Tag Archives: log homes

More History on the Murphy Morphy McEwen House — Karen Prytula

More History on the Murphy Morphy McEwen House — Karen Prytula
“McEwen House Bell Street”

Linda, you asked me who the original owner of the lot that 119 Bell was constructed on. Here is some more history- Karen Prytula

The short answer is the Crown deeded the lot on Bell Street to John Murphy/Morphy in 1824 after completion of his settlement duties. This was originally an 80 acre lot. John was one of the 3 sons of Edmund Morphy. And I believe this lot to belong to son John because the other 2 sons of Edmund were James and William, and they owned land adjacent to this lot at the same time, and, their names were also spelled Murphy in the land records.

In 1839 John M sold 11 acres for 25 pounds. I would figure if he is selling off land, he probably is living on the land and so that log part of the house could be as early as 1824.

Balance: 69 acres

In 1841 JohnM sells 25 acres for 100 pounds to H. Baines. Balance: 44 acres

In 1841 JohnM also sells to H. Boulton, acreage not specified, for 63 pounds…

By 1861 JohnM is dead, and so probably left the remaining acreage to his son/brother William, whom I believe may have sold to H. Boulton.

The 1863 map shows an R. Bell owning the lot, and a Dr. Wilson owning the stone home (105 Bell) next to this one.

The 1879 map does not have names written on it like the earlier map does.

Because this house was on lot 15W, Concession XII – it’s a big lot and there are probably lots of houses that are made of log then covered with clapboard.

There were plenty of owners on this lot but not one of them was a McEwen. One of the walking tour pamphlets refers to this house as the Murphy/Morphy house – so I am confident this is probably where John Murphy/Morphy lived. Possibly Dr. McEwen rented it when he was living there.


PIN 05119-0129

The above legal description is of absolutely no help as it does not even mention the Concession #, which we know to be XII.

“Founded Upon A Rock” does not mention a Dr. McEwen at all. It mentions a John Morphy, but not in relation to the house.

If the house was built in the 1880s it could have been built by any number of the property owners listed on the land abstract, because, lots of families lived on lot 15. It’s impossible to know which family was on a certain acreage/sq.footage.

I think the log cabin was there for maybe close to 50 years and instead of tearing it down, a newer owner just clapboarded around it in the 1880s, and additions were added when necessary.

part of the log from the house that was hand hewed that we got for Jennifer for the museum

There is a technology out there called Dendrochronology (the science or technique of dating events, environmental change, and archaeological artifacts by using the characteristic patterns of annual growth rings in timber and tree trunks.) which can tell the year the log was taken down. I am reading up on it to see if maybe we can get the year the log was cut down which will tell us, if this was an original Morphy homestead.  i.e. if it was cut down before 1861 (the year I know John was deceased by) it was probably the original John Morphy homestead.  If the log was cut down after 1861 then it could not have been his home.

Photo- Adin Wesley Daigle

June 12, 2020 2:25 PM

After some of the siding was removed there stood a two storey log home. Yes the “McEwen home” was originally a two storey log home probably built in 1848 with the hard wood logs taken from the lot or the park across the street. Very unheard of to see a two storey log home and the people that built it must have been well off. I asked the developer to cut off part of one of the logs and thanks to Karen P and Mark Smith they carried it to her van for the museum so we would have part of the house.

As the home came down the smell of rot filled the air. The logs at the base of the house were basically all sawdust and apparently they had been trying to save the base logs patching for years. The house also had asbestos in it. Sadly there were little options for this home. Instead of being angry–don’t let other heritage houses get this far along so they can’t be saved.

Instead of discussion put your words into actions. JOIN and SUPPORT, DONATE to our Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum — (their website is http://www.cpbheritagemuseum.com.
On the page you will see a tab called Join Us, all the information is there.) Instead of complaining..

Put your words into actions. Join our Municipal Heritage Committee. https://carletonplace.ca/municipal-heritage-committee.php

Linda Seccaspina

William Morphy Family

Do You Know How Edmond Morphy Died?

What’s Changed in Your Home in 40 Years?

The Natives of Carleton Place — Violins and Deer

Who Came First? The Morphy or the Moore? The Name Game

Alfred Dulmage-The Son of the First White Child

Little Kenny Morphy Went Pike Fishing

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

McFarlanes –Stewart’s Fire– and Other Things in Ashton

McFarlanes –Stewart’s Fire– and Other Things in Ashton

Donna McFarlane sent me this note yesterday:

“Sometime before 1874 the old log house across from the mill pub in Ashton was a hotel or stopping place operated by Donald McFarlane. I noticed that it was now restored to log.. Donald’s son William later opened a hotel at Youngs Point”.

So I am looking for information about the hotel. If anyone knows anything or has heard stories- leave comments, PM me, or send me an email sav_77@yahoo.com




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal15 Apr 1887, FriPage 3


Meanwhile I found this..



In the old days the more outside buildings you owned around your home or farm- the more prosperous you were.  Or people thought you were. The complex at the old McFarlane farm in Ashton as it came to be known consisted of many log buildings scattered around the property.

The first building was a log shanty, and they threw it together quickly because they had too. Those buildings were the one with the large spaces between the logs that blew in the cold air in the winter. However, those shantys grew too small for growing families, so they were abandoned and usually a new frame house was built until the ultimate home could be achieved. That would be a stone home–meaning: they were now at the top of the heap in prosperity and social stature.

The McFarlane’s finally added a stone home to their complex and it had everything from the newel posts at the bottom of the stairs to the square fanlight and side lights. These were all the signatures of a master builder. But, it is the outbuildings that are a fascinating part of this farms history to me. Small medium and large log buildings frame the vista of meadows, flower and vegetable gardens making it a rich overall feel of rural contentment.

The Crown deeded the property to James McFarline in 1828. Similar to a lot of misspellings in those days his last name was later changed to McFarlane. When he died in 1867 the farm was given to his children and in 1891 his eldest son, James McFarlane was listed as the owner. James Lorne McFarlane was the last of the family dynasty to own the property obtaining the title in 1949.

In 1966 the McFarlane family ceased owning the property.



Updates from Donna McFarlane– Thanks Donna!

The comments in the article above are not all accurate as the information was given by the owner at the time of the open house.
The farm lot 24 conc 10 was settled by James Mcfarlane in August of 1820
and settlement duties completed it was deeded in 1828. After his death
his youngest son James bought out his siblings (Catherine Drummond, Grace
Mccuan, Ann,Elizabeth,Janet, Martha and William) and retained this
property. James sr also owned Lot 23 conc 9 Beckwith which oldest son
William bought his siblings out and retained.
The log home was burnt and replaced by the stone home. The small two
storey log home that was used by the Mcfarlanes for a hen house was
actually moved by Lorne from lot 25 conc 10 (property that Lorne owned)
In Feb 7 1964 the properties were deeded to John Mcfarlane with Lorne and
Gladys having a life interest however because the farm could not support
two families John went to work off farm and it was sold.
Donald of Ashton and James of Beckwith and William of Goulbourn were
three brothers from Comrie Perthshire Scotland.




Joseph Arthur Mcfarlane who was dean of medicine at
U of T was born on the Gordon Bourne property that his father Joseph son
of William of Goulbourn owned. He attended the Derry School.–Donna McFarlane
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Ashton Choir no idea of year–I’d say 50s??
Photos sent to me by Donna McFarlane



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal19 Feb 1897, FriPage 5


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal10 Mar 1945, SatPage 18



Mary Jane was daughter of Donald of Ashton.. the other was granddaughter of James of Beckwith–Donna McFarlane

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal03 Jan 1929, ThuPage 22



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  10 Feb 1900, Sat,  Page 7


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.

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


Related reading:


The Ghost of the Lanark County Old Log Cabin

Home and Garden Before Home and Garden Magazine