In 1830, William Morphy deeded 1/13 of an acre of the land on 223 Bridge Street in Carleton Place. The James Bell house was probably built later on in the decade and
remained in the Bell family until 1870’s. The elder members of this family
emigrated from Scotland to Perth in 1817.
John, Robert, William, and James were among the sons of Reverend William Bell the first Presbyterian minister of the Perth district. Robert and John established the mercantile business in Carleton Place in association with the business of William and John in Perth, which had started the previous year. Robert owned the property in question from 1846-60.
According to Howard Brown, local historian, if one man were to be selected as the father or chief public figure of Carleton Place through its first generation of growth it would be
Robert Bell. He established himself as a merchant, mill owner, magistrate,
postmaster, and district council warden in Carleton Place. He was also elected in
1848 as a member of the legislative assembly of Canada for Lanark and Renfrew
Counties and was returned to the legislature for some fifteen years.
Later owners and residents at 233 Bridge Street were Newman, McDiarmid, and Union Bank Managers. According to Marj Whyte, in her era, the stone house was usually occupied by a bank manager. In 1919, the Canadian Bank of Commerce bought this property and the house was occupied by the bank’s manager until 1941 when George Buchanan took over possession. Mr. Scoggie of the old Union Bank and Mr. Kent of the Bank of Commerce were a few of the residents.
In 1951 Mr. And Mrs. Vernon McCarten, the daughter and son in law of George, bought
the house and property and carried on an insurance business. In 1997, the house was transferred to Barbara Couch. A rare Ginko tree sits on this property in the front and has an unusual story. Read more The McCarten House of Carleton Place.
Linda, the Witch of Plum Hollow had a Carleton Place connection! She was the grandmother of Amy Buchanan who was brought up in the brick house on the south corner of the Charles and Emily Street intersection. I have heard from good sources that the house is haunted!
Amy’s family ran the Buchanan Insurance Company and when she married Vern McCarten, it later became the Buchanan-McCarten Insurance Company. The family lived and ran the business from the lovely home on Bridge Street across from the end of High Street – now a real estate office. A well-known, community-minded family! Their children, Janet and Doug, live in the Toronto area, I believe, and if they read this, I hope they’ll correct anything I got wrong. Wendy LeBlanc
- The Ottawa Journal,
- 14 Nov 1945, Wed,
- Page 8
Who was Mother Barnes? Find Out About the Witch of Plum Hollow April 7 Only 100 seats available!
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)