Tag Archives: gamblin

Loch End Ranch — Architecture Stories and Primrose the Ghost

Loch End Ranch — Architecture Stories and Primrose the Ghost
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 Jun 1972, Sat  •  Page 31
Evan Gamblin photo

June 17, 1972

A pioneer stone house with many unusual features, not far’ from here, is mercifully hidden away from, the speeding traffic of Highway 7 on a private road just left of the highway after it passes over the bridge of the Mississippi River. The waterway then becomes Mississippi Lake and the house faces it.

It was built by Nicholas Dixon, who emigrated to Canada from England in 1819, and dates from the 1830’s. The first Dixon house of log was recorded at Perth in 1820. The spot is still known as Dixon’s Landing and the house is surrounded by magnificent trees of oak, elm, maple and butternut, and a flagstone path and steps lead downwards to the water.

Evan Gamblin photo

There is also a wide flagstone-terrace at the front of the house. The windows were originally 24 panes but some years ago the bottom sashes were changed, probably to admit more light, but the upper sash was left intact. In the main section of the house the windows are all recessed and beautifully panelled.

In this section “Bible” doors are found with the familiar semi-elliptical fanlight in “the ” entrance doorway. This was a one-storey house originally, the second floor and kitchen wing would appear to have been added about 30 years later. Here the windows are all casement and a door-maker of no mean skill fashioned panelled doors of distinction. They have six panels horizontally placed designed in perspective the panels narrowing as they mount upwards.

Photos Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

The arrangement is so cleverly conceived that one is not conscious of it immediately and it comes as a delightful surprise to find such building ingenuity. The doors, which all-have tiny cornices at the top are consequently delicate instead of heavy. The original fireplace, and bake oven still dominate one wall of the dining-room which was the old kitchen and off from it, at the front of the house, is the “clock room.”

Here we find whimsey and practicality combined, as the clock shelf is built right into the front wall of the room. Old stories relate how neighbors came to the “clock room” to check their timepieces, Mr. Dixon’s clock being the backwoods equivalent of Big Ben. When he died, he left his remaining unmarried daughter not only the room itself but the income from three sheep or five pounds per annum thus providing both shelter and security.

As the property remained in the family for many years this stipend was probably ample for a spinster at the time. A box-staircase leads steeply to the second floor, the hand rails being gracefully turned at the bottom.

Robert Borden house on Wurtemburg Street

Upstairs are three bedrooms and a bathroom in which the present owners, Major and Mrs. W. E. S. Gamblin, plan to install the enormous bathtub rescued from the lately-demolished Robert Borden house on Wurtemburg Street. Mrs. Gamblin describes the tub as having “feathers” on the feet and being nine inches longer than the present one. Suitable lights, sink and fixtures of the same period will also be used.

The Gamblins are also restoring the kitchen to create a country atmosphere. – A central vintage table and rush-bottomed chairs will echo the past along with pine corner cupboards. The existing modern cupboards will disappear. The sink will be moved and a matching window facing the garden at the rear, will be cut like the present one to allow more light and a view of the meadow. Major Gamblin is an excellent craftsman and has re- finished many old family: pieces of: maritime furniture, besides designing and making an exquisite steeple clock.

He has also adapted an antique latch and door handle exactly to fit the old grooves on the entrance door. The Dixon farm was bought by Richard F. Nagle from Nicholas Dixon in the late 1860’s. He was a lumber contractor end dealer and it was probably in his tenure that the kitchen wing and, second storey were added.

In a report of his death, 1891, W. W. “Billy” Cliff, first editor of the Carleton Place Guardian says: “He will be remembered as one of the strongest men in the region “and “he and his wife stood unrivalled as the handsomest couple in the Ottawa Valley.”

Loch End Ranch next belonged to the William R. Caldwell family followed by Rear Admiral John G. Knowlton and Mrs. Knowlton, who now lives next door. Major “Bill” Gamblin and Mrs. Gamblin bought it in 1968. Their plans are varied. Besides extensive restoration to the house, they are establishing a tree farm having planted 1300 trees in the meadow at the rear of the house. The garden is being enlarged and Major Gamblin is regarding the barn (which too has casement windows) speculatively.

Besides all these treasures there is also the visible “visitor” a friendly ghost who opens the back door mysteriously at 5.30 some afternoons and causes Primrose, the daschund, to stare rigidly into space, her hackles rising. ; Is it Nicholas Dixon come back for a nostalgic survey, or Richard Nagle? Or, is it only one of the neighbors coming to check the accuracy of his watch in the clock room? Whoever or whatever it is leaves the Gamblins unabashed. Only Primrose is apprehensive.

Gamblin family

Gamblin family

Drawing is signed ER Kirkwood 1979 gamblin family

Crossing back to Dixon’s Point, Mr. Dixon was an Englishman who came in 1820 with a wife and seven children.  His farm where he lived for over forty years, and his stone house appear to have included part of what is now the Caldwell Lock End Ranch.  He had a potash works on the part facing the river, called Dixon’s Landing, opposite Indians Landing.  The trotting races held on the ice at Dixon’s Landing began as early as 1858.

 - LOCH END RANCH, MODERNIZED historic 11-room...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  11 Jun 1966, Sat,  Page 39

 - Loch End Ranch, owned by Major and Mrs. William...
 - 130 years-ago. years-ago. years-ago. In it...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  12 Jun 1974, Wed,  Page 41

Bill Gamblin and the Skiff

The Man that Brought “Canada” Back to Carleton Place – Bill Bagg

Update on The Gamblins — Evan Gamblin

Memories of Carleton Place Businesses –Latif Crowder CGS Woodwright

Memories of Carleton Place Businesses –Latif Crowder CGS Woodwright
Rachel Crowder
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Aug 1980, Wed  •  Page 3

I was lucky enough to know Latif Crowder when he put in all our kitchen cupboards which are still standing today. He and his wife Rachel were amazing people.

1980 — People of Carleton Place

Two summers ago local residents Latif Crowder and Evan Gamblin started producing a unique line of Dutch-designed spinning wheels under licence. Sales have been good. Now the company has taken on a new partner and is expanding its scope to include almost all areas of custom woodworking. ‘

The new partner is Bob St. Cyr who brings a solid background in furniture design to the fledgling CGS Woodwrights Limited which only last month moved from a cramped 350-square-foot shop to a new location in the Canadian Wool Growers Co-operative building.

The new shop has more than 4,000 square feet of space which is rapidly filling with the tools needed for a full range of high-quality woodwork. Once the commitment was made to turn the part-time business into full-time work, production of the louet line of spinning wheels soared. Last year total output was about 300 units; half that many were made last month alone.

The Dutch line of spinning machines probably won’t find favor with those looking for a spinning wheel as a piece of furniture to plop in the comer of the living room. Instead of the traditional spoked wheel, the louet models feature a solid plywood one. Stays circular “I was in a store just the other day where they were selling spoked wheels, and already they were starting to come unglued,” said Crowder. “The plywood wheel stays circular instead of becoming an oval over a period of time.”

What is amazing is that the company has been unable to find suitable plywood in Canada and has been forced to import 13-ply birch plywood from the Soviet Union. Canadian plywood makers used softwoods such as poplars for inside plies, and unfortunately, this is where the wheel needs strength.

The Carleton Place firm is experimenting with a luan plywood made in Canada from imported veneers but is anxious to find a stable, suitable Canadian supply. Most of the hardware is imported from the Dutch licensor to take advantage of large volume purchasing power but the rest of the spinning wheel is manufactured locally from beautiful maple.

Recently the company sold Heritage Silversmiths in Perth on the idea of producing silver storage chests, a new line which CGA Woodwrights hope to produce at a rate of 600-1,000 a month. They hope to start exporting the chests to the United States within a year. CGS Woodwrights also has sights set on high quality custom wood furniture to meet architect’s specifications. “One of the big things lacking in Canada is good wood design because it’s really not taught much,” says St. Cyr.

The company has invested another $80,000 in the expanding company, almost all of it in new equipment. Soon to be delivered is a veneering machine which will open the custom veneering market in the area. Gamblin, a former computer professional who keeps close tabs on the . financial end of the operation, believes employment will grow to about 15 within the next three years. On this basis the company is seeking help from the federal and provincial governments. Not all the equipment is in place yet and the building interior still needs renovations but once everything is complete the company will hold an open house probably within a month to show government officials and the local community the kind of business that can be built on wood.

It started with a spinning wheel and love and respect for the beauty of finely-worked wood. The spin-offs are starting to multiply.

The company sadly dissolved in 1982.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Aug 1980, Wed  •  Page 3


Latif and Rachel are now in PEI, where they moved from Alberta shortly before the Covid business began.

He’s retired from custom cabinet work, enjoying himself designing and building interesting furniture.

Rachel is running a rape crisis centre. 

Here is some of his work from a couple of years ago.


Evan Gamblin

thanks evan gamblin for the photos

April 1934 Carleton Place Business

Before The Carleton Place Mews?

The Former Businesses of Carleton Place — Notes Part 1- Historical Clippings

The Former Businesses of Carleton Place –Notes Part 2– Historical Newspaper Clippings

The Former Businesses of Carleton Place –Notes Part 3– Historical Newspaper Clippings