Photo-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
215 Bridge Street Carleton Place
This building is not the original one that housed the grocery store of
Bowland and McRostie. Since its construction, it has only had minor upgrades and
alterations over the years.
Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Photo
The grocery store of Bowland and McRostie was located at 215 Bridge Street.
Fred P. McRostie employed Olive Robertson who lived on Charles Street to be his clerk. His son Meredith worked at the store when he was home from College and Gordon H. Bennett was the butcher.
Anne Turner emailed the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum with the following:
My grandmother kept a daily diary all of her married life, which I have, so my information is “from the horse’s mouth” so to speak. My grandfather (Fred McRostie) went into business with Bowland in 1909 & later became the sole owner.
Fred died Sep’t 29, 1934, but my father (Peter Meredith McRostie) who had returned from attending Queen’s University in 1931 & joined the store kept it going until its sale to a Mr. Fisher in February 1939. The building was not torn down then as she mentions him painting & renovating. ( That was Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum info)
I remember as a child seeing my grandfather’s name across the side of the building whenever I came to town and that would have been in the 1950’s so I believe the original building was still standing at that time, although I have no pictures to support this. However, there is no mention in my grandmother’s diaries which run to 1948 of it having been torn down.
Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Photo
There was a pool room located upstairs operated by Charles Walford. The local branch of
the Legion took over the building for a time and rented the upstairs. When the new
Legion was built on George the building was torn down. I also remember the building as selling ice cream in the summer.
Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Photo
John Dezell operated the Supertest Service Station. In 1939, the Supertest Service Station came under the management of Charles Black and George Carson. In 1950, Cameron Smithson leased the service station. In 1957, Charles Costello gained ownership. In 2006,
215 Bridge Street still is the site of an auto repair garage.
The corner lot was the Supertest Service Station run by John Dezell and his son Forest. Later Chas. Black was the proprietor. Llew Lloyd said– Good timing . When it was the Super Test garage Bernie Costello played the piano for the Saturday afternoon crowd
198 and 200 Bridge Street Carleton Place
198 and 200 Bridge Street Carleton Place–Circa 1860
Photo: Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The Sinclair stores (198 Bridge Street is now a vacant lot and 200 Bridge Street was
The Looking Glass). The building that remains standing is of a wood frame
construction as was the other building. At one time, Robert Crampton owned the
building closest to the water and he ran it as a general store and a post office. Then
it was owned by a Hollingsworth and was a grocery store. It was also Bennett’s
This photo shows the interior of Sinclair Brothers Tailor Shop. That’s Herb Sinclair Junior to the left, ready to serve you. This store was located on the west side of Bridge Street, the second frame building north of the bridge. It has since been demolished.-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Then in 1924 it was bought by William Sinclair and was a dry goods
and ladies store operated by him and his brother Bill . It stayed as that until the 1950s. It was also the Sinclair family residence for some time. His wife Helen Virtue with the help of Marjorie Connors Robertson, Isabel Cleland Allan, Marguerite Chapel Louks, Lois Brebner Bennett and Mrs. Frankie.
photo-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
It was sold in the 1950s. The building next to it (200 Bridge) was the tailor shop owned by Colin Sinclair. He was a professional tailor and made men’s suits all from his own patterns. Both his sons and grandson were also professional tailors. At one time, they made the police uniforms for the entire town. The apartment above the store was occupied by Mrs. Herb Bennett and sons Donald and John. Later John and Elizabeth Knox Splane. 200 Bridge Street later became , Goofy’s, The Looking Glass etc.
Summers of Carleton Place Past — Memories of Gooffy’s?
Scoon Scott’s Legacy– Good to See You!
Grandma’s Butterscotch Pie — Lolly’s Tea Room
In Memory of Barbara Lanthier
Lost Buildings–Sinclair Brothers Tailor Shop
Through the Looking Glass
204-206 Bridge Street Carleton Place
Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
204-206 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1870
204 Bridge Street has a long history as being primarily a barbershop. Before it
became a barbershop this is where William Taylor operated his hardware store
before moving to the building at the corner of Bridge and Mill that was occupied by
McArthur. This frame building was a barbershop operated by Hughie Devlin. At the
same time that Devlin was a barber Harry Robertson was a cabinet builder at this
location as well. Some of the barbers included Claude McDaniel, Jack and Earl
McPherson, W. Sadler and then Jock Mailey. Around the mid 1940s or the early
1950s is when Jock Mailey and George Lemaistre hung their shingle out as barbers at
204 Bridge Street until George went to work for the CPR. Later Merrill Griffith purchased the building and turned it into apartments. In 2005 it was boarded up.
208-210 Bridge Street Carleton Place
208-210 Bridge Street Carleton Place–1870 circa
In or around the 1920’s Wilfred Bellamy operated a confectionery store and later a
restaurant at this location. In 1937, there is an advertisement in the Carleton Place
Herald for Bellamy’s Ice Cream. Wilf and his wife Eva (Carr) were in business for a long time and had a nickelodeon, which was similar to a jukebox and the best
toffee around. Over the years they employed Viola McKimm, Ruby Voyce, Annie Morris and Leslie Paul. The Bellamy’s lived on Townline East, but had no family. In 1958 Bellamy’s sold it to a Mr. A. Jones. It was opened as a spaghetti diner. In an advertisement in the Carleton Place Canadian from 1971 the name of the restaurant is John’s and in 1975 saw the name change to the Bonanza Pizzia/Restaurant. Hence now location to Bonanza Kids?
Stephen Giles I remember going to the Bell office with my Mother to meet Joan Whalen after her shift. Then we would go to Bellamy’s restaurant where Joan’s mother Vi McKim worked. Best coconut cream pie in the Ottawa Valley!
Jeremy Stinson The ‘Color Your World’ building, I remember being Bonanza Pizzeria when I was little. That was before the building was fixed up and painted. My parents had a large Dodge van and you could drive through to Water street through the old car lot next to it. The building was covered in grey and black shingle siding.
Tammy Marion – I’m not 100% but I think it was where the Bonanza Restaurant/Pizza place use to be on main st ( Bridge.St) and it was called the Carleton before it became the Bonanza. That’s what I think anyways
I stopped at a restaurant in the town of Carleton Place. The restaurant was called Bellamy’s. It was on the main street. Bridge Street. It was in there that Phil all of a sudden decided to throw his lemon meringue pie all over the place — on the table, on our faces, on the floor, on the next table, on the wall and even over — read the rest tomorrow– read more here.. A Story About Bellamys and Lemon Pie
The Empty Parking Lot
Photo–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Joan Stoddart mentioned something two days ago. The Remembrance Shop did indeed have three locations. The first Remembrance Shop opened in 1950 located between Sinclair’s and Bellamy’s on Bridge Street. An important owner of The Remembrance Shop was Edith Bowers who bought it from Elizabeth then Mrs Lowry. It did start in the front part of the white building by Bellamy’s.
From the picture it looked like quite a grand hotel, but sadly it closed and remained vacant for years. The Drader family moved to Carleton Place around 1932 where Simeon worked as a carpenter. In 1953 he purchased the old Rathwell hotel which by then was in very bad way and falling apart. Willington McGonegal had a second hand store next to Bellamy’s.
Drader renovated the building and constructed nine apartments in the building that was known as the Drader Block. In 1954 Simeon and Mary Drader celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The Rathwell Hotel was demolished in 1956 and Simeon Draper also died in 1956.
Tammy Marion There use to be a building next to the old Bonanza Pizzeria – Color your World in this photo, before it became just a parking lot as it is today..Can’t remember if it was a garage,car sales lot or what it was at the time, but there was a building there. I remember it burning down in 1978 as I lived next store that year in the old Maynard Furniture building ( I refer to it as that) ( where the MP Scott Reid’s office is today) and the firemen/police were knocking on everyone’s door in the building to get everyone out – just in case the fire spread..
Tammy Marion Well the building that burned down in 1978,could have been 79 too- didn’t look anything as grand as that picture Linda lol..and it wasn’t so close to the road either. It was set back in more if I recall correctly because I remember seeing cars parked infront of it when I walked by… The address to my apartment was 226 Bridge St. ( middle door) apt faced the main st. Maynards Furniture Store and front was to the right of that door when facing the building – High St end. That’s why I referred to it as the Maynard Furniture building.Bought a television from them in 1980,81.. Now I’m going to rack my brains trying to remember what it was that burned down back then.Pretty sure Paul Dulmages garage was in operation then – which was right across the road of that now empty parking lot. He had a Rottweiler pup named Thumper or someone that worked there did. Funny-I can remember that but not what burned.
Photo–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum–This building used to be in the empty parking lot next to Scott Reid’s office on Bridge Street. St. John’s Masonic Lodge formed in 1843- This building was built in 1911 at 55 Bridge Street. The Ancient Order of United Workmen might have been in the former beer store building on Bridge St.–read-The Ancient Order of United Workmen-Death Benefits etc.
At the same time the next building which was frame and was known as the Oddfellows Hall was also destroyed. It had a long entrance hall which opened up into two large rooms. The first room had two or three pool tables and the second room had a fairly smooth floor which was rented out to different organizations for meetings and dances. The second floor of this building was the Lodge rooms of the local Oddfellows and Rebecca Lodge.
Ray Paquette– The memory I have of Bennett’s at High and Bridge was the September morning walking to CPHS the day the 1955 Chevrolet was unveiled. What made this new car launch memorable was the the significant body style change from the previous models. It heralded a new era in design and became the talk of car enthusiasts. That was the time when all automotive producers unveiled the next year’s models in September.
The Bennett Butcher Shop- Corner of Bell and Bridge Street
Photos by Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The Bennett Butcher Shop- Corner of Bell and Bridge Street
James E. Bennett – 1860/1927
Mayor of Carleton Place – 1904-1906 – Grocers and Butcher, est. 1883.
I’ve written quite a few pieces about Bennett’s Butcher store along with stories about Ruth Ferguson and Danny when he was in charge of the premises. There are not too many folks that don’t know about Bennett’s Butcher shop, and if you don’t then read on for the history. The butcher shop had an apartment on the 2nd floor and a huge metal teapot hanging out at the 2nd level of the corner of the building. At the start of Old Home Week it was painted green and if you ask anyone today, no one knows where the darn thing went to. The business was first operated by J.E. Bennett who was also the mayor of the town from 1904-1906. Later his son, Austin C. Bennett and his son, William operated the butcher and grocery business. Over the years the staff included: Shirley Robilliard, Dorothy Cooke, James Taffy Williams, George Folkard, Bernie O’Meara, Ruth Ferguson, Isabel Wylie, and Jerry Tinsley. Austin Bennett, his wife and his son Bill lived upstairs for some years, but later on moved to the corner of Townline and Thomas Street. Bill, and his wife Lois (Tweedmark) resided on Flora Street. You can check out my links below or better yet read Mary Cook’s story that was in the 1987 Carleton Place Canadian.
James E. Bennett: Early Carleton Place Butcher–From Heritage Carleton Place
By Mary Cook
The Carleton Place Canadian, 1987
James E. Bennett had no way of knowing that the small butcher shop he opened in the late 1800’s would see four generations of Bennett’s in the business before the final chapter closed on one of the best known butcher shops in the Ottawa Valley.
Old photographs show a wiry, golden haired man of moderate stature. He was born in Ferguson’s Falls in 1860, and came to Carleton Place as a child of 9, supposedly to take over his father’s blacksmith shop when he was old enough. The shop was located in the empty lot between the Valleytown apartments and the first stone house going west on High Street, which is now a private parking lot.
But young James had no intention of becoming a blacksmith. In an era when it was expected a son would follow in his father’s footsteps, young Bennett went off to be a herdsman for a well known businessman G. Arthur Burgess.
Around 1884, James E. Bennett decided being in business for himself would offer much more reward than looking after someone else’s cattle. And so the first Bennett’s Meat Market opened its doors. The store was located where Goofy’s Ice Cream parlor now stands. The spot was considered a prime location. Here some of the main businesses of the day were neighbors and a steady stream of people passed the shop each day.
He hired Charlie Devlin to help out and the two of them did all the work…and it was all done by hand in those days. One side of the shop held a large plank anchored just down from the ceiling. Huge meat hooks held beef quarters, where the lady of the house could come, look over the selection and make her choice. Hand saws prepared the meat, because electricity was yet to come to Carleton Place.
A two wheel cart, hauled by horse, carried a box with a lid on the back, and a step for the driver; from the cart, deliveries were made all over town.
James E. Bennett soon outgrew the small shop next to the bridge. An opportunity came up to move across and down the street, and the young businessman jumped at the chance. He took his three sons, Harry, Gordon and Austin, “Onnie” into the business with him. It was a location that was to see almost 70 years of continuous business by the next two generations of Bennett’s.
The store was a massive stone structure (unchanged today) that stood on the corner of Bridge and Bell Street. It was distinguished by a huge tea pot that hung from the corner of the store between the first and second storeys. The pot advertised Salada Tea, and one day in the 20’s when the town was celebrating Old Home Week, Ted and Jack Voyce climbed a ladder and painted the massive tea pot red commemorating the event. No one knows where the tea pot is today.
In the very early days, before Bennett’s built their first abattoir, the shop had to close down in the afternoons so that the butchers could travel the countryside buying their meat. They would arrive at the farms, strike a deal, slaughter what they had bought, and head back to town. The first abattoir was on the 7th line of Ramsay near the old lead mines, and almost back to back with the Anglican Cemetery.
Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Musem– -“Butcher” Bill Bennett, who passed away last Sunday at the age of 88. Bill was a local icon – working in his family’s butcher shop, playing hockey for the Red Wings, and involved in many local organizations like the 100 Club, Curling Club and St. James Anglican Church
Today we remember “Butcher” Bill Bennett, who passed away last Sunday at the age of 88. Bill was a local icon – working in his family’s butcher shop, playing hockey for the Red Wings, and involved in many local organizations like the 100 Club, Curling Club and St. James Anglican Church. Rest in Peace Bill – we won’t forget you!
In the winter time, the store also closed in the afternoon, but then it was time to haul ice from the Mississippi River. The shop had an ice box, and two ice houses held the year’s supply. Each day, ice had to be hauled into the shop to fill the ice box. The Bennett’s didn’t have that problem in the winter. The butcher shop was so cold the meat froze overnight, and stayed frozen all day.
All the Bennett’s, right from that first James E. who started the business in the 1800’s possessed a wonderful sense of humor. James’ grandson Bill, remembers a woman coming into the store for a quarter’s worth of cooked ham. It was a blistering hot day. Bill’s grandfather James looked her square in the eye and said, “Hell, lady I wouldn’t open the fridge door for a quarter on a day like this.” Apparently, the ice would melt as quick as you would look at it, and Bill says if his father was going to open the ice box door, it was going to be worth his while.
James E. Bennett built three houses in the Flora Street area. One of them is occupied by his grandson Bill and his wife Lois. Behind the house were stables where up to five horses were housed. They were used as delivery horses for the meat market, and they knew the routes as well as the men who drove them. One old horse, the story goes was so familiar with the routine of the business that when Findlay’s Foundry whistle blew at 12 noon, the horse headed for Flora Street with or without the driver. “You better be on that cart when the whistle went, or the horse went home without you”, was the saying of the day. In the morning a delivery man went door to door picking up order for meat. There were no telephones, and this was the way the business ran. The lady ordered from the delivery man, he rushed back to the store, filled the order and rushed back out to deliver it so she could cook it for the noon meal.
Ledgers of the day reflected the simple way of life and how business was carried on. Some entries carried only the first name of the customer, or it might simply state the last name and beside it how much was owed. It could read “Bells…12 cents”. The amounts were small, and when the account was paid, there was no receipt given. A simple pencil line through the entry showed the debt was cleared.
There was co-operation between the shops too. Sometimes a ‘debtor’ would leave a shop in a huff…invariably it was over a bill. Bill says, “someone would rush over to the other butcher shops and say Mrs. So and So left us and she owes .40 cents.
Well, he’d send the message back…’she won’t get a cent of credit from us until she pays the .40 cents.’ That’s how business was done in those days.”
As stated in a previous story, much business was carried on in a reciprocal manner. Bennett’s had agreements with at least two other merchants in town. Cameron’s blacksmith kept their horse shod, and Bennetts supplied their meat.
Once a month a tally was made to settle the difference. The same system worked with Nichols Mill. The mill supplied all the lumber Bennett’s needed, and the meat market filled the Nichols meat needs. Once a year, the two businesses would have a reckoning. The tallies were usually just a few dollars apart. They’d say, just forget it.
Wipe the slate clean and let’s start over again, Bill Says. After James died, his three sons took over the business. By the time the second world war broke out, Onnie was on his own as everyone who worked for him joined up, leaving no staff to run the store. Young Bill was taken out of school in Grade 11. He was to remain working alongside his father for more than 40 years.
Bill remembers the store he did chores in when he was just a little boy, long before he knew he would eventually be taken into the business. “There were meat counters all along the back. The floors were covered with sawdust. Barrels of pickles, herring and sauerkraut lined the walls, and we built a little booth for Dorothy Malloch. She was our cashier, and when you got your meat from the counter you took up a little slip of paper and paid Dorothy. Later Isobel Wylie and Ruth Ferguson joined the staff. A big stove sat in the centre of the floor, and boy did it got cold at night. And in the daytime, when the fire died down, we’d throw in a roll of wrapping paper if we ran out of wood. It was cheaper than wood, too. It didn’t give off much heat, but it kept burning all day long.”
The first electricity the store had was purchased from Art Burgess who built a small power plant east of the present Medical Centre on Lake Avenue. Burgess sold power to several industries and businesses before the town was hooked up to outside power. For the first time Bennett’s were to have electric refrigerators. It was perhaps the biggest improvement ever seen in the business.
As a young boy Bill always had a pony to the envy of all his friends. “But Dad had an ulterior motive in buying me a pony and cart. It was his way of initiating me into the business at an early age, because while everyone else was out playing, I was expected to use the pony and cart to deliver meat,” he says.
The business grew during the war. But the workload of looking after the rationing books was enormous. That job had to be done when the store was closed and the place was quiet. There was never enough butter and bacon to go around, and it was a “first come, first served system.”
Prices went up during the 40’s. They were a far cry from what they were in the early days of James E. Bennett, according to early ledgers. Two pounds of beef sold for .14 cents; two and a half pounds of steak for .23 cents, and pork chops and sausages for .12 cents a pound.
As the seventies came to a close, the Bennett’s Meat Market was approaching almost 100 years of continuous operation. Onnie was ready to call it quits. And so was Bill. The business was sold in 1978 ending an era unmatched by any other retail business in the town’s history.
James E. Bennett had established a reputation for honesty and service early in the game. It was carried on for three generations. The businessman left his mark politically as well. Like almost every other merchant he took his turn in municipal politics, holding the office of mayor from 1904-06. He set a pattern for what he expected the business to be…a service industry that met the needs of the town honestly. He probably expected his sons, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to carry on as long as they were able to do so, and in the same fashion. Had he lived, he would not have been disappointed.
Today, the old stone building still serves as a meat market, as Danny Joly continues to meet the same high standards set by that original butcher more than 100 years ago. James E. Bennett would be pleased.
Note: Since the printing or this article in 1987, unfortunately the meat market closed that was located in the old Bennett’s Meat Market. The building at the corner of Bridge and bell Street now houses the Hing Wah Restauant.
Glory Days of Carleton Place–Mike Kean
Memories of Ruth Ferguson
As the World Turns in Carleton Place — Soap and Ground Beef
Glory Days in Carleton Place— Jan McCarten Sansom
Where’s the Beef in Carleton Place?
Name That Carleton Place Butcher? FOUND!
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.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (US
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 1– Canadian Tire to The Moose
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 2- Milano Pizza to Milady Dress Shop
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 3- St. Andrew’s to Central School
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 4- Leslie’s China Shop to Rubino’s/Giant Tiger
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 5-The Little White House to the Roxy
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 6-The Eating Place to the Post Office
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 7 –Scotia Bank to the New York Cafe
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 8–Olympia Restaurant to McNeely’s–
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 9–Flint’s to the Blue Spot
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 11
Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 12