Tag Archives: McArthur Mill

Murder in Carleton Place –Peter Cairns

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Perth Courier, August 26, 1870

We just learn by telegraph that a shocking murder was committed at Carleton Place yesterday morning.  A little boy, son of a widow woman the name of Low, aged about 12 years, was shot dead by a man named Peter Cairns a boarder in the house.  Later we learned the following additional particulars of this melancholy affair from Constable McFadden of Carleton Place who brought the prisoner from there and lodged him in the Perth jail.

Yesterday morning a son of widow Low, aged 12, having hurt his foot sat crying on the door step of his mother’s residence.  Cairns demanded that he should desist but the boy did not heed the order.  When the prisoner renewed the demand and told him he would shoot him if he did not stop, the boy had no idea that the prisoner anticipated putting his threat into execution and he bade him no attention.  Cairns then pointed the gun at the boy, drew the trigger and the gun went off sending the contents—a charge of pigeon shot—into the left side of the poor boy, the whole again going out under the right arm, making a frightful wound, tearing a hole in the abdomen nearly 2 inches in diameter.

The mitigating circumstances are:  Cairns had lent the gun to a person working on the Canadian Central Railway who had returned it unloaded.  This was ascertained to be the case on Friday evening last.  The dead boy’s brother had taken the gun on Saturday to hunt pigeons and had replaced it where he had taken it, loaded.  Cairns was unaware the gun had been used since he hung it up and took it down as he says, to frighten the child, pointing it at him in a threatening manner.

An Englishman standing beside Cairns observing that the gun was (illegible word), hastened to point the fact out to Cairns but the warning came too late for at that instant the gun went off.  It is the opinion of nearly everyone in Carleton Place that the deed was not intentional.  A coroner’s inquest was held on the body of the deceased boy yesterday afternoon when a verdict of manslaughter was returned coupled with the conclusion that the prisoner did not intend to take the life of the child.

Cairns is a young man rather pre-possessing in appearance about 19 years of age, small in stature, light hair and complexion.  He was very much depressed after the awful occurrence.  After his arrest yesterday afternoon by Constable McFadden, he frequently requested that the constable shoot him, so overwhelmed did he feel.  He said that he could scarcely bear to know that his parents should learn the fearful facts.  He was until about three months ago a resident of the city of Quebec.  Since his arrival at Carleton Place he had been working in the new factory of Mr. McArthur’s.

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Photo McCord Museum- McArthur Mill

Perth Courier, October 28, 1870

The Queen Versus Peter Cairns—On the 21st day of August last, the prisoner was playing with one Simmons and a young boy named Thomas Lowe, son of Mrs. Lowe who keeps a boarding house at Carleton Place. Thomas Lowe got hurt and began to cry, and the prisoner took down a double barrel shotgun from the wall and said he would shoot the boy if he did not stop crying.  Simmons told him to take care, the gun was loaded. Notwithstanding the warning, the prisoner raised the gun and fired at the child, the charge passing through his chest and he died in a few minutes.  There being no evidence of malice aforethought, but a clear case of criminal negligence, the grave charge of murder was withdrawn and the charge of manslaughter was returned.  Sentenced to 12 months in the common gaol at hard labour.

historicalnotes

Credit and Depression

A. McArthur & Son, Carleton Place. –

Believing that too much credit has been one of the main causes of the depression which is now felt throughout the country, we are prepared to sell for Cash or Short Date on approved Credit, at prices to suit the times.

A. McArthur, W. B. McArthur, March 1, 1879.

August 26, 1870 – We learn by telegraph that a shocking murder was committed at Carleton
Place yesterday morning. A little boy, son of a widow woman the name of Low, aged about 12
years, was shot dead by a man named Peter Cairns a boarder in the house. The son of Widow
Low, having hurt his foot, sat crying on the door step of his mother’s residence. Cairns
demanded that he should desist but the boy did not heed the order. When [Cairns] renewed the
demand and told him he would shoot him if he did not stop, the boy had no idea that the
prisoner anticipated putting his threat into execution and he bade him no attention. Cairns then
pointed the gun at the boy, drew the trigger and the gun went off sending the contents—a
charge of pigeon shot—into the left side of the poor boy, the whole again going out under the
right arm, making a frightful wound, tearing a hole in the abdomen nearly 2 inches in
diameter. A coroner’s inquest was held on the body of the deceased boy yesterday afternoon
when a verdict of manslaughter was returned…

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

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

Killed by Lightening -or Death by Bear Devouring

The Buck Lake Murderer

The Media Then and Now–Johnny Gillies Had a Gun

The Day the Waterloo Knitting Mill Met its Waterloo

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Did You Know? An Island was Once Not an Island

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Photo by Carleton Place’s sky pilots Bill and Carole Flint

Did you know that McArthur Island or Kenden Island (Kenden Industries)  was once not an island? The main river flows past the location while a man-made channel, once used to divert water to the former McArthur Mill complex actually created the island in the 19th Century. Water flow of the Mississippi River was also changed for the Bates and Innes Mill.

 

See more Carleton Place Sky Pilots photos here

 

Other Carleton Place Mysteries

Take Me Where the Mississippi River Once Flowed– The Hidden Mill River

Before and After with Bill Bagg and the Mississippi Gorge

The Floating Bridge of Carleton Place — Found!

Feeling Groovy by the Lake Ave East Bridge

The Mystery Ruins of Carleton Place- Photos by Adam Dowdall

The Mystery Ruins and the Floating Sidewalk Near the McNeely Bridge

The Hidden Hideaway On Glen Isle

 

 

The River Dance of the McArthur Mill in Carleton Place

Down by the Old Pike Hole–The Island Bridges of Carleton Place- Before and After

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Down by the Old Pike Hole–The Island Bridges of Carleton Place- Before and After

 

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Linda Seccaspina

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Ruby Featherstone, Gillies Bridge–Back Bridge 1906 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 18 Oct 1907, Fri,
  3. Page 10

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Linda Seccaspina

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Gillies/Muirhead girls at Gillies Bridge-Back Bridge 1906 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 

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Back Bridge 1906 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museumwatercp

 

Sunday, October 21, 1928-Photo From the Millie Aitkenhead collection

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Linda seccaspina

historicalnotes

 

 

Related Reading

The River Dance of the McArthur Mill in Carleton Place

Llew Lloyd
November 12, 2020  · 

Here’s a photo from the same era, taken below the “ Pike Hole “ . Austin Lloyd with his brother Llew Lloyd standing behind him with his hands on his shoulders. Don’t know the names of the other two men.
Back Bridge 1906 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Back Bridge Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Back Bridge Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Kenneth Jackson– That bridge was replaced when Mr.McCalls dump truck loaded with gravel went through it.That part of the river and rock by the island water used to be called The Pike Hole with real good fishing untill they built the new dam with no fish ladders in it.–

Carleton Place Wins Prizes for their Wool!

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Perth Courier, Sept. 17, 1880

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Mr. W. H. Wylie, Carleton Place, received a special prize at the Toronto Exposition for the woolen shawls made at his factory. Messrs Boyd Caldwell and Son, Lanark, took first prize for Canadian Scotch tweed, and first prize for Cashmere at the Exposition.

Prizes for Woolen Goods—Among those manufacturers in Lanark County who carried off prizes at the Toronto Exposition now being held are:  Gold medal, for the Woolen Company at Almonte; and also Messrs Boyd Caldwell and Son, Lanark; and Mr. William H. Wylie of Carleton Place.

 

Historical Notes on Carleton Place Woolen Mills- from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum and The Perth Courier–Read the Perth Courier at Archives Lanark

Perth Courier, November 19, 1880

Mr. James Gillies, purchaser of the Code Woolen Factory, Carleton Place, was in town on Monday.

Perth Courier, August 5, 1881

Retiring—We are sorry to learn that ill health has compelled Mr. James Gillies of the Carleton Place Woolen Mills (Code’s) and the Braeside Saw Mill, to retire from business until has system recuperates. He offers his woolen factory for sale.

1900 – To supply serge for British army uniforms the Canada Woollen Mills expanded its operations here at the Gillies and Hawthorne mills.

1903 – The Gillies and Hawthorne woollen mills – recently working on overtime hours with 192 employees, after six years of improvements under the ownership of Canada Woollen Mills Limited – were closed.  The reason was stated to be loss of Canadian markets to British exporters of tweeds and worsteds.  The company went into bankruptcy.

1907 – Bates and Innes Co. Limited bought and equipped the former Gillies Woollen Mill as a knitting mill.  A Quebec company, the Waterloo Knitting Co. Ltd., similarly re-opened the Hawthorne Woollen Mill.

1909 – Bates & Innes knitting mill, after making waterpower improvements, began running night and day with about 150 employees.  The Hawthorne knitting mill was closed by reason of financial difficulties, and its operating company was reorganized as the Carleton Knitting Co. Ltd.

 

 

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

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“Carleton Place July 31, 1885 from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

W.H. Wylie’s steam yacht “The Ripple”

(43′ keel, 10′ beam)

at Hawthore Woolen Mill, then operated

by W.H. Wylie.

 

Possibly W.H. Wylie sitting on fore rail.

On Fore Rail – A.R.G. Peden (Town Clerk)

Left on upper deck: Jim Burnie

 

Read the Perth Courier at Archives Lanark

The River Dance of the McArthur Mill in Carleton Place

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McArthur Island in Carleton Place was once connected by two short bridges. You can see the original wooden bridge in the above picture. This site was once used by the local Indians and settlers as a portage across the Mississippi River. In 1870 Archibald McArthur built his woolen mill of rubble wall constructions- one foot thick limestone blocks with another foot of gravel between—which was a customary building technique in those days. On the side stands a protected  grove of Hackberry trees. One day stop your car and notice an interesting  assembly of wheels and gears resting at the end of the weir and against the building. Steampunk in its original form.

McArthurMill

This is a fine example of the turbine water wheel that powered the mill. By the time the mill was built millrights had learned to mount the often not quite true turbine wheels outside the main stone walls on free standing timbers. This was done so as to prevent the end of the mill from being literally shaken to pieces as happened on occasions. On the metal gears there are teak wood teeth. At one point  the McArthur mill did not have a basement floor. The river ran under the building, this enabling the raw wool to be washed directly under the swiftly moving current. The river tributary that you see flowing by the old mill was actually a man made channel. Each time I look at it it reminds me of the day my youngest son slipped and fell off the edge and landed on the rocks below. Thankfully a kind Carleton Place individual rescued him.

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In 1877 the McArthur woolen mill, equipped to operate by water power of the lower falls, was leased and reopened by William H. Wylie when the country’s business depression became less severe. In 1881 John Gillies of Carleton Place bought the McArthur woollen mill at the present Bates & Innes site from its first owner Archibald McArthur. The reported price was $40,000. W. H. Wylie, lessee of the McArthur mill, also bought the Hawthorne woolen mill from its new owner James Gillies at a price reported as $19,000. The brick addition was built in 1901 and originally produced fine worsted and tweeds and eventually merged as part of Bates and Innes with the Gillies mills to produce the Ottawa Valley brand of wool products.

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I have added this picture to the Gillies Mill Blog so you can see how they redirected the riverbed to run next to the mill. There are maps of the river on that blog. Thanks to Jayne Henry of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum for this new found picture of Gillies Mill.

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MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain