In Memory of Jack Wilson — The Mason’s Mason

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In Memory of Jack Wilson — The Mason’s Mason

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Some locals find it strange, but when the Morphy’s built my home, Springside Hall in 1867, they used the stone from the Almonte Quarry. Most Carleton Place stone homes were constructed with stone out of the Beckwith Quarry, but the quarry from Almonte was indicated on the original drawing of the house. Sadly, those two land plans went into flames during the fire of  1995.

The late great Jack Wilson who did the stonework on the Caldwell Street portion of our home in the early 90s knew that, and when my late husband argued with him that quarries didn’t matter, Jack took him to a few quarries and showed him the difference. Ange never questioned Jack’s knowledge again, and for two years Jack worked on our home cutting each stone by hand. It was almost like every stone that was placed on our home is an artistic statue the way he carefully cut the stone. As Patti Ann Giles said, “Every stone had a story”!

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Springside Hall 1990s addition being added.

Sometimes Jack would stop work and chat with Stuart White across the street as Stuart had worked for Jack for many years part time. On a daily basis the cars would slow down on Campbell Street viewing the work being done and Jack would stop work and have a chat with them about what was being done. The iconic stone mason always had a story to tell and he could make you laugh like no other. One day he came up to me and said,

“We’re going to church for a month or two!”

I gave him a funny look, and when he felt he had teased me enough he explained that he would be going to repoint the stone at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian for awhile– but, we would see him again after that.

The last time I saw Jack was in a darkened hallway in the Bell Street apartments a few years ago. He still remembered me and we had a nice chat. He looked older, but there is no doubt in my mind that Jack could have still cut a stone or two as James R. McIsaac said,”Jack would always be a mason’s mason”.

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Springside Hall 1990s addition being added.

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Patti Ann Giles–We have one of his masterpieces in our family room. Jack built our fireplace when we built our house 35 years ago. Every stone had a story.

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Faye Campbell- Just loved that man and his great masonry work. He built my our fireplaces in our home. He celebrated his 80th birthday when building our fireplaces and I made him a chocolate birthday cake

Allan Stanzel -Had the pleasure of meeting Jack through my father and helped him repair a brick chimney at my parents house and build a brick wall for behind their wood stove. Very interesting man always had some good stories to tell while working.

Wendy LeBlanc Jack was our neighbour on Bell Street for many years and we met him almost daily on our early morning walks – he must have been out as early as 5:30! A friendly, gentle man who always had a comment about the weather; when we got to know him better, he spoke about his career as a mason and his military service. I was delighted to see him at The Carleton Place Terrace, and it was good to renew our daily chats. My sympathy to the family on his loss.

Bob White Jack Wilson one of the Finest stone masons . Jack did a pile of work during his lifetime. My Dad worked for Jack for many years part time . In later years I did the same. Jack would get you to mix cement for him. Weekends on some of the Town jobs in CP . He often told us jokes during coffee breaks. RIP

Dave Hick I worked for Jack many times
He was a good friend and an outstanding mason

Jim Birtch Jack built a floor to ceiling stone fireplace in our home 39 years ago. It took him 21 days and we had great chats. A real gentleman.

Kerri Ann Doe O’Rourke Jack did the fireplace and front of our house on Napoleon Street in the early ‘70s. I still remember him nicknaming me “buck shot” 🙂

Bonnie MacLean I believe he also did the stonework on the CP sign at the corner of 7 & 15. A true artisan.

Arlene Murphy Sorry to hear about Jack….he did our fireplace on Napoleon street…did such a wonderful job…Nice, nice man.

Steve Kipp Have known Jack & Lois most of my life. Jack built our fireplace 38 years ago.
The last time I was talking to him, he was repointing brick at the corner of Bridge & Lake Ave., about 6 years ago,he always had a joke to tell. Yes he was a Mason’s Mason.
Garth Tourangeau Condolences to Rob, Greg and the entire Wilson family for their loss.

Glenda Mahoney So sorry to hear this. Jack was a masonry legend.

Greg Nephin Jack was a great man worked with him building some of the stone walls at my place when he was in his 80’s he was a hard worker even into his later years. Always had good stories and jokes and would stop by to chat when he was out for a walk.

James R. McIsaac He was a Mason’s mason.

Sarah Inglis Thank you for this, Linda. And yes, Grandpa did do the stonework on the original “Welcome to Carleton Place” sign. He was very hurt to see it go. He loved Carleton Place, and he loved being a part of its welcome and story.

Sylvia McMillan Brown Jack did work at our house on 2 occasions. He was so good at his trade; he knew in minutes what needed to be done, and completed the job within a day. A real professional and a gentleman. Bye for now, Jack.

Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown He told me a story I never forgot.
A man was slow at paying him. He told the gentleman that his fire place would never work until fully paid for.
The man tried it and it filled his house full of smoke.
So the man paid him.
That is when Jack went to the roof and threw a rock down the chimney which broke the sheet of glass that was blocking the smoke to go up the chimney!
I had the extreme pleasure of building my fireplace with him with my friend Tammy.

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Peacefully, at the Carleton Place Hospital on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, in his 95th year.

Predeceased by his wife Lois. Loving father of Jackie (Steve) Inglis, Greg (Tristan) Wilson and Robert (Teresa) Wilson. Proud grandfather of Sarah, Carolyn, John, Sean, Mackenzie, Alyssa and Gavin. Predeceased by his siblings Andy, Jessie, Anne, Agnes, Neil, Scott and Bob. Predeceased by his parents John and Margaret. Longtime resident of Carleton Place and well-known stonemason.

Friends may visit the family at the Alan R. Barker Funeral Home 19 McArthur Avenue, Carleton Place, on Friday, April 6, 2018 from 1:00 until time of the service in the chapel at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Wounded Warriors Fund, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.

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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 (USA)

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The Mahoney Legacy Ends–Masonry Runs in the Blood

Putting a Face to Levi Brian, Stonemason, of Carleton Place

So What Happened to the Marble at the Tatlock Mine?

Quotes on Andrew Dickson and Local Quarries

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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