On 3 August, 1844, James Paul,an Irish shoemaker, about 24 years of age, purchased in Carp, half an acre near the present Swan Pub, and on that site began to operate his shoemaker business. This is the first proven non-agricultural business on a site in Carp.
In 1847-1847 James Paul moved his shoemaker business to Pembroke.
The Origin of the name Carp has never been established. Pioneer records indicate that there never were carp in the river, but that there were thousands upon thousands of suckers and mud pout in the river. For the people who lived by or near the banks of Carp River in the 1860’s and later, the suckers were literally “meat on the table”.
The Carleton Saga, written by Harry and Olive Walker, gives the following conjecture (p.422):
“When the writer researched the origin of the name Carp as it applied to the river and the village, a student of nonmenclature in Montreal, Herman J. Rolland, wrote the following possible explanation: “The French word for sucker is “carpe”, and it would seem ot me that coureurs de bois may have given the name “Carpe” to the river, as they must have known of its fishing conditions, and later on the village possible adopted the name of the river”
The sucker depicted on this poster is common in eastern North American creeks & rivers.
Learn more about Carp.