Tag Archives: mcdiarmids

Facts You Might Not Know About Carleton Place for our 150th Birthday – Part 6– Fire and Ice


The basic facts from Parts 1-5 are from the flyer that I added on too which were passed out on January 1: Carleton Place-A Valley Town at Confederation 1867 by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Parts 6 on– are facts I am personally researching and doing as a 150 challenge… 



FACT–Did you know we used to have fire boxes in Carleton Place?

Fire Alarm Boxes–where are they now? In the old days, with wooden houses built close together, and lit by whale oil or gas jets, the threat of fire was constant and very great. Thus, the fire department as well as the police department had boxes. Police boxes were coloured blue, and fire alarm boxes coloured red and both operated similarly, via telegraphy, before the public phone system was thought sufficiently reliable to entrust with life-and-death matters. A citizen broke the glass cover and pulled a little hook, which telegraphed the box location to the authorities.

The installation apparently began in in the 1880s. At the time, few people had telephones, and many fires were reported by children or neighbours that ran to the fire station to report a fire. The system was seen as a great step forward in bringing safety and security to all citizens. The alarm transmitter consisted of copper wire mounted in a glass case with a nickel frame, which received calls from public alarm boxes and relayed them via telegraph lines to the nearest fire station. This informed the station manager exactly which alarm box had been rung — but did not provide any information on the nature of the emergency.

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                The Ottawa Journal, 15 Jun 1976, Tue[first Edition]



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                     The Ottawa Journal, 23 Dec 1957, MonPage 21


FACT–Did you know that the Carleton Place Curling Club began in 1886?

The  Carleton Place Bonspiel Team,  were the winners of the C.C.C.A. Trophy, 1896-97. In 1903 Carleton Place curlers, with William Baird and Dr. D. A. Muirhead as skips, also won the Lanark County Curling League cup.

Cold winters drove curling indoors and the bigger clubs began to build indoor rinks after 1840. By 1900, Canadian curling clubs had moved almost exclusively indoors. Indoor rinks, and later, modern ice-making technology brought the sport closer to an art form, eliminating snow, ice bumps and much of the luck that had previously made up the game.

In Lanark County, contracts for erecting drill halls were let early in 1866 at Carleton Place and Almonte.  Construction of the Carleton Place armoury was aided by the promise of a £50 grant by the municipality.

It was built by William Pattie on the Beckwith Street site of the recently demolished skating rink bordering the park which then was the village market square. During the 1880’s the hardwood floor of the Carleton Place drill hall on Beckwith was flooded for a curling surface. .

In 1909 a roller skating rink with a new skating floor was re-opened at the militia drill hall on the market square. Supported by its hand hewn beams, it remained a useful memorial of the perils of the 1860’s until destroyed. Tragically that year the curling rink, the militia drill shed all burned during the Great Fire of Carleton Place.

Carleton Place Curling Club information:

The Carleton Place Curling Club (CPCC) was formed in 1886 with a two sheet covered rink built on to the end of the Drill Hall. A fire in 1910 destroyed this structure and put an end to curling in Carleton Place until 1921 when a new covered rink was built on Charles St. with three sheets of natural ice.

In 1956 the CPCC entered the modern age of curling by purchasing granite stones. This made the game easier to play and thus more pleasurable. The club also became incorporated in the same year and the next year, 1957, saw the installation of artificial ice and a large increase in membership.

In 1994 the present club was built on Patterson Crescent with four sheets of ice and all the modern equipment such as rink heaters, dehumidifiers, de-ionized water and good lighting to make it more pleasant to play in. A large well equipped lounge was also built for after game chat, parties and rentals.

Ladies have been an integral part of the curling program since 1924. However it was not until the early 80’s that ladies became full members of the club and assumed positions on the Board of Directors. They had their own separate club until that time. The first female president served for two years beginning in May of 1989“. —


Photo-Public Archives Photo–also at Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



You Can Leave Your Hat on in Carleton Place!





Photos from  the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

McDiarmids was just up the street from the Keyes Building on Bridge Street where The Granary is located-note the balcony.


Did you know this?

During the French Revolution, the revolutionaries would put on a red Smurf cap (often turned backwards) as a symbol that they wanted liberty. This earned them the nickname of the “bonnets rouges.” Want to see a bonnet rouge? Check out the seal of the US Senate, at left.

Although Smurf hats are undignified these days (because of the damn Smurfs), the people who designed the emblems of the United States had the pleasure of dying before the Smurf movies came out, and they were very into the symbolism of the phrygian caps. You’ll find “Smurf caps” worked into the old seal of the War Department, symbolizing that Americans will fight for physical liberty, and sculpted into the decorations on the Library of Congress, symbolizing the need for artistic and academic liberty. I need a smurf hat.