This historical home is located on a charming little country road next to the Mississippi River to the southwest and connecting the Appleton Village with Highway 44. Known for many years as the Ross Craig farm — it was built in 1857 by Robert Bryson. The house appears on the Walling map of the counties of Lanark and Renfrew, and all the homes on this road once competed with each other to see who could produce the best quality home.
Some evidence points to the kitchen “ell” as being the first building, as the window trim is plain unlike the rest of the home which carries the “eyelash trim”. The floors are made from maple or pine and architectural details point out that this home was once one and a half storeys being carefully built to a two storey later on in years. The staircase is boxed in and very wide similar to the Glendinning home in Glen Isle.
The original kitchen was eventually turned into a family room and there is a minor mystery in the home. At the top of the stairs next to the master bedroom is a small room which is now a bathroom, and it was formerly either a large cupboard or a baby’s room as a peek through tiny window is on the master bedroom wall.
It is obvious that the Bryson and Craig families lived in the main house and used the smaller section for the hired help. This home is one of the rare homes in the area that has no fireplace and they probably used box stoves or ornamental Franklin stoves. William Kennedy and family bought this home from Hugh Grace who had followed the Craig tenure in 1969. It was always a farm but through the years the acreage of the property got smaller. In 1972 the Kennedy’s moved to Mattawa and any current history of the house known would be appreciated.
Along the ninth line between Shipman’s Mills and Appletree Falls located the Matthew McFarlanes, Sr. and Jr., and Thomas Patterson; while across the river along the 10th line located James Leitch, Arthur Lang, Peter McGregor, John Smith, James King, James Bryson, James Orr, Richard Dulmage, William and Robert Baird. James Bryson from Paisley and James King took Lot I11 of the 10th concession. George Bryson, a son of James, was one of the first Lanark County pioneers to go into the lumbering trade in 1836 and later, with his brother Robert, engaged in lumbering at Fort Coulonge and along the Black River in the province of Quebec. George Bryson represented Pontiac County in that province and was called to the Legislative Assembly of Quebec in 1867. The village of Bryson was named after him. During the lumbering era George Bryson and Simon Dunn established shanties throughout Ramsay and built the slide at Shipman’s Mills. There was talk of running the slide in canoes to save portage but all flunked out except Robert Bryson who with Dunn ventured the risky trip in a large pine log canoe. The canoe and crew shot down the steep incline at a rapid clip and all went well until they came to a 14 foot drop at the end of the slide into the bay below. The canoe split in two and the men were thrown into the rapids below but were rescued by onlookers.
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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.