Roots Boots and Brick Yards

Roots Boots and Brick Yards

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-Photograph of W. Chase’s brickyard– tile machine and drying sheds in 1908. -Philipsville
Left to right: George Jones, Herb Richards, George Cockburn, J. Lewis, Wilson Chase, William Warren, James McIlroy, William McIlroy(b. 1895), Stanley McIlroy (born 1899), Lloyd Chase


One of the delights of childhood is curiosity and for parents this can mean answering a never ending stream of “why?”  Being involved in museum work or research perpetuates that childhood trait that should never be lost.  Wanting question answered keeps our minds open and our thoughts expanding whenever artifacts or documents come into our collection.   As the pieces fall into place, more of the past becomes visable and we can truthfully say that we are building the base for a good local museum that will be a proud addition to our community.

An example of excellent sleuthing was recently made available to us by Irma Willoughby who is researching the Willoughby family and their involvement as stone masons, contractors and brick yard owners, not only in this area but much father afield.  She is spending hours searching through family memoirs, census records, newspaper archives, registry offices and assessment rolls and is still far from her projected goal of identifying how one family’s skills contributed to the building program during the days of settlement and growth.

Charles and Ann Maria Willoughby, from county Cork, Ireland with their family first settled, in the Farmerville area (Athens today).   In 1861, the census had them living on Lot 25, Concession 10, Augusta Township, Leeds County with four children still at home. Charles died May 12, 1877 at age 78 and is buried at North Augusta and the Anglican Church–Newboro register records that Ann Marie, age 78, died November 22, 1880.

Their sons William A., Abraham, Isaac and Jacob worked as stonemasons in their early lives and the first three are credited with many stone and brick buildings in Almonte, Carleton Place, Smiths Falls and the surrounding countryside.


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Leech School-Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

William A., the oldest had already married in Ireland, and as many immigrants did, began searching out different communities where work would be favourable.   He and his wife Ellen, moved from their first residence in North Augusta to Brockville and then spent 18 years in Almonte before settling down in Carleton Place in 1885.   They lived at the corner of Prince Street and Lake Avenue till their deaths, William in 1911, Ellen in 1915.   They were so well known and respected that in 1902, the Central Canadian carried a report of their 50th wedding anniversary.


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


The bulk of the article enumerated the massive building program that William participated in during the second half of the 19th century.   Fifteen churches, 11 school houses, town halls, blocks of shops and apartments, single dwellings, and bridges were built from Almonte to Brockville.   As well he participated in the clearance of the railway right-of-way and culvert construction from Carleton Place to the end of Beckwith.   His energy was so great that in 1885- 86 he even travelled to Richmond City, Virginia and very shortly became captain over the construction crew of a huge brewery.


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Of particular interest to us locally is the construction of three schoolhouses, the Gillies factory and machine shop, the Hawthorne factory and the large additions to the Mississippi and Queens hotels, the construction of the Town Hall and Lockup in 1871, (now the Victoria School Museum) and the masonry work of the “new iron bridge” over the Mississippi in 1887.   He operated a “brick and tile yard” for several years at the end of Lake Ave. East and there are many houses still standing with bricks marked “W” on the inside face.



Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Abraham had a construction business in Smiths Falls and also participated in the building of the McLaren house (burnt) and the Mills Block on Beckwith Street. Isaac was married to Henrietta Bond in Carleton Place in 1868 and is identified in Central
Canada Directory — 1876, as a stonemason living on Moore Street.   It is known that he worked on the Leach School (Renwick and Associated Real Estate Ltd.), the Jelly residence and the “large public school building” (Central School — since demolished, Post Office).  He was accidentally killed in 1899 while working at Cardinal, Ontario on one of the sections of the St. Lawrence Canal system.


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


As with many families, skills and trades are handed down through the generations, however, there may be by-passes.   One of Isaac’s sons — Clifford, known as “Doc” began his trade before the 1920’s as an electrician with the H. Brown and Sons Electric Power Co.   At the time of his marriage, he was already working for the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Company and helped build many power lines and wired many houses when electricity came to this area — rural electrification began after WW11.  David Willoughby took up his father’s trade and for the last 40 years has “experienced great satisfaction in his life’s work which brought him from basic house wiring to one of Canada’s largest complexes of our space at the Shirley’s Bay, Department of Communication Centre”.

Copy courtesy of Irma Willoughby

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Here is local historian Irma Willoughby at the LCGS Show and Tell meeting Saturday. If you have ever talked to her you will come out of the conversation a lot smarter about local history. She was the one who told me about the coffins in Joie Bond’s store basement and where the Findlay home stone went too.



The following is the research of David & Irma Willoughby–Carleton Place and District Museum File by Reva Dolgoy

Charles Willoughby married Ann Marie Butler (Bolton) about 1820, in Ireland.   She was
born 1802-04, the daughter of George Butler of Co. Wexford (from Nancy Moran –great
granddaughter of Abraham Willoughby, Also, Jacob Willoughby named his son Charles
George Butler Willoughby).   The Griffith’s Valuation of Gorey (1853) has William Willoughby at #28 Wexford St. and George Butler at #7 Wexford St.   An accompanying map of Gorey, at the time revels that William Willoughby and George Butler lived right across the road from each other.   So one could surmise that this William Willoughby was the father of Charles and Ann Maria were neighbours, but it is hard to prove with any certainty as census records in Ireland were all burned in the uprising at Four Courts in Dublin in the early 1900’s.

Apparently, Charles and Ann had several children, some of whom died as infants.   Eight
daughters and four sons survived that we know of.   The eldest daughter Maria, along with her husband, William Warren and their three sons were the first of the family to emigrate to Canada.  They came to Grenville Co. in 1851 and two years later moved to Plympton Twp., Lambton Co., Ont. (from Sarnia Observer, March 22, 1889, pg. 8)   Then son William and his family, including his three brothers came in 1853.   William became one the most extensive contractors in Canada (from an article in the Central Canadian newspaper of 1902 marking his 50th Wedding Anniversary).  William had helped with the reconstruction of the building of 15 churches, 11 school houses, and 4 town halls in the Ottawa Valley, most of which are standing today and in use, also factories and bridges.   He was well-respected by the men who worked for him, the article said.

Charles and Ann Willoughby emigrated after their sons did in 1856-7, with seven daughters, according to some 1901 census reports.   After living a short while in Brockville, Ont., they moved to Lot 25, Conc. 10 Augusta Twp.. ptoperty that was apparently given to them by another William Willoughby, who we don’t know much about.   Charles and Ann lived on this farm in the 1861 census with Alice, Susan, Isaac and Jacob (from P.A.C. Ottawa)

Their daughter, Mary Ann, went to Plympton Twp. also and married Edward Campbell there. Daughter Alice married Joseph Newman and lived in Grenville Co.   Abraham Willoughby married Joseph’s sister, Mary Newman, and lived near Smiths Falls.  Harriet Willoughby married Richard Davis, a neighbour of her parents in Canada.  Susan lived much of the time with her brother, Jacob after the death of her parents.   Of the other three sisters, Julia, Rebecca and Elizabeth, not much is known.   Two of them apparently drowned in a shipwreck out of Brockville and one, while at the railway station in Port Huron, MI.,had a spark land on her bustle and she tragically burned to death.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all worked as stone masons as well as farming. Unfortunately,
Isaac was killed by a falling stone when he was working at the Rideau Canal.  He was just 59.  Charles Willoughby died in 1877 in Augusta Twp.   Ann Butler Willoughby died in 1880. Their deaths are registered in North Agusta but we haven’t been able to locate their grave sites. (source — Doreen Guerriero. April 2000).


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


When William became established, he sent money back to Ireland for the remaining family to come to Canada.   Charles and Ann and their remaining family came out in 1856 ( according to the 1901 census for Alice Willoughby Newman).   They appeared in the 1861 census with children Susan, Alice, Isaac and Jacob at Lot 25, Conc. 10 in Augusta Twp., Grenville Co. C1025 P. A. C.).   In 1871 census ( C1005 P. A. C.) Charles 72 and Anne, 68 lived at the same place with Jacob 24 and Susan, 20.

                                                        CHARLES WILLOUGHBY
       This Page is a copy of Family History posted by
                    Bob Bond   email rbond007@tnni,net

FATHER    Josh (Joshua ?) Willoughby   1799 -1877
MOTHER     ?     (an Irish Girl)

MARRIED   Anne (Ann) Marie Butler       1802 – 1880                born in Ireland
                                                                                               married ABT 1820 in Kilmuckridge,
                                                                                               Wexford, Leinster Province, Ireland.
              1 Elizabeth Willoughby
              2 Rebecca Willoughby
              3 Julia Willoughby
              4 Maria Willoughby                1826 – 1883              born in Ireland; died in Ontario
              5 William Willoughby             1829 – 1915
              6 Harriat Willoughby               1836 – 1873              born in Ireland; died in Ontario
              7 Mary Anne Willoughby
              8 Abraham Willoughby            1842 – 1916
              9 Alice Willoughby
             10 Susan Willoughby                1844 – 1929          born in Ireland; died at Sault Ste. Marie
             11 Isaac Willoughby                                                        FAMILY LINK Bond Family

             12 Jacob Willoughby              1849 – 1925


More LIMITED Carleton Place items. Get them fast!!!–Be the first on your block to have these vintage 50s style glass beverage coasters. Ring in the 120th anniversary of the Carleton Place Town Hall in style. LIMITED stock.. $10 for one coaster–While you are sipping that beverage on a warm summer night you can read all about the history of the town hall here. Buy them at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.




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

So Which William Built the Carleton Place Railway Bridge?

Carleton Place Town Hall Sued For Cupolas!

So What was in That Old Alligator Hole Anyways in Carleton Place?

Almonte Bridge- Unsurpassed in the County

Pardon me Boys — Is That the Carleton Place Choo Choo?

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.

3 responses »

  1. I’m confused by the picture of what I believe to be the Hawthorne mill. I assume that’s the mill behind the guys in the boat? I don’t remember the small building on the left end or the large residence in the background. The rectangular part facing the river on the end of the stone mill looks like it might have been an elevator? That was gone in my time and the really odd part is the chimney which appears to be free standing, although I’m sure it wasn’t, it might be attached to the small building, was attached to the stone mill where the elevator like structure is in the picture. Maybe knocked down and rebuilt? Maybe I’m entirely wrong?


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