241 Bridge Street Carleton Place Ontario
Newman’s Hall was built of stone for Almon Shepphard Newman merchant then of
South Crosby Township Leeds County. It was considered the best-fitted store of its
day there being 144 drawers all hand made. Dry goods, groceries, and liquors were
handled. It has served a very wide variety of public and private uses including
school, town hall, theatre and concert hall, Canadian General Electric mica-splitting
factory, and brewers warehouse store. In 1881, Newman’s Hall was sold by mortgage to
a Montreal merchant who sold it in 1884 to Robert McDiarmid Carleton Place
This woman (and tractor) are posing in front of the stone building at the corner of Bridge and William Streets – once the Opera House, a mica factory, and later, Brewer’s Retail. McCarten House at 233 Bridge Street is visible to the right. —Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
During the 1870s, municipal offices moved to Newman Hall because the Old Town
Hall located on Edmund Street was contending with increased school attendance.
The 1873 Assessment shows that A.S. Newman owned the property valued at $1300.
In 1875 the Assessment Rolls shows that Newman continued to own the property
which was now valued at $3500. In 1878, the Assessment Rolls show the property
being listed as a school and store worth $2000. With property listed on the same lot
with a burned building valued at $500. In 1879, the Assessment Rolls show that the
burned building continues to be valued at $500 while the structure at the corner of
Bridge and William Street is valued at $1500.
In 1884, J. Robert McDiarmid purchased the property. James McDiarmid reopened Newman’s Hall as a 500 seat public concert hall and later became a shooting gallery. It was reported in the local paper that the shooting gallery was of great concern on the ground floor of the building. No other word was issued but I can just imagine what was flying out of those windows. It is not clear when the Civitan Club purchased Newman’s Hall but they sold it to Gary Munro in 1983 and it then became Munro’s Archery.
In the 1880’s one of the many Uncle Tom’s Cabin theatre troupe toured through Carleton Place on a regular basis even thought there were constant bad reviews. The first place it played was Newman’s Hall. Here is a tidbit about Newman’s Hall: after the Carleton Place High School moved from Hurd’s Hall; it found it way to Newman’s Hall. There it became the temporary quarters for a High and a Public School class. The second floor was also used as a school classroom for the entrance class the year the “new” High School was opened on Lake Ave West. Marg Whyte remembers a friend telling her that they marched from the classroom to the opening in the pouring rain.
Newman’s Hall was also occupied by the Brewers’ Retail Store on Townline. Clicker Peden was the manager of the Beer Store that opened there along with Jack Ryan and Aubrey Nesbitt as employees. This was also the locale of the first armed robbery of any business in Carleton Place in years. Beer store employee Aubrey Nesbitt had seen two tall men walking on William Street just before 9 am when he came to work. At 10 am Jack Ryan opened the store doors for business and returned to the rear to help Nesbitt and Wallie McKittrick stock the refrigerator with beer. Read more here: The Big Beer Store Heist in Carleton Place . The Lions Club took over the building and held their meetings and weekly Bingo games there.
Newman’s Hall- Advertisement
New Public Hall opened by Mr. Robert McDiarmid. One of the best in this part of the country. Auditorium rearranged to accommodate 500 people. The stage scenery, painted by Sosman & Landis, Chicago, provides four scenes, the ‘woods’, ‘parlor’, ‘kitchen’, and ‘street’. The drop curtain presents a view of placid waters, rugged mountain rocks and ancient castle.
Jill Seymour–1971 the Civitan let a bunch of us 12-15 year olds use the hall for Friday night dances. They weren’t a big deal. Usually about 25 – 30 kids showed up. Someone from the Civitan sold soda and chips. There was never a problem with alcohol or fights. It was great fun!
236 Bridge Street Frame House and Knowlton Grocery Store
The Frame House next to Sibbet’s/Campbells–
Knowlton’s Grocery Store
In the early 20s the Barnes Family opened a store in what most people today know as McDonald Sports on Bridge Street almost across from the old dairy. It was purchased by Hillard McDaniel and his wife Eleanor who remodelled it with living quarters upstairs. Morna, Doris and Oliver Barnes later moved to George Street and then Clarence Emmerson’s family ran the grocery store. Jack, Ethel and Neil lived on the second floor and later moved to Smiths Falls. After that Mrs. Edith Knowlton continued the grocery business for a number of years. I would like to have her recorded here online.
What do we know about Edith Knowlton from Carleton Place?
1.She bought an illuminated sign and used to advertise community things
2. She understood her customers wanted
3.You could still run a tab at her store
4.You could order your groceries by telephone
5. You could drop in and have a chat and she served fresh coffee and had treats for all her customers at Christmas
6. Her husband ran a farm near Elgin
7. She had a daughter Janet
8. One wall of her store had happy face wallpaper
So what can you add? Please leave comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
KNOWLTON, Edith W. (nee Crichton) In hospital, Carleton Place, Ontario, on Tuesday, March 16th, 2004, from earth to eternal rest with God in heaven. Loved wife of the late Charles Knowlton. Loved and remembered by her children, Janet and Allan; her brothers, George and Joe; a gazillion family members and relatives, friends and acquaintances, and last but not least Kaylie-Pup. After cremation, an informal time of visitation and service to remember her will be held at the ALAN R. BARKER FUNERAL HOME 19 McArthur Ave., Carleton Place on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004 from 1 p.m. with service in the chapel at 2:30 p.m. with the Reverend David Mullin officiating. Edith’s ashes will be interred with her late husband in the family plot. Donations may be made to Carleton Place/Beckwith Community Support. “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
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