Local War News – Carleton Place Herald, September 1, 1914

More of Our Boys to the Front

“In addition to the Carleton Place contingent with the 42nd Regt., many more of our boys have enlisted in the defence of the empire.  Howard Maguire passed through last week from Saskatchewan and his brother Trevor went out from Ottawa.  Alex. Shaw, son of Mr. W. A. Shaw, and Walter Rogers, son of Mr. James Rogers, also went through with the western boys, also Peter Anderson, nephew of Mr. Andrew Neilson.”


When the 42nd Left Perth

“One on the spot contributed the following particulars to the Lanark Era:

‘Der tag’ has long been a toast in the German army.  Around the banquet table officers clink their glasses and enthusiastically drink as the toast passes.  In plain English this toast means “The day.”  Although its original significance is lost in the mists of antiquity, its present import points to the coming of the day when the Fatherland would stand the supreme test of its military might and efficiency.  The day is here.  Over the main hall of the Exhibition grounds floats the Union Jack, troops occupy the spaces round about, and on all sides one see preparations for war.  It is the date scheduled for the departure of the first overseas contingent of the 42nd.  The men are impatient to get away.  Order succeeds order in rapid sequence, each one deferring the hour of leaving until Lieut. Col. Balderson rushes in a high power motor, and announces to his subordinate officers that the train has been definitely tabled.  The hour of going is 9:30 p.m.  Instantly there is a leaping to arms and the collecting of such articles of accoutrement as have been left unpacked until the last moment.  It takes but a few minutes to get ready.  Out of the unknown appears transport waggon, officers direct the loading, which, in less time than it takes to tell it, is piled high with kit bags and away to the station.  Out of the number of volunteers offering their services a few have been rejected and already there are scenes of leave taking.  Among the rejected is a young fellow, who, with his brother, had volunteered to serve.  His brother was accepted, but he himself was left behind.  As the full meaning of the separation burst upon him he rushed to his brother, clasped him by the hand, and said, “Well, good-bye Jack,” and kissed him.  The contingent is largely Canadian.  Of the 131 men bound for Valcartier 83 are Canadian, 36 English, 10 Scotch, 4 Irish, and 1 American.  Each man is furnished with a small testament which he tucks away carefully in his kit bag for future use.  One of the men, Serg. J. H. Brown, of Carleton Place, had two, one of which he gave the writer as a souvenir.  It has been inscribed with words explaining the occasion and the gift, and will be long treasured in commemoration of Canada’s part in this Continental war.

As the transport waggon rolled away from sight a lusty cheer went up from the soldiers who were soon to follow.  There are eleven married men in the force.  So sudden has this all come about that many of them have not had time to say good-bye to wives and babes.  The phone rings and we hear farewells, “Good-bye, loved ones until the war is over.”  But this is not the time for weeping.  Men must be up and doing.  By seven o’clock, the troops are ready.  Adjutant Captain T. R. Caldwell forms the lines and reports to his Colonel “All correct, sir.”  The Colonel assumes command, and away they go headed by the brass band, greycoats bandoliered, in lines of four, Lieut. Col. Balderson at the head, behind him Adjutant Capt. Caldwell, Quarter Master Ed deHertel, Captains Wilson and Hall, Lieuts. Barnett, Morris Donisthrope, Morris Gardner and Malloch, and marching beside the troops, the two active service officers, Captain Hooper and Lieut. Scott.  “The British Grenadiers” is the tune that sets the pace out of the gates.  As the troops march through the town great crowds of people line the pavements.  Cheer upon cheer sweeps along, the ladies clap hands and wave handkerchiefs, the men march in grim silence until they reach a point in town where the crowds are greatest; then as the band starts up the notes of “The Maple Leaf Forever,” the troops take up the strain and it carries along in measured cadences from housetop to housetop.  Chaplain Capt. Rev. D. C. MacIntosh is with the boys.  When they arrive at the station he and the Colonel face the men at the halt.  Then follows a scene which shall long remain to memory.  The Colonel addresses his men.  He explains Britain’s position and Canada’s duty in the present crisis.  He recalls the glorious traditions of the Black Watch, and commits to the keeping of the men before him the unsullied reputation which falls to their lot as soldiers of the king.  He is followed by the Chaplain, who speaks straight to the hearts.  “I know you will not fail,” he exclaims.  “As I look into your faces I see determination, resolution, patriotism, courage and victory.  Go forth, then, my men, in this war of righteousness and may God be with you.”  The Chaplain’s address was most impressive.  At its close there were a few moments of silent prayer, and then the whole crowd of over 2,000 souls repeated aloud “The Lord’s Prayer.”  Col. Balderson called Capt. Hooper to his side.  “Capt. Hooper,” said he, “I now give these men into your charge, take care of them.”

The men are now at Valcartier in training.  In a few weeks they will be on the high seas steaming to the front.  They may spend a few days in England, but much depends on the turn of the war.  Our own representatives, Arthur Brown and Roy McIntyre, are in the front rank of the troop.  It is likely they will be merged into a regiment composed of various units.  We shall all follow their part in the campaign with interest in their welfare and prayers for their safety.  Serg. Pearce, of Perth gave up his position in the Bank of Montreal and joined the ranks as a private.  Among the soldiers is a private named Wilson, the sweet singer of the 42nd.  He entertained his comrades before leaving with a number of ballads.  They formed a ring around him and we shall never forget the sweetness of his voice as he sang “The Boys of the Old Brigade” and other war songs….

Mr. T. B. Caldwell, presented each soldier with a pair of socks – a useful and highly appreciated gift.  The ladies of Perth gave each soldier of the Perth Company a “Housewife Kit,” consisting of needles, pins, thread, buttons, sticking plaster, chocolate and chewing gum.  Col. Balderson and his officers have successfully staged the first act in the war drama played by this district.  In the face of many difficulties they were able to raise and send to the front perhaps the largest contingent to go from any rural Canadian regiment. Capt. Hooper and Lieut. Scott are with the men, the former in charge.  Hooper has seen service in South Africa and is a brave and competent officer.”


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.

Shanty Horses

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.

Town Park

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.

Street Lighting

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. 

Car Casualty

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.

Roller Skating

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.


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