Tag Archives: hotels

You Didn’t Need to Sell Whiskey to Make Money

You Didn’t Need to Sell Whiskey to Make Money

(The architectural beauty of the former Kemp Tavern owned by Susannah Kemp and her son John. The home was built in 1868 by Mr. Scott of Richmond. The ‘essence of a time that once was’ is captured in this Perpetua Quigley watercolour sketch and Haiku. The former tavern is now the home of Cabotto’s Restaurant on Hazeldean Road in Stittsville, Ontario.) CLICK here..

also read- Some Hazeldean Secrets.. Remember Chequers?

Most people have an idea that, rightly or wrongly, in the old days of the stopping places along the country roads, the keepers of these places made a lot more out of whiskey than they made from supplying meals and lodging to the wayfarers.

But in the opinion of Mr. Wm. Scott, of Old Chelsea, the hotelkeepers could have made a living without the sale of whiskey at all. He points out that in the early days when railroads were scarce everybody had to travel by the roads and everybody had to have horses to travel with. These horses had to be stabled.

The stables were a great source of profit to the old hotelkeepers. The stables seldom had an empty stall. It will be remembered that in the early days the hotelkeepers used to advertise their “stable accommodation.” They advertised “good yard and stabling.”

The hotel tables also paid well then. The standard price for a meal was 25 cents and at that price a meal used to pay. All kinds of food, especially meat and farm produce, was cheap. Mr. Scott maintains that while the liquor the hotelkeepers sold also paid them well, they could have done without it and have made a living.

Innisville Hotel- stands stands private hotel When an ex-railroader was charged with trespassing in Mud Lake, the court was held in a room of the Innisville Hotel. The conviction was registered and later it was quashed. Why? It was soon discovered it was illegal to use a”pub” as a court house. Here come da’ Judge! Read Back Where I came From — Innisville

The early hotel keepers sold liquor, partly for the protit, out largely because there was a demand for it. There were few people who did not “take something” fifty, sixty or seventy years ago, and consequently the stopping places had a demand for it.

There were two distilleries in operation in Carleton Place for several years. One of these was owned by Mr. Caleb Bellows and was situated where the Canada Lumber Company’s large mill once stood, near the north end of the dam. Read- Down by The Mississippi River with The Jessops

Twenty Two Dollars a Week and Mississippi Hotel Clippings

Clippings from the Lord Elgin Hotel — Babysitting and The Iron Curtain

Clippings of the Old Albion Hotel

Not Hogwarth’s —- It’s Hoggards of Ottawa! Besserer Street History

The Brunswick Hotel — The “dollar-a-day” Huckell Hotel — (Murphy-Gamble Limited)

From Carleton Place to “the Laff” — The Life and Times of Peter Prosser Salter

British Hotel Pakenham –Mrs. McFarlane

Hotels of Early Carleton Place

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

A Piece of Almonte History for Sale –A. H. Whitten- Almonte Hotel

The Almonte Hotel — 1990s More history

Clippings from the Lord Elgin Hotel — Babysitting and The Iron Curtain

Clippings from the Lord Elgin Hotel — Babysitting and The Iron Curtain
Almonte Gazette 1955

I found this in a 1955 newspaper and did you know they still offer child care services?? Amazing!

So I decided to see if there were other things we did not know.

Lost Ottawa
April 20, 2020  · 

If you are running out of movies to watch while isolating your self, Glenn Clark has a Lost Ottawa suggestion for you, and here is a screen grab.
Explains Glenn:
“This is a shot extracted from the movie ‘The Iron Curtain’ at 8 minutes and 15 seconds showing a bit of Lost Ottawa. The two stars Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney arrived in Ottawa for filming on November 26, 1947 and left on December 6th and December 2nd respectively. Gene Tierney had stayed at the Roxborough Apartments while Dana Andrews had stayed at the Lord Elgin Hotel.
Many may remember that Hull Electric had a streetcar terminus at the Chateau Laurier. There were two stairways descending from the bridge immediately west of the Chateau Laurier. On March 29,1946, a fire at E.B. Eddy seriously damaged the north end of the Interprovincial bridge and permanently ended Hull Electric streetcar service to Ottawa and the Chateau Laurier.
This picture captures the recently lost entrance to the Hull Electric terminus, boarded up and marked ‘CLOSED’ and between the two actors, the stone pillar reads ‘Hull Electric’. The actress had just previously walked by the other entrance.”
Lost Ottawa
August 28, 2019  · 
Gord Mills shares a picture of the last time Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier got a new wing …. way back in 1927. It matched!
If I remember correctly, the new wing didn’t actually open until 1929.The limestone came from the Ritchie Cut Stone company.
Lost Ottawa
July 20, 2014  · 

Bar list for Ottawa’s Lord Elgin Hotel, which opened in 1941.
Some interesting drinks on this list — although I’m not sure I remember the Laurel Lounge — and what a “Flip?” For 70 cents, however, I might just stay with Scotch.
Teacher’s was my Grandfather’s favorite. But then he was Scottish.
Lost Ottawa
February 6, 2016  · 
Ottawa’s other “railway hotel” the Lord Elgin under construction in 1941. It was originally built by the Ford Hotel chain (no relation to the car company) in response to the shortage of hotel rooms in the city.
Read the early history at: http://lordelginhotel.ca/lord-elgin-hotel-celebrates-75…/
Lost Ottawa
July 20, 2014  · 
Joel shares a fact sheet for the Lord Elgin Hotel, dated 1975.
It appears to say the room rates for downtown Ottawa were an outrageous $18.90 for a double bed! On the other hand … you could walk to a church of any denomination.
The National Tourist Brokers Association no longer seems to exist according to a quick check of Google.
Peter Clark
February 5, 2014  · 
Here’s an old newspaper ad from the Ottawa Journal on December 2, 1940.


Humans Of The Lord Elgin – part 1

Clippings of the Old Albion Hotel

Not Hogwarth’s —- It’s Hoggards of Ottawa! Besserer Street History

The Brunswick Hotel — The “dollar-a-day” Huckell Hotel — (Murphy-Gamble Limited)

From Carleton Place to “the Laff” — The Life and Times of Peter Prosser Salter

British Hotel Pakenham –Mrs. McFarlane

Hotels of Early Carleton Place

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

A Piece of Almonte History for Sale –A. H. Whitten- Almonte Hotel

The Almonte Hotel — 1990s More history

Community Memories of the Almonte Hotel

The Almonte Hotel –Need Community Help!

Meeting Your Neighbours — Paul Latour and The Almonte Hotel

Food Review of the Smorgasbord at The Queen’s Royal Hotel 1947

What is Heritage? — The Old Hotel in Almonte

Cool Burgess — Minstrel Shows at Reilly’s Hotel

Documenting Some Queen’s Hotel Photos

No to Hotel Licenses in Carleton Place –1952

No to Hotel Licenses in Carleton Place –1952

November 1952- Almonte Gazette

The plebiscite on granting hotel licenses in Carleton Place resulted in a negative answer on the part of the electors when almost 80 per cent of those eligible to vote went to the polls on Wednesday. Not only for those who favored the change, and a fail to get the necessary 60 per cent, but none of the three questions was accorded a straight affirmative majority. For some strange reason, those who framed the vote chose to submit three questions instead of one direct query.

The ballots asked the electors if they were in favor of men’s beverage rooms; in favor of women’s beverage rooms; in favor of the sale of beer in licensed hotel dining rooms. The vote stood as follows on these three questions: Men’s beverage rooms: for 1,123, against 1,- 263; women’s beverage rooms: for 1,126, against 1,283; dining room, sale, for 1,185, against 1,196.

In 1944, the town voted by more than the necessary 60 per cent majority for a retail liquor store and beer warehouse. Some 900 people entitled to exercise the franchise signed the petition for the vote, that took place yesterday. Figures show that only a couple of hundred more than signed the document voted for the change. Those opposed to beverage rooms were more active than those in favor of them.

Some business people who would have liked to come out actively for the change were afraid to do so because they claimed the so-called temperance forces were so bitter they would indulge in business reprisals. It is expected now that those who lost, and are really angry, will indulge in business reprisals against some of those who made themselves openly busy on the other side. They argue that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Those opposed to the beverage rooms bought up space in the Carleton Place paper and waged the usual campaign with the old fashioned Carrie Nation slogans about the Demon Rum. The other side apparently wras less active, only ran one advertisement. Both sides got out last minute pamphlets.

Carleton Place has three hotels, none of which is making money in a way that would permit improvement or adequate taxes for the municipality.

Blackhawk’s B & B Tonic Carleton Place — The Great Tonic Laxative

The Rules of the Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place

The Sultans of Swing at The Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place

The Liquor Inspectors that Not Ought to Be

Did You Ever Hear About the Hole in the Wall? Prohibition 1920s

Johnny J. McGregor — Still Buster and Mayor

Hotels of Early Carleton Place

Hotels of Early Carleton Place
A closer look at the Queen’s Hotel and the King’s Cafe.. In front of the Queen’s Hotel with the King’s Cafe- Photo- Tom Edwards 1920s

In the mid 1860’s you probably would grab a drink in Carleton Place:

The Beckwith House owned by William Faust

The British Hotel- William Kelly

The Carleton

The Metcalfe

Willima Moore’s Hotel

Then there was the Carleton, which was built by the Bells as a hotel in the 1830s, then bought and reopened as The Carleton by Napoleon Lavalee in 1846. Peter Salter renamed it The Leland Hotel in 1900 and then it was operated by the Doyles from 1904 on until converted in 1955.

Also well known was The British Hotel which was owned by William Kelly and then became Vic Bennett’s Garage which was at the corner of Bridge and High Street. There was also the Ottawa Hotel, the Ontario Hotel and Lee’s Hotel which was the South East corner of Moore Street railway crossing. Absolam also had a small tavern on the north side of Bell Street from 1863-1870. There were six livery stables which furnished horses and all kinds of first-class rigs for business or pleasure.

In 1904 Carleton Place’s eight hotels were:

James Lee’s The Leland

Walter McIlquham’s The Mississippi Hotel

Albert Salter’s Queens Hotel

The Revere House- formerly The British Hotel

J. E. Rathwell’s Royal Hotel, formerly the Wilson House

D. B. Snedden’s

P. J. O’Briens

Victoria House

P. Salter’s Queen’s Royal at Lake Park

With files from Howard Morton Brown

This is a photograph of Bell Street heading towards Bridge Street c.1870. The photograph features some of our first hotels in Carleton Place! On Bridge Street facing the camera is the “Waterloo Hotel”, which was built in the late 1830s for innkeepers Robert and James Bell. Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum photo
Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum photo The Queen’s Royal Hotel

The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
18 Nov 1886, Thu  •  Page 2
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Aug 1899, Sat  •  Page 10
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Aug 1899, Tue  •  Page 2
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
07 Nov 1900, Wed  •  Page 6
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 May 1898, Thu  •  Page 7
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
07 Jul 1900, Sat  •  Page 8
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Sep 1899, Fri  •  Page 3
Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel
From the picture it looked like quite a grand hotel, but sadly it closed and remained vacant for years. The Drader family moved to Carleton Place around 1932 where Simeon worked as a carpenter. In 1953 he purchased the old Rathwell hotel which by then was in  very bad way and falling apart.
Drader renovated the building and constructed nine apartments in the building that was known as the Drader Block. In 1954 Simeon and Mary Drader celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The Rathwell Hotel was demolished in 1956 and Simeon Draper also died in 1956.

Tavern Licenses of Lanark County — names names names

Tavern Licenses of Lanark County — names names names

Brockville 1907

In the Ontario Sessional Papers of 32 Victoria 1868-69 (31) there is a report on the “Return of the Number of Tavern Licenses issued in each County, City, Town, or Incorporated Village, in detail. Also, the name of the party to whom issued, and the name of the Issuer for each County, with the amount received from such Licenses to date.” The report is dated January 6, 1869. Below you will find the name of the license holder and the cost of the license but not the running total,

NORTH LANARK – John Menzies, Issuer

Township of Almonte
John K. Cole 5.00
Henry Stafford 5.00
Samuel Davies 5.00
James Barrie 5.00
Patrick Reily 5.00
Township of Clayton
Thomas Coulter 5.00
John Glemmill 5.00
Township of Ramsay
David Snedden 5.00
Township of Appleton
Geo. Colvin 5.00
Township of Pakenham
John McManagle 5.00
William Dickson 5.00
Samuel D. Chatterton 5.00
Watson’s Corners
Jane Scott 5.00
James Nicoll 5.00
Township of Dalhousie
William Lock 5.00
Duncan McIntosh 5.00
Robert Gardner 5.00
Village of Lanark
Patrick Bowes 5.00
Alexander Kelly 5.00
Mrs. Joseph Lamont 5.00
Geo. Aitkmer 5.00

Innisville (1).jpg

The Old Innisville Hotel


LANARK, SOUTH – Chas. Rice, Issuer

Town of Perth
W. Hicks 10.00
W.C. Lewis 10.00
R. Williams 10.00
D. McIntosh 10.00
M. Balderson 10.00
R.A. Gordon 10.00
J. Connell 10.00
P. McDermot 10.00
Geo. Barrie 10.00
A. McLaren 10.00
A. Yates 10.00
Fairbairn & O’Neil 10.00
Village of Smith’s Falls
A.J. Killborn 5.00
J. Hourigan 5.00
M. Armstrong 5.00
M. Carrol 5.00
T. Tweedy 5.00
Township of Bathurst
W. Smith 5.00
M. Leighton 5.00
S. Watson 5.00
A. Bain 5.00
R. Murphy 5.00
A. McDonald 5.00
Township of Beckwith
D. McFarlane 5.00
W. Kelly 5.00
R. Metcalfe 5.00
N. Lavalee 5.00
T. Clarke 5.00
W. Moore 5.00
W. Burrows 5.00
Township of Sherbrooke
R. Morrow 5.00
J. Morrow 5.00
Township of N. Elmsley
J. McCormack 5.00
A.F. Weeks 5.00
Township of Drummond
R. Crawford 5.00
C. Hollinger 5.00
E. O’Connor


Former Dennis Kane hotel (1832) at 48 Drummond St. E. Perth from Historic Perth-Kenn Chaplin



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.


Memories of the Carleton Place LCBO

Nothing But the Cooler Left in Carleton Place

82 Bottles of Booze on the Wall – 82 Bottles of Booze

The Big Beer Store Heist in Carleton Place

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 4- Leslie’s China Shop to the Masonic Lodge Building

Was the McNeely Bridge Funded on “Drinkin’ Fines”?

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The Franktown Inn

The Franktown Inn


Carousel Antiques


Franktown was quite a busy place in 1848.  The Bathurst Courier for Feb. 11 of that year published the first Quarterly Return for Licenses for the Counties of Lanark and Renfrew.  At the head of the list is Ann Burrow, Franktown, as well as J. Hughton, Frankton.  Perth had no less than ten inns and seven shops each paying seven pounds ten shillings for licenses.  R. McLaren, Perth, and P. McArthur, Beckwith each paid ten pounds for licenses to operate stills.


It was a hot and dusty ride in August of 1819 when the Duke of Richmond exhausted and fighting off advanced rabies rolled into the Franktown Inn. In the morning he would discuss his illness and his plans which he would never live to accomplish. (read The Haunted Canoe from the Jock River)

Later French Canadians in their red toques would water their horses and pause for refreshments during their journies. Through the years the hotel has been a bystander to the history passing by on Highway 15. From 1900-1915 it belonged to the Morrow McIntosh Carriage Company and then John Labatt of Labatt’s Brewery. It went through so many hands, it took a toll on the old stone home and became almost a shell until the Plunkett’s took over in the 70s.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  28 Apr 1975, Mon,  Page 50


Apparently it was so run down there was hardly a window in place by the time the Plunkett’s bought it. Mrs. Plunkett was was a descendant of Sir High Allan of the Allan Steamship line decided to live on the second floor and open and antique shop and a tea room in the 70s. Most of the rooms in the house were long and narrow, just room for a bed and a washstand as it one of three resting spots in the village.

Now Carousel Antiques owns the treasured building.


Lee Huddleston– My grandparents Joe Huddleston and Katie Fergusson were married at the church next door in 1903. I always presumed there would have been some celebratory meal at the hotel. Turning on Hwy 10 toward Perth, and about three mile further, is Gillies Corner. The Fergusson side of the family had a Archie Gillies who ran a Stagecoach Inn at those corners named after him. Part of the building still remains. Travellers between Ottawa and Kingston used this Inn as a place of lodging and to care for the horses. Next time you head to the cottage, take a gander…on the left as you travel to Perth.



Screenshot 2017-09-18 at 18.jpg

The Canada Directory for 1857-58:

John Hughton who was listed as a merchant in Franktown, Elizabeth Township, Leeds & Grenville in 1842.  Robert Hughton who was credited with a photo of John Hughton on the porch of the hotel he built in Franktown in 1850


The Carleton Place Herald carried the death of Mrs. Isabella Hughton of that village on Friday last.She was a daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Mansfield of this town and lived in Franktown for 35 years.The Herald says:

“She came with her husband to Franktown before the Brockville and Ottawa Railway was built when the main road between the St. Lawrence and Ottawa passed through this village.Her late husband was then engaged in the mercantile business and afterwards built and kept a first class hotel.Shortly after Mr. Hughton’s death 28 years ago the house was closed since which time the subject of our notice has lived a retired life.Mrs. Hughton had a large acquaintance and was highly esteemed by all who knew her for her many estimable characteristics.She was 70 years of age. Two sons, Andrew (who resides in Arnprior) and John and two daughters Mrs. Jas. Fleming and Miss Anabella Hughton are left.”



Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ 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.



The Haunted Canoe from the Jock River

The Leland and Rathwell Hotels on Bridge Street

I Can Dream About You —Early Hotels of Perth

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

The Kick and Push Town of Folger

Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925


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Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

Did You Know we Once Had a  Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel




The Grand Hotel has opened in Carleton Place, and today I found out we once had a Grand Hotel here in the late 1800s. It was actually called The Grand Central Hotel and it was first owned by David Dowlin. When he headed west to Minnesota he leased the hotel to his nephew Thomas Doyle from Drummond.

After doing research for a few hours I failed to come up with the location so I called Jennifer Fenwick Irwin at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum to see if she knew. She had never heard of it either, but we both assumed it had to be near the train station as it kind of went with the Grand Trunk Railroad that went through town– and maybe it wasn’t.

Ray Paquette
This house always fascinated me. When I was a lad the former Snedden Hotel was owned by a Mr. Feltham (sic) who ran a rag business out of a former hotel on the west side of Moore Street in the area beside Interval house that was torn down in the 1950’s and replaced with a Cities Service gas station.



The Grand Hotel

snedden2-1 (1).jpg

Thanks to Jaan Kolk–Hey Linda, the 1888-9 Ontario Gazetteer you referenced actually has an ad for the Grand Central Hotel on the page following the listing (p.225) with a drawing – and it gives the location as directly opposite CPR station


In 1905 Thomas went to visit his uncle David Dowlan and was injured in a Great Northern train wreck. I don’t think the Carleton Place hotel lasted too long as Thomas Doyle went to Ottawa and opened the Strathcona Hotel on York Street. I can’t seem to find anything on that hotel either, but it is nice to see that the New Grand Hotel name in Carleton Place has a wee bit of reference to days gone by.




Shane Wm Edwards  family photo On Franktown Road Carleton Place. Notice the carriages at the old station.




Perth Courier, April 12, 1895–Mr. Thomas Doyle of Drummond has gone to Carleton Place to take charge of the Grand Central Hotel there having leased it from his uncle D. Dowlin.

Grand Central Hotel- Carleton Place-David Dowlan— Ontario Gazetteer and Business Directory (late 1800s)


Perth Courier, Jan. 24, 1896

The Carleton Place Herald of Jan. 14 says:  “Last Tuesday morning William Earle of Carson and Earle of this town and Annie Doyle of Drummond were united in marriage.  The ceremony was performed in St. John’s Church, Perth, by Rev. Father Duffus after which the party drove out to the residence of the bride’s parents where the marriage festivities were observed.  Miss Hattie Doyle, cousin of the bride, was maid of honor and Thomas Doyle, proprietor of the Grand Central Hotel was best man.  The guests were many and a pleasant evening was spent. The presents were numerous and handsome and useful.”


Obituary of Thomas Doyle

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  30 Nov 1935, Sat,  Page 9


No automatic alt text available.

Jaan Kolk–Linda, you mentioned relatives moved west. Thomas M. Doyle, age 24, died in Anaconda, Montana. (Ottawa Journal, June 11, 1903)


Jaan Kolk–I had trouble finding anything on the the Strathcona Hotel, York St. too, until I found this June 13, 1903 Ottawa Journal obituary for Thomas M. Doyle, which gave me the address 32 York St., and a year. The 1901 Might directory lists the Strathcona Hotel, 32 York St., Thomas Doyle prop. The 1890-91 Woddburn directory lists it as the Lynott House (Wm. & David Lynott) and the year before it was the Davidson House. The Strathcona was short-lived – by 1906 or earlier it was the Farmers’ Hotel, H.R Boyd prop.


Jaan Kolk–And here is a June 6, 1906 Journal notice of transfer of tavern license for 32 York St., already the Farmers’ Hotel from the Strathcona in Ottawa. I had trouble finding anything on the the Strathcona Hotel, York St. too, until I found this June 13, 1903 Ottawa Journal obituary for Thomas M. Doyle, which gave me the address 32 York St., and a year.
The 1901 Might directory lists the Strathcona Hotel, 32 York St., Thomas Doyle prop. The 1890-91 Woddburn directory lists it as the Lynott House (Wm. & David Lynott) and the year before it was the Davidson House. The Strathcona was short-lived – by 1906 or earlier it was the Farmers’ Hotel, H.R Boyd prop.

Clipped from The Minneapolis Journal,  06 Jul 1905, Thu,  Page 2


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ 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.



Romancing the Mississippi Hotel

Carleton Place Folk Art from the Queen’s Hotel –The Millers

The Leland and Rathwell Hotels on Bridge Street

Leo Doyle of the Leland Hotel in Carleton Place –Calling All Doyles

The Rules of the Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place

Death from Corrosive Sublimate —Carleton Place’s Revere House

Jules “Julie” Pilon of the Leland Hotel– Weather Man

The Mystery Murals of The Queen’s and Mississippi Hotel

Lake Park Lodge – Queen’s Royal Hotel- Mississippi Lake Carleton Place Ontario

So Who Painted Those Wall Murals at our Carleton Place Hotels?


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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?

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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum– Snedden Hotel First and the Grand Central Hotel across the street–

I Can Dream About You —Early Hotels of Perth



From Perth Remembered–The St. George Hotel

Perth Courier, March 19, 1964

Early Hotels of Perth

The year 1896 was a good period for the hotel industry in Perth. Five recorded hotels flourished within the town boasting a grand total of 165 rooms, five bars, and two more establishments than presently service the needs of the traveling public in 1964.

According to 19th century observers, Perth had a high caliber of service and had an excellent reputation as a fine hotel town. One such observer was the old Perth Expositor which noted how strangers “always judge a town by its hotels” and then carried the impression of hospitality and service to the far reaches of the land.

The hotel business of 1898 was a vast improvement over the rude taverns and inns of early days. Several of the hotels survived the turn of the century and can be readily seen in today’s busy commercial trade. The only hotel still bearing the same name and remaining in the same location is the Revere House at Wilson and Foster.

The hotels of Perth began just prior to the Boer War, and were five: Barrie’s Hotel, Hicks House, Allen House, Revere House and Queen’s Hotel. They were all located in the business section of down town Perth and catered to a through trade from road, stage and traveling salesmen. Since 1900 the road trade has shifted west to Highway 7 where an assortment of motels enjoy a lucrative business from an almost entirely auto trade.

The St. George Hotel had a direct relationship to the economic and social development of Perth. Constructed in 1830 by John Doran, a native of Wexford, Ireland and one of the earliest settlers of Perth, this Georgian-style structure was constructed as a private home. However, by 1832, the building had been converted to a hotel by William Cross, a Perth Innkeeper, who advertised in the Bathurst Courier that he had moved to a “Commodious Stone House” and would supply his guests with “choice liquors of all kinds” and a larder stocked “in the good old English styleIn 1896 the oldest hotel was Barrie’s operated by Thomas Barrie. It had thirty rooms and a well stocked bar. A resort of the surrounding farming community, the hotel enjoyed a heavy seasonal business. Mr. Barrie was hailed as a “jolly good natured fellow” with a “pleasant greeting” for all.



The Hicks House, now the Perth Hotel, was hailed as the “leading commercial hotel” in eastern Ontario, sporting a bar, billiard room, free bus rides and a variety of fare on the table. The proprietor was John Wilson, noted for his catering and disciplining of the “hotel attaches”.

The Queen’s occupied thirty rooms, a bar, a billiard room and stables across from what is now Girdwoods Store on Foster Street. Owned by Frank A. Lambert, father of Edward Lambert, present day proprietor of the Imperial Hotel on Wilson, the Queen’s closed its quarters in 1918 after purchasing Barrie’s from James P. Hogan who succeeded Mr. Barrie as operator. Queen’s and Barrie’s are thus the modern day Imperial Hotel operated by Ed Lambert who took over from his father in 1934.

In 1896 Revere House was a 25 room establishment run by W.J. Flett who is described as one of the best hotel men in the valley. He enjoyed a popular local trace.

Largest hotel in Perth, now closed to business, was a fifty room spread called the Allan House, situated to the west of the town hall in a block now occupied by Chaplin and Code and the Coin Wash. Andrew Robinson the proprietor, was famous for his “uniform courtesy and kindness” and the free bus rides to the train and stages. Mr. Robinson purchased the Allan House from I.C. Grant after ten years as an employee of the Hicks House.

Needless to say, the hotels of Perth had close connections with Crystal Sprine Brewery and McLellan’s Distillery, two enterprises which made Perth famous from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.




Ever Wanted to Time Travel? Here is Your Chance!

What Happened When the Paper Boy Never got Paid in Perth…..

The Sad Tale of Unwed Mothers of Days Gone By — Perth through the Ages Tour

Would You Duel Anything For Love?

The Citroen’s of Perth, Ontario –Photo Essay

Did You Know About the House of Industry?

Chatter and Blather about Miss Jessop and Miss Matheson


The Bed Bugs are Jumpin’ — The Beginning of the End….

The Bed Bugs are Jumpin’ — The Beginning of the End….



A “Some What” Fictional Story — Oakland 2013

Everywhere I go I see mattresses tossed out on the sidewalk, and there are some in my area that have been sitting outside for a couple of weeks. While I know they have to go somewhere- they are not making the town’s esthetics look good by sitting there. I am not going to mention where they are, but the photos that are on here are from a clean-up campaign I helped with in in Oakland, Ca. But no one is blind.

Free Bay Area mattress, box spring drop-off points now open – The Mercury  News

Bedbug infestations in Montreal are at an all-time high, say exterminators who can hardly keep up with demand.

“There’s more than last year,” said Harold Leavey of Maheu Extermination Ltée. His company employs 25 full-time exterminators.

“In 2000, I would handle one or two bedbug cases a year,” he told CBC’s French-language service, Radio-Canada.

 “Now it’s 50 to 100 a day.”

Here is a story I wrote a few years ago that could happen.

   The Bed Bugs are Jumpin’ like Jumpin’ Jack Flash 

The bed bugs are going all literary on us now and now have been spotted in the bowels of  Montreal. They were last seen on the reference desk of the Grande Bibliothèque and also checking out the words of the latest True Blood novel.


The library user who wishes to remain anonymous due to fear of her landlord finding out about the pesky bug enjoying the latest Sookie Stackhouse book had no vendetta against the Montreal Library system. She placed the infiltrated book in a zip-lock bag and complained to management, yet the library matron didn’t really care and said,


“We’ve had reports [of bed bugs] from all over the place. We’re spraying all over. But we hadn’t heard they’d gotten to Literature yet.”

So what happens next ? If they are not careful the inhabitants of the library might end up like the two subjects of my fictional story. Or is it fictional?




It was the beginning of the end…… Linda Seccaspina

Matt and Steve sat there wide eyed as they watched their regular Friday night viewing of Dateline. They could not believe what they saw, and were literally shakingThe NBC program had put it all out there in black and white for everyone to see. All those mattresses people threw out everyday never went into landfill sites. They were picked up by mattress dealers and taken to special places to be recycled into new ones. 

Apparently, they had been doing this for years and stripped the fabric off, and then sprayed them with a pestitcide.  Newly recovered, they were sent to bargain mattress places to be resold.



Matt gulped his beer down quickly and remembered yesterday in technicolor. They both had fought a vicious house fire and bed bugs had been everywhere. The little Hannibal Lectors had run like bandits away from the flames and had latched on to their equipment and gear. They screamed as the bugs crawled all over them. When they got back to the fire station they had to quarantine all their stuff so the bugs would not infiltrate them.

There was not a place in the city of New York where you could walk now without being bitten. Toronto was next, and half the population of Montreal had been destroyed by the super bugs.  It was only a matter of time that every city would be literally be eaten alive.

People were blaming the Clinton administration as pesticides had been used for years and then they decided to ban it. Now the world was slowly dying because of it.  The reality of it all was that Clinton was not to blame – it was actually a company called *”Monsanterino”.

download (51)    For years Monsanterino had controlled the seeds which created the food that people consumed.They had introduced a lot of genetic horrors to the world’s food chain, and they did not seem to care. People started getting sick with celiac disease because their insides could not digest the hybrids. It was only part of a larger plot to take over the world.


Secretly they had bred the bugs and introduced them slowly into the cities. They knew they would make money hand over fist manufacturing pest control products. The mattress dealers, thinking they were spraying the Monsanterino pesticides, were actually spraying a hormone to attract the pests.

Steve looked at Matt and had tears in his eyes. He started to speak softly and then his voice grew into hysteria.

“Matt, the bugs have doubled in numbers since yesterday, what’s next?”

Matt looked at him and said,

“I guess you didn’t hear, senator Mike Duffy died yesterday. His office became so infested he did not get out in time. He’s dead Steve, he’s dead!”


They both looked at each other and realized that there was no hope now, and they were everywhere! It was only a matter of time now. Matt looked outside and saw a huge billboard that had a giant bed bug with an exterminator’s address on it. It was now officially the city that never sleeps. The national crisis was not unemployment now, it was bed bugs.

It was time to go to sleep and they headed up to their separate rooms. They each put on their newly purchased protective flea collars made by “Monsanterino” and crawled into bed. They would be safe for another night. Sadly, they were the last tenants alive in the building. All it takes is one pregnant bed bug to fill a building, and within three weeks most of the tenants had met their match.

“Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” had now become reality everywhere.

 Images (except the bed bugs thank you very much) and Text: Linda Seccaspina 2013

The story about the mattresses being picked up and reused is true and was on Dateline. I have never bought a discount mattress again:)

Click here for story

How Did Carleton Place Get the Name Cartoon Place? Linda’s Mailbag


Like Uncle Ralph’s Mailbag that I wrote about the other day- I get letters too:)

This is from Steve VanVeit:

Hi Linda you came up in conversation yesterday as we all felt you would know how and when Carleton Place got its nick name “Cartoon Place”

Right LOL…..

I try boys and girls, but I am not even close to the bottomless well of information. But, I do like to solve things. If you saw me over by the Hawthorne Mill the other day I am gathering clues for that floating bridge we had. Or, if you see my Burgundy SUV on some back road going real slow, you had better pass me as I am looking for something like the log house on Scotch Corners or a cemetery. So, after a few days here is what I have got for you Steve.

I did a lot of research online, and at first I thought it was because the Carleton Place Canadian won many yearly news achievements and maybe it had to do with one of their cartoons they used to have. Or did they? Then I wondered if it had anything to do with a famous cartoonist that came to town in 1909.

J. W. Bengough, noted Canadian cartoonist, entertained a Town Hall audience with his skill, making such sketches of local celebrities as Reeve William Pattie at his desk, Dr. J. J. McGregor extracting a horses’ tooth, Arthur Burgess in his automobile, William Miller in a horse deal, and Tom Bolger with his hotel bus at the railway depot.”
But, they were called the funny books in those days, so nope – not that.


First place I went to was the Post Office, and they knew about it, but had no idea why. Sometimes I go see Ms. Krista Lee on Bridge Street for information. Her store Apple Cheeks is ground zero for pop-culture in Carleton Place. She IS Miss Carleton Place as far as I am concerned. Barbara Plunkett was in there too, so I might possibly have some back up information.


Krista agreed with my thoughts that the whole Cartoon Place name began in Almonte, as there has always been a long standing rivalry between the two towns. Krista also thought that the town had been labeled because of all the drama that came out of the hotels. In the old days there was a grove of trees where Valley Paint was on Lake Ave East and people used to sit there and watch the drunks come out of the Mississippi Hotel and fight in the parking lot.


Downtown Carleton Place was hopping then, as you came downtown to cash your cheques at the bank and get your mail. Things got so entertaining she said, that for a few weeks, someone left a couch in the middle of that grove of trees. They all used to sit on it and watch the entertainment across the street. The four corners was a hub of spectator parking similar to when the old Tim Horton’s was open to catch the downtown entertainment coming out from the hotels.

So next stop was Almonte to get a few opinions, and one 75- year-old gentleman who wanted to remain nameless, less someone drive down from Carleton Place to confront him told me the cold hard facts. Carleton Place was the place you came to drink and play craps in the back rooms of some of the Bridge Street stores. You didn’t do that in Almonte! (see the Carleton Place High School drug story) You sure as hell didn’t want your parents finding out, so you did “your business” in Carleton Place. He said there was so much fighting and nonsense going on at the hotels– it was right out of the cartoons. Hence the name Cartoon Place.

Almonte Gazette April 1897. The town of Carleton Place must be a drouthy lot as it takes ten places licensed to sell liquour to supply their wants

As Steve VanVeit commented today:  Free admission bring your own popcorn! Only 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

A Canadian Drinking Song by the Dropkick Murphys