Photos of home being torn down: Shane Wm. Edwards
Black and White Photos-The Carleton and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Last Photo- Linda Seccaspina
With files written by Dumps Bradley-The Carleton and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Last week I sadly stared at the vacant lot next to the Stoneridge Manor. It was once a majestic Findlay stone home located on the south side of High Street. If you ask anyone, no one is really sure what year it came down. All I remember is one day it was there, and the next week it wasn’t. The demolition seemed to occur quite quickly. The home was once used as part of the manor, but it was noted the stairs were terrible, and it wasn’t feasible to carry the patients up and down.
Dumps Bradley wrote a few memories about the house, and it is on record at The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum if you are interested. Her parents, Anne and Frank Bradley, bought the house from the Findlays in 1954. The home really wasn’t that old having been built in 1910. It was built of Newfoundland Stone and the Bradleys personally renovated it themselves. Frank Bradley loved his front drive, and covered it with pristine white gravel. You didn’t dare let your vehicle leave ruts in it less you be scolded by Frank.
The verandas were not only lovely to look at, but Anne would put her children’s beds out there so they could spend summer nights looking at the stars. Her children also loved the kitchen, and they fondly remembered lunches with Anne reading stories to them while they ate. Their piano was mentioned as it took 5 years to tune it in Canada, due to the damp weather when it had originally resided in England.
Dumps Bradley said that her father was very proud of his 50 different bottles of whiskey that he kept in their bar that resembled an English pub. Anne and Frank stripped and sanded all the floors in that home, and even stripped the dark finish off the stair rails. There wasn’t one thing they did not improve because of how much they loved their home.
There were wonderful gardens complete with strawberries and raspberries and an asparagus bed that took years to flourish. All the garden gatherings were stored in the Honey House complete with root cellar.
It sounded like Utopia so what happened?
The house was sold to an order of Roman Catholic Christian brothers before it became the Manor. Dumps said they built a very “unattractive concrete block chapel” and later others built the flat “concrete bunker” of a nurses home in the 70’s. Older residents of Carleton Place will remember sledding on a hill behind the house between the Apple trees and playing hockey on the rink.
Dumps apologized for the way she felt, but she was bitter. The beautiful home she grew up in was desecrated. She said it should have never been allowed to happen as it was built by the biggest employer in the town- the Findlay Foundry.
Peter Bradley–The house was sold to the Christian Brothers organisation in 1961. they then added a stone chapel to the town side of the house which made it imbalanced and ugly. later on the Brothers sold it on and it was developed as a nursing home. this made the house unsalable as a residence and it was not suitable for the nursing home and it was left empty. The heating pipes froze and the house flooded from then on it was all downhill. With the modern concern for maintaining heritage in Canada it would have been a planning impossibility to develop within the curtilage of a listed building. A steep learning curve for preservation!
It had to be demolished through neglect. All the timber porches became rotten and were a danger. The central heating system was not drained when the house was unoccupied in the winter and froze. This was a gravity system with 2 inch steel pipes and twin boilers, the pipes split causing sever water damage internally. Anybody with pockets deep enough to restore the house would not want to look out over the flat roof of a nursing home fifteen feet away built on the lawn. Nowadays that could not happen as nothing can be built within the curtilage of a listed building. It is a sad story when viewed with the knowledge of hindsight. If planning had been refused for the care home the house may have still been standing. A big may!….
It was demolished because the then town council passed a planning application for an ugly nursing home on the front lawn, after that nobody would buy the house and it fell into disrepair. At the time there was great animosity against the Findley’s after the sale of the foundry to Moffat’s who then closed it down, a sort of retribution in which heritage was the looser.
Jayne Munro-Ouimet Linda, I worked there when the House and acres was known as 12 Acres Nursing Home. The property was owned by 2 people. The lady’s name was Doreen Harbour and the man I forget his last name was Gerry. We were told the new home was being built because there was structural issues with the foundation, maybe that is why the med cart would take a sudden role across the floor, if you parked it at the bottom of the long elegant red carpeted staircase. This couple built the current LCT building, we moved the residents from the Peden Home first and then those from the Ontario Hospital who were placed there because the hospital had closed. Then we moved those that did not require 24hour care. Dr. Haham who owned the house across the street, was the resident Doctor, and Dr White also lend a helping hand. The Ocean Wave Firefighters help with the moving of those bed ridden residence. Harry Hamilton and Mrs Fitzgerald were the two residence who lead the march to their new home and cut the opening ribbon. The opening day gala brought about 350 curious folks to hear the Rudle family musicians and the young lad from Carleton Place who was an Elvis Presley impersonator. Frank Gordon bought the home from Doreen and Gerry.
Photo- Linda Secccaspina
Edith Knowlton 1969
David Robertson that is 1969 i believe .. that is me in the pic with the old stone building that was used for a dressing room in the background
Here is a picture of the old Findley coach house before the nursing home was built. It did burn down unfortunately.
The house had been left abandoned for a number of years and someone told me the interior looked exactly like a horror film. Then, it was the rot that made the house suffer.
It has been said that the stone from the house was sold to Cohen and Cohen in Ottawa with 2 skids of said stone kept here. It seems it is “lost” somewhere on one of our town lots– sitting there in case we need it. Need it? Should there not be some sort of monument built from it, rather than let the stone sit there and waste away similar to the fate of that beloved home? I was told by the Manor management that they do not own the empty lot. A terrible waste of a one-time beautiful home.
This photo is from Judy Pallister.Thanks!
Update from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum: A demolition permit was issued to remove the Findlay house in September of 2005. No one is aware of the stone at the public yard.
Related Story: Tragic Tale of Ken Findlay
Carleton Place- The Happiest Damn Town in Lanark County
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