Tag Archives: Franklin Dixon

Can Nancy Drew Solve the Case of Carleton Place’s Hardy Boys on High Street?

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Photos of High Street and the Findlay Foundry from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum

Did you know that author Franklin Dixon was born in Carleton Place? His real name was Leslie McFarlane born October 25, 1902, in Carleton Place, Ontario. It  has been said his family on High Street. Does anyone have anymore information?

I don’t know about you but I loved serial books: Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Bobbsey twins,Tom Swift Jr. and Trixie Belden
Every week I would journey to my favourite store called “The Treasure Chest” and just fondle the books. They kept them in an old makeshift closet that acted as a wonderful book shelf, and I would huddle in there for as long as I could and read Nancy Drew.  In my mind I was Nancy with the slim pleated skirt white blouse and sweater over my shoulders. My dashing Ned would bring me flowers, and together, we would fight evil and make the world right.

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I must have written dozens of letters to Carolyn Keene claiming my love for the books she wrote. One day I received a signed letter from Ms. Keene. I was walking on air, marveling that she would even had the time to write to me. Knowing what I know today, that the author was a fictional character, and all the books were mostly written by ghost writers, I wonder how long my love for Nancy would have lasted. But it did, for many many years.

So, let’s try to put our heads together and try to find out where Mr. McFarlane was born.

The Hardy Boys - Wikipedia

Leslie McFarlane 1902-1977
Author, ghostwriter for the Hardy Boys books, born October 25, 1902, in Carleton Place, Ontario; died September 6, 1977, in Whitby, Ontario. McFarlane grew up in Haileybury, Ontario, where his family had moved in 1910; After graduation McFarlane worked as a reporter for the Cobalt Daily Nugget for $8/per week; moved to the Sudbury Star for $25/week; 1926 wrote a few features for the Toronto Star Weekly, then moved to the Springfield Republican newspaper in Massachusetts. In the mid-1920s, he started working for Edward Stratemeyer, publisher of childrens books; wrote seven Dave Fearless books, using the pen name Roy Rockwood; his first book was entitled “Dave Fearless under the Ocean”, for which he was paid $100; ghostwrote the Hardy Boys books for $125 each, on condition that he never reveal his authorship and that he never receive royalties; wrote more than 20 of the novels under the pen name Franklin W. Dixon; The Phantom Freighter, #26 in the Hardy Boys series, was actually written by his wife, Amy, since Leslie was fishing in the Rockies when the assignment came in; the series sold millions of copies. In 1943, he joined the National Film Board (NFB) and wrote, produced, and directed 50 films. In 1953 he was nominated for an Academy Award for his documentary Herring Hunt. After the death of his wife, he moved with his three children to Toronto to work on documentaries and comedies at the CBC. In 1968-69, he wrote several scripts for the TV show, Bonanza. He also wrote 4 novels, 100 novelettes, 200 short stories, 75 TV plays, and many articles under his own name. McFarlane spent the last 41 years of his life in Whitby. His name is commemorated in the Leslie McFarlane Public School in Whitby. In 1976, he wrote his autobiography, The Ghost of the Hardy Boys.

McFarlane’s son Brian, of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, remembered learning, at age 10, that his father was Franklin W. Dixon, the writer of the Hardy Boys. “It was like finding out your dad was Santa Claus”