We have recently acquired some new genealogies for the local history/genealogy room at the library.
The families have been researched, compiled, and donated to the library by Frances Moore.
Drop by to see what’s new!
We have recently acquired some new genealogies for the local history/genealogy room at the library.
The families have been researched, compiled, and donated to the library by Frances Moore.
Drop by to see what’s new!
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.”
An asset which the Ontario government and a number of Ontario communities have begun to exploit to greater public advantage in recent years is one which costs relatively little to the taxpayer. It is the publicizing of district history, both as an asset of local value and as a magnet to the tourist.
As one of the longest occupied parts of the province, Eastern Ontario is generously supplied with undeveloped historical attractions for vacationists. The Lanark County area is one which within a few years will pass its one hundred and fiftieth year of settlement. In 1960 this town itself will have completed one hundred and forty years of its life as a community.
The Canadian has arranged to provide for its readers a series of reviews summarizing typical local events of Carleton Place’s first one hundred years. Both for its local interest and as a basis for a possible search of the area’s older sites or events for those most capable of being developed as lures for vacation tourists, the selected annals will seek to recapture some impressions of the town’s earlier public and its people of past generations. This first record of its kind for this area has been prepared by Howard M. Brown of Ottawa, a former resident of Carleton Place who has contributed a number of the Canadian’s local history stories. It will be published in about ten installments.
The present opening installment mentions some of the occurrences of the first decade of settlement in the community founded here and in the two townships which provided its location.
The persons who first built permanent homes at Carleton Place were the families of two emigrants, Edmond Morphy and William Moore. The time was at the half-way mark of an eight year period in which most of the land of Lanark County and of adjoining parts of Carleton County was surveyed and granted for occupation by British emigrants and demobilized soldiers. Three main government settlement offices to serve the area were opened at Perth in 1816, at Richmond in 1818 and at Lanark in1820. For its first fifty years Carleton Place, now extending also into Ramsay township, remained without separate incorporation and was a part of the township of Beckwith for all municipal purposes.
Nomadic native Indians continued to hunt, trap and fish at some of their favoured sites in the neighbourhood of the early settlers. Later generations of Indians camped nearby from time to time as sellers of their furs or handicraft products. The nightly howling of wolves or of an occasional prowling lynx could be heard at times near farm clearings or at the village borders, providing a disturbing serenade for timid persons and owners of unprotected young livestock. These and other reminders of the not far distant wilderness remained during many years of pioneer life here.
The Moore and Morphy land grants of 1819 included the greater part of the present built up area of the town of Carleton Place. The Moore farmsteads (located to William and his sons William and John) extended on both sides of Moore Street and the Franktown Road from Lake Avenue south to Highway 15. In width they ran west from Park Avenue to about Caldwell Street. The Morphy area (granted to Edmond and his sons, William, John and James) occupied the central part of the town from Lake Avenue north to the Town Line Road, and extended along both sides of the river from about the downstream or eastern side of the town’s present limits to Hawthorne Avenue and Moffatt Street. Town streets which appear to be named for members of the Morphy family include William, George, Morphy, James, Edmund, Thomas and Franklin Streets. Other Beckwith settlers of 1819 to 1822 whose 100 acre farm grants extended within the town’s present limits were Robert Johnston, James Nash, Thomas Burns, Philip Bayne, Manny Nowlan and George Willis.
Birth of the Town
1820 – the birth of the town came about a year after the first farm clearings were made upon its site. It came in the year 1820, when the construction of a grist mill and saw mill and the local business activities of several tradesmen began. These forgotten first local business men in addition to Hugh Boulton are recorded as being William Moore, blacksmith ; one Robert Barnett, cooper – said to have begun that once essential local trade carried on later by such pioneer townsmen as Napoleon Lavallee and Edmond and Maurice Burke – ; and Alexander Morris, innkeeper and trader, whose Mill Street tavern was operated by Manny Nowlan after the 1829 death of its first owner.
The new district gained its first member of parliament in 1820. William Morris of Perth was elected by the vote of a majority of the 250 settlers who had been enfranchised by the issue of the patents for their land grants. The numbers of adult male settlers within the principal township of the new district in 1820 were, in round numbers, Bathurst 400, Drummond 350, Beckwith 300 and Goulbourn 300.
Ramsay Township Opened
1821 – Settlement to the north of the infant community of Morphy’s Falls followed when the government in 1821 opened Ramsay township for occupation by part of a large group emigration of Lanarkshire weavers and other Scottish and Irish emigrants. Among them, those taking land near the site of Carleton Place in 1821 included John and Donald McLean, William Hamilton (1794-1882), John McArton, John McQuarrie, Hugh McMillan, John McLaughlin, John Griffith (1749-1852, died age 103), and William and Stuart Houston. Proceeding toward Appleton there were William Wilson, Caton Willis (1795-1869), Thomas Patterson, James Wilkie (1791-1862), Robert and William Baird, Robert Struthers, John Fummerton and others. Among many other Ramsay township settlers of 1821 were those of such family names as Bryson (including the later Hon. George Bryson, then age 6), Bain, Beatie, Black, Carswell, Chapman, Drynan, Duncan, Dunlop, Gemmill and Gilmour ; Kirkpatrick, Lang, Lowrie, Mansell, Moir, McDonald, McFarlane, McGregor, McPherson and Neilson ; Pollock, Robertson, Smith, Snedden, Steele, Stevenson, Stewart, Warren, Wallce, Yuill and Young. The journey to Ramsay township from the North Lanark settlement depot at Lanark village was made by some of the 1821 settlers by boat down the Clyde
Militia and Clergy
1822- A militia regiment of eligible settlers of Beckwith and Ramsay townships was formed in 1822. Its first officers, commissioned under authority of the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, included senior officers of the Perth area and Ramsay township residents William Baird (Appleton), James Smart (9th concession) and William Toshack (Bennie’s Corners). Beckwith township settlers among its captains, lieutenants and ensigns in 1822 were Thomas Glendinning (Glen Isle), John Cram (1795-1881), Robert Ferguson, Duncan Fisher (11th conc.), William Moore (Carleton Place), Dr. George Nesbitt (Franktown), Israel Webster (1st conc.), and junior officers John Dewar. Alex Dewar Jr., Daniel Ferguson Jr., John Fulford, Peter McDougall, Peter McGregor, John Nesbitt and Manny Nowlan.
The Rev. Dr. George Buchanan (1761-1835), Presbyterian minister and medical doctor, came with a large family in 1822 as the first resident clergyman for the township of Beckwith and Carleton Place. A log building centrally located in the 7th concession served as his church. At Franktown occasional Church of England services were conducted by the Rev. Michael Harris of Perth, at first in a tavern and after 1822 in the government warehouse, until a church was built and a resident Anglican missionary, the Rev. Richard Hart, came in 1829.
1823 – a second notable addition to settlement in Ramsay township, including locations near Carleton Place, was made by a southern Ireland group migration in 1823. They came chiefly from the County of Cork. Selection of these settlers in Ireland was superintended by Peter Robinson (1785-1838), Upper Canada government official, who accompanied the emigrants to Ramsay township and remained here for a time to arrange their establishment. Their inland journey from Prescott was by way of Franktown and Carleton Place to their settlement depot set up at the site of Almonte. Among many others were the Thompson, Teskey, Dulmage, Corkery, Foley, O’Brien, Haley, Nagle and Young families. One of the group, Francis W. K. Jessop, later of Perth, was for some time a brewer, distiller and early land owner at Carleton Place.
Casualties among local settlers in 1823 included John Hays, an Irish immigrant carried over the falls here while attempting to cross the river by canoe ; and James Craig and Crawford Gunn, Scottish settlers killed while felling trees at their Ramsay township farmsites.
1824- The Ballygiblin riots of 1824, named for the Cork County place of origin of some of the Irish newcomers of the previous year, were a series of public disturbances given widespread and sensational publicity in Canada and reported in newspapers in the United Kingdom. The riots began at a militia muster at Carleton Place, and were incited in part by objectionable conduct on the part of one of the local officers, Captain Glendinning. In a one-sided shooting episode in the first day of fighting here, several of the Irish settlers were wounded. The affrays ended in a misguided raid on the Irish settlement headquarters at Almonte by a large force of militiamen and others, sponsored by district authorities of Perth. One of the Irish was killed by gunfire of the raiders.
At this time the population of the present province of Ontario had reached a total of only 150,000. This area was its northern fringe of established settlement.
Schools and Stores
1825- A school house at Carleton Place is said to have been established in 1825 near the corner of Bridge Street and the Town Line Road, with James Kent as teacher. Legislative provision for schools for the district was made by the provincial Parliament in 1823.
Caleb Strong Bellows (1806-1863) came to Carleton Place in 1825, opening a general retail store in the former public premises of William Loucks. Its location was on Bridge Street opposite the present Town Hall. His shop also was licenced in 1825 to sell spirituous liquors, as was the nearby Mill Street inn of Alexander Morris.
1826- The building of the Rideau Canal provided a welcome infusion of currency in the local economy, employing contractors and a number of workmen of this district over a six year period. Among the contractors was James Wylie (1789-1854), Almonte merchant, later a member of the Legislative Council of Canada. A village to be called Bytown was established near the mouth of the Rideau River in 1826 to serve the building of the canal.
Churches and Distilleries
1827- In Franktown the building of the stone structure of St. James Anglican Church, still in use as such, was begun with the assistance of government gifts of money and land.
Caleb S. Bellows in 1827 built a distillery at Carleton Place, operated for a few years by Francis Jessop and later by others. James McArthur (1767-1836) also was a licenced distiller in 1827. His Beckwith township distillery was located in the 7th concession at his farm near the Presbyterian church, where the same business was continued through the eighteen thirties and forties by Peter McArthur (1803-1884).
1828- Robert Bell (1807-1894), a resident of Carleton Place for sixty-five years and a leading pioneer figure of the town and district in public and business life, came in 1828 or 1829 to Carleton Place from Perth. He first established a general mercantile business here with the assistance of his younger brother James and in association with the new business of William and John Bell, merchants of Perth. Before Confederation he served for some thirteen years as a member of Parliament. James Bell (1817-1904) continued in business in Carleton Place until becoming County Registrar in 1851.
The district gained its first weekly newspaper in 1828 when the Bathurst Independent Examiner, predecessor of the Perth Courier, began publication. In this year there was a failure of the wheat crop, a serious event for many families.
1829- The name Carleton Place came into use about 1829 as a new name for this community, until then known as Morphy’s Falls and often misnamed Murphy’s Falls. The new name was taken from Carleton Place, a location in the city of Glasgow.
The Ramsay and Lanark Circulating Library, the first community library in this immediate neighbourhood and the second in the county, was formed in 1829 by farmers of the area between Carleton Place and Clayton. It continued in operation for over twenty-five years.
In the tenth year of settlement at Carleton Place the teachers of the 120 children attending the Beckwith township’s four schools, including the village schools at Franktown and Carleton Place, were John Griffith, James Kent, Daniel McFarlane and Alexander Miller. In Ramsay township, with four schools and 105 pupils, the teachers of 1829 were David Campbell, Arthur Lang, Finlay Sinclair and John Young.