Tag Archives: deportment classes

Mary Cook’s Deportment Classes for Young Ladies in Carleton Place


I wrote about a fashion show organized by Mary Cook in the 60’s at the Carleton Place Town Hall. Mary Cook also had deportment classes and Janice Tennant Campbell sent me this picture from the 60’s.


Were the young Ladies in Carleton Place this bad?

Until the 1960’s educational institutions incorporated social graces as a crucial aspect of a well-rounded curriculum, and finishing schools specialized in etiquette, deportment and proper manners at the table. Private deportment classes were run locally by Mary Cook. They were taught how to sit, how to speak, how to dress, how to wear their hair, how to entertain, how to be a house guest, how to eat correctly and how to just generally be a polite person in society.

Comments: Dawn Jones— When i was a young girl in 4-H club, Mary paid a visit to one of the weekly meetings and taught us the finer points of etiquette.

Karen Blackburn Chenier- My mother signed me up for “charm school” with Mary in grade nine.Classes were held upstairs of the Cooks store on Bridge St every Tues night.Important topics such as hygiene,,silverware placement ,etc. were discussed . As a self conscious 14 year old i was mortified that anyone would know I was attending and after being dropped off would hide in the doorway.Graduation included a trip to TO on the train for a 1 night stay and a visit to the taping of Front Page Challenge where I remember Pierre Berton trying to peek down Adrienne Clarkson’s neckline.All in all a memorable time and i still proudly sign my name Karen Blackburn Chenier CSG {Charm School Graduate}


Carleton Place Mod Fashion Show 1960’s

Buy 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