Tag Archives: carleotn place and beckwith heritage museum

Throw the Whole Family in Jail!



Village of Lanark -Perth Remembered


1889 Almonte Gazette

On Thursday morning Miss “Mag” Robinson at whose house in Lanark the lamentable tragedy occurred on Exhibition Day, was brought to town by the Lanark authorities along with six of her children and all were lodged in gaol to put in six month’s confinement under the vagrancy act.  The unfortunate family made quite a show in gaol.


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Carleton Place Prison facts:

Erected in 1872, the now Victoria Public School served the community of Carleton Place as the Town Hall and lock up until 1879, and as Victoria School  for 90 years until 1969.

Cliff Bennett told the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum that his great uncle Harris Bennett was one of the first students to attend the school after it was a town hall. He remembered that the “town lock up” was still in the basement and the local police had to bring prisoners through the front door and hallway, past the school rooms to get to the jail. Some, he admitted, were quite drunk.


Where was the Community Well in Carleton Place?


By the middle of the 1870’s, it was expected that a fashionable home in Carleton Place would have running water and an indoor bathroom.  This was generally accomplished by placing a large water tank in the attic which was usually lead lined — one reason the average life span was shorter back then. One water pipe usually ran down to a boiler in the kitchen, where it could be heated.  Victorian bathrooms were virtually always located on the second floor and near the back of the house.  This served an esthetic purpose — Victorians definitely believed that bathrooms should be neither seen nor heard — and also placed the bathroom so that water pressure from the attic could conveniently supply the bathtub by pushing hot water up from the kitchen boiler.  The flush toilets of the era also worked off gravity, utilizing flush compartments that were placed as high as eight feet above the toilet, and activated by a long pull chain.

How did they fill the attic water tank in the first place?  Well, with a little luck, from rain water.  Gutters were used to funnel rain water into the tank (which were built to hold as much as 600 gallons), and if the weather failed, the well-to-do could always depend upon wells and servants with buckets or hand pumps. Then there were the cisterns that are in our homes that I wrote about.



So it has been documented in a few places that there was a community well for years in Carleton Place on Queen Street. Jennifer Fenwick Irwin and I asked Duncan Rogers but he had no idea. So this week I went searching. I  initially thought it was at the bottom of Albert Street between Princess and Queen Street but then I drove up to the top by Coleman Street and I seriously think they were here as they were close to the C.P.R train station. Or are they something else? Thoughts?

well3Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place