Carleton Place 1845– Dwellings and People


Perth Courier, June 12, 1891


Carleton Place Looks Forward

An old friend who has been a subscriber and constant reader of the Herald for 40 years fell into a reverie of remembrances the other day and communicated to us a number of interesting facts regarding early days of our town.  He looks back to the year 1846—45 years ago—when they were without our present far reaching land limits.  58 occupied dwellings ranging from an old log shanty of small dimensions to the two story house.


Photo from Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

There were but three of the latter—that now occupied by Mrs. Muirhead (then Rosamunds) and another occupied by the late Horace Brown’s family (then by Boultons).  The present hotel kept by John Fulton and finished and occupied in that year by the late Napoleon Lavalee as a temper and hotel was built.  Of the whole 58 there are at present but 29 buildings now standing.  Some have been replaced by stone, brick or wooden structures and three or four have disappeared.



Peden’s on the left on Bell Street– Photo from Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


The industries of that day were:  one grist and one oat mill owned by Bells and Rosamund; a carding and fulling mill by the late Allan McDonald; one tannery and one horse saw mill; four general stores were kept by Bell and Co, W. Peden, John Gemmell and McArthur & Co.  The latter came here in September or October.


The physicians were the late Dr. Wilson and Dr. Russell.  Workshops:  two blacksmith forges by Duncan McGregor and James Duncan; three carpenters, D. Pattie (the father of our present Reeve), John McLaughlin and W. Moffat.  Three boot and shoe shops J. Murphy, J. Bond (now of Almonte) and J. Coleman; one cooper shop kept by A. McAffrey and Lavalee; four tailors, Scott, Fitzpatrick, Laidlow and Galvin; one harness shop of McNab and Webster; three wagon shops, Graham, Walsh and Pettard.

There was one public school and the scholars now alive will never forget the teacher of 1846—Mr. Neilson.  Peace to his memory.  Those were the good old days at school and no mistake.  There was a small private school kept by Mrs. Poole.  There were four church buildings the old wooden St. James (Methodist), Cameronian and Baptist.

Of those who were then married only six now remain in town, viz. Robert Bell, David McNab, Robert Knox, George Willis and Patrick Galvin (absent just now for a little while).  Col. John Summer had been here before that year but had gone to Ashton.  George Hurdis I think married the following year.  Of those who were young men just coming into manhood there are now three, James Munro, James McFadden and Peter McRostie (as for our present Reeve he was then in petticoats).


Photo from Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


So much for the men of 1846 in town let us now recall some of the old faces of the surrounding neighborhood who have weathered the storms of nearly half a century.  First I think of Daniel Cram and Patrick Nagle on Glen Isle, James McLaren and James Moffat (carpenter) and Peter Lake.  Across the river on the 10th Concession Beckwith was William Rattray, on the 9th, Alexander Stewart.  I should also mention Charles Munro as a man of those early days.  No doubt some of our own boys and girls will live to see Carleton Place in the next 46 years.  P.G.

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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