What Didn’t You Know? The New Town Hall 1897

What Didn’t You Know? The New Town Hall 1897



 Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

In August 30th of 1897 an article was published in the Ottawa Journal about the new Carleton Place Town Hall and it was said that it was a building of which any town or city would be proud of. Of course in true fashion it was also included in the headlines that this new building might cause a new row at the next election. 


Carleton Place Town Hall. ‘Our thriving neighbour— Carleton Place— is going to build a town hall,  and to cost about $6,000 or $7,000. We understand that our townsman, Mr. Wm. Willoughby, has got the contract, and will begin work as soon as the snow disappears next spring. The new building will be erected on the north side of the river, and in rear o f Mr. Wm. Glover’s property.

Almonte Gazette–Oct 27 1871


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$_57 (27).JPG



1903 Postcard.. Never seen this one before.. Front and back photo–Click on each



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Thanks to Laura @Restovation — we now have this complete photo on file and available for all to look at online. Thank you. Downtown Carleton Place 1909



Built on the south side of the Mississippi riverbanks the new town hall was just about to be opened. The building which faced Bridge Street was to house “a joint” town hall, fire and police station, concert hall and new library.

It was advertised as a building that would astonish strangers by its proportions and ornateness. The cost was currently at $25,000 and there were still yet bills to be settled. There was a good many ratepayers that were furious that the cost was above and beyond of the initial quote of $12,000 and they swore that council would be held responsible for such monstrous costs at the next election. In fact the media wrote that the council was said to have run away with their duties to their constituents, and it was built solely as a monument to them.



Robert McDonaldRobert McDonald Photography

The newspaper also flip flopped and said that they had to admit the building was a credit to the town of Carleton Place built of  such fine stone, fancy dressings and a slate roof. The ground floor would house the fire hall where the engine would be kept, along with the police station and the janitor’s quarters. The back of the fire hall opened on to the river by means of a tank under the fire hall. Fires anywhere near the town hall could be simply fought without taking the engine out of position. The suction pipe was simply let down into a hole in the floor and the hose carried out to the scene of the fire. Carleton Place had a Ronald fire engine at that time and Mr. Peden the town clerk has said it had given out every satisfaction and prevented many a serious fire. It was reported that they had the same fire engine for 12 years.


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The Ottawa Journal30 Aug 1897, MonPage 3


On the first floor the council chamber, a really handsome room wainscotted in polished birch with painted metal ceilings and stained glass windows. On the same floor was the mayor’s and town clerks office and a suite of three rooms to be used by the free library. The main entrance on this floor with all its glass doors, brass fixings, the polished steps and detail of finish of luxury was something only a city might have.


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Robert McDonaldRobert McDonald Photography–From the Mississippi Mudds – Aladdin Jr production on February 18, 2017

On the second floor approached by an ornate staircase the grand hall was the full size of the building. This will be where public gatherings are held and the town will rent it out for concerts and to different theatrical companies. The arrangements of this room are fairly modern. There is a large stage 60 by 30 feet and slanting which is in accordance with the latest views on theatrical architecture ,and this hall will hold 1000 people.

Between the floor of the stage and the ceiling of the fire hall is a long hall to be set aside for use for the members of the volunteer fire company. They will use it for their own social gatherings and to store their fire clothes in. At the end of the building next to the fire hall is a fire hose tower where a capital view of the town can be had. The architect that deserves enormous credit is Mr. G. W. King of Toronto. Carleton Place should say proudly,

“Come down and see our new town hall” and then aside, “It comes high but we must have it.”



Painting of town hall by Blaine Cornell



Councillor Sean Redmond​ was the mastermind behind these vintage looking glass coasters–NOW AVAILABLE at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 When the present Carleton Place Town Hall was built, the central building on its site, said to be the second dwelling built in the town, was the home of Mrs. William Morphy,  daughter of George Willis, where she had lived to 1888 and the age of 85, a widow for over fifty years. The town hall was built on the spot very a ‘shanty’ was built.






Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 20 Oct 1897, Wed, Page 6



Jennifer Fenwick Irwin​ is looking for looking for a company of young girls to perform an artistic march and sword drill at the Town Hall 120th anniversary event!.. check the posting about the town hall concert below in celebration of its opening and comments. Gymnastics and drills were quite prominent in Carleton Place. Know any names? I see a few I recognize. Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 27 Nov 1897, Sat, Page 12


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal27 Sep 1895, FriPage 5


Sept 8 1899



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  07 Oct 1897, Thu,  Page 6


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The Ottawa Journal05 Dec 1898, MonPage 6

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal27 Mar 1900, TuePage 7



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  27 Oct 1897, Wed,  Page 6



Shenanigans of the Monday Night Town Hall Opening

Carleton Place Town Hall Sued For Cupolas!

Why is the Town Hall Stage Slanted? Is it Collapsing?

Pardon me Boys — Is That the Carleton Place Choo Choo?


Saved By The Bell in Carleton Place? What Does the Photo Say?


More LIMITED Carleton Place items. Get them fast!!!–Be the first on your block to have these vintage 50s style glass beverage coasters. Ring in the 120th anniversary of the Carleton Place Town Hall in style. LIMITED stock.. $10 for one coaster–While you are sipping that beverage on a warm summer night you can read all about the history of the town hall here. Buy them at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.


150th Anniversary facts

Community Facts You Might Not Know About Carleton Place for our 150th Birthday – Part 9– It was 1903!

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

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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