Watson’s Mills Family in Carleton Place –Erin McEwen

Watson’s Mills Family in Carleton Place –Erin McEwen



Did you know that you have two grandsons of the Watson’s Mill living here in Carleton Place? One of them is my husband 🙂 Not sure is this is too out of your boundary; however there is a fabulous ghost story involved!!!! Amelia loves visiting and seeing her GPa’s pix in the museum and visiting their old house.

In 1860, Moss Kent Dickinson and Joseph Merrill Currier founded Watson’s Mill in Manotick (at that time it was known as the Long Island Milling Enterprise). This same year, Joseph met Anne (Annie) Elizabeth Crosby. It was love at first sight and was not long before she became Joseph’s second wife (his first wife and children were deceased). After they were wed, during their mon-long honeymoon, the two attended a celebration to commemorate the Mill’s successful first year of operation. For the celebration, Annie was dressed in a beautiful white hooped dress. Unfortunately, the full crinoline hooped skirt, while fashionable, proved dangerous on this occasion. While descending the stairs from the attic to the second floor of the Mill, the skirt of Annie’s dress was caught in a revolving drive shaft. Allegedly, Annie turned to Joseph to utter an endearment. At this instant, Annie’s dress flared out and caught on one of the rotating shafts. Annie was pulled off her feet and thrown against a nearby support pillar. She was killed instantly. Joseph was so distraught by the death of his wife that he sold his shares in the Mill to his business partner and left Manotick. In 1868, Joseph remarried. Joseph’s third bride was Hannah Wright (the daughter of Ruggles Wright (the son of Philemon Wright, founder of Hull)). That same year, Joseph built a grand house in Ottawa for Hannah.

The address is 24 Sussex Drive. Yes, you read that correctly…it is now known at the house of the Prime Minister (the house was purchased by the Canadian government in 1943). Annie’s body was buried back in Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa; however, her spirit continues to live at Watson’s Mill. It is said that on dreary days and misty evening, Annie can still be seen staring out of the second floor windows of the Mill. Moreover, several people have claimed to hear “lady like” footsteps on the second floor – when no one is upstairs. Other have claimed that they have been “grabbed” on the stairs. Rumour has it, Ann wishes to ensure that no one else shares her fate. In 1946 Curtis’ grandfather Harry Watson, purchased the mill and renamed the Mill Watson’s Mill. Harry Watson was the last owner to operate the Mill at an industrial level. The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority purchased the Mill in 1972 and it was developed into a museum. Curtis’ father, Robert Watson spent many a Summer working in the Mill. Moreover, the Watson family lived onsite from 1946-1972.

To this day he claims that he has never seen the ghost of Annie; however, there have been many ghost investigation teams that beg to differ. For ourselves, we have never visited on a dreary day or a misty evening…perhaps we should? Here is a photo of Harry’s great-granddaughter Amelia looking out of the second floor window where Annie is said to stare out of…perhaps children are more in-tune with apparitions? Amelia is typically a very “go-go” child and yet she was very calm at this particular place…?

Erin McEwen

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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