Bob Carswell adds a comment about the caddy shack at the Marlborough golf club. Eric Karbin comments also.

Bob Carswell has added a comment at a previous post entitled:

Additional comments from Graeme Decarie – regarding Saraguay, Cartierville School, and Marlborough golf club

This is the comment; I’m posting it here to bring your attention to the discussion:

Bob Carswell comments:

To Eric et al,

These were posted a few weeks ago so I have been reading these entries only today and it has prompted me to make a general statement. What we all seem to miss on this one is that we all caddied in different years or decades so there had to be changes over time. Yes there was a section by the the pro shop where the caddies initially started from but eventually, they were relocated to an old rain shack that had been moved (or torn down and reassembled) from somewhere on the course to the area right beside the walk through from Bruton Road on the 9th hole.

My Irish great uncle Charlie Brown, a WWI tank Sergeant (eventually Chairman of the Mercantile Bank) and Ottawa born great aunt Lois Brown (nee McKinley) built the house that bordered the 8th hole about 1938 and lived out their lives there. He never drove a car after the war but commuted by train or taxi. The family home is still there and one of his 4 granddaughters from Guelph and her family still lives in it I believe. It was not uncommon to find golfers on the 8th hole walking around in their backyard looking for an overshot golf ball.

The Lefebvre brothers lived in the big house behind the hedge across from the caddy shack and you could see their backyard from the Cartierville paved school yard out behind the last section added (original 4 room school house had one addition while I was there and finally a second extension was added to provide an indoor gym downstairs.

Another question someone wanted an answer for….was the caddy master by the pro shop named RANKIN by chance?

[End of comment]

Discussion concerning Cartierville history

Eric Karbin has added several comments, including about George-Etienne Cartier, and about the origins of the Oka crisis, to the discussion about Cartierville history at a previous post. I mention this to bring your attention to the discussion thread, which you can access at:

Graeme Decarie: The 78th Fraser Highlanders fought at Quebec, were disbanded, and settled in Fraserville

Eric has also added a comment at:

Q & A with Graeme Decarie regarding the history of Cartierville and Ville St. Laurent

The comment includes a reference to Canadian folk songs and the fabled Cartierville Boating Club.


A Sept. 18, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Golf reaching out to younger generation — but is it trying too hard? Bikinis, beats and beers: Stodgy sport tries to reinvent itself in face of changing consumer demand.”


12 replies
  1. Eric Karbin
    Eric Karbin says:

    Bob Carswell’s observation about caddies caddying at Marlborough during different periods of time over the years makes sense to some extent. It explains how those who caddied during the ‘60s remember a caddy shack while someone like me who caddied in the ‘50s doesn’t. But what about Graeme Decarie (who probably caddied in the ‘40s, if not the ‘30s)? He remembers a caddy shack less than 100 yards from the Clubhouse. There’s no way that caddy shack is the same caddy shack Bob Carswell refers to as ”right beside the walk through from Bruton Road on the 9th hole.”

    Rankin was the name of a caddy. His father was Andy Caldwell, the Starter at Marlborough. I once caddied with Rankin. Maybe he got promoted to Caddy Master after I retired from caddying.

    I do not remember Cartierville School as having only four rooms. I began attending in 1950. That was in kindergarten and the room was at the southeast corner of the old building built in 1922. The room immediately west of it was part of the old building. [That room was across the corridor from the washrooms and the Principal’s office and the Nurses’s room.]. West of all this was a new section. But I don’t remember this addition being built. I only remember that when I was in Grade 1, the room was in the new section.

    The new section added about 4 classrooms as well as a teacher’s lounge, which expanded into a large hall (when partition walls were removed). This new section extended the older building in an east/west direction. Around 1953-54, the time I was in Grade 3, another extension was built, this time at right angles to the older extension. It added a gym/theater downstairs. Upstairs were several classrooms, including the room for Grade 4 where my teacher was Mrs. Shields. I’m sure a lot of people remember her. When she lectured to the class, she had a tendency of making the B/S sign with the fingers of her right hand.

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Thanks to the ongoing discussion, I have a much better understanding of the club’s history. I realize how limited my own picture of the course had been, based on my own limited experience as a caddy.

    Hearing from other people who spent much more time around the course has given me a much broader and detailed picture of the its layout, the people who played and caddied there, and about the nearby streets and homes.

    I’m pleased I had my own experiences at the course, as a caddy, to look back on. That contact with the past has made the additional stories come alive for me, in a way that they might not have done had I never spent time around the club as a child living in Cartierville.

    I’ve also found it of interest to read accounts in recent years about how private golf courses are making an effort to stay alive, as a younger generation of potential golfers looks to other pursuits.

    In this context, a June 11, 2012 CBC article is entitled: Golf’s private clubs drive to survive.

    A July 26, 2014 Financial Post article is entitled: “How the business of golf got stuck in the rough.”

    Some places, such as Île-Bizard, which has three golf courses, appear to have done well in retaining the interest of golfers.

    It would be interesting to know what forces and pressures were at play leading to the decision to close the Marlborough course and develop housing where the course had been. I would also be interested to know what purpose the land, where the course was located, served before the golf course was developed. By way of example, I recently saw a photo from about 1910 of some beautiful farm fields that served as the site for the Islington Golf Club, which opened in the early 1920s.

  3. Eric Karbin
    Eric Karbin says:

    The land on which Marlborough Golf Club was built was owned by people like F.L. Laurin, G. Cousineau, J.Deslauriers, E. Deslauriers, N. Laurin,J.B. Jasmin, F. Jasmin, A. Jasmin, Jas. Muir, C.A. Groulx, C.Gravel, A. Oulett, R. Jasmin, A. Desrochers, H.Deguire, L. Tasse, S. & D. Tasse, L. Meilleur Jr., L. Cousineau, F.X. Leduc, J. Davidson, W.Scott, B. Johnson and J.B. Verson.

    Each of these people owned a strip of land which was a few hundred feet in width and a quarter mile or more in length. This was a pattern of land tenure left over from the abolished seigneurial system. These guys were either investors in what was sections of the “Bush” or else farmers who worked a small bit of their land to supply their own needs. I would say the better part of their land parcels was uncleared bush but it could be that there were a few fields where cash crops were grown.

    I don’t think one would be way off if one were to guess that Marlborough folded in the ‘60s due to: 1) inadequate supply of caddies (just kidding); 2) declining income from membership dues and members joining other courses; 3) increasing costs of operation, especially land taxes; 4) tempting offers to purchase from land developers who saw huge profits from turning the golf course into a residential subdivision.

  4. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    It’s of interest to know how the ownership of the land was arranged, and how that was related to the history of land ownership in Quebec. I have a better picture, thanks to the online conversations that have occurred in the last while, of how many things in Cartierville and adjacent communities were set into place and organized 50 and many more years ago.

  5. Graeme Decarie
    Graeme Decarie says:

    Back in the haze of memory, I recall an area called Bois Franc where my father would take me hiking. I’m not sure whether that was in the Cartierville-Saraguay area that we were talking of earlier or in Ahuntsic.

    Does anybody know?

    And I well remember Bob Carswell from my YMCA days when I was assigned to a youth group at Cartierville school. He drove me crazy with constant demands that we play some game called “buck-buck”.

  6. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Graeme Decarie – incidentally, if you click on his name in the previous comment, you can access his blog site – has added the following comment:

    I am hopelessly confused. I’ve been looking at a recent map of Ahuntsic to Saraguay. And I can’t figure it out.

    There is a Bois Franc on the map. but it seems to be right on the border of the old airport. And it seems very small. The bois that I hiked in as a kid was much bigger, and a bit further to the north and west. So that small bois may be all that is left of Bois Franc. Or, it may be that a much larger woodland now called bois-de-liesse is a renamed remnant of the old Bois Franc.

    A street called Noorduyn runs along what I think was the north end of the airport where the Noorduyn factory was, right at the intersection with Cure Labelle.

    Also on Cure Labelle and across the street from Belmont Park,.was a great shack selling hot dogs and fries. Loved it.

  7. Eric Karbin
    Eric Karbin says:

    The front main entrance to Belmont Park was located on a street called “de Leon” which was later changed to “Bocage”. The Park also had entrances for staff only and delivery trucks on Rivoli. The west side of the Park bordered on Lachapelle street which went to the Lachapelle (Cartierville) Bridge across the river. The only places selling hot dogs/fries across the street from the Park were “Philip & Joes” at the corner of Rivoli & de Leon and “Coney Island” across de Leon (and opposite from the Park main entrance).

    Cure Labelle Blvd. was across the river, in L’Abord a Plouffe. It went from the Cartierville Bridge north and would eventually turn into the old Highway 11 to go St. Jerome and then the Laurentians.

    Anyone wanting to know where the area “Bois Franc” was located way back in the old days can check a 1907 map at

  8. Gary
    Gary says:

    There was also a Hot Dog stand at the corner of Ranger and Gouin in Cartierville. Bois Franc was the area that went around the back of Canadair Airport and all the way west to Pitt street.I used to skidoo from Sommerset Rd. in St. Laurent, all the way to Saraguay and beyond. After we crossed the Golf course via the 4th hole, parallel to the tracks, we went through Noel Park North and then the fields all the way west. I lived on Barnes St. from 1959 to 1970 and also went to Cartierville school where on weekends, we would collect apples from the yards on Somerset Rd and hide in the front yard of the school and hit cars coming around the small bend on Gouin East bound. We always got a good chase when it was a Cop Car. Used to escape by jumping the fence in the back of the school and high tail it to the Golf Course. Only got caught once. The Guilty were all from the top of the street! Wades, Jones, Makinson, Kilner, etc. (We were young and dumb back then) I remember working at the Dairy Queen on Laurentian when they used to serve ice cream and not ice milk like today!

    I also remember playing hockey on the gold course in the winter. Does anyone recall the area we used to call the swamp? If my mind serves me right, it was either the 15th or 17th hole? Was a par 3! We used to clear the snow off the ice and always had great times there.

    Does anyone remember the Cessna that crashed when it hit the wires from the huge towers by the tracks and landed on the tracks? I saw it happen, as it sputtered over our duplex on Barnes and witnessed the accident. There are so many memories that come to life when we hash over the good old times living in that area. Great years as the kid growing up.

  9. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I find it so interesting to be reading about all of the geography and events in Cartierville and Saraguay from 50 and more years ago. I knew the area because I went to Grade 4 at Cartierville School, a very impressionable year in students’ lives. The school had qualities that made it a great school – the geographical setting, the architecture of the building itself, the staff, the students, the history of the area – even then, it had a history.

    It’s a year in my life as a student that I remember with particular vividness and enjoyment. I’m really pleased I went to the school and that other people, who lived closer to it, have so many great details to share from those years.

    A lot of people remember Grade 4, whichever school they attended. When I first began teaching Grade 4 at a school in Mississauga, Ontario, around the late 1990s, teachers told me: “You’ll love teaching Grade 4. The kids still have that sense of wonder, the joy of learning, that you see in primary kids. And they still have that respect for teachers. It’s a transitional stage, from the primary grades to the preadolescent year,s when their ways of seeing the world, and their place in it, are just starting to change.”

    I recall that students at the start of Grade 4, when they were just out of Grade 3, did indeed see the world differently as compared to the time when the Grade 4 school year ended. There were subtle differences, but things you could tune into.

    In recent years, since retirement, every year I’ve been making presentations to Grade 4 classes (sometimes also to other grades) about my own experiences as a schoolchild. The kids always enjoy the stories that I share with them, and the children’s book about Aiden, a girl who stutters, that I read to them, and they ask a lot of great questions. Some years, they are especially interested in my stories about the media interviews that I’ve done as a volunteer. One year, when I joined a class on a year-end field trip, a class that I had shared my stories with earlier, they asked me for my autograph.

    I really enjoyed that – from time to time, I get treated as a celebrity by students that I meet. In fact, being treated as a celebrity – by preschool kids, in Vancouver when I was in my twenties – is what prompted me to get into the teaching profession in the first place. Otherwise, the thought of ever becoming a teacher would never have occurred to me.

    The story about the Cop Car reminds me of stories, told with fondness, about the three police officers who served as the police force in the 1930s for the Village of Long Branch, the part of south Etobicoke in Toronto where I now live. One story that I’ve heard is that around that era, kids were not supposed to be playing hockey on the streets of Long Branch. They always knew to clear out quickly when they caught sight of the tall radio antenna – visible at a considerable distance – on a local police car, as the vehicle went about its patrols.

  10. Eric Karbin
    Eric Karbin says:

    I can corroborate the being a hot dog stand at Gouin & Ranger in Cartierville way back when – I lived almost next door. It was a place where you stood outside on the sidewalk and got served over the counter. Eventually it was demolished and replaced by another fast food joint that did business indoors.
    Marlborough’s 4th hole didn’r run parallel to the tracks. The 4th hole was a par 5 called “Indian Grave” and it ran north/south. The 5th hole ran parallel to the tracks.
    There couldn’t have been much place to hide in the front yard of Cartiervill, which was a pretty wide open area. And there was no bend in Gouin near Somerset; Gouin was and still is pretty much a straightaway from Cousineau to Golf Road. I remember Bobby Wade (chubby) from playing street hockey on Crevier Street. He was on the visiting team.
    The 17th hole had a small water hazard and I guess a small hockey rink could have been improvised there. Never played hockey there myself. There were other rinks around, one behind Cartierville School, another between Somerset & Cousineau near the border of Cartierville & St. Laurent.

  11. Klaas Vander Baaren
    Klaas Vander Baaren says:



    [Caption details for photos (on right) accompanying the comment from Klaas Vander Baaren: “1st one for my comment. Second one shows a caddy playing early. Caddy’s were allowed to play the women’s course at times. Walking from ladies 5th green to ladies 6th tee. The left side of the 6th fairway are the train tracks.” Click on each photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.]


    I just read the posts by Gary and Eric and boy, did it trigger some memories:

    – The hole parallel to the tracks the Ski-Doo’s used was the Ladies 6th. Yes, there was a ladies course, 9 holes. Women were not allowed on the regular course before 1:00 most days in the 50’s and early 60’s. I’ll send the picture from our backyard of the 5th green and fairway to Jaan to post with this comment. I think on the other side of the popular trees (right of picture) was the men’s 6th? It’s been a while.

    – I was talking about the Cessna crash the other day. I remember running through the field towards the crash on the tracks. There was a cop running behind me who didn’t see the low wire fence I jumped over and he broke his leg tripping over it. The plane was lying on the tracks and we all knew the commuter train from Roxboro was due into the Val Royal station in a couple of minutes so I had to run West along the tracks to flag it. The train stopped. As soon as the plane was dragged off the tracks, the train passed by very slowly. I believe the pilot survived but I remember his skull was open.

    – We played a lot of pickup hockey on the rink at Somerset & Cousineau. Had a shack to put on our skates. Bob Wade and many others played there.

    – The Dairy Queen on Laurentian was the BEST!!!

  12. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Wonderful to know, Klaas, how the previous comments from Gary and Eric has given rise to such great memories! I’m pleased you were able to get the plane off the tracks! The photos add so much of value to the scenes you have described.

    I am reminded, among other things, about reminiscences from a caddy at a golf course in Mississauga, close to where I live now. The reminiscences, which are at the very end of a post entitled A History of Long Branch, date from about the same time as your caddying experiences at the Marlborough golf club, where over the years I think I earned about $25, which I should have invested, but instead frittered away – probably on treats and comic books. The $25 would be worth about $210 today, assuming we compare 1960 to 2017 using the Bank of Canada Inflation Calculator.


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