The Little Door by the River

The Little Door by the River
No matter how many times I tell the story of the wee trading door down by the river at Central Bridge people forget that years ago it would be a common experience to see the local aboriginals making their way up the Mississippi River to trade at the bottom corner door on the old Patterson building.
Mike Brandy Boss
The hair salon across the way from the town hall used to be the old fur trading post this is a story from Wandering Wayne from when I was around 13 years old. If you go on the bridge and look down at the side of the building get you will see a door down there it was used for the natives to enter and trade there furs and pelts that about as much about I can remember. If I remember correctly Wayne told me that native used that door and where only allowed in the basement because of the towns people didn’t want them on the streets or something along those lines.


John Stinson–Little door by the river at the Patterson store was called the”Indian Door” It was also used to put stuff on boats for people to take up lake…groceries, furniture and so on. I am pretty sure there was a piece in the Then Canadian sometime, likely in the 80’s (I lived in C Place b/w 69 and 94 and remember reading it Susan Fisher may have written it.)

Author’s Note-I wrote about the Natives and I can’t seem to find the post- so if anyone has information to add please comment. Here is a story I wrote a few years ago and the small door is mentioned.
George Dummert arrived in Carleton Place, Ontario with his wife and children from England around the year of 1872.  Dummert was a baker and built a home and shop on the land that would later house Patterson’s Furniture and Robbie Probert’s building. Bread was delivered from the Dummert’s Bakery Shop to Ashton and Franktown one day a week. Those deliveries alone would take up the entire day.
Constantly worried about the possibility of his children drowning,  he chose to tie ropes around their waists when they went out to play. Whenever the natives would come to knock at the small door by the water’s edge to trade items for baked goods, George locked his children away for fear they might be taken.


Sandra Rattray My husband ‘s father, Howard Rattray, and his father, John Rattray and their predecessors, owned part of Indians’ Landing. The story that was passed down was that the Indians used to trade their furs in there (at the former Patterson’s Furniture Store and Funeral Home or embalming room) This was common knowledge to many of the older locals.


As the 18th century progressed, items of British manufacture items such as guns and gunpowder, hatchets and axes, and broadcloth and thread replaced more traditional tools, weapons and other aspects of Indian life. It was no different in Carleton Place as each Indian nation weighed the choice of whether to remain neutral in any local conflicts or take the sides they had to consider how their choice would impact their access to the gifts and trade goods upon which they were now dependent.

They loved to trade for: woolen, cotton and linen goods (including broadcloth, thread, blankets and garters), as well as saddles, shoes, hats, “riffles and smoothbored musketry; very cheap,” gunpowder, flints and bullets; iron items such as pots, axes, hoes and hatchets; and other domestic items such as scissors, razors and “dressing glasses” (mirrors). But, if you read the article below that was written in the 1920s, they did expect freebies and for folks to be polite and they were extremely smart in their dealings.



Julia Waugh Guthrie


My Grandmother Elizabeth Waugh( Bessie Dezel ). This picture was taken in the 1920s at Indian Landing , Mississippi River, Carleton Place.




  1. where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.
    1. relatedreading

      Lanark County Recipes Beaver Tail and Muskrat — No thanks LOL

  2.  The Devil Went Down to the PUMPKINFERNO!

  3. Where Was Meyers Cave?

  4. The Adventurous History of the Mississippi – Linda’s Mailbag

  5. Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives

  6. The Natives of Carleton Place — Violins and Deer

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