TO CROWE OR NOT TO CROWE
THE NAME CHANGE DEBATE
January 7, 1937
Postmaster J.W. Hickey and a number of other postmasters in the District have received a communication from the Geographic Board of Canada proposing the changing of the name "Crow" lake and river, Hastings and Peterborough counties, to "Marmora" lake and river.
The communication follows:
"It has been brought to the attention of the Board that within a comparatively small area there are numerous geographic features which bear the name of "Crow"; there is a Crow lake in Peterborough and Hastings counties with a Crow river flowing out of it; in Seymour township there is a Crow bay and in Frontenac county there is a large Crow lake.
This similarity of names has no doubt been the cause of much confusion, not to the local residents, but to their visiting friends, to the tourists and others desirous of spending their holidays at the summer resorts in this area.
It has been suggested that the name of the lake and river in Hastings and Peterborough counties, now known by the name of "Crow", be changed to "Marmora"; before taking any definite action with the view to the adoption of the name "Marmora" it is desired to have an expression of the opinion of the local residents regarding the adoption of this name and I am therefore to ask you to advise me if this name will meet with their approval.
It may perhaps be of interest to you and to the local residents to know that an original plan in the Patents Office, Toronto, the two features in question are shown as Marmora lake and Marmora river; it would therefore appear as though the name Marmora was the original name for these two features.
I would appreciate it very much if you would consider this matter as urgent and let me hear from you with- out any unnecessary delay."
THE MARMORA HERALD WRITES:
In Marmora and district there is very strong objection to the changing of the name for a number of reasons. One is that hundreds of Dollars have been spent advertising "Crowe" lake and river in the United States and in Canada and last year the results of such ad- vertising was clearly shown. There is reason to believe a still larger number of tourists will visit this district during the present year. To change the name now would cause end- less confusion and mean the loss of nearly all the benefits to be derived from the advertising in recent years.
Then there is another small lake on the eastern boundary of Marmora township, which is known as Marmora lake and two 1a~es of the same name in one township would be even more confusing.
In order to help distinguish between the Crow lake in Hastings county and the one in Frontenac the name has been spelt "Crowe" in much of the advertising in recent years. If the name "Crow" cannot be changed in Frontenac the Government could help very much in distinguishing between the two lakes as far as mail matter and advert- ising is concerned by spelling the lake and river in Hastings county with an"e" added - "Crowe". While it is claimed the name was derived from the Crow Indians, which frequented this district, the name "Crowe" of white settlers is also found among the early records.
January 7, 1937
OPEN LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD
Regarding your editorial of January 7, 1937, re the changing of the name of Crowe Lake and River I was interested to read the way in which the Geographic Board has stated the case for the change - they omitted Crow Landing.
Your reasons for not changing the name were doubly interesting as they all seem to justify the proposed need of a change. Speaking of the strong Objection in the district, I wonder on what grounds such a statement can be made. Were those most directly interested in any change for the clarification of the location of this tourist district consulted. Is there an old moth eaten idea still prevailing in this district that changes that may cause temporary or imaginary inconvenience to those now living, should not be made?
May I be so humble as to suggest that when it comes to a decision of this kind that the broader aspect be taken. Consider the confusion in the district if the five places bearing the name "Crow" should all prosper as tourist locations. I personally believe that Number Seven Highway will do a lot to bring this desired condition about.
As for spending money on advertising a name that does not exist officially, such as Crowe- the less said the better. Those interested in advertising the district might be well advised to follow the example of the more successful - so near at hand in this province.
Form a body that would advertise Marmora as a holiday centre, such a body similar to that exists in Midland.
Midland does not advertise Shallow Lake or Georgian Bay, but they talk Midland - a place where people can readily find on all maps. I am not overstating the case when I say the whole district benefits.
Huntsville - another example. They do not stress the Lake of Bays but they pull people to the centre of the district and they are not ashamed to have the district's activities linked with the town name. Southampton, Port Elgin, Parry Sound, etc., etc., do likewise.
You mentioned losing the value of money already spent on advertising. I believe it has been stated by many recognized advertising authorities that the only time that advertising value is lost is when the product of service is other than represented. Last year's increased tourist business is solely the result of better business conditions throughout the world. Marmora district received less than it otherwise would have owing to the counter attractions of the Dionnes.
Regarding adding an "E" to Crow, I do not see how that would help in the least as the phonetic sound would be the same. Most tourist places are talked about rather than written. I certainly would like to hear how the objectionists would handle the word "Crow" and "Crowe" on a radio advertising programme.
I think the parties who blamed the Indians for this name should humbly apoligize to them. The kind of Indians that still fly around there in the early hours of the morning with large black wings had more to do with the naming of the lake. The common English translation for the Indian tribe you speak of is certainly not at all flattering. I believe the correct English translation of the name is still used in the North, where some day there will be another flock of the name "Crow".
I sincerely regret that Marmora and district people for whom you speak as against a change, did not consider the name of Marmora as good enough for such a beautiful lake and prefer Crow. The Marmora Lake mentioned in your editorial apparently is not shown on any map that I can locate. Probably some local enthusiasm could be worked up in this regards to bring this township up to the standard of the township to the South - Rawdon. This is something that would not cost the taxpayer of Marmora a cent.
Some correspondence I have from Marmora District distinctly show a misunderstanding of what tourist business can mean to a district. My idea is that the more outside money that can be brought in the Marmora district, the better for those that have to live there throughout the year. How those in the district spend their holidays or money is up to them. It benefits the district no matter how or where they spend it. They can't help themselves in this regard.
I would be pleased to receive any letters supporting the above outlined views, especially from hotel keepers, garage men, restaurant proprietors and business men and those who rent cottages in the Marmora area.
W. C. Dymond, 144 Cowan Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.
January 14, 1937
PREFER THE NAME CROW LAKE
Jan 21, 1937
While the number of ballots returned does not show any great interest in the name of our beautiful lake and river, those returned are almost unanimously in favor of retaining the present name. Ballots returned are from Toronto, Hamilton, Peterborough and other places and also a number from residents of the township. Only one ballot returned to date voted in favor of changing the name. Doubtless there are arguments on both sides, but some different way of winning public sentiment in favor of a change should have been adopted by those suggesting a change if they wanted to get support for the proposed change.
January 28, 1937
SECOND OPEN LETTER FROM MR. DYMOND
Some authoritative facts well worth keeping in mind when considering the possible renaming of Crow Lake to end confusion regarding the many places named Crow.
That the suggested new name is far from being new as it is shown as the name of this Lake and River on the Crown Patent Map of 1843.
That the Canada Atlas of 1879 shows the Lake as named Marmora and the River named Crow.
That there is absolutely no foundation for the supposition locally that there is any historical or family significance to the name of Crow.
That the "Professor Crow" mentioned by the Editor last week apparently was recognized by the Dept. of Indian Affairs as an Ojibway (Chippawa) as the family was granted land on the Ojibway Reserve located on the Saugeen River at Southampton. If the remarks attributed to this Indian were made by him, it showed he had a highly developed sense of humour, apparently not reciprocated by his listeners in the district.
That it is the usual practice to name the largest Lake in a Township after that Township and it is a very good reason why Crow could be changed to Marmora in an endeavour to end confusion, with places of a similar name.
That the local history of the District certainly needs brushing up as the above authoritative information was easily obtained. The important reason for changing the name seems to have been overlooked. That is the confusion existing outside of Marrnora District owing to the multiplicity of places named Crow.
That the name Crowe is already in use and established officially and recognized by the Department responsible for this recognition as a name of another place in Ontario, and cannot be used again in Ontario to name a lake.
That the placing of an "E" on the end of the correct name of Crow Lake by those who do so in Marrnora is a plain case of uninformed, misdirection and misrepresentation and a practice that should be discontinued immediately and something more sensible, of a constructive nature substituted, such as the opportunity put forward by the Geographic Board of Ottawa.
That if the broader view had been taken, the Ballot might well have been addressed; " To those of you who live away from us and are perplexed by the many places named Crow" THE QUESTION; "Would you like us to give our beautiful Crow Lake its old original and distinctive name "Marmora" - a name which so adequately links this water with the vacation centre of Marmora?"
YES or NO?
W. C. Dymond, 144 Cowan Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.
P.S. My experience has been that Marmora Folks do not use the name "Crow" or "Crowe" locally at any time. The water is known to them as "The Lake".
MR. GLADNEY WEIGHS IN.....
Belleville, January16,1937 The Herald Editor and Marrnora Citizens
While in Marmora last weekend I could not help but note severe criticism as to the government's proposal to change the name of our lake and river.
I had the privilege, as no doubt several citizens did, of seeing the original letter which the government sent. This was a very nice letter stating that as there were three places named Crow or Crowe it was proposed to change the name of our locality to Marmora Lake and Marmora River and asking that an expression of feeling be procured. The letter was much different than some of our citizens would have us think, as they give the impression that the new names are being forced - this latter is not so.
We, as citizens of the village and township should be very pleased to get "Marmora" advertised. What tourist (who has ever been here) when he thinks of Crowe Lake doesn't think Marmora, and if he thinks of Crowe River, Marrnora or Campbellford enters his mind. To the new tourist he has to learn, and Marmora Lake should be easier for him to find than Crowe Lake, due to the Village and Township bearing the same name. How would we feel if the government should notify us that they are going to name these waters Hastings Lake and River which would be perfectly proper names as they lie mostly in Hastings County -or any similar name?
No doubt the argument will arise that the Booster Club has spent quite a little in advertising Crowe Lake and River. As one of the former officers I think I can say that we have spent little lately, and if we are to continue to derive the nice business which Marmora has had for years, we will have to keep on advertising, and if so why not Marrnora instead of Crowe?
Would it not be a good plan to get the combined councils or the Booster Club to call a meeting in the town hall and, after discussions of not too many speakers, take a vote from all present as to what they want. We as citizens want all the business we can get for Marmora and vicinity, and when our government offers to give us two very suitable names, the same as we have for our municipality - without charging us for them, why not consider this offer very seriously - instead of hanging onto the old idea - Crowe they are and Crowe they are going to stay.
As a Booster Club Member and a citizen I ask you, are we going to look back at the money we raised and spent to advertise this locality or are we going to get together again and try to figure just how much more "Marmora" we can get put on that map of Ontario?
Sincerely, Clarence Gladney.
Original mapping of area indicated Marmora River and Marmora Lake
A WORD FROM DELORO
Deloro, Ontario January 18, 1937
Editor, Marmora Herald, Marrnora, Ontario.
While not vitally concerned in the subject, I have read with interest the letter of Mr. W.C. Dymond and your two leaders on changing the name of Crowe Lake and River to their original name Marmora.
As the Geographic Board I who are experts in matters of this kind, have made the suggestion, I do not think it should be turned down without proper consideration. Lakes particularly, seem so frequently to be named after birds, and Crow, Gull, Eagle and Loon are much overworked, particularly in Ontario.
Whether Crowe Lake was named after a bird or an Indian is not to its credit for it is a beautiful body of water and is worthy of a much prettier name. The Crow bird is no beauty in appearance or habits and the Crow Indian was noted as a marauding horse thief.
Marmora obtains its name from the marble prevalent in the district and it is a matter of interest that it occurs three times only in an extensive atlas of the world. A small village in southern New Jersey bears the same name and then there is the famous sea of Marmora.
Until recently there was a Crow Lake Post Office in Frontenac, other Crow Lakes may develop into popular summer resorts and it looks like a splendid opportunity to give this lovely body of water a name more in keeping with its beauty and location.
Yours very truly, Deloro.