Carleton Place’s Great Fire Occurred in 1910
By Howard M. Brown
Carleton Place Canadian, 27 June, 1963
Stories of former days in the long and distinguished record of the Ocean Wave Fire Company of Carleton Place, founded in 1875, are continued in this instalment.
It recalls the years of the eighteen eighties, and this town’s perilous fire of 1910, in the times when steam fire engines and equipment were raced to the scene of action by galloping fire horses.
Officers of the Ocean Wave Fire Company in the early eighteen eighties were William Patterson, captain; George Warren, first lieutenant; George Crawford, second lieutenant; John R. Galvin, secretary; William Rogers, treasurer; and John Flett, company engineer. The grants of the Carleton Place Council to the fire company at that time were $200 a year. The company usually had about 25 or 30 members; 35 was the membership attending its annual meeting in 1882. Leaders of the ld days subsequently included Tom Nagle, Dave Moffatt, Tom Lever, Jim Warren, Alex McLaren and the great Billy McIlquham.
After the years of the hand pumpers, the purchase of a steam fire engine finally was authorized by an 1884 bylaw to raise $6,000 for this purpose. A brick fire hall, still standing, had been built on Bridge Street at the end of William Street. Several large tanks were situated at points distant from the river to serve as fire engine water reservoirs.
The new fire engine was unable to save the inflammable new tannery and wool pulling plant of John F. Cram and Donald Munro, burned in 1886 with a fire loss of $10,000. Spectacular fire in the town of the nineties included the destruction of the Moffatt & Cavers shingle mill and most of the firm’s planning mill, and two losses of groups of Bridge Street retail shops. The plant and office of this newspaper, then named the Central Canadian and located at the corner of Bridge and Elgin Streets, were consumed by fire forty years ago.
Keen public interest and pride was taken not only in the speed and skill of the Ocean Wave firemen but also in the horses which drew the fire fighting equipment of a generation ago. A glimpse of one of many similar races to smaller fires is given in a Carleton Place Herald report of a 1910 fire which threatened to destroy St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Appleton several weeks before the great Carleton Place fire disaster of that year:
“The town team, driven by James Walters, took the big fire engine to Appleton – four miles – on Saturday night in the dark in thirty-five minutes, and there were four men on the engine. Mr. J. M. Brown, with one horse, took a load of firemen and a hose cart down in half an hour, and signaled for water thirty-seven minutes after leaving the hall here.”
As in the country’s other larger towns and cities of fifty years ago, the pounding gallop to a Carleton Place fire by great teams of horses, drawing heavy brass-stacked fire engines belching their smoke and fire, and clanging and rattling hook and ladder wagons manned with firemen, brought a never to be forgotten wave of excitement to young and old alike. To youthful onlookers it was a latter-day Roman chariot race, in a vital and perhaps desperate cause.
Battle Against Disaster
This town’s greatest fire came in mid May of 1910, and rode to its crescendo on the peak of a heavy gale. It came about the time predicted for the reappearance of Halley’s Comet. Some when half-awakening to its glare, thought they were viewing the light of the comet. Within four hours after midnight about thirty buildings were destroyed, most of them residences. Property losses in 1910 values were estimated at over $150,000. Through heroic work by the town fire department, the Canadian Pacific Railway fire force and Almonte firemen with their fire engine, aided by the courageous and frantic efforts of householders and others, a greater part of the south and east sides of the town was saved from equal devastation.
The fire started on Bridge Street in a pair of retail stores at Albert Street, from a cause not known. Fanned by a high southwest wind it swept an area equaling about two blocks, centred in the Albert, Beckwith, Judson and Franklin Streets section. The block bounded by these four streets was reduced completely to ashes and ruin.
Zion Presbyterian Church, valued at over $35,000 with its additions and renovations of the previous two years was wholly destroyed. Other public and church buildings bunred down, in addition to retail stores, were the curling rink, the militia drill shed, the Masonic Temple and St. Andrew’s and Zion church manses.
A total loss at the residence of Mrs. James Gillies, on the site at Franklin and Judson Streets where fire had struck over thirty years earlier, was set at $18.000. For some time the fire illuminated the windswept night sky to an extent at which in Almonte and more distant points a newspaper could be read in its light.
These were some of the tactical incidents and sidelights of this fire of over fifty years ago, as told by William H. Allen in the Carleton Place Herald:
“The first water supply came from the new engine, which played two good streams from the bridge. The old fire engine also played two streams from the bridge but gave out early in the fight, the lift being too much for her. Two streams were laid from Brown’s, one from the pump at the light station and one from the grist mill. Another stream came from Mr. Nichols planning mill and still another from the Bates & Innes mill, to which the C.P.R. brigade attached their hose and held the fire from spreading across the tracks.
Early in the night Mayor Albert Cram telephoned Almonte for aid. Our neighbour at great risk sent over their fire engine and a squad of men, the run being made over at a mile a minute rate by a locomotive and a flat car with Howard Moffatt at the throttle. The Almonte engine, was placed on Judson Street. As all the own hose were in service one of Brown’s pumps had to be cut off to give sufficient hose to the Almonte engine, which was placed below Brown’s mill. It did excellent service for some hours.
Away over the track the tower of Bates & Innes mill took fire and was saved after a hard fight. Many houses on William Street were covered with embers, but the careful work of the owners prevented any outbreak. Half a mile further the granary and driveshed of Mr. Herbert Morphy took fire and was swept, the barns nearby being saved with difficulty.
The firemen had a desperate fight with Zion Church manse. Here there would have been no hope for the wooden houses adjoining, and the Methodist parsonage and church and the Brown mills with dwellings would all have been in line.
The uniforms and arms of the volunteers were removed from the drill shed, but some blank ammunition kept up a mournful fusillade when the fire reached it. The only thing standing in the block bounded by Beckwith, Albert, Judson and Franklin streets is a lattice-work in the rear of Mrs. Gillies home.
Norman McNabb got caught in the bellrope when sounding the alarm from Zion Church. He had a narrow escape from strangling and has a sore neck. We regret to observe that there were thieves among the crowd, and many articles were afterwards lost that had been saved from the flames.”
Reminiscences of former generations of the men of the Ocean Wave Fire Company at work and in their lighter moments at play, as written about 50 years ago by the great, old sportsman W. J. ‘Baldy’ Welsh, will conclude the present group of stories of that memorable era of the town’s fire fighters.
Describe Business Places 100 Years Ago
By Howard Morton Brown
Carleton Place Canadian, 16 May, 1963
Start of High Street
On the Perth road, now High Street, a dozen of the village’s buildings of 1863 extended from Bridge Street along the north side of the road for a distance of about two blocks. There was only one building on its south side, the large stone house torn down several years ago, at the corner of Water Street. It was built in 1861 by John Sumner, merchant, who earlier at Ashton had been also a magistrate and Lieutenant Colonel of the 3rd Battalion. Carleton Militia. Beyond this short section of High Street was farm land, including the farms of John McRostie, Peter Cram, the Manny Nowlan estate and David Moffatt. The stone farm houses of John McRostie and David Moffatt are now the J. H. Dack and Chamney Cook residences.
The buildings on the north side of High Street were rented houses owned by John McEwen, William Neelin, William Moore and Henry Wilson; and the homes of Mrs. John Bell, Arthur Moore and James McDiarmid; together with Joseph Pittard’s wagon shop, and two doors west of it near the future Thomas Street corner, the new foundry enterprise of David Findlay.
Bell Street Businesses
Bell Street an even century ago had some twenty five buildings scattered along its present four blocks. William Street already had a similar number. The section from Bell Street north to the Town Line Road, as the first subdivision of the future town, had most of its streets laid out as at present, but north of William Street they held in all only five or six houses.
The block of Bell Street next to Bridge Street was the second early business section of the town. The first business there had been started about thirty-five years before this time by Robert Bell, together with his elder brother John and assisted for some years by his younger brother James, sons of the Rev. William Bell of Perth.
The new Sumner Arcade on its Bridge Street corner was built on the site of the original 1829 store of Robert Bell, in which the post office once had been located for many years. The Sumner store was adjoined by several frame shops, William Moore’s tavern, later run by Absolem McCaffery, John McEwen’s hand weaving establishment, Mrs. James Morphy’s home, and near James Street, the late “King James” Morphy’s shoemaking shop.
On the south side of this Bell Street block were several shops with living quarters, including buildings owned by Mrs. Morphy and William Muirhead. Down by the river side was an old tannery, once owned and possibly built by Robert Bell. It had been owned for some years by William Morphy junior and was bought in 1861 by Brice McNeely, who built the present stone building there where he continued a leather tanning business for forty years or more. At the other end of the block rose the venerable Hurd’s Hall, a relatively large two storey frame building then newly built, with its upper floor serving as the first public concert and meeting hall of the village other than the churches. It was built by the young Dr. William Hurd, son-in-law of James Rosamond. He had his medical offices there and lived in the former James Rosamond stone residence still standing on the corner across the street.
Going east on Bell Street, the second block from Bridge Street was occupied by the homes of Dr. Hurd and William Muirhead and, on the river near the present electric power plant site, by the sawmill owned by William Muirhead and leased then by Robert Gray. The third block, between Edmond and Baines Streets, had the large frame Church of England on its north side, and on the south side Robert Gray’s house and a building near the river owned by William Muirhead and apparently occupied in connection with the sawmill. On Bell Street’s last block, the north side had the home of Absolem McCaffrey, grocer and liquor dealer, the Wilson stone house then occupied by its builder, Dr. William Wilson, and a rented house owned by Robert Bell. On the river side of Bell Street here there were two rented houses and the home and wagon shop of George McPherson, bailiff and carriage maker.
William Street and The Railroad
North of Bell Street, William Street extended east for five blocks from Bridge Street. It was a route to the railway station, and was occupied by about thirty buildings, almost all on the north side of the street. Its tradesmen’s shops included two cabinet shops, a blacksmith shop, a wagon shop and two shoemaker’s shops. Residents owning their homes on William Street included William Peden and Patrick Struthers, general merchants; Joseph Bond and Horatio Nelson Docherty, shoe makers; Richard Gilhuly, blacksmith; Walter Scott, tailor; Mrs. David Pattie and Henry Wilson.
The stone Presbyterian church, later to be occupied by the St. Andrews congregation, and the old Cameronian Presbyterian church stood at either end of the last block which extends to the railway line. The railway station for the line opened four years earlier from Brockville to Almonte and at this time in course of construction to Arnprior, stood beyond the eastern side of the village at about the site of the present Legion Hall. A long shed beside it held cordwood used for locomotive engine fuel, and the station master’s residence was nearby toward the Town Line Road.
George Strett, then called Boswell, was open in 1863 from Bridge Street east to the railway station and Morphy Street ran from Bridge to Baines St. This section to the Town Line Road was not built on, except for three lone houses on George Street. Homes on the Ramsay Township side of the Town Line Road and east of Bridge Street were those of Mrs. John Tweedie, Frank Lavallee, cooper, and James Dunlop, cabinet maker and millwright.
Residents Of A Century Ago
Among other residents sharing the Carleton Place village scene of a century ago were the families of Jacob Leslie, cabinet maker; George and Robert McLean and Henry Beck, carpenters; Alexander Dalgety, carpenter, Hugh McLeod, miller; James Duncan and Duncan McGregor, blacksmiths; Joseph Gilhuly, carriage maker; James McFadden, and William Moore, shoemakers; also William Kelly, saloon keeper; William Paisley, carter; John Cameron, John Neil and Robert Knox, labourers; William Bradley, weaver, and William Nowlan, painter; Joseph Thompson, railway switchman; Thomas Hughes, station master and Frederick S. Haight, M.A., school master.
Resident clergymen were the Revs. John McKinnon, Presbyterian; E. H. Masey-Baker, Anglican; and Lawrence Halcroft, Baptist. Younger tradesmen of Carleton Place who the census year of 1861 were unmarried employees and apprentices included William Taylor, tinsmith; Alex Ferguson, George Griffith and Thomas Garland, blacksmiths; James Munro and William Laidlaw, carpenters; Henry Cram and Thomas Code, carriage makers; also James Moore and William Ferguson, shoemakers; Richard Willis, labourer; Charles Sumner, chemist; and William Metcalf, painter. David Moffatt, Moses Neilson and James Scott were apprentice printers and John Brown, Finlay McEwen and James Patterson were clerks.
There were about a dozen residences of stone construction within the central area of the Carleton Place of 1863. They included the homes of Hugh Boulton, Jr. grist mill owner (later Horace Brown); Dr. William Hurd (formerly James Rosamond’s and later William Muirhead’s), Napoleon Lavallee and Robert Metcalf, hotel keepers; Archibald McArthur, merchant; Allan McDonald, carding mill owner; Duncan McGregor, blacksmith; James Poole, publisher; John Sumner, merchant; Henry Wilson and Dr. William Wilson.
8 H.P. Ford Was Bought By Findlays – First Local Car
The Carleton Place Canadian, 15 September, 1960
By Howard Morton Brown
Some of the local events of fifty to sixty years ago in the Carleton Place area are recalled in the present section of a continued story summarizing the history of this town’s early days.
This was the time which saw both the heyday of the Empire on which the sun never set and the end of the Victorian era. It opened to the martial air of The British Grenadiers, with Canadian soldiers on active service in South Africa, and closed on a modern theme with such developments as the motor car and electricity on their way towards changing the ways of life of half the world.
In the first year of the present century Canadian soldiers, including several volunteers from Carleton Place, were in South Africa serving in the Boer War. Some of the present century’s great changes in living conditions had their start in these years. Electricity began to be used as a growing source of power instead of mainly for lighting and communication equipment. While annual local horse shows were being held the first automobiles appeared on the town’s streets. Business and social life began to have a greater resemblance to conditions of the present.
Among the towns of the Ottawa Valley, Carleton Place, with its population reduced to 4,000 at the opening of the century, had been outdistanced in size by the growth of Smiths Falls and Pembroke, each of which had attained a population of about 5,000. The brief views of local scenes and events which follow are based on news reports of the two Carleton Place weekly newspapers in the years from 1900 to 1909.
South African War
1900 – To supply serge for British army uniforms the Canada Woollen Mills expanded its operations here at the Gillies and Hawthorne mills.
Local talent presented the Temple of Fame, an historical pageant. The town had a day of enthusiastic celebrations when news of the Relief of Ladysmith came from South Africa.
Abner Nichols & Son brought their season’s log drive down the lake to their newly opened sawmill at the riverside on Flora Street; while two drives of logs, ties and telegraph poles were reaching the mill operated by Williams, Edwards & Company at the dam. A new branch of the Union Bank of Canada was in operation in Carleton Place, in addition to the longer established branch of the Bank of Ottawa.
The Carleton Place Canoe Club was reorganized as a racing association and joined the new international canoe association. A district grouping to include Ottawa, Brockville, Aylmer, Britannia and Carleton Place clubs was planned. This town’s club ordered its first war canoe.
Peter Salter bought and reopened the Carleton House, the oldest two storey stone building in the town. He renamed it the Leland Hotel.
Findlay’s Foundry Rebuilt
1901 – Findlay Brothers large new stove foundry of brick construction was built on land sold by the Canada Lumber Company.
The McDonald & Brown woolen mill at Mill and Judson Streets was continued in operation by John Brown on the retirement of John McDonald.
In the first local celebration of Labour Day the moulders and machinists unions held a sports day in Gillies Grove near the lower woollen mill, with football, baseball and lacrosse games and track and field events.
William H. Hooper, who had returned to Ottawa from the South African War, bought Charles C. Pelton’s Carleton Place photographic business.
A Carleton Place firemen’s demonstration was attended by the fire companies from Renfrew, Arnprior, Lanark, Perth and Smiths Falls, the Ottawa Nationals baseball team and the Perth Crescents lacrosse team. Among its other sports events in Gillies Grove were hose reel races, tug of war contests, a hub and hub race and tossing the caber. A parade included the fire brigades, decorated floats, and the Town Council and citizens in carriages. A massed band uniting the citizens’ brass and silver bands of Pembroke, Smiths Falls and Carleton Place marched through the town in an evening parade, playing The British Grenadiers. Officers of the Carleton Place band included leader Joseph McFadden and secretary James Edwards.
About sixty neighbours helped in the raising of a barn of forty feet height at the farm of John McArton in the sixth concession of Ramsay near Carleton Place.
With Robert C. Patterson, barrister, as mayor, the town bought a twelve ton $3,000 steam road roller.
Queen Victoria’s long and illustrious reign ended early in 1901 and Edward VII became King. At Ottawa the Duke and Duchess of York – the future King George V and Queen Mary – witnessed a war canoe race of Ontario and Quebec canoe clubs including Carleton Place. South African War service medals were presented and a statue of the late Queen was unveiled on Parliament Hill.
1902 – The closed Carleton Place sawmills and upper Mississippi reserve dams of the Canada Lumber Company were bought by H. Brown & Sons for water conservation and power development uses.
The Canadian Canoe Association held its annual regatta at Lake Park during two days of high winds, with over two hundred visiting paddlers present from clubs of Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Smiths Falls and Brockville. The mile course, from Nagle’s Shore to about the Lake Park steamer dock, was measured in the previous winter on the ice.
A railway bridge of steel construction on stone piers replaced the former railway bridge across the Mississippi at Carleton Place.
At the Queens and Leland hotel yards, agents were hiring teams of horses in December for winter work at Ottawa Valley lumber shanties.
Two Mills Closed
1903 – The Gillies and Hawthorne woollen mills – recently working on overtime hours with 192 employees, after six years of improvements under the ownership of Canada Woollen Mills Limited – were closed. The reason was stated to be loss of Canadian markets to British exporters of tweeds and worsteds. The company went into bankruptcy.
Twenty miles of toll roads were bought by Lanark County and freed of tolls.
For the killing of a foundry employee by stabbing during a week-end drunken quarrel, an elderly resident of Carleton Place was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to a three year term of imprisonment in the Kingston penitentiary.
Carleton Place curlers, with William Baird and Dr. D. A. Muirhead as skips, won the Lanark County Curling League cup.
1904 – The Caldwell sawmill property between Lake Avenue and the river was bought by the town and, after consideration for industrial uses, was reserved for a town park.
Sir Wilfred Laurier addressed a Carleton Place meeting on behalf of T. B. Caldwell, successful North Lanark candidate for Parliament.
An eight horsepower Ford was bought by Findlay Brothers as the first automobile owned in Carleton Place. It was the local harbinger of great changes in transportation and in ways of life, comparable to the results of railway construction of fifty years earlier.
1905 – Carleton Place street lighting was improved under a ten year contract, with introduction of a year-round all night service and erection of 150 street lights to supplement the arc lamp system.
Use of the Town Park was opened by the visit of a three ring circus with a thirty cage menagerie, a twelfth of July celebration attended by 5,000 out of town visitors, and a lacrosse game between Renfrew and Carleton Place teams at the newly built grandstand and fenced athletic grounds.
1906 – A fire at Gillies Engine Foundry and Boat Works destroyed the stone building’s two top storeys and a number of completed motor launches. Work was resumed by some twenty employees.
A mica-splitting industry of the General Electric Company was being carried on in J. R. McDiarmid’s Newman Hall at the corner of Bridge and William Streets. Gardiner’s Creamery was built on Mill Street. Concrete sidewalks were being laid on many town streets.
Thousands of European immigrants were passing through Carleton Place weekly on their way to western Canada. An exhibition of moving pictures was held in the Town Hall by the Salvation Army in aid of its work for assistance of immigrants.
For causing the death of his brother in a drunken quarrel in a motor boat near Lake Park, a local resident pleaded guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to four years imprisonment.
The first car fatality in Carleton Place occurred when Samuel A. Torrance’s automobile collided with a locomotive at the railway station crossing. One of his passengers was killed.
The first of a series of annual horse shows was held at the Town Park.
Bates & Innes Mill
1907 – Bates and Innes Co. Limited bought and equipped the former Gillies Woollen Mill as a knitting mill. A Quebec company, the Waterloo Knitting Co. Ltd., similarly re-opened the Hawthorne Woollen Mill.
The Carleton Place Canoe Club won the Canadian war canoe championship and other races at the year’s Canadian Canoe Association meet, held at Montreal.
Mississippi lumbering continued on a reduced scale. A Lanark Era spring report said: – The Nichols drive on the Clyde parted company here with Charlie Hollinger’s logs at the Caldwell booms, and swept its way over the dam to await the coming of the Mississippi sawlogs. The gang folded their tents and rolled away up to Dalhousie Lake where the rear of the drive floats. It will take about two weeks to wash the mouth of the Clyde, and then the whole bunch will nose away over the Red Rock and on to Carleton Place. While going through Lanark some of the expert drivers did a few stunts for Lanark sightseers. Joe Griffiths ran the rapids on a cedar pole just big enough to make a streak on the water. The Hollinger logs were retained at the Caldwell mill, where they are now being rapidly manufactured into lumber.
Street Traffic Rides
1908 – A Bridge Street runaway accident took the life of Archibald McDonnell, aged 77, son of one of Beckwith township’s original few settlers of 1816.
Spring floods burst the old lumber company millpond dam and two flumes at Carleton Place. Users of Mississippi River water power united to plan the building of retaining dams at headwater locations.
George H. Findlay was mayor, W. E. Rand, M.A. was High School principal and principal of the public schools was Reg. Blaisdell.
1909 – Bates & Innes knitting mill, after making waterpower improvements, began running night and day with about 150 employees. The Hawthorne knitting mill was closed by reason of financial difficulties, and its operating company was reorganized as the Carleton Knitting Co. Ltd.
Construction of a hydro electric power plant was begun by H. Brown & Sons at the former site of the Canada Lumber Company mills, after several years of preparation of the riverbed including tailrace excavation and building of a concrete millpond dam.
A roller skating rink with a new skating floor was re-opened at the militia drill hall on the market square.
J. W. Bengough, noted Canadian cartoonist, entertained a Town Hall audience with his skill, making such sketches of local celebrities as Reeve William Pattie at his desk, Dr. J. J. McGregor extracting a horses’ tooth, Arthur Burgess in his automobile, William Miller in a horse deal, and Tom Bolger with his hotel bus at the railway depot.
1910 Year of Great Fire Town Had 7 Automobiles, by Howard Morton Brown, Carleton Place Canadian, 06 October, 1960
A series of local history notes recalling the first century of community life at Carleton Place is ended with the present recollections of events in this area in the years from 1910 to 1920.
Fifty years ago the town and district began to move out of the old-time horse and buggy days. Its maturity coincided with the years of the First World War, when this district served its country well. Among local municipal developments was the forming of a public utilities system, with the installing of waterworks lines in the town’s rock-ribbed streets and the transfer to public ownership of electric generating and distributing facilities. Total industrial employment in the town continued with little change.
1910 – The greatest Carleton Place fire of living memory destroyed about twenty-five buildings between Bridge Street and Judson Street, including Zion Presbyterian Church, the Masonic Hall, the militia drill hall, the curling rink and many homes.
Following the death of James Gillies, the Bates and Innes Company bought the Gillies Machine Works building and converted it into a felt mill. The Hawthorne woollen mill was reopened by its new owner, the Carleton Knitting Co., Ltd.
There were seven automobiles owned in Carleton Place, including a Buick, a Packard, a Reo, Fords and a Russell-Knight.
Hospital building proposals were discussed at a town meeting and abandoned. The cost of erecting and equipping a suitable hospital was estimated by a provincial official at $1,000 a bed, and maintenance costs at under $5,000 a year.
The Starland Theatre here was showing moving pictures of the Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Film Company.
The first Boy Scout troop was formed by William Moore.
George V became king when death ended the ten-year reign of Edward VII.
New Power Plant
1911 – Electric power was supplied to the town from the new 125,000 north shore hydro electric plant of H. Brown and Sons. The firm’s old south shore generating units were maintained as a supplementary source of power.
Reconstruction of buildings destroyed by fire included Zion Church, the Masonic Building and a number of residences.
David Smythe, of Ferguson and Smythe, harness makers, was elected for the first of seven yearly terms as mayor of Carleton Place.
1912 – Findlay Brothers Company commenced a fifty per cent enlargement of its stove plant.
A public vote endorsed a waterworks installation bylaw. Twenty-five thousand feet of steel pipe was ordered from Scotland. The excavation contractor from Kingston began work with thirty Bulgarians, who were quartered in the old Caldwell sawmill boarding house in the town park, a dozen Italians accommodated in the Leach school house building, and a dozen Roumanians in addition to local excavation workers.
A town landmark adjoining the home of A. R. G. Peden on Allan Street was removed when the ruins of the large log house of Edmond Morphy, a first settler at Carleton Place, were torn down. It was said to have been built about 1820.
The first rural mail delivery route from Carleton Place was started in Beckwith Township, to be followed by opening of a second mail route on the north side of the town in Ramsay township.
1913 – A town clock was installed on the Post Office. James A. Dack, jeweler, was given charge of its care, and J. Howard Dack first started its 150 pound pendulum in motion.
Dr. A. E. Hanna of Perth was elected in a South Lanark by-election occasioned by the death of the Hon. John G. Haggart, member for the constituency in the House of Commons for a record continuous period dating from 1872. North and South Lanark in the following year were combined for future Dominion election purposes.
A steel bridge replaced the wooden bridge across the Mississippi River at Innisville.
High school principal E. J. Wethey and nine high and public school pupils attended a cadet camp of over twelve hundred boys at Barriefield. Plans were made to form a Carleton Place High School cadet corps.
1914 – The year which saw the start of world-changing events began locally with a mid-January record low temperature of 32 below zero.
The ninth annual spring show of the Carleton Place Horse Association was opened by the Hon. Arthur Meighen (1874-1960), Solicitor General of Canada, who said his grandfather was among the early settlers of Lanark County.
For transportation by gasoline motor power, there were twenty-five automobiles in the town and fifty motor boats on the lake when summer opened. Ford touring cars were selling for $650 f.o.b. Ford, Ontario. A resident was awarded damages for injury to a horse frightened by an unattended and unlighted automobile parked on High Street.
F. A. J. Davis (1875-1953), editor and publisher of this newspaper for nearly forty years, bought the Carleton Place Central Canadian. He changed the name in 1927 to The Canadian.
The Great War began in August. Within two weeks the town’s first dozen volunteers under Captain William H. Hooper, joined by volunteers from the Pembroke, Renfrew, Arnprior and Almonte areas, left Carleton Place. Their parade to the railway station was attended by town officials, the Carleton Place brass band, the Renfrew pipe band and hundreds of citizens. The send off ended in the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
Guards were posted on railway bridges. Local industries started producing war supplies. Active service enlistments increased. Food conservation began. Women’s groups organized sewing services for war hospitals and shipped food parcels to the district’s overseas soldiers. Belgian and Serbian Relief Fund collections were made.
Another pioneer home dating from about 1820 was removed when the original farmhouse of John Morphy, son of Edmond, was torn down. It was the birthplace of the first child born to settlers at Carleton Place (Mrs. Richard Dulmage, 1821-1899). In later years the old building had accommodated the night watchman of the Gillies Woollen Mills.
1915 – The municipal waterworks system, completed in the previous year, went into operation. Electric lights were installed in the town’s schools. The Hawthorne Woollen Mill, bought by Charles W. Bates and Richard Thomson, was re-opened and re-equipped to meet war demands.
War news and war service work dominated the local scene. There were many district recruits joining the armed forces, reports of heavy casualties, the furnishing of a motor ambulance and the making of Red Cross Society supplies, industrial work on government orders, increase in price levels and some food restrictions.
The Mississippi Golf Club was formed and acquired the old Patterson farm and stone farmhouse on the Appleton road.
The Goodwood Rural Telephone Company was organized. It let contracts for installing forty-four miles of lines in Beckwith and in the west part of Goulbourn township.
Recruits and Casualties
1916 – A local option vote closed the public bars of Carleton Place.
Patriotic Fund campaign objectives were oversubscribed. The 130th Battalion, formed from the district, went into training. Recruiting began for the Lanark and Renfrew 240th Battalion. Some 125 men of the 240th visited Carleton Place on a training and recruiting tour, accompanied by a bugle and drum band and a thirty-piece brass band. They were entertained by two nights of concerts and dances in the Town Hall. Some wounded soldiers came home on leave.
The McDonald and Brown woollen mill, previously leased, was bought by the Bates and Innes company from H. Brown and Sons, and its machines were removed to other local mills.
Road shows performing in Carleton Place included two circuses, one of which disbanded here ; September Morn (a “dancing festival from the Lasalle Opera House, Chicago”) and D. W. Griffith’s great motion picture, The Birth of a Nation, which was travelling with an orchestra of thirty musicians.
Fire destroyed the Houses of Parliament of Canada, in a blaze visible from high observation points of this town.
The War Continues
1917 – The Lanark and Renfrew 240th Battalion under Lieut. Colonel J. R. Watt left for overseas service. Heavy war casualties continued. Memorial services were held for men killed in action.
The Hawthorne Mills Limited was incorporated with a capital stock authorization of $200,000. Electric power was installed in the C.P.R. shops.
Increased horseshoeing charges, to fifty cents per shoe, were quoted in a joint announcement of fourteen blacksmith shops. They were those of Duncan Cameron, Richard Dowdall, Robert Kenny, McGregor Bros. (Forbes and Neil), and James Warren & Son, all of Carleton Place ; Edward Bradley, William Jackson, Edward Lemaistre and William McCaughan, all of Almonte ; and George Turner of Appleton, George Kemp at Black’s Corners, S. Robertson at Ashton, Robert Evoy at Innisville and Michael Hogan at Clayton.
John F. Cram and Sons bought over eight thousand muskrat pelts in one week from district trappers and collectors.
Highly popular home front war songs ranged from “Keep the Home Fires Burning”, to “Sister Susie’s Sewing Shirts for Soldiers.”
Another year of war ended in November. Armistice celebrations commenced in Carleton Place at 4 a.m. when the news was announced by the sounding of church and fire alarm bells and factory bells and whistles. Cheering, shouting and singing groups gathered in the streets. A great bonfire soon was prepared and burning in the market square on Franklin Street. In a long and noisy morning procession there were decorated automobiles, buggies, wagons, pony carts, drays and floats, one of them with a war canoe full of young club paddlers in action. The Town Council and Board of Education paraded with the firemen and their equipment and with cheering marchers on foot. Groups of young people had their own banners, flags, horns and other noise makers. Celebrations continued until midnight.
Major W. H. Hooper, home after four years’ service including two years as a prisoner in Germany, was welcomed in a reception held outdoors. Indoor meetings had been banned by reason of deaths from a world influenza epidemic.
The Hawthorne woollen mill, with two hundred employees, was enlarged. Fire destroyed the Thorburn woollen mills in Almonte.
End of an Era
1919 – Members of the armed forces returned to Canada. Over fifty from Carleton Place had lost their lives, together with similar numbers from all sections of the surrounding district. A military funeral was held here for the burial of a young officer who had died overseas.
Roy W. Bates was re-elected for the second of three yearly terms as mayor. The town’s electric power supply facilities were converted to public ownership under the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission system.
Three persons were killed when an automobile collided with a train at the William Street railway crossing. Another local fatality was caused by a fallen live wire of a municipal distribution line.
In a baseball game at Riverside Park between junior teams of Carleton Place and of the Smiths Falls C.P.R. club, local players included Mac Williams, Bill Burnie, Howard Dack, Jim Williamson, George Findlay, Tommy Graham, Gordon Bond and Clyde Emerson. The umpire was Bill Emerson. The score was 15 to 14 for Smiths Falls.
In the Town Hall Captain M. W. Plunkett presented the Dumbells in an original overseas revue, “Biff, Bing, Bang,” with an all-male cast of returned soldiers at the outset of their years of Canadian stage fame.
One hundred years after the first settlers had come to occupy the site of Carleton Place, a centenary celebration of the settlement of Beckwith Township was held at McNeely’s 10th Line Shore on Dominion Day in 1919. Among the thousand who attended was a representation of descendants of most of the township’s Scottish, Irish and English emigrants of a century earlier. A few elderly first-generation sons and daughters and many grandchildren of the district’s honoured pioneers were on hand to mark the day. Speeches included a review of the township’s history by the Rev. J. W. S. Lowry. Fiddlers and a piper provided the music for dancing. A collection of pioneer household and farm equipment was on display.
At Almonte an Old Home Week was held in 1920. The Centenary Celebration and Old Home Week of Carleton Place in 1924 was opened by the ringing of church bells and the sounding of the whistles or bells of the railway shops, of Findlay Brothers foundry and of the Bates & Innes and Hawthorne woollen mills. The week’s programme was the result of months of planning and preparation for the return of the town’s young and old boys and girls from distant and nearby points.
Parades, shows, bands, fireworks, dancing, midway attractions, banquets, concerts, church and cemetery services, an array of athletic events and open house accommodation for renewing old acquaintances were all combined to fill the seven day programme. The chief sports events were a number of baseball games, a football game, track and field sports, a cricket match, horse racing, an aquatic carnival, trap shooting, a boxing tournament and old timers’ quoit matches. An historical exhibition of district relics, curios and heirlooms was shown. The native son chosen to be chief guest of honour was D. C. Coleman (1879-1956), vice president and later president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
These civic honours opened our area’s second century of settlement by paying tribute to those of the past who had paved its way. The district’s centenary celebrations may be claimed to have reflected on a small scale something of the enduring viewpoint once recorded by a great English historian in the following thought: – “A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendants.”
80 Buildings Once Erected Here Within A Year’s Time, by Howard Morton Brown, Carleton Place Canadian, 25 August, 1960
About seventy-five years ago, Carleton Place reached the speediest single period of its growth. The present instalment of a summary of events in the town’s youthful years tells briefly of some of the developments that were in the foreground seventy to eighty years ago. It reaches the period of the first childhood recollections of this district’s present elder citizens.
The selection of Carleton Place at his time by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company as a divisional and repair shop point added a third main industry to growing textile and lumber businesses. Other principal manufacturing industries here, notably the making of stoves and machinery and grain milling, were all expanding. Revolutionary discoveries in telephone communication and electric lighting and in new types of industrial machines were being put into use in this area.
Building construction and the number of the community’s residents doubled within about five years. At the end of the decade, Carleton Place, with a population approaching only 4,500, was second in size to Ottawa alone in the Ottawa Valley. On the main line of the new railway to the west coast Carleton Place was the largest community between Montreal and Vancouver with the exception of Winnipeg. While the Carleton Place of later years may be found to have increased in wisdom and prosperity as measured by its way of life, its stature as rated by the conventional yardsticks of population and of total commercial activity has remained with relatively little change.
1880 – The idle Hawthorne woollen factory was bought by James Gillies of Carleton Place from its original owner Abraham Code at a reported price of $16,400.
A one hour strike fro a shorter working day by about fifty men at Peter McLaren’s sawmill was unsuccessful. Working hours continued at thirteen hours a day, from 6 a.m to 7 p.m., and twelve hours on Saturdays.
Lawsuits were under way between the rival sawmill owners here, Boyd Caldwell and Peter McLaren, based on McLaren’s efforts to exclusively control the passage of logs down the Mississippi at High Falls and other points.
The first annual regatta and sports day of the Carleton Place Boating Club was held at Carleton Park (Lake Park), featuring sailing, rowing and canoe races, the Perth band and baseball team, and oarsmen from Brockville and Ottawa. Its evening events on the river in Carleton Place were a promenade concert, an illuminated boat dispaly contest, fireworks and a balloon ascension. The Carleton Place brass band wearing new uniforms rode in a large carriage drawn by four horses to a concert and ball in Newman’s Hall which lasted until morning.
1881 – St. James Anglican Church was rebuilt, the present stone structure replacing a former frame building. The building contractors were William Moffatt and William Pattie. Chairman and secretary of the building committee were Colonel John Sumner and Dr. R. F. Preston. The Rev. G. J. Low succeeded the Rev. G. W. G. Grout before the building was completed.
John Gillies of Carleton Place bought the McArthur woollen mill at the present Bates & Innes site from its first owner Archibald McArthur. The reported price was 40,000. W. H. Wylie, lessee of the McArthur mill, bought the Hawthorne woollen mill from its new owner James Gillies at a price reported as $19,000.
Several parties of Indians were encamped late in the year at the east side of the town and frequented the streets daily. An Indian war dance was held at a local residence.
1882- A new railway station was built at the junction of the two lines here. Exemption from municipal taxation was granted for the C.P.R. workshops being moved to Carleton Place from Brockville and Prescott. Major James C. Poole (1826-1882), Herald editor, predicted the town was “about to enter upon an era of advancement and unparalleled prosperity.”
Boyd Caldwell & Sons river-men, when their log drive was blocked by Peter McLaren’s dam at the foot of Long Lake, cut a passage through the dam under claimed authority of the Ontario Legislature’s Rivers and Streams Act, which had been reenacted after its disallowance by the Dominion Government. The ten thousand logs reached the Carleton Place mill in good condition after having been delayed three years en route. Peter McLaren’s assertions of exclusive river rights which had been rejected by the Ontario Supreme Court were sustained by the Supreme Court of Canada. The Caldwell firm appealed to the Privy Council.
Sawdust had become a local furnace fuel, according to Mr. W. W. Cliff, Central Canadian publisher, who reported : Messrs. Wylie & Co. use about fifteen cartloads per day, the machine shop about four, and Mr. Findlay about one. The sawmills of course regard it as their staff of steam life.
1883 – The Bank of Ottawa opened a branch at Carleton Place, located on Bridge St. near Lake Avenue, opposite the Mississippi Hotel, with John A. Bangs as managaer.
The town’s leading hotel, the Mississippi, was sold to Walter McIlquham, formerly of Lanark, by Napoleon Lavallee at a price reported at $9,400.
In the Mississippi River strife between the two lumbermen whose principal mills were at Carleton Place, the Ontario Rivers and Streams Act was once more disallowed by the Dominion Government under Sir John A. MacDonald and was again introduced by the Ontario Government under Sir Oliver Mowat. The last disallowance held fifty thousand Caldwell logs in the upper Mississippi near Buckshot Lake and forced the Caldwell mill here to remain idle.
The James Poole estate sold the Carleton Place Herald, founded in 1850, to William H. Allen and Samual J. Allen ; and sold the family’s large stone residence at Bridge Street and the Town Line Road to David Gillies, son-in-law of James Poole. William H. Allen continued publication of the Herald for sixty years. David Gillies, original partner and later president of Gillies Brothers Limited of Braeside and member of the Quebec Legislature, maintained his home here until his death in 1926. Its site was the place of residence of six generations of the Poole family.
1884 – Carleton Place became a railway divisional point. A result was an expansion of the town’s population and of its commercial activities. A large railway station addition was undertaken.
The McLaren-Caldwell lumber litigation ended with a Privy Council judgement upholding the Caldwell claims for public rights for navigation of logs throughout the length of the Mississippi River.
To make way for the building of a new flour mill the John F. Cram tannery and wool plant was removed to Campbell Street after fourteen years of operation on Mill Street. Other building operations in addition to house construction included erection of the town’s Roman Catholic Church and a bridge by the Gillies Company at the lower falls. The Council Chamber of the Town Hall was vacated to provide additional classroom accommodation for the Town Hall School. A bylaw authorized the raising of $6,000 to buy a new fire engine for the Ocean Wave Fire Company.
Electric Lights and Telephones
1885 – A telephone system connecting eastern Ontario centres including Carleton Place was established by the Bell Telephone Company. Twenty telephones were installed in this town in the first year, all for business purposes.
A direct current electric lighting system was installed here by the Ball Electric Light Company of Toronto, including five street lights on Bridge Street. The generator was placed by the Gillies firm at the Central Machine Works. It was moved in the following year to a new waterpower installation opposite the west side of the Gillies woollen mill.
On Mill Street a four storey stone mill was built by Horace Brown, joined by a grain elevator to his former flour mill, and was equipped for the new roller process of flour milling.
Working hours for the winter season at the woollen mill of Gillies & Son & Company were from 7 a.m. to 6.15 p.m. with closing time one hour earlier on Saturdays.
1886 – The railway junction and divisional town of Carleton Place was a stopping point for the first through train of the C.P.R. to reach the west coast from Montreal.
The new tannery of John F. Cram and Donald Munroe was destroyed in a fire loss of over $10,000.
Abner Nichols’ planing mill was built at the corner of Lake Avenue and Bridge Street.
Indians who had camped for the winter at Franktown, selling baskets through the district, struck their tents and returned to the St. Regis Reserve.
The May 24th holiday was celebrated by a sports day at Allan’s Point (Lake Park). Its baseball score was Carleton Place Athletics 16, Renfrew 5 ; and a no score lacrosse game was played between Ottawa Metropolitans and Carleton Place. The practice field for the lacrosse and cricket clubs at this time was the picnic grounds of Gillies Grove below the woollen mill.
Canada Lumber Company
1887 – Peter McLaren sold his lumber mill properties at Carleton Place and upper Mississippi timber limits at a price reported as $900,000. The buyers, the McLarens of Buckingham and Edwards of Rockland, formed the Canada Lumber Company. It doubled the mills capacity, with Alexander H. Edwards (1848-1933) as manager here. Peter McLaren three years later was appointed to the Senate, and died at age 88 at Perth in 1919.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church was built on its present Bridge Street site donated by James Gillies, the congregation vacating its previous location in the old stone church building still standing at the corner of William and St. Paul Streets.
A bridge of ironwork on stone piers replaced the wooden bridge across the Mississippi at Bridge Street. A brick and tile manufacturing yard, which operated for about fifteen years, was opened by William Taylor, hardware merchant. A large brick manufacturing business of William Willoughby, building contractor, continued in operation. The Herald office and plant moved to a new brick building at the south side of the site of the present Post Office. A Masonic Temple was built, and a considerable number of residential and other buildings.
Reduced railway fares were granted for the fifth annual musical convention and choral festival of the Carleton Place Mechanics Institute, held in the drill hall at the market square, with guest performers from Boston, Toronto and other points. The Institute’s officers included William Pattie, Dr. R. F. Robertson, Alex C. McLean and John A. Goth.
Carleton Place Stirring Village Back in 1840’s, by Howard Morton Brown, Carleton Place Canadian, July 7, 1960
Carleton Place in the times of the Eighteen Forties is recalled in the present installment of a year by year listing of local scenes and events which had their part in shaping the present character of this section of Lanark County.
The first signs pointing to this community’s growth to the proportions of a town began to show themselves in the Eighteen Forties. Still in the handicraft era, the district after its first twenty-five years was gradually leaving behind it the kinds of hardships its people had known in their first years of settlement in the woods. In the sixty year old province of less than five hundred thousand people, substantial government reforms in parliamentary, municipal and educational institutions began to be launched. This district and this young community shared in promoting their reforms and in their benefits.
1840 – A district agricultural society, the parent of the present North Lanark Agricultural Society, was founded at a January, 1840, meeting at Carleton Place, with James Wylie of Ramsayville as president, Francis Jessop of Carleton Place as secretary and Robert Bell as treasurer. Its activities for the improvement of farming methods and products have included from the beginning an annual exhibition, held until the late Eighteen Fifties at Carleton Place and thereafter at Almonte. Carleton Place exhibitions were continued for some further years by a Beckwith Township agricultural society.
Ewen McEwen (1806-1885) in 1840 became clerk of Beckwith Township and postmaster at Franktown. He held both positions for forty-five years and was township treasurer for twenty years. His son Finlay McEwen for many years was Carleton Place municipal treasurer and postmaster.
STIRRING LITTLE VILLAGE
1841 – Dr. William Wilson, graduate of Glasgow University and son of a district settler, began in 1841 a medical practice of about fifteen years in Carleton Place, building later his stone home which remains on Bell Street. Edward M. Barry, M.D., trained in London and Dublin, opened a briefer medical practice here a few months before Dr. Wilson, as another of the town’s early surgeons.
A visitor in 1841 recorded this description of the section between Carleton Place and Almonte :
Carleton Place, about seven miles from Ramsay (Almonte) and eighteen from Perth, is a stirring little village. By Franktown it is twenty-four miles from Perth, by Bellamys (Clayton) it is eighteen. It has advanced greatly of late years, and the active enterprise of the Bells, merchants here, have contributed in no small degree to this. They have several buildings themselves, one being a large two-storey stone dwelling.
There are three churches in Carleton Place – one Episcopal, a new Presbyterian and a Methodist church. The Rev. Mr. Boswell officiates in the first, none yet appointed to the second but suppose Mr. Fairbairn will occasionally preach in it, and Mr. (Alvah) Adams is the stationed Methodist preacher. The interests of religion are much attended to in the whole township, as well as in Carleton Place. The Mississippi river runs through the village, and if it prevents the place from being as compact as desirable it at least contributes to its beauty and loveliness. There are mills here by one Boulton, and more taverns I think than necessary for comfort or accommodation, numbering about five or six. Mr. John McEwen has opened his home again for respectable travelers. He is a man much esteemed, his fare excellent and his charges reasonable.
The township of Ramsay is well settled, very prosperous, and can boast a goodly number of experienced practical farmers – men of extensive reading and sound knowledge. Its appearance plainly proves this, by the number of schools and churches within its range which are erected and in process of erection. About the centre of the Township is a substantial Presbyterian Church of stone in which a Mr. Fairbairn officiates, also a Methodist meeting house where a Mr. (Alvah) Adams preaches – with a Catholic Church where Rev. Mr. McDonough of Perth officiates occasionally. The great number of substantial stone houses erected and being put up speaks more favorably than words of its growing prosperity.
James Wylie Esq., a magistrate and storekeeper, has erected a fine house, his son another. About half a mile from this, Mr. Shipman’s spacious stone dwelling, his mills and surrounding buildings, present a bustling scene. There is one licenced tavern here, and a school.
DISTRICT COUNCIL ELECTED
1842 – Residents of Carleton Place in 1842 included about twenty tradesmen engaged in metal, wood, textile and leather trades, in addition to farmers, merchants, innkeepers, labourers, two surgeons, two teachers and one clergyman. Of the present Lanark County’s 1842 population of a little over 19,000 persons, Beckwith township including Carleton Place had some 1,900 inhabitants and 330 houses. Ramsay township with 390 inhabited houses, had a population of 2,460. Each of the two townships had eight elementary schools. Half of the number of children of ages 5 to 16 in the two townships had attended school within the past year.
An elected council assumed duties of county administration for the first time in 1842, under legislation of the new united Parliament of Upper and Lower Canada. District council members elected for Beckwith township were Robert Bell and Robert Davis. Those for Ramsay were John Robertson Sr. (1794-1867) and Arthur Lang.
A convention of district teachers of common schools met in the fall of 1842 at John McEwen’s hotel, Carleton Place. A long-lived local Union Sabbath School was commenced in this year.
1843- Justices of the peace in Beckwith township authorized to act as magistrates included James Rosamond and Robert Bell, Robert Davis, Peter McGregor and Colin McLaren. Those in Ramsay township included James Wylie and his son William H. Wylie, William Houston and William Wallace.
The Rev. Lawrence Halcroft (1798-1887), a resident of Carleton Place for over forty years, came here by call in 1843 and for eleven years was minister of the local Baptist Church. He combined farming with his religious duties, and was a man of broad and liberal views who afterwards preached to all denominations.
A GENERAL ELECTION
1844 – Malcolm Cameron (1808-1876), supported by the large Scottish reform party element of this district and by others, was re-elected member of Parliament in a general election after the capital of Canada was moved from Kingston to Montreal(?).
The Rev. John Augustus Mulock, uncle of Sir William Mulock, became rector of the Carleton Place Anglican Church after a two year vacancy.
1845 – Dissention and division in the organization of the Church of Scotland was followed here in 1845 by the construction of the present stone building of Knox Presbyterian Church at Black’s Corners, parent of Carleton Place’s Zion Presbyterian Church. In Ramsay township the frame building of a Free Presbyterian Church was erected at the 8th line of Ramsay, which for about twenty years served the congregation of the later St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Almonte.
1846 – James Rosamond in 1846 was manufacturing woollen cloth by machinery at Carleton Place. His mill at the foot of James Street with two looms operated by water power, was the first of its kind in Eastern Ontario.
The Carleton Place Library was established in March, 1846 as a subscription library under the management of the Carleton Place Library Association and Mechanics Institute. Napoleon Lavelle began his hotel business which he continued here for nearly forty years, commencing as the Carleton House in the Bell’s stone building on the south side of Bridge Street facing Bell Street. The three, two-storey stone structures among the sixty occupied dwellings of Carleton Place were this building, plus Hugh Boulton’s house (later Horace Brown’s) on Mill Street, and James Rosamond’s home (later William Muirhead’s) on Bell St.
1847 – District wardens, previously appointed by the government of the colony, were first chosen by election in 1847. The warden elected by the council of the Lanark and Renfrew district was Robert Bell of Carleton Place.
1848 – Samuel Fuller in 1848 opened a stove foundry here which he ran for ten years. Its first location was near the site of the power house now owned by the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission. The bridge over the Mississippi River was rebuilt.
A stone schoolhouse building was erected at Franktown. In the United Counties of Lanark and Renfrew there were 1,069 inhabited and assessable houses and 120 public schools. Most were log buildings.
1849 – The Hon. James Wylie (1789-1854) of Almonte was appointed to the Legislative Council of Canada.
Local school trustees James Rosamond (1804-1894, John Graham (1812-1887) and Brice McNeely (1794-ca 1878) advertised for a classical teacher for the Carleton Place School.
Robert Bell, elected as member of Parliament for Lanark and Renfrew Counties in the previous year, when the reform party attained power and responsible government arrived, was present when the Parliament Buildings of Canada were burned by an influentially backed Montreal mob. He is said to have made his escape by a ladder from the burning building. Delegates from district points including Beckwith and Ramsay townships were received at Montreal by Lord Elgin, governor general. They delivered resolutions prepared at local meetings which supported his reforms and condemned the outrages committed by his opponents. One of the addresses presented was that of the Carleton Place Library Association.