The Fireplace Ghost on Highway 7

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Nancy Hudson recognized this landmark still on Hwy 7 at Ramsay Conc 1. — she believes it was on the Dezell farm- Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

 

Fictional Story written after I saw this photo.

A long long time ago in Lanark County a beloved Grandma died and left her daughter the old homestead that was falling apart. But make no mistake, that home still had lots of love. The family knew they could not afford to repair the house fully– so they decided to live there for a few months until minimum repairs could be made to sell it.

The old rocking chair that generations had rocked in was still sitting by the fireplace like it had for years. The fireplace no longer worked, but the electric heater still remained in front of the fireplace.  No matter how hard that heater worked, it would heat up the kitchen area, but bedrooms would always stay cold.

One night one of the children got up to get a drink of water and had to pass that very fireplace. Immediately the electric fireplace  roared, and he immediately turned it off. Drink in hand and ready to find the warmth of his bed he passed the fireplace on his way upstairs once again and the electric fireplace roared at full tilt once again. Once this same scenario had happened a few times the boy smiled.

Somehow,  the boy knew it was his grandmother’s spirit and he was eager to sit in her chair as she seemed to be signalling him. Before he could sit down he noticed that it appeared that someone was already sitting there. Even though no one was there, he could see the imprints of someone sitting in that very chair.

It was a mystery to him and to those he told the story to the next day. Maybe it was Grandma, or maybe it was someone who lived in that house before her and still haunted the home. Possibly, the ghosts next life was on hold–or, it could just be that someone, somewhere, was still happy to be in that chair  even if they were dead?

In the end the family never did sell the house and eventually it collapsed and the remains were taken away. To this day the stone fireplace still stands and folks who visit that fireplace and listen carefully can swear they still hear someone rocking in a chair.

historicalnotes

Judith Salley
Hello Linda:
My grandfather Beatty Hamilton , a Carleton Place stonemason restored this hearth for the family who wanted to preserve it as a memorial to their family. This would have been in the late forties or fifties. I don’t remember the name of the family but do remember the occasion. I often visited the Milton Dezell farm as a young child . My grandfather hunted with Mick. His wife, Florence was a wonderful cook and a lovely lady. So it could be connected to the Dezels.
Judith Salley
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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.

5 responses »

  1. Hello Linda:
    My grandfather Beatty Hamilton , a Carleton Place stonemason restored this hearth for the family who wanted to preserve it as a memorial to their family. This would have been in the late forties or fifties. I dont remember tne name of the family but do remember the occasion. I often visited the ,
    Milton Dezell farm as a young child . My grandfather hunted with Mick. His wife, Florence was a wonderful cook and a lovely lady. So it coud be conncected to the Dezels.
    Judith Salley

  2. Hi,

    This fireplace isn’t the one on the south side of hwy. 7. It may be the one on hwy 44 going into Smith Falls. The one on 7 was marked with a plaque that stated it was the site of the Sheppard homestead of 1836. They arrived from Ireland and settled in the area.

    The first plaque was stolen, as was the replacement. The home was vacant when a ‘hobo’ caused it to burn to the ground. This was probably in the late 1930’s.

    There are a couple of pictures of the place when it was opened up for Dezell/Sheppard family reunions. The logs of a couple of outbuildings are still there as well as a very much picked through domestic dump site..I think I was the first one to go through it…sardine tins and catsup bottles on top…funky old bottles and a couple of ink bottles on the bottom.

    If I come across the homestead pic I’ll send them to you.

    Cheers,

    Jeff Dezell

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