The Dacks and the Mysterious Old Anchor

The Dacks and the Mysterious Old Anchor

Sept 6 1968— Almonte Gazette

A relic of the Mississippi river’s interesting past was reclaimed from the waters recently by Kathy and Keith Dack. The two were diving in the river opposite the former Hawthorne Woollen Mills, now Leigh Instruments, when this discovered a ship’s anchor, well over three feet in length and of tremendous weight.
Does anyone know anything about this?


(with files from the Almonte GazetteAlmonte Gazette)

I found the article right under my nose.. of course, when I was not looking for it..:)

A relic of the Mississippi River was reclaimed from the Mississippi River by Kathy and the late Keith Dack in September of 1968. The two were diving opposite the Hawthorne Knitting Mills, then Leigh Instruments, when they found the ship’s anchor. This area is around the same area that Carleton Place’s once *floating bridge was located.

Using diving apparatus they were diving in about 7 feet of murky water when they found the ship’s anchor embedded on the bottom of the river. Attaching a rope to the anchor and using power they dragged the object to shore and found out they had found an “ancient” anchor over three feet in length and two feet in width. Some of the original chain was well worn and the Dack’s wondered how what was left of the chain supported the anchor that was of great weight.

According to the article the anchor was left against a tree on the property of Kathy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Dack. The late Keith Dack was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ken Dack. It was said that the age of the anchor could go  back as long as 80 years or so when it was used in the “good old days” when steamers operated on  the Mississippi River pulling log booms and operating picnic excursions. The last steamer on the lakes  was apparently still tied up at the dock at the foot of Frank street in 1968.

A look into the Canadian’s files reveals that if the anchor belonged to an excursion steamer it could have been the Enterprise, which must have been a sizeable boat. This description of the anchor should give some indication of the size of boats which once plied the Mississippi from Carleton Place to the docks near Innisville. Steamers were quite common on the lakes,  constant excursions being run to the old four- storey Queen’s Royal Hotel with its long tiers of surrounding verandahs before it was destroyed by fire.



Photo–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum—This is a picture of the Queens Royal Hotel, built by Peter Prosser Salter in 1899 and was part of the Lake Park Resort just outside of Carleton Place.These Carleton Place citizens of the 1890’s are lined up on the Lake Park dock waiting to board the steamship “Carleton”. It ran regular trips between Lake Park Lodge on Mississippi Lake and the town docks located near the Hawthorne Mill at the end of Charles Street. 

The summer resort record of Lake Park, central site of  the early Canadian Canoe Club Association and Northern Division regattas goes back over 100 years. In its days Allan’s Point, and for many years later, was a favourite location for the aquatic outings and sport days of Carleton Place social organizations. It’s first small two- storey summer hotel was built in 1887. The Lake Park Company of Carleton Place Ltd. completed most of the existing lot and street subdivision of the community in 1893. To serve it with transportation the company built the Carleton ­ which was the lake ’s largest steamboat, an 80- foot double decked paddle wheeler.

So, therefore it may be concluded the anchor could have belonged to any of these boats, which once plied the lakes. Files also indicate there was also the 40 ft steamer the Lillian that once docked at the Lake Park Wharf.

Memories of what once was.



Lake Park Lodge dock that greeted many visitors at one time- Photo of Dock and Lake Park by Linda Seccaspina





So was it from the tugboat that used to frequent the Nichols lumberyard where Centennial Park now is– or the steamers that went up and down the Mississippi River?


1,500 people attended the C.P.R. employees’ picnic at Lake Park on Wednesday of last week, and enjoyed the thirty-eight events that made up the program . The baby competition resulted as follow s: 1, Leo Hockenhull, 11 months o ld ; 2, H . McDiarmid, 4 months; 3, George Dummert, 10 months’; 4, Roy McRostie, 4 months. Sept 1 1899

*Dack History-

Losing an Institution- Dacks Jewellers

The Story Behind the Clock – Dack’s Jewellers


*Floating Bridge–Thelma Hurdis said as a child when they were swimming they found shaped block/rocks that went across the river and Lloyd Hughes has documented the bridge in his papers on Bridge Street. Read-The Floating Bridge of Carleton Place — Found!

images (8).jpg


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum photo 1902



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal31 Aug 1899, ThuPage 8




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal10 Aug 1899, ThuPage 2



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal04 Aug 1897, WedPage 7



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal30 Jun 1893, FriPage 7

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)

The Anchor on Lake Ave East???? Land Ahoy!!! Mike Flint

Facts You Might Not Know About Carleton Place for our 150th Birthday – Part 5

The Steamboat Picnics on Pretty Island

Don’t Be Scared Ladies –Steamers on the Mississippi

Lake Park Lodge – Queen’s Royal Hotel- Mississippi Lake Carleton Place Ontario

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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