Central School — Gord Cross

Central School — Gord Cross
All photos from Gord Cross
Central School– Bridge Street Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

t was no secret that teacher Miss Lowe at the Central School in Carleton Place was mean. Well, she wasn’t mean in the dictionary sense- she was just a very tough disciplinarian. One day she instructed a couple of scalawags to stay after school in order that a mystery might be solved. Even though the clock had struck 4 no one was going anywhere until someone fessed up who stuck the bent pin on Mickey Lee’s seat.It had began innocently enough when Mickey had stood up to read about “Casper and the Setting Sun”. Leaving his seat mate, Norm Strong, meant Norm could tend to the business of constructing a bent pen pin and some cardboard into some rough torture device. As the end of the reading came near, Strong decided his creation should be placed directly on Mickey’s seat. When Mickey sat down he made the fact known in quite the Academy Award manner. As usual, no one could give Miss Lowe any information about the matter.After school, the boys expected to feel the wrath of Miss Lowe, but bad or good luck, a fire suddenly broke out in Sam McGonnigals’ / McGonnegal livery stable, which was a short distance from the school on Victoria Street. As the smoke from the burning hay and straw was seen gaining momentum in the sky Miss Lowe had no choice but to quickly dismiss her students.

Jim McKittrickWhat I remember about Central school was theTombola held in the school yard I went to school on the north side of town Carolyn

Michael LotanWent to Central School 1 – 8 Mr MacAdam was the principal. In those days the had the “strap” for problem kids. No one talks about that any more.

Bill Lemay

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Boys to the right side girls to the left side I got into trouble going to the girls side and lifting their skirts I was a bad 👦

Dan Williams A little story about pole vaulting in Carleton Place. When I was just a wee lad we used to go to the bush and cut our own poles, we made stands and bought bamboo at the Eades’ store for a crossbar. We got shavings for the pit at the shavings at the corner of Lake and Beckwith. We would set this up in someone’s back yard until we decided that the back corner of Central school play ground was better because we had a longer approach. We didn’t have a box so we just dug a hole in the ground. Eventually we convinced the public shools to include pole vaulting in our field days.This wasn’t easy and I recall one attempt when I got my feet over the bar but didn’t have the steam to make it completely over. Not knowing wether to let go of the pole and drop straight down or hang on and go backwards I wished they had told us it was too dangerous. Anyway I lived to jump again.We finally had real equipment at least, even if it was just bamboo. Eventually we made it to high school and had acces to fiberglass and metal poles. The great thing was we could use them after school and even weekends and holidays. We were never supervised. We just did it. Myself, Wayne Robertson, Shad Hurdis, Lindsay Hedderson, Bob Townend, Duck Lancaster and a few others used to spend hours at the pits between Lake ave and the track. Eventually we all made the school track and field teams and competed against each other. Just as we had been doing for years. It was the best of times. I apologise for missing some names but I’m getting older now and the memory isn’t what it used to be but I’ll never forget the hours I spent with my buddies just having fun.

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 3- St. Andrew’s to Central School

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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