Memories of the Bracewells of Carleton Place

Memories of the Bracewells of Carleton Place


Bracewell home on Lake Ave East-Linda Seccaspina


When I moved to Carleton Place my neighbour Muriel Simpson talked about the Bracewell home on Lake Ave East like it belonged to Queen Elizabeth. I used to see ladies sitting on the front veranda sometimes having tea and always waving to me when I drove or walked by.

Since it was whispered in the neighbourhood that my late husband was in the Mafia and Muriel quoted a description of me as “that strange gal that wore her ponytail on the side and only wore one earring” it’s amazing that they waved. Now I know why she went on and on about the Bracewell home– Stephen Giles said the home was built by Alfred McNeely who was an was uncle of Muriel Simpson.

Here is another documentation of comments so we can record some community history– any more comments I see I will add them.

Dale Costello I remember Marsha Bracewell and Janice McDowell but would like updates.

Ann Stearns Rawson Marsha and I were friends (as little girls) and she showed me a secret room in that house. I spent many days playing in that beautiful house with Marsha.


Angie Mills This is my house! I’d like to know about the secret room too!


Ann Stearns Rawson All I remember is it was off the living room near the front window. Wonder where Marsha is so we can ask her.

Linda Gallipeau-Johnston Never knew this house as anything but Bracewell’s house – they moved in there in the early 50’s I think from Moore Street.

Dale Costello Didn’t dad’s Dawson and Jack own Carleton Wholesale behind the pool room?

James R. McIsaac Dawson was Paul McDowell’s dad and yes ran the wholesale, I used to curl with Velma Bracewell, a great curler…
Marilyn White Dale that was Mr. Dawson and George Clifford. Gary, Allan and Marnie Clifford’s Dad.

Shane Wm Edwards Marilyn White I am sure that Dawson was his first name.

Sandy France I knew Merle and Velma really well. They both played golf at the Mississippi Golf Club and were always in the running for the Ladies Club Championship. All three of the women were delightful, lovely people. Jane Elliot gave you the background on Evelyn. Velma married Jack Bracewell who was on the undefeated Almonte hockey team in the thirties. Merle married Dawson MacDowall, who was a world class half miler who once raced the great Jesse Owens in an exhibition 100 yard dash. Jesse spotted Dawson a 10 yard lead and still beat him. I asked Dawson “when did he pass you?” Dawson said “when the gun went off”. All three husbands were very good golfers as were Dan’s sons David and John (Jock). Dawson was a co-owner of Carleton Wholesale which is on the site of the retirement home at the end of Landsdowne Avenue. Merle and Dawson lived at 8 Mary Street.

Stephen Giles The home was built by Alfred McNeely. I believe he was an Uncle of Muriel Simpson.

Linda Gallipeau-Johnston Also there was an apartment on the upstairs portion of the house – delivered papers there around 1957 to a Miss Droppo who was a nurse at the CP hospital at that time.

Ted Hurdis Jack was also a very good pool player. I watched him play many games at McCann. I have a picture here of that undefeated Almonte hockey team.

Ray Paquette I believe that Marsha passed away after some years of poor health. She suffered from what I believe was a brain aneurysm which had a debilitating affect on her in her later years.

Nancy Hudson— Remember Mrs. Bracewell worked in Cook’s.

Valerie Edwards And Meryle – Paul’s Mom.



Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum–Carleton Place Canadian files

Bill Brown– I shovelled snow off the upper porch and all the walks in the winter, cut grass in the summer and raked leaves in the fall. I was a young fella and the elderly lady who resided there always gave me treats in addition to paying me. My first contract- customer so to speak!!! Years would have been 72 or thereabouts!!!

Jane Elliott–Hello; I know all three ladies extremely well. Evelyn Elliot is my mother & the other two ladies Velma & Merl, are my aunts. Velma was one of the finest ladies I have ever knew.

She was a special person, loving, forgiving, hard working, an excellent golfer, an amazing mother  to Marsha & even more amazing wife. Hard to find a women her equal today. One of my most favourite ladies. Merl, the youngest of the three was also an extremely good golfer, a very attractive lady, wife of Dawson  & mother of two wonderful children Janice & Paul. Evelyn, wife of Dan the love of here life, mother to John & David & the oldest of the three girls. She was a tall , silver haired women who took pride in her appearance & the results were always very evident. She loved her family & the families her son’s chose. She always held her friends in the highest regards & went out of her way to ensure there well being. Finally, my daughter Cheri was her best friend.

Thank you for the memories the photo has brought back.






Prior to Mr. Stevenson living here one of the Burgess’s and John Darou lived here. The parents of Jack the Kidd and Velma Bryce, Mr. and Mrs. Bracewell, lived in this building as well as Alex and Viola Watson and Mrs. McEwan.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  01 Oct 1968, Tue,  Page 14


and Jack Bracewell played hockey

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  28 Jan 1939, Sat,  Page 25


June 1956- Their Mother’s Obituary

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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.


The “Margaret Thatcher” of Campbell Street

Reusing the Past of Carleton Place — The Morphy’s and the McCann’s

In Memory of Stuart White of Carleton Place

October 13, 1977 George W. Raeburn of Lake Ave East— Artist and C. P. R. Man

In Memory of Tom McCannunnamed (1)

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.

4 responses »

  1. Hi, Alfred McNeely lived in a house in Baie-Comeau, Qc, in the late 30s, early 40s, which is my home today. I know he moved back to Carleton Place upon his retirement. When was this house built ?

    Liked by 1 person

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