Tag Archives: george coleman

If Historical Stories Conflict Should We go Back to Sword Fighting?



                                                                       1946- Ottawa Citizen



Once upon a time the railroad never stopped at Carleton Place. In fact in 1860 an Otawa Valley train bearing the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) breezed its way right through town without even blowing the train whistle or slowing down. Yes, much like we do when we travel through Innisville these days. One enthusiast on the station platform fired a small cannon in salute of the Prince as the carriages rolled by.

“You’re wasting your powder,” shouted a grizzled old Scottish settler of the village. “Them trains will never notice us.”
However, years later the train did indeed stop in Carleton Place and rafts of fine quartered timber drifted down the Mississippi River river on its way to market.


                                                      Mayor Coleman 1946- Ottawa Citizen


In 1946 George Coleman was Carleton Place’s mayor and the population was just a tad over 4,300. Coleman’s  Grandfather operated one of the first grist mills and almost won free land and water for the mill by entering in a competition which required the grinding of one bushel of grain in a given length of time. His Grandfather was unsuccessful and according to the mayor, he was the first Coleman to ever fail, so George said his Grandfather ended up buying the land and water rights.

Now if you read the Carleton Place Canadian Letter to the Editor by Mr. C Taber in 1953-there is a slight different version to the story. What has been recorded at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum is that Mr. Coleman indeed did purchase the mill from the Morphy family in 1820. In 1822 Hugh Bolton purchased the mill to finish construction and the rest is history.


Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Once upon a time an elderly Scotsman by the name of John Fraser who used to walk around our fair town brandishing a large sword. When asked if sword play was one of the off season sports of Carleton Place he answered,

“Not at all,” John said, “I’ve got this sword from England. The other one I recieved a short time ago I made into tow fine butcher knives, and this one will go the same way.”


                                                                                1946- Ottawa Citizen



Mayor Coleman said the town could use a couple of more industries and one of the main deterrents to immediate expansion was the acute shortages of homes. The population of working people could easily expand another 100 right now he said if the housing situation  improved.


  1946- Ottawa Citizen-The house with the Ivy looks like the Galbraith house on High and Joseph corner (hanks Joann.



Coleman said Carleton Place was an important market town with Bridge Street sees a parade of farm vehicles and animals on their way to market. Cattle had a hard enough time moving down to the CPR station in those days–I can’t even imagine if that happened now.



Photo- Google Image- thanks Creekend UK!