Happy 200th, Carleton Place! - theHumm June 2019

Happy 200th, Carleton Place! - theHumm June 2019

By — Kevin L. Mallory

Throughout 2019 there will be a variety of special events commemorating the 200th anniversary of Carleton Place. You’re sure to find something to capture the attention of children, adults, visitors and residents alike. So plan to attend our joyous festivities, concerts and local attractions, showcasing Carleton Place at its very best!

Local groups, businesses, organizations and museums have so much to offer, proudly displaying the cultural richness and heritage of Carleton Place. Discover our unique traditions and history with its colourful past and present personalities. Whether you are visiting or reside in the community, this is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the arts, music and various events during our 200th anniversary! Be sure to take in the farmers’ markets, explore the shops, and embrace our hometown hospitality, entertainment, and awesome dining venues for an unforgettable experience.

Special Celebration Highlights

On June 15, the annual Lambs Down Park Festival takes place at the Carleton Junction (behind the Canadian Wool Growers Co-operative). The 200th Anniversary Celebration Committee will be present, and there will be numerous craft and local business vendors, activities for children, pony rides, sheep shearing, plenty of food, live music and much more!

Come to Riverside Park on July 1 from 12:30-10pm for the fabulous Canada Day Celebration, where you can enjoy free family events hosted by the Recreation and Culture Department, featuring games and activities for the entire family’s enjoyment! Live music will be provided by the CP Band, Brock Zeman, Jamie McMunn, Jimmy Tri-Tone, Redneck Limousine, Starfire and Jaxstraw. The grand finale features the most spectacular fireworks show in the Ottawa Valley!

Head back to Riverside Park on July 27 for a very special Carleton Place 200th Celebration Concert! This 10-hour outdoor music concert features headliner Jason Blaine with our very own Brea Lawrenson and several other local bands. Admission is $30 at the gate or $25 in advance from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, the Carleton Place Arena, the Carambeck Community Centre, or from Tickets Please (ticketsplease.ca, 485–6434).

The Mississippi Mudds will be presenting CP 200+ “Time to Remember” — a journey through the history of our town and area by means of a magical archive where every object, book or document brings stories to life. Shows are at 7:30pm on Nov. 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22, and at 2pm on November 16 and 23. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit mississippimudds.ca .

For up-to-date details about the Carleton Place 200th Anniversary Celebration, or to find out how you can support the celebration committee and assist with their events, please visit carletonplace200.ca or follow Carleton Place 200 on Facebook. Opportunities abound to work at the welcoming table greeting guests, handing out freebies and posters, or serving at the canteen — to name a few!

200 Years of History

During the War of 1812, Lord Bathurst executed strategic measures, as decreed by King George III, to escalate British emigration to Canada for colonization, thereby halting American northward expansion. This discouraged invasion from the United States by fortifying the territory with inhabitants loyal to the crown combined with the British military presence.

Initially, Beckwith township was surveyed for settlement in 1816, with properties being granted to English soldiers in 100-acre allotments. Soon after, in 1818, the Scottish highlanders would arrive in greater numbers, with their superb stone masons, skilled tradesmen and expertise with raising livestock. By 1819, William Moore and his family were given settlement rights and Edmund Morphy with his older sons were awarded land grants the same year. These first two Irish families were the adventurous forefathers of the town’s heritage!

The community was known by a few designations, such as Morphy’s Falls and Boulton’s Mills. A grist mill was built in 1820 by Hugh Boulton, on the Mississippi River in the heart of town at 35 Mill Street. Later in 1829, the community was renamed “Carlton Place” by a merchant, Alexander Morris, inspired by a public market in Glasgow, Scotland. It was one of many communities including Perth, Almonte and Richmond, that were populated by Irish, Scottish, English and French immigrants.

Forestry was the earliest industry to arise in the Carleton Place region, where giant white pines were highly prized for wood products and building. Numerous lumber mills were built along the Mississippi River stemming from Carleton Place. Due to its centralized location, railroads from Brockville and Ottawa eventually converged here by 1857. Machining companies in town brought prosperity, providing maintenance and manufacturing services for train engines, farm ploughs, boat motors and many other mechanical parts. David Findlay established an iron foundry in 1862, later renamed Findlay Bros., Co. Limited, which operated for 112 years until 1974. They became famous for fabricating energy-efficient stoves, furnaces and cooking utensils. In addition, many textile mills opened to manufacture woolen garments. Eventually in 1918, the local Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers (CCWG) was established.

In 1870, Carleton Place was incorporated as a village independent of Beckwith Township, and as a town by 1890. Victorian architectural masterpieces were plentiful — such as the first Town Hall, built in 1872. Currently, this historic building houses the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Our present Town Hall was erected in 1897.

Another historic landmark, originally named the Lake Park Hotel, was built in 1887 on Mississippi Lake and was reputedly haunted. The fashionable resort offered hot water and electricity, fine dining, a dancing pavilion, fishing, duck hunting and even a horse racing track in years to follow. The location was just thirty minutes from town accessible by the steamboat “Carleton”. In 1890, Peter Salter purchased and renovated the facility to include four storeys and renamed it the “Queen’s Royal Hotel”. Illustrious guests included Prime Ministers, hockey stars and other famous personages. Jack Dempsey, who held the world heavyweight boxing championship title, was one such celebrity. During the 1920s, the notorious gangster Al Capone was also a regular at the “Queen’s”, which served as a “getaway” during prohibition.

Carleton Place also boasts the oldest flat water and sprint racing Canoe Club in Canada, operating continuously since 1893. The club has sustained its popularity as a leader in all competitive aspects of the sport, as well as youth development.

Our well-respected hometown resident, Captain Arthur Roy Brown, shot down and fatally wounded Manfred Von Richthofen — aka the infamous “Red Baron” — in World War I, on April 21, 1918.

Of course, we should not forget Stompin’ Tom Connor’s iconic country folk hit song of 1970, Big Joe Mufferaw, inspired at the former “Mississippi Hotel” on Bridge Street in Carleton Place!

Visit carletonplace200.ca/200-fun-facts to learn many more historical facts, and come on out and celebrate with us. Hope to see you there!


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theHumm in print June 2019 (pdf)

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