Tag Archives: james poole

Carleton Place in the 1850s

Carleton Place in the 1850s


“Carleton Place Herald editor James Poole in an editorial of nearly a hundred years ago already had claimed any man who would shoot a robin or other songbird would be capable of robbing his grandmother or of committing any other crime or rascality”.


When James C. Poole published ‘The Herald” in the Carleton Place of the 1850s there was “blood on the moon”; the earth was “heavy with new wars”; the people were despairing of colonial unity and jealous of “local rights”; and every township had the “railroad fever” though “plank roads” were connecting the hamlets.



Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Mar 1850, Sat  •  Page 2



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There was no radio to blare wondrous products on the public, but the advertising columns urged the claims of cherry and lung-wort to cure consumption. The ladies endured agony in wasp-waisted stays while the other hussies applied “East India Hair Dye “to turn grey hair to dark brown or bright jet black”. Incidentally, bald-headed Romeos were even then anxious about their top thatch and were vigorously using “Agor’s Turkish Balm” to stop dandruff.


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Altogether it was an interesting world, the inhabitants did not live under the stresses and strains and sacrifices of global war. Editor Poole founded his paper in Carleton Place first as the “Lanark Herald”, in September, 1850, and later, in May, 1851 as the ‘”Carleton Herald”. In that age of intense personal journalism, it certainly reflected the individuality of its editor.

“A new railway station was built at the junction of the two lines here.  Exemption from municipal taxation was granted for the C.P.R. workshops being moved to Carleton Place from Brockville and Prescott.  Major James C. Poole (1826-1882), Herald editor, predicted the town was “about to enter upon an era of advancement and unparalleled prosperity.”

This four-page paper carried an abundance of world and local news with a pungent  glaring editorial. The writer gleaned some interesting information on a cross section of life and customs as reflected in Editor Poole’s columns: Emphasis on Reading.

Education and cultivation of the mind were of major importance is evidenced by a notice in an issue of 1851 whereby the privileges of the Carleton Place Library Association- and Mechanics’ Institute were extended “to persons from Franktown, Innisville and Bellamy  (Clayton) on payment of subscription and punctual return of books”. The library was then located in the schoolhouse with J. Neilson, the teacher, as librarian.

School matters were adequately reported in “The Herald”, and we find the irrepressible Dugald C. McNab (famous dominee of.Place Editor World in Flux Burnstown and one time tary to Chief McNab) breaking into the news. On August 15, 1851, he held a meeting of teachers at Joseph Warren’s school-house on the 12th Concession of Lanark “for the purpose ‘of mental improvement”. That same month he assisted at the formation of the Teachers’ Institute of Lanark and Renfrew with William Still, as president, and himself as secretary.

In November of that year, Dugald C. McNab demonstrated his new system of education at the Burnstown model school “with visitors present from Aylmer, Drummond, Renfrew and the High-Falls of the Madawaska”. Politically, the county faced a series of elections, and the major issues (as debated hotly at meetings in the district) were the secularization of the clergy reserves, abolition of rectories, elective franchise, equalization of representation, law reform, retrenchment (now we have a multitude of “voices” proclaiming security for all from the cradle to the grave!).



Franktown Road in Carleton Place- see the carriages and a stagecoach on your left. Photo from the Edwards family collection at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum– read more The Last Stagecoach Driver in Lanark County

District development was featured in items of 1851 which noted that the “Royal Mail Line of Stages” left Wilson’s Hotel, Brockville, daily at noon for Addison, Kitley, Smiths Falls and Perth,  with the fare to Perth 10 shillings.

Following a report In the issue of October 7, 1852, of the annual fair of the Lanark and Renfrew Agricultural Society at Carleton Place, there is a small item noting the death of the Duke of Wellington. So much for the appraisal of news values! That year, incidentally, was recorded as being one of the mildest ever known in Canada. Plowing was still being. done on December 1.

There were two rather noteworthy advertisements carried during the year 1851. In one. Professor J. Case Dunham proclaimed himself as an instructor in the art of penmanship.  The second modest notice by Jerome Bateman, BA, announced “Superior Daguerreotype Likenesses”. There must have been competition in this field of early, portrait photography for in an issue of February 1853, we find  E. Spencer .”prepared to execute better daguerreotypes than ever before”.

Russia was the threat among the nations then, and Editor Poole’s foreign news featured the Crimean War. Local patriotism expressed itself in a series of meetings. Horton township, it is recorded, passed a bylaw to raise a fund for the widows and orphans of British soldiers by levying a farthing on every pound of rateable property in the township. Such was the momentous world of Editor Poole.


“The James Poole estate sold the Carleton Place Herald, founded in 1850, to William H. Allen and Samual J. Allen ; and sold the family’s large stone residence at Bridge Street and the Town Line Road to David Gillies, son-in-law of James Poole.  William H. Allen continued publication of the Herald for sixty years.  David Gillies, original partner and later president of Gillies Brothers Limited of Braeside and member of the Quebec Legislature, maintained his home here until his death in 1926.  Its site was the place of residence of six generations of the Poole family”.




The Wives of James Poole Carleton Place

Snippets of the Illustrious James Poole

The Donneybrooks of Carleton Place-Number 3

The Loyal Village Guards of Carleton Place

Before the Gillies House There was.. Fire 1873

Before the Gillies House There was.. Fire 1873

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Carleton Place January 1873-

It is our sincere regret to record the total destruction of the Carleton Place Herald Printing Office. printing office and also the residence of Mr. Poole on the evening of Tuesday last. The fire originated in the office from what is thought to be a deflective flue and the roof was ablaze. The printers were engaged in the front room of the office when the fire was discovered. The alarm was instantly given and the efforts of those present were directed to suppress the fire in the house which had by this time made considerable headway. All their efforts were utterly futile as the flames spread rapidly over the wooden building at the corner of Town Line and Bridge Street. A vast crowd of people collected and everyone lent a willing hand to save the contents of the office. Most of the types, forms, stands, cases etc and desks were saved. The steam engine was too heavy to be removed and had to be left to destruction.

The dwelling house a large two and a half story frame builting only erected tow years previous might have been saved had the corporation owned a fire engine. But Carleton Place had none and the building was soon enveloped in flames. In the course of a few short hours the office and house were only heaps of smouldering ashes, but the furniture and household effects were saved.

A small engine kept at Mr. Caldwell’s sawmill was brought on the grounds but too late to render any effective service. Mr. Poole’s loss is estimated at over $8,000 and he has no insurance. His policy had expires some days ago and had not been renewed. The luminous glare of the fire was distinctly seen in Almonte, (about six o’clock) and apparently seemed only a few miles off. The night was perfectly calm, otherwise.


January 1873

Mr. Poole, of the Carleton Place Herald
will not be so heavy as at first calculated.
The press and steam engine, with slight
repairs, will be as good as ever. No delay
was occurred in the regular issue of the
paper, which has been printed, since the
fire, at the Almonte Gazette office. Mr. Poole will rebuild ( and he did, the beautiful stone home that now stands)


Snippets of the Illustrious James Poole

Related Reading about various Gilles in Carleton Place

The Sad Tale of Alexander Gillies and Peter Peden

The Gillies Home in the Ghost Town of Herron’s Mills

Ring Those Bells in Carleton Place– Wylie’s Woolen Mill

Channeling John Gillies

The Great Gatsby’s of Lanark County?

Life Inside and Out the Gillies House –Photos 1910


Snippets of the Illustrious James Poole




Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


In this early private postcard of Carleton Place, the newspaper office for The Herald is located on the right. Started in 1850, James Poole was the editor and publisher. The paper is no longer in circulation.



Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum CARLETON PLACE HERALD, weekly, James C. Poole, publisher.

n 1853, James Poole, editor of The Carleton Place Herald, wrote about the Chats Falls horse railway:

“Certainly this is one of the last things you dare to hope for in the heart of the wilderness far away from either a road or a cow-path – and you must almost doubt whether it is a reality, or like the palace of Aladdin, you are not under the mysterious influence of some kind genii for your present position.”



Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

IN 1883 William H Allen with his brother S. J Allen took over the Carleton Place Herald from the late James Poole.

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Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



Officer in the 41st Brockville Rifle Battalion. Likely Capt. James Condie Poole–Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



Clipped from

  1. Ottawa Daily Citizen,
  2. 29 Jul 1878, Mon,
  3. Page 2


Clipped from

  1. Ottawa Daily Citizen,
  2. 20 Dec 1862, Sat,
  3. Page 2



Some of James Poole’s headlines in the Carleton Place Herald

James Poole fonds
MG 24 K 49
Broadsheets of Notices which were to be entered in the Carleton HERALD
No. Description of Broadsheet Physical Description Page

1 “To the Independent Electors of the South
Riding of Lanark”, Smith’s Falls,
12 Dec. 1857, James Shaw.
Notation on reverse “to be inserted twice,
ordered by W. McCaine”.
Height & Width: 40.5 cm x
34 cm; blue paper.

2 “St. James’s Church, Perth”. Statement “the new
church will be opened (D.V.) On Thursday,
November 14, 1861.”
Perth, Nov. 1861, Henry D. Shaw, A. William
Playfair, Churchwardens.
Height & Width: 35.5 cm x
53 cm; white paper

3 “Notice that Dr. Morton of Farmersville will be
in Carleton Place, Wed. 27th of this month,
where he may be consulted for one day only.
Merrickville, 11 July 1859.
The document contains handwritten corrections.
Notation on reverse.
Height & Width: 44.5 cm x
28 cm, white paper.

4. “Large Supplies, Great Reduction”. Notice of
sale of dry goods and groceries with prices
Island Store, Almonte, Oct. 26, 1864.
The document contains handwritten corrections.
Height & Width: 42 cm x
28 cm, white paper.

5. “Farm Property to be sold by Auction”
Village of Carleton Place, H. McLean,
Auctioneer, with instructions from the heirs of the
late Rev. John Smith, of Beckwith, n.d.
Height & Width: 46 cm x
31.5 cm. White paper

6. “ The splendid young stallion ‘Jupiter’ will stand
for mares this seasons”. Includes picture of the
J. Dunnet, Pakenham, May 1859.
The document contains handwritten corrections.
Height & Width: 45.5 cm x
30.5 cm, white paper.

7. “Smith’s Latest Improved Combined Mowing
and Reaping Machines”, selling implements to
farmers, John Smith, St. Gabriel Locks,
Montreal; Robert Carss, Agent, Arnprior, Frank
Sargent, Agent, Ottawa.
Montreal, June 1859.
The document contains handwritten corrections.
Height & Width: 45.25 cm
x 31 cm, white paper

8. “Notice! To All Farmers & Mechanics”
concerning an invention by Lyman Judson for a
method of constructing slat and teeth for horse
rakes. Includes picture of implement.
Elbe, 6 May, 1857.
The document contains handwritten corrections.
Height & Width: 45 cm x
30 cm, white paper

9. “Take Notice! Auction Sale!”
Arnprior, Ottawa House,
Dry goods, dress goods, prints. A. Rowe,
auctioneer, 22 Feb. 1865.
The document contains more information as well
as handwritten corrections.
Height & Width: 44 cm x
28 cm, white paper

10. “Auction Sale!” 300 acres of land, 6th
concession, Beck Township, late Rev. J. Smith.
1 Nov. ____, H. McLean, auctioneer.
Height & Width: 41 cm x
28 cm, white paper

11. “Great Panic in the Money Market!” Notice
offering the sale of British and foreign goods “at
unprecedentedly Low Prices…”
Groceries, hardware, drugs, stationery, etc.
James Dunnet.
The document contains handwritten corrections.
Height & Width: 42 cm x
29 cm, green paper


Related reading

The Donneybrooks of Carleton Place-Number 3

The Loyal Village Guards of Carleton Place

Don’t Eat Yellow Snow? How About Erasers?- Ewan Caldwell

Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News