Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 6-The Eating Place to the Post Office

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 6-The Eating Place to the Post Office



Photo from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Bridge Street – the west side, between College and Emily/Elgin Street. No date, but c.1950. The occasion was an Orange Day parade, and landmarks include a barber shop, Chinese Laundry, the Roxy Theatre, and Carleton Lunch Bar. J. Gordon Lancaster is marching in the front row, second from left.


73 Bridge Street Carleton Place


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This is J.G. Lancaster’s Grocery Store in 1947 – now the Eating Place in Carleton Place on Bridge Street. Before Lancaster opened, our dastardly devil of Carleton Place, Dr. Howard, was busy making and marketing his elixirs in that every same building–Photo from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



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Mid 2000s

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The upstairs of this brick building housed the Loyal Orange Lodge and there is a plaque on the upper storey indicating that the building as being home to Loyal Orange Lodge No. 48. The downstairs was once the Leather and Harness Shop of Fergusson and Smythe, who sold suitcases and valises, as well as harness and horse collars. There is a deliberate alleyway giving access to the rear of both buildings.

Ferguson & Smythe, Bridge street.–In the early years of the Taylor Block some of the businesses included The Crown Grocery operated by Lowe and Richardson,Ferguson and Smythe’s harness shop, Andy Neilson Jeweller, I.O.O.F. had a hall upstairs, H. Abdallah’s, and Bennett and Code Grocery.
Then Ferguson & Smythe moved to the downstairs of this building. The Leather and Harness Shop of Ferguson and Smythe, who sold suitcases and valises, as well as harness and horse collars. There is a deliberate alleyway giving access to the rear of both buildings.
One of the partners was supposed to have pointed a revolver at one of the daily visitors to the business. Magistrate McNeely would not consider the laying of a charge regarding the alleged incident.

Later this site became Gordon Lancaster’s Grocery Store and Miss Wilson and Miss Patterson also came to operate a China Shop here. Mr. and Mrs. Latour operated a Lady’s Dress Shop at this site and Onna Archdeacon also operated her electrical shop here after it moved from 122 Bridge Street.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  10 Feb 1972, Thu,  Page 4

Robert Gordon’s Men’s Wear operated his business here during the early 1970s and there were two fires within two years. In 1975, Dorothy Burns operated a tea wagon that was later taken over by Kay Kingston. It is presently the home of the iconic The Eating Place.


Related Reading:

Re: Ferguson & Smythe-

So Who Did Live at 107 John Street? Here is Your Answer….

The Eating Place! You’ve Got to Eat in Carleton Place!

Did You Know Who was Cooking in Back of Lancaster’s Grocery Store? Dr. Howard I Presume! – Part 3

Christmas in April – (Wandering) Wayne Richards

Time Travel- Is that Wandering Wayne in this 1930 Photo?


77 Bridge Street Carleton Place

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1930 Carleton Place Herald Building- Bridge Street- Carleton Place–Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


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11 years ago

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77 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1890

In 1850, James C. Poole founded The Herald. Poole was the editor of The Herald for thirty-two years. The paper abandoned its hand press in 1854 and installed its first power press. With the ‘new’ cylinder press and reduced subscription price ($1.00 per year if paid in advance, instead of the previous 10 shillings). Thus leading to the increase in size and circulation of The Herald.

The Herald was located at 77 Bridge Street under W.H. Allan’s ownership with his son Glen. Mr. Allan, his son Glen, and daughter Queenie lived in the frame house on Emily Street which was later the home of Mayor Arnold J. Julian. The Herald later became Carleton Place’s first Canadian Tire store in 1954  managed by G.E. McIntyre, and John Morton of Almonte was the assistant manager.



Photo-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Later Deschamps Plumbing was located here during the 1970s and 1980s and then other businesses such as Apple Cheeks once operated a business at this site. There has been not been any significant changes to the building over the years, only storefront on the first storey has changed slightly. Now it is home to Surrounding Memories, a Custom Picture Framing, Gallery & Gift Shop and our beloved Erica Zwicker and hubby Barry who operate The Floral Boutique.

Related reading:

The Carleton Place Goddess of Greenery — Erica Zwicker

What Was Going On at The Carleton Place Herald Office With the Birds and the Bees?


The Vacant Lot Before 99 Bridge Street

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Now Empty Lot

The Vacant Lot Before 99 Bridge Street

According to Marg Whyte two very large billboards (Lloyd Hughes says it was a long row of billboards) once occupied this lot between the two buildings, and there was also a well worn path that led to the Welsh house on Victoria Street. The property was then purchased by Imperial Oil who installed gas pumps and built the Esso/Earl Horricks Garage. Dave Thompson operated it and over the years it was under the management/ownership of Ray Simpson, and Dennis Coyles.

Rick Roberts remembers  that the Horricks family lived directly behind the Esso station in a white house facing Victoria Street. The empty lot to the south of the Esso station served as a Chrysler dealership for a year or two somewhere in the 1962-1964 era.

Jane Chandra  recalled that the Bernicki’s from Smith Falls lived in the little grey house that was set back off the Main St. in the 60’s. They were originally from Smith’s Falls, and Dale’s Dad worked in the Butcher Shop where Young’s Variety Store was on the Main Street. If you want to read all the comments about this gas station click here—-Esso? Downtown Bridge Street Carleton Place


92 Bridge Street Carleton Place




Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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92 Bridge Street Circa 1820 and 1876

James Coleman once had a shoemaking shop on Bridge Street and previous to this James made boots for his fellow soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars. He was granted 160 acres in Canada following the Battle of Waterloo and arrived in Quebec City and travelled to Bytown (Ottawa) where the original property was. Coleman sold the property to move to Morphys Falls and obtained water rights to set up a gristmill, which he was unable to do, so Hugh Bolton bought the land.

The story goes that in 1820 Mr. Coleman bought one of the Morphy’s water privileges with the thoughts of building a mill here on the Mississippi banks- but he had such difficulties he didn’t carry through. Coleman however sold his rights to Hugh Bolton. Bolton erected what was the only grist mill between Perth and Bytown for many a day. In 1820 Hugh Boton ground out the first bushel of wheat in the first grist mill between Perth and Bytown.

The Coleman family was the third family to settle in Morphy’s Falls and James set up a shoe making business and built a two storey home beside in the 1830s. He taught his sons William, James, and Andrew the trade. Andrew was a shoemaker all is life and lived in the original family home on Bridge Street. Fred West and later Ned Root had a shoe repair shop where you could get lifts for your shoes for 15 cents or half soles for a $1.00. Later on this location was a candy shop called the Ideal Candy Store run by Sandy Robertson and his wife Thelma.

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These two buildings were torn down in June of 1976  and a new professional building was erected in place of the Coleman House. The original log house was framed and clapboard, but in Fanny Coleman’s time it was stuccoed and there was a long board walk up to the front door as it was set well back from Bridge Street. In those days she had many regular customers and she also worked for Baird and Riddell as a dressmaker. It currently houses professionals in this building.


79-81 Bridge Street Carleton Place


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79-81 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1891

This building was the first building erected by the Government (1891-1892) to be used solely for Post Office and Customs services in Carleton Place. It is, however, the fourth location in Carleton Place that housed postal services.

Postmasters were:

Caleb Bellows–Robert Bell–Major Hooper–Duncan Campbell–Patrick Struthers and Findlay McEwen


Ten years after this village was founded in 1820, a post office was opened. At the same time, the name of the village changed from Morphy’s Falls to Carlton Place and then through a slip in typing to Carleton Place.

Mr. Caleb S. Bellows a merchant at that time was named post master in his store on the south west side of the main street what is now Bridge Street. Four years later, Mr. Bellows moved to Westmeath northwest of town and Mr. Robert Bell who was appointed and carried on in the store originally operated by Mr. Bellows.

In 1853, post office boxes were set up around town and the mail was carried by Pony Express by Mr. Andrew Houghton from Franktown to Carleton Place once a week. The roads were difficult and the load was heavy and when the mail courier arrived in town, he blew a little tin horn for the length of the main road in town. Soon, the mail courier by name of Mr. Ferguson provided himself with a carriage and thus our first mail coach service was started. Now the mail arrived three times a week.

Robert Bell soon required a larger building for business so in 1834 the post office and general store were moved to the Sumner Building now Hing Wah Restaurant and Takeout on the northeast corner of Bell and Bridge Streets. Mr. Bell carried on his business adding real estate to it. He needed assistance so he turned a part of his business over to his Clerk Mr. Duncan Campbell who was appointed the third postmaster in Carleton Place in 1854.

Then in 1858 with the growth and progression of the town, a new post office was needed. Soon quarters were rented from Dr. Preston in his drugstore on the corner of Franklin and Bridge Streets. Two years later in 1860 Patrick Struthers was appointed Postmaster.

On February 26, 1866 just six years after Struther’s becomes Post Master, he moved the post office to the corner of Bridge and Bell Streets. Sometime during the 1870s, the post office was moved once again to Struther’s store site, which was the northeast corner of Bridge and Franklin streets. This was the last time that the Post Office was located in a merchant’s privately owned stores. The classic red sandstone structure served for some 75 years as the Carleton Place Post Office and Customs Office.

This steam heated building housed the post office until the Government built a new federal building in 1891 on Bridge Street during Mr. Struthers’ term of office. This new building called the old brown stone building was the post office for years between the Franklin street site and the present post office opened in 1963. This building also housed the Customs Office and caretaker’s apartment, and later the unemployment office. Findlay McEwen was appointed Post Master in 1907 after the death of Struthers. McEwen fulfilled the role until his death in 1920. During his term of office three rural mail deliveries were established: Ashton, Innisville, and Appleton.

On the first floor was the post office with Mr. Struthers as postmaster and two ladies for clerks (The Virtue Sisters). Here too as a part of the post office was the Railway Telegraph Service (Myles Shields being CPR operator with Mina Scott). This service later moved to its own building.

Major W.H. Hooper was appointed Post Master in 1920 and served as Post Master until his retirement in 1950. During Hooper’s time if office many changes occurred.He had control of the clerk for the position of Telegraph operator until the telegraph service moved to its own building. The school children popped in daily to get warm on cold days and enjoy the steam heat. The caretaker lived on the upper floor and could be counted on to appear as soon as the children entered the building and order them out. Major Hooper was also a gruff individual and his family on the corner of Lake Ave and Bridge Street.

The next caretaker was Jim Welch and he too along with his family occupied the upper floor. The second floor became the place to file to get tour SIN card when you had to apply for unemployment insurance and was  managed by Frank McDiarmid and his assistant Lillian Bassett. When the Post Office moved to its new location where the old Central Public School stood at the corner of Bridge and College Streets Sam and Elsie Gardiner purchased the building and converted to office on the ground floor and 2 upper floors became apartments. One of the first ground floor tenants was Phil Dadson’s Law Office and later Nephin & Winter Accountants. It is now an apartment building.

The building itself is three storeys and made from Limestone quarried in Beckwith. The back wall is made of brick. The Post Office clock was installed in 1913 and James H. Dack a jeweller was given custody of it and Howard Dack his son was given the honour of starting the 150-pound pendulum in motion.

Some of the  ladies that worked there over the years were: Edith Cram, Annie Burnie, Bertha Carr,Eleanor Jamison and Eleanor McNeely.

Related reading

You’ve Got Mail — The First Post Offices of Lanark County

As Time Goes By — The Old Post Office Clock

The Story Behind the Clock – Dack’s Jewellers

The Appleton Mail Man Who Always Got Things Straightened Away

Take a Letter Maria– Carleton Place Post Office

As Time Goes By — The Old Post Office Clock

My Baby, Just-a Wrote Me a Letter– The Carleton Place Post Office




Read in the series

Carleton Place Business–Lloyd Hughes List

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 1– Canadian Tire to The Moose

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 2- Milano Pizza to Milady Dress Shop

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 3- St. Andrew’s to Central School

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 4- Leslie’s China Shop to Rubino’s/Giant Tiger

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 5-The Little White House to the Roxy



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

Community Facts You Might Not Know About Carleton Place for our 150th Birthday – Part 8– It was 1963

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

A Lyle Dillabough Flashback– 150th Birthday

Carleton Place Community Memories 1967–150th

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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.

3 responses »

  1. My grandfather Thomas Miller had his horse stables on High Street across from Findley’s Foundary. He always supplied King Billy’s white horse. Once, when my father was young, during a parade a catholic lad got swept up in the excitement, and started marching with the Orangemen when the Catholic Priest ran out and cuffed him on his ear.

    Liked by 1 person

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