Tag Archives: Art

Bea Gladish — Artist — Looking for some Information for her Granddaughter

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Bea Gladish — Artist — Looking for some Information for her Granddaughter

I love this photo of Max and Bea Gladish from the St. James Directory with a photo of her daughter Krista behind them. Bea always had hugs and kind words for me when life wasn’t going the right way, and I miss seeing her in the front left hand pew at church. Max would sometimes whisper softly to me in church asking for a pie or something for a fundraiser. What I guess I missed was that she was quite the artist and we are looking for some information if you can help.

This morning I got an email from her granddaughter, Andy Penson. I told her that I knew her Grandmother well and I knew we could all send some love and maybe some information to her.

Hi!

I thought I’d be able to post in this group. I was looking for information about my grandmothers paintings. I know she painted a lot and has many paintings through out Carlton Place but I don’t have any myself! I was hoping to learn more about my grandmother and see what paintings she has out there. Her name was Beatrice Gladish. She went by Bea, but I don’t know how she signed her paintings. She lived in Carlton Place and lived with my grandfather Max Gladish.

She was an amazing person!! She really taught me about love and community, but wasn’t painting much since I’ve been around. We miss her so much. Thank you for posting this! –Andy Penson

A nice photo of the late Bea Gladish Krista Gladish Penson
Thanks to Doris Blackburn/ Karen Blackburn Chenier Heritage days Caldwell 1991

Sandra RattrayShe was a very nice lady. I bought her bicycle a number of years ago. It had hardly been used and I didn’t use it much.

Barbara PurdySorry to hear this. She was a lovely lady.

Debra J DavidsonShe was a member of our Auxiliary. Lovely lady.

Tim CampbellWe knew Bea, Max and Krista very well and I used to see Bea when she was at the Manor. She was a terrific lady. She will be missed by us all.

Rose Mary SarsfieldShe was a lovely lady!

Bea Gladish photo- granddaughter Andy Penson

So can we help Andy with memories for her granddaughter?

Thank you

Linda

The Art of Blaine Cornell

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The Art of Blaine Cornell
TRINA MCMILLAN CONBOY
January 18 ·
Blaine was an amazing artist. My Dad has had Blaine paint several special paintings for us over the years. This is one of my favourites.
Joann Voyce
Just last summer I got one of Blaine’s paintings at our class of 59 annual reunion. In our wilder days, Blaine was the bouncer between us and the Chief of Police. When we partied too hard, he would receive a call from his dad to settle us down before his dad would have to do it himself. Of course we obeyed instantly. LOL –Joann Voyce
Here are two painting that Blaine Cornell sold to me a few years ago! I had known Blaine from 5 years of age and had no idea he was an artist! I saw his paintings on display at Ballygiblins…. bought one And asked him if he had more…. I decided on the CP train station. I jad grabbed the snowscape off the wall at Ballygiblins! So talented!!!– Sylvia Giles

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
February 8, 2014  ·   · 

Some came with their own hat…
— with Shane Wm Edwards and Blaine Cornell.

last picture I rook of Blaine– Mississippi Mudds

Read more here..

A Few Memories of Blaine Cornell

Found the Artist–Vera Alice Shaw (Morrison)– Lanark Children’s Haven

Getting the Family Paintings Home– Dr. Harold Box

The Wall Mysteries of Lake Ave East -Residential Artists

Mary Bell-Eastlake Almonte Artist- Allan Stanley

Looking for the Artist of this Carleton Place Painting

October 13, 1977 George W. Raeburn of Lake Ave East— Artist and C. P. R. Man

The Female Artist from Carleton Place That Never Went Viral

Mary Bell-Eastlake Almonte Artist- Allan Stanley

Gwladys Williams Menzies– Celebrating a Local Girl who Made Good

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum8h · From the artist @tegs.letters: Hello there! My name is Tegan Wong, more commonly known as tegs. I am a self-taught lettering artist living in Ottawa. When the pandemic hit this year, I realized how important it was that I always make time for creativity in my life. Typically I work mostly with typography, however, recently I’ve found passion in drawing buildings as well.I’ve enjoyed capturing the beauty in Carleton Place Town Hall. It was built from 1895-1897 and will always be a strong piece of CP history. I hope that when you see this print, no matter where you are, it reminds you of being home for the holidays.If you’d like to see more of my work, I can be found as tegs.letters on Instagram.

Do you live at 138 Mary Street? Artist Mary Dodge painted this winter scene of your house in 1977. It’s for sale here: http://www.sportsbiz.bz/MaryDodge/gallery/55.htmThe Museum is lucky to have 5 of her local paintings in our collection.

Getting the Family Paintings Home– Dr. Harold Box

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Getting the Family Paintings Home–  Dr. Harold Box

 

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Here are my grandfather’s art (5 signed Mississippi Lake paintings by Dr. H.K. Box  Carleton  Place Dentist)) that I purchased last week at an auction. (Mary Henry estate on Bell Street in Carleton Place. They may seem fuzzy because they were all in frames……I’m so happy to have brought them back to the family. Enjoy! –-Gary Box

 

 

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Linda Tomosky Box At the auction everyone was quiet when the bidding started and Gary was the only bidder. I think people knew who he is and why he wanted the pictures.

Graeme Box Those are great to see.
I used sit with him at that spot on front of the old cottage and he would teach me how he did them. I still have one l did sitting beside him.

 

He Hailed from Carleton Place– Harold Box– The Forgotten Scientist?

 

  1. Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.relatedreading

 

relatedreading

A Time of its Own– The Mystery Photo

 

The Short but Illustrious Life of Dr. Daniel Muirhead

What Was it Like Living in Beckwith 1800s? Christina McEwen Muirhead

Christena McEwen– The Belle of Beckwith Part 1 -“The Woodcocks”

Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

Was a Boldt Castle Boathouse Once in our Midst? See the Home of the Daphne!

He Hailed from Carleton Place– Harold Box– The Forgotten Scientist?

“Bossin’ Billy” McEwen Muirhead –Box family

McLaren Left it All to the McLeod Sisters–His Maids!

Muirhead Gillies and the Boxes Are All Related–Genealogy and Photos

Did You Ever Notice This in Beckwith Park? Thanks to Gary Box

“The Italian Job” from Carleton Place?– Dr. Howard I Presume

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“The Italian Job” from Carleton Place?– Dr. Howard I Presume

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He was a deceiver of women (including his wife) He extracted money for his pockets by the wiles of his mysteries. Standing over 6 feet tall, almost the size of a grand bear and occasionally sporting a turban G. S. Howard– The Sage of  Aru/Carleton Place definitely created the crime of the century in our town, yet no one  in Carleton Place questioned his guilt– ever. He was always considered one of the pillars of the town and was said to be treated unfairly.

In December of 1922 the fact was being deplored that Canada had let “slip over the border” one of the finest art collections on this continent.” This collection” had been housed at Carleton Place and was said to be priceless, containing as it did works by such artists as Gainsborough, Titian, Rubens. Rembrandt, Greuze, Veronese and Raphael and others of like renown.

For this act of dereliction of duty the National Gallery of Canada was being chided. Now there has come a sequel. The owner of the collection, one Dr. Howard, from Carleton Place is at present a fugitive from the law in Bermuda. The “priceless” collection which he sold to a New York collector for $300,000 has been pronounced by experts as practically worthless and a series of copies and imitations. With this view Mr. Eric Brown, director of the National Gallery, agrees, as also does Mr. Ernest Fosbery, of Ottawa, both of whom had an opportunity of inspecting the best of the collection at Perth, where it had temporarily been removed.

According to the American Art News of New York, he is a native of the southern United States and was a resident of an Ontario town, which is Carleton Place. On November 16th and the 22nd there  were letters in the Toronto Globe and an Ottawa paper from Mr. E. Billing, of Carleton Place. In these letters Mr. Billing, no doubt convinced of the genuineness of the canvases as others had been, said that he could not help deploring the apathy of “our art directors in Canada,” adding that a truckload of valuable paintings had just crossed the St. Lawrence into the United States.

The next chapter in the story, following the crossing of the border, is that printed by the American Art News for December 31st. It said: “in New York city at the  present time is an aged man, ill in body and with mind distraught, because he paid more than $300,000 for old masters which art experts have declared in affidavit not to be worth more than $500.

Back in Bermuda, watched by detectives, was Englishman called Dr. Howard, of courtly appearance, who sold him the pictures, and who sailed from New York on the day following the discovery of the true value of the property, lie claims the right to the title of nobility. His activities in the art world would have extended over several years. He is declared to have been the owner of three old masters which ex Senator Clark purchased in 1910.

The victim of the transaction whose name is not divulged, out of deference to the wishes of his family, is a retired New York business man. He had the acumen to amass a comfortable sum of money and  he ‘fell for the lure of old masters or the idea of fabulous riches to be made out of them forgetting that the making of money honestly in art transactions is the work of specially trained minds and of a knowledge so highly specialized that it takes years and years of experience to acquire it.

Mcliurk was the first New York expert to denounce the pictures,

“There Is not one picture in the whole collection,” was Mr. Mcliurk’s verdict.

“What do you mean?” asked the victim, who had lost a fortune.

“I mean that there is not a picture here which would bring more than ten dollars on the market,” replied Mr. Mcliurk. Augustus Lefevre, of Silo’s, was called, and corroborated Mr. Mcliurk.

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Last Saturday’s issue of the American Art News retracts its reflection saying:

“We owe an apology to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and all the rest of the British Empire, with the exception, perhaps, of Canada, because it said an Englishman had sold a retired New York business man a collection of 85 old masters which experts had valued at $500. It goes on to say that the man was a native of the southern section of the L S. A., albeit a resident for a number of years of a small city in the province of Ontario.

This man, it adds, is now about 80 years old and is extremely picturesque, in the proverbial southern colonel style. He wears a long goatee,  is declared to be about six feet tall, and to be a most convincing talker. He bears the appellation of  ‘doctor’ and is a maker on a small scale of patent medicines.

It appears that G. Frank Muller, another expert, had before inspected the pictures and placed their value at $1,500. Mr. Muller found on the pictures labels of Budworth’s and of the Manhattan Storage Warehouse, and of different New York auction houses. Thanks to the “apathy” of Canada’s art directors, this country was not victimized by the picturesque Carleton Place “art” salesman.

 

 

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In 14 February 1922, Granby Billings, a 90-year-old chemist, arrived at Southampton from New York. Billings was described as having lived in Canada; with him was Edith Billings, a 42-year-old widow from New York. Both gave the same London address: 7 Endsleigh Gardens. Soon after, in 2Q 1922, it is recorded that Edith S. Billings married Granby S. Howard in Pancras, London.

It is thought that this was Granby Staunton Howard who had quite a fascinating background. In 1894, Howard — then around 60 years of age — was accused of swindling $5,000 from Mrs. Joseph H. Sprecht, wife of a wealthy St. Louis clothing dealer who lived at Gunton Hall, VA.

Howard was living in Montreal and styling himself as “Dr.”, although he held no medical license in Canada and was making a living selling patent medicines. Dr. Howard stood over six feet in height, and was described as having “a really handsome face and courtly address, he has the added advantage of a splendid education and great power of self-command.” Howard claimed at various times to have been descended from the historical Howards of Norfolk on his father’s side; that he was a baron by descent, one of the original thirty barons of England; that while he was heir to the baronial estate he went to India, entered the Brahmin-Indian order and gave up his heirship to his younger brother.

The libel action failed and costs were awarded against the plaintiff. It was not the last time that Dr Howard found himself in trouble. The New York Times on 24 January 1922 reported that a New York pearl merchant named David I Rogow was launching an action against Granby Staunton Howard of Carleton Place, Ontario, for selling him $150,000 worth of paintings which Howard claimed were the original works of old masters and famous modern artists but proved to be copies.

Three weeks later, “Granby Billings” and Edith S. Billings arrived in Southampton aboard the Cunard liner Aquitania. Howard, over six foot in height and reputedly aged 90, accompanying Edith Billings, under half his age at 42 and small at 5 feet 2 inches, with blue-eyed with dark brown hair. They must have made an interesting couple.

After their marriage in 1922, there is almost no trace of Granby or Edith Howard. Edith’s novel, Cleomenes was re-registered for copyright by Edith S. Howard, of Rutherford, N.J., in 1944, so we have to presume that she returned to the United States some time in between. By then she was in her late 70s, so it seems likely that she died in New Jersey.

As for Granby, he is even more elusive. Virtually nothing turns up on a search for him, other than two passenger records noting his arrival in Canada in 1921, where his age is given as 60 and his birthplace as Northumberland, England, and his arrival in New York on 29 December 1921 from Bermuda. Again, the age is 60 and he is English. In the latter it would appear, although the record itself isn’t easy to read, that he is travelling with his niece.

Are 60-year-old Granby Howard and 90-year-old Granby Howard one and the same? Was Edith Billings the niece he was travelling with from Bermuda to New York in 1921 and was Howard the “Granby Billings” who travelled from New York to England in 1922?

Was Granby Howard even his real name? It doesn’t turn up on any birth records in the UK (although if he was born in c.1831, that would predate births being centrally registered) or marriage records — and the court case in 1898 revealed that he was married. It is also known from the court case that he adopted the name Wilson for some time, so other identities are also quite possible.

And how did Edith Billings end up marrying a man who appears to have been a serial conman?

All mysteries for another day. Read more here

 

 

 

 

 

relatedreading

More on the Despicable Dr. Howard of Carleton Place

Dr. G. S. Howard of Carleton Place — Just Call Me Master!

The Shenanigans of Dr. Howard of Carleton Place – Part 2

Did You Know Who was Cooking in Back of Lancaster’s Grocery Store? Dr. Howard I Presume! – Part 3

Looks like Dr Howard’s business was located on the second floor of the Grand Hotel for a bit… 1899 Carleton Place Herald.

The Art Loan Gallery Perth 1907-Names Names Names

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The Art Loan Gallery Perth 1907-Names Names Names

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Perth Library, c1907, Archives of Ontario

 

Perth Courier, April 2, 1897

The Art Loan Gallery:  This select entertainment came to a close on Monday night and to those who attended one or more times it was very satisfactory.  It gave the people an idea of what good pictures by professional painters looked like and what good paintings our local artists could do.  Unfortunately, the attendance was not as large as generally as to encourage the directors of the public library or the committee to persist in getting such displays of art as this with all the care, trouble etc., involved to educate and amuse the public.  The committee is indebted to a great many owners and artists for the loan of their valuable property and we should say that no better display could be made by any other town in the Ottawa district.  Among the artists and owners of the exhibits were:

 

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*Jacobi

 

 

1)John Hart, oil paintings by Miss Hart—oil painting of grapes by William Hart all of high merit and some fine water colors by Jacobi and Coleman.

2)Henry Taylor—Some high class water colors by Verner, G.Harlow White and Fraser and an oil painting by Jacobi.

3)Hon. Peter McLaren—A large number of water colors by *Jacobi and Bell-Smith among them being views of the high falls of the Mississippi River, Frontenac County, by Jacobi; oil painting by Jacobi (upper Mississppi and the Clyde River in this vicinity); and a large and costly oil painting by Goutois; also two will executed pictures by Dr. T.W. Beeman of this town one of them being a sunset scene on the Rideau.

4)R.J. Drummond contributed a number of collections of water color paintings, chiefly his own and mostly views of this locality which were much admired.  The high falls, Mississippi, Tay River scene near Thompson Bridge and Ottay Lake all received lasting notice from his brush.  He also showed water colors by Jacobi and Humme and a beautiful picture in oil of the Lover’s Retreat in the rear of the Parliament building in Ottawa by Miss Parris of the capital city.

5)Dr. T.W. Beeman was also a very large exhibitor all except a water color by Verner being his own productions.  Those of his that were loaned by others made the collection from his brush a large and desirable collection.  Among his best were “On the Tay Near Glen Tay”, “Wild Grasses” and some landscape scenes all of which brought out the strong artistic genius of the doctor.  Among those who loaned his pictures were Mrs. (Hon.) Peter McLaren, Mrs. (Judge) Senkler, Mrs. J.T. Henderson, Mrs. J.F. Kellock, Mrs. Boulton, Miss Shaw, Miss Drysdale, Mr. F.S. Campbell and Dr. Wilson.

6)Miss Waddell exhibited several choice oil paintings from her own brush among them being two portraits of “Young Girl”, and “Old Man” also “Fruit and Andirons”, the latter being a prize taker at an exhibition of paintings.  These were all worthy of Miss Waddell’s acknowledged merits as an artist.

 

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Robert Pilot–Perth Ontario

St. John’s, Newfoundland, 1898-1967, Québec

7)E.G. Malloch showed three paintings:  “The Cavaliers Return”, “St John the Baptist—An Allegory” and “Rocks in Autumn”.  The first two were Italian pictures and very old.

8)Col Matheson had two fine oil paintings.

9)Mrs. James Burgess had a collection of pictures in oil.

10)Mrs. A.C. Beach had a number of the same, the work of *McGillivray Knowles, one of which was “A Study on the Tay”.

 

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The riverside walk–*McGillivray Knowles

 

11)Mrs. W. Moore and Mrs. (Gemmell) Allan showed several oil paintings.

12)Miss Nellie Munro showed a collection of her own pencil and palette crayon and oil paintings creditable for an amateur.

13)Miss Mary Walker, Miss Riddell, Miss Christina Holliday and Miss M.J. Wilson had oil paintings done by themselves.

14)Miss Thompson and Miss Annie McCann also exhibited paintings in their own handiwork.

15)A portrait of F.A. Hall by Sawyer in 1881 contrasted strongly by the march of years with a photograph of himself taken lately by his daughter Mary.

16)Portraits by Field, a Perth artist of merit in the lang syne of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Douglas, the late Mr. and Mrs. A. Kippen and larger one of Sheriff Thompson painted 35 years ago brought back old remembrances.

 

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Woodland Waterfall – 1916 Tom Thompson

 

17)Two costly oil paintings by Thompson and Elson, eminent Canadian artists of cattle and landscape loaned by Robert Meighen of Montreal were the cynosure of all eyes.

18)Mrs. J.T. Henderson showed a fine large oil painting of Milton dictating his poems to his daughter.

19)The renowned artist G. Broenuch sent up a very large collection of water colors which were the finest feature of the gallery.  They were of various shades of merit and the more costly ones were gems which made one sigh for a long pocket book.  One representing scenes of the northern Norwegian coast “Midnight on the Coast of Fumarken—Effect of the Midnight Sun” showing the vivid red of the sun on a picturesque headland was greatly admired.

20)Miss Ella Fraser of Kingston sent many oil paintings for sale which we hope found customers.

21)Miss Poole showed quite a number of pencil drawings and water colors and a life size portrait of Mr. W. H. Grant, governor of the gaol painted by one of the prisoners whose genius could not keep him from behind prison bars, which painting attracted much attention.

22)Robert Jamieson showed crayon drawings.

23)G.E. Armstrong, Miss McKinley and Miss McLenaghan (Toronto), portraits and figures in pencil work.

24)Mr. Kelsey made a show in his own photographs and enlarged photographs by the A.U.W.(?) of their master workmen for some years back, which stood against the wall.

 

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Hon. John Haggart

25)Mr. T. H. Marks (Tom the Comedian) sent beautiful photographs of a laughing baby Marks and a colored life size photograph of Hon. John Haggart, which was an excellent portrait of the member for South Lanark.

26)A number of large and striking steel engravings added greatly to the exhibit and a large number of drawings from the books of the pupils of the Perth public school which showed care and skill were attractions as well.

27)Miss Lever exhibited some exceedingly well done samples of decorative work; some of them original.

28)Miss Laura James showed excellent exhibits of pen scroll work and ink drawings.

 

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29)Cartoons from Hunter of the World, Racey and Wilson(?)Wilner(?) and the inimitable Benogough of the Globe came all the way from the cities.

30)J.P. McDonald (once of Bathurst), proprietor of the Spencerian Business College of Montreal had several frames full of the most exquisite pen scrollings, pictures and penmanship.

31)On the stage were a number of cases containing china hand painting and carving.  A box, knives, etc., from the cunning hand of our stalwart friend John Brown, carved during his residence at Christie’s Lake, showed great skill for an amateur.

32)Mary Campbell of Drummond had a display of wood carvings of various types, of knives, etc., in oak, cherry, and mahogany which were truly admirable in execution.

33)Mrs. (Hon) Peter McLaren showed a unique specimen of Chinese carving.

34)Mrs. (Gemmell) Allan showed carvings in ivory and wood.

35)Mrs. R.J. Drummond showed small statuary.

36)Miss Hart and her pupils had a collection of hand painted china.

37)Miss Mary Hall, Miss Isobel Hart, Miss C.M. Drummond, Mrs. T.A. Code and Miss Maggie Armour also showed specimens of this delicate and beautiful work.

 

 

historicalnotes

JACOBI, OTTO REINHOLD, Click here

McGillivray Knowles-Click here

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

relatedreading

Looking for the Artist of this Carleton Place Painting

The Female Artist from Carleton Place That Never Went Viral

The Wall Mysteries of Lake Ave East -Residential Artists

October 13, 1977 George W. Raeburn of Lake Ave East— Artist and C. P. R. Man

Just Like Mount Rushmore…

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Nearly three million people visit Mount Rushmore each year. South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region.

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Mount Rushmore has become an iconic symbol of the United States, and now we too have another tribute to Carleton Place and the iconic people that believed in our town. Shaun McInnis, mural artist, is busy working on Wandering Wayne’s/ Wayne Richardson’s mural located on Allan St at the end of the Queen’s Hotel..

McInnis’s  work is all over the Town of Carleton Place, which has commissioned him to do many murals in recent years. Councillor Jerry Flynn, mural project co-ordinator, has nothing but praise for McInnis as a person and artist. “I couldn’t have asked for anyone better than Shaun McInnis.”

I am sure Wayne would have waved his hand and walked on when he saw Shaun painting his likeness– but beneath that cap on his head I’d like to think a smile would have appeared on his face as he continued his journey on the streets of Carleton Place.

 

Wayne Richards (1935-2016)

Wayne believed that one step at a time was good for the soul and he will forever be  known as Wandering Wayne to each and every person of Carleton Place. He was the last milkman that delivered door to door on a horse drawn wagon from the Carleton Place Dairy on Moore Street.  If you took the time to talk to him he could tell you more about the town and your family then you ever thought possible. Wayne requested the best of each of us in our little town and hopefully  for the most part we all met his expectations. Thanks Wayne for always reminding us to take the time to be kind–may you be walking the clouds in heaven. 

Come see all the murals in Carleton Place and those of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum too

Please keep donating to the gofundmepage created by Linda Young or drop in and see Cathie at Downtown BIA office

RELATED READING:

It’s Back On Like Donkey Kong!-Wandering Wayne

Wayne Richards -You’ll Never Walk Alone Again

The Eating Place! You’ve Got to Eat in Carleton Place!

In Memory of Wandering Wayne –Wayne Richards

Time Travel- Is that Wandering Wayne in this 1930 Photo?

Christmas in April – (Wandering) Wayne Richards

Looking for the Artist of this Carleton Place Painting

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This painting was donated to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum by local Carleton Place resident Norma Ford. It is slightly different than the postcard I posted below, but it gives you a general idea.

We are trying to find out who the artist is? Anyone have an idea? Please let us know.

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Debbie Gibsons dad Roy Gibson used to do quite a few paintings in town if I’m not mistaken. A lot of them you could see in Hastie Brothers window on Main Street. Tom Edwards

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Lime Kiln painting by Norma Ford’s father

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Norma Ford– It was an Italian couple that lived in the apartment beside ours on the 3rd floor of the Comba apartments above where The Blossom Shop is now. He painted for a hobby and we were friends and gave us this painting but I noticed years later that he hadn’t signed it and we don’t remember their names. They only lived there for about 4 months then moved to Ottawa I believe. Very nice couple. In early 1964.

The Lime Kiln

The Lime Kiln…99 years of history

By Mary Cook

Carleton Place Canadian, 1987

 

The Ottawa Valley, and particularly Lanark County was fast gaining a reputation in the lime industry just before the turn of this century.  An enterprising local industrialist, Napoleon Lavalee (after whom Napoleon Street was named) capitalized on that reputation and built what was to be a long lasting, Carleton Place industry.  When the end product was realized, lime was carted off to help build some of the most prestigious buildings in the Nation’s Capital.

Napoleon Lavalee built the first kiln on the very site of the present one in the mid-1800s.  It was a crude affair, but served the purpose well.  Many years later the new owner Bill Cameron updated the equipment, and laid the foundation for what was to become a major contributor to the lime industry in Eastern Ontario.

The stack kiln Bill Cameron built was more efficient than the “pits” put in by Napoleon Lavalee.  They rose high in the air, looking like big chimneys.  New buildings were added to smooth out the operation, and for many years…going into the 20s, Bill Cameron was able to offer steady employment to a clatch of hard working employees.  Then the 30s rolled in with all their ramifications.  There wasn’t an industry untouched by the depression.  There was no exception.  But Bill Cameron was a very unusual man.  He felt for his employees, most of them trying to support big families on meager wages.  To lay them off would have been devastating.

Margaret Lesway Henderson was just a little girl when her family moved next door to the lime kiln on Napoleon Street.  She remembers very clearly those depression years.  And she especially remembers how Bill Cameron did everything in his power to keep his men working.  The lime business had slowed to a crawl.  So the men were sent to the bush lots to cut cedar.  Cord after cord of cedar was hauled into the yard.  Bill Cameron must have wondered if he would ever use it all, when, and if the lime business ever picked up again.  “I was just a young girl, but I can remember so well those huge piles of cedar.  And every day the workers would haul in more.  Mr. Cameron stock piled the wood just to keep his men employed, because the alternative was to lay them off, and that would have meant terrible hardships for many of the town’s families,” Margaret recalls.

George Briscoe of Beckwith Township was Bill Cameron’s shanty man.  Through good management, the business held on all through the 30s.  With the 40s came a new interest in the lime business, and prosperity.  In 1944, Bill Cameron was ready to call it quits and he sold the Lime Kiln to another enterprising young businessman, Stuart Neilson.

The Napoleon Street business saw its greatest changes after Stuart Neilson took it over.  He moved it from a piece meal operation to an efficient, more scientifically run business.  It became a 24 hour pursuit.  It was moved from a rather primitive procedure to a sophisticated performance that saw many changes and innovations in the Napoleon Street business.

The procedure had to basically remain the same, but Mr. Neilson made vast improvements.  He changed the shape and the functions of the kilns and was able to produce twice as much lime as the old time kiln.

However, many of the jobs leading up to the burning didn’t change or changed only marginally.  Trucks replaced the horse-drawn wagons for hauling the limestone into town from the 4thand 5th concessions of Ramsay.  Shirley Sheinfield can still see in her mind’s eye those trucks lumbering up past her house on Napoleon Street, and the familiar sounds relative to the procedure of burning lime.  “You heard this steady ‘bang’ all the time.  That was when the big pieces of limestone would be dropped into the kiln.  It was like thunder, and it was constant,” she says.  She also remembers a horse by the name of Queenie.  The horse was used to power the winch which hauled the limestone up to the top of the kiln.  “Queenie was kept in a field across the road.  Of course, there were no houses there then…just an open field.  And I can still hear the man who drove the horse yelling ‘giddyup Queenie’.  I guess those are sounds you never forget, because they were so constant”, Shirley said.

John Neilson, Stuart’s son, remembers the horse powered winch very well.  He was just a young boy when his father put him to work.  “My job was to drive the horse to operate the winch.  It was a simple operation.  The lime was broken into big chunks in the quarry, then transported into town on the trucks.  This breaking process was done by hand with big mallets.  Then the pieces were loaded into big steel boxes.  The horse was driven in continuous circle to wind up the cable which hauled boxes to the top of the kiln.  Then the boxes of lime were tilted at the top by a tripper, and the limestone fell down into the kiln for burning.  But it was my job to keep that horse going”, John remembers. He also remembers his father as being a hard task master.  There were no privileges just because he was the owner’s son.  “He demanded when I did a job, that it had to be done right, or I would have to do it all over again”, he recalls.

Margaret Henderson remembers the yards as a great place for adventure.  There were many things to interest a young child back in the 30s.  Piles of stone were everywhere, and the robins and ground sparrows used to build their nests in the piles.  “We used o position ourselves in front of the piles and watch the birds in their nests.  We would even see the eggs hatch out.  I remember the horse too.  I’m not sure if it was Queenie, because the horse I remember never had a driver.  It just knew and would slow down or stop altogether, and then the man on the top of the kiln would let a roar out of him, and the horse would start up again.  I can remember that.  We used to think that was very funny.  Our biggest joy was at Christmas time.  Those sleighs filled with limestone would go up the street, and we kids would run and jump on the back of them and get a ride.  We loved that.  We weren’t allowed to go back where the lime was being ‘drawn off’.  That was considered a very dangerous place for a child.  But I remember one time two young lads were back there where they weren’t supposed to be.  Well, one dared the other to jump in the ashes which had been taken out of the bottom of the kiln.  You’d never know they were hot to look at them.  The young lad jumped in and he was very seriously burned.  He spent months in the hospital, I know.  We were never allowed back there, and I don’t know how those got there, but they did”, Margaret reflects.

She also remembers that the Lime Kiln had the only well on the street.  “We were all allowed to use it.  Everyone who lived on that part of Napoleon Street would go up to the Lime Kiln with their pails and bring the water home.  It was years later when water was finally put up the street and we didn’t have to haul it from the lime kiln any longer.”

John Neilson remembers when the business ran 11 months of the year and employed up to 15 men.  “Dad kept it going 24 hours a day.  We fired with slab wood, and it took a lot to keep it going, but it was a big business right up to about the mid-60s, and hauling in limestone was stopped altogether in the early 1970s”, he said.

By the time this account of the lime kiln is read by Canadian subscribers, most of the antique equipment will have gone on the auction block.  A sale today (Wednesday) will all but eliminate the workings of the Lime Kiln.  Old machinery, an antique truck, bits and pieces of history of one of the town’s long time industries will have gone to the highest bidder.

But for people like Shirley Sheinfield and Margaret Henderson, memories of that site will be with them always.  Last week Margaret took a walk past the lime kiln, up the street she called home for many years. “So many……..flashed that part of the old drive shed where Mr. Cameron kept a beautiful old buggy.  It was very fancy.  It had lights on it, and a lot of brass.  We kids used to pry open the little window closed to our house, and we’d crawl in and sit in that buggy and pretend we were somebody really important.  I can remember those weigh scales and the sounds of those trucks rolling over them.  I remember the day a team of horses ran away, and how if I hadn’t stepped back, they would have run right over me.  Last week I saw those piles of ashes.  We kids would get huge cardboard boxes and climb to the top of the ash pile and slide ….was having as much fun as we were having.  It will be hard to see that landmark gone.”

But that’s exactly what is going to happen to whatever remains after the auction sale today.  John Neilson said the last fragments of the yard will eventually be cleared away.  When the final board is hauled away, all that will remain will be memories.  Lime is still being manufactured.  But the process is much different.  The calcining remains the same, but large rotary lime kilns have replaced the primitive stacks.

It will take a long time to clean up the final remnants of the business Napoleon Lavalee started almost 100 years ago, but the memories of the site will remain with many for years to come.

I Wish Adults Knew —– Bad Art Night at the Carleton Place Library

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It was a chilly Tuesday night outside the Carleton Place Library.  Inside, there was a nice cozy room with adults, not kids, making Bad Art. First you had to draw yourself on paper on top of your head, then  you progressed to the real stuff. For a final reward medals and tootise roll pops were handed out to all.

And so it goes. There is no bad art. There are no bad artists. There are just people working toward something unseen. Being an adult can be fun when you are acting as a child like at Bad Art Night. After all adults are only kids grown up anyways.

Right?

So what kind of questions do we as adults and kids want everyone to know?

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That I am very talented but I hide my talents because I have stage fright.

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I wish everyone understood how to work their phones. —Kayla Barnes, Grade 4

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I wish you knew how to stop a nagging sister, or brother.

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I wish you understood what kids were talking about most of the time. —Sam Mazza Bergeron, Grade 3

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That we don’t get some of the words they tell us. —Cleo Miller-Young, Grade 4

art4

I wish you knew that sometimes my smile is a broken smile. I wish you understood my vision.—Tyler Smith, Grade 4

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That you have a right for everything and you learn from mistakes, just let mistakes happen– you learn from mistakes! —Morgan Curtis, Grade 3

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That everyone needs a friend. —Samantha Evans, Grade 3

And so, everyone made friends on Bad Art Night- Please join us next time!

101 Beckwith Street
Carleton Place, ON K7C 2T3
(613) 257-2702
Monday to Thursday: 1:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
All materials can be signed out for three weeks, with the exception of DVDs, which can be signed out for one week.

Book Drop Hours:

Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Email: mcaswell@carletonplace.ca