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1966 Cordova receives a Pope!

It seems back in September, 1966,  that the self-proclaimed Archbishop,  Guy P. Claude Hamel,  opened a church on Cordova Lake,  with the hopes of building an orphanage,  a residence,  a church and parkland,   using charitable funds.


HAMEL, Rev. Fr. Guy - Passed away on September 24, 2011 in his 78th year. Fr. Guy Hamel of Quebec, son of the late Wilfrid and Germaine Hamel. Dear brother of Denise Dewar. Cherished uncle of John and his wife Ivana. Great- uncle of Johnny and Matthew. Fr. Hamel was ordained in 1960, served in the Parishes of St. Ann's, Penetanguishene, St. Patrick's, Perkinsfield, St. Louis de France, Don Mills and Ste. Croix Church, Lafontaine. He never waivered in his faith or his dedication to his community, in a ministry that spanned more than fifty years. Friends will be received at Ste. Croix Church, Lafontaine on Thursday, September 29th from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Ste. Croix Church on Saturday, October 1st at 10 a.m. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery, Thornhill.   Published Sept 28, 2011 Toronto Star

Scott Wilson wrote and sent photos:   "As for the buildings that this article is referring to,they are still there on the south west side of the lake. It is a creepy place to visit. My grandmother Daisy Kelsh Roche told me of"The Bishop"and how he would walk down the lake in the winter with a staff and long flowing robes with the kids all following behind. They would try and sell clay ashtrays and nic nacs to the cottagers. I also heard he was put in jail over tax evasion and other illegal activities. There are still remnants of the kids drawings on the walls of the buildings."

Robin Maia Clewes added:   I remember going through that little white house as a child. Hard to believe any part of it would still be standing. The walls were covered in newsprint and children's drawings...it was creepy.

Gravenhurst Mayor Clairmont was a Marmora Lumberman

In 1854,  Ely Clairmont and his brother Charles Clairmont Sr.  both blacksmiths,  came to Marmora from Quebec,  to set up shop,  attracted  by the Ironworks. They built their house and blacksmith shop at the corner of Bursthall & Matthew Streets (site of the Esso),  and after a fire,  moved the house slightly north.                    (11 Bursthall opposite the town hall-click for more)

Marmora lumberman,  Joseph Clairmont, later  Mayor of Gravenhurst,  with daughter, Grace

Ely's son,  Joseph,  born in Marmora in 1855,  left Marmora around 1890,  and relocated in Gravenhurst,  where he was hired by the Rathbun Lumber Co. to manage a sawmill there.  He later became Mayor of that town.  His house still stands in Gravenhurst on the north-east corner of Bay and Mary Streets.  He went on to have nine children.

fmily photo Inside Mayor Clairmont's house in Gravenhurst

Meanwhile,  Ely's son,   Edmond,  who had joined Joseph as a lumberman in Gravenhurst,  went on to Ft. Frances, Ontario,  where he was hired to oversee the construction of the first saw mill in Rainy River.  When Edmond  was born on February 2, 1862, in Marmora, Ontario, his father, Ely,  was 35 and his mother, Domithilde (Matilda) , was 27. He married Rosellen GILLEN and they had seven children together. He then married Elmire Marie CADOTTE and they had one son together. He died on July 30, 1949, in Fort Frances, Ontario, at the age of 87.

1952 U.S. Anti-Communist Fears Influence Marmora Union Vote

Marmora Herald Oct. 23, 1952

The Mine Mill was the nickname for the The International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers,  which  played an important role in the protection of workers and in desegregation efforts beginning in the 1916.  The union was known for its militant measures in dealing with opposing forces, and firm in its opposition to the politics that existed in the country during the Cold War.  By the 1950s, the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers had achieved establishment of approximately 300 locals, with about 37,000 total members in the United States and Canada,  but came under fire during the McCarthy era as representing communist interests.   The ongoing communist leanings of the Mine Mill leaders became unfavorable.  In 1967,  the Mine Mill merged with the  United Steelworkers of America.

 Local 598 in Sudbury,  Ontario, which had a contentious and sometimes violent history with the city's Steelworkers locals voted against the merger. It remained the last autonomous remnant of Mine Mill until 1993, when it merged with the Canadian Auto Workers.

From Wikipedia

Reeve Was A Runner Too!

            Click here for more on William Shannon              Scroll down to the bottom of the page

Those who knew Reeve, William Shannon,  have great respect for his gentlemanly manner,  his municipal achievements as Councillor, Reeve,  Warden and clerk-treasurer,  and his long service to various boards of the Village.  But did you know he was also an accomplished athlete?

Below is the 1928 report of his wins at Varsity Stadium.

For more sports information,  CLICK HERE


One of the greatest pleasures is the bond of friendship with others.   Today, despite the diversion of an electronic society, many fraternal organizations still struggle along. But  in Canada's earliest years,  these societies were the very heart of social life for many rural citizens. From the very early days, the Loyal Orange Lodge opened its doors in Marmora.  By   1907, a variety of societies tempted men from home in the evenings.  

  • The L.O.L  (Loyal Orange Lodge)  met every first and third Friday;       
  •  The A.O.U.W.  (The Ancient Order of United Workmen),  a fraternal organization in the United States and Canada, providing mutual social and financial support after the American Civil War met every second and fourth Friday . It was the first of the "fraternal benefit societies", organizations that would offer insurance as well as sickness, accident, death and burial policies.
  • The C.O.E.F. (Church of Evangelic Faith) met every second and fourth Monday;
  • The Mystic Lodge (an appendant body of the  I.O.O.F. - Independant Order of Odd Fellows) met every second and fourth Wednesday;
  • The I.O.F. ( Independant Order of Foresters) met the first and third Monday;
  • The A.F. & A.M. Lodge (Ancient Free and Accepted Masons)  met each Monday "on or before full moon at 9 p.m."
  • C.O.C.F.  (Canadian Order of Chosen Friends)   an organization that would pay old age and disability benefits.  They eventually evolved into the "Reliable Life Insurance Company"  based in Hamiton.

From the very day that fraternal societies first came to Upper Canada, brotherhood and politics went hand in hand. The first Grand Lodge, started in 1792, had R.W. Bro. William Jarvis as Provincial Grand Master. Wm. Jarvis also just happened to be Provincial Secretary to John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. Indeed that significant position was later occupied by two other Grand Masters.

On a local level a move into the political arena was often preceded by participation in the fraternal orders. When Marmora Reeve, William H. Hubbell was elected warden in 1914, he could draw on his support as a member of the Marmora Lodge,  A. F. & A.M., the Orange Order and as the past occupant of important positions in the Mystic Lodge, the I.O.O.F., the A.O.U.W. and the Chosen Friends. Warden Hubbell further endeared himself to his colleagues when instead of just treating the local Reeves to the usual Warden's Banquet, he lead them by train to Toronto for the Good Roads Convention. There they all "distinguished themselves," from the hundreds of municipal councillors who filled the leading hotels, by their "comradery and jollity".

The ties between the fraternal societies and their chosen religion was even stronger than their ties with their chosen politics.  If a man excelled in the Masonic Order, he was likely to excel in the Protestant religion.  So when a beautiful day dawned, September 1, 1874, as expected, for the laying of the cornerstone for Marmora's new Anglican Church, it was also to be expected that a fraternal brother like Rt. Worshipfu.l Brother Colonel S.S. Lazier of Belleville should be there and in charge. Colonel Lazier was not only a colonel and a fraternal brother and a dignitary qf the Anglican Church, but also a Master of the Supreme Court of Ontario. He typified those whose influence entered all areas of endeavour. The "ladies of Marmora" presented Brother Lazier with a silver trowel to commemorate the event.

Before there ever was a Booster Club to boost the community, there was what the Marmora Herald cited as a group with a very opposite motivation.

"Has it ever struck you", the editor asked in 1906, "that most of us are active members of the Knockers Association, and that scarcely a day passes but that we are hitting someone a rap calling someone a fool, a schemer or a hypocrite or handing out some finer thrust in more elegant English".

 Progressives should not be down-hearted for 'The harder  you're thrown, the higher you'll bounce.'       No one's life was so good as to allow perpetual criticism of others.   'The sin of Eden is upon us all,' 

The Editor continued:

"Perhaps it is in a father who jags, or on the end of a mother's mean tongue, a brother's dishonesty or a sister who fell. They say that hell's hot, and if I read the Sacred Book right, the backbiter and the scandal monger will have the hottest spot in the main oven, when those poor devils who are drunkards and Magdalenes will be out in the draft near the door."

Thinking of committing a minor offence?

Think again.

In 1851 the County of Hastings passed  By Law #5,  believing it was only expedient and proper to provide for the proper correction of a person who was committed to jail for minor offences. They believed that such offenders should not spend their time in idelness during their period of confinement.                                                           

" Be it therefore enacted…………………

That any mechanic who shall be convicted and sentenced, shall during the period of confinement, work at his own proper trade, the County furnishing materials, and the produce of the labour shall be disposed of for the benefit of the County and the funds paid into the hands of the Treasurer,

And  that any person not a mechanic who shall be convicted and sentenced, shall during the period of his or her confinement be set at such works as the Guardian of the House of Correction shall deem advisable, and the produce of their labour shall be disposed of in like manner and for the same purposes as set forth in the second section of this by-law."

And don't think you can get out of the work too easily!  The By-law went on to say:

"And that it shall be lawful for the Guardian to confine any prisoner to solitary confinement in any   cell, who shall refuse to labour or work as required by the provisions of this By-law and pending such solitary confinement, the fare of such prisoner shall be bread and water."

We have yet to find the proof that this By-Law was rescinded!

A BAND OF RABBLE ROUSERS - The Callithumpians

In the past,  Marmora has had the privilege of experiencing the joys of a Callithumpian Parade,  but few people really know what it represented.

The English Dialect Dictionary states the word "Gallithumpian" originates from Dorset and Devon England  in the 1790s  describing  a" society of radical social reformers"  and "noisy disturbers of elections and meetings".

Callithump and the related adjective "callithumpian" are Americanisms.  In the 19th century, the noun "callithumpian" was used in the U.S. of boisterous roisterers who had their own makeshift New Year's parade. Their band instruments consisted of crude noisemakers such as pots, tin horns, and cowbells.  Today, the words "callithump" and "callithumpian" see occasional use, especially in the names of specific bands and parades. The callithumpian bands and parades of today are more organized than those of the past, but they retain an association with noise and boisterous fun.

Is it time to do a little rabble rousing and bring back the Callithump?

Click here for more photos


Comment:  Brian Casey: I remember loading up with apple's and getting a ride in to town with one of the Neals. Hitting an Orange men parade and Nan not letting me go in to town for the rest of that summer. That happened more the once 

1873 When Cornwall met Blairton

 It is estimated that 6 million people worldwide are descendants of the Cornish tin and copper  miners who emigrated from Cornwall,  England  between 1815 and 1915.  On July 13, 2006,  the mines of Cornwall were declared a UNESCO World Heritage

But how does this relate to our history?.  

The 1866-67 depression in England,  along with plummeting  world prices of tin and copper , created such poverty that the  famous miners of Cornwall were forced to come up with other solutions for work.  As it so happened,  Blairton  in   1872 was experiencing a rebirth with the American development of the Cobourg Peterborough Marmora Railway & Mining Company and the Blairton Iron Mine.

Enter John Laskey Aunger,  a Cornishman working in the Lake Superior Copper Mines in Minnesota, USA.  He was hired by the Blairton Company to manage the mine,  and in 1873 was sent to Cornwall to hire as many miners as he could find.  He returned with 75 Cornish men who made Blairton their home.

Mr. Aunger was a colourful character,  a man of principles,  an efficient mine overseer, a geologist,  a writer,  a politician,  a family man  and certainly a man of opinions


St Agnes Head, Cornwall


Just before the flow of Belmont Lake enters the mouth of the Crowe River,  the waters  used to pass by the  Sylvan Lodge.  The property was owned and operated by C.Roger Young and his wife,  Doris.  Coincidentally, the property next door, "Belmont House", was once part of the Young farm. 
The motel unit was later divided into sections, placed on lots and sold as cottages  along with the cabins.  Others were skidded on the ice and relocated elsewhere on  Belmont Lake and Crowe River and converted to  cottages as well. The Young family retained the lodge as a residence.

Wayne Vanvolkenburg,  who provided these photos,  recalls a local resident telling him that he went to dances at this location.   While probably  a "dry event",   he had a way of circumventing that!



Cathie Jones:  Roger and Doris had two children, Susan and Kent.   Dr. Bob and Lois Shatford, Audree and Glen Wentworth and Grace and Huey Christie all had cottages on this property in the late 50's and 60's...that is where I learned to waterski behind Shatfords wooden boat.  Rene Bourbeau and Jim Cummings used to come over and they all would play bridge...thanks for the memories..


In 1949, Albert J. Maynes and his wife Helen Emerson purchased a large residential lot  in the Marmora business section from Carl Heath. It was their intention to build a new modern theatre on the northern half of the lot. Albert instructed Ira Vesterfelt to tear down the 100 year old wooden framed house sitting in the middle of the lot.

BUT DID YOU KNOW that Mr. Don Ross  also had the intention to build a new theatre too?

It seems the Marmora Herald had an opinion that Mr. Ross took to heart.  As far as we know,  that theatre was never built.

Donald Parker Ross 1909



Malaria? Here? Really?

It is hard to believe that malaria was a problem in Ontario,  but during the early  1800's the disease was rampant.  At the time,  it was not known that malaria (often called ague or fever) was transmitted by mosquitoes.    In fact the common explanation was  "bad air",  hence the name  "Mal-Aria"  due to the many swamps in the area.

 It was not until August of 1897,  that Ronald Ross,  a British officer in the Indian Medical Service, demonstrated that malaria parasites could be transmitted from infected patients to mosquitoes.    Many had suggested that  the  original carriers were soldiers of the Engineer Corp that built the Rideau Canal,   while others have put the blame on the influx of Loyalist coming from the south.  We know now,  of course,  that it was one particular temperate  strain of parasite that could survive the Canadian winter in the bladder of its victim,  and the following spring,  hand over the potion to the next mosquito population.,  making it possible to spread through-out the Province.

In the  first Public health Report of 1882,  much coverage was given to the major outbreak in Madoc,  blaming dams for swamping lands,  dying vegetation,  and the bacteria of sewerage leaking into the surrounding soils. Recommendations to remove dams were not  welcomed by those profiting from the lumber industry requiring higher water levels.  

 Mr. E.D. O'Flynn,  secretary of the Board of health wrote:

"It is said that it is the intention of the Trust and Loan Co. to rebuild the dam  (referring to the Chisholm dam),  which if done and allowed to remain,  will be to invite the return of the Hydra-headed monster,  malaria,  with all its wasting and destroying influences.  As the residents of this village and vicinity have been sorely tried during the past five years by  a disease which like the plaque that passed over ancient Egypt leaving one dead in every house;  and having been severely taxed in doctor's bills,  enfeebled in health and shattered  in constitution,  the Board are of the opinion that it has now assumed such a serious aspect and become so important a matter,  that the Government should deal with it."

The malaria hot spots  in Madoc were spread around Moira Lake and included a pond in the village,  as shown by the black areas in the  1882 map included in the report. (below)

But the report also added "while at Marmora,  up the river in a north and west direction,  with high, dry riverbanks,  malaria appeared some years later than at Madoc,  and again,  at Doloro (sic)  it has this year been as bad as last."   

In 1854 William Minchen ( far right)  suffered fever and ague twice but survived.

Bessie Bramley Pearce (1856-1882) was known as the nicest girl in town.  She was married to the well known warden of the County of Hasting,  Josiah Williams Pearce.    She died of Malarial fever.

And in case you were wondering,  in 2013, a total of 210 confirmed cases of malaria were reported in Ontario in the integrated Public Health Information System.

(Original  text of the 1882 Annual Report of the Department of Health can be reached here.  Just click.)

So where is Barriefield? And what did it mean to Marmora?

It was 1814, before the birth of Sir John A. MacDonald,    when Kingston businessman and politician,  Richard Cartwright, divided part of his own land on the Cataraqui River,   opposite Fort Henry, Kingston,  to create lots for working people principally employed as tradesmen at the Royal Naval Dockyard.  In charge of this naval installation  was Commodore Robert Barrie,  after whom the Village was named.  

In response to the war in 1812,  and with the building of Fort Henry in the 1830's,   activity in the area was increasing,  and Barriefield became a significant pre-confederation Upper Canada Village and a true outpost of the British Empire, complete with nine pubs!  It is such an important piece of local history,  that it was designated as  a Heritage Village,  the first of such designations in Ontario.

With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914,  Barriefield  was established as a military base, known as Barriefield Military Camp,  or Camp Barriefield.  Young soldiers were brought in from all around the area to train,  as noted in the Marmora Herald article (left)  dated June 1, 1916. 

On June 15, 1916,  it was reported in the Marmora Herald that there were  "over 107 cars and vehicles running to camp,  carrying the camp licence,  and these cars take in fares every day which amounts to about $2,000.00.  This means about $60,000.00 a month for car fares to and from the samp, spent by officers and men,  and all this goes into the City of Kingston.  Why,  the car drivers alone could pave the camp road,  and should have been compelled to pay something towards all things necessary to make the camp safe and comfortable."

The Herald further reported that "The Pearce Coompany Ltd. (Marmora)  have shipped a souple of car loads of lumber to Barriefield to be used in putting doors in the tents of the 155th Battalion.  As a result of the wet weather,  the tents are hardly habitable at present."  June 8, 1916

Training Camp - A Charles Bleecker photo

 c.1914  Charles A..Bleecker 2nd from left

1914  Blacksmith shop at Barriefield, 

In 1937,  the training camp (home of the Royal Military College)  expanded to the south of the King's highway,  and in 1966 was renamed the Canadian Forces Base Kingston. (CFB Kingston)

As for Barriefield,  it remains a quaint village  a  with a distinctive building style typically consisting of low profile one-and-a-half storey homes of wood frame or stone construction. Buildings are primarily single detached residences with a few semi-detached or row-type houses. Although many buildings and properties have been altered over time, and new buildings have been added to the Village, the overall nineteenth century rural character of the Village of Barriefield has been retained


Lumber has always been a lucrative business in Canada,  but  by the 1870's,  competition was so fierce that  rivers became crowded with  logs of competing companies.  Identification of logs became a major issue,  and the Dominion of Canada felt it necessary to intervene.

In her article,  "Logging Log Ownership",   Amanda HIl of the Deseronto archives writes:

 "In the days when logs were floated down rivers to be processed, it was important for the lumber companies to reliably identify whose logs were whose. The Timber Marking Act was passed in 1870 and required logging firms in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick to register a unique identifying mark and then to stamp the cut trees with that symbol. Between 1870 and 1990, some 2,200 timber marks were registered. Failure to register and use a timber mark incurred a fine of $50, while wrongly applying a mark to someone else’s logs was also an offence, with a fine of up to $100."
In 1874,  the Ministry of Agriculture published "The Lumberman's Timber Guide, "  to help lumber companies overcome problems of identification.  It included pictures of stamps for all registered lumber companies,  and a complete index.  The preface concluded that  "without a correct book of reference,  much trouble and loss must be sustained from ignorance of the Registered Marks by which the timber and lumber can be identified,  besides incurring the risk f infringing on those already adopted and registered."

.This  hammer’s mark (a six-pointed star) was registered by Deseronto’s H. B. Rathbun & Son on July 18, 1870. 


Lucky for us,   Ron Barrons from "back of Cordova",  donated the  stamp hammer of the  Gilmour Lumber Company,(pictured above)  one of the  major timbering companies of this area,  along with the Rathbun Lumber Company and the Page Lumber Co.  

The Gilmour Lumber Company was widely active in our area and north up to Algonquin Park.  For an excellent site regarding the Gilmour company's Dorset Tramway,  with 128 photos and text,                    click here!

T.P. Pearce & Co.  registered March 4, 1872


One tragic result of the flood in downtown Peterborough in 2004 was the discovery that a large portion of the historical Roy Photographic Studio collection, valued at over $8 million,  lay beneath almost one metre of water. Three generations of the Roy family had documented almost every facet of life in the Peterborough area from 1896 to 1992, making their collective works one of the most important such collections in Peterborough's history.

"FirstOnSite"   (known then as Rosco Group Document Restorations) was called in and 30,000 glass plate and other film negatives, related photographic material, and documents were loaded onto freezer trucks for transport to secured facilities where the complex and delicate restoration work began.  Two years later the job was completed. (Full story click here)

But the Roy Studio also produced hundreds of portraits from private sittings,  one of which was Alan Grant's grandmother,  Jen Hewitt,  of Marmora,  shown here at 18 years old.

Alan Grant is a son of Jack Grant,  about whom we have written on many occasions.

          To see more of the Alan Grant collection,                                        JUST CLICK HERE


Photo below (received from Janet Harper- Long) is another example of a Roy Studio portrait.  This is Mrs.  McKechnie,  wife of Dr. MacKechnie of Marmora.







John Fisher was a reporter and broadcaster in Halifax before joining the CBC as a "roving reporter." From 1943 to 1955, he travelled throughout the country, broadcasting its wonders on "John Fisher Reports," a popular, live, quarter-hour program heard 3 times a week over the national radio network. He called his scripts "pride builders" and was unofficially dubbed 'Mr Canada.'   He once said,  “my talks weren’t meant to be objective. . . they were meant to be favourable. They were ‘pride builders” He travelled the country,  drawing on his own personal experiences,  selling Canada to Canadians.

On one of these trips, in early July of 1951,  Mr. Fisher visited Floyd (Bud) and Rita Loveless in their newly renovated grocery store in the south end of the Dempsey Building on Forsyth St.


The Loveless' had already impressed the post war shoppers with their new modern concept of "self service",  but 1951 saw unheard-of renovations in all areas of the store - a plate glass window across the whole store front,  fluted aluminum trim and black vitrolite tiles around the window.  The new awning had a built-in furler,  and an open refrigerator served the dairy area inside.  And so much more to be proud of,  as John Fisher would have reported.

Bud and Rita Loveless carried on that business until 1979 when they sold to Al and Shirley Montgomery.

You can read more about Rita & Flight Officer Floyd Loveless,  and the history of the store.




Between 1872 and 1887,  two brothers from Hamilton,  Edward and Charles Gurney,  built an iron foundry on the location known today as 500-522 King Street West, Toronto.  In his wonderful website on Toronto history,  Doug Taylor describes the price of progress "as the natural playground was to be buried beneath an enormous industrial complex"  (Click here to link to Doug Taylor's website on Toronto history)

1927(Toronto Archives)

            500-522 King St West today

"Viewing these restored buildings today, it is difficult to imagine them being a part of a bustling, sooty, industrial complex, with hundreds of workers labouring in hot, fetid conditions to tend the furnaces, shovelling coal to keep the fires alive. It was an era when workers possessed few rights. Wages were poor and hours were long, usually nine or ten hours a day, six days a week. Lung disease and work-related illnesses were common."



In March of 1937,  Mr. S.A. Lowe,  owner of the Royal Hotel in Marmora,  decided to make improvements to the hotel,  one of which was a new heating system.  Putting in a call the the Gurney Foundry Company resulted in the delivery of a three and a half ton furnace within 48 hours,  and complete installation within another 24 hours!  For Mr. Lowe it resulted in half the fuel costs.

If anyone has the opportunity to visit the basement of the Royal Hotel,  we'd be interested to know if it is still there!





A visit this week by Jim Chard at the Marmora Historical Foundation resulted in his donation of a Marmora artifact that some would describe as "just a lump of rock".  But close inspection reveals that it represents a moment in time when the life of the Iron Works came to a halt,  never to fire again.  On one side of the specimen are the remnants of the slag from the last firing -  coarse and black,  with still a little iron present,  as our spherical magnet indicates in the photo below (right).  On the other side are some fire bricks,  the only remains we have of the furnace itself. Lucky for us,  Jim knew what he had found.

It was 1821 when Charles Hayes built the massive structures that billowed smoke over the whole village day and night,  siphoning off the metal from the ore.  It was 1824,  when he gave up trying to make the failing project work,  and went back to Ireland.  Several attempts to profit were made thereafter,  and finally in 1856 the operation took its final breath and the great water wheels came to a halt.

Just click here to read more of this story of struggle and defeat.

Click on photo to enlarge

click on photo to enlarge

Who was Charles Edward Goad?

Listed in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography,  Charles Goad was a significant personality in late-19th-century Canada as  a civil engineer and publisher  of, amongst other things,   fire insurance plans.  He produced a staggering number of coloured diagrams of cities and towns  around the world,  including Marmora in 1893!



Fire-insurance plans, which would become Goad’s principal field of endeavour, were diagrammatic maps of urban areas produced for the use of fire-insurance companies. The measured drawings of streets and structures helped insurers determine risk for policies and assess the extent of liability in the event of fire. The plans recorded street names, widths, and numbers; fire-protection facilities; the materials, shape, height, placement, and use of buildings; and the locations of openings, types of stored materials, and areas of high-risk activities on industrial sites. They were originally made as required by insurance companies, but the expense of surveying, other fieldwork, lithography, and stencilling with watercolours, combined with relatively limited demand and the need for frequent revisions because of rapidly changing urban morphology, meant that few copies were produced. (Dictionary of Canadian Biography - Click here for the link)

The above map indicates the placing of stores,  including the hardware and post office on the site of the present BMR gift shop,  and a hotel next door,  one of four hotels drawn on the maps.

Here's to the River Gangs!

A story by Margaret Monk,  written in 1967

During the river driving days,  three companies drove their logs with the same gang of  men all on the one drive, with the logs being sorted out just below the  iron bridge on Beaver Creek, (recently replaced) about a mile north of the village. This was done according to markings: (Rathburn marked with a "star"; Gilmore with a "G". and Pearce, a "P").

The lumbering industry at that time covered only pine, hemlock, spruce and cedar, as  hardwood lumbering did not come into being until later. Hardwood could not be included in the river drive because it would sink, and therefore, portable saw mills were used.

The Thomas P. Pearce Co.

Lumbering was a full year's employment with men going to the bush in October to cut logs, skid them, draw to river or lake. Then as soon as the waters opened, the same men would drive logs to the mills then go into the. mill to help saw them.

The last cook of the Pearce river drive that can be recalled was Bill Rose, father of the late Mrs. Myrtle J ones and Mrs. George Ken.  Walking boss was Jacques Wilkes, father of Mrs. Garth Sabine.

Other mills were operated by William Bonter and Sons, owned originally by the family of the late Louis Briggs and continuing to operate until 1925; and Lynch and Ryan who began operations in 1907 and carried on for 20 years in the northern part of the township and the Coy Mill in Shannick.

Click here for more about the lumbering industry in Marmora

The Coy Mill in   Shannick:  Left to Right - Bob Warren,  Bruce Johnston,  Jack Coy,  Buck Warren, Leo Provost Sr.,  Bob Provost,  Stan Brooks?,  Gary Warren,  Tony,  Vic Provost,  Bob Nobes,  Tom Johnston,  Vic Brooks,  Harold Nobes,  Peter Lucas

Remains of Bonter Saw Mill

Remains of Bonter Saw Mill

Outdoor hockey? Can you imagine!

Story by Gerald Belanger

Around 1895 and for the following fifty years, Marmora had a reputation as one of the most enthusiastic members of the Trent Valley Hockey League (TVHL) in Central Ontario. Before covered arenas made their appearance in the area, crowds would stand around the ice surface, no matter the weather, and nothing seemed to dampen their enthusiasm. The only way to attend games away from home was horse drawn vehicle , cutters or sleighs. Sometimes nearly as many local hockey supporters travelled to Stirling, Madoc or Campbellford as those that would attend the game from the host village.

 Marmora was one of the last villages left in the TVL circuit that did not have a covered arena.   As the opposing TVL teams objected to playing on open rinks,  Marmora  adopted Stirling,   and later  Madoc as their home ice  for games against other teams.  One of the very first outdoor rinks was located on Mr. Donnelly's property. 

 The Marmora Herald,  dated December 30, 1933,  wrote that a new outdoor rink was to be built south of Highway 7 on Matthew Street along the east die of the Crowe River.  On this three acres of flat land,  there would be enough space later to build a softball diamond and a tennis court.  On December 20, 1934,  the Herald wrote:  "This year a few stop logs were removed from the dam and the rink was flooded to a depth of about four inches"

In the summer  of 1941,  Clifford Jones gave permission to the rink committee to build a new outdoor rink on a spare lot located directly behind his restaurant and barber shop on Forsyth Street.  It was felt that the new business section location would alleviate some of the damp and cold that skaters experienced on the rink located so close to the Crowe River.

 Some very early records might be missing but we do know that from approximately 1914-1924,  Thomas Moffatt cared for the outdoor rink only to be replaced by John Finnegan from 1925-1938.   Hugh Young took over from 1939-1942.  John Finnegan returned in 1943.  Hugh Young's salary in 1942,  as rink manager,  was 37.50.  The financial statement for 1942 also showed a net profit of $2.15after expenses.

 Due to the heavy snow fall and lack of frost in the ground,  the rink committee decided not to flood and clear the outdoor ice surface in 1945.  With the cancellation of ice for skaters and outdoor hockey for the 1945/46 season,  committee members became aware of the local people's determination to have an indoor arena in their own home town.

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