Former business at the corner of Elgin/Emily and Bridge Street
Fort weeks I checked newspaper archives and there was nothing about tattooing in Carleton Place. I even checked the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum and there was nothing in the data base- even under the word “sailor”. So what did people do if they wanted tattoos in Carleton Place? Quite simply they went out of town. I am sure someone was doing them in a back room on some side street- but no one is giving up the information. Carleton Place wanted nothing to do with this industry of sin.
Certain sectors of economic activity are more or less respectable, some more or less acceptable than others. Gambling, drinking, prostitution, and tattoos were the top four in Carleton Place even though were many a crap game being run in the back room of the hotels and businesses on Bridge Street.
Today the industries of sin are: nuclear energy, arms, oil, tobacco and chemicals other less egregiously harmful industries such as the fast-food industries, tourism, pharmaceuticals, insurance, the stock exchange and even banks are also under attack and increasingly branded as “sin” industries.
Body Graphics Tattoo was the first business tattoo business to open up on Carleton Place. Next February 1st 2016 will be exactly 30 years Body Graphics Tattoo has been open in Carleton Place. Believe you me it wasn’t easy. They were not welcome in the town of Carleton Place and had their business on Townline, Charles and then Pete permanently located on Bridge Street.
For those of you body modification novices there is tattoo history in this shop with one of the chairs being formerly owned by Ottawa’s legendary tattoo artist Blue. They even still have some of his old equipment. In the Ottawa Valley Tattoo world that’s like owning Mackenzie’s King’s wardrobe.
Pete’s son now works with him carrying on the family business and has been a local body piercer for over 22 years. Still, it doesn’t matter how times have changed the elder population of Carleton Place still think that devil worshipers work there.
Of course I have many stories about controversial piercings, but instead of embarrassing anyone to the point of a lawsuit I will tell my own that happened right here in Carleton Place.
Howard McNeely’s Barber Chair that once resided in this location