited most of the places of interest in that district and used their bicycles for nearly all traveling from place to place.

Perth Courier, May 26, 1899

Last week Miss Jean Drummond, daughter of R.J. Drummond, manager, Bank of Montreal in this town, accompanied by her aunt Miss Drummond, of Ottawa, left on a trip to Great Britain, sailing on the steamship Lake Superior.  They took their bicycles along and intend spending at least three months on the grip a good portion of which will be spent meandering through the beautiful parts of Great Britain on their wheels.  They may also make a brief visit to the continent.

Perth Courier, 1899

Christie’s Lake:  Well, Mr. Editor, with your permission I will enter my sanctum and give you a rough account of what is going on at the lake.  R.W. and Joe Marks, May A. BellMrs. R. W. Marks and Master Georgie of Marks’ Brothers Co., #2, are enjoying a three month vacation at the lake.  They are reorganizing their company in September, either at Perth or Ogdensburg, N.Y. and will tour the western states next season, playing the large towns and cities.  Rev. Father O’Brien’s picnic at Elliott on Saturday was well patronized.  They report a good time.  His Reverence must have ordered the day as it was nice.  Mack, Ernie and Joe Marks took in the picnic at Joe Davis’ grove, Oso, given by Rev. Mr. Smith (Anglican), Sharbot Lake. Ho, for a bicycle!! What can compare to a bicycle rum from Perth to Christie’s Lake on a fine day and then cool off with a stroll over the green hills or a stretch under a nice, shady tree; or better still, a pull on the lake.  But oh! What an appetite!  Won’t you relish one of Mrs. Anderson’s wholesome dinners.



Photo by Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



Photo by Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Early Cycling (371x550).jpg

Tandem Quadracycle Photo-North Lanark Regional Museum
NLRM 2013.9.55
c. 1930

This photo depicts a woman (Miss. Bellamine) with an unnamed young man on what appears to be an early bicycle at first glance. However, upon inspection this is actually a Coventry Rotary Quadracycle from 1885. When bicycles were just starting to take off, stability was a very big issue. In response to this, tricycles and quadracycles (4 wheels) gained momentum quickly in North America. This model is of note as it was one of the earliest quadracycles to incorporate bicycle-like foot pedals instead of foot levers.

Although it is not visible from this angle, there is a fourth wheel extending behind the machine, providing added stability. As bicycles became more stable, the quadracycle largely fell to disuse, however this photo from 1930 shows that if not as practical as they once were, quadracycles were still fun!


Ontario’s Version of the Marks Bros-Tales of the Queen’s Hotel

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.

One response »

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s