Some locals find it strange, but when the Morphy’s built my home, Springside Hall in 1867, they used the stone from the Almonte Quarry. Most Carleton Place stone homes were constructed with stone out of the Beckwith Quarry, but the quarry from Almonte was indicated on the original drawing of the house. Sadly, those two land plans went into flames during the fire of 1995.
The late great Jack Wilson who did the stonework on the Caldwell Street portion of our home in the early 90s knew that, and when my late husband argued with him that quarries didn’t matter, Jack took him to a few quarries and showed him the difference. Ange never questioned Jack’s knowledge again, and for two years Jack worked on our home cutting each stone by hand. It was almost like every stone that was placed on our home is an artistic statue the way he carefully cut the stone. As Patti Ann Giles said, “Every stone had a story”!
Springside Hall 1990s addition being added.
Sometimes Jack would stop work and chat with Stuart White across the street as Stuart had worked for Jack for many years part time. On a daily basis the cars would slow down on Campbell Street viewing the work being done and Jack would stop work and have a chat with them about what was being done. The iconic stone mason always had a story to tell and he could make you laugh like no other. One day he came up to me and said,
“We’re going to church for a month or two!”
I gave him a funny look, and when he felt he had teased me enough he explained that he would be going to repoint the stone at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian for awhile– but, we would see him again after that.
The last time I saw Jack was in a darkened hallway in the Bell Street apartments a few years ago. He still remembered me and we had a nice chat. He looked older, but there is no doubt in my mind that Jack could have still cut a stone or two as James R. McIsaac said,”Jack would always be a mason’s mason”.
Springside Hall 1990s addition being added.
Patti Ann Giles–We have one of his masterpieces in our family room. Jack built our fireplace when we built our house 35 years ago. Every stone had a story.
Faye Campbell- Just loved that man and his great masonry work. He built my our fireplaces in our home. He celebrated his 80th birthday when building our fireplaces and I made him a chocolate birthday cake
Allan Stanzel -Had the pleasure of meeting Jack through my father and helped him repair a brick chimney at my parents house and build a brick wall for behind their wood stove. Very interesting man always had some good stories to tell while working.
Wendy LeBlanc Jack was our neighbour on Bell Street for many years and we met him almost daily on our early morning walks – he must have been out as early as 5:30! A friendly, gentle man who always had a comment about the weather; when we got to know him better, he spoke about his career as a mason and his military service. I was delighted to see him at The Carleton Place Terrace, and it was good to renew our daily chats. My sympathy to the family on his loss.
Bob White Jack Wilson one of the Finest stone masons . Jack did a pile of work during his lifetime. My Dad worked for Jack for many years part time . In later years I did the same. Jack would get you to mix cement for him. Weekends on some of the Town jobs in CP . He often told us jokes during coffee breaks. RIP
Dave Hick I worked for Jack many times
He was a good friend and an outstanding mason
Jim Birtch Jack built a floor to ceiling stone fireplace in our home 39 years ago. It took him 21 days and we had great chats. A real gentleman.
Kerri Ann Doe O’Rourke Jack did the fireplace and front of our house on Napoleon Street in the early ‘70s. I still remember him nicknaming me “buck shot” 🙂
Bonnie MacLean I believe he also did the stonework on the CP sign at the corner of 7 & 15. A true artisan.
Arlene Murphy Sorry to hear about Jack….he did our fireplace on Napoleon street…did such a wonderful job…Nice, nice man.
Steve Kipp Have known Jack & Lois most of my life. Jack built our fireplace 38 years ago.
The last time I was talking to him, he was repointing brick at the corner of Bridge & Lake Ave., about 6 years ago,he always had a joke to tell. Yes he was a Mason’s Mason.
Garth Tourangeau Condolences to Rob, Greg and the entire Wilson family for their loss.
Glenda Mahoney So sorry to hear this. Jack was a masonry legend.
Greg Nephin Jack was a great man worked with him building some of the stone walls at my place when he was in his 80’s he was a hard worker even into his later years. Always had good stories and jokes and would stop by to chat when he was out for a walk.
James R. McIsaac He was a Mason’s mason.
Sarah Inglis Thank you for this, Linda. And yes, Grandpa did do the stonework on the original “Welcome to Carleton Place” sign. He was very hurt to see it go. He loved Carleton Place, and he loved being a part of its welcome and story.
Sylvia McMillan Brown Jack did work at our house on 2 occasions. He was so good at his trade; he knew in minutes what needed to be done, and completed the job within a day. A real professional and a gentleman. Bye for now, Jack.
Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown He told me a story I never forgot.
A man was slow at paying him. He told the gentleman that his fire place would never work until fully paid for.
The man tried it and it filled his house full of smoke.
So the man paid him.
That is when Jack went to the roof and threw a rock down the chimney which broke the sheet of glass that was blocking the smoke to go up the chimney!
I had the extreme pleasure of building my fireplace with him with my friend Tammy.
Peacefully, at the Carleton Place Hospital on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, in his 95th year.
Predeceased by his wife Lois. Loving father of Jackie (Steve) Inglis, Greg (Tristan) Wilson and Robert (Teresa) Wilson. Proud grandfather of Sarah, Carolyn, John, Sean, Mackenzie, Alyssa and Gavin. Predeceased by his siblings Andy, Jessie, Anne, Agnes, Neil, Scott and Bob. Predeceased by his parents John and Margaret. Longtime resident of Carleton Place and well-known stonemason.
Friends may visit the family at the Alan R. Barker Funeral Home 19 McArthur Avenue, Carleton Place, on Friday, April 6, 2018 from 1:00 until time of the service in the chapel at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Wounded Warriors Fund, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)