Tag Archives: willis house

Willis House Clippings Photos and Comments

Willis House Clippings Photos and Comments
Larry Clark photo– 2015

Margaret McCann-patterson

This was my Grand Parents house, Michael and Julia McCann. The house was sold when they died but the back parcel of land was kept for sometime and we had a Christmas tree farm. The land was sold I think in 1982 or around there. I also had an Aunt, Alice Quinn who lived on Neopolitan Street. I believe Doris Quinn is doing a tree on the Quinn side. I have alot of history in Carleton Place and loved seeing the house.

Wes White-remember many meals and sleep overs within that house as a.kid. it was owned by the Noyse-Browns at that time.

Janice Tennant Campbell

April 5 at 1:53 PM  · One I took in August 2019

Johnna Ferrill GloverClaire and Timmy Noyes-Brown lived there. They had ponies too

Wes White-Johnna Ferrill Glover … and goats, chickens, ducks and pigs. Lol

Sandi RasmussenClaire actually sent me this article on the house last week! Loved that house😃

Dan WilliamsBird’s eye view of all the parkin’ up at the point back in the day.

read more at Whatcha’ Talkin Bout Willis? — This Old House in Carleton Place

Let’s look at some real vintage fashion, as modelled by this unknown Carleton Place gal! Taken c. 1880, the photo includes lots of nice details. Our model is wearing a watch at her waist, and an interesting floral/bead/feather brooch, as well as earrings and another brooch at her neck. She’s holding “Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin” – perhaps she worked at the studio? The photo was taken at the George E. Willis studio in Carleton Place. He operated on Bridge Street from 1870 to 1896 and was a member of the Willis family whose log home stands today at the western end of Lake Avenue. George was a photographer, musician and bandmaster, who died in Vancouver in 1940 , aged 96 while living with his son Stephen T. Willis of Ottawa business college fame.–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
Geordie (1872 – 1951) and Henry (1875 – 1957) were the sons of Richard and Martha Willis. Richard was a steamboat engineer on the Mississipi River.
In 1891, at the age of 16 Henry was working as a spinner in a local woollen mill. As adults, the two brothers worked odd jobs and lived on Frank Street. They never married and are buried at St. James Anglican Cemetery.
The men of the Willis family were known as “River Rats” as they were river men and steamboat drivers–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Dec 1935, Thu  •  Page 17

Also read

George Willis — Photographer and Son of Pioneer Family

Before and After on Lake Ave West — H. D. Gilmour

Threads of Morals on Lake Ave West

The Forgotten Cemetery at the End of Lake Ave West

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

“Sufferin” Sinders! What was Happening on Lake Ave West Today?

Whatcha’ Talkin Bout Willis? — This Old House in Carleton Place

71 Lake Ave West — The McGee House

Whatcha’ Talkin Bout Willis? — This Old House in Carleton Place


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Well, I’m talking about the little log house at the end of  Lake Ave West in Carleton Place that everyone has driven by a million times. Did you know it was the oldest house in Carleton Place within the town limits, and it became a historical site in 1980? The owners spent several years trying to return the little house to its original state, and one of the first moves was to remove the siding and expose the original logs. It was built in 1820 by George Willis, an early Beckwith pioneer who was granted 100 acres to establish a farm. The first marriages in Carleton Place were those of Sarah, daughter of George Willis, to William Morphy, and Mary, daughter of Thomas Willis, to John Morphy. There was no choice really. The newspapers reported that they were arranged marriages, as the only other choice was the Moore family.


Photo below after a storm in the 70’s in the Carleton Place Canadian- courtesy Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


The house was to remain in the Willis family until 1871. Across the road from the house was the family cemetery. The little cemetery, about 15 or 20 feet square, is found at the extreme end of the town’s park, near Lake Avenue and close to the Mississippi River. This was a burial ground, where members of one of the first families of settlers of the town were laid in an unmarked graveyard. Discovery of this site in 1946 was reported at a Carleton Place Parks Commission meeting, at which the suggestion was made that the area should be marked as a historical site by erection of a cairn. Later the remains were exhumed and moved to the United Church cemetery. Thanks to our curator Jennifer Fenwick Irwin at our Museum she has sent me this picture.


Did you know the Carleton Place Orangemens Parade used to begin at the Willis house on the 12th of July? It was a marshaling ground and headquarters as the Willis boys were part of a third generation prominent among the performers in the bands. Word is the little house has only had less than five owners. When they renovated the home they found some coins, but Mary Cook wrote that the initials of John Willis were carved on one of the original logs years ago. Now that was an historical find!


And now you know the rest of the story 🙂


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From Glenda Mahoney– Text reads the willis were one of the early irish settlers in carleton place. The old log house on lake avenue past the high school is the old willis house