Tag Archives: grandstand

When the Circus came to Carleton Place


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P. T. Barnum’s Great Travelling World Fair, Museum, Menagerie, Caravan Circus and Colossal Exposition of all Nations will pitch its Mighty Metropolis of twenty Centre Pole Pavilions at Carleton Place on Wednesday, July 15 and at Perth on Thursday, July 16 1896. The only time a circus could not perform in Carleton Place was in the late 1800s  when Van Amberg’s Circus bivouacked there one day in Franktown because both Perth and Carleton Place were too small to entertain so massive an establishment.


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum: We believe the Grandstand was built shortly after the town established Riverside Park in 1904. In 1905, “Use of the Town Park was opened by the visit of a three ring circus with a thirty cage menagerie, a twelfth of July celebration attended by 5,000 out of town visitors, and a lacrosse game between Renfrew and Carleton Place teams at the newly built grandstand and fenced athletic grounds.”

We are unsure of the exact date that the second section was built, however we have photographs of it as early as 1945. Here is one of the Grandstand on V.E. Day!

Bob White posted this photo–Found this Old photo in my scrap book. I would think a lot of people remember the Grandstands at Riverside Park in Carleton Place . Bob Bryce coached us in little league Hard Ball for many years as we traveled the Ottawa Valley. Kenny Jackson was our other coach. I would think this was taken about 40 some years ago.