Tag Archives: heritage

William Wylie Cabin — The House that Seniors Saved — North Lanark Regional Museum

William Wylie Cabin — The House that Seniors Saved — North Lanark Regional Museum
PLease play while viewing photos…..

Photo Millstone News Before

Photo- Dawn Morrison– After

The Pioneer Log Cabin located on the grounds of the North Lanark Regional Museum has always been a popular tourist destination for many years. The cabin has not only local historical importance, but is architecturally an excellent example of rough-hewn log settler’s home. The construction is typical of log homes found across the Ottawa Valley in the early half of the 19th century.

Sadly, the cabin has been closed for almost three years owing to its state of disrepair and accessibility issues. Major repairs were required to preserve the exterior and to maintain the cabin and its contents in a safe condition.

Photo- Dawn Morrison

The cabin was originally built circa 1840 on Lot 15 Concession 11 of Ramsay (near the present Almonte Roundabout), by the William Wylie Family who resided on that lot from 1837 to 1853. The building was also owned by the Lockhart Family for several generations, and finally by the Thurston Family. It was donated originally to the town of Almonte. A few years later they decided that they did not have use for it and the North Lanark Historical Society in 1983 by Don and Britt Thurston and moved to its current location. The historical society set up a committee in 1983 to oversee the cabin project, with members Grant Anderson, Helen Davidson, Stewart Drummond, Ernie Giles, Victor Kellough, Dawn Leduc, Frances McLean, Norman Paul, Jean Steel and Gerry Willard.

They cut the ribbon!!!

Stones for the fireplace and chimney came from the local Don Duncan farm. The cabin was rebuilt over the next two years with funds from a New Horizons Grant and volunteer labour from the NLHS. It opened as part of the museum in the summer of 1985 and has since been a popular attraction for visitors of all ages.

With files from The Millstone and the North Lanark Regional Museum.

The Wolfe family –we were asked as a school if we could attend and answer questions about log cabin construction historical tools and common repairs or restorations as well as anything about what we teach. I (Stuart Morrison) of the Morrison family am currently head instructor of our school and Brian and Dawn are the Owners of the Pat Wolfe Log Building School. Stuart Morrison

Thanks to my BFF Kevin Mitchell from Valley Sheds for help with the new holding shed


In an age where I constantly am faced with watching one older building after another torn down for new development –yesterday gave me great joy to see this building loved and finally restored. The fact that every step of the way was organized by a group of seniors from conception to end made my heart proud.

We Celebrate





All donations will be recognized and issued a charitable tax receipt. Donations may be sent to the NHLS by regular mail or you can donate online electronically.

Donations can be made online or by cash or cheque in-person at the Museum or by mail:

North Lanark Regional Museum
P.O. Box 218
Almonte, ON
K0A 1A0

Cheques can be made payable to the North Lanark Historical Society

All you need is love, some elbow grease, and never give up. Thank you to all who did. May developers one day realize heritage matters.

Mississippi Mills Councillors John Dalgity, Bev Holmes and me Linda S…. Councillor for Carleton Place..

Mississippi Mills Deputy Mayor Rick Minnille, Councillors Jhn Dalgity and Bev Holmes

Now take the kids and family to visit this amazing log cabin

Admission fee is by donation


We’re on the outskirts of the pretty little village of Appleton, about 10 minutes from Almonte. The collection is always available for researchers by appointment. 


Weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also open weekends starting in June


The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
24 Dec 1918, Tue  •  Page 8

This Old House….. Linda Knight Seccaspina

This Old House….. Linda Knight Seccaspina

Knight Residence and business–569 South Street Cowansville Quebec-Photo from Linda Knight Seccaspina Collection

This morning I was supposed to get up early, but I fell back to sleep quickly and dreamed of talking to my father at the old house at 569 South Street in Cowansville, Quebec. My Dad and I never carried on many conversations when I was a teen, because he saw one way and I saw the other. But, this morning there he was back in the old electrical shop looking for a screwdriver.

He was happy to see me, as was I, and he explained to me that my grandmother’s house was being sold along with the huge lot they had. After she passed away I never saw the house demolished and was glad I didn’t. Each time an older home comes down my heart breaks for the history that it once had. 

Decades ago in Cowansville they tore down heritage homes on Main Street to make way for street and property improvements. My father was an alderman, or echevin, as they called them in those days. In the hours leading up to the decision at council I was merciless. My father threw his hands up in the air after each argument and called it progress. That night, at age 14, I stood up to the Cowansville Town Council and told them how they were going to regret the decision. These homes were stately mansions of the past and I know a lot of folks regretted it years later. But, it still did not stop them from tearing down the Robinson home near Sweetsburg for a retirement home a few years ago. Some even suggested that the heritage protestors trying to save the building were ‘anti- seniors’.

Desperately wanting to keep the peace in my dream with my father I asked him if they were going to take down the huge trees on the property and he said he didn’t know. Deciding to get to the nitty gritty I asked him the big question. Why? Again, the familiar words of ‘being a man of progress’ was his answer. Not wanting to argue, I told him that older buildings were more than just old bricks and mortar. They have a story, they have a soul, and so many have been lost to developers and decay. But in reality most of them move inanegative position because of lack of interest in their preservation. He looked at me with that Arthur Knight corner smile and said that I had not changed.

I thought of the history in my grandparents home and knew my father would not change his mind. I asked him if he knew that as of August, 2020 the city of Halifax has lost 40% of its historic buildings in 11 years. Out of 104 buildings that were inventoried as heritage assets in 2009; 43 had been demolished.

You also have buildings that are in the “demolished by neglect” category. A common excuse is that the properties are beyond saving and not worth the air in the sky to remain standing. A question I would like to ask these owners is: How long have you owned it and who is responsible for this run down state? Generally the owners have owned it for quite a length of time and they are guilty of its condition. In most cases some owners of older properties are in favour of supporting heritage– except when it comes to them.

In the end the Knight house came down on South Street along with my maternal grandfather’s stately mansion on Albert Street- the Cowan home ( one of the founders of Cowansville) years later. All I have left in the Townships are the memories and the stories I tell. 

My Dad in his councillor career was most proud of getting an artificial lake ( Lake Davignon) put smack in the centre of town. I, on the other hand, remember the family gravestones at the Union Cemetery. I think of the Anglican church vestry named after my Grandmother, memories at Legion Branch #99 that my grandfather helped found, and a street named after my father. I consider myself a progressive town councillor however l live by the mantra: “Progress is not tearing down everything that’s old and building something new”. After all, tearing down is easier than building up. This year let’s think about protecting heritage of any kind so that future generations may enjoy the history and the memories.

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities ( Citizen Jane)

Linda Knight Seccaspina, 1968 photographed at my Dad’s home on Miltimore Road in Bromont, Quebec. There I was in that Dr. Zhivago Midi coat that was supposed to be the end all to me getting a job. Like the manager of Bill Blass in Montreal said to me that year,
“Kid get yourself another coat if you want a job!”
My how things have changed.

Thanks to Joyce Waite she spotted my Dad in the back row 7 down with the white shirt and I realize that he and I both had the same teacher at Cowansville High School– Miss Phelps..

Everyone was young once I guess.

1935..6 miss marion phelps
Back row l to r …archie boyd , alvin teel , willard barrette , joyce cassidy , lorna stowe , joy lee , arthur knight , eric smith , leonard lickfold , doris craigie ,, donna isaacs , dorothy corey
Front row l to r ..shirley hamilton , barbara seale , mary gordon johnson , phyllis buchanan , reid pickel , bill shanks , joyce lickfold , arlene corey , betty henry , dempsey forster , jack barker , donald boucher

Life Interrupted — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Life Interrupted — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Our new editor at The Townships Sun, Rachel Garber thought it would be a great idea if I wrote about our late editor Barbara Heath. Normally it would be an easy task for me, but in this case I had never met Barbara. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t know her– but in reality, we knew each other. They say to have a close friendship you need to meet each other first which helps strengthen the bond. Barbara and I did not need that, as we easily exchanged over a 100 emails between each other and felt like long lost sisters.

I first met Barbara years ago when she emailed me about a story I did about the rumoured 30-foot- long monster called Gog, Manaloo, Memphre, the Anaconda, or the Lake Monster of Lake Memphremagog. Somehow she had seen it on Facebook and asked if the Townships Sun could run it. Since I had spent the first  night  of my honeymoon looking out the motel window which faced Lake Memphremagog searching for that creature; it was a story that was near and dear to my heart.

And so, as they say, began the online friendship of Linda and Barbara. I had been writing for years in the States for publications about celebrities, murders and pets and she assured me that history was my thing and she was right. She encouraged me to keep writing with my heart, and to pursue my potential. It’s not like I needed anyone to encourage my prolific writing, but even though we were the same age, it was like someone putting their arm around you. It was always that way between us. She represented a part of my self-identity.

Barbara under the CIBC sign.

We both believed in saving heritage like the Tomifobia church which is a short distance from Stanstead, Quebec. The poor wee church was sold and abandoned for years and it left a mark on both of our hearts. She was a fighter like myself and we both stood up for the wrongs in our communities. Barbara with the closing of the CIBC in Stanstead and me with stormwater management ponds and supporting local business. It doesn’t matter how slowly we now moved along, we just had to make sure we didn’t stop. Neither of us kept our feelings in a drawer to be forgotten.

I am heartbroken and I should have known her health wasn’t getting better. In March she sent me two beautiful jewellery artifacts that belonged to her mother. She said in a letter, 

“I hope they bring you joy and show your spirit. You are certainly a valuable member of the Sun Family.”

Barbara did not wish to have any services, like myself. We both had figured out that lots of things happen after you die and none of them involve the deceased. I had told Barbara that when I die, cremate me and stick a tree on me. I wanted absolutely no headstones so these genealogists I have been writing about for years will come looking for me. She always thought that was funny.


We never met, yet we knew each other well, almost like we were friends before, 

We never met, but we both grew up in the Eastern Townships and loved and breathed history,

We never met, but you sent me letters from those that enjoyed my writing in the Townships Sun and told me never to stop writing. 

We never met, but you were a friend and a mentor, and for that I will be eternally grateful and never ever forget you.

I wish there was email in heaven.


Also read-Mary Louise Deller Knight — Evelyn Beban Lewis–The Townships Sun

Here Comes the Sun! The Townships Sun

An Update to the Kennedy House — Harold “Ozzie” McNeely

An Update to the Kennedy House — Harold “Ozzie” McNeely

The former Kennedy House on High Street

As you know Thomas Quinn of Ferguson’s Falls led the four teams required to move this house down the frozen Mississippi River and Lake to its present site. Tragically there was a devasting fire that consumed a lot of this house in August of 2021. It is said at present that it is a complete tear down.

Firefighters with Ocean Wave Fire Company and the Mississippi Mills and Beckwith fire departments battled a fire that destroyed a home on High Street in Carleton Place Aug. 22. The home sustained over $500,000 in damage due to the fire, which originated in the basement.–READ HERE

Today I talked to Harold “Ozzie” McNeely and he told me when he was growing up the move of this house was always in conversation. They used to go up to Ferguson Falls for business (live stock) and he remembers being shown as a child where the house once existed in that village. One of his teachers in High School was a Kennedy who owned the house as they too often spoke about this house. Ozzie said the house that was moved was very small and unlike the size it was at present. The home had an addition built on to the main small house in later years.

He said it took awhile, about a week, to move down the ice with teams of horses and the house’s port of entry to Carleton Place and High Street was Nichol’s wharf which is now Centennial Park. From there teams of horses and sleighs pulled the house to its present location through the snow.

I would like to correct some misinformation regarding the Kennedy house. My Dad, Douglas Kennedy , did teach at CPHS until 1955 when he went to Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa to teach.
There had not been any previous Kennedys in the house as he bought it from a Miss Campbell in the early 50’s.
My siblings and l grew up in that house and were saddened to hear of the fire and the possible demise of our childhood home.
Evelyn Kennedy Julian

Corrected thanks Evelyn!

Nichol’s Wharf-Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum — read-Before and After at Centennial Park

Thanks Ozzie, and he also told me there used to me a small tunnel under the RBC bank was and where the safe was. Also, the Queen’s Hotel had/ has two basements and there was one tunnel to bring the beer out to the back parking lot.

The rollers that moved the house-Findlay recorded the event of his findings and this actual document is at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.


To read the stories click:

The Name of the Man that Moved the Kennedy House

The House that Skated to Carleton Place — Kennedy House

Back in 2015, Carleton Place Coun. Linda Seccaspina profiled the unique story behind the home on her blog.

Known as the Kennedy House, at the corner of Flora and High streets, the home wasn’t actually built in Carleton Place. It was moved down the frozen Mississippi River from Innisville to Carleton Place during winter around 1900 by a large group of horses and men.

“Thomas Quinn of Ferguson’s Falls led the four teams required to move this house down the frozen Mississippi River and lake to its present site,” she stated in her blog post.

Carleton Place was the home’s third location. It was originally built in 1845 on land in Ferguson’s Falls–.READ HERE

Sue Quinn
13h  · 

Thought I would share the photo of Thomas Quinn who led the charge to move the house. He is my husband’s great uncle.My husband is named after him.
One of Tom quite young and in the second photo he stands far right photo likely taken in the 30’s /40’s I’m guessing.

Putting Together Pieces About Historical Homes– John Moore’s House –Napoleon Street

The Derry Farm of Angus McDiarmid

The House on the Cliff and the Old Bridge

The Pakenham House—- Thomas Lowe House

In Memory of the House

Bill Brunton

16h  · 

Well here’s a big change to the Neighbourhood I grew up in. This is the corner of Flora and High Streets. I remember delivering the Paper to that place in the 70’s, then some Friends bought it a lot later on. It’s strange seeing a big piece of equipment sitting on what used to be a house.

February 3, 2022

Documenting and Reusing Old Doors Jenny Doyle

Documenting and Reusing Old Doors Jenny Doyle

Photo doors- Jenny Doyle

Hi Linda,

Thought you’d be interested in these French screen doors that we found up in our barn.

This shows the before and after – I single handedly stripped them with a heat gun, and then repainted them.

They still needing screen and molding…and will go on our new sunporch.

(We have the original hinges, cleaned and ready to go as well. They are powerful and swing both ways, and we have 2 old enamel push bars advertising Five Roses Flour and Robin Hood Flour that we found up there as well, which we’ll add. )

Jenny Doyle

Riddell— H B Montgomery House History For Sale

What Happened to the Riddell/ Montgomery Doors? Three years later…  Sherri Iona (Lashley)

Reusing the Past of Carleton Place — The Morphy’s and the McCann’s)

Found in the Floors of my Summer Kitchen — Amy Thom

My Old House — Part 2- Amy Thom

Another One Bites the Dust –In Memory of the Holiness Movement Church Building (Hornerites)

Another One Bites the Dust –In Memory of the Holiness Movement Church Building (Hornerites)

Andrea Ross is at Recovery Church.
June 29 at 10:43 AM  · Ottawa  · 

Another beloved landmark has fallen. This time, though, we saved a bit.
this is what it will be replaced with.

Andrea Ross We will likely open it July 6,7,8 or 9. ( Time Capsule)

All photos-Andrea Ross-

I keep telling the story over and over that as a 14 year-old girl in Cowansville, Quebec I fought to have 6 homes of historic nature not torn down on the Main Street. My father was a councillor at the time and was not impressed with his daughter speaking at the town hall meeting, but today many regret the loss of these grand old homes. Once you tear something down, it just can’t come back.

Unfortunately, now many of the oldest and most interesting homes are slowly disappearing due to lack of interest in their preservation. I have a feeling that down the line that only locations that have been deemed architecturally significant are going to be safe from the wrecking ball. So what if a building isn’t beautiful?  Why are we tearing down the brownstones and old brick farmhouses that are now part of our inner cities and towns just because they are not significant?

Many thanks goes to Andrea Ross from Ottawa for documenting this. The fact she took initiative and rescued important artifacts from the building is outstanding. These tear down trends in my personal opinion are forgetting that older buildings are physical representations of our area’s history and culture. They attract tourists, and even town or city dwellers who might like to take a scenic walk or drive to see some of  these old buildings. I still think people want to live in an area that has character with buildings that are memories from our past and attractive accessories to local businesses. 

I’m sure some of you are thinking that this all sounds like an older generation writing about holding on to antiquated thoughts and privileges. There is no doubt that an aging building poses a unique set of challenges, and it’s great when you can retain a building; but it’s not always possible for those even with deep pockets. As  George Pope Morris once wrote “Woodman, Spare that Tree!” I am writing in defense of perfectly good buildings that are razed to make way for new development, and when I see things like Andrea did; I have to document it. Even she could not spare the tree, but she certainly saved some branches.

Thank you Andrea from the bottom of my heritage heart

In Memory of the

This written opinion is of that of the writer only, Linda Seccaspina.

I have documented historical mentions of the Holiness Movement Church below. If you wish to read about the Hornerites-

Hornerites? What Were Hornerites? CLICKhttps://lindaseccaspina.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/hornerites-what-were-hornerites/

By Kim Elder Click here

Heritage Ottawa Newsletter 2014

The Holiness Movement Church was a sect started by Bishop Ralph Cecil Horner (1853-1921) in 1895 when he broke with the Methodist Church. The membership of the sect was drawn largely from rural people in the Ottawa Valley but the headquarters was in Ottawa, which oddly furnished very few members. To outside observers, the services conducted by Bishop Horner appeared to be very noisy affairs. The act of prostration, which led to the unflattering name of “holy rollers”, was for Horner proof that God was changing the seeker’s life from inside out.

 In late 1908 the Holiness Movement Church occupied the vacant house and grounds at 910 Bank Street as an annex to their Holiness Movement Institute, established at 482 Bank Street in the early 1900s. The 1912 Insurance Plan shows the house at 910 Bank Street as well as the Hornerite Church nearby on the corner of Mutchmor (now Fifth Avenue) and Monk. The former Mutchmor home “Abbotsford” is now the Protestant Home for the Aged. In 1914 the Holiness Movement Church focussed their teaching activities at 910 Bank Street. In 1917, the year that Bishop Ralph Cecil Horner was deposed from the Holiness Movement Church, the Institute ceased operation and the building served briefly as a meeting hall. In 1918 it re-opened as the “Holiness Movement College” and in 1925 it adopted the simpler “Annesley College” name, in honour of Susannah Annesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of the Methodist movement. 

The Holiness Movement Church appears to have run into financial difficulties in the mid 1930’s. The College closed in 1949 and the building was torn down shortly after. One tangible reminder of the Holiness Movement Church sect is the Ecclesiax Church on the south-west corner of Fifth Avenue and Monk Street. The red granite cornerstone reads “Holiness Movement Church Erected AD 1900-1921”. The first building on the site was listed in City Directories as a “Hornerite Meeting Hall”, a wooden structure built in 1900, later known as the “Holiness Movement Church”. The present Church building dating from 1921, is a brick clad timber structure, likely incorporating the original hall. It has a starkly modern addition to the west, completed in 1950. The Holiness Movement Church joined the Free Methodist Church in 1959. Ken Elder is a postcard collector, a heritage architect and a Heritage Ottawa Board member.

Read-Hornerites? What Were Hornerites? 

Home – Mutchmor PS
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 Sep 1926, Sat  •  Page 2
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
19 Feb 1929, Tue  •  Page 17
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
20 Jan 1899, Fri  •  Page 3
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 Apr 1897, Sat  •  Page 7
all from Andreas Facebook page link above

The Carleton Place Train Station 1991

The Carleton Place Train Station 1991
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Oct 1991, Fri  •  Page 4

The old limestone train station here near the entrance of town is the last of its kind in the upper Ottawa Valley. But many years of neglect and bouts of vandalism have taken their toll on the former Canadian Pacific Railway station. Its roof is sagging and the rows of long, rectangular windows are boarded up. Even the tracks that once stretched past the back of the building are gone. Yet local heritage enthusiasts are hopeful the 70-year-old building may soon reopen. Along with 21 other stations across Canada, it was recently designated heritage under the federal Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act. Heather Lebeau thinks it’s a godsend. “It means (the station) is saved from demolition,” says Lebeau, a member of the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee. “It’s quite an achievement,” she says.

About 18 months ago, the heritage group submitted a report to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada asking that the building be considered for heritage designation. Lebeau says the condition of the abandoned depot was getting worse. If it was going to be saved, the designation was needed as soon as possible, she says. “Our main concern is that the history of the building remains intact. Our concerns (were) about its bad repair.” Tim Campbell, chairman of the committee, says under the heritage act, the building can’t be destroyed or altered” in any way without approval from the federal cabinet. “I’m very pleased about it,” says Campbell, who plans to make heritage an issue in this year’s municipal election. He’s running for council. “I would like to see it preserved.”

The station is among three heritage landmarks in town that risked being torn down. The historic Mississippi Hotel in the downtown core and the century-old auditorium on the second floor of the town hall are also in need of great repair. Between the 1920s and 1950s, about 30 freight trains and a dozen passenger cars pulled into the Carleton Place station daily. Saturday mornings were especially hectic when as many as 150 people traipsed through the station. But by the early 1960s, freight trains were losing a lot of business to transport trucks. And Carleton Place felt the squeeze. Cargo service dropped significantly and fewer passengers came through town. By the 1970s, passenger service to Carleton Place was discontinued altogether. It returned briefly in the late 1980s, but finally stopped in December 1989. The tracks were lifted a month later. Lebeau believes the building, still owned by CP, has a lot of potential. It’s sturdy and large and could have many uses, she says. There’s been talk of converting it into a restaurant, a local museum or community centre.

photo Tom Edwards 1920s
The original Carleton Place Subdivision in 1966-67

Canadian Pacific’s history in Ottawa goes back to the late 1800s, although there isn’t much that the casual observer will see of the railway’s legacy in this city today. However, if you dig deep enough, there are some fascinating hints of Canadian Pacific’s past in Ottawa, including a number of spots where you can spot the old Carleton Place Subdivision, a line that dates back to 1870 when it belonged the broad-gage Canada Central Railway. Let’s go digging. READ here
https://www.insideottawavalley.com/news-story/10041455-carleton-place-public-library-is-on-the-move-temporarily/ 2020

Clippings from the Train Stations in Carleton Place

Train Station and Bank of Nova Scotia-Old and New

The Mystery Streets of Carleton Place– Where was the First Train Station?

Homes of Almonte — Hugessen — Wheatley–Wylie

Homes of Almonte — Hugessen — Wheatley–Wylie

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
31 May 2003, Sat  •  Page 77

Wylie House, 1882, 81 Queen Street

Although built for James Dowdall, a local lawyer, it is known as the Wylie House, after its second owner, John Wylie, a wealthy mill owner, and it remained in the Wylie family for 63 years. In 1950, it became the Almonte Armouries, and during the Cold War, it became the Emergency Measures Organization Target Area Headquarters for Lanark County, complete with bomb shelter. Built of rectangular limestone blocks, it features carved quoins, a polychromatic slate roof with intricate moulding at perimeter base.

One of Almonte’s star attractions is an imposing limestone house by the Mississippi River that once housed a bomb shelter. It’s the home of Jim and Mary Hugessen, who were fresh from a morning’s horseback ride the day I arrived for a visit. The Hugessen house is one of six homes on an historic house tour in the Almonte area tomorrow. On first approach, the two- storey house is austere with its grey stone, brown shutters, sub- stantial chimneys and an obvious emphasis on vertical lines. It’s not until I sit on a sunny deck with Mr. Hugessen that we discuss the most delightful aspects of the house: its southern exposure and tie with the river.

With tall ground-floor windows, the house breathes light on a sunny day. “When I first saw this house (from Almonte’s Maclan Bridge), I took one look at it and said I want it,” recalls Mr. Hugessen, a Federal Court of Canada judge. “The house is good looking and located as it’s right on the river, it’s a very nice place to live.”

Despite the building’s good bones and elegant patterned slate roof, the couple carried out major changes during the five months before moving into the home in October 1990. “I wanted a house that was workable,” explains Mrs. Hugessen, chair of the Almonte General Hospital. “For example, there were two entries into the living room, and we blocked up one and widened the one opposite a bay window.” Architect Julian Smith offered advice on keeping alterations in line with the building’s character. Ash floors on the first floor and painted softwood floors on the second were uncovered when green linoleum was lifted. Old photos were key guides when the couple had new decks built. The kitchen was renovated, a garage added and two small bedrooms were combined to create a good-sized master bedroom. Hot water radiators were ripped out and a forced-air gas heating system was installed. ( Author’s note– wish we had done that to ours LOL)

Gerry Wheatley, a former owner of the house during the 1970s and ’80s, says the house was built in 1882 by James Dowdall, an Almonte lawyer. After a few years, John Wylie bought it. The house stayed in the Wylie family for 63 years, and after the Second World War the building was a Department of Defence militia head- quarters known as the Almonte Armouries.

Then, during the Cold War of the 1950s, the house was an emergency post in the event of a nuclear attack, he says. The basement became a bomb shelter. The back yard held a 30-metre microwave tower, and a standby diesel-electric unit was on hand should the power go out, says Mr. Wheatley. Then, it was thought “you could survive a nuclear attack by going and sitting in a bunker,” explains Mr. Hugessen. “After it was over, you’d come out and go home, pick up the mail and go down to the grocery store.”

After the Diefenbunker was built in Carp in the early 1960s, the federal government deemed an historical cachet, but a pervasive feeling of a life well lived. The home has a remarkable grand staircase rising from the front hallway, high ceilings and relaxing river views. Today, the old bunker is a storage area lined with cedar boards, and visitors linger in a casual kitchen or on a generous deck above the Mississippi. The goveernment sold the Almonte house, says Mr. Wheatley. He and his wife Anne bought it in the late ’60s.

Author’s Note-

Following the end of the Cold War, most of the Diefenbunkers were decommissioned, including CFS Carp and the Richardson Detachment in 1994. Communications functions were taken over by CFS Leitrim outside of Ottawa. The detachments at Richardson, Dunrobin and Almonte were all abandoned.


Almonte Riverside Boutique Inn

November 7, 2011  · The Wylie House was certainly an early favourite. The problem is there are 2 Wylie houses already popularized including one that is a bed and breakfast designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wylie hasn’t been ruled out but there is much to consider. Also, the Menzies House across the street has a room named after the Wylie family

Loom Bistro-We are finally getting settled in our new home Almonte Riverside Boutique Inn
Unexpected Almonte
July 11, 2019  · 

Wylie House, built 1883, 81 Queen St. #Almonte ON
Although built by James Dowdall, a local lawyer, it is known as the Wylie House, after its second owner, John Wylie, a wealthy mill owner, who bought it in 1887. The house remained in the Wylie family for 63 years. In 1893, John’s son, James Wylie and his partner Daniel Shaw, founded the Almonte Blanket Mill, a firm housed in the former Victoria Woolen Mill.
In 1950, it became the Almonte Armouries, and during the Cold War, it became the Emergency Measures Organization Target Area Headquarters for Lanark County, complete with bomb shelter in the basement. Built of rectangular limestone blocks, it features carved quoins, massive chimneys, a polychromatic slate roof with intricate moulding at perimeter base and Italianate-style brackets & porch.
Judge James Hugessen (Order of Canada recipient) and Mary Hugesson owned this home before selling it to current owner, Rob Prior, who transformed it into the lovely Almonte Riverside Boutique Inn. The heritage building is now also home to the Almonte Lobby Bar – one of the best places to relax, eat and have fun in our town. Thanks to owners Angie & Hunter (also chef)
#DestinationAlmonte #Heritage #LocalMatters

James Dowdall Clippings

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
03 Jan 1949, Mon  •  Page 10
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Jun 1877, Sat  •  Page 1
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 May 1879, Fri  •  Page 1

The Hugh Williams House– Judith Hughes

The Hugh Williams House– Judith Hughes
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Sep 1985, Thu  •  Page 3


The house was built in 1895 by Hugh Williams, a miller. It has an abundance of gingerbread decoration on the exterior, with flower-patterned, wrought-iron cresting at the top of a bay window. The town bought the house in 1964 but it had become derelict by the time Hughes bought it from the town by tender in 1984.

Please take care of our heritage homes as they are only around once.

Dim All The Lights — The Troubled Times of the Abner Nichols Home on Bridge Street

More History on the Murphy Morphy McEwen House — Karen Prytula

What’s Changed in Your Home in 40 Years?

Reusing the Past of Carleton Place — The Morphy’s and the McCann’s

Stories About Judith Hughes

Dim All The Lights — The Troubled Times of the Abner Nichols Home on Bridge Street

The Day The Moose in Carleton Place Burned Down

What is Heritage? — The Old Hotel in Almonte

Heritage Homes Disputes- Abner Nichols House

A Few Memories of Blaine Cornell

A Few Memories of Blaine Cornell

IMG_6755 - Blaine, Ken, & Mel - 2, best

Photo thanks to Dale Costello

When Blaine Cornell passed away yesterday on January 16th, 2020 it was a shock to us all. Blaine was a gate keeper to Carleton Place history as his family was a prominent force in our community. He kept it alive not only on local heritage boards but in thought. He was full of stories, and he loved to tell them. We would both lament that the newer generations were not very good at storytelling when compared to the generations before us.  Talking about our past arguably is the thing that makes us human and teaches us right from wrong, and most importantly teaches us our history. Blaine will be missed as a father, grandfather, friend and an important community member. We miss him already. My love to the Cornell family and his sister Sheila McCallum.

Linda Seccaspina


Ken Godfrey

Hi Linda,

Way back when (High School Days) I recall Blaine coming in to the Carleton Lunch (next to the Roxy Movie Theatre) and ordering his usual – which was a hamburger and Coke – and then we would sit for what seemed like hours talking about all and sundry. By the way, this would be on Saturdays (we were not playing hookey from school), and Blaine’s hamburger would have been made by Ed Giffin, a mutual school friend, and short-order cook for the Carleton Lunch, which Ed’s father John Giffin owned. We all had nick-names at that time, and Blaine was known as “Herb”, which was his father’s name, who was also our Chief of Police for many years.

As you probably know, in later years, Blaine was an accomplished self-taught artist and created many wonderful paintings, (many of which he gave away), not to mention his singing with the Town Singers, and involvement with the Beckwith School Museum. He will also be remembered for his boyish grin, and his dry sense of humour.

Ken Godfrey


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Blaine’s dad Herb Cornell

Rob Probert

Blaine had a long history in Carleton Place. Certainly as the son of the Chief of Police, Herb, he had a front row seat to many stories and events here.  His own career was well supported by that family history.

Blaine  was a keen supporter of our community heritage serving in recent years on several heritage committees and we all know of his quiet wit.  Blaine loved his painting hobby. It is sad to lose him and he will be missed. Rob Probert



This cool group took over the steps of the Bank of Nova Scotia in 1959!
Pictured are Blaine Cornell, Gary McLellan, Weldon Armour seated, Dave Gordon, Dale Costello, Bob Bigras, Gerald Griffith, Ray Paquette and Gordon Bassett.- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Jennifer Fenwick Irwin

Blaine Cornell was the best storyteller! Listening to him, it seemed he lived in every neighbourhood in Carleton Place, dated every girl at CPHS, and had a hand in any shenanigans that happened on Bridge Street. I’ll forever be grateful for his generosity with his time and facts and jokes. Blaine donated many items belonging to his father, Police Chief Herb Cornell to the museum’s collection, but was still searching for the elusive cap…. I’ll miss him dreadfully. Jennifer Fenwick Irwin



Blaine Cornell and Dale Costello in the front row – Carleton Place Canadian April 24th 1958 from Photos from the Wanda Morrison- Joan Kehoe Collection-See another photo- click-Some of the Carleton Place Local Lads- Flynn Costello and Cornell



CPHS Football team… Thanks Joann Voyce

Peter Bradley Taken by Bob Drader, we both took a lot of photos then for Mr Palmateer the coach.


IMG_6741 - Ed & Keith Giffin, Blaine Cornell etc. Golden Bears Football - possibly 1989

Dale Costello

Blaine was my best growing up buds. Played hockey and played drums together in high school, just did so many things together. I’m shocked and stunned by this sad news. RIP Blaine, and thanks so much for the great memories we shared. Blaine and I were like brothers, and I am completely shocked by this news. At our reunions we shared so many stories from the 50’s. My Bud forever.

Dale Costello


IMG_6738 - Blaine Cornell & Boyne Lewis

Blaine and Boyne Lewis



In memory of Blaine –Thanks Joann Voyce

Ray Paquette

Spent many a summer evening with Blaine who will always live on in my memories…😢

Ray Paquette


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IMG_6752 - Blaine's winter scene with cardinal - 2

IMG_6751 - Blaine's barn painting - 1

Joann Voyce

Just last summer I got one of Blaine’s paintings at our class of 59 annual reunion. In our wilder days, Blaine was the bouncer between us and the Chief of Police. When we partied too hard, he would receive a call from his dad to settle us down before his dad would have to do it himself. Of course we obeyed instantly. LOL –Joann Voyce


You could always see Blaine singing with the CP Singers 







IMG_6953 - Banner - 2 - best


Some of the stories Blaine told me or helped me with:

Leslie Building (across from the Post Office)  Blaine Cornell told me the entire back (east) side of the building suddenly collapsed in 1953 and an overpowering smell of formaldehyde wafted through the town. Buildings all along Beckwith Street were evacuated, including the Bell Telephone exchange at the corner of Albert Street – the only time in their history they stopped work! It seems that the embalming fluid had been slowly leaking down the back wall, eating away the mortar and stone, until the entire wall collapsed. Could it have been young Emma who was still  a ‘wet-user’  even in death? Was she still siphoning off the embalming fluid and forgetting to shut off the valve? After all, invincibility and forgetfulness are also common side effects of smoking the fluid — or was she just one overly happy phantom that was tub-thumping and no one was ever going to keep her down.

So Who Did Live at 107 John Street? Here is Your Answer….

He Fought the Law and the Law Won! Joseph Nadon of Carleton Place

The Scene of the Crime – It was 68 years ago today

The Carleton Place Men’s Choir and Douglas Halpenny — Linda’s Mailbag

Gold Mines and Disappearances





Ray Paquette A nice picture of Chief Cornell who’s personal touch set the tone for policing in Carleton Place for many years. He quietly, without a fuss, maintained law and order in Carleton Place for many years, first as a police Sargent and finally the Chief. The example and leadership he exhibited lasted long after his retirement.

Dale Costello Knew Herb Cornell, but not in a professional setting. And of course, son Blaine and I have been buds since kindergarden.

Was Maurice Cornell the Greatest Golfer in Carleton Place?


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One day Blaine and I sat in  the museum and talked about this picture and its surroundings for over an hour and a half LOL–Do you remember Carleton Place Police Force Constable Ray McIssac, or Police Chief Herb Cornell?  In the photo they are proudly standing in front of a newly acquired Ford police cruiser on Mill Street in 1960. Look how much Mill Street has changed!–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum–


Image result for rest in peace my friend

Cornell, Blaine

Suddenly at home on Thursday January 16, 2020 at the age of 79.

Loving husband of Maggie of 45 years. Dear father of Sarah Cornell (Tony Dugdale) and Becky Cornell (Ryan Clark). Very proud grandfather of Chloe, Mia, Grace and Harrison. Dear uncle of Mike Robillard. Survived by his sister Sheila McCallum (Ross-deceased) and his brothers-in-law Greg Affleck (Nancy) and Brian Affleck (Edith).

Friends may support the family at the Alan R. Barker Funeral Home 19 McArthur Avenue, Carleton Place, on Sunday January 19, 2020 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Funeral service Monday in the chapel at 11:00 a.m. Interment in the spring at Auld Kirk Cemetery.

For those who wish, a donation to the Carleton Place Hospital Foundation or the Gideons Society would be appreciated by the family.