Tag Archives: Morphys

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



One of the biggest remodeling and decorating mistakes people make with older homes is getting stuck in the rut of “everything has to look old or be of that era”. Rules were meant to be broken when it comes to decorating. Just because you have an old home does not mean it needs to be only filled with antiques. But, I watch a lot of DIY shows and it also bothers me they are so sledgehammer happy.


Sometimes using an eclectic mix of old and new has a very appealing and unique aesthetic. When we bought the Morphy- Cram house in 1981, Angelo and I insisted  on reusing as many original building materials as possible whenever we did anything to improve the home. Most of the interior is filled full of eclectic inexpensive thrift shop finds from Lanark county. It was that important to me to give these random items homes.


In 1995 after the house fire, the restoration company had to knock out walls and tear up floors. Had I not thrown a fit, the original wood trim might have been destined for the dumpster or the open dealer market.  Instead of picking through the pile, spotting pieces with potential, then transforming them I insisted they catalogue each and every piece and refinish them. Everything had to be done to keep the house’s historic character intact.


When it came to building the Campbell side addition,  the stone was used from the same quarry as the original house was built from. Retired stone mason, Jack Wilson cut each and every one of those pieces of stone by hand and it took him over two years. What were we going to use for the pillars and wood accents we wondered? The answer was just across the street.

Neighbour Laurel McCann had an auction just before she sold her home on Lake Ave. East. The pillars etc. from their original verandah were stored in her shed after they remodeled the front of the house. I bought each and every pillar and trim that day from her and each piece was applied to new verandah instead of buying new replicas. The last two pillars which had been stored in  one of our sheds were finally used as decor in the new laundry room last year.


Using salvaged materials is a win-win. Your  will get a great look incorporating salvaged heritage pieces. Instead of throwing things out when you renovate– leave them on the curb for someone else,  or put them on Craig’s list or Kijiji and save them from the landfill sites never to be seen again.


There is no comparison between the old and new that that is sold today. I am  proud to say my home was not only built by the Morphys but it has part of the McCann family in it too. I even have the old McCann family piano, and oh yes, a hundred other Lanark county families once owned my knickknacks.


Footnote: Why would anything have that “thing” in their vestibule? Angelo loved Christmas and the movie series Planet of the Apes. One day I went to an auction on Quarry Road and he was there– just as he stands. His original head was gone and there was a monkey head instead. I saw that as a sign. The next day I heard he was probably going to be thrown out and my friends Kevin and Wendy went to pick him up. After a lengthy airing and cleanup he was was happily placed in my home. Angelo would have had a great laugh about this chap. Everyone else does.:)



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  14 Jan 1909, Thu,  Page 7


Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

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



It has been told by Howard Morton Brown that the Morphys reached their land grant nestled by the Mississippi River in the summer of 1819. The government Kings Store stood where Franktown now is. The settlers gathered what was allotted to them and there was no mention which Morphy or Moore was the 5th settler to get a whipsaw, grindstone and crosscut saw. The Moores had already arrived a little earlier in the year. In fact the Moore’s rolled out the red carpet so to speak, when the Morphy’s arrived, and gave them a nights lodging. That was mighty neighbourly of them.


It was recorded that the whole central section of the present town was first located to the town’s founders: the Morphy and the Moore families in 1819 as Crown grants of farm land.  The part extending north of Lake Avenue went to four of the Morphys, and three hundred acres at the south side of Lake Avenue to three of the Moores.  



Because the Morphy’s had a room with the view by the falls-they chose the name of Morphy Falls in 1820. In 1829 there was a name game going on with both Morphy’s Falls and Carlton (no “e”) Place being used. Cousin Alexander Morris chose it upon himself to change the town’s name because of a beloved site in Glasgow that was a location of a music publisher that published bagpipe airs and Scottish songs. A year later the name was altered by postmaster Caleb Bellows to Carleton, apparently by error to Carleton Place. I don’t know about you, but that mistake must have reflected badly on the town. I can’t even imagine the gossip on that one.

So there boys and girls are the dilemma’s of your street names:

Franktown Road was named because it was the main highway. The name Franktown Road ended at the Moore boundaries and became Moore Street. Moore Street ended at Lake Avenue at the physical barrier where the Moore land ended. The main street became Bridge Street because of the central bridge. You have to remember there was no bridge on Highway 7 in those days and everyone headed through Carleton Place on their way to Innisville, Lanark and Perth.  Bridge Street ended at Quarry Road as that portion of the road was named because of the quarry on that same road. Are ya still with me?:)

Bill Mains 2 hours Based on Howard Morton Brown’s maps of settler land allottments, the Morphy’s and the Moore’s were both given land allotments in September 1819. Lockwood’s book shows the date as September 20, 1819 for both.
Herb Moore Carleton Place from Frances Moore bytown.net
Herbert James Moore of Carleton Place photo credit: Frances Moore of the website http://www.bytown.net/moorefamilybyfrances.htm. The picture is of Herbert James Moore (b. 1888 Ontario), son of James Samuel Moore (b. 1863 North Elmsley) who was the son of the same name, James Samuel Moore (b. 1828 Garrison, Lachine, Quebec), whose father was George William Moore (Antrim). Connecting Moores of Maberly, Drummond, North Elmsley, Carleton Place (Lanark County, Ontario) https://thatsrelative.wordpress.com/2019/08/25/north-elmsley-and-maberly-moores/


Thanks to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum for the photos and help.

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place