Tag Archives: carelton-place

The Carleton Place Halloween Parade 1958 –Lorraine Nephin

The Carleton Place Halloween Parade 1958 –Lorraine Nephin



I  found an old 60 year old photo of a Halloween parade that I was in. We marched down the main street and ended up at the old arena where the library now is. There was a contest for the best costume and I was one of the winners. My mom, ( Evelyn Sadler), made my entire costume out of Carleton Place Canadian newspapers, I am not sure who the other people in the photo are. Lorraine Nephin



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 02 Nov 1956, Fri,
  3. Page 32




Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 15 Oct 1982, Fri,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 3




Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 02 Nov 1987, Mon,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 29



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 25 Oct 1988, Tue,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 58



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 27 Oct 2007, Sat,
  3. Page 123
  4. 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.
    1. relatedreading

    Last Night I Saw Someone I Loved at the Halloween Parade

    I want a Zombie on My Jeans

To the Vandal That Tore Down my SLOW DOWN Sign



Thank you so much for vandalizing the Slow Down sign in front of my home. I obviously have no way of knowing who tore it down, and if it wasn’t for my neighbour Kim coming home from work at the hospital, it wouldn’t be standing up anymore. Since 53 Colours put it in professionally, us womenfolk had a heck of a time getting it back in. Her husband has volunteered to put it back in tonight. Okay, let’s be honest- she volunteered him.

I am sure some of you say it’s okay. Everything is okay. But it is not okay. Like a band-aid that does nothing but cover the wound, the words, “It’s okay” don’t magically make it right. Just like cars speeding up and down our streets and a pet getting badly hurt this week–it’s not okay.

We all understand that who ever did this was in the wrong, but I feel the need to personally tell that person a few things. The fact you do not care about your town and the people who live here is exactly what you conveyed with your bad decision.

The next time you think about vandalizing that sign- think about how fast someone is driving through our neighbourhood streets. Think about families and fathers and mothers, and children and sons, and daughters and friends and random acquaintances that would be devastated by the loss of one of their own if someone got hit.

Maybe you made one bad choice in the middle of a lifetime of great choices pulling that sign out today. But, I hope no one in your family has to experience the unthinkable, the unmentionable, that a pet or sister or brother in your family gets hit by a speeding car in Carleton Place.

So, to the vandal that destroyed my sign: no, it’s not okay. Of course my sign won’t make cars slow down on the streets of Carleton Place–but it might go a small way to get people to think.

Let’s get those signs up!

What Happens if the Kings and Queens of the Furrow Disappear? The Lanark County Plowing Match


This week’s top ten viral video on YouTube is I’m Farming and I Grow It which is a take-off on LMFAO’s song I’m Sexy and I Know it. It reminded me of a post I did last summer about farmers and how they seem to fall by the wayside these days.

Once upon a time farms were founded and generations carried on the task of sowing the fields and milking the cows. No one ever questioned what they were going to do after graduation and many of my friends went to MacDonald Agriculture College in Quebec or Guelph in Ontario. They studied hard and resumed work on the farm when they completed their education to continue family traditions for their children.

Running a farm in today’s agricultural market is now very difficult; to make a profit you have to operate on a massive scale. That has caused a lot of young people to throw up their hands and walk away from the family farming business. Agriculture college enrollment has dropped 75% and there are more people getting out of farming than going into it.

The average age of todays farmers is 55 years old and more than a quarter of all farmers, are 65 years or older. There are so many costs now to produce a crop that by the time they have dealt with the elements and other issues there is just too small a profit for the effort involved. Farming is hard work, and let’s face it there are easier ways to make a living. How do you compete with bigger or commercial farms these days? Credit problems and over the top production costs have literally taken the family out of the farm.

Some farmers have gotten creative – selling at farmer’s markets and the promotional term “buy produce locally” has helped the cause. In Lanark County, Ontario we have “EcoPerth” that promotes local farm sales in and around the County. Local Farmers Markets are promoted as well has restaurants, retailers and bakeries that all use the county’s local produce. It’s good for the environment, our food line stays secure and keeps the money in the local economy.

But when I talked to some of the younger generation at The Lanark County Plowing Match on Saturday most said they had a hard time finding a bank willing to lend them the money to improve their family’s farms. I was shocked to know that young farmers now use GPS and are involved in social networking sites to remain competitive. These are a new breed of farmers that care about the environment and now some belong to the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan. “Through the EFP local workshop process, farmers will highlight their farm’s environmental strengths, identify areas of environmental concern, and set realistic action plans with time tables to improve environmental conditions. Environmental cost-share programs are available to assist in implementing projects.”


So why should we care about all of this? Why should you read some boring text about farms and the lack of young farmers? Because this is the base of our countries and without secure food grown by farmers we could be in a deep mess some day. As much as I would like to believe it; supermarket produce is definitely not harvested by the Keebler Elves.  It is grown by people that care about what they do and they are attempting to draw the food culture into a new direction. The 4-H Club is also doing a great job inspiring youth to stay in the business of farming.  They offer Agriculture Scholarships and a lot of other programs to encourage the farmers of tomorrow.

I met a wonderful young lady named Heather Ferrier on Saturday and she was the Queen of the Furrow at the Lanark Plowing Match. I bet some of you have a grin on your face and think that it sounds pretty silly. Well not only is she Queen of the Furrow, she has a great interest in what goes on in agriculture. She speaks to groups about farming, takes agriculture classes at Guelph University and works part time jobs involved in making farming a better occupation. In just a few minutes I knew that Heather was not just another pretty face with a crown and Lanark County should be proud to have her as their representative.

A furrow is a long narrow trench in the ground made by a plow for planting seeds. Young farmers are our seeds of tomorrow and we should do nothing but encourage them. Buy local to help celebrate the people that grow our food, as they are the soul of our lands and we cannot afford to lose future generations. After all- we are what we eat!


      Heather Ferrier- Lanark County, Ontario’s Queen of the Furrow 2012













One day it’s John Deere Toys.

      The next day it’s real life!


The Day That Storyland Died


My sons Perry and Schuyleur Seccaspina at Storyland

Once upon a time when songs of The Cure and Skid Row filled the air, two small boys loved to go to Storyland, which was situated right dab in the middle of the “Frew.” The small park featured a tiny mini-golf course, a small water park, live performers, playgrounds, small rides, and staff dressed as fairy tale characters. Oh how the children loved Storyland!

Durk and Bonnie Heyda, who thought life itself was a wonderful fairy tale were unable to have children. Instead, they chose to build story scenes in 1966 to amuse hikers on their way to the Champlain Lookout located at the rear of their property.

In 1973 Durk Heyda suffered a heart attack and control was handed to family friend John Berkhout. Berkhout continued the parks growth throughout the 1980s, adding mini golf, paddle boats and many additional story scenes, some including moving mechanical scenes. Sadly throughout the years the park lost its magic as children today are more interested in theme parks than they are in fairy tales.

If you see the magic in a fairy tale, you can face the future, but Ottawa businessman Todd Mattila-Hartman and his company, Great North Parks only managed to keep it for 3 years and no longer was Storyland protected by the cherished fairy tale.

It was a rainy day last Saturday when Storyland was about to lose its magic stories one by one. Tears fell from the sky as peace and happiness in Storyland can only exist in perfect conditions.  I begin to take photos and my son sends a text to the universe.

“5 mins in… This is already getting embarrassing. No wonder I don’t take her places more often!”

The auctioneer sold things quickly and my son refused to use his umbrella under the torrential rain. Noticing as a mother does that water was running down his neck, I immediately assumed the role of P. Diddy’s former assistant  Fonzworth Bently who carried a umbrella constantly over Diddy’s head. Similar to living in a fairy tale world, Bently now owns his own umbrella line. Would I have the same reward? Or would I suffer the usual universal fate?

As I approach the fairy tale gate I think of  the alluring fairies, the hungry dragons and, the savage knights in their shining armour. Somewhere, sometime, they all have been real under the blankets of my childhood.

Rapunzel tells me she knows “who is who” in the park today. The country folk are wearing rain coats, camouflage, and Duck Dynasty gear, while the the city folks are wearing shorts, short sleeves, and toting steaming cups of Starbucks.

Fairy tales should be respected and so should fashion. I eye Irene Boland from Arizona in a fabulous mock 80’s cheetah coat while she respectfully gives my “French Lieutenant Woman” coat the up and down. Strangers that have barely met speak like old friends about fashion and not about Storyland.

Some can’t seem to find their story and take cover where ever their lit cigarette finds home.

Once this dragon made small children shiver– now  his stories still refuse to die as people take photos and dream of the fire that once spewed from his mouth. Dragons always have interesting personalities and expensive dental work.

The fairy tale is not the conclusion, but the doorway to a more brilliant reality. Did The Old Woman that lived in this shoe really have that many children? Or is this the summer home of Octomom?

Fairy stories are so potent, they refuse to die, and so does the rain that keeps pounding down. No one seems to care–they are here for the bargains.

Humpty Dumpty seems angry and tells everyone, “I ate him up and didn’t let go until I had to come up for air.” Maybe that is why Humpty sold for $4000 as it takes a special person to bring a guy like that home. Constance Bay is never going to be the same!

Do people choose art that inspires them even in a fairy tale world? Obviously, as the person that bought this is turning it into a doghouse.

The stairs to the top of Storyland were evil and odious and by stair 6 my gluten tendon popped once again and I realize we are in this fairyland on sufferance — or just plain suffering.

I feast my eyes standing at the Champlain Lookout and wonder silently how I am going to get back down. The wild vision of the fairy world does not entertain me as my back upper leg throbs in pain as I nearly fall on my derriere slipping on the wet ground. What came out of my mouth at that point in time could be heard for miles throughout the Ottawa Valley below.

I am among the natives now as no matter how I look at it this house it is still crooked. Is it my dollar-store glasses?

Truly, there is magic in fairy tales and slides you played on as a child. The son exclaims in delight that his purchase was made in Paris. I grin and ask him if that might be Paris, Ontario. He gives me the look.



I have strayed into a fairy tale world of characters where anything can happen. Who knows what these three have been up to while retired in the barn. I watch Once Upon a Time–I know what goes on!

Is the word really “fairy tale” and are we just the guardians?  You must admit they both have lovely smiles.

May you never grow too old to believe in magic and fairy tales. I felt the cards come alive–and searched for my friend from Arizona so we could compare notes on their very trendy attire. My son says he will not buy them as they are in rough shape. I beg your pardon–I too am in rough shape these days. Not that there is anything wrong with it!

Some mothers may be inquisitive and accidentally break the flap of the Magic Mushroom. I suddenly hear loud voices telling me if I break it– it’s sold. I know if I turn around my son is shaking his head and going to mention I should call this blog : “How My Mother Trashed Storyland!’

There are signs from former staff everywhere and they seem to all say,’We did what we could!

“I believe that our lives, just like fairy tales – the stories that have been written by us humans, through our own experiences of living – will always have a Hero and a Heroine, a Fairy Godmother and a Wicked Witch.”
― Lucinda Riley, The Girl on the Cliff

No matter how old we are we still need to believe in fairy tales, and sadly Storyland is no more. May it forever rest in peace.


The 12-foot high fiberglass rabbit that greeted visitors at the front gate was sold to one of the little boys in the first picture–my oldest son.

The rabbit will be moving to Carleton Place so no one will ever forget Storyland. It will proudly reside (insured, lit and cemented down)  in front of Vittorio Automotive  (Vegas odds are looking at Spring:) because my son still believes in magic–like his Mother. Did I mention he believes in fashion too? Ahh, chip off the old block.

It is now being turned into Essentials Luxury Tented Camp and Spa by Nikki Laframboise.Read all about it here.

My Food Love Affair with Dave Nichols – Zoomer



My Food Love Affair with Dave Nichols – Zoomer.