Tag Archives: town-hall

The Doors Open Wagon Ride –Valerie Strike Photos– Carleton Place

The Doors Open Wagon Ride –Valerie Strike Photos– Carleton Place


All photos by Valerie Strike– She and Gary rode twice LOLOL




Braumeister Brewing 19 Moore Street–Braumeister Brewing Co. is a Bavarian-inspired craft brewery with a taproom and garden. Offering a new experience for beer lovers in and around the Nation’s capital, Braumeister is the place to enjoy quality beer and quality conversation. CLICK HERE to read more



The sample room at the Grand Hotel– Salesman would gather their wares in this section of the building and local retailers would come to view and by. It is now the Smith & Barrel pub which is dripping with chandeliers, tin ceilings, warm accents, and a beautiful outdoor patio. With unique adaptations on gastro-pub fare, our chef is constantly creating new and exciting dishes to keep you coming back.our professional mixologists offer an expansive selection of craft cocktails and spirits for any taste. CLICK HERE



The Grand Hotel (former Mississippi Hotel)– one of the top 100 haunted places in Canada.

Napoleon Lavallee bought the property for $50 in 1869 and opened the hotel in 1872 after he sold the Leland Hotel/ Carleton House on Bridge Street.  The McIlquham family bought it 11 years later in 1883 and when Joe Belisle worked there from 1917-1920 it had ornate woodwork, a grand staircase and the stone facade had wooden white wrap-around verandas. The elegant dining room tables were covered in  fine lace linen and gleaming cutlery, and the Mississippi Hotel became known for its homemade food and attracted travelling salesman from far and wide. The salesmen set up trunks in their rooms offering everything from dishes to clothing that was scooped up by local merchants that came to buy at the hotel. The place was packed daily with fans from Stittsville, Smiths Falls and Perth–and if you talk to Gerald Hastie people came in early for the fresh baked pies, and by noon they were pretty well sold out. Read more here CLICK



Did you know that Stompin Tom Connors that was one of the folks that saved the Grand Hotel/ Mississippi?  Stompin’ Tom Connors came out of hiding years later to save the beloved hotel where he once sang. In 1990 the Mississippi Hotel was slated for demolition and a few concerned citizens contacted the now reclusive Connors and asked for his help. Connors had become a “recluse” due to his ongoing disagreements with the Canadian music business. The Carleton Place plea to Connors himself got the ball rolling to save the hotel and he and the Mississippi Hotel made national news. READ more here CLICK



The Carleton Place Post Office was built after the Federal Building was closed. Did you also know it always used to be the Central School- but it was torn down.

Circa-1842, 1870, 1962-1963

In the 1850s, parents had to pay what was called school rates and school attendance was not compulsory. The 8 room stone Central Public School was built in 1870 and then in 1876 it was rebuilt and sat in the middle of this large corner lot.

This site was the first Carleton Place Common School that replaced the original form of the 1870 central school that was originally built to form the letter T so a single teacher could watch all the pupils.  In 1919 alterations and additions were also added to the Central School.

Read more here CLICK


The Old Federal Building/ Post Office-

The Government built a new federal building in 1891 on Bridge Street during Mr. Struthers’ term of office. This new building called the old brown stone building was the post office for years between the Franklin street site and the present post office opened in 1963. This building also housed the Customs Office and caretaker’s apartment, and later the unemployment office. Findlay McEwen was appointed Post Master in 1907 after the death of Struthers. McEwen fulfilled the role until his death in 1920. During his term of office three rural mail deliveries were established: Ashton, Innisville, and Appleton.

On the first floor was the post office with Mr. Struthers as postmaster and two ladies for clerks (The Virtue Sisters). Here too as a part of the post office was the Railway Telegraph Service (Myles Shields being CPR operator with Mina Scott). This service later moved to its own building.

Major W.H. Hooper was appointed Post Master in 1920 and served as Post Master until his retirement in 1950. During Hooper’s time if office many changes occurred.He had control of the clerk for the position of Telegraph operator until the telegraph service moved to its own building. The school children popped in daily to get warm on cold days and enjoy the steam heat. The caretaker lived on the upper floor and could be counted on to appear as soon as the children entered the building and order them out. Major Hooper was also a gruff individual and his family on the corner of Lake Ave and Bridge Street. READ more here..CLICK



The Keyes Building/ The Granary Apts–

The Granary is located in the historic Keyes Block at 107 Bridge Street in Carleton Place, Ontario. Like many of the old buildings on Bridge Street, the history of The Keyes Building runs deep and is remembered in different ways by many. The original structure that occupied the lot was built in the early 1800’s.

The modest wood building housed the Keyes’ family shoe business and living quarters. The structure was destroyed by fire in the 1880’s. READ MORE HERE CLICK




The Queen’s Hotel–

When Tom Sloan was the owner of the Queen’s hotel he had a sign out front that was really worth reading:

Good Sample Rooms-Centrally Located

Commercial Rates- One dollar and a half per day

This house has been renovated all through and is one of the coziest and most enjoyable in the Ottawa Valley.

Hotel Rules for Visitors

Board- 50 cents a square foot- meals extra

The hotel is convenient to all cemeteries- hearses to hire 25 cents

Guests are requested not to speak to the dumb waiter

Guests are requested not to play any games more exciting that Old Maid after 7 pm so as not to disturb the night clerk’s slumber

If the room gets too warm open the window and see the fire escape.

In case of fire you will have a hard time finding the fire escape, there ain’t any.
If you’re fond of athletics and like good jumping, lift the mattress and see the bed spring

Married men without baggage are requested to leave their wives at the office for security
Dont worry about paying your bills;the house is supported by its foundation.


READ more here.. CLICK

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Woodcock’s Bakery

Rick Roberts — Woodcocks unsliced bread and large soft cookies were staples at our house. Harry Delarge was a baker at Woodcocks during the 1960s. One day each week, Harry made baked beans that could be purchased in a paper board french-fry box. Haven’t tasted beans that good since…

Linda Gallipeau-Johnston Remember the round loaves everybody – that and sugar buns was our Saturday thing!!!

Sylvia Giles It was the Caramel Cookies that they used to make!!!! The size of a side plate and full of plump raisins!! Mmmmm

Lori Dawn The donut machine in the front window



Moore House- Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce

The first chamber of commerce was founded in 1599 in Marseille, France. Another official chamber of commerce would follow 65 years later, probably in Bruges, then part of the Spanish Netherlands. So how old is Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce? The Honourable Perrin Beatty of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce spoke to local business owners at the Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce breakfast in 2016 at the Town Hall and we celebrated a century of support for local business.  So now we are 103!!

Did you know that Moore House was once part of an 100 acre farm which extended from the intersection of Highway 7 and Franktown Road to Rochester Street and included Lake Ave East to Moore Street and Lansdowne Ave to Napoleon. Then it was moved up Bridge Street. READ more here CLICK

Did you know it houses a collection of Roy Brown memorabilia and the ghost of Ida Moore. Who was Ida Moore? READ MORE here– CLICK



The Carleton Place Town Hall–

Mr. Willoughby, the builder, billed the town of Carleton Place for an extra $3,000 which was more than the original agreed upon price. He had decided to add those cupolas of his own accord without mentioning it to anyone, but he still felt the town of Carleton Place should pay for it.

Now here is it where it seems to get cloudy. One newspaper reported that Willoughby took the matter to the Supreme Court. The next story was he simply took the council to a local court. It doesn’t matter which story you believe because Wiloughby lost in the end as the town council had not asked for the cupolas.

My question is: Don’t you think they would have noticed those cupolas being added and put a stop to it? I am sure this did not happen with a flick of a wand overnight. Another odd story from the Carleton Place files. But honestly, thanks goodness he did.. they are beautiful. READ MORE HERE CLICK



Did you know 100s of people used to walk up and down Mill Street when the mills were open? Bolton House and Roy Brown’s childhood home on the right. Bill Bagg and Brook McNabb used to live in that home too. Read more about the Mills here CLICK



Mrs. Gillies House was once located in Memorial Park but burnt down. This fabulous home was destroyed in the 1910 fire that covered a good portion of its neighbourhood including the old Zion Church at the corner of Beckwith and Albert.

A couple of interesting facts … the home was only 26 years old when it burned. Mrs. Gillies who was by then a widow donated the land to the town to be used in perpetuity as a public space.

Read More here- CLICK




House of Fong was one of the only buildings to survive the fire of 1910. You can see the old. Members of the Methodist (United) Church formed a bucket brigade around the church and the parsonage of Rev. A. Wilkinson and succeeded in saving both buildings.

Read more here- Click

NEXT HISTORY WAGON RIDE AT PUMPKINFEST October 19th.. Each ride begins at Carleton Junction/ Woolgrowers. Scary scary stories only.



Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place- What are Baseball Bats Used for in Movies?

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 1–Bud’s Taxi

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 2–A Snack and a View

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place–I Threw Away my Candy at The Ginger Cafe Part 3

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 4–Stepping Back in Time

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 5–Fly Me to the Moon

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place– Wooly Bully!!!! Part 6

Keith Morrison and the William and Catherine Struthers Morris Family

Keith Morrison and the William and Catherine Struthers Morris Family



Know your People of Carleton Place—We have the Morris Room in the Carleton Place town hall. I did not know much about Keith Morris. We all do now.

Know your People from Carleton Place


This is Keith Morris’s Great Grandparents.. the picture is of William Morris, Catherine Struthers Morris and son William.. The picture accompanied an article entitled the Scottish weaver... Donna Mcfarlane


Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown A true gentleman!

Donna Lowe Ward Such a lovely man. Keith and his wife Beth were our neighbors on Charlotte Street and were so kind and friendly.

Janet French-Baril A wonderful man, full of kindness.

Theresa Fritz He was a great guy and great CAO. He wrote me the most beautiful letter of reference when he reitred. I still have it to this day.

Marlene Springer Started and went to school with his eldest daughter, Ann, Keith worked for Findlays in sales until working for the town. Again he had my dad repair town parking meters!

Stephen Giles Keith was one of the most ethical men to have ever walked through the doors of the Town Hall. Keith, his wife Beth and their family were the nicest people you could know.

Karen Blackburn Chenier One of my favourite people ever.Grew up on Charlotte St and probably spent more time at the Morris home than my own.I can still hear his very distinct chuckle. Great sense of humor which his kids have inherited.!

Laury Foubert Wonderful Boss. Very fair and approachable. Those were good times at the Town Hall.

Karen Dorman This is my uncle. He was married to Beth Stanzel. They have 5 children. Linda , the Morris violin at the Middleville museum was donated by his family.

Dot Smith Great great gentleman very sweet to everyone , Town Hall had a gem when Keith worked there 👍🏼💚

Sandy Dobie Keith was a very special, gentle man who played golf at Mississippi when he finally retired.



all photos Donna Mcfarlane




Another child of William and Catherine Struthers was Janet who married her first cousin John Cleland.. (taught in Ramsey) one of their daughters Nettie married Albert McGonigal and she would be Bill McGonigals grandmother.. the two girls are Nettie on left and Annie Cleland– the couple are Nettie and Albert McGonigal…





Comments and Memories About the Carleton Place Findlay Company

Those Were the Best Days of Our Lives!

The Winter of 1916

The Winter of 1916



Jennifer Fenwick Irwin– Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. This was December of 1916, and the only time I’ve heard of that the ice here was thick enough for skating. This photo of Horace Brown was taken the same day. He was A. Roy Brown’s younger brother and home on leave.

So not thinking with a full deck I assumed that there must have been a heck of a cold snap in the area. As I searched through the archives I found out that the west was hit hard with cold and snow.

Victoria’s Snowstorms of the Century – February 2, 1916 and December 28-29, 1996. Huge snowstorms, 80 years apart, clobbered Canada’s “snow-free” city with more than 55 cm of snow. The December storm dropped 80 cm of snow in 24 hours, 125 cm in five days with cleanup costs exceeding $200 million (including a record insurance payout for BC of $80 million).

But for the east it was just another winter with the usual comings and goings….



Feb 11th 1916 Almonte Gazette

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Feb 11th 1916 Almonte Gazette

Then Darla Fisher Giles solved the mystery. A sweet woman named Mrs. Smith who lived on William St was employed as Mrs Johnston’s companion and told us kids of a time that you could skate on the river outside Dr. Johnston’s house. She claimed it was before the dam was reconfigured and the river froze solid in that area.



Skating at the Central Bridge besides Patterson Funeral Home at Carleton Place 1916.– Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

“My Father finally sent me to skate on the river. I had skates, but he wouldn’t ever let me skate on the river before. There were large kids skating right next to the Central Bridge. That was before the dam was changed.”



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  31 Oct 1916, Tue,  Page 5



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“The coldest winter was 1916-17. The winter was so cold that I felt like crying… I can remember we weren’t allowed to have a brazier because it weren’t far away from the enemy and therefore we couldn’t brew up tea. But we used to have tea sent up to us, up the communication trench. Well a communication trench can be as much as three quarters of a mile long. It used to start off in a huge dixie, two men would carry it with like a stretcher. It would start off boiling hot; by the time it got to us in the front line, there was ice on the top it was so cold.”

The winter of 1916-17 also caused a famine in Germany and is often known as the ‘Turnip Winter’. After an extremely wet autumn had ruined the potato crops and cereal production, the German population was forced to subsist on turnips in order to survive.

Killer Lightning – July 29, 1916. Lightning ignited a forest fire which burned down the towns of Cochrane and Matheson, Ontario, killing 233 people.


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As the need for soldiers overseas led to a shortage of workers in Canada, many of these “Austrian” internees were released on parole to work for private companies.


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)


Moonlight Skating to Greensleeves–Comments Comments Comments

The Almonte Skating Rink on “The Island”

So Where Was the Ice Palace?

The Old Carleton Place Arena

So What Did You Wear Ice Skating?


The Figure Skaters of Carleton Place

Skaters Under Ice? Ring That Bell!

Falling Through the Ice- One Reason Indoor Rinks Were Created

Doug Gibson–Founder of Junior Hockey in Carleton Place


Roots Boots and Brick Yards

Roots Boots and Brick Yards

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-Photograph of W. Chase’s brickyard– tile machine and drying sheds in 1908. -Philipsville
Left to right: George Jones, Herb Richards, George Cockburn, J. Lewis, Wilson Chase, William Warren, James McIlroy, William McIlroy(b. 1895), Stanley McIlroy (born 1899), Lloyd Chase


One of the delights of childhood is curiosity and for parents this can mean answering a never ending stream of “why?”  Being involved in museum work or research perpetuates that childhood trait that should never be lost.  Wanting question answered keeps our minds open and our thoughts expanding whenever artifacts or documents come into our collection.   As the pieces fall into place, more of the past becomes visable and we can truthfully say that we are building the base for a good local museum that will be a proud addition to our community.

An example of excellent sleuthing was recently made available to us by Irma Willoughby who is researching the Willoughby family and their involvement as stone masons, contractors and brick yard owners, not only in this area but much father afield.  She is spending hours searching through family memoirs, census records, newspaper archives, registry offices and assessment rolls and is still far from her projected goal of identifying how one family’s skills contributed to the building program during the days of settlement and growth.

Charles and Ann Maria Willoughby, from county Cork, Ireland with their family first settled, in the Farmerville area (Athens today).   In 1861, the census had them living on Lot 25, Concession 10, Augusta Township, Leeds County with four children still at home. Charles died May 12, 1877 at age 78 and is buried at North Augusta and the Anglican Church–Newboro register records that Ann Marie, age 78, died November 22, 1880.

Their sons William A., Abraham, Isaac and Jacob worked as stonemasons in their early lives and the first three are credited with many stone and brick buildings in Almonte, Carleton Place, Smiths Falls and the surrounding countryside.


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Leech School-Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

William A., the oldest had already married in Ireland, and as many immigrants did, began searching out different communities where work would be favourable.   He and his wife Ellen, moved from their first residence in North Augusta to Brockville and then spent 18 years in Almonte before settling down in Carleton Place in 1885.   They lived at the corner of Prince Street and Lake Avenue till their deaths, William in 1911, Ellen in 1915.   They were so well known and respected that in 1902, the Central Canadian carried a report of their 50th wedding anniversary.


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


The bulk of the article enumerated the massive building program that William participated in during the second half of the 19th century.   Fifteen churches, 11 school houses, town halls, blocks of shops and apartments, single dwellings, and bridges were built from Almonte to Brockville.   As well he participated in the clearance of the railway right-of-way and culvert construction from Carleton Place to the end of Beckwith.   His energy was so great that in 1885- 86 he even travelled to Richmond City, Virginia and very shortly became captain over the construction crew of a huge brewery.


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Of particular interest to us locally is the construction of three schoolhouses, the Gillies factory and machine shop, the Hawthorne factory and the large additions to the Mississippi and Queens hotels, the construction of the Town Hall and Lockup in 1871, (now the Victoria School Museum) and the masonry work of the “new iron bridge” over the Mississippi in 1887.   He operated a “brick and tile yard” for several years at the end of Lake Ave. East and there are many houses still standing with bricks marked “W” on the inside face.



Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Abraham had a construction business in Smiths Falls and also participated in the building of the McLaren house (burnt) and the Mills Block on Beckwith Street. Isaac was married to Henrietta Bond in Carleton Place in 1868 and is identified in Central
Canada Directory — 1876, as a stonemason living on Moore Street.   It is known that he worked on the Leach School (Renwick and Associated Real Estate Ltd.), the Jelly residence and the “large public school building” (Central School — since demolished, Post Office).  He was accidentally killed in 1899 while working at Cardinal, Ontario on one of the sections of the St. Lawrence Canal system.


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


As with many families, skills and trades are handed down through the generations, however, there may be by-passes.   One of Isaac’s sons — Clifford, known as “Doc” began his trade before the 1920’s as an electrician with the H. Brown and Sons Electric Power Co.   At the time of his marriage, he was already working for the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Company and helped build many power lines and wired many houses when electricity came to this area — rural electrification began after WW11.  David Willoughby took up his father’s trade and for the last 40 years has “experienced great satisfaction in his life’s work which brought him from basic house wiring to one of Canada’s largest complexes of our space at the Shirley’s Bay, Department of Communication Centre”.

Copy courtesy of Irma Willoughby

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Here is local historian Irma Willoughby at the LCGS Show and Tell meeting Saturday. If you have ever talked to her you will come out of the conversation a lot smarter about local history. She was the one who told me about the coffins in Joie Bond’s store basement and where the Findlay home stone went too.



The following is the research of David & Irma Willoughby–Carleton Place and District Museum File by Reva Dolgoy

Charles Willoughby married Ann Marie Butler (Bolton) about 1820, in Ireland.   She was
born 1802-04, the daughter of George Butler of Co. Wexford (from Nancy Moran –great
granddaughter of Abraham Willoughby, Also, Jacob Willoughby named his son Charles
George Butler Willoughby).   The Griffith’s Valuation of Gorey (1853) has William Willoughby at #28 Wexford St. and George Butler at #7 Wexford St.   An accompanying map of Gorey, at the time revels that William Willoughby and George Butler lived right across the road from each other.   So one could surmise that this William Willoughby was the father of Charles and Ann Maria were neighbours, but it is hard to prove with any certainty as census records in Ireland were all burned in the uprising at Four Courts in Dublin in the early 1900’s.

Apparently, Charles and Ann had several children, some of whom died as infants.   Eight
daughters and four sons survived that we know of.   The eldest daughter Maria, along with her husband, William Warren and their three sons were the first of the family to emigrate to Canada.  They came to Grenville Co. in 1851 and two years later moved to Plympton Twp., Lambton Co., Ont. (from Sarnia Observer, March 22, 1889, pg. 8)   Then son William and his family, including his three brothers came in 1853.   William became one the most extensive contractors in Canada (from an article in the Central Canadian newspaper of 1902 marking his 50th Wedding Anniversary).  William had helped with the reconstruction of the building of 15 churches, 11 school houses, and 4 town halls in the Ottawa Valley, most of which are standing today and in use, also factories and bridges.   He was well-respected by the men who worked for him, the article said.

Charles and Ann Willoughby emigrated after their sons did in 1856-7, with seven daughters, according to some 1901 census reports.   After living a short while in Brockville, Ont., they moved to Lot 25, Conc. 10 Augusta Twp.. ptoperty that was apparently given to them by another William Willoughby, who we don’t know much about.   Charles and Ann lived on this farm in the 1861 census with Alice, Susan, Isaac and Jacob (from P.A.C. Ottawa)

Their daughter, Mary Ann, went to Plympton Twp. also and married Edward Campbell there. Daughter Alice married Joseph Newman and lived in Grenville Co.   Abraham Willoughby married Joseph’s sister, Mary Newman, and lived near Smiths Falls.  Harriet Willoughby married Richard Davis, a neighbour of her parents in Canada.  Susan lived much of the time with her brother, Jacob after the death of her parents.   Of the other three sisters, Julia, Rebecca and Elizabeth, not much is known.   Two of them apparently drowned in a shipwreck out of Brockville and one, while at the railway station in Port Huron, MI.,had a spark land on her bustle and she tragically burned to death.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all worked as stone masons as well as farming. Unfortunately,
Isaac was killed by a falling stone when he was working at the Rideau Canal.  He was just 59.  Charles Willoughby died in 1877 in Augusta Twp.   Ann Butler Willoughby died in 1880. Their deaths are registered in North Agusta but we haven’t been able to locate their grave sites. (source — Doreen Guerriero. April 2000).


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Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


When William became established, he sent money back to Ireland for the remaining family to come to Canada.   Charles and Ann and their remaining family came out in 1856 ( according to the 1901 census for Alice Willoughby Newman).   They appeared in the 1861 census with children Susan, Alice, Isaac and Jacob at Lot 25, Conc. 10 in Augusta Twp., Grenville Co. C1025 P. A. C.).   In 1871 census ( C1005 P. A. C.) Charles 72 and Anne, 68 lived at the same place with Jacob 24 and Susan, 20.

                                                        CHARLES WILLOUGHBY
       This Page is a copy of Family History posted by
                    Bob Bond   email rbond007@tnni,net

FATHER    Josh (Joshua ?) Willoughby   1799 -1877
MOTHER     ?     (an Irish Girl)

MARRIED   Anne (Ann) Marie Butler       1802 – 1880                born in Ireland
                                                                                               married ABT 1820 in Kilmuckridge,
                                                                                               Wexford, Leinster Province, Ireland.
              1 Elizabeth Willoughby
              2 Rebecca Willoughby
              3 Julia Willoughby
              4 Maria Willoughby                1826 – 1883              born in Ireland; died in Ontario
              5 William Willoughby             1829 – 1915
              6 Harriat Willoughby               1836 – 1873              born in Ireland; died in Ontario
              7 Mary Anne Willoughby
              8 Abraham Willoughby            1842 – 1916
              9 Alice Willoughby
             10 Susan Willoughby                1844 – 1929          born in Ireland; died at Sault Ste. Marie
             11 Isaac Willoughby                                                        FAMILY LINK Bond Family

             12 Jacob Willoughby              1849 – 1925


More LIMITED Carleton Place items. Get them fast!!!–Be the first on your block to have these vintage 50s style glass beverage coasters. Ring in the 120th anniversary of the Carleton Place Town Hall in style. LIMITED stock.. $10 for one coaster–While you are sipping that beverage on a warm summer night you can read all about the history of the town hall here. Buy them at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.




What Didn’t You Know? The New Town Hall 1897

So Which William Built the Carleton Place Railway Bridge?

Carleton Place Town Hall Sued For Cupolas!

So What was in That Old Alligator Hole Anyways in Carleton Place?

Almonte Bridge- Unsurpassed in the County

Pardon me Boys — Is That the Carleton Place Choo Choo?

Stories of Wagons and Volunteers

Stories of Wagons and Volunteers


Photo by–crated.comThe Volunteer Sculpture at the war memorial, Almonte, Ontario–By Tony Mihok Buy the print..

Ernie Little’s horse leaned hard into the collar of the harness and strained, head down rear legs stretched back, left front hoof tipped forward and down so that he could drive the caulks into the pavement to keep from slipping with the load. The pull on the wagon seemed heavier than usual on the stretch of Little Bridge street from the subway to the roadway in from of the Town Hall.

Ernie sat up front on the upturned nail keg facing the side of the wagon with one arm on the rack. The lines were slack in his hands. He was content to let the horse move up the slope at its own pace. Ernie was happy as usual, smiling, looking around in full enjoyment of this day in early June, 1927.

Behind him on the wagon was a wooden crate which was nailed snug and hard all around. Although it wasn’t so very big, it must have had something unusually heavy inside to make the horse strain as hard as it did coming up the slope from the subway to the town hall.

“What’s in the box Ernie?” a man called from the street. “Dunno,” said Ernie. “Sure is heavy though.” Then, as a kind of afterthought he added “I think it’s got something to do with Alex Rosamond.”

The horse seemed to be wondering too. The box wasn’t anywhere near the size of the thousand pound bales of wool that came from Australia and that were wrapped in burlap and tightened in like a corset with steel bands. Two of these bales filled the wagon and made up the usual load for the hose and wagon for the trip to Rosamond Woollen Company’s No. 1 mill from the C.P.R. freight sheds, and sometimes in the other direction, from the mill to the railway. This was a regular route for the horse, and now as the wagon came to the level in front of the town hall the horse eased up the strain on the collar and started across to go up Water Street and on to the freight sheds. A small tug on the reins brought him up short. He stopped in his tracks for a moment, as if wondering, what now?

“Gee, Gee up there. Gee.” Ernie called out. The horse drove his shoulders again into the collar, swung to the right and moved forward up Bridge Street towards the railway crossing. “Whoa now. Whoa.” Ernie brought the horse and wagon to a halt in the space between the town hall and the tracks. He stepped down off the wagon to look over the site more carefully.

Men working there on a stone structure laid down their tools and came back to the wagon to inspect the crate.

Ernie returned to the wagon, picked up the lines and moved to the side of the wagon.

“Back up now. Back, back, back up.” The wagon moved close to the stone base. Ernie again slackened off the lines and let the horse enjoy a rest while the men prepared to unload the crate from the wagon.


Ernie read the packing slip idly as he watched the men make ready to lift the crate. “The Volunteer” he read. “The Volunteer”, he mused. “Just how does that connect with Alex Rosamond? I wonder.”

From–Three Interesting Stories of Almonte’s Past


Related Reading-From The Almonte Gazette–The Volunteer …… by John Dunn

Alexander George Rosamond (1873 – 1916) click here


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

What Didn’t You Know? The New Town Hall 1897

What Didn’t You Know? The New Town Hall 1897



 Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

In August 30th of 1897 an article was published in the Ottawa Journal about the new Carleton Place Town Hall and it was said that it was a building of which any town or city would be proud of. Of course in true fashion it was also included in the headlines that this new building might cause a new row at the next election. 


Carleton Place Town Hall. ‘Our thriving neighbour— Carleton Place— is going to build a town hall,  and to cost about $6,000 or $7,000. We understand that our townsman, Mr. Wm. Willoughby, has got the contract, and will begin work as soon as the snow disappears next spring. The new building will be erected on the north side of the river, and in rear o f Mr. Wm. Glover’s property.

Almonte Gazette–Oct 27 1871


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1903 Postcard.. Never seen this one before.. Front and back photo–Click on each



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Thanks to Laura @Restovation — we now have this complete photo on file and available for all to look at online. Thank you. Downtown Carleton Place 1909



Built on the south side of the Mississippi riverbanks the new town hall was just about to be opened. The building which faced Bridge Street was to house “a joint” town hall, fire and police station, concert hall and new library.

It was advertised as a building that would astonish strangers by its proportions and ornateness. The cost was currently at $25,000 and there were still yet bills to be settled. There was a good many ratepayers that were furious that the cost was above and beyond of the initial quote of $12,000 and they swore that council would be held responsible for such monstrous costs at the next election. In fact the media wrote that the council was said to have run away with their duties to their constituents, and it was built solely as a monument to them.



Robert McDonaldRobert McDonald Photography

The newspaper also flip flopped and said that they had to admit the building was a credit to the town of Carleton Place built of  such fine stone, fancy dressings and a slate roof. The ground floor would house the fire hall where the engine would be kept, along with the police station and the janitor’s quarters. The back of the fire hall opened on to the river by means of a tank under the fire hall. Fires anywhere near the town hall could be simply fought without taking the engine out of position. The suction pipe was simply let down into a hole in the floor and the hose carried out to the scene of the fire. Carleton Place had a Ronald fire engine at that time and Mr. Peden the town clerk has said it had given out every satisfaction and prevented many a serious fire. It was reported that they had the same fire engine for 12 years.


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The Ottawa Journal30 Aug 1897, MonPage 3


On the first floor the council chamber, a really handsome room wainscotted in polished birch with painted metal ceilings and stained glass windows. On the same floor was the mayor’s and town clerks office and a suite of three rooms to be used by the free library. The main entrance on this floor with all its glass doors, brass fixings, the polished steps and detail of finish of luxury was something only a city might have.


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Robert McDonaldRobert McDonald Photography–From the Mississippi Mudds – Aladdin Jr production on February 18, 2017

On the second floor approached by an ornate staircase the grand hall was the full size of the building. This will be where public gatherings are held and the town will rent it out for concerts and to different theatrical companies. The arrangements of this room are fairly modern. There is a large stage 60 by 30 feet and slanting which is in accordance with the latest views on theatrical architecture ,and this hall will hold 1000 people.

Between the floor of the stage and the ceiling of the fire hall is a long hall to be set aside for use for the members of the volunteer fire company. They will use it for their own social gatherings and to store their fire clothes in. At the end of the building next to the fire hall is a fire hose tower where a capital view of the town can be had. The architect that deserves enormous credit is Mr. G. W. King of Toronto. Carleton Place should say proudly,

“Come down and see our new town hall” and then aside, “It comes high but we must have it.”



Painting of town hall by Blaine Cornell



Councillor Sean Redmond​ was the mastermind behind these vintage looking glass coasters–NOW AVAILABLE at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 When the present Carleton Place Town Hall was built, the central building on its site, said to be the second dwelling built in the town, was the home of Mrs. William Morphy,  daughter of George Willis, where she had lived to 1888 and the age of 85, a widow for over fifty years. The town hall was built on the spot very a ‘shanty’ was built.






Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 20 Oct 1897, Wed, Page 6



Jennifer Fenwick Irwin​ is looking for looking for a company of young girls to perform an artistic march and sword drill at the Town Hall 120th anniversary event!.. check the posting about the town hall concert below in celebration of its opening and comments. Gymnastics and drills were quite prominent in Carleton Place. Know any names? I see a few I recognize. Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 27 Nov 1897, Sat, Page 12


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal27 Sep 1895, FriPage 5


Sept 8 1899



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  07 Oct 1897, Thu,  Page 6


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The Ottawa Journal05 Dec 1898, MonPage 6

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal27 Mar 1900, TuePage 7



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  27 Oct 1897, Wed,  Page 6



Shenanigans of the Monday Night Town Hall Opening

Carleton Place Town Hall Sued For Cupolas!

Why is the Town Hall Stage Slanted? Is it Collapsing?

Pardon me Boys — Is That the Carleton Place Choo Choo?


Saved By The Bell in Carleton Place? What Does the Photo Say?


More LIMITED Carleton Place items. Get them fast!!!–Be the first on your block to have these vintage 50s style glass beverage coasters. Ring in the 120th anniversary of the Carleton Place Town Hall in style. LIMITED stock.. $10 for one coaster–While you are sipping that beverage on a warm summer night you can read all about the history of the town hall here. Buy them at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.


150th Anniversary facts

Community Facts You Might Not Know About Carleton Place for our 150th Birthday – Part 9– It was 1903!

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

Carleton Place Postcard– What Year Was This Taken?



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This postcard is for sale on Ebay and I am trying to figure out what year it was taken. That is definitely the older bridge. Are those people fishing under the bridge?



These were added by Jennifer Fenwick Irwin from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Dr. Johnson’s house was built in 1902. This photo was taken by Horace Brown shortly after construction of the new dam in 1911.




Carleton Place Town Hall Sued For Cupolas!




Ever wonder about the cupolas on the Carleton Place Town Hall? Yes, those beautiful spherical cup shaped roofs that just enhance the structure of our beautiful town hall were nothing but trouble to the town and the builder.

In 1897 our town fathers became embroiled in a law suit for $3,000 over those cupolas. There seem to be different versions of the story, each just a tad different than the other.


Mr. Willoughby, the builder, billed the town of Carleton Place for an extra $3,000 which was more than the original agreed upon price. He had decided to add those cupolas of his own accord without mentioning it to anyone, but he still felt the town of Carleton Place should pay for it.

Now here is it where it seems to get cloudy. One newspaper reported that Willoughby took the matter to the Supreme Court. The next story was he simply took the council to a local court. It doesn’t matter which story you believe because Wiloughby lost in the end as the town council had not asked for the cupolas.

My question is: Don’t you think they would have noticed those cupolas being added and put a stop to it? I am sure this did not happen with a flick of a wand overnight. Another odd story from the Carleton Place files.

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Files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum




The Ottawa Journal, 23 Jan 1900, TuePage 7




Shark Week in Carleton Place on the Mississippi Bridge


It was the third week of June in 1885, and every single day for a week the townsfolk gathered on the Carleton Place bridge overlooking the Mississippi, to catch a glimpse of something big in the water. Some said a shark had migrated into the Mississippi, but no one could say how a shark could possibly do that. Each day the crowds assembled on the bridge to watch the movements of an extremely large fish that seemed to taunt all those that tried to capture it.

town hall

Even though the gossipers said it was as a big as cow, in reality, the fish was over three feet long and some said it could weigh close to 30 pounds or more. What was it that had the townsfolk enthralled so much it made the newspapers? In the end it was reported by several fisherman that had been summoned to the bridge that it was nothing more than a large pike. There was no word after that in the newspapers if the fish had been captured.

One would say it was the one that got away.


Of course this is not a pike.. this is a sturgeon—but I do believe this could have been the size of it 🙂 Once the gossip got underway in town.



Carleton Place Town Hall Near the bridge info:


Photos by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

The Town Hall-the town hall was built in 1897 by George W. King for a princely sum of $26,000. It took two years to complete and is a fine example of Richardson Romanesque architecture.

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Did you know people used to skate on the Mississippi River? This photo was taken in 1917 and shows the Carleton Place Town Hall and Patterson’s Furniture Store. 

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

Carleton Place Mod Fashion Show 1960’s



In May of 1965 the Carleton Place Ladies Auxiliary to the Chamber of Commerce had a fashion show at the Town Hall auditorium. The money raised from“Summer Holiday” fashions went to the Chamber of Commerce Swimming Project where hundreds of children are given swimming lessons in the summer.


Over 500 women attended, and the show was convened by Mrs. Vic Bennett. High styled outfits with low price tags and 30 “sew at home fashions” fashions were modeled. A bridal dress made for $30 by Miss Carole Moffat was shown, and the coordinator and commentator was no other than Mrs. Wallace Cook. The second half of the show was from Cook’s Store.


There was a power shortage that day, but it did not even sway the ladies who kept sashaying down that runwayno matter what. The models were from Almonte and Carleton Place with the exception of Mrs. R. J. Patterson from Ottawa.


M Terry Kirkpatrick
My sister Laurie Kirkpatrick McCabe with June Hall (McEwen) at Town Hall Fashion Show. Guessing early 60s.

Models in the pictures were Joanne Haneman, Dorothy Cochran, Jann Moffat and Miss Carole Moffat. Mrs Wallace Cook is seen giving instructions to the girls in the last picture. Who was Mrs. Wallace Cook? No other than our beloved Mary Cook.


Come see our “table to table” fashion show at Ladies Who Lunch June 6th in the same venue. Our historic Town Hall in Carleton Place Town Hall. Serenaded by local fiddler Wade Foster.

Stores are: Nancy’s Impressions, The Dress Shop, Swirlicious and Wisteria


Carleton Place photo: Shawn Lanthier just added: The picture of the kids on the Carleton Place pier was of a regatta at CPCC. Notice the paddles and the life belts they are wearing. Thank you Shawn:).. and the picture is circa 1976.