Here in Carleton Place can park their cars and eat great food, including breakfast, beside the Mississippi River. The building was constructed in 1861, although a tannery was first operated on the site in 1852.
Joe Scott took a poor calf skin to Brice McNeely who had a tannery on the banks of the Mississippi on Bell Street and asked what he was paying for hides. Brice told him 60 cents each with ten cents off for every hole in the hide.
“You’d better take it, Mr. McNeely, and I think I owe you something for it,” was the startled reply from J. Scott as Brice looked at the hide with more holes than Swiss Cheese.
Carleton Place Herald 1900
Farmers may have driven their animals to Carleton Place, where John Murdoch’s tannery at “Morphy’s Ford” turned hides into leather. It’s now The Gastro Pub, still with the beautiful patio.
Brice McNeely bought the business in 1860 and left the building to his son, who turned it into a summer home at the turn of the century. It first became a restaurant in 1981, and a dining lounge was built from a local log barn. The lounge is named “Henry’s” after a friendly ghost who’s rumoured to haunt the premises. Now it is called The Waterfront Gastro Pub
12 Bell Street (0.08 mi)
Carleton Place, ON, Canada K7C 1V9-(613) 257-5755
Read more about the history of Brice McNeely here:
“This day twenty years ago I came to Carleton Place, near the close of the Civil War. At that time property was of little value. I took charge of the railway station as station master. The only industries in the place were the grist mill, run by Mr. Bolton, Allan McDonald’s carding mill, Brice McNeely’s tannery and the saw mill run by Robert Gray, with one circular saw. David Findlay’s foundry was just starting.
The lead mines were about closing down then. Twenty years ago it may be said there was no such thing as employment here for anyone and, strange as it seems, no one seemed to wish for work. Their wants were few, and those wants seemed to be soon supplied.–George Lowe, a seventy year old resident of Carleton Place: (July 1884)
Brice McNeely’s tannery is one of the oldest in this part of the country. The proprietor manufactures leather of various kinds and is one of our substantial steady and increasingly prosperous men, with considerable real estate. John F. Cram, whose large wool-pulling establishment is well known in this section, manipulates a vast amount of sheep pelts in a year, his premises being one of the most extensive in Eastern Ontario. He also manufactures russet leather.
Did you know the library used to be in the town hall and Brice McNeely Jr was not only the superintendent for the St James Sunday School but also the town librarian. He picked out the books for you to read and you had no choice in the matter and had to take what was given to you.