Tag Archives: st james anglican church

I Bet You Didn’t Know this About St. James in Carleton Place

I Bet You Didn’t Know this About St. James in Carleton Place


Photo Linda Seccaspina

The first church built in 1834 was a frame building, built in the Georgian style and was a 64 feet long and 32 wide and had a gallery.

The tower of the church which was 44 feet high was maintained over a porch that was the width of the buildings that had 4 columns supporting its roof.

In August of 1834 Bishop Charles James Stewart of Quebec came and confirmed 97 of their parishioners. The congregation of St. James was 300, of which most were farming families.


They began to build the present stone building in 1881 and it officially opened on Wednesday, January 11, 1882.

The church bell dates back to 1896, and at one time it rang with help of a rope outside and a ‘special rhythm’ by the bell ringer. It was also used as a local fire alarm which used to call the local volunteers. It weighs 3/4 of a ton.

The church bell used to count hours replacing the now silent Post Office clock.

In 1974 lightening struck the bell that was now electronically controlled. Beginning at 8 am the hour was tolled until 7 pm. At noon, 6 and 7 pm carillon hymns once played.

Canon Jarvis 1884-90 designed the oak furnishings of the chancel. In 1830 the kneeler and the communion rail needlepoint was done by the rector’s wife Mrs. E. Boswell.

Other current needlepoint cushions and kneelers were handmade and donated by long time organist Ralph Langtry.

In 1903 a Cassavant Pipe Organ was installed and it was an air hand pumped which was electrified in 1955, and rebuilt in 1974 with a new console and was dedicated that year.

If you sit in the second section, first pew on the right hand side you will see some signatures carved in the upper pew. About 90 years ago Miss E.Virtue and her accomplice Master C. Mull did it–Read–If You Squint Really Hard Can you see a Yeti?

Muriel Simpson who lived on Campbell Street was a faithful parishioner of St. James Anglican Church. If you look at the big cross that hangs in the church, she and her husband Eric donated it. I know because she told me a couple of hundred times.

Muriel made an impact on me, and there is never ever a day that I will not forget her. You see, she made me promise that I would sit in her spot in a certain church pew after she died.  If you were sitting in it when she was alive she made you move. She told me that bad things would happen to me if I didn’t sit on her spot upon her demise. Read more here..The “Margaret Thatcher” of Campbell Street

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.


St. James…..

Imagine if All the People…. Photos of Father David Andrew’s Retirement Party

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976

What did Rector Elliot from St. James Bring Back from Cacouna?

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

Father David Andrew – Just Call Me Father D!

Let The Church Rise– A Little History of St. James Anglican Church

St James and St Mary’s Christmas Bazaar 1998 -Who Do You Know?

Memories of The Old Church Halls

Local Churches…

PAKENHAM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1897– $338.50 on the Cornerstone?

Drummond Centre United Church — and The Ireton Brothers 38 Year Reunion–Names Names Names

Who Really Built the Baptist Church in Carleton Place?

Notes About The First Baptist Church in Perth

Smith’s Falls and District Baptist Church

Memories of The Old Church Halls

Tales From the Methodist Church in Perth

Knox Church– McDonald’s Corners

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

The Beckwith Baptist Church

Old Churches of Lanark County

Before and After — Auld Kirk

Another Example of Local Random Acts of Kindness- Zion Memorial United Church

The Old Church in Island Brook That Needs a Home

The Church that Died

Old Churches of Lanark County

When The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror!

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Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour Bridge Street walk with stories of murder mayhem and Believe it or Not!!. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!–


Here we go Carleton Place– Mark Your Calendars–
Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour Bridge Street walk with stories of murder mayhem and Believe it or Not!!. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!–

Join us and learn about the history under your feet! This year’s St. James Cemetery Walk will take place Thursday October 19th and october 21– Museum Curator Jennfer Irwin will lead you through the gravestones and introduce you to some of our most memorable lost souls!
Be ready for a few surprises along the way….
This walk takes place in the dark on uneven ground. Please wear proper footwear and bring a small flashlight if you like.
Tickets available at the Museum, 267 Edmund Street. Two dates!!!

OCT 28th
Downtown Carleton Place Halloween Trick or Treat Day–https://www.facebook.com/events/489742168060479/

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Imagine if All the People…. Photos of Father David Andrew’s Retirement Party


Please Play While Viewing– with quotes from the song Imagine and Let There Be Peace on Earth



Imagine all the people
Living for today…


Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for


Imagine all the people
Living life in peace..


Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can



No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man


Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…


Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.


When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace– Jimi Hendrix


Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Albert Einstein



AND Let’s have a better picture of Ronnete:)

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow


Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.


With God as our father
Brothers all are we


Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.


Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.



If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam


You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one




I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one



Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.

Peace Be With You Father David- we will miss you

”I’m not afraid
To take a stand
Come take my hand
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road”– Eminem



Father David Andrew – Just Call Me Father D!

If You Squint Really Hard Can you see a Yeti?



Church organist Robert Burgess-Moon, 35, spotted the Holy Spirit staring back at him on his cocktail cabinet–Mr Burgess-Moon is a regular churchgoer and has played the organ at a number of churches in his local area.Think Mr Burgess-Moon might have been on the ‘spirit’ himself ?

I can assure you nothing like that might pop out at you at any of our local churches but I did find something very interesting one day at St. James Anglican Church in Carleton Place. One day I saw two names that were crudely scratched into the top of the pew. I had seen these faded names hundreds of times throughout the years but I never really gave it much thought.

Who were E. Virtue and C. Mull I asked myself?

What were their stories?

Had they used a geometry protractor as their artistic weapon?

It reminded me of my days being a nuisance in a church pew until my Mother and Grandmother decided I should join the church choir. You see, I didn’t have much use for a church congregation. My Grandmother, on the other hand, had every use for it.

My late mother who was tone deaf like myself thought I was born to sing like Deanna Durbin. Every week Reverend Peacock would choose a soloist and my mother suggested to him one too many times that I participate. Finally exhausted by her phone calls he agreed to let me have the next solo.

Sunday came way too fast and standing in front of the choir I began to sing the first verses of “Lead Me Lord”.  There were no “bravos” in the congregation while I sang, and by verse three people were covering their mouths with their handkerchiefs. At the end of the hymn fellow classmate Dickie Diner in the front pew broke out into a fit of laughter and fell off his seat.

I went back to the choir pews and saw Reverend Brown look down at me through his bifocals in bewilderment. Miss Smith, the spinster church organist, stamped on the organ pedals and rolled into the next hymn at a death defying volume. My musical career ended after that, but my Mother kept saying it was fine, as she insisted they had stand-in-singers for Joan Crawford. I often wondered if people remembered the caterwauling that came out of me that day and actually gave it a second thought years later.

As I looked at the two names again I imagined the children that did “the deed” had to be between 10 and 12.  I assume their parents caught them and punishment was either the woodshed or sitting in the corner with a bar of soap between their teeth. Needless to say, the families probably remembered the event each time they sat in that very pew. Of course there was always the thought that maybe their parents committed “the crime of the century” and changed pews not to be reminded of their children’s misdeeds.

The way a congregation thinks about mission is reflected in the type of building it uses, the language it uses to describe its reason for existence, the way people dress, and where people sit for the rest of their lives. Like Vegas, things once occurred in that very pew, but it happened far enough away to have no negative effect on “the here and now.”  But, do you forget what is worth remembering, and is it best forgotten?  Thankfully in my case, no two people remember the same thing, and I hope it was the same for Miss E.Virtue and her accomplice Master C. Mull.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jennifer Irwin at the Beckwith and Carleton Place Heritage Museum and Lise Heroux; we found out who the children were:

Evelyn Virtue and Cecil L. Mullins, both born in 1908

Evelyn Dorothy Virtue was born on February 1, 1908, in Carleton Place, Canada. Her father, William, was 32 and her mother, Mary, was 38.

                                       Cecil L. MULLINS
                                      St. James Anglican Church+, Carleton Place Cemetery
                                      Lanark Co./Reg./Dist., Ontario

Cecil L. Mullins
Lance Corporal
26 Jan 1963
Age 55

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

The Willy Wonka Blues of Carleton Place


“St. James Anglican Church in Carleton Place is hoping to proceed with the sale of its old parish hall to the McKeen family, owners of Manitoulin Chocolate Works.“It’s a conditional sale, which hinges on a severance and zoning change,” Rev. David Andrew told the Canadian Gazette in an interview last week.” –Tara Gesner – Carleton Place Canadian Gazette


Last night it was St. James Anglican Church versus the town of Carleton Place at our town hall. For a few hours the pros and cons of having Manitoulin Chocolate Works open in Carleton Place were debated. Some words were heated, and some made no sense. In the end no decision was made. Personally, I felt like it was hopeless for the purveyors of exceptional hand made chocolates to bring their business to town and restore Elliot Hall.

What I don’t seem to get is why we just can’t bend over backwards sometimes for progress in Carleton Place. It’s not the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last.  Of course I understand about traffic and neighbourhood quality. Some suggest it would be a death knell to the local neighbourhood with new increased commercial traffic. But doesn’t that in effect slow or completely stop the inevitable and necessary growth we need? If Carleton Place does not have the innovation and challenge, we will not only lose future financial gain, we will lose our brightest and best to larger communities for better opportunities.

To withstand economic forces that are compressing our economic growth in small towns we have to fight hard for our community to prosper. If we turn away innovative entrepreneurs like Manitoulin Chocolate Works it says a lot to other companies that might consider coming to Carleton Place. Some individuals say “we made our life here because of its quaintness and tranquility“. That’s fine, but, if you do not accept new business here, it will die a slow death, and then you won’t have to argue over the amount of spaces for cars ( 7 )  or those needed for bicycles (8)— or whether an area should be zoned for commercial.


Carleton Place is losing their retail base to big-box stores less than 30 minutes away and now we could be rescued in part by attracting inventive entrepreneurs. We have a dying downtown, and empty manufacturing plants that nobody wants. If everyone could get over their differences and work together we might finally realize that small specialty businesses are in fact the key drivers of future wealth and employment in our economy.

It’s a sad state of affairs– but either except change in Carleton Place or watch your towns dollars go elsewhere. I hate to be Darwinian or melodramtic, but it’s either compete or die. Think about it.


Photos by Linda Seccaspina

If you want to now some history about that area and the different commercial  and non commercial places of Bell Street and area read here.

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

Like a Prayer I left My Mark in Franktown — Part 2


Part 2 of  A Monument Back in Time –Time Travelling in Lanark County


Jennifer Fenwick Irwin reminded me as I told her of my thoughts on William Davis that the Lilac Festival was on in Franktown. She suggested I try to ask a lot of people if they knew where this lost cemetery was that Mary Davis was buried in. I decided to start where it all began for William Davis and his family. St. James Anglican Church in Franktown.


Gary Leach, the warden of St. James filled me in on the history and I was overwhelmed by the historical beauty of the interior of the church right down to the original gas light fixture still hanging in the centre of the church.

St. James Church of England, Franktown, (above photo) as photographed in 1925 by Colborne P. Meredith. The new belfry with pointed openings, the removal of the coating of harl to reveal the stone construction of the walls, and the removal of the pediment halfway up the tower were the only exterior changes made when this church wsa gothicised in the med 1890’s. The cracks in the front wall betrayed this as Beckwith’s oldest surviving church building. During the century between its construction and the taking of this photograph, this church had come down in status from being the centre of the rectory of Beckwith that included mission stations at Carleton Place, Smith’s Falls, Pakenham and Fitzroy, to become the tail end of the parish of Montague with Franktown. The erroneous construction date of 1833 on the sign board would later be replaced by the equally wrong date of 1822 on a datestone. This church actually was built in 1827 and 1828. National Archives of Canada negative no.PA-26902


St. James Anglican Church – Franktown

128 Church Street – Lot 11, Con.3
History dates back to 1818 when the first settlers came to Beckwith Township. Large tracts of land were surveyed, and townships formed, one being Beckwith in 1817. These settlers were Scots Presbyterians and Church of England adherents, many from Ireland.

St. James is recognized as one of the oldest Anglican churches in Eastern Ontario in continuous use. The cornerstone of the church was laid in 1822 and completed in 1827. The stained glass windows were from England, and had to be stored in Perth until the roads were passable.

Capacity of the church was reported to be 250 to 350, as there was originally an upper level gallery. In 1852 a meeting was held for the Missionary Church Society with 250 persons attending. It was the mother church of Carleton Place and Smith Falls.


With declining populations, in 1958, St. James became part of the Clayton Parish, sharing its Rector with St.George’s Clayton, and St. John’s Innisville. However, this little stone church still stands as a memorial to the hardy pioneers who built it.
At present Sunday services are held at 8:30 a.m. and ALL ARE WELCOME


Gary was very interested in my story about William Davis and he told me exactly where the Franktown cemetery was. It was not located near the church as the ground had been too rocky to contain a cemetery. I gave him a copy of my book Tilting the Kilt- Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and he put my business card on the bulletin board. He told me that each week a different parishioner would take my book home and read it. I found this very cool as the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum’s new exhibit is: They Left Their Mark so I found this quite fitting.


Gary told me that I would have a difficult time finding the lost burial plots as it was on private land and now covered over in growth. I was really disappointed in hearing that, but I went to the Franktown Cemetery to find the “replacement” monument for William and Mary Davis. I had looked up their headstone on the Canadian headstones site and knew exactly what it looked like.

When I walked into the graveyard I felt like part of my mission was complete. As I looked at the marker for William and Mary I knew we at least had one of the original headstones. One day it would go back to its rightful place in Beckwith Township and maybe Mary and William could finally be reunited.


I thought Mary was at the Wayside Cemetery but she is not, as I checked the list they had. So, it has to be a smaller burial plot somewhere on that road.

Wayside Cemetery

GPS Location: N 45 02′ 11.7″ – W 076 09′ 37.0″
Located corner of Tennyson Road and Beckwith Conc. 7, across from Baptist church Wayside. Very unkempt and has long been abandoned. Many stones of Scottish settlers. The Tennyson road was a main route to Richmond and Carleton place from Perth. Wayside had at one time, a cheese factory, a school and two churches.