Tales from the Ghost Story Wagon– 1- Alligators on Lake Avenue East

Tales from the Ghost Story Wagon– 1- Alligators on Lake Avenue East




Saturday I wore an oversized green rhinestone alligator necklace on my Ghost Story Ride for Pumpkinfest. First thing I asked everyone? Why I was wearing this huge thing around my neck that fit more into a hip hop video LOL. Of all the people that came on board only two folks knew the reason why.

I wore it because of the sign originally put up by David White at the corner of Lake Avenue East and McNeely, where the clay pits once were and later turned into a swamp. Now there are condo buildings there. All that sign said was :“No swimming …Alligators” Colleen White Comden said: “This is my dad’s (David White) sign. I remember when he put it up and was getting a kick out of it. He has a great sense of humour and and particularly enjoyed an article about it that was in then local paper a few years ago.”

This sign still exists on the wall of the foyer at Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. It is a great collectors piece, so make sure you drop in to see it.



Years ago I had Next Gen signs make me a replica and it was on the chain fence for a couple of years thanks to Ralph Shaw and then Hydro took it down.



For years the No Swimming Alligators sign sat on a tree the swamp where they used to  get clay for the brick factory. No one really ever did see an alligator, but then again you can’t really be sure.

In August of 1935  in Waterloo, Ontario a six – foot alligator had been seen by two people in the marshy section adjoining the Bridgeport Road. It appeared to be much more fact than fiction.  The Town Engineer C. B. Necker received a letter from H. Gordon Green, tanner and local fur dealer. Mr. Green advanced the suggestion the alligator seen here might have been one that escaped from his yard in the spring of 1934. Mr. Greene said the animal that escaped was six feet long and a female.  A year later a young boy found a small alligator in the waters of the same area. Was it offspring from the escaped one?


In 2008 the swamp was drained  and trees cut down for apartment buildings. So what happened to the Alligator of the Lake Ave East Swamp? No one knows for sure, but I might check the Coleman apts..:). You just never know.!





One of our local poets Carol Stephen even wrote a poem about it. Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



Photo Mike Jeays

Mike Jeays took this photo a long time ago so we can remember what once was. 



Photo by Fred Meredith




You Can Still See the Alligator Sign if You Look!

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

Gluten Free Corn Dogs and the Old Carleton Place Alligator Hole –Chef Ben White

Roots Boots and Brick Yards

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
November 30, 2020  · 

Who else used to skate here? This photo of the Irwin family on the frozen “No Swimming, Alligators” swamp at Lake Avenue East and McNeely Avenue was taken in 2002.

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.

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