Tag Archives: Spring

The Suckers of Carp — Johnston Family

The Suckers of Carp — Johnston Family

Mr. Johnston had been a resident of Ottawa for over 35 years, but was born on the 3rd line of Huntley, about three miles from Carp, and has not forgotten the scenes of his boy and young manhood.

In the early days there were many of Mr. Johnston’s forbears in Huntley. Grandfather Robert Johnston went to Huntley from Ireland some time in the twenties. There was one thing about Robert Johnston, the pioneer no one could accuse him of not trying to make a living, for, according to his descendant, Mr. Johnston not only farmed but ran a blacksmith shop, made harness and conducted a barrel factory. Robert Johnston was known far and wide in Huntley and lived till 1863. The pioneer had four sons and five daughters.

Mr. Robert Johnston’s first recollections of Carp and Huntley date to 1864, when he was 10 years of age. Carp at that time was quite a small place. He remembers that it had three general stores, a tin shop, two blacksmith shops, three churches (Presbyterian, Anglican and Methodist), and two hotels. The hotels were kept by Wm. Dorley and John Brown. One of the storekeepers whom he recalls was W. J. Feather-ston. The Presbyterian minister was Rev. Mr. Sinclair, the Anglican minister was Rev. Mr. Godfrey. The Methodist minister’s name he does not remember. Carp Today Carp today boasts a grist mill, a small saw mill, and the factory where “Mello Creme” was made.

Associated more closely perhaps than anything else in Mr. Johnston’s memory is the Carp river. Just as the people ot Richmond love the little Jock, and the people of Renfrew love the Bonnechere and the people of Arnprior love the Madawaska, so Mr. Johnston loved, and still loves, the Carp. Why the Carp river was called the Carp he cannot understand as, so far as he could ever ascertain, there was never a carp fish in the river. There were, however, thousands upon thousands of suckers, sunfish and mud-pouts.

For the people who in the 1860s who lived along the banks of the Carp (and even back from it), the suckers were literally “meat on the table.” However few returned in the spring when the water of the Carp overran its flat banks, as ascended up the hundreds of small creeks that fed it, the suckers followed. By the thousands they fell victims to the traps and nets of the farmers. The farmers who worked hard all day at their farm chores spent half the night with torches in hand beating the creeks and forcing the suckers into waiting nets or into cunningly devised traps.

When the creeks were full, these farmers would build dams with one outlet through a sluiceway or flume, at the end of which was a big and strong net. Each morning the net would be almost choked with suckers, which would be divided between the beaters. The Carp River, according to Mr. Johnston is one of the most, crooked streams to be found anywhere in Canada, and it has the peculiarity of running in a different direction to that ot all its little sister streams.

The Carp has its rise in drowned lands near Richmond and flows in a tortuous fashion till it finds itself near Ottawa, near Chats Falls. Prior to the 1890s the Carp River used to overflow its low banks badly. For example, 35 acres or more of Mr. Johnston’s own farm used to be yearly flooded prior to 1891, when the river was dredged by the provincial government on a sort of local provement scheme. The work was done by the Barrett Bros of Ottawa, who shipped their dredging machinery and boat into parts to the Carp and put them together. The little river was dredged to a width of about 65 feet from the 12th line of Goulbourne to two miles west of Carp– a distance of 12 miles. This work stopped the Spring menace in its tracks.

Friends of the Carp River
The Watershed | Friends of the Carp River

Charlie Menzies — Talkin About Pickerel — Mary Cook Archives

Memories of the Pickerel Run Innisville

More Pictures of the Innisville Pickerel Run


The Carp River Floating Bridge

The Cheshire Cat — Native Encampment and Mulligan’s School

We went as far afield as Constance Bay, Rideau Ferry, a variety of Fall Fairs, upstairs at the Richmond arena and all of the aforementioned towns, but the favourite for me was Mulligan’s barn; located on the Carp road (long gone). read-

Cruisin Through the Dance Halls- From Carleton Place and Beyond!! Larry Clark

It’s Too Cold to Be Pretty — Winter 2021

It’s Too Cold to Be Pretty — Winter 2021

February 19, 2021

It’s too Cold to Be Pretty

I live in an old home that was built in 1867 and various additions were added throughout the years. Everything was built with stone– and the walls are three feet thick. The thickness of the walls holds the heat away for a week in the hot summer and then it becomes an oven. The same applies to winter–keeps the cold out for a bit and then cold drafty temperatures prevail.

Sometimes as I type I wear fingerless gloves similar to the 19th century folks that once lived here only they had muffs. Apparently the Victorians paid attention to their hands first to keep warm and muffs were just the item to keep their fingers toasty. Of course the drawback which is the same with fingerless gloves is that once you have to do things with your hands other than sit there, smile and twiddle your fingers– it’s fruitless. You just can’t press that ‘delete winter’ button as fingers need to be free—cold or not.

One perfect thing about winter in an old home is snuggling under those warm blankets, not that I don’t have backup. Decades ago at an auction in Knowlton, Quebec my father bought me one of those long-handled bed warmers that they used to put charcoal or hot rocks in and rub the contraption over the sheets. But one must ask themselves how safe that would be today. I have never heard Martha Stewart say all is well with smouldering coals with her 300- thread- count sheets. As far as I know, and I could be wrong, she has also not come out with matching nightcaps and socks to accessorize her sheet line either.

Former owners of my home used to have a lift up hatch door in my living room floor for access to the cistern below. For all of you that have older homes you know a cistern is where they stored all the water caught in rainstorms. Using the roof as a rain collection surface, gutters and downspouts delivered water to the cistern. In the old days when the temperature dropped, water in homes began to turn into ice. I can’t imagine my first job in the morning lifting up that hatch to the cistern and break the ice up if we had not saved water from the previous day for cooking.

But then again we have a few spots in the house that have to have heaters running on them when it goes below freezing, or the pipes will freeze and burst. That in the old days was called being “frozen up”. It must have been pretty miserable in this home built by the first Scots in the area to be so cold. Come Spring, no one knew what pipe was going to break first when the thaw came and buckets and bowls were always ready to collect the drips.

Needless to say when we bought his home in 1981 we had no idea the cistern existed until 20 years later as they had constructed a stone wall over the entrance. Goes to show you how fed up they were with the cistern and they probably got sick of catching the fresh fish they stored in the cistern on cold days with an axe.

I read a lot of Victorians kept warm in an older home by living in one room during the colder days with a fire roaring. It did mean that people would have frozen if they had left the room, so I imagine they seldom left.  One would likely assume that was when strong deodorant was invented or thought about.

Long drapes and fireplaces or wood burning stoves solved a huge problem in days of yore, but it’s not solving mine. I long to get rid of the daily uniforms of warm sweatshirts and sweatpants and sleeveless fun fur jackets. Today I took a photo of spring items I wanted to wear. A green and blue sweater and extra long vinyl baby blue elbow gloves. I laugh when I look at the gloves and realize 100 years ago I would have been cleaning the cistern with them. You have to admit they could clean a lot of floors with the length of them.

I look in the mirror at the white winter skin that gazes back at me in contrast to my black attire. Even though the outfit has been monotonous this winter it has kept me warm. Of course back then I probably would have been jokingly identified as a sickly Victorian woman who would not have made it through the winter. Stay warm my friends, Spring is coming.

My Flower Seeds — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Flower Seeds — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Photo- Noreen Tyers


My Flower Seeds

In the Springtime when the sun oh so bright
The winter frost has gone and no longer in sight

To the little Seed Box I go for a little look
The seeds I removed from my plants last fall I took

In the Spring I work the soil and plant the seeds
The Rain and Sun the roots they feed

And before to long the blooms in the garden are quite a few
Some Red some Yellow some purple all covered in the morning dew


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It took some time to choose my seeds
One always has to remember to pull out the weeds

The colours are just so vivid and bright
I stand and gaze, it’s such a beautiful sight

My seeds I keep in this little box
I decorated and I shine it up with a worn out sock

I now can pick a bouquet each day
It’s just such a pleasure Would You Not Say!

From the ✒ of Noreen Tyers



Best Garden 2015 Perth

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Photo- Noreen Tyers

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

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


The Kitchen Stool — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Flying Teeth in Church — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Writings of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Memories of Grandpa’s Workshop — Noreen Tyers

Cleaning out Grandmas’ Fridge — Noreen Tyers Summer Vacation at Richard’s Castle

How is Carly England’s Garden Growing?

How is Carly England’s Garden Growing?
This is an update on Carly England The Angels Roost Organic Gal’s garden. 
Got something growing you want me to share? Email: sav_77@yahoo.com

Good morning, Linda!

I know I promised photos yesterday, but I ran out of daylight and time! Here are a couple of pics:

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Tomatoes in rubber maids for easy transport indoors and out (I take them outside for a bit each day to harden them off).




Peppers that NEED some sunshine real soon!



I’ll take some outdoor photos once I mulch the gardens, hopefully later today if the rain stays away!

Chat soon,

Carly England




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal18 May 1978, Thu[First Edition]Page 53

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.

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


Rocking and Rolling on the Spring Clayton Road

Rocking and Rolling on the Spring Clayton Road


Clayton Road In Bad Shape April 8 1940 Almonte Gazette

Water Lying On Paved Surface Over Six Inches Deep In Places Between Snow Banks. 

The headache suffered by the County engineer’s department at Perth over the condition of the Clayton road is like  screaming *Caesar’s Ghost. After being blocked with snow for some time during the winter it is now flooded with water to an extent that makes traffic on it difficult and unpleasant.

It is said that water six inches deep is lying in the low places and that drainage is prevented by banks of snow that are still about three feet high.  Complaints about this condition have’been reaching local town merchants from people living along this highway.

It is said, too, that the roadway from the ragged chutes to the condition of the Clayton road is in terrible shape because of deep ruts. Owing to the amount of money spent on two bridges over the Indian River, the new paving has not progressed beyond the first mentioned point.

Although Spring has come, Clayton is still practically isolated as the detour built around the sink-hole on the second line of Ramsay is a veritable quagmire. It is claimed that a few men could drain the Clayton Road if they were put to work on the job.

Complaints have been made to Mayor Watchorn by local businessmen but the Mayor has learned through recent experience that it is better to let the town and district suffer in silence than go over certain heads to whisper a request in the ears of P erth officialdom. In other words he is leaving county matters to those who are supposed to look after them.


*As for the expression “Great Caesar’s Ghost”, it is a rather old expression that is a euphemism for “good God”, in the days when saying “God” as an oath was considered very rude. It is rarely used these days but was also was made famous in the Superman comic books and television series, in which editor Perry White used it often.

*Bolger’s Corner

S.S. No. 4 Ramsay – Clayton School


Originally, there were three early schools in this area – one on second line at Clayton Lake and Beaton’s Resort, another on James Smith’s Property, Lot 21 Concession 2 at Bolger’s Corner and McMunn’s Schoolhouse was built on the corner of Lot 23, Concession 4. Bathrooms consisted of one side of a bush for the girls and the other side was for boys. Using money from the Township tavern licenses, a new school was built in 1866 by the Indian River. It was used until it became too crowded and another school was built in 1872 which had a cloakroom and two bathrooms at the back. Students put on concerts with a 10 cent admission fee in order to buy a bell and later an organ and piano.  They would try to sit near the wood stove in the wintertime,  as it was the building was not insulated. The school operated until 1969. Fred Forsythe was the last teacher when the students went to Comba and then to Naismith School in Almonte.  The former schoolhouse is now a private residence.
Photo courtesy of Hans Raffelt
Comment from Ken MacDonald
Great story but I think the piece about Fred Forsythe being the last teacher to teach here may be innacurate
I beleive it was Miss Arlene Acres who taught in Clayton last before we went to Comba and on to Naismith.
Perth Courier, September 7, 1894
Tatlock:  The picnic in connection with St. Peter’s Church on Thursday of last week was a great success.  Nearly one hundred dollars was taken in.  The tables were laden with good things to eat, fit for a king.  Our ladies of Darling know how to bake and provide a sumptuous feast.  The music was furnished by the choir of the Clayton Presbyterian Church and was first class in every respect.  Mr. McIntyre with his bagpipes enlivened the day’s proceedings.  The following gentlemen gave addresses:  Rev. Mr. Smith, the pastor; Rev. Mr. McIlraith of Balderson; Robert McNair of Carleton Place; and Dr. Preston, M.P.P.  The doctor spoke quite happily and was greatly pleased to meet his Darling constituents.  Miss Katy Bolger of Clayton gave two very pretty, nice recitations and our pastor gave one entitled “The Courting of the Widow”.  The day was fine and everything passed off harmoniously.
 Photo by Tom Edwards​--This looks like dads handwriting. Would that be Ray and Fred on the wheel? Clayton–Bolger’s Corner.. Originally, there were three early schools in this area – one on second line at Clayton Lake and Beaton’s Resort, another on James Smith’s Property, Lot 21 Concession 2 at Bolger’s Corner and McMunn’s Schoolhouse was built on the corner of Lot 23, Concession 4.

“The Mounties Will Arrest You if You Step on a Trillium”

“The Mounties Will Arrest You if You Step on a Trillium”



Someone mentioned on Facebook yesterday that most kids today had no idea that the Trillium was Ontario’s flower and no idea about it’s history and a light bulb went off.

Matthew Jason Dever–
How do kids get to be 17 years old in this city and this province and not know what a trillium is? And what it means to this province? #argh #kidsthesedays


So  thank you Matthew for your  comment and idea– and here is your 101 and then some…. For all of you adults and the kids:)

The trillium is my absolute favourite wildflower. Every Spring my mother would excitedly tell my sister and me that they were once again in bloom.  Out the back door and away we would go, exploring the woods until we came upon the hollow where the trilliums covered the place like a fairyland.

My favourite thing to do in the Spring is to visit the Mill of Kintail just outside of Almonte when the trillium are in bloom. Almost magical–the trillium, a three-petalled white flower exquisitely tinged with purple as are scattered among the trails just past the little bridge. They can be seen all through Lanark County and I have also put a photo of the Beckwith Nature Trail  below.

The adoption of an official flower for Ontario in 1937 grew out of a movement during the First World War to choose a national floral emblem appropriate for planting on the graves of Canadian servicemen overseas. Although it was well received, no national flower was ever chosen, but the white trillium was chosen as Ontario’s floral emblem.


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Mill of Kintail Trillium Loop

There is a still a common belief that it is illegal in Ontario to pick white-trillium flowers because of its status as the province’s emblem. Actually common gossip was that if you accidentally stepped on a trillium the Mounties would swarm out of the woods and arrest you! While there is no such law, it is not advisable to pick the flowers because it takes so many years to produce one and the plant may take years to recover from the damage. Anyone who has visited a forested area in the spring in our region is familiar with Ontario’s floral emblem, the white trillium.

Many gardeners have failed to grow trilliums in the past because thirty or so years ago the only supply came from wild-collected roots that had dried out in transit. It was impossible to grow these plants then: they simply never got going. Twenty years ago nurserymen began to grow pot-grown specimens raised from seeds and it became possible to buy a healthy trillium that would do well in the garden.




Beckwith Nature Trail–TripAdvisor

According to “ginsengers”, this group of flowers, as well as Jack in the Pulpit; are good indicators of soil favourable for growing wild ginseng. Maybe the *Watt Brothers in Lanark knew something about this when they had their *Ginseng Company near the village.

Did you know that trilliums are edible and medicinal? The flower has a long history of use by Native Americans and the young edible unfolding leaves are an excellent addition to salad tasting somewhat like sunflower seeds. The root is used as an alternative medicine and is antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic, and ophthalmic. The roots, fresh or dry, may be boiled in milk and used for diarrhea and dysentery. Yes, we still get dysentery- and it’s just not for the history books.

Sometimes the raw root is grated and applied as a poultice to the eye in order to reduce swelling, or on aching rheumatic joints. The leaves were once boiled in lard and applied to ulcers as a poultice, and to prevent gangrene. An infusion of the root is used in the treatment of cramps and a common name for the plant, birthroot’, originated from its use to promote menstruation. Some of the root bark can be used as drops in treating earache. Constituents found in the volatile and fixed oils are, tannic acid, saponin, a glucoside resembling convallamarin, sulphuric acid and potassium dichromate, gum, resin, and starch.



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


Folklore: Used to facilitate childbirth, and to treat other female problems by the women of many Native American tribes. Trillium root was considered to be a sacred female herb and they only spoke of it to their medicine women.

Medicinal drink: Add 1 tsp. herb decoction to 1 cup warm milk, take at bedtime for diarrhea.


Mark Piper has added— To the tune of the Flowers that Bloom in the Spring (from the Mikado):

Arrest from the Red-Coated men, tra la
If you step on that poor Trillium.
Arrest from the Mounties in red, tra la
For assault on Ontario’s emblem.

So that’s what we mean when we say when we sing
Except for the Trilliums, step on anything.

Tra la la la la, Tra la la la la, Tra la la la la la.



Related reading:

Trillium Time-The AC is On..click here

The Mill of Kintail–Running With Scissors From Bears – Again

*The Lanark Ginseng Company?

*The Watts Bros Seed Company Lanark Village

Living Dangerously With Lilies of the Valley

Gardening 2016–From Herbs to Edible Flowers?


The Bairds of Bennie’s Corners

Squirrel Massacre in Bennie’s Corners —-Yikes! Yikes! Yikes!


“The Tim Horton’s River” Under my House.. Is That the Way To Fraggle Rock?



Photos by Bill and Carole Flint= The Sky Pilots

In May of 2016 I wrote this:

Years ago when we bought the house Springside Hall on Lake Ave East the basement floor was bedrock that was painted over with orange paint.  Several wooden tree logs held up the first floor in the basement. Every Spring 2 feet of water would flood the basement when the water table rose.

It has been said in the old days people used to open both sides of their basement windows on Rochester Street to let the Spring waters go through the neighbourhood. Fascinating tale is it not?


Photos by Bill and Carole Flint= The Sky Pilots

Seeing that a fridge was down there when we bought our home– it wasn’t really handy at all in the Spring–unless you had hip waders on. So the basement was finished- except for the cistern we dug out and a small tool room where the oil furnace used to be. That same small room still has the original bedrock floor as well as the cistern.

There is a brook at the bottom of the hill on Lisgar and Argyle Street which I have talked about before and it runs behind Jennifer Fenwick Irwin’s home on Argyle. It used to/still does flow down the back of my property. There was also a bridge at Beckwith Street and Lake Ave East– but my question is- where does this water originate from?

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum says: “The stream crossing under 12 Con. (now Lake Avenue East) had A BRIDGE! (at the corner of Beckwith Street). This stream still runs, mostly underground, but is visible in backyards along Argyle Street, and then again along Sussex Avenue”. 


I was told the water came down from the Gatineau’s by the late *Harold Kettles-– but you have to read about Harold to see if I should have believed him or not. It actually begins where the new Tim Horton’s is on Franktown Road and goes down Rochester Street and then under my house to the stream on Lisgar where the raccoons from my yard bathe each day. If you see those critters tell them there is a new subdivision opening up at the end of Lake Ave West– as they have worn out their welcome at my home.

The underground stream ends up flowing out at the river on the side of arena called %^&* Creek. Now I have been told this story by many local citizens; I have seen the water so–the fact that they all have the same story means the chances of it being a fish tale might be slim. I said: might… A sump pump was put in so we could control the Spring run off and no longer would our basement be Seaworld in April. Right……

If anyone saw me run out of the BIA meeting on Wednesday night it’s because the waterworks were flowing at my home due to a defective sump pump.

I got troubles, whoa-oh

I got worries, whoa-oh

That Wednesday night I stayed up until 4:30 am and every hour I went down and plugged in the defective sump pump so the basement wouldn’t flood. If anyone saw me posting the next day’s stories on Facebook at 2 am that would be the reason why- I had to stay awake. At 4:30 am I called it a night and then got up at 6 and began again.

When I woke up this morning
You were on my mind
You were on my mind
I got troubles, whoa-oh
I got worries, whoa-oh
I got wounds to bind

The family “go to guy” Super Phil came with his silent but very courteous helper to try and save the day. His helper seldom speaks but Phil makes up for it– so it’s all good in the end. My late husband Angelo had put the thing in and no one knows where the water from the sump pump goes too, and– maybe we don’t want to know. So if anyone is seeing a strange stream of water around the area– it would be coming from my house.


Something was wrong somewhere and they put in a new top of the line submersible pump and changed everything around. They had to hook up a long hose to the shower drain (where I think the water is really going to if you ask me) that is in the sauna that no one has ever used. (insert your comment here) It worked for an hour and then stopped. It seems like there is some pipe that is blocked down in that hole or frozen, and we will look at this whole picture later in the Spring and fix it. Did I tell you I usually have a rubber rat with a top hat in that hole when it’s dry?  (insert your comment here) — also read-Feeling Groovy by the Lake Ave East Bridge


“Rat in Sump Pump Hole”

So my son Perry who can fix pretty well anything ( does not take after his Mother) came by and said, “it’s because the pump is not anchored” and he put some ties on it. That worked for one hour and then you guessed it–it stopped. Apparently we have a “floater” for a sump pump and a bulb that has a mind of its own and hides in the bedrock of that hole.  I am now calling the bulb Dory and my mind keeps shouting Law & Order quotes like :  “Heh Lennie Briscoe-we’ve got a floater here”!

I got troubles, whoa-oh
I got worries, whoa-oh
I got wounds to bind

So today the water table has stopped rising because it’s darn right cold and last night I went down every two hours and knocked it lightly with a broom handle and then it would suck up the water. And– maybe I should mention to some of you smart alecs out there that no–I do not own a special broom. Steve came home from work and found me crashed in a chair, dead to the world missing the last episode of Top Chef.

You know I am laughing about this now as some days you just got to put on your hip waders and dance. Check back with me when the temperatures rise– I can assure you I won’t be dancing LOL.

Yeah, I got to ramble, whoa-oh
I got to move on, whoa-oh
I got to walk away my blues

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Phil and friend– ‘Please caption this photo” and already I have some captions

Shane Wm Edwards –“I told you that the flux capacitor had to be installed in a car not a house.”

Sherry Crummy — “Shine the light over there, I think I see another body”.

Vicki Racey“Is that the way to Fraggle Rock”?



The Harold Kettles Series – Blowing up Beaver Dams in Beckwith

Related Reading

Feeling Groovy by the Lake Ave East Bridge

Did You Know we had a %^&* Creek in Carleton Place?

Where Was One of the Open Air Rinks in Carleton Place?

The Morphy Cram House — Springside Hall

Winter —Rochester Street Looking North– Before and After

When history comes back to haunt you. Once upon a time this stream was a river and then a creek and there was a bridge on Lake Ave East— it flows under my house and through the stream and then once through Jamie Cramptons property and then down to Albert and off to shitz creek at the arena. This morning I can see the water speed through my sump pump hole. What once was in Carleton Place. October 2021 –Feeling Groovy by the Lake Ave East Bridge

Are You Ready for Spring? Carleton Place and District Horticultural Society is!



It’s Almost Spring!- Last year at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Next Meeting:

Next Meeting:  Wed March 1, 2017 at 7:00pm
David Dunn and Rob Caron are from Rideau Woodland Ramble and will speak on “Design and Development of Shade Gardens”.

Membership price is $10.00/year or $3.00 for a drop in for the night.  Everyone is welcome! Please join us at 39 Bridge St. at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall (back entrance in the basement) in Carleton Place, Ontario.




The first project of the Carleton Place and District Horticultural Society when it formed in 1988 was the transformation of the hard-packed cinder playground of Victoria School(Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum) into this lovely oasis on the north side of town. The Garden is designed, planted and maintained by the Horticultural society members who donate plants from their own gardens along with their time and gardening talents.

Take a few moments to relax under the vine-covered trellis and view the original Carleton Place horse-watering trough, now a delightful planter. Then wander through the 20th Anniversary Celebration arbour and hedge to visit the Community Gardens Project.


  • Yearly Perennial Plant Sale (Saturday May 27, 2017)
  • Monthly meetings with Guest Speakers
  • Downtown Planting
  • Victoria School Museum Garden Maintenance


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum–Who knew? It’s the best kept secret when you just need to get out of the office and breathe in some fresh air.


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Meeting Topics for 2017

Wed March 1, 2017 at 7:00pm – David Dunn and Rob Caron are from Rideau Woodland Ramble will speak on “Design and development of shade gardens”.

Wed April 5, 2017 at 7:00pmJamie Roy owner of Acanthus floral and botanical in Almonte will speak on “Tropical house plant propagation”.

Wed May 3, 2017 at 7:00pm – our “Spring flower show” and also Joanna Kowalczyk will give a talk on “Pruning”. Joanna is a graduate from Humber College and Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture.

Wed June 7, 2017 at 6:00pm – June Pot Luck including a “Question and answer period with the Master Gardeners of Lanark”

July and August 2017 – No Meeting

Wed September 6, 2017 at 7:00pm – Sylvia Vanoort will present “Flower Arranging Using Locally Grown Cut Flowers”. Sylvia has her own cut flower nursery and sells at the Perth Farmers Market.

Wed October 4, 2017 at 7:00pm – Jan Kittle  will talk on “Floral Designs on Quilting”. Jan is the proprietor of The Pickle Dish in Carleton Place.

Wed November 1, 2017 at 7:00pm – Michael Runtz will speak on “The Mysterious Sex Life of Flowers”. Michael is a professor at Carleton University.

Wed December 6, 2017 at 6:00pm – Pot Luck Christmas dinner, music, annual awards and elections. Bring your pot luck dish, serving spoon, cutlery, plate, mug. Everyone is welcome!

Location of meetings and contact telephone number


Going on a Love Boat Soon? New Spring Flings at the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital Tuck Shop


Please Play

Please Play

A long time ago the hospital tuck shop was a well known place for bedside get well gifts and a used book or two for those in the hospital. You could always find something to express well wishes or the perfect thing to thank a nurse, doctor or caregiver for providing great care.

The tuck shop was always there to help with whatever you might need.I have been just as guilty as other residents in Carleton Place, not even bothering to go see what was new in our local tuck shop in the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital. Well my lovelies– these gals not only still carry candy and books– they have some great fashion pieces and neat things in there.

So feast your eyes on these lovelies you know you need:)  Get down there soon- they are waiting to see you!

















Related reading: 

Sitting in the Emergency Ward at the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital

Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital Tuck Shop — Labels Or Love?

The Gnome Whisperer of my Gnometown — Could Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital Tuck Shop Do the Same?

Angels in the House at the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital Tuck Shop

White as the Christmas Snow at the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital Tuck Shop

Let’s Talk About Mud Baby!



Photo from Lanark  Heritage Transportation Project

I have written about being a settler and having to deal with swamps and now, because it is Spring we should consider ourselves lucky we did not have to deal with the mud. Here is a fictional letter from a woman from Carleton Place based on non-fictional facts.

March 11, 1890.

Dearest Margaret,

The land here is little above the level of the lake and river, and the day after a rain the soil has the consistency of glue. My delicate muslin gowns are barely surviving the harsh laundering that is required to remove stains made from dusty floors and muddy pathways.

Even the grandest ladies in this town, which seem to be few, are still wearing their most expensive dresses promenaded on gravel walkways or shopped along city or village streets. Sometimes the sidewalks are almost impossible to find on our village streets.



As I said, the village streets of Carleton Place are especially notorious for becoming muddy quagmires during rainy days.  Last week contractors did a poor job of removing ‘mud’—largely composed of horse dung—from our local streets. The work was usually performed by the same firm who had obtained the much more remunerative ‘dust’ contract, and thus much neglected. This created a space for a lowly class of entrepreneurs they call crossing-sweepers.

I am aghast that people still sometimes toss out their garbage from their windows, and horse droppings make crossings all but impassible for pedestrians when out and about. Of course our  village streets are barely better than country roads. Some of our local ladies never raise the dress, but walk through thick and thin, with real or affected indifference to mud. Then there are those ladies married to farmers, who I am sure have never been abroad, and allow the mass of underclothes, like mud-carts to collect the mud and beat it up to the middle of the leg. I do miss the city so please visit soon before I go insane.



Photo from Lanark  Heritage Transportation Project



Crossing sweep 18_ Nat Archives

Photo from the National Archives

August 1893- Almonte Gazette

Mr. Wm. Willoughby had the misfortune to slip on the sidewalk last Thurs­day evening and sprain his ankle, and also fractured one of the’small bones. He has been confined to his home since as a consequence.

A crossing sweeper was a person who would sweep a path ahead of people crossing dirty urban streets in exchange for a gratuity. This practice was an informal occupation among the urban poor, primarily during the 19th century.

Thackeray once wrote a story the hero of which was a crossing sweeper who lived like a gentleman on the profits of his crossing opposite the Bank, and on the strength of this legend it has been very generally though vaguely assumed that the profession is a very remunerative one. So far as facts have ever come out I do not think that this idea has ever been justified, although, no doubt, there have been exceptional cases of sweepers doing very well. And, even if they do, there is not much to grumble at. The life cannot be one of many charms.
—Excerpt from Household words: a weekly journal, Volume 4, Charles Dickens.


Related Reading:

Living In Constant Sorrow in a Lanark Swamp