One of Carleton Place’s folk-heros I have always admired is Dan Miller who owned the Queen’s Hotel. In 1949 the 67-year-old began a one-man holdout as he was determined to carry out his threat to keep the hotel closed until the town’s authorities knuckled under for what he considered high taxes.
William Pattie, town clerk treasurer and assessor told the media that insofar as he was concerned; the situation was unchanged so Miller sat on the steps in front of the Queen’s Hotel with his small dog at his side in protest.
He spent many a morning exchanging greetings with fellow townsmen and the people of Carleton Place hellbent on having lunch there were unable to gain admittance. Dan Miller will always be remembered as a man of conviction and I admire that. Stand up for what you believe in– even if it means standing alone.
Gail Sheen MacDonald from Wisteria called me up yesterday to say she had a gift for me to cheer me up. She had mentioned this little wooden man (Carleton Place Folk Art) and I never thought she would part with it, but she said she couldn’t think of another person that would enjoy it as much as I would. She knows me well, as outside and inside of my home is what I call a Lanark County Rescue for all things eclectic Lanark County from local thrift shops collected over the years.
The history of this little guy is: it was given to Gayle by her late friend Dennis Miller from the Queen’s. It once belonged to his father Bill Miller and graced the entrance of our beloved Queen’s Hotel when Bill owned the establishment. He used to have a wooden cigarette coming out of his mouth so I improvised, and the beer bottle he used to hold has been changed to a bottle of wine for Gail.
Traditionally, folk art sprang from a desire to make human and meaningful the daily round of work and home life, and thus reflected the cultural and regional diversity in Canada. So Gail’s gift of local Canadiana is now called: Gale of the Queens’ (male spelling of Gail) and sits next to one of the late Canadian folk artist Tom Rector’s ‘Crotch Men’ whose subjects included stick or “crotch” men, carved from the natural crotch formation of branches.
Folk art is the artistic expression of the people and that is who I write for. It was the people of our local communities and no one else, that made our towns and villages of Lanark County what they were and now are- it’s called “the real roots”– and if you forget your roots, you have lost sight of everything.
Thank you Gail !
Inscription at bottom . Compliments your hosts , Lloyd and Anita Jonson , Queens Hotel , Carleton Place Ont. Might be ” Jansan ” .–Llew Loyd
A closer look at the Queen’s Hotel and the King’s Cafe.. In front of the Queen’s Hotel with the King’s Cafe- Photo- Tom Edwards 1920s
In front of the Queen’s Hotel with the King’s Cafe- Photo- Tom Edwards July 12 1920– King’s Cafe was at the Queen’s Hotel
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)
Part 1- Tales of the Chatteron House Corset — Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place- can be found here.