The Curious World of Bill Bagg — The Gillies Blacksmith Shop

The Curious World of Bill Bagg — The Gillies Blacksmith Shop



Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

In 1875, John Gillies built a machine shop for his 20-year-old son, Alexander, on Rosamond Street in Carleton Place, right on the bank of the Mississippi River. Next door was the Blacksmith shop that was used for the machine shop.

A few years later in September of 1878  a very sad case of drowning which occurred in the Mississippi Lake. Two young men, Alexander Gillies, son of David Gillies and Martha Poole, machinist and Peter Peden, miller, left home about 8:00 in the evening and went up the lake in a small canoe to shoot ducks by moonlight.Their bodies were found embedded in the mud only a few inches under the surface of the water. Read more here-The Sad Tale of Alexander Gillies and Peter Peden


s-l1600 (6).jpg


download (56).jpeg

Here is a look at the interior of the Gillies Blacksmith shop along the Mississippi River in Carleton Place. All photos from an MLS listing click here

Here is the old blacksmith shop that the late iconic Bill Bagg owned and is for sale and thanks to the internet we get to see the interior.


download (57).jpeg

All photos from an MLS listing click here


download (61).jpeg

All photos from an MLS listing click here

download (60).jpeg

All photos from an MLS listing click here

download (55).jpeg

All photos from an MLS listing click here

The Mississippi River flows around McArthur Island and a man made channel for the Mississippi River was built and re-directed for the McArthur mill. The shocking part was realizing that another channel once lapped the back doors of the old Gillies Mill. Yup–right by the back door and through the late Bill Bagg’s adjacent property that was once the blacksmith shop for the Gillies Mill.

When Bill Bagg bought that house he found an open cistern/well inside his home and it had to be boarded up so no one would get hurt. That made me shiver and think of the film Silence of the Lambs. This is the first time I have seen the cistern– so I wanted to document it for history.

download (54).jpeg

All photos from an MLS listing click here

If you don’t know what a cistern was used for-well, check out the links below at the end.

download (59).jpeg

All photos from an MLS listing click here

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 and The Tales of Almonte

  1. relatedreading

The Curious World of Bill Bagg –The Deer Heads

The Man that Brought “Canada” Back to Carleton Place – Bill Bagg

Come on, Let’s Go Down in the River –Photo Memories

One of Us– Memories of Bill Bagg

Before and After with Bill Bagg and the Mississippi Gorge

The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children



Cisterns I Have Known

Do You have an Archaeological Find in Your Carleton Place Basement?

Do You have a Hidden Room in Your Home?

“The Tim Horton’s River” Under my House.. Is That the Way To Fraggle Rock?

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s