The former hotel in Franktown. The now quiet village once had three such establishments which provided accommodation, food and drink for travellers between Perth and Bytown (Ottawa).
Intersection of Gore and Foster Streets with the Hicks Hotel to the right and Shaw’s to the left in the foreground. In the distance at the corner of Wilson and Peter Street is Mendels. Photo Perth Remembered
The young people occupying the bank stairs causing trouble– LOLOL- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
In 1970 my Father was furious that I was hanging out with hippies and always carrying a tambourine. During one of our arguments (at a neighbourhood party no less) I told him that all people over the age of 30 should be sent to farms. When I turned 30, my father handed me a birthday card and asked me when I was leaving for the farm. Touche Arthur Knight-touche!
The town of Carleton Place either had a band of hippies ride through town and park themselves at Riverside Park, or their youth were changing and the townsfolk wanted nothing to do with it.
Tonight- three edited letters below from 1970 The Carleton Place Canadian
James McFarlane, born Perthshire, Scotland, in 1792 and his wife, Girsal (Grace) McLaren, also born Perthshire, in 1791.
All Photos from Donna Mcfarlane
Thomas Cameron, 1835/1923 and his wife Catherine Glenn, 1835/1905; son of James Cameron, 1813/1886 and Elizabeth McCullough, 1813/1897; who was the son of Thomas Cameron, 1776/1842 and his wife Agnes Hill, 1775/1858, who settled in Lanark County in 1821.
William McFarlane and his wife Margaret Anderson who emigrated from Scotland and settled in Goulbourn Township, Ontario.
Peter Morris 1841-1918 and Agnes Bradford 1842-1906, buried in Greenwood Cemetery, near Middleville, Ontario.
Agnes Morris, Peter Burns Morris and Catherine Morris.
Peter Burns Morris and his wife Annie Gibbons
Out of newspaper this is Wm Morris and his wife Catherine Struthers parent of Peter Morris who married Agnes Bradford
John Cameron and his wife Catherine Morris
Charles Miller and his wife Agnes Morris
Abe Hamilton and his wife Jen Morris
All Photos from Donna Mcfarlane
This is a picture of the old Beckwith School, before the brick building.
Two main reasons why cash registers jingled merrily in Smiths Falls in the 1950s were the CPR and the Frost and Wood Company. The CPR employed about 1,000 men and about 700 worked at the farm machinery plant. Since Smiths Falls was chosen as a divisional point in 1885, the CPR became an integral part of the town.
At the railway’s nerve centre in Smiths Falls, 10 dispatchers sent 60 trains through town every 24 hours– 20 passenger and 40 freight with an average of 3,000 cars daily, hauled by from 60 to 70 powerful engines. The yards comprised of 35 miles of track with a capacity of nearly 1,800 cars and engine house and took care of up to 32 locomotives.
The coal situation was also well in hand at a gigantic coal dump where tons were stored ready for use. In charge of the Smiths Falls division, one of the largest on the CPR system, was superintendent T. E. Wheeler and his assistant, W. R. Nichol.
Included In the 6,465 miles of railway lines in the Smiths Falls division were Chalk River, Cornwall, Eganvllle, Brockville the “M and O” or Montreal and Ottawa, ‘ north shore; Prescott, Ottawa, Maniwaki and Waltham subdivisions. The average monthly payroll for the CPR at Smiths Falls amounted to about $300,000, roughly $3,600,000 a year, from which you can readily see that the growth and prosperity of Smiths Falls depended on to a great extent on the CPR.
It is over a 150 years since Ebenezer Frost came to Smiths Falls from the United States and laid the foundation for what was the town’s leading manufacturing firm, the Frost and Wood Company, which became a subsidiary of the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company. In 1839 only seven years after the Rideau Canal was officially opened Frost set up a small machine shop on property known as Gould Island and began making small stoves and plows. In 1848 he formed a partnership with Alexander Wood of Glengarry and from then on, the little business flourished. Years later a barge broke loose and knocked their little factory down river to the spot where it is now located, many, many times enlarged.
For years the Frost and Wood Company was famous for its efficient farm machinery of all kinds that have carried the name of Smiths Falls to practically every corner of the world. Excellent labour relations existed at the plant where an average of 650 men and women earned as high as $70 a week. Another important industry that was here in Smiths Falls was Malleable Castings Ltd. Established in 1878 and employing nearly 200 men it was one of the largest cast iron foundries in Canada. With a capacity of 25 tons a day, it turned out everything from the largest railway casting to the smallest commercial requirements.
Besides this, there was the Falls Manufacturing Company, that made steel office furniture and equipment; Cairn’s Garments Limited were manufacturers of dresses and children’s wear; the Rideau Specialty Company where they made poultry supplies.
After being rebuilt after a disastrous $200,000 fire was Beach Industries Limited who manufacturered light electrical appliances and sheet metal ware. A British firm Hollands (Canada) Limited built a modern plant on the town’s northern outskirts for the manufacture of fine woollen products, and Canada Packers Limited operated a poultry processing plant in the town.
In town planning, Smiths Falls was the first town in Ontario to have a government approved plan. For six years in the late 40s and 50s the town planning commission plotted the town’s course so that it would be developed along predetermined and carefully planned lines.
Its accomplishments were lauded by Ontario Minister of Planning and Development as a “magnificent job and a model for other municipalities”. Sites for 600 new homes to house 2,400 people were provided in the commission’s 20-year plan. The town was divided into four distinct wards designated by the commission as : residential, commercial, light manufacturing and heavy manufacturing areas
A man who had great faith in the future of Smiths Falls was George “Knotty” Lee, a colourful personality in the baseball world, who retired after 47 years as manager, organizer and scout for big league baseball clubs. Knotty Lee bought an old hotel opposite the CPR depot and after giving it a fancy imitation stone front turned it into as posh a place as you would ever find in this neck of the woods. His well-appointed and comfortable rooms, 25 of them, and his excellent restaurant and lunch counter were a welcome oasis in Eastern Ontario.
Soft-lighting and deep-carpeted beverage rooms rivalled the Chateau Laurier lounge. His rigid discipline was the talk of the town as he stood for no loud talk or visiting between tables “one toot and you’re out.” Bill Cowley of hockey fame bought another local hotel and Knotty Lee said: “I only hope he runs his place on a standard as high as I try to run mine. And another thing I don’t bother with that extra penny. The breweries have cut their prices and there’s no reason why the hotels can’t do the same.”
Another of “Knotty” Lee’s sons, Lawrence S. “Ducks” Lee, served several years as mayor of Smiths Falls in the 1980s. While it no longer provides rooms or restaurant facilities his hotel is still operating as the Lee Tavern under the management of some of Knotty’s grandchildren. I grew up around the corner from the hotel, on Winnifred Street, North, living there from September 1957 to April 1973.
A former Ottawa man who started business here on a shoe string a years ago was J. Clark Ketchum. He operated a large bottling works and a busy dry cleaning plant with branches in neighbouring towns.
They couldn’t have picked a better or more foresighted man to head the Smith Falls Chamber of Commerce than Clark Ketchum. This energetic group of business and professional men devoted much time and effort to developing the town for the benefit of its citizens, to attract new firms, industries and tourists to town. Miss Phyllis Hutton, former secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, was a veritable fountain of knowledge about Smiths Falls. It was this sort of level-headed and prudent civic government and refusal to remain dormant that carried Smiths Falls on into a prosperous era in the 1950s .
The Ottawa Citizen,
17 Mar 1952, Mon,
A true Canadian baseball pioneer, Knotty Lee devoted close to 50 years to the game as a player, manager, scout and league organizer. The Toronto native earned his nickname when his father noticed his spitball twisting and knotting towards home plate. Starting in 1896, Lee excelled as a left-handed hurler with the Toronto Athletic Club. He would also play in the New York State League (1899 to 1901), the New England League (1902 to 1906) and the Empire State League (1907).
In 1911, the determined Canuck was the architect of the Canadian League, the first professional baseball circuit in his country’s history. He would manage teams in Hamilton (1911 to 1913), Toronto (1914) and Guelph (1915) in that seminal circuit. In 1919, he would organize the Class B Michigan-Ontario League, where he was the fiery dugout boss with Brantford (1919, 1920) and London (1925). In 1921 and 1922, he served as business manager for the International League’s Toronto Maple Leafs. During this time, he also marketed his own brand of baseball glove called the “Knotty Lee Special.”
The Ottawa Journal,
18 Apr 1960, Mon,
George “Knotty” Lee
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
September 05, 1962 (85)
Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada
My Grandmother, somewhat of a warrior, would bring in armloads of split hardwood and kindling every morning and evening and pile it in the wood box beside the old wood stove. There were six round covers on top of the stove and you could take one off if you needed a really hot place to put the frypan, as it would fit right inside the biggest hole. The little shelves on either side at the top was where I dried my mittens in the winter.
Grammy said the trick of cooking on top of a cook stove was knowing where to place your pots, and to shift them around to get a decent temperature. She always said there was a “sweet spot” on the top of her stove, and that the plates over the fire box were the warmest. Her boiling pots sat directly above the firebox; and the place for stewing, which was an all day event, was just a couple of spots away.
When she made bread the warming oven was a good place to let bread dough rise and it was also the spot she warmed cold plates and serving dishes before meals. Grammy always said you just couldn’t put food on the stove and leave it, and it just wasn’t practical for women who had a job– which she frowned upon too.
Grammy would giggle when I would mention that her tiny electric stove in the corner held everything else but cooking pots. She said she would rather fry eggs on a wood stove than on an electric range as the wood stove produced the most wonderful meals: baked beans, fresh bread, and lots of roasts and stews. Not to mention delicious cakes, pies and cookies of all kinds.
Muffy, their cat, would always be asleep on top of the wood box, except when I came in. Then she would hightail it under the stove and I would crouch down and try to pull her out to no avail. Grammy always had a little clothesline in the corner of the kitchen behind the stove for drying her dish towels.
It still intrigues me that a woman could spend her whole life cooking for generations on one stove. It’s metaphoric, I suppose. Mary Louise Deller Knight never got rid of her wood stove until the day she moved into a senior residence on South Street. The next day in the now empty house, the stove stopped being the centre of activity in her small kitchen. Summer days of sitting in the warm kitchen while she baked a cake and constantly wiping her forehead while I drank fresh lemonade were now just memories.