The Millstone has published its first instalment of 365 FACTS ABOUT MISSISSIPPI MILLS. It will be a series of posts for Canada’s 150th birthday this year — “365 Facts About Mississippi Mills.” So I thought I would begin to a few about Carleton Place.
The facts below are from the flyer passed out on January 1: Carleton Place-A Valley Town at Confederation 1867 by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. I have personally added some extra tidbits under the facts
Photo and text-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum—Pastor Ellis of the Methodist Church in Carleton Place sent out New Year’s Greetings to his congregation in 1902. The illustration shows the church as built in 1888. Rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1954, the church is known today as Zion Memorial United Church.
FACT-Three churches served the population: St. James Anglican, the Baptist Church and Wesleyan Methodist.
Methodism was introduced into this area in the 1820s by missionaries from the United States. The Canadian branch separated from the American Church in 1824, forming the Canadian Methodist Conference, then united in 1833 with the Wesleyan Methodist Conference.
The Carleton Place Methodist congregation was organized by the Rev. Mr. John Black (great grandfather of the first organist for Zion-Memorial) in 1829, and in 1831, built the first church in the village of Carleton Place (Morphy’s Falls). It was a frame structure, large enough to seat 250 persons, situated on Bridge St. on the site of the present Baptist Church. In 1871, the wooden church was moved, and a new brick building was built (the present Baptist Church).
As the numbers increased, a larger more central location was desired, and subscriptions were sought. Some 200 members and adherents participated, and construction began on the present site early in 1888. The cornerstone was laid on May 6 of that year. The first worship service was held in the new building on Sunday, 9 December, less than a year after the cornerstone was laid. The next year, the bell was placed in the tower.
The original mortgages were cleared and the mortgages burned at a special service on 12 March, 1908. A Casavant Bros. pipe organ was installed in 1913. The foundation of the first manse was visible a few years ago on the north bank of the river, not too far from Bridge Street. The manse was later moved to one part of a framed double residence on Beckwith Street just north of the Zion Manse, and separated by a laneway.
In 1925, when St. Andrew’s and the Methodist congregations joined and the church became Memorial Park United Church, the Beckwith Street Manse was sold, and the former St. Andrew’s manse on Lake Avenue West at MacArthur Avenue was occupied.
December 3 1886-Almonte Gazette
Zion Church, Carleton Place, will be reopened on Sunday next, in consequent of which the Methodist Church there will be closed, to allow its members to attend.
St. James Anglican Church–Photo from —Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
St. James Anglican Church- Did you know the building originally consisted of unshapely masses of windows and galleries? The unattractive structure was replaced in 1881/1884 with a seating capacity of 500. The following year the debt was paid off-read more about it here: Let The Church Rise– A Little History of St. James Anglican Church
Packard car driven by Elise Gillies circa 1910 with the Baptist Church in the background- Photo Public Archives- MIKAN-3550347
The Baptist Church
Did you know there was once a heathen school across from the Baptist Church in Carleton Place? Read more here: The Heathen School in Carleton Place — Salem’s Lot?
Fact–A new Militia Hall (1866) was located on Beckwith Street and the Carleton Place area had recently contributed 60 well trained and equipped volunteers during the U.S. Fenian raids into Canada.
Read more about the Fenians here: Fenians OR Ballygiblins? Fighting Irish 101
Drill halls built in 1866 at county centres including Perth, Carleton Place and Almonte were used for many years. The Carleton Place drill shed was at the market square between Beckwith and Judson Streets, at the former site of the skating rink which is now the library.
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun