Findlays Limited of Carleton Place gave a presentation dinner to employees with over twenty-five years’ service, at Rideau Ferry Inn on Friday evening, Sept. 17th. Seventy-five employees or former employees sat down to dinner.
Among those honored on this occasion was Mr. Stanley D. James of Almonte who has rounded out 36 years in the Company’s service.
The following employees, all with thirty-five or more years’ service, were given suitably engraved gold watches: Edward R. Gibson, Joseph Poynter, Jam es E. Crawford, Alvin E. Baird, Stanley D. James, J. Kenneth Simpson, Carns R. Lever, Earl L. Fleming, Richard C. Jelly, J. Nairn Findlay, James H. Cavers, Williaifi J. Fraser, Miss M. McPherson and Miss E. Viola Cummings. The two ladies did not attend the dinner, but were given wrist watches.
The following thirty-five employees with more than twenty-five years’ service received suitably engraved silver-plated trays: C. Herman Miller, Clarence A. Waugh, Bryan S. Drader, C. Leslie Mullins, C. Roy Cooke, John F. Stevens, William G. Lewis, J. Aylwin McAllister, C. Herbert Simpson, W. Alvin. Doe, Silas Davidson, George L. Bulloch, Robert H. Donahue, D. Alwyn Prime, Ernest Lay, Charles E. Johnston, Harry] J. Brebner, J. H enry McKittrick, Robert A. McDaniel, Keith C. MacNabb, Kenneth B. Howard, G. Ernest Giles, Ernest A. Buffam, William C. Cummings, John McDiarmid, Traverse E. Coates, Harold H. McaFdden, Russell E. Simpson, H arry P. Baird, D. Hamilton Findlay, George E. Findlay, John A. MacGregor, William K. White, R. Gordon: Drummond, Edward T. Bittle.
After the dinner, the recipients were given an opportunity to speak and many interesting anecdotes of the past were brought to life again. This is the second such presentation dinner. A similar one was held in 1949 at which 25 watches and 48 trays were presented.
It’s Findlay Friday yet again… and here we have one of the many photographs loaned to the Museum by Bill and Betty-Anne Findlay! This Findlay Family photograph depicts William Findlay (Bill’s grandfather and son of the Findlay Foundry founder, David Findlay) along with his wife and four children.
Seated in the front is Mr. William Findlay, his wife, Mrs Annie Shaw Cram Findlay, and their youngest daughter, Rosamund. Standing behind them are their three oldest children, William Fraser (Bill’s father), David Douglas, and Dorothy.
This photograph was taken in 1916, the day before David Douglas left for the war.
The first new mechanized gray iron foundry to be built in Eastern Ontario is nearing completion on the outskirts, of Carleton Place. Construction was commenced six months ago and completion is expected within the next four or five weeks. Mr. Donald F. Reynolds, President and General Manager of Findlay Foundry Limited, said today that he expects that Ontario Hydro will install power lines to the new plant this week which will perm it equipm ent testing and tryout during the next few weeks.
The new electric induction melting furnace is now in place as well as elaborate mechanized sand handling and air pollution control equipment. The new plant is expected to be the largest user of electrical power in this area. Findlay Foundry Limited, a new Company organized last year, and in no way related to Findlay’s Limited, took over the operation of the old High Street foundry when Findlays Limited announced in July 1969 that it was discontinuing its unprofitable foundry business in line with corporate policy of its parent company.
The parent company had also closed another foundry it owned at Montmagny. Quebec. Mr. Reynolds stated that most old style manual foundries using cupola and other melt systems are losing money and it it is inevitable that most of these will likely close down because of this factor and the high cost of pollution control equipment that would be required to comply with Ontario’s new pollution control laws that go into effect later this fall. The modern methods of production will mean that there will be less manual work involved, and obviously this is a much more attractive proposition to our type of industry.
There will be a closer control of the metal analysis, and the working conditions are far more acceptable with this method of melting as opposed to the cupola. A short period of time will be needed to allow people to become acquainted with the machinery, but this should not take too long; the technicalities of remain the same regardless of the method employed. The long service employee from the old foundry should greatly appreciate the vastly improved working conditions, and it is hoped that as the company matures, it will be in a position to improve still further with the working facilities and keep “in step” with progress.
Mr. Reynolds said that the new plant will likely be operated on a two shift basis almost from the date operations there are commenced and the total number of employees at the new plant will be about the same a* at the old plant. “We are pleased,” Mr. Reynolds stated, “that we managed to maintain employment of the foundry staff at Carleton Place during the past year despite the profitability factor, because we are convinced that over the long run the community, our employees and the shareholders will benefit from the actions we have taken.”
A Carleton Place company that specialized in customizing fire trucks and other emergency vehicles shut down November 11, leaving two dozen employees locked out and confused.
A notice on the front door claims that Eastway911 did not pay its $12,000 rent this month — and states the Ottawa landlord, Kilkee Corporation, wants $500,000 in damages and penalties.
The statement said the company is considering how to continue to operate the business in what it describes as a “challenging and disappointing situation.”
“Eastway911 Emergency Vehicles Ltd. has paid municipal taxes and remains ready, willing, and able to pay November rent. It has advised Kilkee Corp. of this fact,” the statement added.
Cornwall Freightliner, a trucking parts and service company in Cornwall, is one business that’s now looking at its options after the sudden closure.
Freightliner frames are part of two new trucks at Eastway911, and two more frames are headed there now, said sales associate Karl Paschek.
“So, a total of four of them for half a million dollars,” said Paschek.
Kilkee Corporation refused to comment on the record.
Bill LemayI remember riding my bike though the old building
Sheila MueckMy grandparents lived on the right in a duplex beside sadlers
Mary PasiekaQuestion: was that the only boathouse (on the right), or were there more further along?
David FlintI was told the concrete slabs are very thick and obviously expensive to remove and there was another story about the need for a sewage pump…maybe just rumours from the 1970’s.
David FlintWe lived right across the river from it….the lunch whistle was a familiar sound
Janet Roffey BustardDavid Flint I grew up in Napanee, Gibbard furniture was a major employer, much the same as Findlays. When they closed and sold the factory about 10 years ago the property was purchased by a developer and is in the process of being made into condos by the river. It would be great if something like that could happen here. It would take major $$ but it is such a lovely piece of property.
Marlene SpringerYes, I lived in the area in the 60’s and I hear the ground probably is and has to be cleaned before building which is very costly, like here in Perth on the Silversmiths site. Once that’s done they can build. I hope it’s suitable for the town next to the river within the core area.
Steven FlintMy Grandparents were right across the river. Used to ride my bike on the concrete slabs.
Sherene Baird FlintI use to live right beside Findlay Foundry’s lot. There were always speculation on what would be built there but supposedly the cement slabs were too deep to remove so nothing was done!
My Mary Cook
Builder of Findlay stoves dies at 86 By Mary Cook Citizen correspondent CARLETON PLACE –
William Fraser Findlay, one of the last surviving grandsons of the Scottish immigrant who built the world-famous Findlay Oval stove, died here Friday at the age of 86. An amateur historian and conservationist who believed people should be allowed to work as long as they are able to, Findlay died following a three-month illness. The funeral was held Sunday in Zion-Memorial United Church, where he was a life-long member.
With Findlay’s death goes a vast knowledge of Canada’s early stove industry. Once the centrepiece of every Canadian farm kitchen, the Findlay stove was banished to junk yards during the 1940s but enjoyed a renaissance in the 70s and ’80s as North Americans rediscovered the charm and efficiency of wood-fired stoves. The original Findlay stoves sold for $40. Restored, they now fetch $2,000 to $3,000 at auctions. Findlay’s grandfather, David Findlay, started Findlay’s Foundry in 1860 in Carleton Place and it continued as a family operation for more than a century.
A graduate in mechanical engineering from Montreal’s McGill University, Findlay was vice-president of manufacturing when the foundry was sold in 1965. The block-long building on High Street was torn down a few years ago. Findlay spent his entire working life in the business and saw the Findlay Oval and Forest Beauty gain prominence all over the world. He maintained a close relation ship with the hundreds of foundry employees and often said no one should be forced to retire just because he had reached the “mythical retirement age of 65.” When the foundry was sold, many Findlay employees were in their seventies, and some even in their eighties. The family-owned business had to be sold, Findlay said at the time, because it could no longer compete in the market place. An avid bird watcher, Findlay spent much of his life promoting conservation. He was considered one of the community’s most knowledgeable historians and could recall facts and figures of many years ago. He had only to be told a serial number on a Findlay appliance and could tell exactly when the product was made and who was working in the moulding shop at the time.
Findlay was a life-long member of the Mississippi Golf Club and the Carleton Place Curling Club. As a young man he was considered one of the area’s best all-round athletes. He was a paddler with Canada’s oldest canoe club here, played hockey, and was an outstanding inter-collegiate swimmer. Findlay is survived by his wife, Anna Rose, sons William of Carleton Place and Peter of Ottawa, daughters Catherine (wife of former cabinet minister and Conservative MP John Fraser) of Ottawa and Vancouver, and Jeanie (Mrs. Rene’ Gauthier) of Clarksburg. There are also 10 grandchildren. A sister, Rosamond Gillies, lives in Braeside.
Closure to By Brad Evenson Citizen staff writer CARLETON PLACE –
The first Findlay stove was poured, flue and firebox, into a casting mould by David Findlay 117 years ago, here along the banks of the Mississippi River. The last of the ornate cast-iron stoves, which still heat thousands of kitchens across Canada, may be poured this week as Findlay Foundry Ltd. shuts off its furnaces amid labor-management discord. The foundry is to close Friday, leaving 56 workers without jobs. Company president Bob Ivey, who was to meet with union members Tuesday to seek ways to save the plant, cancelled the meeting be cause of other appointments. Ivey says he cannot meet with employees before Thursday, a day before the planned closure. “We thought we would be able to turn the company around, but we haven’t,” said Ivey, who blames inefficiency for the plant’s troubles.
In April, after nine employees were laid off, union spokesman Milton Dennie admitted production was being hindered by disgruntled employees slacking off. The grey iron foundry makes cast iron mouldings for a wide range of companies, including a firm that markets the Findlay wood stoves. The closing of the foundry will end a legacy that began with $30 and some Scottish elbow grease in 1856.
David Findlay emigrated to Carleton Place from Paisley, Scotland, determined to make his fortune and establish a clan in a new country. Findlay eventually passed on a flourishing trade to his eight Canadian-born children. “Like most Scottish people, they were religious Presbyterian to the backbone,” says Norah Findlay, 82.
The Findlays made everything from plough tips to handrails for church pews, but the firm’s mainstay was its wood-burning stoves. In the pre-assembly line days of the late 1800s, each stove part was cast separately by moulders. The burly workers toted 60-pound ladles of red-hot iron all day. The molten metal was poured into a wood box of casting sand, with the center hollowed out.
Each stove has more than a dozen separate parts, and a good day’s work produced six stoves. Findlay’s. sons, David Jr. and William, took over the foundry in 1889 and expanded the company’s line of stoves to include dozens of new designs, ranging from potbellied chambers to elegant, nickel-plated works of art. They also copied other companies’ designs shamelessly. “If someone came up with something that was selling well, the others would come up with something almost exactly the same,” says Bill Findlay, 56, great-grandson of David Sr.
By the time Bill Findlay, an engineer, came along, the company was making electrical stoves and other appliances such as refrigerators. However, with a large rural population without electricity, demand for the wood stoves continued. “They made a first-class stove,” says farmer Aloise Bourassa, whose father bought a Findlay Oval stove in 1921. “Every meal I ever ate was cooked on that Oval. “And I don’t see why my boy’s kids won’t be doing the same.”
By 1960, Findlay Ltd. was one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of heating and cooking appliances with annual sales near $4 million and coast-to-coast distribution. Five years later, the company’s shareholders voted to sell out to the Montreal-based conglomerate, Corpex. But Corpex was only interested in the Findlay Ltd. assembly-line factory, and not the old-fashioned foundry nearby that still churned out wood stoves. So a group of employees got together and bought the iron foundry.
In 1969, the old foundry was torn down and a new one built in a nearby industrial park. During the energy crisis in 1973, wood stoves made a comeback. But later, business fell off and the company changed hands several times. It is now owned by a group of Toronto businessmen. “I don’t even think there are any Findlays involved with the foundry any more,” says Bill Findlay, who quit the foundry in 1970. Soon, all that may remain of the Findlay legacy in Carleton Place may be the display in the Carleton Place Museum here.
This is the THIRD house we as a community have put information together about a building. This the 1000 + th time we as a community have put local history together. We have close to 5,500 blogs about our area thanks to all of you. I bow my head in thanks– Linda
David Findlay House, 49 High Street
In 1862, David Findlay started the Findlay foundry as a one-man business. Eventually serving, at times, an international market, it represented one of Lanark County’s industrial success stories during the nearly 125 years it was managed by four generations of the Findlay family.
David Findlay, a moulder, of Paisley, Scotland, emigrated to Canada and settled in Perth, in 1858. Finding that Perth had little work to offer in his trade, he moved to Carleton Place and started a small foundry in an old log barn with only $30 in his pocket. Findlay had to make most of his own equipment, including a stone-built cupola for smelting iron and a cupola blower.
The latter was operated by teams of horses borrowed from neighbouring farmers, and hitched to a merry-go-round contraption. In 1876, Findlay began the manufacture of stoves. They were an immediate success, as the Carleton Place Herald stated in an editorial in 1879: “Since the cold mornings have set in we have given Mr. Findlay’s new stove a trial. With one or two sticks of hardwood, it will keep up a moderate heat all night, and can be used for either coal or wood.” See Heritage Designation here CLICK
Greg Nephin–-I am putting together a timeline of the property. Was in the Findlay family for 98 years, Gamblin’s have owned it 43 years! The photographer forgot to get a pic of the findlay furnace in basement but Chantal will take one next time she is at property.
Joann Voyce Before your Aunt married Jim, Grant Patterson lived there. I started and finished school with David Patterson as I lived back then on Thomas and Charlotte St right next to Nairn Findlay
Llew Lloyd That particular house was a guest house for visitors who did business with the foundry. “The Findlay guest house”. I was in that house many times when Rick Heddleston lived there with his aunt.
Jenn Nolan I heard ‘a rumour’ that there was an underground tunnel from this house to the factory
David Robertson I don’t think a tunnel ever connected the house to the factory..
Greg Nephin– Chantal asked the owner and he said no– “Greg wonders if it could be under the stove”.
Bill Brunton I did some work on that House recently. It is immaculate inside and out. It’s an amazing place.
Megan Edmunds I went to see this house a couple days ago, they have an incredible original Findlay furnace in the basement! It’s huge!!
Joann Voyce I played euchre in the Nairn Findlay house for several years until the current lady of the house passed recently
Ben MacRaeMarlene Springer When did Lena Weir work for the Findlay’s? I know that Lena also worked for my Grandmother when she lived on High Street and that would have been during the 1970s.
Marlene SpringerBen MacRae That would be 1960s! My parents were friends of the Weir’s. The lived just out of town towards Perth around the curve on the right farm. They had a daughter, Marlene and Murray.
Joann Voyce I could not find the picture but I scanned the negative and come up with this.This was taken in front of the Findlay Guest House at 49 High Street in 1943. Nairn Findlays is hidden behind the railing but you can see the next home which at that time was the Gardiner home. (Gardner’s Transport Trucking Business)
Adding this photo-Unfortunately my ancestors are blocking some of the buildings–Voyce family and visitors from Scotland in the photo—but this is the 2 Findlay houses viewed from Thomas St Approx 1948. On the left the guest house and on the right, Nairn and Dorothy’s house Joann Voyce
Debby Curry Nairn Findlay was my great uncle married to Dorothy Heddleston. I visited their house many times, still remember the dark staircase that scared me as a kid, Would love to hear more
From Debby Curry—Hi Linda, my great aunt Dorothy and her husband Nairn Finlay, lived in a small house across the street from the Findlay’s big house. Their house had a walkout deck over the garage, if I recall correctly. I actually think it was kitty corner to the house. Apparently he contributed some pictures etc to the Carleton Place museum.
My great Uncle Nairn died when I was 12. As mentioned, I visited with them many times. My great aunt did not have any children and she was very lonely after Nairn died. She asked me to come and live with her. She promised me that if I did, I would be sole inheritance to her fortune , including her diamonds which she would take me up to her bedroom to look at. The scary staircase won and I backed out of going to live with her.
My older cousin Richard Heddleston did oblige, and he lived with Dorothy for several years and lived with great aunt Dorothy from around 1964 till 1970. He had told me before about the card games, and I remember him saying that aunt Dorothy had a bridge club, where many of the affluent ladies of Carleton Place met. I think they all belonged to the Rideau Club in Ottawa as well and the Crams were her friends.
Richard Heddleston — Richard called me this morning August 10th 2020, and we had a lovely chat. He told me that the house was a wedding gift to Mr. and Mrs. Nairn Findlay and it was yes, once a place to stay for the Findlay travelling salesmen. Before that when Nairn went to the Ottawa and Toronto Exhibitions, which were big deals in those days, he went to stay with Dorothy Findlay so she would not be alone. He eventually went to stay with there and even though he considers himself to be an Almonte boy he went to Carleton Place High School. When I asked him about the basement, if there had been a tunnel at some point, he said he had no idea as he never went into the basement. Dorothy Findlay was afraid of two things: thunder storms and basements, so it was out of the question. He spoke fondly of the Voyces, Doug Black, as his brother was his best friend and Bubba Boyce from the Moose.. and said he got his personality from his mother. He said: “Oh those McLaren sisters!!!” and laughed. It was wonderful to speak with him, and he is going to try to remember more things.
Richard just called me back and said he was reading an 18 page booklet done by Thomas Findlay of Extracts from Archives of Newspapers (Findlay info)and called me to say that he had read ” 1862—Joseph Pittard Wagon Shop 2 doors west of Guest House. So was it built earlier than 1870?”
In case anyone missed it at the opening of Carleton Junction
On June 2 1972 the last stove to be made at the Findlay plant rolled out and the Carleton Place factory doors closed forever and the Foundry whistle went silent.
Douglas Brown was quoted in the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum files that he and his friends learned to swear from the mouths of the Findlay Foundry workers they saw on their way to school. Sometimes their new-found words earned them a sampling from a communal bar of soap. It got so bad in the local schools that there was a basin with a bar of Sunlight Soap waiting for the offending parties at each school in town. Lew Lloyd left me a comment stating that Jerry Flynn of Carleton Place carried on the tradition of listening to the Findlay workers on his way to school. Llew’s exact words were:
“Jerry Flynn taught me how to swear in the old Victoria Public School. He walked by the foundry on his way to school. I did not!
Llew Lloyd said In the summer of 1968 Brian Ford and he worked the evening shift in the oil department . Cecil Robertson was the shop foreman . The next summer he went to see Cecil for a job , but he was full up .He told me that Jack Bittle was looking for help in the enamel shop . Just as he was leaving Cecil asked him if he had a pair of cowboy boots . When he answered yes , he said , ” wear them Jack likes tall people ” . That summer, thanks to Cecil’s advice and Ken Blackburn’s boots, he worked with another group of great guys at the Findlay Foundry .
Video either by Rob Probert or Robert McDonald LOL
Now–Let’s talk about that whistle
Marlene Springer— I remember this whistle well having lived on Moffat Street and hearing the noon and 5 o’clock whistle, the dog behind us use to howl at that whistle. When I started to walk across town to Caldwell School in 1967 I would walk past this old brick foundry which extended from Frank Moon’s little machine shop up to Bennett’s Chev Old’s garage and showroom for the new cars.
Cathy & Paul Dulmage- When I was little my Dad worked there and after I heard the whistle I would go up to the end of the sidewalk to meet him.
Karen Blackburn Chenier — She was always told by her Mom “Be home when the whistle goes” 5:00 was dinner time so you hopped on your bike and peddled like heck to get home to avoid the wrath of Doris Blackburn. No one wanted the wrath of Doris Blackburn.
Photo Robert McDonald
The morning , noon and 5 o’clock foundry whistle was a big part of those years Joan Stoddart said — If you missed the whistle, Stoddart’s hounds would let you know it had happened.
Photo Robert McDonald
Earl Devlin worked in the boiler room at Findlay’s as a teenager. His father Cecil actually ran the boiler room and was in charge of the factory whistles blowing at the correct times.
When the factory was being demolished, Cecil pulled two whistles out of the rubble and with Bill Findlay’s permission, took them home for safekeeping.
Cecil eventually gave the two steam whistles to his son Earl, who graciously donated them to our local museum in 1997. The smaller whistle has been installed here at Carleton Junction as a reminder of the days when our whole town ran on “Findlay’s time”.
Shane Wm Edwards sent me this photo and it has to do with Findlays and a fish story as he said. Anyone know what this is?
Bill RussellI’d like to hear Shane’s version of the story. I have one of these which we hand moulded from the original in the late seventies. The original belonged to my late uncle Terry Russell. There were a few that made the trip to the Perth scissors factory for a nickel finish. Glenda Mahoney may remember her father having one of these.
Glenda MahoneyI certainly do remember. We have Dad’s collection between the four of us. Thanks Bill Russell.
Photo Glenda Mahoney
So what was Shane’s story?
Shane was told that when men were being trained to work the “molds” that they had to make a metal fish. Before they were hired on the fish had to be up to standard and they were also bottle openers. I came across a small heavy fish Saturday and that was the story I was told. I wondered if anyone can verify it.
Greg Nephin– Not sure if this is a Findlay but looks familiar, was my grandfather’s who worked there
The house on High Street that is called one of the Findlay homes today was originally built by James Patterson who resided there. Before Mayor Patterson built the house James McDiarmid married Jane Morphy, daughter of William Morphy who was a son of the original Edmund. Their home was on High Street on the same lot where James Patterson built his home. They had two daughters, Mrs. McGuiness and Mrs. George Willis- also three sons, William, Duncan(Shake) and Robert. Robert is the one that gave this information to Mrs. F. C. McDiarmid who recorded it.
Other High Street Homes
Last night I was watching Clara’s Deadly Secret on W and I thought I recognized landmarks in the beginning and then at the end I was sure– so I went to Youtube and clicked on the movie–and sure enough it was the Findlay homes in Carleton Place– then I googled it and found the Millstone article.. no mention of the Findlay homes– but there is no doubt and Pinehurst in Almonte was used for the interior shots. http://millstonenews.com/2013/05/what-is-claras-deadly-secret.html
Jean Isabel Galbraith Findlay Home
Findlay Home on Joseph Street and High Street
A View Of The Residence Of A. Dulmage, Carleton Place . Where is this? This used to be the old Iveson–Peter Iveson home on Joseph and High Street–
Peter Iveson- My grandfather EH Ritchie bought it in 1920,my mother Agnes Iveson Inherited it in 1974,and we had to sell it after she died in 2003. You can see the barn behind,the front was a farm house built in 1875 which was gentrification at the turn of the 20th century,the back kitchen and outside kitchen with the maids room and bathroom and back stairs was added in 1910. It was called “the Willows” because of the willow trees which were removed as they conflicted with the town’s waterworks which were constructed during the Great War. The house sat on three lots and was surrounded by spacious grounds and flower gardens
1911 Postcard– Findlay home on High Street that was demolished in the 2000’s.
The home really wasn’t that old having been built in 1910. It was built of Newfoundland Stone and the few skids of stone that were supposed to be saved were tossed away like old shoes on McArthur Island according to Irma Willowby. The land remains empty and last night when I saw the postcard above I knew I had to do a timeline series so this never happens again. I swear if I see this happen again I will personally stand in front of the building to stop it– and that is a promise.
1920s– Photo Tom Edwards– the small fir trees in the front and the Mississippi River in the back. One verandah has been screened off
Linda Secccaspina Photo- Mid 1980s
Photo Judy Pallister 1990s — The place is a horror story and condemned.
Interior in its glory from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Interior being demolished- photo by Shane Wm. Edwards 2006