Tag Archives: victoria public school

The Building of the First Town Hall Carleton Place

The Building of the First Town Hall Carleton Place
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Dec 1872, Fri  •  Pag

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

The riot in the Town Hall

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Oct 1879, Thu  •  Page 1

Victoria School Museum

267, Edmund Street, Town of Carleton Place, Ontario, K7C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1978/04/17

The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.
​Erected in 1872, our beautiful stone building served the community of Carleton Place as the Town Hall and lock up until 1879, and then as Victoria School for 90 years until 1969.

The museum is run by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Historical Society with assistance from the Town of Carleton Place and the Township of Beckwith.Opening as the Victoria School Museum in 1985, the name was changed in 2011 to reflect the scope of our collection and our communities.

Carleton Place Town Hall Sued For Cupolas!

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

Shenanigans of the Monday Night Town Hall Opening

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

Are You Ready for Spring? Carleton Place and District Horticultural Society is!



It’s Almost Spring!- Last year at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Next Meeting:

Next Meeting:  Wed March 1, 2017 at 7:00pm
David Dunn and Rob Caron are from Rideau Woodland Ramble and will speak on “Design and Development of Shade Gardens”.

Membership price is $10.00/year or $3.00 for a drop in for the night.  Everyone is welcome! Please join us at 39 Bridge St. at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall (back entrance in the basement) in Carleton Place, Ontario.




The first project of the Carleton Place and District Horticultural Society when it formed in 1988 was the transformation of the hard-packed cinder playground of Victoria School(Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum) into this lovely oasis on the north side of town. The Garden is designed, planted and maintained by the Horticultural society members who donate plants from their own gardens along with their time and gardening talents.

Take a few moments to relax under the vine-covered trellis and view the original Carleton Place horse-watering trough, now a delightful planter. Then wander through the 20th Anniversary Celebration arbour and hedge to visit the Community Gardens Project.


  • Yearly Perennial Plant Sale (Saturday May 27, 2017)
  • Monthly meetings with Guest Speakers
  • Downtown Planting
  • Victoria School Museum Garden Maintenance


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum–Who knew? It’s the best kept secret when you just need to get out of the office and breathe in some fresh air.


muse3 (1).jpg

Meeting Topics for 2017

Wed March 1, 2017 at 7:00pm – David Dunn and Rob Caron are from Rideau Woodland Ramble will speak on “Design and development of shade gardens”.

Wed April 5, 2017 at 7:00pmJamie Roy owner of Acanthus floral and botanical in Almonte will speak on “Tropical house plant propagation”.

Wed May 3, 2017 at 7:00pm – our “Spring flower show” and also Joanna Kowalczyk will give a talk on “Pruning”. Joanna is a graduate from Humber College and Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture.

Wed June 7, 2017 at 6:00pm – June Pot Luck including a “Question and answer period with the Master Gardeners of Lanark”

July and August 2017 – No Meeting

Wed September 6, 2017 at 7:00pm – Sylvia Vanoort will present “Flower Arranging Using Locally Grown Cut Flowers”. Sylvia has her own cut flower nursery and sells at the Perth Farmers Market.

Wed October 4, 2017 at 7:00pm – Jan Kittle  will talk on “Floral Designs on Quilting”. Jan is the proprietor of The Pickle Dish in Carleton Place.

Wed November 1, 2017 at 7:00pm – Michael Runtz will speak on “The Mysterious Sex Life of Flowers”. Michael is a professor at Carleton University.

Wed December 6, 2017 at 6:00pm – Pot Luck Christmas dinner, music, annual awards and elections. Bring your pot luck dish, serving spoon, cutlery, plate, mug. Everyone is welcome!

Location of meetings and contact telephone number


So Where was McGonigal’s Livery Stable?



When I wrote  *The Mystery in the Central School in Carleton Place in September it mentioned there was a fire at McGonigal’s livery stable, and no one had any idea where it was.

Note- McGonigal was also spelled McGonegal in reports- people never got their spelling write in those days.. of course I have my days too:)


“After school, the boys expected to feel the wrath of Miss Lowe, but bad or good luck, a fire suddenly broke out in Sam McGonigals’ livery stable, which was a short distance from the school. As the smoke from the burning hay and straw was seen gaining momentum in the sky Miss Lowe had no choice but to quickly dismiss her students”.

Yesterday McGonigal’s name popped up in an old newspaper story and I was smiling from ear to ear. Of course not at the tragedy- but it’s like putting a big puzzle together. In July 27 of 1904  there was yet another fire once again between a shed on Mr. David Moffat’s yard and Mr. Samuel McGonigal’s livery stable on Victoria Street.


Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.  Sam McGonegal/MGonigal from Carleton Place.


The flames were confined to these two structures, and had it not been for the efforts of the local fire dept. a large part of town could have been burned down once again. Who knew that in 6 years from 1904 Carleton Place would suffer the biggest fire in history.

Mr. McGonigal lost nearly all his livery cutters and buffalo robes, but saved his horses and wheeled vehicles. His home was damaged by fire and water and the total loss on buildings and contents burned was about $1000. There was no insurance on his livery but he did have small insurance on his household furniture.

*Jennifer Fenwick Irwin, curator of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum suggested that it is more likely the Central School and not the Victoria School. I agree 100% so  I changed the title. Thanks Jennifer!



1. Kids were going to school in July? Did Central School have summer classes?

2. McGonigal’s livery stable was at 113 Victoria Street right about in this area.


The Neighbours of Sam McGonigal on Victoria Street

Line # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Links
1 110 Cavers John M Head M Sep 1844 67 01
2 110 Cavers Sarah A. F Wife M Dec 1850 60 01
3 110 Cavers Kerrie M Brother W Dec 1846 64
4 110 McIntosh Margaret F Boarder S Oct 1870 40
5 111 Bayne Alexander M Head M Aug 1838 72 01
6 111 Bayne Isabella F Wife M Oct 1835 75 01
7 111 Bayne Neil M Son S Jun 1867 43 01
8 112 Moffatt Dave M Head M Apr 1849 62
9 112 Moffatt Mary E. F Wife M Oct 1850 60
10 112 Moffatt William M Son S Jan 1881 30
11 112 Moffatt Ellen F Daughter S Nov 1890 21
12   113 McGonigal Samuel   M Head M May 1855 56  
13   113 McGonigal Jane   F Wife M Apr 1855 56  
14   113 McGonigal Laura

Don’t Eat Yellow Snow? How About Erasers?- Ewan Caldwell



While I was looking for more information on logger Sandy Caldwell I came across a funny story by descendant Ewan Caldwell that he wrote for the opening of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum in 1989. It seems years ago his Great Grandfather, local magistrate and publisher James Poole, sustained bodily harm inside the old Victoria Public School that is now our local Museum.



The second floor at that time before the school was one large hall used for gatherings and holiday events.  It was also known for some rollicking events in Carleton Place. His great grandfather once attended a huge political event and told family and friends that he had been hit on the head by the local butcher after a heated agreement with the meat cutter. It was noted that his great grandfather recovered, but there was never any ending to the story. What had happened to the butcher, or had he just been ignored out of fright? I guess that old motto that “if you have a question you should ask your butcher” is not that solvent.

Later on the building situated on Edmund Street in Carleton Place was used as The Victoria Public School. Ewan Campell attended the school and had to share his desk with an anemic child by the name of Sydney Wynn. Wynn was a strange child and wasn’t happy with the group he sat with, so he consoled himself by eating erasers. That boy insisted on consuming a whole 5 cent eraser almost every single day.


One day Sydney Wynn did not show up for school and it was said that his family had moved away. The children discussed his disappearance for months until someone came up with what they thought was the most plausible answer. They all agreed that the Wynn family had been asked to leave the town of Carleton Place because the local store that sold the 5 cent erasers was threatened with Sidney’s unseemly consumption of erasers.

How Many Children Lived in Carleton Place in 1890?



In 1890 Carleton Place was incorporated as a town with a population of 4,224 of whom 1,896 were children. Roughly 2/3 attended some sort of Sunday School. Sunday school then provided a basic foundation in reading, writing and arithmetic, as well as instructing children on religious morals. Sadly, three out of every ten babies died before their first birthday, hence the large number of fleeting appearances of unheard offspring on the censuses.

If you were a pupil of Mrs. Crosbie in Victoria Public School in Carleton Place int the 1940s– how pleased you were to see her coming to school carrying a red dark felt bag. You knew you would not be kept in after four as the lady would leave immediately after the dismissal bell sounded to take her lesson in painting.

Photo-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum