Tag Archives: post office

Miss Margaret Johnson Post Office Mistress Almonte

Miss Margaret Johnson Post Office Mistress Almonte

Several close friends and present and former associates of MissMargaret Johnson, paid tribute to Almonte’s former Postmistress on the occasion of  her retirement at an informal gathering at the Presbyterian Church Hall on Friday, August 2nd. 

The post vacated by Miss Johnson, a 28 year employee of the Post Office Department, 13 Postmistress, has been filled by Mr. Stuart Lancaster, former assistant Postmaster at Carleton Place, He took over his duties here on August 6th. 

Miss Johnson replaced the late Hal B. Kirkland on his retirement in 1961. Mr. Ian Malloch, Postmaster, from Arnprior, acting as spokesman for several other Postmasters present spoke briefly about MissJohnson’s loyal service to the public over the years and presented her with two sheets of mounted, mint stamps, one sheet commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Graham Bell 28 years ago and the other commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Invention of the telephone this year. 

The stamps are considered collectors’ Items. Miss Johnson was also presented with a Certificate of Merit from the Federal Government, signed by Prime Minister Trudeau. Following the official presentations a light lunch was served to the guests. On Saturday evening, members of the family and several friends of Miss Johnson met at her home for an informal gathering. Knowing Miss Johnson to be an avid amateur photographer, those attending presented her with enough film and flashbulbs to last for years she said. — Aug 15 1974–

Unexpected Almonte
April 15, 2020  · 

A lovely, old Queen St. porch in #Almonte with one of the most interesting and beautiful sets of front doors!
Hoping some of you know some details…
(Brent? Mike? Becky?)

Jeff MillsThis house belonged to Margaret Johnson, Almonte’s Post Mistress back in the sixties. She was a good friend of my grandmother’s

Karin Setterwe lived next door to Miss Johnson for many years. Margarets mother also lived there until her passing when she was in her late 80s, early 90s. They were wonderful neighbours. The inside of the house was beautiful. Full of antique furniture (including a crib). The floors were gleaming hard wood, mouldings and bannister on the stairs. There was also a summer kitchen at the back of the house.

Jayne Munro-OuimetMy great aunts house… often visited. She was born in the late 1800’s and was aged when I was born. They once owned a hotel in northern Ontario. There son was a Doctor. She loved serving “high tea” in the parlour. I always thought she was related to the Queen, as she dressed so beautiful. Loved hats. One of her daughters was the Post Mistress in Almonte.

Related reading

The Mystery of the Almonte Post Office Clock –Five Minutes Fast and other Things….

Crime and Punishment? –Tales from the Almonte Post Office

Missing the Post Office — Mary Cook Clippings

Missing the Post Office — Mary Cook Clippings


By Mary Cook Citizen special correspondent

Home mail delivery here doesn’t appeal to everybody. Now that the system has been established more than nine months, most people, according to a post office spokesman, now accept it and are pleased with the added service. However, a few diehards like Maurice Price, who has a personal objection to door-to-door delivery, would be just as happy with the old system. In fact, Price, a professional engineer, refused to go along with the change and rents a private post box. “I find it most puzzling that an institution which continues to lose money would venture into an operation which costs more money.

“It also annoys me that by refusing door delivery, I am in fact saving the post office money, and yet they charge me for the ‘privilege’ of renting a box … it doesn’t make any sense.” The most common argument against home delivery comes from older residents who miss the social contact the daily walk for the mail afforded them. Ray Moffatt said his morning trip down Bridge Street was the “highlight of my day.”

“There was always someone to sit with on the benches outside . . . and the obituaries were always placed inside the post office and we all went in every day to check on them. Now, if I go downtown, it’s for a cup of coffee.”

John Belisle said it was one of the worst things that ever happened to the town. “I really miss visiting with my old friends … I still come downtown every day, but I rarely meet any of the old post office gang.” Many people, however, are pleased with home delivery. Mrs. William Hanham, whose husband is a physician said: “At least now I get my mail … my husband often forget to bring it home from the office.”

Older people who are confined to their homes feel the same way, and young working couples are pleased that their mail is at their homes when they come home at night. Peter Montean, assistant postmaster, said that out of 1947 points of call, only 75 families retained boxes at the main office. These figures, he said, would indicate the door-to-door delivery was generally well received. However, the post office has not been without its own transition problems. Many local mail users often put only the name and the word “town’ on their envelopes, omitting street and postal code, so that all of this type of mail requires hand sorting and the marking on of the postal code. After a notice from the post office, the situation is gradually improving.

Many businesses say that the traffic past their stores has decreased because of home delivery, and they feel the demise of the daily trip to the post office has affected their cash registers … but they all agree it (home delivery) is here to stay. As one old timer put it, “Sure I miss the trips to the post office every day, but now my morning friends are the people on the soap operas.”

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Jul 1977, Tue  •  Page 4

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 6-The Eating Place to the Post Office

You’ve Got Mail — The First Post Offices of Lanark County

As Time Goes By — The Old Post Office Clock

The Story Behind the Clock – Dack’s Jewellers

The Appleton Mail Man Who Always Got Things Straightened Away

Take a Letter Maria– Carleton Place Post Office

As Time Goes By — The Old Post Office Clock

My Baby, Just-a Wrote Me a Letter– The Carleton Place Post Office


The Ghost of the Post Office Clock

Notations and History about the Old Post Office

The Mystery of the Almonte Post Office Clock –Five Minutes Fast and other Things….

Crime and Punishment? –Tales from the Almonte Post Office

Michael Dunn remembers Ron Caron


Mary Cook Archives

Mary and Walter Swinwood — Mary Cook News Archives 1981

The Evolution of the Women’s Institute — Mary Cook News Archives 1982

Bob Sadler’s Boat Rides –Mary Cook News Archives 1982

Carleton Place Ladies Auxiliary — Chamber of Commerce 1987– Mary Cook Archives

It’s Hard for Women to get into Office in Carleton Place — 1974 –Mary Cook

Mary Cook Archives —Philip Mailey — January 25 1983

Carleton Place a place for Mad Scientists! Mary Cook News Archives 1983

Mary Cook Archives — Rifle Ranges and Nursery Schools — September 1980

Mary Cook News Archives — The Wool Industry 1982

The Moldowans —- Mary Cook News Archives 1982

Clippings of Cheryl Coker — Mary Cook News Archives

Donald Lowry …. Mary Cook News Archives

1976 Agricultural Tour — Mary Cook News Archives

The Dear Abby of Lanark County -Mary Cook Clippings

“Who is to say the street won’t be overrun with irate husbands ready to fill people full of lead?” Clippings of Mary Cook


Notations and History about the Old Post Office

Notations and History about the Old Post Office

Before the town became officially Almonte, it had a succession of names, being called in turn: Sheppard’s Falls, Shipman’s Mills, Shipman’s Falls and Waterford. It was later called Victoriaville for a short time. A map dated 1855, in the Public Archives of Canada, gives the name of Ramsayville, wiith the post office designated as Ramsay.

Shipman built a sawmill in 1820 and a grist mill in 1822. Shipman’s log house was located where the Post Office now stands. His second house, of stone, was built in 1835 and once known as the Almonte Hotel, which was the site of Rooney’s poolroom.
Mr. Rebin, as part of his teaching duties travels extensively throughout the country on the Canadian Club lecture circuit and before that with the Secretary of State Department and this has given him the opportunity to local many historical buildings. One restoration of which he is particularly proud is Connington Manor, in Didby, Saskatchewan, which is now a historical site. Another recent project was Gatineau Lodge in Quebec.

Mr. Rebin learned about the Almonte Post Office while travelling to the White Lake area where he purchased some property following the sale of a farm in Saskatchewan. Driving through Almonte, he and his wife noticed the realtor’s “For Sale” sign on the building and made the purchase about a year ago. Since then a great deal of planning has been done and work was actually started about two months ago. They expect the top three floors of the building will be ready for occupancy about the end of July.

Mr. Laprade has a work force of ten local men, mostly students, who have been pain stakingly peeling off layer upon layer of old paint and varnish from the walls and woodwork. Mostly of sound, clear pine, the woodwork will be sanded smooth and refinished with clear varnish. Plaster walls, patched where necessary are being completely stripped and will then be covered with a fresh coat of paint. Metal ceilings, flaked and rusted from years of dampness when the building was not in use are having to be cleaner with wire brushes before a rust inhibitor and fresh paint can be applied.

Modernization will be kept to a minimum except in the areas of electrical wiring and necessary changes in the plumbing system. Even the old hot water heating system will be restored to working order with the replacement of one of two hot water boilers which was damaged when the building was used briefly as a youth drop-in centre a few years ago.

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Dec 1986, Tue  •  Page 7

Hard maple flooring in the top floor will be sanded and refinished.

According to Mr. Laprade, local tradesmen and materials are being used wherever possible and he said that even the young workmen on his crew have taken a real interest in the restoration. He figures over 50 gallons of paint remover will be necessary to complete the cleanup.

“Structurally the building is in tip top shape”, Mr. Laprade said of the 88 year old structure that was built of red Nova Scotian and yellow Lanark County stone by Thomas Fuller who combined both anglo and French interest in its design. According to a book entitled “Ontario Towns” published by the Oberon Press, the building’s design is a combination of “French Renaissance and Victorian Gothic architecture”.

Mr. Rebin has in his possession a copy of the “Estimates of Canada for fiscal year ending June 30, 1889” for the Almonte Post Office indicating a construction estimate of $33,000 plus $6,250 for the land. At today’s prices, he feels that to duplicate the construction now would cost up to half a million dollars.

He said that many older resident have stopped by while work is in progress to offer their comments and added that one room on the ground floor will be “audio oriented” where older residents will be able to stop in and permanently record their early recollections of the town on tape for future generations and historians.

“May people”, he said, “have been extremely helpful in supplying information about the building, especially Town Clerk, Bob France and Building Inspector, Charles Symington.”

Comments and information about articles for the museum will be very welcome and one question that popped up was met by an affirmative answer Mr. Arnold Craig will be retained to maintain the familiar old clock and its chimes. Both will continue to operate as in years past.




Fifty years ago the late William Thoburn, MP for Lanark North, induced the Public Works Department to provide a town clock on top of the Almonte post office building. Sir Robert Borden’s administration was not so open-handed as some of its successors, for it tried to settle for a one-dial clock. But Mr. Thoburn would accept nothing less than a four-dialer. He got it. “Fifty years is a long time for a clock to keep on working steadily,” the Gazette observes, “and the local Big Ben gives signs of being tired; it isn’t what it used to be . . . For almost a year now the clock has had trouble with its striking. It is said Carleton Place also experiences something of that.”

It seems the Almonte clock has developed  a tendency to strike 10 minutes ahead of the hour. Last week a craftsman from the Post Office Department made an adjustment, but it is feared the clock’s days are numbered. The Gazette understands that “the Dominion government has discarded the practice of furnishing clocks for post office buildings.


Related reading..

The Mystery of the Almonte Post Office Clock –Five Minutes Fast and other Things….

Crime and Punishment? –Tales from the Almonte Post Office

The Doors Open Wagon Ride –Valerie Strike Photos– Carleton Place

The Doors Open Wagon Ride –Valerie Strike Photos– Carleton Place


All photos by Valerie Strike– She and Gary rode twice LOLOL




Braumeister Brewing 19 Moore Street–Braumeister Brewing Co. is a Bavarian-inspired craft brewery with a taproom and garden. Offering a new experience for beer lovers in and around the Nation’s capital, Braumeister is the place to enjoy quality beer and quality conversation. CLICK HERE to read more



The sample room at the Grand Hotel– Salesman would gather their wares in this section of the building and local retailers would come to view and by. It is now the Smith & Barrel pub which is dripping with chandeliers, tin ceilings, warm accents, and a beautiful outdoor patio. With unique adaptations on gastro-pub fare, our chef is constantly creating new and exciting dishes to keep you coming back.our professional mixologists offer an expansive selection of craft cocktails and spirits for any taste. CLICK HERE



The Grand Hotel (former Mississippi Hotel)– one of the top 100 haunted places in Canada.

Napoleon Lavallee bought the property for $50 in 1869 and opened the hotel in 1872 after he sold the Leland Hotel/ Carleton House on Bridge Street.  The McIlquham family bought it 11 years later in 1883 and when Joe Belisle worked there from 1917-1920 it had ornate woodwork, a grand staircase and the stone facade had wooden white wrap-around verandas. The elegant dining room tables were covered in  fine lace linen and gleaming cutlery, and the Mississippi Hotel became known for its homemade food and attracted travelling salesman from far and wide. The salesmen set up trunks in their rooms offering everything from dishes to clothing that was scooped up by local merchants that came to buy at the hotel. The place was packed daily with fans from Stittsville, Smiths Falls and Perth–and if you talk to Gerald Hastie people came in early for the fresh baked pies, and by noon they were pretty well sold out. Read more here CLICK



Did you know that Stompin Tom Connors that was one of the folks that saved the Grand Hotel/ Mississippi?  Stompin’ Tom Connors came out of hiding years later to save the beloved hotel where he once sang. In 1990 the Mississippi Hotel was slated for demolition and a few concerned citizens contacted the now reclusive Connors and asked for his help. Connors had become a “recluse” due to his ongoing disagreements with the Canadian music business. The Carleton Place plea to Connors himself got the ball rolling to save the hotel and he and the Mississippi Hotel made national news. READ more here CLICK



The Carleton Place Post Office was built after the Federal Building was closed. Did you also know it always used to be the Central School- but it was torn down.

Circa-1842, 1870, 1962-1963

In the 1850s, parents had to pay what was called school rates and school attendance was not compulsory. The 8 room stone Central Public School was built in 1870 and then in 1876 it was rebuilt and sat in the middle of this large corner lot.

This site was the first Carleton Place Common School that replaced the original form of the 1870 central school that was originally built to form the letter T so a single teacher could watch all the pupils.  In 1919 alterations and additions were also added to the Central School.

Read more here CLICK


The Old Federal Building/ Post Office-

The Government built a new federal building in 1891 on Bridge Street during Mr. Struthers’ term of office. This new building called the old brown stone building was the post office for years between the Franklin street site and the present post office opened in 1963. This building also housed the Customs Office and caretaker’s apartment, and later the unemployment office. Findlay McEwen was appointed Post Master in 1907 after the death of Struthers. McEwen fulfilled the role until his death in 1920. During his term of office three rural mail deliveries were established: Ashton, Innisville, and Appleton.

On the first floor was the post office with Mr. Struthers as postmaster and two ladies for clerks (The Virtue Sisters). Here too as a part of the post office was the Railway Telegraph Service (Myles Shields being CPR operator with Mina Scott). This service later moved to its own building.

Major W.H. Hooper was appointed Post Master in 1920 and served as Post Master until his retirement in 1950. During Hooper’s time if office many changes occurred.He had control of the clerk for the position of Telegraph operator until the telegraph service moved to its own building. The school children popped in daily to get warm on cold days and enjoy the steam heat. The caretaker lived on the upper floor and could be counted on to appear as soon as the children entered the building and order them out. Major Hooper was also a gruff individual and his family on the corner of Lake Ave and Bridge Street. READ more here..CLICK



The Keyes Building/ The Granary Apts–

The Granary is located in the historic Keyes Block at 107 Bridge Street in Carleton Place, Ontario. Like many of the old buildings on Bridge Street, the history of The Keyes Building runs deep and is remembered in different ways by many. The original structure that occupied the lot was built in the early 1800’s.

The modest wood building housed the Keyes’ family shoe business and living quarters. The structure was destroyed by fire in the 1880’s. READ MORE HERE CLICK




The Queen’s Hotel–

When Tom Sloan was the owner of the Queen’s hotel he had a sign out front that was really worth reading:

Good Sample Rooms-Centrally Located

Commercial Rates- One dollar and a half per day

This house has been renovated all through and is one of the coziest and most enjoyable in the Ottawa Valley.

Hotel Rules for Visitors

Board- 50 cents a square foot- meals extra

The hotel is convenient to all cemeteries- hearses to hire 25 cents

Guests are requested not to speak to the dumb waiter

Guests are requested not to play any games more exciting that Old Maid after 7 pm so as not to disturb the night clerk’s slumber

If the room gets too warm open the window and see the fire escape.

In case of fire you will have a hard time finding the fire escape, there ain’t any.
If you’re fond of athletics and like good jumping, lift the mattress and see the bed spring

Married men without baggage are requested to leave their wives at the office for security
Dont worry about paying your bills;the house is supported by its foundation.


READ more here.. CLICK

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Woodcock’s Bakery

Rick Roberts — Woodcocks unsliced bread and large soft cookies were staples at our house. Harry Delarge was a baker at Woodcocks during the 1960s. One day each week, Harry made baked beans that could be purchased in a paper board french-fry box. Haven’t tasted beans that good since…

Linda Gallipeau-Johnston Remember the round loaves everybody – that and sugar buns was our Saturday thing!!!

Sylvia Giles It was the Caramel Cookies that they used to make!!!! The size of a side plate and full of plump raisins!! Mmmmm

Lori Dawn The donut machine in the front window



Moore House- Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce

The first chamber of commerce was founded in 1599 in Marseille, France. Another official chamber of commerce would follow 65 years later, probably in Bruges, then part of the Spanish Netherlands. So how old is Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce? The Honourable Perrin Beatty of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce spoke to local business owners at the Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce breakfast in 2016 at the Town Hall and we celebrated a century of support for local business.  So now we are 103!!

Did you know that Moore House was once part of an 100 acre farm which extended from the intersection of Highway 7 and Franktown Road to Rochester Street and included Lake Ave East to Moore Street and Lansdowne Ave to Napoleon. Then it was moved up Bridge Street. READ more here CLICK

Did you know it houses a collection of Roy Brown memorabilia and the ghost of Ida Moore. Who was Ida Moore? READ MORE here– CLICK



The Carleton Place Town Hall–

Mr. Willoughby, the builder, billed the town of Carleton Place for an extra $3,000 which was more than the original agreed upon price. He had decided to add those cupolas of his own accord without mentioning it to anyone, but he still felt the town of Carleton Place should pay for it.

Now here is it where it seems to get cloudy. One newspaper reported that Willoughby took the matter to the Supreme Court. The next story was he simply took the council to a local court. It doesn’t matter which story you believe because Wiloughby lost in the end as the town council had not asked for the cupolas.

My question is: Don’t you think they would have noticed those cupolas being added and put a stop to it? I am sure this did not happen with a flick of a wand overnight. Another odd story from the Carleton Place files. But honestly, thanks goodness he did.. they are beautiful. READ MORE HERE CLICK



Did you know 100s of people used to walk up and down Mill Street when the mills were open? Bolton House and Roy Brown’s childhood home on the right. Bill Bagg and Brook McNabb used to live in that home too. Read more about the Mills here CLICK



Mrs. Gillies House was once located in Memorial Park but burnt down. This fabulous home was destroyed in the 1910 fire that covered a good portion of its neighbourhood including the old Zion Church at the corner of Beckwith and Albert.

A couple of interesting facts … the home was only 26 years old when it burned. Mrs. Gillies who was by then a widow donated the land to the town to be used in perpetuity as a public space.

Read More here- CLICK




House of Fong was one of the only buildings to survive the fire of 1910. You can see the old. Members of the Methodist (United) Church formed a bucket brigade around the church and the parsonage of Rev. A. Wilkinson and succeeded in saving both buildings.

Read more here- Click

NEXT HISTORY WAGON RIDE AT PUMPKINFEST October 19th.. Each ride begins at Carleton Junction/ Woolgrowers. Scary scary stories only.



Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place- What are Baseball Bats Used for in Movies?

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 1–Bud’s Taxi

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 2–A Snack and a View

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place–I Threw Away my Candy at The Ginger Cafe Part 3

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 4–Stepping Back in Time

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 5–Fly Me to the Moon

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place– Wooly Bully!!!! Part 6

The Ghost of the Post Office Clock

The Ghost of the Post Office Clock


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In May of 1993 the old clock that stood guard on the Almonte Post Office building was deemed fixed– or sort of. But a few days later the repaired clock ground to a stop with the hands locked in at 9:10.

Gossip on Mill Street said the clock should be fixed in time for the Ice Cream Festival– or maybe not. A Canada Post employee named Don McMillan had fixed the pulley system but the chiming mechanism still had a mind of its own.

McMillan said that it really wasn’t his fault as the ghost that lived in the building just hated to be kept awake. Some had spoken of the ghost before, but no one had really seen it except for Don McMillan. One day returning from the belfry tower he had found a previously  opened door closed. Then there was the day that the basement lights were turned off– but the lights had been on when he went up.

Even though Don swore up and down there was a ghost in the building– some disagreed with him and then there were those that agreed on the poltergeist. Harriet Byrne had heard footsteps and so had several former Post Office staff.

Byrne assured everyone that the repair crew would return and fix that darn clock, no matter how much it irritated the Ghost of the Almonte Post Office.

In 1921 a severe electric storm accompanied by heavy rain, wind and hail stones, passed over this district. It was the most severe of the summer. The roof of the dyeing room at the Rosa­mond Woolen Co. mill was lifted off and is being repaired. The hail stones, many of them as large as marbles, fell for ten minutes and shattered the north face of the town clock on the post office. The clock did not stop however and it ticked serenely on as it always does whether on time or not and still smiles down with its battered eye. Many trees were damaged and all around the district the gale swept things before it.





In the nearby town of Almonte, there is a clock on top of the old post office. This clock runs, with its original mechanism. I got to know James, who maintains and winds the clock, and he offered to give me a tour.. CLICK



 - KCt ALMONTE TOWN CLOCK SMASHED BY HAIL STONES I... - The face of Almonte town clock on the Post...1921


 - THE ALMONTE POST OFFICE, A charming 3-storey...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 09 Feb 1973, Fri,


Lucy Carleton sent this Almonte Gazette article about Ron’s dedication to the Almonte clock tower. See Millstone Article



  1. 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 and The Tales of Almonte
    1. relatedreading

    The Mystery of the Almonte Post Office Clock –Five Minutes Fast and other Things….

  2. Crime and Punishment? –Tales from the Almonte Post Office

  3. Michael Dunn remembers Ron Caron

  4. Who was the Almonte Ghost of 1886?

  5. Did you Know Old Burnside has a Ghostly Horse?

Arthur Ernest Brown Lanark Postmaster

Arthur Ernest Brown Lanark Postmaster


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Feb 1952, Sat,  Page 5

Margaret May McCurdy and Arthur Ernest Brown–Married on Monday, June 12, 1922 in Lanark, Ontario.




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  04 Dec 1959, Fri,  Page 25

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John MacLean’s Post Office in Lanark Village 1904- Public Archives–
Perth Courier, July 7, 1899–
A most estimable young man, Harry Vivian Reeve, son of Dr. Reeve, of Lanark, passed away to another and better world on the 29th June at the age of 22 years. The remains were interred in Elmwood Cemetery, Perth, on the 1st July, the Rev. G.C. Rock, Baptist minister, conducted the services. Deceased spent some time in Perth in the drug store of F. L.(?) hall, but was compelled to relinquish his work there in April. The cause of his death was consumption. He was a member of the Baptist Church and a most exemplary young man in every way. There was insurance on his life in the Temperance and General for $1,000 and the same amount in another company.


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

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.


Crime and Punishment? –Tales from the Almonte Post Office

As Time Goes By — The Old Post Office Clock

My Baby, Just-a Wrote Me a Letter– The Carleton Place Post Office

Lost at the Dead Letter Office?

Mister Carleton Place Postman Look and See— Is There a Letter in Your Bag For Me?

How Much Did the Old Post Office Perth Sell For?

Who Worked for the Post Office the Longest in Lanark County?

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Signed Sealed and Delivered with Tom New — Ray Paquette

Signed Sealed and Delivered with Tom New — Ray Paquette
Photo- Carleton Place Post Office–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
 These comments were sent to me by Ray Paquette after he read the story: The Appleton Mail Man Who Always Got Things Straightened Away
As a young boy living on Rochester Street in the late 40’s, our neighbour, Tom New, provided rural mail service for RR #1, to the west of Carleton Place with the route ending at the general store in Innisville. He used a Model A two door Ford and on occasion I was invited to accompany him on his route.
We would leave the main street post office shortly after 8:00 and be at Innisville about noon, eating our lunch along the way. I sat in the back because the front passenger seat was taken by a cardboard box in which the mail was carried, sorted in order of the delivery sequence to the mail boxes at the end of the lanes. It was quite an adventure for a young boy and a pleasant summer memory of my childhood.

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 The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)





The Carleton Place Post Office was designed by Thomas Fuller, architect of the Parliament Hill Peace Tower and completed in 1892. It served the community until the new Canada Post building was constructed across the street in 1970.–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal12 Oct 1961, ThuPage 45

Related reading:

You’ve Got Mail- Or Maybe You Don’t–Clayton

You’ve Got Mail- Or Maybe You Don’t–Clayton



August 11 1871-Almonte Gazette


The residents of the Village of Clayton have from time—or about that-—been in communication with civilization through the medium of a tri-weekly mail to Almonte.

But the Clayton of today claims no kindred to the Bellamy’s Mills of twenty years ago. These progressive days, when railways and steamboats are making their way to every hamlet, it is not to be wondered that the progressive and ambitions and those should desire regular daily communication with the outside world.

For the purpose of achieving this object the proper authorities were petitioned and it was understood the request would be complied with. We are now informed that this is not to be the case, and that the people of Clayton and vicinity will have to bear the inconvenience of a twice weekly mail for an indefinite time.

The post-office authorities were also asked to establish a post office at Hunters Mills, a place that is rapidly  growing (thanks to the perseverance and energy of the Messrs. Hunters) and cannot much longer do without a Post Office.

Author’s Note–Don’t get too upset the letter carrier can “miss your village” anytime they want!



Photo-Uber Humor

As Huntersville could only be supplied in the event of a daily mail going to Clayton, it is altogether improbable that the petition will be granted.

Author’s Note–It was probably for the best as Huntersville kind of disappeared–Where Was Hunter’s Mill and Huntersville?






April 11 1940

Some of the young men of the village cleaned the sidewalk of snow and ice which is a wonderful improvement. Those responsible for the work were Keith Stanley, Edward and Willard Munro.

The weather for the past few days has been much warmer. We hope it will continue. Quite a lot of maple syrup has been made and of fine quality.



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 and now in The Townships Sun


Related reading:

Clayton Ontario.. click here

Where Was Hunter’s Mill and Huntersville?

The Tiny Hamlet of Bellamy’s Mills 1851

The Appleton Mail Man Who Always Got Things Straightened Away

The Appleton Mail Man Who Always Got Things Straightened Away


Photo-The Ottawa Journal Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Sat, Dec 22, 1956

There used to be a time when only a horse and buggy brought mail to Appleton via Carleton Place.  In the 1950s James Edward Dowdall and his sweet grey mare Daisy (3rd horse) had been doing the 4 mile trip for at least 2 decades and only missed 3 days when one of his sons had to cover for him. Then there was the time a mare before Daisy got rattled at some pasteboard boxes on the side of the road and the cutter was upset and Dairy went trotting off in no obvious direction, but as Dowdall said in typical Lanark fashion: “We got it straightened away”.

Appleton postmaster  Mr. Gamble and Harry Menzies from the Carleton Place unit had never known him to be late or lose any of the precious mail. The days of hauling the mail on a cutter in the winter was limited after they began to plow the roads and it usually took 20 minutes to a half an hour for a one way trip. Storms, blizzards you name it, Dowdall never got cold as he was manned to the hilt with warm clothing,  a buffalo robe, and felt boots up to the knee and then rubber boots as a topper.


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Photo by Linda Seccaspina-Post Office in Appleton Ontario 1871 displayed in the North Lanark Regional Museum, Appleton Ontario.

Each day he would leave Appleton for Carleton Place to pick up the mail. After he dropped off the mail at the post office he would wander over to the post office lobby to swap stories with anyone who would listen. That was his favourite part of the day Dowdall said as they talked his kind of language in that waiting  room. At Six o’clock he would head back to Appleton where some were waiting for him to collect their mail.

One would think maybe a truck would have been better for him, but like a lot of us aging folks his eyes were not the best, and night driving would not have been too safe for him. He actually got into the postal business as his doctor told him to find a “light job” as he had health issues and had retired from being a farmer. So along with some plowing and gardening jobs he made out just fine. Life was simple for Mr. Dowdall only having to change his buggy twice in his duration delivering the mail, but in Carleton Place it was another story.  Postmaster Harry Menzie’s offices were jammed everywhere storing mail. The staff worked Sundays and late into the evening and no one really complained as you did what you had to do.



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Photos–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

The Carleton Place Post Office used to handle mail for Innisville, Appleton and also sent out three rural route deliveries a day. Not only that, but they handled larger packages and with only two wickets open the lobby was always jammed. Of course Menzies  wanted another wicket but there wasn’t an ounce of space to spare in that building with boxes lined up everywhere against the walls.


March 1968

In December of 1956 the Carleton Place post office sold over 130,000 stamps that month and  James Edward Dowdall would have so much mail he would have to tie bags on the back with just a little ‘sittin’ room for himself– but all was good. Unlike some his fellow mail delivery  men he wasn’t buying gasoline or paying for repairs–Daisy wouldn’t hear of it. That old gal was never going to stop when she was tired- she was only going to stop when the mail was done. No hour of life was ever wasted between James and his horse Daisy and Appleton and Carleton Place were grateful.



The community was first known as Teskeyville after early settlers Joseph Teskey and his brother Robert who built a saw and grist mill. For a time the place was called Appletree Falls because of a riverside orchard. When the post office opened in 1857, Appleton was chosen as its name

In 1869 the population was 250 and the Appleton Post office was a money order office-The Province of Ontario Gazetteer and Directory 1869


Anita Dowdall-I married grandpa Dowdall’s grandson in 1961, his dad was Kenneth Irwin Dowdall, the eldest of James Edward Dowdall sons, he had 6 boys,my husband is the eldest of 4 kids, 3 boys & 1 girl. His name is (Borden) my oldest son Bruce has his name Edward for his middle name. Thanks for sharing a great story about grandpa Dowdall.


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 and now in The Townships Sun


Related reading

Inspector Coolican and His Rural Mail Delivery

You’ve Got Mail — The First Post Offices of Lanark County

The Hidden Postcard Gallery in Carleton Place

Who Worked for the Post Office the Longest in Lanark County?

How Much Did the Old Post Office Perth Sell For?

Take a Letter Maria– Carleton Place Post Office

As Time Goes By — The Old Post Office Clock

My Baby, Just-a Wrote Me a Letter– The Carleton Place Post Office

Memories of Carleton Place — The Roxy and Marilyn Monroe

Crime and Punishment? –Tales from the Almonte Post Office

Inspector Coolican and His Rural Mail Delivery




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July 7, 1921–Almonte Gazette

Inspector Coolican is busy locating letter boxes in Almonte and Carleton Place and laying out rural mail delivery routes.

Almonte will have seven letter boxes and Carleton Place will have eight in addition to the three now maintained by the town. In Almonte the boxes will be located at the corner of Country and Church streets, at the Reformed Presbyterian church in New England, on Main street near the Stone Bridge, near the Rosamond Woolen Co’s, Mill, at the Methodist church, near the upper end of Union street, and at junction of Main, Martin and Queen streets.




The establishing of free rural delivery mail routes has also been looked into, and the inspector will recommend a route from, Almonte to Union Hall, Rosetta, Arklan, and return by way of the Perth road. Another route will be from Pakenhanm village to the ninth line, along the ninth line to Blakeney and return to Pakenham by route serving the eleventh and twelfth lines.




Another will be from Pakenham to Cedar Hill, going as far as Mr. Adam Miller’s and back with a full service to the district lying between these points. Still another route will leave Pakenham by way of the White Lake road going almost up to Ellis’ school, crossing over to the twelfth line, serving all the district between and returning to F,lone 49 Pakenham by the twelfth line.



First Rural Mail From Carleton Place–On Friday last the first rural mail delivery from Carleton Place was instituted, when Mr. George Presley started out on No. 2 R.M.D., Beckwith. The route is from Carleton Place, starting at 6 a.m., to 11th line Beckwith, thence to Ashton station and Ashton village, returning by the 9th line and running west to the lake, then south to the 7th line and returning to town by the Franktown road. It is a long route, covering 35 miles. R.M.D. No. 1 is to the McCreary, Scotch Corners, Innisville, Boyd’s section, but has not yet been started, although we understand Mr. Albert Winn has this contract. As soon as a sufficient number of boxes are secured this service w ill be started.—Carleton Place Herald. Nov 22 1912

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 and now in The Townships Sun