Tag Archives: joyce murray

Riddell— H B Montgomery House History For Sale

Riddell— H B Montgomery House History For Sale




The house was originally built by Carleton Place retailer Norman Riddell who lived there with his family until his death. The grand house with the once beautiful gardens was then sold at auction and then flipped to Mr. Collie who in turn sold it to H B Montgomery. After the auction was over it still contained some of the Riddell family’s furniture like the Victorian settee in blue brocade which continued to sit in its original place in the living room.

Iconic Carleton Place citizen H B Montgomery moved into the house and lived there for most of his life.  H B told stories about Mr. Pattie who used to own a dry goods store in town. Pattie told him about his father who worked for a solid year carving the arches and moldings by hand. The bookshelves in the house were also created by his father.

Well, now things are changing and Joyce Murray called me to say she had the doors from the Montgomery house and they are changing everything in the home.

Joyce has two group of doors. One with glass and the other original wooden doors.. Check listing below. Some of my house comes from other homes in Carleton Place so I feel that I need to share this so we can keep it close. Just the way I think:) (see Reusing the Past of Carleton Place — The Morphy’s and the McCann’s)

So give Joyce a call or hop on down to Murray’s Furniture & Flea Market– infor when they are open is below.


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Two original front doors from the Riddell– Montgomery home along with the transit (that goes above the doors) are being sold for $300. With the original glass that is a steal as far as I am concerned for history etc.






Joyce also has 3 various wooden doors and one is a outside side door and two are inside doors for $75.00– Just give her a call and she will give you all the details and show them to you.




Image may contain: car and outdoorMurray’s Furniture & Flea Market

Last updated: October 6th, 2017!

They accept Cash, Debit, Visa & Mastercard

Open 3 Days A Week! Friday 10-6 ~ Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm

525 High Street
Carleton Place, Ontario
Call (613) 253-1804
and just in case you don’t know who Joyce Murray is you can read about here: The Emporium of Life — Joyce Murray

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.


The Mysterious Riddell— H B Montgomery House

In Memory of H B Montgomery

H B Montgomery Auctioneer

Buttons and Quilts by Sherri Iona (Lashley)

Update on Miss Powell from CPHS- John Edwards

Glory Days in Carleton Place-Sherri Iona (Lashley)




Here we go Carleton Place– Mark Your Calendars–



Join us and learn about the history under your feet! This year’s St. James Cemetery Walk will take place Thursday October 19th and october 21– Museum Curator Jennfer Irwin will lead you through the gravestones and introduce you to some of our most memorable lost souls!
Be ready for a few surprises along the way….
This walk takes place in the dark on uneven ground. Please wear proper footwear and bring a small flashlight if you like.
Tickets available at the Museum, 267 Edmund Street. Two dates!!!

OCT 28th
Downtown Carleton Place Halloween Trick or Treat Day–https://www.facebook.com/events/489742168060479/

Here we go Carleton Place– Mark Your Calendars–


October 28th The Occomores Valley Grante and Tile Event–730pm-1am Carleton Place arena-Stop by and pick up your tickets for our fundraiser dance for LAWS. They also have tickets for Hometown Hearts event at the Grand Hotel fundraiser

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Pokemon Go Carleton Place Update– I Heard it Through the Grapevine





Last night our wonderful Joyce Murray, from Murray’s Furniture & Flea Market, texted me to say she had been driving around Carleton Place with her daughter playing Pokemon Go— The local Pokemon seems to be hiding out near all our local Carleton Place landmarks with plaques.

That includes: our local churches, Carleton Place Farmers Market, the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum etc. What is amusing is that one of our local residents was allegedly seen out and about their home very perplexed as to why there were so many people congregating near their home with bikes and cars late at night.

Maybe that Manitoulin Chocolate Works 9-5 business would look good right about now? Just saying..:)

Here is an example of local participation and how things seem to work these days. It has to be different– it has to be catchy– and people will come out. Yesterday, throngs of people were seen out and about the museum and the library.. this is all it takes.. something new.. and something exciting.–Participate in your town- embrace your town.

Go pay a visit to Murray’s Furniture & Flea Market and say Hi to Joyce.. A true Carleton Place icon..


Murray’s Furniture & Flea Market

Address: 525 High St, Carleton Place, ON K7C 3P1


Related Reading

The Emporium of Life — Joyce Murray



Raise the Roof for Joyce Murray



Related reading:The Emporium of Life — Joyce Murray

A roof /ˈruf/ is part of a building envelope. It is the covering on the uppermost part of a building or shelter which provides protection from animals and weather, notably rain or snow, but also heat, wind and sunlight. The durability of a roof is a matter of concern because the roof is often the least accessible part of a building for purposes of repair and renewal, while its damage or destruction can have serious effects.

In layman’s terms, it’s the thing above your head as you sleep that protects you from the weather and flying monkeys. Joyce Murray, a pillar of our community for years is in desperate need of a new roof for her business. I started to write something, but quickly realized I could not write anything better than her daughter Shannon did. Please take the time to read this in its entirety, and let’s give back to a woman who devoted her life to the town of Carleton Place.


For decades, Joyce Murray (owner of Murray’s Furniture & Flea Market) has given selflessly to the Carleton Place community. She was integral in the founding of The Lanark County Food Bank, has worked and volunteered for Lanark County Interval House, as well as Lanark County Support Services. She has hosted and contributed to countless fundraising initiatives, including currently donating space at the flea market for local charities (Dickie’s Cause 4 Paws and Lanark County Food Bank) to sell wares to raise funds for their charities.

And now, she is asking the community for help. She needs a new roof put on before the snow comes.

The goal is to raise close to $10K goal, which we know is on the HIGH side, but we are still in hopes of getting a better quote for the roof, or possibly some materials donated!

On September 26th, we are holding a Raise The Roof fundraiser at Murray’s Furniture & Flea Market which will include an online auction, BBQ, a yard sale and movie in the parking lot. Please check back here as more details come in.

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EVERY dollar counts and won’t go unnoticed. It has taken a lot for Joyce to ask for help… but if we want to keep the doors open, then we need to reach out to the community for help! www.facebook.com/murraysfleamarket

If you can’t make it, but want to contribute, please do so via our GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/4theroof


Walking With Ghosts — The Accidental Addiction


In 1895 Jacob Leslie built what is known as the Leslie Block on Bridge Street in Carleton Place, ON. to house his furniture and undertaking business. The ground floor was strictly a showroom for furniture, but samples of coffins were on the second floor with a preparation room at the back. The deceased were embalmed and made ready for presentation in the building and the funerals took place at private homes or inside the white frame house on Beckwith Street. In 1915, the business was run by W.H. Matthews, and was taken over later by Alan R. Barker.


Emma Myers had been a very young nurse on various Civil War battlefields, and after the war she emmigrated to Canada with what was left of her family. Emma had survived the hardships of war and had become addicted to morphine, as it was given as a pain killer to the officers. Almost all addictions at the turn of the century were accidental. People became involved with drugs they had no idea what they were taking and ignorant of the impact associated with them.

During the Civil War, President Lincoln requested the Army physicians to develop a method of embalming soldiers who had died so their bodies could be returned to their families. Dr. Thomas Holmes was notable for perfecting embalming during this time and Emma was chosen to work with him.

When preparing deceased soldiers, physicians first buried the soldier, then notified family, then disinterred and embalmed the soldier with a hand pump, and then shipped him home. It was soon discovered that relatives would pay well for the return of officers, so the procurement of officers’ bodies became an issue of conflict between the good doctors.

Most people would not know how to get access to this substance, let alone fully understand the embalming process. We know that embalming fluid is very popular among the dead; I am just having a hard time understanding why the living insist on smoking it– because that is what Emma was doing while she worked there. Smoking a cigarette with a touch of embalming fluid is similar to an egg exploding in a microwave and can cause a person to become extremely high for up to 3 days, depending on the amount smoked. Emma did not last long working in the Leslie Block building, as exactly 30 days after she began work, she fell into a coma on the second floor and died later that day.


For 10 years a used furniture shop in that same building was run by Joyce Murray and she sensed a lot of odd noises and motions. Murray often felt cold pockets of air on the second floor, and doors would slam shut for no reason. Many times some would complain of feeling uneasy and seeing shadows out of the corner of their eyes. Many a person would get “locked” in the bathroom on the 2nd. level so Murray decided to stop using it.  Murray’s dogs, who spent their days at the store, absolutely refused to go up the stairs. The furniture dealer’s son-in-law set up a surveillance camera  to monitor activity, and one day the camera showed a long-skirted figure quite prominently. When someone went up to check, there was no one there.

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.

Dr. Watson: [as he watches Sherlock drinking Formaldehyde] You’re drinking embalming fluid?
Sherlock Holmes: [exhales] Yes. Care for a drop?
Dr. John Watson: You do seem…
Sherlock Holmes: Excited?
Dr. John Watson: Manic.
Sherlock Holmes: I am.
Dr. John Watson: Verging on…
Sherlock Holmes: Ecstatic?
Dr. John Watson: Psychotic. [Pauses] I should’ve brought you a sedative.

Photos-Linda Seccaspina– Colour photo- Murray Family


Emma Meyers would have been age 14 at the time of the Civil War and in her 50’s when she died.

Dr. Thomas Homes– The Embalming King

The back wall of the Leslie Block building did indeed fall down due to rotting walls from leaking embalming fluid.


Carleton Place fact–The Alan R. Barker Funeral Home is part of a Carleton Place and area tradition with roots dating back to 1875. In 1875 Jacob Leslie started a funeral business on Bridge Street beside the present day St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. The Leslie business was continued by Jacob’s son George Leslie in 1892 until its sale to W.H. Matthews in 1919. 


Howls in the Night in Carleton Place — Our Haunted Heritage

The Devil You Say in Carleton Place? Our Haunted Heritage

Outside Looking in at The Eccentric Family of Henry Stafford — Our Haunted Heritage

The Funeral Train That Went Through Carleton Place — Our Haunted Heritage

Stairway to Heaven in a Cemetery? Our Haunted Heritage

Old Wives Tales of Death — Our Haunted Heritage

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Death by Corset? Bring Out Your Dead and Other Notions! Our Haunted Heritage

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

The Non Kosher Grave — Our Haunted Heritage

Linda’s Dreadful Dark Tales – When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling — Our Haunted Heritage

 Could the Giant Pike of Carleton Place Have Turned Into the Lake Memphremagog Monster?

Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

Young Hearts Run Free — Warning– Story Could be Upsetting to Some

The Emporium of Life — Joyce Murray


Truth be told I used to be scared of Joyce Murray of Murray’s Furniture & Flea Market. She isn’t a tall foreboding woman, but there is a driving force behind her. Perhaps it is because she had dreams of becoming a police woman that she projects such authority. Joyce says she likes figuring things out, so maybe she had me all figured out at the word “go”.

I first met her in 1981 when I moved here and haunted her former location on Bridge Street in the old Leslie Building like flies to honey. Her store had a bit of everything, and I loved going to the second floor and examining every piece she had. Each treasure I bought from her was special to me, and some pieces I still have today. Murray’s Furniture was the first time I had seen a pressed back chair commode. She had me at hello after that.


I don’t see her a lot these days, but when I do I could listen to her for hours. Last week when I popped into the store we talked for a spell around the pickle barrel as they say. When she opened the Sears dealer store in Carleton Place Joyce was quote as saying,

“We’ve come up with a winning formula for consumers in Carleton Place,” says Murray, “by combining the national resources of Sears with the local service of your neighbour – truly the best of both worlds in terms of customer service.”

And that my friends pretty well sums up Joyce Murray- she may be a business person in Carleton Place but she is first and foremost your neighbour. She opened her first store on Lake Ave West where The Olde Towne Bakery is now situated because of a hobby she and her daughters did together.

They accumulated so much stuff they got from sales and auctions they needed a place to store it, and that is how Murray’s Furniture began. It was also important to Joyce that that all aspects of her life should be close by. As a single parent she wanted to make sure the kids were alright.

Soon they moved to the Leslie building and Murray’s became known as the spot to shop if you wanted something different. She admits she was thinking about the Old Canadian Tire Building on Beckwith at one point as she felt things might be better suited to one floor. But, she was personally advised not to do it because of environmental concerns, and was glad she didn’t.

I wrote a story about the old Leslie building in my book Titling the Kilt and Joyce confirms not only did she have the best selection of collectibles around but there were ghosts that resided on the second floor where they used to keep the coffins in former years. Joyce told me tales of missing scissors and shadows seen on the closed circuit TV that could not be explained. But she paid them no mind, as they weren’t evil spirits because they always made sure to return the things they “borrowed”.

Joyce opened a 4,000 square foot Sears store later on and housed a wide selection of major appliances, mattresses, electronics, fitness and seasonal items. She has old school determination and ethics and has always worked hard, but does she regret opening Sears? Maybe, but that never stopped her from being that good neighbour.

It’s hard to drag things out of Joyce, but I managed to find out a few things she has done. She was one of the first foundation bricks of the Lanark Food Bank and ran it out of her living room as well as being involved at Lanark Interval House. She told me a story of selling a mattress to a woman who couldn’t pay right away but yet Joyce delivered her bed immediately when she found out the woman was sleeping on the floor. We need to remember when one neighbour helps another, we strengthen our community, and I would say Joyce has done more than her share.

If you look at Murray’s Flea Market Facebook page you will find out that with 52 vendors you sure as heck are going to find something special there. Her two daughters Shannon and Victoria work with her, and it’s definitely all about family.  She found out later in life that her Father who died when she was 4  was one of the Home Children that came from Scotland. Even if Sears did not give her much joy, she credits them with a business trip to Halifax, where she got to go to Pier 21 where her father arrived in Canada years ago. Joyce got her community involvement from her Mother.

She told me a story of seeing what she thought was a homeless man (he was deaf) at Lady Jane Donuts on Carling Ave saying that he would wash dishes for food. Knowing her Mother made more than enough food and that she would have to do dishes that night she brought the man home. Joyce figured she would be free and clear from dish washing that night. The man was on his way to join family in Montreal when someone gave him the wrong directions and told him to get off the bus in Ottawa. Stranded, he had no clue what to do, but Joyce’s family contacted the man’s family in Montreal and got him on a bus bound for Montreal after dinner. Needless to say Joyce was still on the hook to do dishes that night.

Four years ago her Mother passed away and she kind of lost her zen for things. Joyce says she is never going to retire even if the Ottawa Hydro bills make her want too. She said there is still something else she needs to do. I have no idea what that might be, but one thing I know is the strength and love she gave her daughters is a feat in itself.

Shannon told me that her mother is someone who raised her to respect others, to respect herself and her surroundings. Being raised in a single-parent household, she was taught the value of a dollar and to be thankful for what she has. Never give up and to always work hard. These “teachings” weren’t from the words she expressed to her daughter, but they were from watching her Mother and learning from her actions. They say the best thing to hold onto in life is each other and there is no doubt Joyce has been the glue in her community and her family. She is someone that realizes another person’s happiness is more important than her own. Where there is love there’s life!


“She’s not only my mother…. she’s my best friend and the most self-less person I know. She’s seen me at my best and been there for me at my worst! Couldn’t ask for anything more in a role-model!” -Shannon Murray O’Neill

525 High Street
Carleton Place, Ontario
(613) 253-1804
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