Rare Collection of Early Scenes for Library Display, Carleton Place Canadian, 18 October, 1956, by Howard M. Brown

At the Carleton Place Public Library, a collection of scenes of local bygone times will be on display on Friday, October 26.  With several of the earliest maps of the Lanark County area, and a few public documents of the same period, it is expected to provide an attractive feature of the commemoration on October 26 of the one hundred and tenth year of the existence of the library.  A list describing some twenty-five photographs  and maps will be available.

Pictures of local scenes have been gathered covering a period from the first decade of the present century to as early as ninety years ago.  Among them are a view of the Carleton Place Rifle Company Brass Band at Brockville during the Fenian Raids of 1866, Carleton Place street scenes of the 1870’s , and groups of local foundry and railway shop employees photographed fifty to sixty years ago, provided by Mr. J. W. Patterson.  Copies of these and most of the pictures included in the exhibit, have been acquired by the Public Archives of Canada by reason of their interest in illustrating the local history of this district.

Persons willing to provide old photographs of local public interest for the same purpose are invited to communicate with Mrs. Evangeline Ruhl, Miss Bessie Brown, or Mrs. E. S. Fleming.

Views of the lumbering period of the past century represented one of the many gaps in the small collection which might be filled by pictures probably available in the town.  Similar notable subjects at present missing are early textile views and agricultural scenes.

Copies of four or five ancient maps, made available by the Public Archives for this exhibit, will provide possibly the best geographical record of Lanark County settlement ever placed together on public display.  A large scale map of 1833 is believed to be the first detailed map of the district showing lot lines, roads, villages and mills.  Another shows the names of many of the land owners of a hundred years ago in Carleton Place and six surrounding townships of the county.

Prominent among the old documents to be shown will be a three page list of the Library’s books in the first year of its existence.  Some 140 volumes are recorded.  By classes, these first books of the Library may be grouped as, geography and exploration 29, fiction and miscellaneous 23, philosophy and ethics 22, history 20, biography 18, religion 16, science, engineering and agriculture 15.  A copy of this venerable list has been presented by the manuscript division of the Toronto Public Library for use in marking the Carleton Place Library’s 110th anniversary.  Another document of considerable interest, obtained in Photostat from the Librarian of the Public Archives at Ottawa, is a Carleton Place citizen’s petition of 1871, with over sixty signatures, dealing with selection of the location for the first Carleton Place Town Hall.  The building erected was the present Victoria School, formerly called the Town Hall School.  The petitioners were mostly south side residents advocating location of the hall on the south side of the river, a course followed twenty-six years later with completion of construction of the present Town Hall, in which the Public Library now has been located for almost sixty years.

For the rare opportunity of examining these graphic examples of our district’s storied background, no admission fee will be charged.


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