I Bet You Didn’t Know this About St. James in Carleton Place

I Bet You Didn’t Know this About St. James in Carleton Place


Photo Linda Seccaspina

The first church built in 1834 was a frame building, built in the Georgian style and was a 64 feet long and 32 wide and had a gallery.

The tower of the church which was 44 feet high was maintained over a porch that was the width of the buildings that had 4 columns supporting its roof.

In August of 1834 Bishop Charles James Stewart of Quebec came and confirmed 97 of their parishioners. The congregation of St. James was 300, of which most were farming families.


They began to build the present stone building in 1881 and it officially opened on Wednesday, January 11, 1882.

The church bell dates back to 1896, and at one time it rang with help of a rope outside and a ‘special rhythm’ by the bell ringer. It was also used as a local fire alarm which used to call the local volunteers. It weighs 3/4 of a ton.

The church bell used to count hours replacing the now silent Post Office clock.

In 1974 lightening struck the bell that was now electronically controlled. Beginning at 8 am the hour was tolled until 7 pm. At noon, 6 and 7 pm carillon hymns once played.

Canon Jarvis 1884-90 designed the oak furnishings of the chancel. In 1830 the kneeler and the communion rail needlepoint was done by the rector’s wife Mrs. E. Boswell.

Other current needlepoint cushions and kneelers were handmade and donated by long time organist Ralph Langtry.

In 1903 a Cassavant Pipe Organ was installed and it was an air hand pumped which was electrified in 1955, and rebuilt in 1974 with a new console and was dedicated that year.

If you sit in the second section, first pew on the right hand side you will see some signatures carved in the upper pew. About 90 years ago Miss E.Virtue and her accomplice Master C. Mull did it–Read–If You Squint Really Hard Can you see a Yeti?

Muriel Simpson who lived on Campbell Street was a faithful parishioner of St. James Anglican Church. If you look at the big cross that hangs in the church, she and her husband Eric donated it. I know because she told me a couple of hundred times.

Muriel made an impact on me, and there is never ever a day that I will not forget her. You see, she made me promise that I would sit in her spot in a certain church pew after she died.  If you were sitting in it when she was alive she made you move. She told me that bad things would happen to me if I didn’t sit on her spot upon her demise. Read more here..The “Margaret Thatcher” of Campbell Street

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ 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.


St. James…..

Imagine if All the People…. Photos of Father David Andrew’s Retirement Party

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976

What did Rector Elliot from St. James Bring Back from Cacouna?

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

Father David Andrew – Just Call Me Father D!

Let The Church Rise– A Little History of St. James Anglican Church

St James and St Mary’s Christmas Bazaar 1998 -Who Do You Know?

Memories of The Old Church Halls

Local Churches…

PAKENHAM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1897– $338.50 on the Cornerstone?

Drummond Centre United Church — and The Ireton Brothers 38 Year Reunion–Names Names Names

Who Really Built the Baptist Church in Carleton Place?

Notes About The First Baptist Church in Perth

Smith’s Falls and District Baptist Church

Memories of The Old Church Halls

Tales From the Methodist Church in Perth

Knox Church– McDonald’s Corners

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

The Beckwith Baptist Church

Old Churches of Lanark County

Before and After — Auld Kirk

Another Example of Local Random Acts of Kindness- Zion Memorial United Church

The Old Church in Island Brook That Needs a Home

The Church that Died

Old Churches of Lanark County

When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!

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Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour Bridge Street walk with stories of murder mayhem and Believe it or Not!!. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!–


Here we go Carleton Place– Mark Your Calendars–
Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour Bridge Street walk with stories of murder mayhem and Believe it or Not!!. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!–

Join us and learn about the history under your feet! This year’s St. James Cemetery Walk will take place Thursday October 19th and october 21– Museum Curator Jennfer Irwin will lead you through the gravestones and introduce you to some of our most memorable lost souls!
Be ready for a few surprises along the way….
This walk takes place in the dark on uneven ground. Please wear proper footwear and bring a small flashlight if you like.
Tickets available at the Museum, 267 Edmund Street. Two dates!!!

OCT 28th
Downtown Carleton Place Halloween Trick or Treat Day–https://www.facebook.com/events/489742168060479/

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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.

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