Tag Archives: stone

In Memory of Jack Wilson — The Mason’s Mason

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In Memory of Jack Wilson — The Mason’s Mason

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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”!

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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”.

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Springside Hall 1990s addition being added.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

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The Mahoney Legacy Ends–Masonry Runs in the Blood

Putting a Face to Levi Brian, Stonemason, of Carleton Place

So What Happened to the Marble at the Tatlock Mine?

Quotes on Andrew Dickson and Local Quarries

Quotes on Andrew Dickson and Local Quarries

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Feb 7 1890-Almonte Gazette

—Mr. J. W . Munro, the enterprising contractor of Pembroke, is putting a force of men at work in his quarries near Pakenham to get out stone for the new bridge at Smith’s Falls. This handsome stone has never been quarried, but could be obtained in and much of the stone has been employed in Pakenham and Almonte for foundations and facings of  foundations..

Five-Span Stone Bridge – Pakenham:

Built in 1903, this one-of-a-kind bridge was constructed by Scottish stonemasons who used locally quarried stone. Five stone arches with piers stretch 82 metres across the Mississippi River and make a spectacular view from the riverbank.

For a number of years Andrew Dickson carried on a lumbering and mercantile business, and later added a carding mill.  He held a shop license for the sale of spirituous liquors.  He built a lumber slide and charged a toll on all logs passing downstream.  He operated a limestone quarry on his land.  He set up grinding wheels powered by his mills to polish limestone slabs that were used locally as ornamental stone.Years after Andrew Dickson’s death, stone from his quarry was used to construct the five span stone bridge at Pakenham.

It is also worth noting that  Sheriff Dickson’s fossil collections were relied on by the officers of the Geological Survey of Canada as late as 1905.   Dr. H. M. Ami, Assistant Paleontologist to the Geological Survey of Canada, compiled a list of fossils found within the Perth Sheet in Eastern Ontario.

Ann P. Sabina (2007) reports that Andrew Dickson’s quarry is now inactive, but that fossils are abundant in Ordovician Black River limestone in the inactive quarry and in rock exposures nearby.   She reports that the fossils include corals, cephalopods, trilobites, brachiopods, bryozoans and cystoids.    She gives the following directions to the quarry:

“The Pakenham quarry is on the face of a hill at the east end of the bridge in Pakenham; it is on the east side of Lanark County Road 20 at a point 5.8 km southwest of its junction with Highway 17.”  Sabina, Ann P.  2007,  Rocks and Minerals for the Collector: Ottawa to North Bay and Huntsville, Ontario; Gatineau (Hull) to Waltham and Témiscaming, Quebec. GSC Miscellaneous Report 48

The Ontario Geological Survey lists  two abandoned quarries with the name Pakenham Quarry in the Township of Pakenham.  As the Village of Pakenham falls within lot 11 of concession 11 of Pakenham Township, the  following may be the UTM co-ordinates for Andrew Dickson’s quarry:
Pakenham Quarry
Lot: 11, Concession: 11
UTM Zone: 18
UTM Easting: 399528.012
UTM Northing: 5020897.084

Perth Courier, August 9, 1872

Farm For Sale:  SW ½ of Lot 25(?), 3rd Concession Bathurst, 1 ½ mile from Perth, 50 acres, all fenced and improved and in a good state of cultivation.  A house and first rate out buildings and splendid building stone quarry and well watered.  Mrs. William Tovey, Bathurst

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Drivers who transported the limestone for the above church from the W. C. Stead quarry.

John Neilson, Stuart’s son, remembers the horse powered winch very well.  He was just a young boy when his father put him to work.  “My job was to drive the horse to operate the winch.  It was a simple operation.  The lime was broken into big chunks in the quarry, then transported into town on the trucks.  This breaking process was done by hand with big mallets.  Then the pieces were loaded into big steel boxes.  The horse was driven in continuous circle to wind up the cable which the hauled boxes.–The Lime Kiln-Mary CookThe Lime Kiln-Mary CookThe Lime Kiln-Mary Cook

Friday 30/08/1878 Renfrew Mercury  Several teams are engaged in drawing stone from Mr. White’s quarry to Pettewawa, for construction of the piers of the railway bridge there. Quite a number of men are employed at the quarry. With the stir occasioned by the railway extension, the running of the mills and foundries, and the building of new platforms, Pembroke presents quite a busy appearance at present. We notice that building operations are also increasing. Pembroke Observer

Author’s Note–

I am proud to say that when we put an addition on our heritage home in Carleton Place the stonemasons used the same stone from the same quarry in Almonte the Morphy’s used when they first built my home.

Putting a Face to Levi Brian, Stonemason, of Carleton Place

So What Happened to The Findlay House Stone?

More Notations on Tatlock

The Mysterious Tatlock Mine

Did You Know About the Leech School in Carleton Place?

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