Tag Archives: mcarthur

The Mills of Carleton Place -Victoria Woolen Factory to the Hawthorn

The Mills of Carleton Place  -Victoria Woolen Factory to the Hawthorn

Original Newspaper ad from the files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Victoria Woolen Factory (1830s)
  • The mill stood on river bank near James St. The Rosamond House (1838) which is still standing is at 37 Bell St.
  • James Rosamond operated a carding mill from 1838-1846 and then a custom carding and woolen mill from 1846 – 1857.

In 1825, in the village of Fenagh in county Leitrim in Ireland, a gang of Catholic youths attacked the Rosamond home. The Rosamonds were staunch Protestants. James, aged 20 (born 1805) and his brother Edward, aged 15, attempted to protect their mother. A shot was fired by Edward and a youth was dead. The boys fled to Canada. James went to Merrickville where he worked for James Merrick as a weaver. Edward, still fearing arrest, worked his way eventually to Memphis, Tennessee.

          James Rosamond worked for James Merrick for five years and he came to Carleton Place in 1825. We know that by 1830 he was operating a sawmill, an oat mill and a carding and a fulling mill in Carleton Place on one side of the Mississippi River and a lumber mill on the other side of the river.

          In 1831 he married Margaret Wilson who was born in Scotland. James and Margaret were to have five children, all born in Carleton Place: Bennett, Mary Ann (known as Marion, who later married Andrew Bell, their son was James McIntosh Bell), Rosalind, William and James.

Mary Peden 1920s Carleton Place- Photo property Linda Seccaspina– Rosamond House in the background on Bell Street.The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler

          In the 1830’s, James built a very fine stone home on Bell Street in Carleton Place, close to St. James’ Church where he was a church warden for fifteen years. It was a time of great expansion. No one worried about pension funds, or the government looking after your, that was your responsibility. James burst upon the scene and started many businesses, all of which seem to have been successful.

          James, in what was to prove to be a landmark decision, decided to turn his fulling and carding mill into a woolen factory. In 1864 he advertised that he had purchased spinning and weaving machinery which he had bought from firms in Toronto, Ogdensburgh and Watertown, New York. By 1846 he was in operation and was selling “Plain Cloth either grey or dyed, Cashmere, Satinett, Flannel, all wool or cotton and wool, Blankets, etc.” James had started with three narrow looms, one spindle jack of one hundred and twenty spindles and one bolting roll. He expanded as best as he could in Carleton Place but the limiting factor was the amount of water power to make everything run. He ran his operation in Carleton Place for another ten years, but by 1857 his water rights had lapsed and he erected a stone mill in Almonte on the site of the Ramsay Woolen Cloth Manufacturing Company which had been destroyed by fire. Alex Huighes

read-The Exact Reason Rosamond Left Carleton Place

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

McDonald and Brown Carding and Fulling Mill and Woolen Factory
  • Vicinity of 71 Mill St (Mill St and Judson St).
  • This mill was located on Lot 65 Section D of the town survey. Allan McDonald operated a carding mill a at this location from 1846 – 1864, except for the interval 1861 – 1863 when he leased it to William Paisley.
  • Under the management of Paisley, it was known as the Wolverine Carding Mills. Then from 1864 it was again run as a custom carding mill under Allan McDonald and then in succession by a partnership of John McDonald and John Brown.
  • A new mill was built on 1868. On the retirement of John McDonald in 1901, it continued in operation by John Brown.

The Condo Ephemera of Boulton Brown Mill

Down by the Old Mill Stream — Carleton Place
The Brown Flour Mill Stories
One of the Many Hauntings of Mill Street
Coleman Family History–Just for Your Records
Jumpin’ Around in Carleton Place — Local Urban Acrobats

 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Photo

McArthur Woolen Mill (1871)
  • 105 Mill St, W 1/2 Lot 15, Conc 12 Beckwith Township.
  • The Archibald McArthur and Company Woolen Mill was built in 1871 and was operated by the company until 1876. The woolen mill, equipped to operate by waterpower of the lower falls, was later leased and reopened by William H. Wylie in 1877 when the country’s business depression became less severe. Wylie operated the mill until 1881.
  • It was then sold to John Gillies in 1882 and operated until 1900 under the firm name of J Gillies, Son and Company ; John and James Gillies; The John Gillies Estate Company Ltd .
  • In 1900 it was sold to the Canada Woolen Mills Ltd who went bankrupt in 1904. The reason was stated to be loss of Canadian markets to British exporters of tweeds and worsteds.
  • It was later sold to Bates and Innes in 1907. Bates and Innes Co. Limited equipped the former woolen mill as a knitting mill. In 1909 , the Bates & Innes knitting mill, after making waterpower improvements, began running night and day with 150 employees.
  • It was and still operating in 1911 as a knitting mill.

Eye Opening Conditions of the Carleton Place Mills– also update to Cardy Miller Story

The River Dance of the McArthur Mill in Carleton Place

Rosemary McNaughton- Little Red Door Arrives at Bates and Innes

Hawthorn Woolen Mill (1875)
  • 115 Emily St, NE 1/2, Lot 13, Conc 13, Beckwith Township.
  • Abraham Code operated a woolen mill from 1875 – 1878.
  • It sat idle from 1878 – 1880.
  • It was bought in 1880 by James Gillies of Carleton Place from its original owner Abraham Code at a reported price of $16,400.
  • It was then sold to William Wylie and William Fraser Latimer (subsequent firm name Hawthorne Woolen Mills) in 1881.
  • In 1889 it was sold to Hawthorne Woolen Company Limited which ran until 1899 when it was sold to Canada Woollen Mills Limited in 1900. In 1903 the Hawthorne (and Gillies) woolen mills – recently working on overtime hours with 192 employees, after six years of improvements under the ownership of Canada Woolen 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 in 1904.
  • It was finally sold in 1907 to the Waterloo Knitting Company. In 1909 the Hawthorne knitting mill was closed by reason of financial difficulties, and its operating company was reorganized as the Carleton Knitting Co. Ltd’


Hawthorn Mill–The Early Years– 1874 -1930

The McArthurs of Carleton Place

The Revolutions of the Hawthorn Mill
The Rencraft Fire Dept Photo Brings Back a Familiar Name
The Case of the Bell that Disappeared
An Invitation to the Old Hawthorn Mill

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

The McArthur Love Story



The McArthur Love Story
One of the highlights of the Norway celebrations, “One Hundred Plus Five” was the unveiling of a plaque marking the spot where Neil McArthur built the very first habitation in Norway Bay in 1853.
This ceremony was performed by Mr. J. G. Larivere, Member for Pontiac, assisted by the octogenarian grandson of that pioneer builder, Mr. Lorne McArthur along with his grandson, David Nugent.

Article from the Almonte Gazette – 1972

Read the Almonte Gazette here

A Ramsay Elopement

By Edna Gardiner Lowry.

At the resort area of Norway Bay on the Ottawa River a plaque was erected in 1972 to mark the spot where the earliest home in the area was built back in 1853. There was only forest there then, with no indication of the summer recreational spot that Norway Bay presents today.

The author learned about the romance that led to the establishment of that humble home from Mr. Lorne McArthur of Ottawa, a grandson of the young people who built it, and from Mrs. Peter Syme of Ramsay, and from several other sources.

Ellen Naismith was a lovely young lady of twenty years, who lived with her parents on their farm on the sixth concession of Ramsay. Across the Clayton Road lived a young man, Neil McArthur. They were deeply in love with each other and hoped to marry before long. Neil with his father, Archie McArthur, had come to Ramsay in 1847 from McArthur’s Mills in Renfrew County. Mr. McArthur bought the farm from Mr. James Bowes who had settled there in 1821.

Young Neil was a fine looking young man of twenty-five when he went to the lumber camp some distance away to earn money during the winter months. He had a very special reason to earn all he could as he intended to marry Ellen Naismith when he came back in the spring.

Sad to say, Ellen’s parents were not keen on her marrying Neil. They had set their hearts on her marrying another young man in the neighbourhood who was much better off financially.

The mother tried to encourage Ellen to accept his attentions. Ellen objected and cried, saying that she loved only Neil; but in spite of her pleadings, her mother went on making preparations for the wedding, so it would be over before Neil returned home from his winter’s work. The date was set for March 17th, 1853. A very lovely wedding dress was made for the event. Arrangements had been made with the minister of the Auld Kirk and all was in readiness.

Neil was seventy-five miles away to the northwest at McArthur’s Mills where his older brother was starting up a lumber business. Here he would work all winter and bring home his pay in the spring. He had kissed his sweetheart goodbye when he left and both of them looked forward to that great day when he would return to claim his bride. Now, Ellen’s heart was torn with agony, but there was no way for her to contact Neil.

Finally in the early part of March, Ellen learned that some men from Almonte were soon going up to McArthur’s Mills to help with the sawing of logs into lumber. She wrote a long letter to Neil telling him the state of affairs and how if he could not get home in time she would be forced to marry another and she begged him to come quickly.

Somehow she got the letter into the hands of one of the men who was going north, but by the time Neil got it there were only three days left before the wedding date and he was far from home.

When he got the word, he immediately drew his pay and set out for home.

At home in Ramsay, Ellen waited! Her mother went on busily preparing for the wedding. The invitations were out, the house was in order and much of the baking was done in readiness for the approaching occasion.

On the night of March the 16th, Ellen’s mother suggested that she retire early to get her beauty sleep. She sadly went off to her room at the rear of the house. Fortunately, the others slept at the front. Ellen got into bed with a heart full of sadness wondering if Neil had ever received her letter. She could not sleep. Finally the others went to bed and all was still in the house.

Still lying there awake she thought she heard something like footsteps in the snow beneath her window. Then there was a sound of something gently hitting the wall. She held her breath. When a soft snowball hit her window, she jumped out of bed. Her heart leaped with joy for there in the moonlight stood her beloved Neil. She wanted to shout for joy, but didn’t dare make a sound. She tried to raise the window. At last it went up and Neil whispered to her “Hurry”!

She quickly dressed, grabbed some clothes, but left the wedding dress hanging in its glory. She whispered to Neil to get the ladder from the woodshed. He got it quickly and Ellen descended to his waiting arms.

Neil had borrowed a horse and cutter from his brother and left it out at the gate. Silently they ran to the cutter and away. Safely out of sight of the house, they laid their plans. They would go at once to the manse on the 8th line of Ramsay near the Auld Kirk. (Both buildings are still there) It was well past midnight. It was most unusual for a minister to be awakened at such an unearthly hour. Indeed, he was sound asleep and Neil had to rap on the door several times before he awakened the Rev. John McMorine. When he came to the door in his nightcap holding a flickering candle in his hand he wanted to know what on earth they wanted at this time of night and why they couldn’t come at a decent hour.

When they told him that they wanted to get married, he refused to marry then and told Ellen to go back home like a good girl and not bring disgrace on her parents with her foolishness. He absolutely refused to marry them. After all, how could he? How could he face Ellen’s parents if he married her to Neil when all arrangements had been made for her wedding to another the next day?

When the young folk got back into the cutter, Neil suggested that they go to Pakenham. He knew the Rev. Dr. Alexander Mann, the Presbyterian minister there and he was sure that he would marry them. Ellen declared that she would go to the ends of the earth with him if she had to.

Pakenham was another ten miles away and it was just breaking morning when they arrived at the manse there. This was the second minister that they got out of bed to accommodate them; but they were in a desperate hurray. If they were safely married, Ellen’s parents could do nothing to bring her back.

Dr. Mann recognized Neil and invited them in, no doubt wondering, as Dr. McMorine had wondered why they came to see him at such an unearthly hour.

Neil hastened to tell him that they wanted to get married. Dr. Mann suggested that they have breakfast first and then he would marry them but the young folk urged him to marry them first and have breakfast later so the minister roused his wife, witnesses were summoned, and the nuptial knot was tied.

In the parlour of the manse, the two were wed and Mrs. Mann gave them a bountiful breakfast after which they drove fifteen more miles to Sand Point where they left his brother’s horse to be picked up. The bride and groom then walked across the ice on the Ottawa River to Norway Bay where they stayed with friends till spring when they built their first little home at Norway Bay,

One hundred and five years later, crowds gathered at Norway Bay, as a plaque was unveiled to mark the spot where this little love-nest stood. It brings to mind the old adage so often repeated, “Love will have its way!”


Related reading:



8. i. ARCHIBALD4 MCARTHUR, b. August 23, 1854, Norway Bay, Ontario, Canada.
9. ii. PETER MCARTHUR, b. June 03, 1856.
iii. BETHEA MCARTHUR, b. July 21, 1858; m. (1) UNKNOWN MAGILLIS; m. (2) ALEX WALSH; m. (3) JAMESMILLER.
Notes for ALEX WALSH:
Alex’s daughter (unknown whether also Bethea’s daughter) later married Bethea’s youngest brother Allan.



10. iv. DAVID MCARTHUR, b. December 19, 1860; d. September 01, 1933.
11. v. ROBERT MCARTHUR, b. August 22, 1864; d. November 20, 1943.
12. vi. NEIL MCARTHUR, b. August 21, 1865; d. February 13, 1961.
vii. JENNIE MCARTHUR, b. March 05, 1869.
viii. JAMES MCARTHUR, b. April 30, 1872.


Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

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