Local History
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Local History

Early Settlement History

  • Before European settlement, the area was inhabited by nomadic aboriginals, descendants of the Ojibway nation
  • Settlement began as part of British military plan to divert emigration to Canada rather than the United States
  • The Morphy and Moore families were the first to arrive
  • The area was originally dubbed Morphy's Falls on September 19, 1819
  • Edmond Morphy saw the potential in a 30-foot drop on the Mississippi River, and established a grist mill
  • Other industries followed - William Moore's blacksmith shop and Robert Barnett's barrel shop
  • In 1824, fighting erupted between Protestant settlers and Irish Catholic immigrants, and it was known as the Ballygiblin Riots
  • In 1829, the area became known as 'Carleton Place', named after a famous square in Glasgow, Scotland
  • The Brockville and Ottawa railway reached Carleton Place in 1870
  • After both railways were bought by the Canadian Pacific Railway, locomotive repair shops continued to operate
  • Numerous lumber mills opened and competition was so fierce that one dispute over river rights in 1884 ended in the Supreme Court and the Privy Council in London, England!

The Mississippi

  • The Mississippi was the major artery for the lumber industry
  • Log drives down the Mississippi ended at the turn of the century old mills have since been converted to condos and high-tech firms
  • From the 1860s to 1920s, the River was used by steamboat operations for industrial towing and pleasure cruising, these activities spawned more festivities such Boats from times pastas regattas, picnics and entertainment by the town band
  • Throughout its history, the Mississippi River has made Carleton Place an attractive place to settle, and it continues to draw people here today for its beauty, commerce and way of life.


Boats from times past



  • Carleton Place made its international mark with iron foundries in the 1840s, Samuel Fuller established the first foundry, then David Findlay began the Findlay Stove Company in 1862
  • Robert Bell, a prominent Carleton Place citizen, was elected to Parliament in 1854 and played a major role in local and district community improvement initiatives
  • Prolific writer Leslie McFarlane was born in Carleton Place in 1902 he authored many original Hardy Boys books under the pen name of Franklin W. Dixon
  • Carleton Place was the home of Captain Arthur Roy Brown, World War One flying ace
  • Carleton Place became a village in 1870 and a town in 1890
  • Carleton Place is home to remarkable heritage architecture such as the Richardson Romanesque structure, now the Town Hall
  • The Town is home to the country's oldest, continually operating canoe club, conceived in 1893 as the Ottawa Valley Canoe Association. Carleton Place Canoe Club is the only surviving charter member of the association, and the oldest existing sprint racing club in Canada!

Carleton Place Today

  • Today, the town of Carleton Place has a population of nearly 10,000!
  • It continues to grow and prosper with a strong community, commerce and history, it is a true gem of the Ottawa Valley!

Heritage Carleton Place

Visit the Heritage Carleton Place website for more information on heritage buildings, heritage homes, the Roy Brown Society, vintage photos and more! www.heritagecarletonplace.com