Twin carriage shops in Eastons Corners, Wolford township. The first one (right) was built about 1870 by Mr. Watts whose name can still be seen on the building; the second one was added a few years later to cope with the expanding trade. Credit: Parks Canada

A few properties have come up for tax sale in Merrickville-Wolford, one of which holds a building that is part of the rich carriage-making history of the area. The John Watts and Sons Carriage Factory in Eastons Corners is a glimpse into the past, when carriage works lined the Rideau Corridor. The carriages built in these factories were necessary to fill the need for horse drawn buggies that were being used for moving freight goods, delivering mail, visiting neighbours, picking up supplies, and dating. By 1840, carriages had become an integral part of everyday life in the pioneering community.

The carriage not only supported trade in the area, but also the growth of “carriage works”, as it was called, which included foundry and wood processing industries. As these trades were already alive and well in Merrickville-Wolford, carriage-making was a natural next step. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, horse-drawn carriages reigned supreme and became a source of family pride, much like cars today.

The Carriage Factory today

The carriage factory in Eastons Corners, that is now up for sale, was started by Robert G. Eastman in the 1850s. When he moved to Merrickville to start up another carriage-making business, the factory was taken over by John Watts and Sons, who continued to operate into the 20th century. Most recently, the building was restored and made into an antiques shop. It is now the only surviving reminder of the carriage industry in the area.

Merrickville-Wolford Treasurer, Sheila Kehoe, says the property that holds the old carriage factory, as well as several other properties in the municipality, are being sold for non-payment of taxes, as per the Municipal Act. If the Municipality does not receive payment before November 30, and if there are bids for the properties, they will be sold to the highest bidder.

The property at 88 Main Street in Eastons Corners is sitting at a minimum tender amount of $14,650.27. The successful purchaser will be responsible for paying the amount tendered, plus the accumulated taxes, HST if applicable, and the relevant land transfer tax. For more information on the other properties listed for tax sale visit


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