The House on a Beckwith Hill–The McTavish House and Ceiling Medallions

The House on a Beckwith Hill–The McTavish House and Ceiling Medallions


1973 newspaper clipping. If you have a photo of the current home–please send it to me.


About a mile east from Black’s Corners a deed for this hillside property was given in 1824 to  John McTavish, but the home was not built until the 1870s. Foundation stones of the first dwelling which was either wood or log were found by former owner Donald Miller who owned the farm from 1950 until 1970 when it was sold to David Butler.

The McTavish tenure on the home lasted for upwards of 100 years when Hugh Timmins bought the property in 1932. After that former owners were: William J. Simpson, Elsie M. Lewis and Cecil Leslie Munro until Donald Miller took over.

Built similarly to two homes standing on a hill overlooking the countryside–warm mellow sandstone with gingerbread trim and a centre doorway that opens into a large hall welcomed family and friends for years. The highlight of this home was and hopefully still is— not only the exterior, but an interior ceiling medallion of a hand painted beaver with three maple leaves in his mouth crouching on a fallen log. There is no notation of who the artist is, and if it still is there I would love to see it.



 Jayne Munro-Ouimet sent me this photo-Linda here is a recent photo of the house on the hill between the school and the park in Beckwith. Alex Sharpe is my cousin and quite a family history buff. His mum Ruth lived there. Some of the family members went to the one room school on the ninth line. Ruth’s brother Cecil Leslie Munro bought the farm from his parents. I will see if I can find out when my great uncle purchased the farm. One of the Hudson ladies lives on Glen Isle.


Ceiling Medallions

There used to be a rumour that plaster ceiling medallions  were put there to keep the soot from candliers or gasoliers from showing. Ceiling medallions were popular decorative elements in 19th-century middle and upper class homes. Throughout decorating history, even residential ceilings were embellished with colour, striping, cast-plaster ornaments, corner fans, borders, specialty papers, and murals.

Stencils also appeared early on, but the late 19th-century Victorian era was the heyday of the embellished ceiling. Faced with ceiling heights of 9′ or more on the main floor, decorators always considered the ceiling along with the walls They were popular during the 1830s through the 1890s. According to period advertisements, the ceiling medallions that were meant for the centre of the ceiling above hanging light fixtures were sometimes called “centres.”

I guess we will never know but today you can buy medallions in all home renovation stores, and even though my original plaster ones disappeared in our home fire of 1995 I still made sure that all ceiling medallions were replaced. I hand painted most of them and when I began to paint them the renovators thought it was funny, but by the last one they wouldn’t put one up unless I painted it. The last one I did was was the angel medallion in the living room.






Descendants of Donald and Mary McTAVISH



PAGE 1  OF 1


(Head of Household)

McTAVISH, Alexander:   (1)
McTAVISH, John: 1 female  (2)

Beckwith 1820 Census Lanark County–Who Do You Know?


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

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.



History Still Lives on at The McEwen House in Beckwith

The House of Daughters –Stonecroft House

Update on The Manse in Beckwith

The Manse on the 7th Line of Beckwith

Home and Garden Before Home and Garden Magazine

The James Black Homestead

The Mysterious Riddell— H B Montgomery House

The Wall Mysteries of Lake Ave East -Residential Artists

The Manse on the 7th Line of Beckwith

Rescuing the Money Pits —The Other Dunlop Home with the Coffin Door

The Carleton Place House with the Coffin Door

Before and After in Carleton Place –The Doctor is in!

Heh Miss Wilsonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! Carleton Place Heroe

Was This the Architect of the Findlay Homes on High Street?

The Carleton Place House That Disappeared

The McCarten House of Carleton Place

Old McRostie Had a Farm in Carleton Place

Time Capsule in the ‘Hi Diddle Day’ House?

The Louis on Sarah Street for $43,500 — Before and After– Architecture in Carleton Place

Memories of Mississippi Manor

Day in the Life of a 70’s Pattie Drive Home – The Stay at Home Mom Era

Architecture Stories: The Hotel that Stompin’ Tom Connors Saved

Dim All The Lights — The Troubled Times of the Abner Nichols Home on Bridge Street

The Brick Houses of Carleton Place

So What Happened to The Findlay House Stone?

The Stanzel Homes of Carleton Place

The Appleton Chinchilla House



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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.

One response »

  1. Linda, the house is right beside the current Beckwith public school, the Cecil Leslie Munro was the son of my Great uncle. Give me a day or two and I will give you some info and pictures of my Munro family.

    Message sent from iPad. Excuse the typos.🙂


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