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Investigating the Basement of the Carleton Place Canadian – If These Walls Could Talk

This was a story written by Jennifer Fenwick Irwin. She is the curator of our local Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum. The title of her story was “If These Walls Could Talk” and she has a blog page called Jenny on Argyle and it is so worth reading.

jenny on argyle
Just day to day goings on in an old house in an old town…
If these walls could talk

The Carleton Place Canadian began publishing in 1876. That’s just 9 years after Confederation. When I moved here it was a weekly – the only way to find out what was happening in town.
The Canadian has been bought up by a newspaper conglomerate and the office is closing down. I don’t know exactly when the newspaper first moved to this location on Bridge Street, but I believe it was in the early 1920’s. A long time ago.
The museum I work at was allowed to explore the basement and take anything relevant for our collection. My kind of work day! We got some great items but the greatest artifact was the building itself.
Down to the basement we went.

The plaster walls on either side of the stairway are covered with names of former employees, along with the dates they started work.

Some people preferred to carve their names for posterity!
The Findlay Foundry operated in Carleton Place from 1860 to 1974, producing cast iron stoves, furnaces and cookware. Have a look at this beautiful furnace – a Findlay’s 205!

Naturally, people have signed the furnace!

There were lots of other neat finds like these original windows that would have been at sidewalk level outside. They’ve been covered up outside by siding and inside by a window seat.
Looking up in the basement you can see that the floor boards were laid on a diagonal…..
Here’s some old issues of The Canadian (1934) used to stuff the cracks….
It’s sad that the paper’s days at this office are over, but it seems the building will retain it’s memory as best it can!

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