For the Love of St. Andrew’s– 130th Anniversary




The original St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church building is still standing at the corner of William and St. Paul Streets in Carleton Place. Photo- Linda Seccaspina

39 Bridge Street Carleton Place Carleton Place–St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church–Circa 1887

Joann Voyce– Tomorrow June 4th, 2017 is the 130th anniversary of the laying of the corner stone at St Andrews and I am speaking about the history of St Andrews . Come join them!

Author’s Note–I was born an Anglican to a family that died for the Anglican Church–literally. My Grandmother Mary Louise Deller Knight died 10 minutes before one Sunday service in the church pew of the Cowansville Anglican Church ( Trinty Church/Parish of Nelsonville).  She was so devoted to her parish she has a room named after her at my former church. I too have deep roots with the Anglican Church, but there is no doubt of my love for St. Andrew’s-in fact I cried the minute I first walked in there I was so overwhelmed with the love and history I felt.


Linda’s Coles Notes Version

In Carleton Place there were two Presbyterian Church buildings, both on William Street. That of the Cameronian Reformed Presbyterians had been built in the 1840’s. Construction of the stone church building which remains at the corner of St. Paul Street, facing the park of the old Commons, had been began in the 1840’s after the Disruption. It had been completed, but lack of agreement had prevented it from being occupied. The building was being used by Robert Bell for the lowly purpose of storing hay.

The congregation was organized by *Rev. George Buchanan removed in 1869 from Beckwith 7 th Line Presbyterian Church of Scotland to Carleton Place Old Kirk which stands at St. Paul and William Streets.

Renovated and fitted, it became the first St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church of Carleton Place, and for the part of the Seventh Line Church of Scotland congregation living at and near the village.

It served that congregation for nearly twenty years, until the present St. Andrew’s Church building on Bridge Street was dedicated January 1888 by Rev. D.J. MacDonnel of Toronto and its corner stone laid by the Rev. George M. Grant, Principal of Queen’s University, was dedicated  June 4, 1887.

The connection between St. Paul’s Church of Franktown and St. Andrew’s of Carleton Place as one congregation under one minister and one session severed in the following year. The Rev. A. H. Macfarlane, father of J. Calvin Macfarlane, moved from Ashton to Franktown and continued to minister to the congregations at Franktown and Blacks Corners from 1889 until his retirement in 1913. The current Minister is Rev. Barry Carr.

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Hi Linda. I was going through some old pictures and thought you might like this one. I may have sent it to you before? I had been reading your article about the history of the e church . My grandmother, Eliza McRostie, is in the back row on the right. Unfortunately, I don’t have names for anyone else.
Joan Halpenny.

See Joann Voyce’s complete history in historical notes.


PCCWeb Photo


In 2017 a deal is set to close on July 4,  and the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church building in Carleton Place will a new owner — Ministries Without Borders/All Nations Church. The property was listed on Feb. 17 with Tim Lee of Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc., and it attracted a lot of interest including being offered to the town.





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The members and adherents of St. Andrew’s church, Carleton Place, at their annual meeting last week voted in favor of separation from the Franktown branch of the charge. The question of separation from the Appleton branch will come up at the annual meeting of St. Andrew’s church here tomorrow (Friday). Should such separation be asked for by a majority it will lead to a re-arrangement of some of the congregations in the presbytery.  Almonte Gazette–1888-01-11


What was that building?  I honestly thought it was a fire hall– what was I thinking?

The original St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church building is still standing at the corner of William and St. Paul Streets in Carleton Place. The church was in use for 10 years, and after that the Bell lads stored hay in the building. Now, the building is used for apartments. The congregation made its way to the present Bridge Street site to attend the new church which was donated by James Gillies.



Sorry guys, just had to throw this in– when the church and As Good As New were destroyed in the film Metal Tornado


*Rev. George Buchanan So Where is that Gnarled Oak in Beckwith?


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal25 Oct 1929, FriPage 5



My Granddaughter Tenley Card Seccaspina was baptized a Presbyterian a year ago in this very church. Guess that is how close I will ever get. (Photo Linda Seccaspina of Taryn Card, Tenley, and Schuyleur Seccaspina)




Joann Voyce’s Complete History of St. Andrews

Edward T (Ned) Cram, son of John Cram who arrived in 1818 from Scotland  is credited with donating part of his land as a Burial Ground, now known as  Cram’s United Cemeteries of St. Fillans, Maplewood and Pine Grove. On the  31 Aug 1886, the building Committee accepted the proposal of S. R. Badgley, Architect, for a new church to be constructed of Native stone with Beckwith stone trimmings. It was to seat 500, have a choir gallery in the rear of the pulpit, with basement to be finished with Sunday School rooms and a furnace with the cost to be as close to $8000 as possible.

The architect was a wise man and as a result, the acoustics in this church are similar to those of a concert hall. The contract was awarded in Dec 1886 at a cost of $10,150.00  with completion to be in Nov 1887. The cornerstone was laid June 2, 1887  by the Reverend George M. Grant., Principal of Queen’s University , but  because of inclement weather, the service was held in the Zion Presbyterian Church. The connection with St. Paul’s in Franktown was severed the following year.Upon the opening of the new St Andrews church in January 1888, the fixtures which still furnished the 7th line Old Kirk were sold along with the building. The contents went in 5 lots for $ 79.00.

The stone building on William St. was sold for $500.00The last of the five ministers of the Seventh Line Kirk congregation was the Rev. Walter Ross, M.A. He was inducted there in 1862. For nineteen years he served his congregations, both at the Old Kirk building and Franktown and after the move to Carleton Place . In 1875 he changed his place of residence to Carleton Place, where he died in 1881.He was married to Jane Elizabeth Burrows. He was the father of A. H. D. Ross, M.A., M.F., Born in Carleton Place in 1872, whose history of “Ottawa Past and Present” was published in 1927. His successor for the next nine years was the Rev. Duncan McDonald, M.A., a native of Nova Scotia, a graduate of Queen’s University, inducted at Carleton Place in 1882. He and his wife Eleanor had four children Sarah, Paul, Maria and Nellie. They arrived here via Alberta. He was followed by the Rev. Robert McNair in 1891. He was a young man of  33 years and native of Goderich. In 1897  the Rev. G. A. Woodside, M.A. and his wife Annie and son Moffatt, took up residence here.

He in turn was followed in 1907 by Rev John J. Monds and his wife Mary and their two young children Helen and William. The 1911 census shows them living in the rectory on Lake Avenue.( He actually baptized my father)His successor was Rev A Raeburn Gibson who remained at St Andrews Church until the Presbyterian and the Methodist Churches united . At that time he moved over to the new United Church .Following the partially successful Union with the Methodist Church in 1925,  Mr.R.D. Carmichael was very instrumental in getting St Andrews restarted. His money, as well as that of many of his fellow parishioners was used in the repurchase of St Andrews.

There were no bibles or hymnals. The communion supplies as well as the furniture, records and kitchen supplies had all been removed to the Methodist (United) ChurchAll the church records were stored in the basement of the Manse which was now the property of the United Church.  A new manse for St Andrews was obtained on Moffatt Street. The people who started out again were said to be Stout hearted, Strong willed, Scottish Presbyterians.A pump organ, with a colorful history, was replaced by a pipe organ in the early 1900’s and again with a new pipe organ with chimes in the 1950’s.

A wheelchair accessible elevator and a new basement fire exit, which you were fortunate to be able to use today, rather than the original back stairs which are still in use, were added more recently. Other than updating carpets and choir loft curtains from 125 years of use, some fresh paint fromtime to time and new colored- not Black- Choir robes, what you see here is what our ancestors built for us. I’m not sure whether the straw stuffing in the seat cushions is original or not but sometimes if you sit long enough you suspect it is the original . We have also had , over the years, the odd bat from the belfry come down to attend our services over the years, many have passed through these doors. Many have been Baptised, many more have been Married here and unfortunately a good many have also been Buried from here.

We have been blessed as well, since Union,  by some wonderful ministers here at St Andrews. From  The Rev.E.G.B. Foote, Rev. H. R.. Simpson, Rev. L.M. Smith, Rev D. Hill, Rev. R. Hill, Rev. H. Jack to Rev. Tony Boonstra, our current minister. We have been very fortunate to have had five of our congregation enter the ministry and all were ordained here in St.Andrews and the four living ministers are planning to attend our Anniversary service on June 10th. Do I sound proud of our heritage? You bet I am !As you may notice. The Stained Glass windows on the south side are a memorial to Dr. Finlay  Mcewan and his wife Helen (Gilles)Mcewan. Finlay was the, son of Alexander and Janet Mcewan.  The windows on the north side are a memorial to John and Mary Gilles who incidentally are the parents of  Helen Mcewan, and were the same people who graciously donated the land this present building sits on.When the sun shines in through these beautiful windows and colors the world around us, we must remember to give thanks for all that our ancestors left for us. A strong faith and a beautiful place to worship. We hope that you will find your time with us both pleasant and inspiring.

 June 4th and 6th at St. Andrews! Click here for info!!






Clipped from The Ottawa Journal09 Jun 1924, MonPage 18




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal21 Oct 1972, SatPage 42





Clipped from The Ottawa Journal15 Jan 1944, SatPage 2



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal12 Aug 1950, SatPage 21



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal19 Sep 1922, TuePage 23




Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)



A Sneeze of a Tune from St. Andrew’s Church in Carleton Place

Why does this Carleton Place Gem go Unnoticed?

Carleton Place considering offer to buy St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

New flock finds a home in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church building

Who Really Built the Baptist Church in Carleton Place?

Another Example of Local Random Acts of Kindness- Zion Memorial United Church

Let The Church Rise– A Little History of St. James Anglican Church

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976

What did Rector Elliot from St. James Bring Back from Cacouna?

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

St James and St Mary’s Christmas Bazaar 1998 -Who Do You Know?

When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!

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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