Marmora - "The Mecca of Mirth"

Reeve G.B. Airhaart

On April 3, 1924, a large and representative gathering of citizens assembled in the Marmora Town Hall to discuss the formation of a Booster Club for Marmora  The Reeve, Mr. G.B. Airhart, was called to the chair and after a short and appropriate address declared the meeting open or suggestions. Rev. Father Traynor was the first to avail himself of the opportunity and remarked that he was the youngest citizen in Marmora; having just arrived  in the Village. The Reverand gentleman had the warmest praise for the friendships he had formed in the village and said that in boosting Marmora, we must has perfect harmony.
"Heretofore Marmora has been looked upon as a dull place," declared the speaker, "We want to encourage tourists to come here". If he was asked to suggest a motto for Marmora. it would be "Marmora, the Mecca of Mirth. "

William Frazer Bowen standing

 William Frazer Bowen (click to read more) was the next speaker. He declared that we ought to get more foreign money into Marmora.  He spoke of the minerals in the district and the difficulty in getting money invested in them. The timber resources were going and the agricultural work was not going ahead as it should. We must get together and formulate some plans to put Marmora on the map. .
The Rev.  P.C. Watson, who followed, spoke of the statement which he had seen which had some effect upon him. It was:   "The source of power consists in combining the units of power".
"Everybody who lives in Marmora is a unit of power.  Yet, everybody can only go a certain distance alone. No one in Marmora can do all for Marmora. Supposing the whole of Manpower  gets into its head that it is going to get something, no power under Heaven can stop any community  from doing that which  it collectively takes into its head to do. We have to be harmoniously bonded together for the betterment of Marmora: We have around us, in this little town a good many sources of power. We hope one day that the river will be harnessed.  If we want better roads or better railway accommodation and we get together,  we can obtain it."
 Dr. H. Crawford - next rose and said that we all feel Marmora can be made a better and greater Marmora.


The Marmora Boosters declare the following to be their constitution, mission and purpose:

"By initiating and assisting others in pursuing cultural, artistic, junior recreational, charitable and educational goals of benefit to the wider Marmora Community, the Marmora Boosters, a strictly non- profit association, shall work without personal compensation, to support their community and to accomplish everything their name implies."
Marmora Boosters

Founded March 31, 1924


It has been affirmed over and over again that the many advantages of Marmora have not hitherto been utilized to an appreciable extent. People who have travelled, wonder at the choice of many a site for a place that was to be enterprising later; because of the surroundings being so sordid. There is no danger of such a thought ever being exercised towards Marmora, if the
enthusiasts succeed in making it more enter-prising than it has been in the past. There is that about the situation of Marmora that leads one to seriously reflect that the Creator would be somewhat disappointed if man had not build here. The average resident realizes this, and yearns to see the town expand commercially. The horizon has been scanned for years now in the hopes of seeing the dawn of a new commercial era for Marmora. Despair is written on the countenances of many and the cry of such has become most familiar "Marmora will never be any better off than it is now." It is just because of this despair being so pitiable to behold and this cry so tragic to listen to, that energetic men in our midst are now bestirring themselves to invite suggestions and to formulate schemes whereby Marmora might thrive to the fullest possible degree. In business, the disposition of the individual greatly matters. Every village or town, conscious of it or otherwise, carries a disposition with it. It is undeniably true that the disposition of Marmora ranks most favorably with that of her neighbours. No one is
asked to exaggerate her assets. Everybody is asked to boost. Last year witnessed a boosting of Crowe Lake, a lake taking second place to none of its
size for beauty and other advantages. There is vastly more left to be boosted and affiliation with the newly organized
Booster Club will open up the way.
New boosters may be found in the forth-coming days but let the old boosters, undaunted go forward and boost without boasting on a scale unprecedented.
Marmora Herald    April 3, 1924

If activities in the 1920' s at Crowe Lake were any
measure, it was  clear that Marmora now wanted to dance.

A. T. Neal, Ralph's father, expanded from his base at the Royal Hotel.  At the "Marble Cliff Pavilion" on Crowe Lake, he built a 50 by 80 foot hardwood dance floor. Below were change rooms for the bathers enjoying the fine sand beach. Mr. Neal also installed
his "own electric light system" and lit the grounds as well as the building.

It was all along the east shore of the lake from the
Marble Cliff Pavilion to the Tipperary House Pavilion that the Boosters heId their biggest fund raiser "Something to do all the time" was the promise of their "Monster Dominion Day Picnic", July 1, 1924. There was a midway, aquatic sports, races and numerous market booths. Dancing at the Tipperary House was to
the "Have lock Boardwalk Orchestra".

At Marble Cliff it was the Myers seven  piece "Toronto Orchestra" with all sorts of novelty dances. A good thing the Archbishop wasn't invited! "Adults 25
cents, children 10 cents".

 Crowe Lake was, for the Boosters, a particularly good place to have fun and raise money. As a permanent gift to the Community, they arranged the transfer of the lands still known as "Booster Park" as a spot for all citizens of the community to get free access to the beautiful lake.

Over the years ,"the Boosters did a world of good for  the community. A lot of the funds they used were raised at the Town Hall.  On February 23, 1925, the great hall was transformed for a "Tramps Convention". Featured in the cast were Ralph Neal as Lazy Logan ("too lazy to wink") and Jack Grant as Frosty Finnegan. Any ladies wishing to meet the tramp stars were invited to apply to the manage-ment. Owing to the serious nature of the play, it was demanded that there be NO LOUD LAUGHTER.

Perhaps the village never became the "Mecca of Mirth"
but it wasn't for lack of trying.

Officers for the Booster Club in 1927:

  • President -   J.P Marrin
  • 2nd VP - D.E. Bell
  • 3rd VP -  Geo Forestell
  • Sec. -  H.W. Sabine
  • Tres. -  C.W. Gladney
  • Directors -  Dr. D.L. Curtis,  F.R. Wells,  T.W. Rhind,  R. Linn Jas Gehan and J.D. Narrie


Marmora Herald June 28, 1928

The question as to whether Marmora Booster Club is to continue to carry on and particularly as to whether Booster Club Park is to be retained for the use and benefit of the public generally is to be decided at a public meeting to be held in the Council Chamber on Friday evening, June 29th.  During the past couple of years the park has been used by a considerable number of tourists and there is reason to expect the number will increase from year to year. There is a probability that in the near future a provincial highway will be built from Peterboro to Smith Falls and Ottawa, running through Marmora. With the road to Belleville already taken over as a provincial highway, that would make Marmora a junction point for tourist traffic. It is doubtful whether there is another lake in Ontario, as close to a main highway, that offers as fine fishing and as many other attractions as Crowe Lake.  For that reason there is an opportunity to secure an increasing amount of tourist traffic from year to year, and every business man should be interested in helping to develop that business.

Taking the other side of it, Booster Club Park is the only land surrounding Crowe Lake that is not private property. As the lake grows in popularity and new cottages are erected the shore is going to be less and less available to the general public and may be shut off at any time. If Booster Club Park is retained, and the debt paid off, there will always be a delightful spot available for holidaying or picnicing on the shores of the lake.  However, unless the public generally show a greater interest, the park will be sold and the Booster Club cease to exist. It is unreasonable to expect a few to take all the responsibility and do all the work in connection with carrying on such an organization. One more year of activity and support such as was given Club for the first year or two would free the grounds of debt and put them in first class condition.
Come out on Friday evening and at least show your interest. If you have any questions or any fault to find the meeting is the place to express it. Do not take a chance on the village losing such an asset,
especially when the prospects are that it will be of increasing benefit and value from year to year.

The deed to Booster Park which "shall at all times be preserved and maintained by the said grantees in perpetuity as a free, public park,  tourist park and camp  grounds.".

                                    CLICK HERE

Havelock Standard./ Marmora Herald         July 22,1926   Regarding Booster Club

It has obtained a game reservation from the Government. It has reared pheasants and placed them in a protected area at Crowe Lake, and it is a central bureau for advising intending tourists where and at what expense accom-modation may be secured. It is accom-plishing great things for Marmora and is a wonderful asset to that village. 


Following the election of officers the question of changing the name of the organization came up and a heated discussion followed. Owing to the many differences of opinion advanced it was decided to postpone the meeting until Friday of this week and a committee was appointed to recommend names at the next meeting.

Four representatives of the Women's Memorial League were present of offer co-operation of their organization in putting on a big Regatta at Crowe Lake during the coming summer. Because of the success of the Memorial League and the hope that if the women joined the Booster Club it would put new life in it, Mrs. Hamilton Crawford was nominated as 3rd Vice President and Mrs. C. A. Bleecker, Mrs. F. S. Pearce and Miss M. Sullivan,  as Directors of the Booster Club

Following the meeting of the Booster Club some of the members have been so unfair and ungallant as to blame the ladies for the trouble which arose.  That, of course, was only an excuse used by some who wished to stir up trouble. The real trouble was personal ill will and grievances among some of the members. Last year the question of changing the name came up and for some time many of the people of the village have been opposed to the name of Booster Club.
Marmora Herald
May 16, 1929


Crowe Lake - the Summer Resort with Irresistible Appeal for Everyone

Article appearing in magazines and newspapers sponsored by the Marmora Booster Club

Year by year the great natural attractions of various parts of Ontario are appealing more and more, not only to our neighbors in the great country to the
south of us, but to the residents of our cities and towns as well. One result is that new playgrounds and places of recreation are being discovered and developed.
Among the newer resorts, which are rapidly growing in popularity, is Crowe Lake, situated in Hastings County; about a mile from the village of Marmora. This beautiful lake is about three miles wide and five miles long. It is connected withDeer River, Belmont Lake, Deer Lake, Crowe River, Beaver Creek, and many other waters in the Trent Valley water-shed

All these waters contain large numbers of bass and lunge. In addition a very large number of bass and pickerel fry or fingerlings have been placed in them in recent years so that there is no doubt Crowe Lake will maintain its reputation as one of the best waters in Ontario for bass and lunge fishing. For the past three years the result of the province-wide contest, conducted by The Toronto Daily Star for the best bass caught in Ontario waters, has shown a fish from Crowe Lake as winner of either first or second place. While its fishing is unexcelled that is only one of the many attractions Crowe Lake has to offer. In its beautiful scenery - rugged wooded shores, numerous islands and other natural formations - it is very similar to the Muskoka region. It
has the same bracing climate and cool nights, the same soft water for bathing and various other features which have made Muskoka so popular. In addition, Crowe Lake has other attractions all its own.

Persons looking for a place to erect a summer cottage will find Crowe Lake an ideal location. Building material and labor are obtainable locally at reasonable rates. There is also a fine opening for an additional summer hotel, which should prove a profitable investment. While an effort is made by Marmora Booster Club to provide cottages or hotel accommodation for as many as possible, at the present time we particularly recommend Crowe Lake to camping parties. Marmora Booster Club has provided a fine camping ground on the shores of the lake in a natural park, well shaded by maples and pines. The park has a cottage for convenience of guests until they can set up their tents or make other arrangements, a good drilled well and other conveniences. The stores in Marmora make it convenient for campers to secure all their requirements, and representatives of the merchants visit the lake regularly.