Tag Archives: the dam

Those Were the Best Days of Our Lives!

Those Were the Best Days of Our Lives!



Photo from Llew Lloyd

Ray Paquette Challenge: Who is in the picture?

Llew Lloyd I’ll have to think on whether or not to expose that name . Do you think the statute of limitations would have run out by now ? I will say this though . On that same day there was a group photo taken that would put the ” iconic ” Bank of Nova Scotia steps photo back a notch 

Cathy Paul Dulmage I would guess it was Robert Gordon. Paul Dulmage

Terry Latham The roof was much better!! Haha off the back to the fulm!!

Llew Lloyd That was another one of the daredevil jumps. If I remember correctly there were hydro wires to jump through as well . We also used to walk up the outlet below and jump into the flume from there . The area we called the bubble bath was off the dam shown in the forefront of the original picture . It was a great playground . Once you got tired of swimming you got out your fishing rod .

Shawn Devlin We used to jump of the main st bridge and float down to the dam. We would spend hours there.
I was just telling my boys the other day. And said this is what we did when we were kids and if I catch you doing it you’ll be in shit! Lol–Although it was much like it is today not like the cool pic above

Llew Lloyd I recently heard a story about a grade 8 kid who got in trouble going for noon swims at the back bridges . Amazing what stories time and beer will spill out 

Shawn Devlin I think I almost drown on one of those blue bell trips.
Got caught in an under tow.

Toby Randell I like Shawn Devlin used to jump from the Main St. Bridge, when those sorts of things were approved of or at a minimum looked the other way at. It was nothing for 30-40 kids to have a game of tag at the dam that would last for hours. There were certain pools you would have to navigate to get from the top of the dam to the bottom, or the brave ones would slide down the dam wall itself and hide underneath the lip of he big horseshoe or rock ledges while kids jumped/slipped over top of you not knowing you were there. I still have a few scars on my legs from a misstep or a mistimed jump. Some of the best times of my young teenage summers were spent at the dam.

Dan Williams Somewhere there’s a post card of some girls lounging on the rocks just below the dam. I knew some of them.


cpswim (1).jpg

Peter Iveson One had to be careful about broken glass, I remember one time my mum and I rowed my grandfather ‘s punt one very hot summers day. I was walking on the rocks of the original rapids below the dam when I felt a sharp pain in my heal. I stepped on a broken bottle, I started to bleed, my mother got me in the row boat and we tied up at Dr.Johnston’s, and we rushed to his clinic.and were immediately dealt with. A nurse cleaned the wound, gave it some iodine,and Dr.Johnston sewed it up. I never went swimming at the dam without wearing shoes. My memory of swimming at the dam.

Llew Lloyd One more story: The last day of school it was a given that we’d all gather at the dam / powerhouse for a celebratory swim. We had learned over the years to keep an eye out for the police crossing the bridge just in case they decided to turn down Bell street and pay us a visit . On this particular occasion once we knew they were headed down Bell we did our usual retreat to ” the ledge ” jumped off and swam down to the railway bridge. But this time there was a catch. The police stopped at the powerhouse and picked up all the bicycles and took them to the police station. Sure was glad I lived within walking distance .

Dan Williams Sometimes the Town cops were pretty damn smart eh Llew? Of course they already new who all the culprits were!

Llew Lloyd One time, I’m not sure if it was George MacDonald or Ray Lancaster walked to the end of the ledge, yelled stop or I’ll shoot, and fired his revolver into the air . The boy standing in the water with his hands in the air shall remain nameless. I sometimes think the police loved the game as much as we did .

Dan Williams EXCELLENT STORY!!! Can you imagine if that happened now!😂

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

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Swimming at the Dam, St. James Park and Other Things

The Power of the Mississippi River Dam in Carleton Place

The Old Nichol’s Swimming Hole in Carleton Place

The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

Do Not Try This at Home Kids- Carleton Place Rapids Swim

“If Wayne Robertson Jumped Off the Highway 7 Bridge Does that Mean You Do it?”

Swimming at the Dam, St. James Park and Other Things

Swimming at the Dam, St. James Park and Other Things



Photos from Google Image and The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



Letters to the Editor June 1981, Carleton Place Canadian about the proposed St. James Park and the Public Utilities Confrontation.

Dear Editor,

To do with the location of the new hydro complex. As far as I’m concerned is a bunch of bull. The Bell Street location is as good as any in my books.

The commission and some town people want a new park instead of a new building. This spring some concerned citizens complained about it being unsafe, so hydro had to fence it off, to keep the kids away from the dam.

If the town wants to improve the river, to see the dam, they should be looking into that eyesore and rat trap of the old Ritchie Mill property and get something done with it.

It is not unsafe there as where as where the hydro building on Bell Street should be. Also a new building would not spoil the view of the damn if put on the present location.

D. Warren- Carleton Place



Sunday, October 21, 1928-Photo From the Millie Aitkenhead collection- by the old hydro damn- St. James in the backgroundSunday, October 21, 1928-Photo From the Millie Aitkenhead collection- by the old hydro damn- St. James in the background


As a concerned ratepayer I feel some dark areas should be explored. Has the possibility of renovating the existing building been properly explored? Who was upset with Ken Drummond taking a survey? I am opposed to the idea that the Bell Street area be used as a park area. The area is extremely dangerous even at low water. The town of Carleton Place placed an ad on May 21, 1980 in the Canadian : “Warning children of the area to be careful of the swift running waters of the Mississippi River.”

On May 28, 1980 Constable Barker stated that 4 girls were walking on the dam. Police warned that any youngsters caught at the dam a second time would be charged with trespassing before one of our children is lost at the Mississippi River. Aside from the popular danger couldn’t the building be situated on the Bell Street property to allow a reasonable view of the river? Perhaps our Hydro Commission should move more cautiously towards a finalization of plans.

Bob Gordon


Today I am looking for comments about swimming at the dam

Doug B. McCarten We used to swim to the dam from McDaniels on Bell St. and sometimes jump off the roof of the hydro building or most fun was to walk along the ledge into the tunnel where the water came out of the hydro bldg which was aerated and warm! Probably not the smartest thing to do lol! The new bridge on hwy #7 bypass was a great place too! LOL

Dan Williams You could also jump off the ledge at the back into the discharge. Great fun!

Terry Latham My brother Ron neer lost his leg there cant recall how many stitches they had to give him.

Dan Williams It was really odd because kids had been swimming there for years and I don’t believe anybody else got hurt. My older brothers all swam there and never mentioned anything. I guess he just missed the spot you were supposed to hit.

Terry Latham Old broken drain tile. We think..
Ian Williams Yep. I think it got cut down after some kid got hung up in the rope!

Dwight Munro that was my swimming hole to i did the same thing jumping off the roof and down in the hole on the rock it was fun . and the big tree on the shore line all of it gone now .that is where i started to swim.

Jan McCarten Sansom If only your mothers knew what you were up to!! I do remember someone drowning there while swimming…they got sucked under and went over the dam!

Sandra Rattray I also swam at these same spots, that is without my parents’ consent. They would have grounded me for the rest of the summer. I wasn’t even a strong swimmer. One summer someone had strung a rope from the railing around the hydro plant to the corner of the dam. We all proceeded to use this to get to the dam. One day I reached for the dam and there was a board out. I then fell over it and was having a hard time getting up with the water rushing over it (although it was shallow). One of the McNeely boys jumped in and helped me out. That was an experience.

Wendy LeBlanc We were absolutely forbidden to go down to that end of James Street or over to the back bridges. Even if Mum needed something at Bennett’s Butcher Shop, we had to walk what we deemed to be the long way along Bridge Street via George Street. However, I am quite certain that brother Wayne joined Doug B. McCarten in breaking the family rules by spending a lot of time at the dam, and at the back bridges..

Doug B. McCarten Yup! I don’t think I had a restriction like that…..Wayne and I loved the Pike hole on McArthur Island! That’s where we got caught smoking! My Mom actually did say “If Wayne Robertson jumped off the new bridge, would you do it too?” I don’t think I ever did tell her how many times Wayne and I jumped from the railing of that bridge hahaha—Swimming at the dam was a given…..lol




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

The Power of the Mississippi River Dam in Carleton Place

Finding a New Photo from the Guelph Archives #Excitement