- Carleton was initially called "Temperance", and one of the community's founding members, Daniel Raymond, was a charter member of the Beaver River Temperance Society (the first such society in Canada). It later received the name "Carleton" after Lake Carleton which was situated nearby.
- Gold was discovered in Carleton in the late 1800s and again in the early 1900s, but despite the construction of two mines, nothing of profit came from these discoveries.
The first settlers of Carleton were members of the Raymond, Crosby, and Bethune families, lured from nearby villages by the promise of timber for the mills that they built. Several years later, settlers arrived and began setting up permanent homesteads and blazing rough roads to South Ohio, Hebron, and later, Yarmouth.
Carleton's first school was built around 1840, and was later replaced by more modern versions over the years. The first school was also used as a church until the Presbyterian Church was built. Later, a Baptist church was built in the community around 1880. The lumber industry helped the community grow and brought in new businesses that made use of thenatural resources, including furniture factories and a wood-working factory that made clothes pins, washboards, wooden boxes, etc.
Carleton soon grew into a thriving community with its own telephone company, mail service, churches, cemetery, school, park, and library. Common family names in the area include Durkee, Kelley, Wyman, Crosby, Perry, Crawley, Eldridge, Annis, Raymond, Tinkham, Richardson, Hilton, Miller, Allen, Nickerson and Pitman.