Tag Archives: grocery-stores

Comments About The Pine Room — Highway 15

Comments About The Pine Room — Highway 15


Ted Hurdis –-Pretty sure this was at the corner of Hwy #15 and the 10th line. There’s a chip wagon there now.

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Photo of the present building where The Pine Room once was.. Photo-The Crispy Spud

Andrea McCoy Yes it was right where the chip wagon is. I believe it burnt down– I worked there my first paying job–There was the dining room with the stucco walls. Then a more casual eating area with a counter and stools and tables and then the store.
I cannot remember the cooks name….nice guy. Worked there with Bud, June and their daughter Leslie. There is a son too. I am sure there are a few of us with stories to tell.

Janice Tennant Campbell— Hwy 15 and 10th Line was Brook’s Store when I was younger.

Lorelei Brunton Worked there as cook summer 1980.

Maureen Myhers My aunt and uncle Bud and June Savage along with their son Paddy and daughter Les owned it and I also worked there, great place to eat,drink and socialize. Maureen McGrath

Janice Tennant Campbell Linda Seccaspina it was a grocery / variety store then as far as I remember. I’ll have to ask Mom Bob Brooks owned it. We used to stop there or at Shackleton’s at Blacks Corners on the way to the Cottage.

Debbie Roy I remember that place. My Aunt Helen and Uncle Howard owned it and ran it as a grocery store during the 1970’s. But I can’t remember who bought it from them


Tammy Marion  – This is a picture I took in the kitchen of the Pine Room some time between 1976 and 1980..My brother had just started working there as a cook ( in the plaid shirt ). He loved to cook.. I can’t remember the man’s name on the right and I don’t know who the girl is in the background. Other’s may know..

Ted Hurdis  Farook Assada ran it.

Tracy Diane Cindy Dakers Regimbald you used to work there!

Ann Stearns Rawson There was also an oil delivery service there but later torn down. At one point someone named Savage ran the restaurant.

Sandra Rattray It was Bob Brooks gas station and grocery store

Wendy Healey Went there for dinner Prom Night one year

Donna Mcfarlane Jim Murray had the first store there .. He moved a cabin from the 11th line there and opened a wee store late 40s i think cant remember the ones who owned it in 54 but I remember they were held up

Mike Dakers Before it was a restaurant, it was Bob Brooks BA gas and service and our local store and hangout. I worked there at nights and weekends pumping gas and cutting grass. With a push mower O might add. It took 2-3 days to cut lol. Think i made .50 cents and an abundance of glass bottle coke and chocolate bars. Bob was also the first fire chief of Beckwith fire co. And my father Duncan was Deputy Chief. That was in the mid sixties for me. And after that, it was turned into the pine room restaurant, owner was a man named Bud Savage, and later on his son took over. I might add also, my sister worked as a server there also. We did just live right across the road. Good memories.

Paul Todd Gloria’s Father and I frequent the Pine Room at lunch time when we built at the corner of 15 & 10th line

Linda Gallipeau-Johnston OMG Yes – as teenagers we used to go to that station and I remember being in the Pine Room too. There’s 2 things that weren’t even on my radar!

Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown Jeff Dezell we went there for our Grade 8 graduation!

Sylvia Giles–Use to go into the dining room for dinner with my Mom and Dad!!

Patti Ann Giles-When we lived on Doe Rd. 1975, I used to bike there with my 2 year old son to get him a popsicle. Owners were great people.

Jeremy Stinson It had stucco walls in the 60s/70s style with the tops of barrels with xxx on them. Ate there when I was a kid. Shanna Willis, there is an infamous story about your mother working there. The story involved swinging doors to the kitchen.

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Photos Donna McFarlane

Donna McFarlane–The Pine Room– here is a couple shots of the interior at a hockey banquet.. the one after fire was taken about 2 weeks after. It was added on to so many times I remember when Jim Murray moved one of the cabins from what was then the 11th line but is now near junction of 7 and 15..It was very small then-John and I had left the annual fire dept dance a bit early to go down east.. there was a lot of static on his pager as we were on Queensway but without cell phones..did not realize it was a call.. That was the night of the annual dance that someone torched the pine room.


Fire at the Pine Room- Photo donna Mcfarlane

Hi Linda. Hope all is well with you and down at your end. I just wanted to mention to you that one of the old owners of the old Pine Room Tavern ( where the now Crispy Spud chip truck sits on 15 highway} recently passed away..Lanny Steele. He is in that picture I posted/sent to you way ack of my brother Gord working in the kitchen there and Lanny is in it as well. Just thought I’d let you know since you have written and posted about that place before….https://ottawacitizen.remembering.ca/obituary/franklin-steele-1082721931

Thanks to Tammy Marion

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

The A-Peeling History of Local Bananas

The A-Peeling History of Local Bananas



Middleville & District Museum  Photo–World Class Museum” right in Lanark County?-



Bananas were virtually unheard of during Victorian times. Early attempts to introduce them to our northern climate met with failure because by the time they had been picked, packaged and then shipped, they had rotted beyond recognition.

Some did reach the UK shores, however, as was revealed by a recent archaeological excavation in London in which the remains of a sixteenth century banana was dug up. In 1999, while excavating in the Southwark area, Museum of London archaeologists discovered a blackened but well-preserved banana peel. They were able to date it to c. 1500, based on the level of the excavation in which it was found. Seeing I have not been able to find a decent banana in a few years I wondered if the bananas of the past were of a higher calibre.


Clipped from Vancouver Daily World,  03 Nov 1910, Thu,  Page 5


The first commercial refrigerated shipment of arrived in 1902, and I have read many tales how bananas would sometimes be black still hanging in our local store windows. Yes, people would buy them, so I guess I should stop complaining about the bananas of today. A long time ago a farmer would sell you a piece of fruit you could sniff from 100 feet and you knew they were ripened on the tree.


Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune,  10 May 1910, Tue,  Page 2


Behind the facade of the supermarket fresh food section are many tricks of the trade, and even some optical illusions: tomatoes that appear ripe, but aren’t, 11-month-old apples, essentially put to sleep, sometimes for up to 11 months. Bananas that are gassed with a hormone and warmed yellow. The methods possibly do compromise taste and nutrition, but the supermarkets say they are done in the consumer’s name.




Middleville & District Museum  Photo–World Class Museum” right in Lanark County?-


At times of war, however, bananas disappeared from the grocery store. In World War I, this shortage led to the popularity of the music hall song ‘Yes, we have no Bananas’, and similarly, during World War II bananas disappeared from shops.

When transatlantic shipping re-commenced at the end of the war, the return of the banana was hailed as heralding an end to austerity and to the curse of the ration book. The government even instigated a national banana day in 1946 and that every child should have a banana that day.





Clipped from Vancouver Daily World,  13 Jan 1910, Thu,  Page 16


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  15 Sep 1956, Sat,  Page 11


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.


Coffee Talk– Coolidge’s Penny Candy and Rochester Street– For Tom Edwards

Sometimes You Need to Just Walk Your Potatoe

Funky Soul Stew was Once Cooking in Carleton Place

Cooking with Findlay’s — Christine Armstrong’s Inheritance and Maple Syrup Recipe




Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street in Carleton Place (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour walk with stories of murder mayhem and BOO!.. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!!

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The Writing on the Wall Disappeared but the Memories Don’t


bennxxPhoto from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Glory Days of Carleton Place–Mike Kean

Memories of Ruth Ferguson

Where’s the Beef in Carleton Place?

Name That Carleton Place Butcher? FOUND!!!

Memories of Argue’s Food Market?

The Days of the Loosey Cigarette, Slinky and Mailing a Letter

In Memory of Mickey Pickup– Carleton Place Dominion Store

There was More, More, Just Inside the Door




Bennett’s store on the corner of Bridge and Bell Street–Photos from Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


A long time ago sugar used to be sold in barrels, along with  good old brown sugar– and there wasn’t a plastic bag around in sight.  My Grandmother Mary Louise Deller Knight used to often remind me to be careful of using sugar as she remembered when sugar was a luxury. She smiled when she remembered the sugar barrels in her neighbourhood London, England store were empty  and then they were removed to the store’s rear yard, where the kids hurried out of their homes like bees, to that great treat of salvaging a tasty scrapings where miraculously enough no germs were known to scare the children away.

My late Mother on the other hand spent a geat deal of time on her Grandfather’s farm in island Brook Quebec where eggs were loaded into the back of the car and brought to the local general store. Milking was done twice a day beginning at 6 a.m.; initially by hand then later by machine. The milk was put into cans and taken down to the railway tracks for transport. She remembers getting 5 cents an hour for helping out. Even though the fields and roads were frequently flooded in winter, they met the schedule with aching hands from handling the bone–chilling dairy cans.

The “general store,” which carried a wide range of merchandise, was an important part of small towns. Not only did they offer food, housewares, clothing and equipment, they also served as a gathering place where residents could exchange news and gossip. At at my local store on South Street in Cowansville, Quebec there would be a big round of cheese covered with a glass cover. The clerk would cut wedges from the round and weigh them on a two-foot-high scale. The scale display was at the top and it had a big round glass that you put your item on it to be weighed.

I don’t remember much fresh produce in those days except what came from my Grandmother’s garden. Shelves of  canned vegetables and fruit were sold,  and depending on the store sometimes Peanut Butter came in a big container.Then there were the rows and rows of cookies not sold in boxes and penny candy.

There were no credit cards in those days and people paid cash for purchases, although some paid by cheque  but most had a credit account.  I remember picking up things after school for my Grandmother and asking them just to charge it– which the last person I remember having charge accounts in Carleton Place was Fred Veenstra from the Maple Leaf Dairy.

A typical day in Christie’s store on South Street meant arriving at about 6 in the morning and closing up at 5 or 6 in the evening. On Fridays, they stayed open until 9 p.m. After unlocking the store in the morning, the first order of business was to sweep the sidewalk. Then would begin stocking the shelves.

I can still see the large counter along the side wall. Shelves along the walls held the canned goods and next to them was the bread. It was a long time before  I remember a store acquiring the conveniences of shopping buggies. Before that, each shopper would call in their order by phone in the morning or hand their shopping list to the clerk  who would gather all the items up and put them on the counter, while the customer was free to visit or do other shopping.

Of course business was still competitive, but the relationship among competitors was amicable and the merchants from the other stores would often exchange information on prices and made joint decisions.If one of them dropped a price, the others would soon learn of it from their customers and would match it, or discount another item to keep the customer’s loyalty.


Mike KeanWhat a great picture Linda. I worked there as a young teenager. The man in the foreground is “Taffy” Williams. He was so kind. The man at the back is Mr Bennett but I don’t know if it was Bill or Aunie. They were quite a father and son duo and knew everybody in town. Ground beef was 3 pounds for a dollar. Our current dept of health, labour and agriculture would have had a hey day there and yet we all lived.

Patti Ann GilesSo true Mike! My mom used to send me to get 25 cents worth cold meat for lunches and Taffy would always give a couple of extra slices! Lots of great memories growing up in small town CP.

Kenneth Jackson— yes Taffy Williams in the front and Ruth Ferguson just to his left.

 Does anyone remember when Mr. Bill Bennet sr. deliverd meats and such with a horse and small cart.


Where’s the Beef in Carleton Place?

Memories of Ruth Ferguson

The Days of the Loosey Cigarette, Slinky and Mailing a Letter

Dollars Worth of Gas in Carleton Place

Treasured Memories of Fred and the Maple Leaf Dairy

Looking for Memories of Harold Linton’s Gas Station

Memories and Thoughts of the Grocery Store

The Day Mike Muldowan’s House Burnt Down

Before the Stompin Tom Mural….There Was

Did You Know Who was Cooking in Back of Lancaster’s Grocery Store? Dr. Howard I Presume! – Part 3


The Days of the Loosey Cigarette, Slinky and Mailing a Letter



Photo from the files of the Carleton Place Canadian –Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-originally came from the Shane Edwards family.

Back in the 1950s my Father could go to any store and buy a single cigarette for a penny or three. It was specifically aimed (at that time) at low earners and children, and my Father who realized he shouldn’t be smoking so much. Some of the local Carleton Place grocers used to break a pack of cigarettes and retail them to the local lads. This was a break as a penny was real money in those days.

But it might interest you to know that in that same year you could have purchased a gallon of gasoline for 20 cents.

And if you thought that the price of fuel was worth writing about, you could have sent the information along in a letter for 3 cents in 1950.

By 1951 the price of postage and gas hadn’t changed, but most everything else had.

And if inflation got you down, you could kill yourself affordably by overeating. A 14 ounce can of Hershey’s Syrup was 17 cents, sliced bacon went for 69 cents a pound, and bread was only 16 cents.

If you survived your eating binge in 1951 but were still distraught, there was still no need to pinch pennies while planning your demise.


Photo from the files of the Carleton Place Canadian –Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-originally came from the Shane Edwards family.

You could buy a 10-pack of Gillette Blue Blades for 49 cents

For the less stressed and clearer thinking individuals of the 50’s there were bargains aplenty.

In 1953 a typical house went for around $17,400. You could even brag about your new home to all of your friends via mail without breaking your budget. Postage was still 3 cents.

T-bone steak was 95 cents a pound in 1954. Journalists of the day reported excited carnivores corresponding with one another in unprecedented numbers due to the fact that letters still cost only 3 cents to mail.

The big economic news of 1955 was that a stamp cost only 3 cents. And since most people wrote with only one hand at a time, many busied their other digits with a Slinky they purchased for 88 cents.

Others stepped away from their desks long enough to ogle the girl next door, looking resplendent her nylon hose ($1.00) as she went off to work toting her Mickey Mouse Lunchbox (88 cents).

By 1956 the average American was making around $2.14 an hour (enough to buy 71 stamps with change to spare).

And if they needed transportation to the post office they could choose from a variety of Ford automobiles that cost under $1,800.

Bread was 19 cents a loaf in 1957. And milk was going for about $1.00 a gallon.

“But how much was postage?” you may ask.

Well, my friends, in 1957, it was a mere 3 cents to drop a letter in the slot.

Then came darkness for purveyors of penmanship in 1958 when he price of postage soared to an astounding 4 cents per standard letter, prompting millions to say, “Who cares?” as they munched on 4 cents a pound celery and looked toward the future.


Photo from the files of the Carleton Place Canadian –Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-originally came from the Shane Edwards family.

We’re going to jump ahead a few years to 1954 and go to go to the store for some Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. This delicious breakfast cereal was invented by the Kellogg brothers in 1894 and an 8-ounce box cost 25 cents in the ’50s. You could have bought four boxes for a dollar.

If you wanted some steak and eggs or fruit to go with your cereal in the ’50s, here’s an estimate of what your dollar would have purchased:

  • One pound Porterhouse steak = 95 cents

  • Two dozen eggs = 98 cents

  • Twenty-four grapefruit = $1.00

  • Three pounds coffee = $1.11

    Those were the days my friend!


Does an Upscale Look Cost You at the Grocery Checkout?



Mitchell’s Independent grand opening in Carleton Place was this past weekend. For months we have watched the renovations transpire and now that it’s done, instead of congratulations I hear some locals complain that prices are going to increase to pay for those renovations. Food is expensive enough now some say, so why would I want to pay more for the sake of décor? I try to be fair to everyone, but I do get annoyed when I see improvements to make Carleton Place a better place get knocked around. First of all Mitchell’s will not personally raise their prices because everything is governed from the head office, which dictates store prices.

As for rising prices, more and more produce and grocery items are now being imported from the USA. Local distributors are now even sourcing from Mexico and elsewhere, and as summer and fall now turn to winter, produce prices will increase as well. How about looking at that box of Special K Original in big letters, where on the bottom it says new recipe and now imported. To put it simply, a decline in our dollar means it costs more to import food as it is all paid in US funds, so that is why your prices are creeping up — don’t blame your grocer– we need to get back to business in Canada.


WalMart is waging a battle on the discount end and American company, Whole Foods entry into Canada is now commanding the higher-end market. The conventional grocers are now shifting their interests from discount chains to sprucing up existing mid-market spaces like our local Independent store. Instead of adding square footage, the majority of the spending is moving towards renovations. This is all being done to meet the pressures of more sophisticated consumer demands for what has been called “on-trend” experiences. Shopping habits have changed; if they can’t get it on the internet, most consumers now want it all under one roof. Staying in business these days means staying fresh, staying relevant–and meeting that demand for convenience.


If you live in a city, then competition is the name of the game. In rural settings an all inclusive store is a necessity. In the end it will be the consumer who determines who thrives or falls. if you are going to compare a Canadian company like Mitchell’s Independent to discount grocers then don’t, because that is not what they are. They have competing prices if you take the time to check local flyers. You know, that’s what’s great about a free economy – you have the freedom to make your own choices about where to buy; but please don’t make assumptions about prices. Compare and choose for yourself.


Adam Dowdall from Producefreshaa

Jeff Mitchell and his family chose to bring the Independent store in Carleton Place up to a caliber you only find in the city. Heck, they even added a Joe Fresh outlet and hired more local employees. They put their money where their mouth is and to misquote a great song “they’re here for a long time not a short time.” Mitchell’s Independent packaged up choice and quality and brought it to a place where you walk out onto the dock on a summer night in cottage country. What more can you ask for? Thank you for caring about Carleton Place!

Job well done!


What is Jeff Mitchell eating?


Okay a picture of the paninis was necessary


Serge Robichaud and Joyce Mitchell


Dream 1 for Carleton Place–

Back to the Future— Carleton Place—- Project Tim Horton’s

Crikeys! The Elves Have Been Busy in Carleton Place

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Apples $8 a Bag ???



I have been reading some threads on my local Facebook groups complaining about rising prices in our Carleton Place grocery stores. Did you know since February that all your grocers have faced a stiff 7.5% jump in how much they’re paying for fruits, vegetables, and produce in general? Of course the prices for fresh food always jump in the winter because the produce is imported from the United States and Mexico. But this years rise in prices has little to do with the Winter seasons. Over 80% of our imported produce is bought and sold at the wholesale level only in U.S. DollarsYou can put the blame on our crashing Canadian currency along with competitive pressures. To put it simply, a decline in our dollar means it costs more to import food.

But with the sky-falling loonie, it has put pressure on supermarket owners to either absorb the higher costs, or pass it on to us shoppers. In February Loblaws had no choice and had to raise prices and cut back on promotions. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Some say our Canadian loonie might fall as low as 75 cents U.S. before it even recovers. 

Customers are extremely value conscious these days and discount supermarkets are continuing to attract more customers. Walmart is said to be going on a huge reduction campaign in their supermarkets, but now that Target has left Canada, it remains to be seen what they will do. .


I have also noticed the price of a pack of ground beef originally $14 to 16 is now up to $23 to $27. Why? Well there seems to have been some sort of past protein shortage which passed on the resulting spike.Then you have to figure the nation-wide droughts caused a shortage in corn.The major use of corn is livestock, and the cost of keeping livestock alive got more expensive. But, word on the street is that should end soon. But the farmer reps still want the highest price and want a high-low price cycle of doing business. How long is it going to be before the processors move out of this province and country ?

Grocers have to become more creative and less-than-desirable produce that many of us are quick to discard will now be sought out and sold in its own special section at certain Loblaw banner stores in Ontario and Quebec, Bravo Loblaws! We are an imperfect species. Embrace imperfect produce!

In closing I say, take it easy on your local grocers–they have a nightmare on their hands.They don’t even set the prices on our weekly flyers-the head office does. There is no way I would want to be in their shoes, but my personal view still is, if prices keep rising, do the hungry today become the starving tomorrow? Where does it end?