Tag Archives: willoughby

Roots Boots and Brick Yards

Roots Boots and Brick Yards

RLPL077073f (1).jpg


-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.


Image result for willoughby carleton place

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.


Image result for brick yards carleton place

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.


Image result for willoughby carleton place


Image result for gillies carleton place

Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Image result for hawthorne carleton place

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.


Image result for hawthorne carleton place

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

Image may contain: one or more people and eyeglasses

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).


Image result for willoughby carleton place

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?

Almonte Bridge- Unsurpassed in the County


$_57 (35).JPG


The New Stone Bridge- The new  bridge at the lower end of the village is almost completed as the contractors are building up the side walls and levelling off the top of the arch which is over thirty feet height and when finished will be unsurpassed in the county for the quality of material used and for the workmanship. Messrs O’Brien and Willoughby are being commended for the manner in which it is being brought to a close. 1867 October 11-Almonte Gazette



Builds the Almonte High School

In July, the Deputy Superintendent of Education for Ontario wrote that if immediate steps were
not taken to provide better High School accommodation the half-yearly grant would be retained.
At this the committee reported in favour of a brick school instead of stone, with stone base and
stone door and window sills; and this report was adopted.   The Board thereupon made demand
on the Village Council for $5,000. for the erection of the school, and added Mr. Alex Ferguson
to the building committee. Mr. John McAndrew having resigned his position as truste, Mr. James
Stewart was elected in his stead.   At the first meeting thereafter, on the 12th of August 1872,
seven tenders were received for the construction of the new school building.   The highest
tender was $5,500, the lowest $4,700.   On motion of Albert Smallfield and James Stewart the
contract was awarded to William Willoughby, of Almonte, for $5,252., the argument in his
favour being that he had built the school houses at Smiths Falls, Carleton Place and Almonte,
and could furnish sufficient security.   The building was to be completed before Mar. 1, 1875.
At a subsequent meeting it was decided that the expense of the building should be divided
equally between the Public and High School.
Thursday, August 21, 1902
Mr. William Willoughby who is building the stone work of the new Methodist Church is so
pestered with loafers sitting around on the rails and talking with his men while working that
he made it a point the other day to daub every available seat around the place with mortar,
thus thinking to get rid of the nuisance, but as soon as the mortar dried, several were seen to
take out their knives, cut away the mortar and resume their old roost as usual.   The cheek of
some people is really fresh indeed.
source — Merrickville newspaper, 1889, reel 3738 #1
found by Doreen Guerrero


One of William Willoughby’s sisters took a ship at Brockville to visit friends in Western Ontario.
The ship went down on Lake Erie with all on board.   Another sister, while visiting friends in
Port Huron, was at the railway station, when a spark from a wood burning engine landed on
her paper bustle, causing fire and her death.
Photo Postcard from Sally Tuffin.
Related reading

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.

town hall1

Files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum




The Ottawa Journal, 23 Jan 1900, TuePage 7