Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 12

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 12

The Town Hall

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Read here–

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

Shenanigans of the Monday Night Town Hall Opening




Photos-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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Notice the building where the parking lot and Chamber of Commerce is now.–Photo-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

164 Bridge Street Carleton Place





164 Bridge Street Carleton Place

164 Bridge Street was the residence of Mrs. McPherson and her daughter Bess who
was a telephone operator. Later the Hanneman Family occupied it for a period of
time. It was later converted into a lawyer’s office that was occupied by Paul Cortice.  Jack McPherson owned an insurance business and ran it from the house. Mary Cook said in January of 2007 that McPherson’s wife worked for Oscar Okilman for 25 cents an hour.

During the 1960’s there was an extensive fire and lot 25 is rather large and it is difficult to discern where some of the businesses and residences were actually located as a large parking lot is in between 164 Bridge Street and 176 Bridge Street. Based on interviews and discussions with some of the local Carleton Place Historians 164 Bridge Street may have been the Okilman’s residence, the McPherson residence, and McPherson’s Insurance. In the middle to late nineteenth century 164 Bridge Street belonged to the Greig Block. One thingthat is clear is that John Graham operated a wagon shop here.

Related reading:

Unwrapping 164 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

155-157 Bridge Street Carleton Place

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Photos-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


155-157 Bridge Street Carleton Place

In 1889, Dr. McEwen had his drug store at this location called the People’s Drug Store. In 1892 and 1893, Dr.McIntosh took over Dr. McEwen’s drug store and J.P. McLaren bought the pharmacy from Dr. McIntosh in 1935. Dr. McIntosh also operated both the town’s office of health and the the drug store where at the beginning of each school year he sold school supplies. Primers were 4 cents each and printed by the T. Eaton Co. as were all the text books.


Photo Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Rulers and erasers were 1 cent each and scribblers were 2 for 5 cents. Each scribbler was remembered for having the multiplication tables on the back. Beside the drug store he had a small office where he sold insurance. If you had a rash or open sore when you came to school  the teacher sent you to Dr. McIntosh’s immediately to have a look at it in case it was from a contagious disease. If he found a child with a temperature  or a rash they were most likely sent home and quarantined.


Joann Voyce—This negative was printed backwards. It is 1942 in front of McLarens Drug Store. Myself with Nora and Marilyn Gardiner

The McIntosh’s lived over the store, and as his wife was not well, her companion was Ruth Gavin. In 1940, John P. McLaren bought the entire building but in 1954, McLaren died and his wife and W.J. Hughes ran the pharmacy. He also employed Margaret (Camelon) Drummond, Beverly Poynter and Marion Campbell. When Mr. McLaren died the pharmacy was sold to a Mr. Gilchrist and it was a pharmacy until 1965 when the Neron’s then purchased the building. The Neron’s operated a hair salon and women’s clothing in the building. Margaretta Hillebrandt is John P. McLaren’s daughter and she said her father’s given name was John but everyone called him Jack.


The next place of business was Bailey’s Grocery Store. His wife was a Kilfoyle from Innisville and he employed a couple of her nephews Stanley and Gerald and also Lloyd Logan. Later this became Chester Argue’s Hardware store who employed James Patterson, Harry Crawford and Wilbert Giles.

Mill and Bridge Street Parking Lot

see below




Ottawa Journal Photo of fireman by Foote 29th September, 1965.

Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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Black and white photo by Linda Seccaspina

Mill and Bridge Street Parking Lot

The space which is now the municipal parking lot was the location of Okilman’s and consisted of two adjoining stores. Lloyd Hughes said that Johnson’s Theatre was first in this spot offering 5 cent movies in the early 1900s.  I thought it was farther down Bridge Street and I found it on Early Cinema Filmography of Ontario but no location.


Carleton Place

  • Johnson Brothers (in operation circa 1915) : Location: ?

On the left was the Okilman’s Ladies Ready to Wear and also an assortment of yard goods from silks, broadcloth, flannelette to curtain material. Mrs. Okilman  managed this side with her clerks: Charlotte Garland, Gwen Bittle, Essie Armstrong, Essie Emerson, Laura Shail and Mrs. Hedderson.

Oscar Okilman worked on the right hand side of the store sold all the men’s straw and felt hats to shoes and rubber boots and everything else in  between. The only other male clerk was Mose, their son. They lived above the store and at one time Rita and Moses lived in the next building south of the store. There was a small alleyway along the side of the building.

In September of 1965 a fire broke out destroying what people called the “pioneer store”. Okilman’s was an institution in Carleton Place.  They have no idea what caused the fire that night that caused over $100,000 of damage to the three-storey structure. Firemen were called from not only Carleton Place, but also Almonte and Beckwith Township. Moses Okilman and his wife Rita noticed smoke at 6:30 pm and hightailed it out of the building. No one was hurt, but only a small part of the damage was covered by insurance.

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  28 Nov 1932, Mon,  Page 1

Another fire in the 1932 had already destroyed a portion of the store. Thankfully, no one was hurt in 1965, but the Okilman’s lost everything, with Mrs. Okiliman only having time to grab her purse. A year later Oscar Okilman died.

Related reading..

Carleton Place Main Street Fire — Okilman’s

Carleton Place 1940’s —- The Popularity Contest

Mose Okilman–Anything to Add?

Walking With Ghosts — The Hauntings of Ida Moore

159-167 Bridge Street Carleton Place





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Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

159-167 Bridge Street Circa–1860, 1888

The Taylor building on the Bridge and Mill Street corner was built in 1888 and bought from Archibald McArthur. It’s one of the few downtown Carleton Place buildings that has not been touched by fire, and one of the largest made from Beckwith limestone and local bricks. After William’s death, the store continued on as Taylor Bros Ltd.,hardware, fuel merchants, and auto dealers under C. Frank R. Taylor (1875-1940) until 1930 ca. Frank was William’s son.This is the largest commercial building in Carleton Place and was known as “Taylor’s Department Store and Garage”.


Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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.
Marj Whyte recalled that the Dominion Store was first located in the Taylor Block and thatthe first Bell Telephone Exchange office was on the second floor. The manager was Walter Termarch and his clerk was Mary Scott. When Marvin was transferred to Renfrew, Mary left with him and became Mrs. Termarch. Badminton was also played on the second floor.

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  12 Feb 1937, Fri,  Page 17

The Taylor block then consisted of a furniture business, ladies ready to wear and a hardware store on the ground floor. The second and third floors were apartments and at that time a  large area of the upper floors were unoccupied. Years ago a large area on the north side on the third floor was turned into a bowling alley. This was later discontinued when the owner William Irwin built a new alley on the main street which was once owned by Laurie Melrose.

The entrance to the Plumbing and Tinsmith Shop was on Mill Street and the garage where they sold Ford cars was on Beckwith Street. When you bought something you handed the clerk on the floor the purchase money and he made out a sales slip and put the money in a metal container fastened to a long wire. This ran along the wire to the office girls: Wilma Nichols, Ida Dunlop, and Beaulah McAllister and they made the change and returned the container to the clerk who handed you the money.

The plumbing section was manned by the Tolshachs, Jack McFarland, and D.J. Campbell looked after the tin smithing.  The garage employed H.D. Dulmage, Frank Howard, William Cain and Mr. Henderson. There was a gasoline pump about half way down Mill Street and gas was 25 cents a gallon. Taylors also sold coal and it was $15.50 a ton and it was delivered by William McDougal who shovelled it down a metal shoot into your coal bin. Taylor’s also had a branch in Almonte. William Irwin had bowling alleys on the second floor before moving to 49 Bridge Street. Later Bergwerff’s opened a store that handled baby accessories.


Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Years ago in the early 60s Gemmil Comba sold the “Comba” building on Bridge Street in a real estate deal and Comba had no idea what the future would hold for the three-storey block. Mr. Comba and his son Stewart had operated the furniture business since 1936 when the former had purchased the Taylor Block as the property was once known. The Taylor block was once considered once of the largest blocks of property in the Carleton Place section.


Yvonne from the Blossom Shop

Gemmill Comba operated a furniture store here in the Taylor Block for quite
sometimes and then his son Stewart moved it to the Leslie Building. About 1936 Comba made his first business venture starting up a second-hand shop in the former Legion building or McRostie block. Later he had the opportunity of purchasing the rambling Taylor block which once stretched through to Beckwith Street. Once in possession he made full use of the large floor area and proceeded to build up a strong furniture business. After WWII he was joined by his son after he returned from overseas. the Beckwith St. building was also rented to Rubino’s  as a storage warehouse at the time of the fire at Eades Hardware store. The Blossom Shop was in this location,  a financial consultant, a computer store, and Flint’s Appliances all resided in the Taylor Block.

Did you know that the Taylor Block was once  home to Eaton’s and the original Eaton’s safe is still in the basement?

Related reading:

You Didn’t Go to Taylor’s Hardware Store for Milk

There were Spies Among us in Carleton Place

The Day the Comba Building Sold-Taylor Block

Laura From Acanthus –The Truth Beneath the Rose

176 Bridge Street Carleton Place


176 Bridge Street Carleton Place

The present building stands on the site of former William Louck’s trading store
(1824), Caleb Bellows’s store from 1825 and the post office from 1830, until
destroyed by fire in the 1870s. The building we see now has distinctive windows
designed with four panes and segementally headed windows and simple brick
transoms. The tin roof has a dormer in the front and the back. This building most
notably held by William Patterson and Son’s Furniture and funeral business from the
mid 1890s until it finally closed under the ownership of William’s grandson, Gordon
Patterson. Here was one of the few businesses in Carleton Place to have operated as
a family owned company for more than a century.

In or about 1822 accompanying the project of building a grist mill, this store site was obtained from Edmond Morphy for the erection of a combined inn and trader’s shop
by William Loucks who came from nearby Grenville county. It and the neighbouring
inn and shop of Alexander Morris’s were the focal points of the village’s Scotch
versus Irish disturbances of 1824, commemorated by an Ontario historical plaque
beside the bridge and Town Hall. In 1821 Alexander Morris had started a tannery, a
potash works, a store, and a hotel. Morris was known to be unfriendly to the Irish.
In April 1824 on militia day parade while the Scots were drinking the King’s health in Morris’s they were attacked by Irishmen.

The Loucks building soon in the 1820s became occupied as the town’s first more
adequately stocked general retail store, established by Caleb Bellows (1806-1863
later founder of Bellowstown which became Westmeath in Renfrew County). There
in 1830 the first Carleton Place post office was opened with Bellows as the deputy
post master until April 1834 when that appointment was obtained by Robert Bell and
the post office moved to present day 1 Bell Street.

Loucks ownership of their shop at the present 1 Bell Street with rental to others for over forty years including the period of the village’s street plan of the early 1860s reproduced in the 1969 Carleton Place local history compilation Founded Upon A
Rock.The building was destroyed in 1876 by a suspicious fire. The structure was then the dry goods store of the firm of Archibald McGregor and John McLean. It was an
inflammable “dry, patched up old building,” according to the Perth Courier, which
told of alleged incendiary as the origin of loss.

Erection of the present brick building followed on this pioneering merchants’ site. It was long known as The Riverside Store. James L. Murphy a Bridge Street merchant
from the early 1870s established himself there before March 1880 when an
advertisement of his “Riverside Store” offered at retail his stock of dry goods,
groceries, and other articles. Born in Lanark County about 1840 James L. Murphy
was a son of Michael Murphy (1805-1884), an emigrant from Westmeath Ireland.
He came to Canada in the 1830s and became a merchant at Innisville and a
merchant and magistrate in Carleton Place.

A feature of this building for many years was its verandah life long platform
extending above the river along the buildings side and accessible from the street. It was added in 1881. it is mentioned in the Carleton Place Herald’s report of the
Carleton Place Boating Club’s second annual Mississippi Lake regatta. Events
included field sports, a baseball game between Pembroke and Pakenham, and at
night near the bridge, a waterborne open air concert and a fireworks display. Major
James C. Poole wrote in the Herald “The newly erected platform of James L.
Murphy’s dry goods establishment, which projects over the water of the Mississippi
was used for a band stand, where the Brockville Band was located.”


photo —Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Changes in the nature of James L. Murphy’s store operations are shown briefly by
business directories in which the main merchandise lines are shown to be in dry
goods in 1885, millinery in 1890 and in 1904 books and stationary. Occupation of
the Riverside Store by its next longer term owners William Patterson and Son began
before 1895.

Who remembers Robbie Probert the candlestick maker? Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 29 May 1980, Thu, Valley Edition, Page 44

The furniture and undertaking business of William Patterson and Son was started in
Carleton Place in the 1860s. William Patterson (1840-1908) born in Lanark County
at Perth son of Charles. William came to Carleton place at age 22 where he learned
the trade of cabinet making under David Hogg. Before the end of the 1860s, William
had established his own furniture making business. He served the Carleton Place
militia company on the St. Lawrence from under its Carleton Place officers James C.
Poole and John Brown during the Fenian Raid periods of 1866 and 1870. In Carleton
Place he was the first captain of this community’s first fire brigade.

The Patterson furniture and undertaking businesses in the Riverside Store building
were continued by William’s son Joseph and by Joseph’s son Gordon. At the end of
this firm’s business life of over a century, it had occupied for over eighty years the site of this town’s original post office and original general retail business
establishment. In 1976 Gordon Patterson sold the store to a newspaper and in 1978
they sold it to Robbie Probert a candle maker from Nova Scotia for $42,500.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, tree, outdoor and nature

Saw your posting about Rob Probert and thought I would send you this picture of his Mom and Dad, Harry and Dorothy Probert and Bill’s Mom, Winn Flint.–Photo Carole Flint



Ted LeMaistre Mayor of CP- Ginny Huether-Harry Probert and Rob Probert- Opening of their store across from the town hall. Rob is a force behind the Roy Brown Society.


Janice Tennant Campbell– His store and Remembrance Gift Shop were the two best places to buy a gift.

Linda Gallipeau-Johnston– Loved Robbie’s store!!

Livia Haasper– Absolutely. Loved the store. Too many of the nice stores gone. I’ve seen them come and go.

Lynne Johnson– They made beeswax candles. The ladies in town got employment from the Probert’s rolling the candles.

Jeremy Stinson– I remember when my grandfather did his ‘book tour’, the Carleton Place stop was at Proberts.

Ray Paquette– Robbie began his candle making at a young age, possibly around 12, at his home at the corner of McCrostie and Joseph Streets. When his small cottage industry took off, he moved downtown to the former Patterson Furniture Store at the bridge..

Joann Voyce I have an original honeycomb wax candle on a carved wooden Maple leaf which was made by Harry Probert back in the 1960’s

Wendy LeBlanc Loved that store! However, when cleaning out closets recently, I came across one of Rob’s lovely reversible wrap skirts that I bought a couple of decades ago. It is marked OSFA – One Size Fits All. I want my money back, Rob!

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home — Carleton Place

Glory Days in Carleton Place— Jan McCarten Sansom

The Candy Man — George Dummert

How Sweet is the Highway to Hell?

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers of Lanark County


Carleton Place Business–Lloyd Hughes List

Comments Comments Comments–Documenting History

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

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 7 –Scotia Bank to the New York Cafe

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 8–Olympia Restaurant to McNeely’s–

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 9–Flint’s to the Blue Spot


Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 11


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 andScreamin’ Mamas (US

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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Parking Lot

Niġel Klemenčič-Puglisevich photos

Niġel Klemenčič-Puglisevich photos

if you look closely at the 1907 postcard the okilman’s building(slanted roof) was still there ( now Chamber of Commerce/Moore house) but between the late okilman’s building and the Patterson Funeral home there was a small empty space)

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.
Marj Whyte recalled that the Dominion Store was first located in the Taylor Block and thatthe first Bell Telephone Exchange office was on the second floor. The manager was Walter Termarch and his clerk was Mary Scott. When Marvin was transferred to Renfrew, Mary left with him and became Mrs. Termarch. Badminton was also played on the second floor.

Thanks to Christoper Trotman and family- from their Grandparents that once lived at 244 William st.

Decemeber 1933 Careton Place Gazette

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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