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The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

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The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

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For a few years I have heard all about “The Rock of Carleton Place” in the Mississippi River in between Riverside and Centennial Park. When I saw Bill Brunton mention on Facebook that he was going to swim out to it on Sunday I asked him to take a picture. A lot of local folks like Tom Bryce said they spent a lot of time on that rock.  Bill said it was put there by a receding Glacier a couple hundred thousand years ago, so I hope it is or we have more than climate change to worry about! Bill figured it was underwater about 10 meters from the shore at Centennial Park and Tracey Thoms said it was still there.

So today Bill found it for us, and now we are documenting it for all that do no know or remember that rock. It’s part of Carleton Place!

Bill Brunton When I was at the Beach it was pretty funny. I swam out thinking I would just step into ” The Rock” nope, twice I got out and then finally told a guy what I was trying to find. Not one person there (10+) knew what I was talking about. They said they lived in town so I told them about it and then I found it.

If you swim out and look back at the park the new reference point is the net on the Soccer Pitch lol.  I swam out and found it, then I swam out with one arm holding the Phone/Camera in 3 plastic bags. I noticed the current while swimming with one arm and couldn’t find the rock right away the second time. Now if I went I could swim right to it! 

Thank you Bill!

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Norma Rotzal Used to swim to “the rock” from the Riverside Park all the time as a kid.

Ray Paquette That was another “rite of passage”, to be able to swim to the “rock” from the beach in Riverside Park. The swim to “the rock” from Centennial was no big deal (spoken like a long time “south sider”!!!).

Ruth Drummond Right on Ray. The event of the day was to swim across the river,sit on the rock for a rest ,then swim back. So proud when you could do it.

Lizzie Brunton About 8ft wide and 6ft high…had lots of fun on that rock..doing back flips, trying to stay on it when there was 15 kids pushing and shoving lol–First time I went I couldn’t find it…the river was so high and I’m sure it was 10 feet below..very frustrating lol but I eventually got there

Sandy Iwaniw—When I first came to CP, we had a st. Bernard/Lab cross who loved the water. We lived on Moffatt St. Then so many a summer evening we’d take him to Centennial Park and the river for a swim. He found the big rock right away and used to swim out and stand on it. If it hadn’t been for him, I might not have known about the big rock either.

Jane Churchill Pushing and shoving??? How did we ever survive??? Lmao

Susan Fraser Navin Haven’t seen that rock in many years!! Oh what fun we had!!
Jennifer Carr-TomsJust found “the rock” last week and my 12 year old son is loving it. Of course it’s all about being the king of the rock!
Wendy LeBlanc- We kids of the late 1950s and early 60s always called it ‘The Big Rock’ – never anything else. It was a rite of passage to be able to swim well enough to start out at Riverside Park, swim across and find it. At that time, there was no park on the other side of the river and certainly no lifeguard

Jennie Thom I used to swim out to the rock every time I swam at Centennial beach, and that was often.

Amber Boucher It was our break spot when swimming across from beach to beach.

Julie Carey I grew up on Moffatt street as Bill’s neighbour and we swam to the rock
Philip Lee I remember it well. Some of us who took lifeguard training even attempted to swim across underwater. To be honest I don’t recall if we actually managed to do it. 😀
Linda Gallipeau-Johnston Remember the first time I made it across – thought I was supergirl!
Philip Lee I remember it well. Some of us who took lifeguard training even attempted to swim across underwater. To be honest I don’t recall if we actually managed to do it. 
Dan Williams asked– but while cutting through the kiln we used to look for diving stones. Does anybody else remember these. We used to take them with us when we went swimming. The idea was you would toss them in the water and then go under to try to find them and bring them back up and do it again. The river was deeper in some places than others and some times you couldn’t stay under long enough to find them so you had to keep picking up smallish chunks of limestone to use since it would glitter even underwater. Small things indeed!

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