One of the Many Hauntings of Mill Street

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Mill Street as it appeared in 1889. This land was first purchased by a Mr. Coleman from the Morphy family in 1820. In 1822, Hugh Boulton purchased it and finished construction. The mill was later owned by Horace Brown as a flour mill. On the left-hand side are buildings used for the Boulton-Brown Grist Mill, and on the right-hand side is the residence of Horace Brown, grandfather of A. Roy Brown.–Photo–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 

 

One of the Many Hauntings of Mill Street–Linda Seccaspina

 

Life hadn’t been kind to Jim O’Brien. His wife ran off with his best friend and left Lanark County to find gold.  A letter from his wife informed him she was presently in San Francisco, having arrived aboard the Steamship Oregon on June 13, 1849 .  

Mrs. O’Brien was part of a group called the Ogdensburg Co. of 10.  The letter mentioned a James Simpson, James Beckwith and a Mr. Nathaniel McCaffrey of Carleton Place. Jim knew Nathaniel but not the other two men. He wondered if they had run off with other men’s wives too. Jim’s daughter was dying of influenza and he too was struck down with the flu. Only a few dollars stood between him and starvation– but soon after his daughter’s death a minister helped him find work in the Bolton Grist Mill in Carleton Place.

A year later a well-dressed woman breezed up to his place of work on Mill Street and asked for Jim by name. When shown to the office she fell to her knees and begged his forgiveness when he entered the room.  It was his estranged wife, back from California, where his ex-best friend had made a fortune in the gold-fields. His wife’s former lover had died and now his wife wanted to pick up where they’d left off.

But this story was not to have a happy ending. She, herself, caught the dreaded influenza and died of pneumonia, leaving her husband £62,000 in her will. It is said today that when the moon rises high and the night is dark that her soul marches up and down Mill Street looking for her money– but most certainly not her husband.

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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.

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