CARLETON PLACE AND BECKWITH HERITAGE MUSEUM
The Township of Beckwith was surveyed in 1816 and settlement started around 1817 with about 27 land grants being acted on.
The Township was named after Sir Thomas Sydney Beckwith (born in 1772 and died in 1831). Sir Sydney Beckwith was the Quarter Master for Canada between 1815 and 1823. He also made arrangements and personally superintended the arrival of the Scottish immigrants in 1816.
When Beckwith was first established the only village was Morphy’s Falls which is now known as the Town of Carleton Place. Carleton Place was later established as a separate municipality.
The Township of Beckwith had its extensive history published in 1991 by Glen J. Lockwood. Beckwith: Irish and Scottish Identities in a Canadian Community, is on display in the Township office reception area, and copies are available for sale at the price of $45.53 (G.S.T. included).
THE HAMLET OF BLACKS CORNERS
The hamlet of Blacks Corners was first settled in the 1830’s by Mr. John Black who opened and operated a blacksmith shop. Mr. Alexander Stewart opened a shop during this time period and was so successful that he was able to build a large stone house and other outbuildings.
Mr. J. Black remained in the area until after the Township purchased land from Mr. John Roberts to build a municipal hall on and then he may have sold his business to a Mr. McKay who ran a blacksmith shop in 1852.
In the 1840’s the Knox Free Church was built in Blacks Corners, which helped meet the social needs of the area residents through church meetings, concerts and the like.
In 1857 the first municipal hall was built on lot 14 in the 8th Concession. Blacks Corners was thought to be the centre of the Township’s population and therefore the best place to build the meeting hall.
No one established a post office, hotel or trade in the area as those services were readily available in the nearby Village of Carleton Place.
ABOUT THE TOWNSHIP OF BECKWITH
The Township of Beckwith boasts 243.09 square kilometres of land mass. By December 2006, the population in Beckwith Township had grown to 6,387 full-time residents. Our residents do enjoy easy commutes to centres such as Ottawa, Smiths Falls, Perth and Carleton Place.
The Township includes the Mississippi Lake and River, the Jock River, fertile farmland, wide open spaces, forests, well-planned subdivisions, protected wetlands and historical hamlets. The Township was once considered as a possible site for the Nation’s capital. This historical significance rests on the importance of Franktown as the mid-way point between Ottawa and the military establishment in Perth during the initial settlement of Lanark County. Villages and hamlets within the Township include Ashton, Blacks Corners, Franktown, Gillies Corners, Prospect, and Scotch Corners.
From 1991 to 1996, the population in Beckwith Township has increased by 20.4% in an orderly and efficient manner according to our Official Plan. This ensures that residents continue to enjoy the rural atmosphere of our beautiful community. Many of our residents have their cottages and summer homes along the Mississippi Lake which provides easy access for summer recreation such as boating, camping, hiking, and great bicycle tours.
Commercial and industrial ventures are as diverse and productive as the natural landscape. Lanark County is the maple syrup capital of Ontario and Beckwith partakes in the season’s harvest. We boast approximately 100 commercial businesses within the Township, and have a progressive by-law which encourages home based small business to settle within the Township.
Beckwith Township enjoys the services and amenities of the Town of Carleton Place for the northern part of our community and Smiths Falls for those in the south. We are also only 20 minutes away from Ottawa travelling east, or Perth if you are travelling west.
Whether you are looking for residential or commercial opportunities, historical Beckwith Township can meet and exceed your dreams. We would love to welcome you as our new neighbour. Every season offers diverse beauty and abundant activities.
The current population of the Township is approximately 6,986 persons. Populations for other years was as follows:
| Year|| Population
| 1817|| 54
| 1818|| 164
| 1819|| 229
| 1981|| 2,864
| 1986|| 3,521
| 1989|| 3,648
| 1991|| 4,564
| 1996|| 5,495
| 2001|| 6,046
| 2006|| 6,387
| 2011|| 6,986
These figures do not include seasonal residents. The Regional Assessment Office has confirmed that, in 2013, approximately 1,252 of the voters on the Voter’s List were non-residents – many of whom own cottages on Mississippi Lake. Therefore, since the Voter’s List does not include individuals under the age of 18, it is reasonable to assume that the actual summer population for the Township is in excess of 8,200.