Photo Linda Seccaspina and the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
I find the greatest things online and yesterday I found some great memory postings about Carleton Place. I have edited it a tad.:) If the authors of this conversation would like their names in print I will add it. Always like giving credit where credit is due. But, this was just too good not for everyone to share.
As a kid, I remember going to the downtown Tim Horton’s after Sunday School, where old men would smoke pipes and cigars at the coffee-bar. As an adolescent, I remember being too young to drink, but old enough to stay out late enough to watch drunks fight on Bridge Street during River Days.
I remember Wandering Wayne (who I sadly heard recently passed away), Doris the Crossing Guard (who was ridiculed by us kids for providing an important community service), and the Black Widow (who I always felt sorry for, but who was inevitably going to become a staple of the town). I remember the Carambeck School (and the sweet bike jumps behind it). George’s Arcade, bush parties and Tom’s Bicycle Shop.
Photo from Terry Poulos —More pictures on their Facebook Page
Like so many other kids from the Valley, there wasn’t much in the way of jobs for me in my home town, and as soon as it started feeling small, I found my way to the city. But my folks still live there, so I go back often. And I have to say, it depresses me a bit to see the town becoming such an obvious bedroom community. But I guess every generation feels that way about change. I hope the kids growing up there today still get their fair-share of the memorable places, people, and general shenanigans that were the Carleton Place I grew up with.
How about when the Moose used to be Boomers? Or when Giant Tiger was on the corner near the cinema. Then there was Fooji, who was just an older guy, that wandered up the Main Street picking up cigarette butts and bottles and cans and stuff never really said much (that you could understand anyway) He was one of those small town characters that I wish now that I would have learned more about. Oh yeah – didn’t the town recognize him as a volunteer and give him a safety vest/gloves? He would spend hours everyday cleaning up trash around Carleton Place.
The Leatherworks used to be a hopping pub, but the owners sold it. The place changed owners until a year or so ago when it became The Waterfront Gastro Pub where the menu is decent again, good beer selection and live music, comedy nights, karaoke, etc. The place is starting to get a good rep.
We have a Farmers Market where the old Canadian Tire used to be, and it is crazy busy on Saturdays. Personally I think the town really cleaned up and is a cute place to live. It’s not the small town it used to be.
I still love the place, and I don’t pretend it didn’t have rough edges. Thing is, I sort of liked those rough edges. Granted, George’s Arcade was a place to play Mortal Combat and Revolution X, and Mississippi River Days became an alcohol-fuelled embarrassment for the whole community. But sometimes the rough edges are what help define a place.
I think you could argue that there is a modern focus on suburban development that’s coming at the expense of the small-town vibe I grew up taking for granted. But, I also get the reality that other towns in the Valley are struggling to keep people, so I’m glad CP is growing. But, we all love to complain about change.
Dale Lowe– Whatever Mr. Houston’s REAL name was, everyone simply new him as Foojee (or simply Fooj). Anyway, he was a regular at Skillen’s Bakery (where my mom worked)…and would stop in most days while out collecting cigarette butts or beer bottles. And…Foojee will always be remembered for his greeting…that seemed to be all one word strung together – – “Hello-and-how-are-you-today”??
Caroleann Lowry McRae– His real name is David
Joann Voyce— I remember him as the best pinboy at the Bowling Alley