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Founded in 1927, with the end of prohibition in Ontario, Brewers' Retail Inc (The Beer Store) was owned at its inception by a consortium of Ontario-based brewers.( It currently operates as a unique open retail and wholesale system jointly owned by 30 Ontario-based brewers)

Although prohibition had proven to be unsuccessful, the provincial government still needed to placate angry temperance advocates and agreed that beer would be sold through a single network of stores. However, the government did not want to operate this network itself (as was done in some other Canadian provinces), and so permitted brewers to organize the Brewers Warehousing Company Ltd., which later became Brewers Retail/The Beer Store,

It wasn't until 1957 that Marmora had a beer store, and it was not to the pleasure of everyone. The Marmora Herald argued that drinkers will drive anywhere to get their beer, so it might as well be here, resulting in tax revenue and jobs.

So it was, on Feb. 25, 1957 that the Brewers' Warehousing Co. opened the store in the property they had purchased from Walkers South End Motors. With the auto equipment removed, a new cement and tiled floor laid and asphalt outside, a modern store was installed in the southwest corner where the garage office had been, and a cold room built A conveyor belt, a lift truck and an electrically controlled loading ramp added and in the spring, the building was stuccoed.

Its first manager was Frank High (who had been managing a Belleville outlet), followed by Cletus Green in 1968. "Clete", his wife, Thelma, and their twelve year old son, Larry, were from Arnprior, and moved to Deloro for Clete's new job. He had been an employee of the Brewers Retail for 21 years prior to relocating in Marmora. With all his experience in Arnprior as a Town Councillor, hospital boardman, Fire chief, and St. Johon's Ambulance Ottawa Corps Staff Officer, he became a valuable member of our community.



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  • Norm Ellis:  I remember when you had to make out an order from and Joe Doyle would take it to madoc as there was no beer store ...

  • Ken Carroll:  I worked with Cletus for a year or so. He had quite an early life. He was a professional boxer, and travelled north when he was young. This guy was an amazing man and i enjoyed working with him at the beer store .


While writer, Horace Greeley, may have advised young entrepeneurs to head west, Mr. Daniel Dunlay, in 1892, looked east in Marmora, purchasing the property at the south-west corner of Highway 7 and Bursthall Street. There he built a double house and beside it, to the west, he had his blacksmith shop. (He was the same man who built 43 Forsyth and the Dunlay Block at 28 Forsyth , now the parking lot of Nickle's Drugstore, where he ran a carriage trade.)

In 1926, the double house was occupied Mr. Quong Lee's Laundry and in 1937, it seems Mr. G.L. Forrester, who ran a clock and watch repair business, was in the same block The property remained in the family until the late 1940's, when it was sold to Mr. & Mrs. Charles Kelly, who in turn sold it to British Petroleum fourteen years later.

The first agent for British Petroleum was George Lummis, followed by Vic Provost in 1969. The B.P. company tore down the double house on Feb. 9, 1972, to make room for a 20' x 20' storage building and office, built of steel and enclosed by a chain link fence. The business was a whole sale operation for the sale of regular and super gas, oils, diesel oil and lubricants of all kinds to farmers, homeowners, commercial, industrial and construction companies.


In 1983, Petro-Canada acquired BP Canada refineries and service stations, but the Marmora property was decommissioned in 1987. Trying to sell the property, Petrocan was directed to commence a remediation of the site and installation of groundwater monitoring wells. In 2004, a supplementary environmental site assessment was completed, resulting in tons of oil-tainted soil being removed and relocated in the landfill site for a fee.

The site still remains an empty lot.


Celia Murray writes: .Dan is my grandfather! He built the lovely brick house on Forsyth St (#43 )next to the Clairmonts lovely stone house...now a BnB!...that is where my mother, Rita Murray, was born and raised!

Below: The North side of the street. Here we see the July 12th Orangeman’s Parade, heading west on the now #7 Highway, with Charles Dunlay in the lead. The brick building is the O’Neill Building, housing the Hardware store of Joker Jones and Jimmy Potts, which later became the TD bank.

Next right is the Imperial Garage, followed by the Blacksmith shop of Charles Sr. and Eli Clairmont. (All now the TD parking Lot) At the far right, the Clairmont House i visible. This house was later moved North, opposite the Town Hall (11 Bursthall Street)

East of 4 corners North side.JPG


referred to as Car No. 2.  this  is the second of the two “intact”  blairton  ore cars that were pulled from the Trent in 1980 by Parks Canada, with the help of diver  Brian McCrodan.   (Car No 1 mysteriously “disappeared” in 1981, after being re-submerged by Parks Canada near Peterborough.)

In December of 2014,  we had presented the story of the 1881 fatal train crash that had resulted in five  Blairton Ore Cars ending in the river at Trent River.  Our story described the recovery of four of the cars - the work of mining engineer, Arthur Dunn of Ottawa,  diver, Brian McCrodan of Peterborough,  and staff of Parks Canada.  It was a grand event with hopes of an eventual  museum display.

But despite having gone to the trouble of restoring so many of the iron parts, enthusiasm at Parks Canada for the idea of mounting a comprehensive exhibit, telling the story of the ore cars waned.  Ultimately they chose to simply store the artifacts in their Service Centres. 

However,  this week we received the following letter from George Parker,  the expert on the Blairton Ore Cars,  who, along with his team,  created the replica,  which now stands on the shores of Cobourg,  as a tribute:

"I thought you might be interested to know that one of the ore cars is now on display at the Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.  It is being displayed in the same condition as when it was lifted from the water in 1980, except that the wheels have been cleaned up.   So it looks very different than the car we have on display here in Cobourg (which was made with new wood, and some new iron pieces as well).
It is quite appropriate that it should end up there, because Arthur Dunn was involved (as I understand it) in getting that museum started many years ago.   And without Arthur, the cars would probably still be underwater!   I visited the staff recently at the museum in Ottawa, to tell them more about the story of the ore cars, because they didn’t seem to get much information from Parks Canada when the car was handed over to them.  
On the same trip, I demonstrated the mine model at the National Train Museum (Exporail) in Montreal.    I asked the curator there, and he said that they have no intact railway equipment there as old as 1867. 

So it would appear that the ore car is now the oldest railway car in the country! 

George Parker

Famous Actor Influenced by Marmora

Rauff de Ryther Duan Acklom,  known professionally as  David Manners, was an  actor  born  in Halifax, Nova Scotia  on 30 April 1902,  the son of British parents,  Lillian Manners (of Royal descent)  and writer George Moreby Acklom.  

According to his obituary,  after graduation,  David's  jobs included foreman of a lumber camp.  It  has been said that he gained his lumber  experience  with the Pearce Lumber Company in Marmora ,  while enjoying vacations at  Crowe Lake. 

Manners originally studied forestry in 1919 at the University of Toronto, but he found it boring. There, he furthered his interest in theatre by joining the University's Little Theatre at Hart House.  Over his father's objections, he pursued a stage career and appeared in both Broadway and out-of-town productions. He went  to Hollywood at the beginning of the talking films revolution after studying acting with Eva Le Gallienne, even though she had remarked that he was "a very bad actor" after seeing one of his stage performances.  He adopted the stage name David Manners (Manners being his mother’s maiden name) because it was easier for audiences to remember than his own name, and fit on posters better. 

Under Running Laughter(1943), was a best-seller.

After the success of the film, "Dracula", Manners worked for several years as a romantic leading man, and was most often seen in a tuxedo in romantic comedies and light dramas. A lack of interest had Manners eventually abandoning films in 1936 and returning sporadically to the theater.

Most of his later years were spent painting and writing novels,  one of  which was entitled "Under Running Laughter.  The story concerns a young woman,  Brook Sand,  whose fortunes involve her with a strange family who are barons of a small Canadian Mill town the author named "Alexville"  The parallels  with Marmora and the Pearce family are obvious,  and his early life as a lumberman in Marmora  supplied the descriptive details he needed to write the book, with references to the Royal Hotel,  Mill Street,  various stores and even Belleville.

David Manners   died  in Santa Barbara, California 23 December 1998.


What do these five men have in common?  Well,  true,  they are all politicial leaders.

  1.  George Howard Ferguson - ninth Premier of Ontario (Conservative)  from 1923 to 1930.
  2.  Robert Keith Rae,  is a Canadian lawyer, negotiator, public speaker, and former politician. and 21st Premier of Ontario, from 1990 until 1995.
  3. Arthur Meighen  was a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the ninth Prime Minister of Canada,  July 1920 to December 1921 and again from June to September 1926.
  4. Sir William Howard Hearst,was the seventh Premier  of Ontario from 1914 to 1919
  5. Leslie Miscampbell Frost was the 16th Premier from May 4, 1949 to November 8, 1961

SO?,  you ask.......but DID YOU KNOW that all these politicians had reason to come to Marmora?

In 1913  the Royal Hotel was very much the center of local activity. It boasted its three floors and a fine porch. It provided superior accommodations for visiting dignitaries, one of whom was  Prime Minister  of Canada, Arthur Meighen,   whose  pre-WW1 rally cries were heard at our Town Hall.

In  1914,  in an effort to recruit for WW1,  the  "Porter's Peace Picnic" was held on the Fair Grounds and about 5000 people attended.  Sir William Hearst, Premier of Ontario and Hon. T. W. McGarry, Provincial Treasurer were the chief speakers. Reeve R. T. Gray presented the Premier with an address. Marmora, with a population of 900 sent 114 soldiers to the war. Twelve made the supreme sacrifice, one gave his sight, three were amputation cases and five won medals for valor. 

Premier Howard Ferguson personified  Ontario in the 1920s: a mix of 19th-century values and 20th-century ambitions. As premier at the climax of industrialization's first great wave,  he travelled the Province's Town Halls,   encouraging  industry, protected by the tariff, and the development of natural resources. His government tried to create the climate and facilities conducive to private investment in Ontario's forests, mines and factories.

It was 1990 when Provincial  NDP candidate, Bob Rae,   answered the "Take No Trash" committee while campaigning,  and assured an audience at the Town Hall that Toronto's garbage would not be dumped at the Marmoraton Mine.  He subsequently became Premier.

And in 1952,  Leslie Frost visited Marmora for the  official opening of the Marmoraton Mine. He raised a red flag to signal the lighting of five thousand pounds of dynamite and the detonation was audible for thirty miles in every direction. He later  gave a speech at the Plaza Theatre.  

(Click on any words printed in blue to read more of Marmora History.)








Marmora c.1910 600dp.JPG

It was an exciting day recently when we came into possession of the above post card,  which we believe to be the oldest postcard we have of the east side of Forsyth Street.   Most interesting of all, however,  is that it includes the  only photo we have of the "Central Hotel",  the white building located just to the right of the horse and sled.


Well, taking a look at each of the buidings from right to left,  we see the Dominion Bank,  known to have moved into the O'Neil building in 1908.  Next door,  in the location of the Nickle's Pharmacy parking lot,  stood J.S. Morton's Drug Store,  which we know had vacated by 1914. That same year,  Phillip Marshall Sopha's livery business (see in this photo) was also replaced.  (The yellow building possibly  dates back to 1848 and still stands today as Cook's barber shop.)    

Heading further north,  we know the  white Central Hotel, located between the two large brick buildings,  and the Marrin's Drug Store above the driver's head, both burned down in the fire of 1914,  along with the third floor of the Royal Hotel,  as seen in the photo above the horse's head.

So far,  then,  the date of our post card can be placed between 1908 and 1914.  But looking into the history of the publisher,  Pugh Manufacturing Ltd. of Toronto,  we find  it was  between 1907 and 1912,   that they were  most actively producing postcards sent to them by the drugstores and general stores of small towns.  That places our picture, then,  between 1908 and 1912.  Taking an average,  we'll say CIRCA 1910!

Above:  Mr. Goad's  1893 map of the buildings on  East Forsyth Street,  indicating the Central Hotel lying adjacent to Shannon's  Hardware to the south,  unlike it's replacement, the brick building at 16 Forsyth,  now Savelle's Hairdressing Salon,  attached to the Marett building to the north,  now known as Possibilities.

Making Connections Results in Treasure

We take pride in keeping Marmora's history alive,  but one of the great benefits of our website is the connections that are made amongst our readers.

As a  result  of reading our feature on the Gilmour lumber company,  John Allore contacted us to let us know he had prepared a podcast on the subject,  which we posted.  Shortly thereafter we received the following letter from Mr. Allore:

"I love it when life happens like this:     A treasure I've long sought is photographic proof that my great-grandfather worked for Gilmour & Co.  I have family stories, but no evidence.

Within 48 hrs the following occurs: 

  1. I publish a podcast on Gilmour. 
  2. You put it on your website.   
  3. Someone in the Trent region listens to it, contacts me, and sends me a series of Gilmour photos.   
  4.  I scan through this train photo (attached), and there on the top of the train is my great-grandfather, Edward "The Boss" Allore.

Just amazing,  John Allore"

Then we got the rest of the story. 

"My best guess it that that photo was taken at Mowat / Canoe Lake (Location of the famous story of the death of Tommy Thomson) between 1897-1899.  My great uncle Wilfred was born in the bush in Mowat in 1899, so the family would have been there. Edward came to Trenton from Trois Rivieres in 1881 to work at Gilmour. (article at right) He started as a logger, then culler (sorter and grader) and finally worked as a head foreman. His wife, Mary Cormier was also at Mowat, cleaning bunkhouses and preparing meals.

When Gilmour went down hill, Edward started the Allore  Lumber in Trenton in 1903.  The company was sold to Beaver lumber in 1979.

Edward Allore, Gilmour Company - Copy.jpg

Click here if you'd like to hear John Allore's Podcast

"Reel" Time in Marmora


When it came  to motion pictures,  Marmora was not going to get caught standing still.  In April  of 1919,  the Marmora, Deloro, & District branch of the  G.W.V.A  (Great War Veterans Association,  predeceasor of the Legion) ordered the most up-to-date motion picture machine on the market at the time.  It was manufactured by the Motiograph Co. of Chicago,  and boasted having all the modern improvements - motor driven reels for a clear steady picture,  clear lenses and using considerable less electrical current.

The "Motiograph", first sold in 1908,   was the improvement of the "Optigraph".  The Optigraph was invented by Alvah Roebuck of Sears-Roebuck fame commencing in 1896. Roebuck set up the Enterprise Optical Company in Chicago the year before and continued to produce Optigraphs until about 1911. The company eventually became  the Motiograph Co.   

For more on music and entertainment,  CLICK HERE

The Marmora Postcard Collection

Post card collecting is one of three of the biggest hobbies world wide,  equal to  stamp and coin  collecting. Their popularity is explained by the wide range of subjects they cover,  but mostly because history itself can be tracked in postcards.

The pioneer era of post cards in Canaada  began on June 1, 1871,  when Canada issued a prestamped,  pictureless post card.  It was called a postal stationery card and was sold for one cent,  which included the card and delivery anywhere in the Dominion.  It allowed for messages on the back and only the address on the front.

The government had allowed small designs on the address side by 1897,  but in 1898,  the private mailing card was invented,  with only the address on the stamp side and a picture and message on the back.  It was not until December 1903 that the Official Postal Guide allowed a divided card with a message on the address side  and a photo or  illustration on the reverse. 


If you have local postcards at home,  consider sending us a copy to expand our  collection.  CLICK HERE

To view the Historical Foundation's Postcard Collection,      CLICK HERE

The Gilmour Dynasty

Most people in Marmora,  when asked to think of Gilmour,  will conjure up images of exhausted sled dog teams taking a rest by the big bonfire at the Village of Gilmour,  a mandatory check point on the 150 mile Marmora Long Distance Challenge.  

But did you know  the origins of the village are rooted in the logging camps of the infamous Gilmour Company,  a family-owned industry that swept through Lower and Upper Canada,  cutting timber over thousands of acres,  feeding the the appetite of the shipping industry,  the construction industry and later the pulp and paper industry.  From Trenton,  foremen were sent out all through the Marmora, Madoc & Tweed areas,  and on to the Kawarthas,  Algonquin Park and  up to Madawaska, to supply and monitor the logging camps.

Video by Sean Scally of Trenton

After an inquiry by film-maker Sean Scally of Trenton,  we checked out the story of this  vast company only to discover it is worthy of  PHD thesis.  It is a family story starting in Scotland with Allan Gilmour (1775-1849) and members of  his mother's family, who formed the Pollack, Gilmour Co. of Glasgow and  supplied  the old country with ships and timbers. 

Placing his bets on the new world,  Allan sent out his brother, James (1782-1858) to widen the shipbuilding business , opening the Gilmour Rankin Co. in Miramachi..  Hoping  to soon retire,  he looked to his nephews to work on expansion- -William Ritchie & Co in Montreal,  Allan of Shott  (1816-1895) with the Gilmour & Co. in Ottawa, James in Montreal,   and Allan Jr. with the Allan Gilmour & Co., Quebec.  

What followed was a long history of family wranglings,  with  new  family partnerships and takeovers in response to retirements,  suicides  and deaths.  But in the end,  David Gilmour (1850-1920) who headed the Trenton operations,   left  for greener pastures in Buffalo in 1905, with the final closure  of the  Trenton mills in 1910.  It burned down in 1911.  The remaining  vasts assets of the company in Ottawa, in the hands of David's brother, John (1849-1212) ,  were sold off in 1921 to Gatineau Co., a division of Riordan Co. of Montreal,  whose main interest was pulp and paper.

You can read the  Trenton story  of "The Gilmour Influence"  by  Andrew McDonald.


The Naming of Paudash Lake

Before reaching Marmora,  the Crowe River will pass through three counties.  The river begins at Paudash Lake and exits southeast out of the lake under Ontario Highway 28 and over Paudash Lake Dam at the settlement of Paudash in Faraday Township, Hastings County. 

The lake was named in honour of the Indian chief,  George Paudash  member of the Chippewa (Ojibwa) Indians of the Hiawatha Reserve of Rice Lake and  last hereditary Chief of the tribe of Mississaugas situate there.  Each summer,  George Paudash   and his followers travelled up the Crowe Valley's waterways,  and frquented the area as their summer hunting-fishing territory.  Remains of their camps were found on Joe's Bay,  Wolfe Point and Old Portage.  As with the Eels Lake and Jacks Lake south of Paudash, it was the practice of early settlers - when the Indian presence still had strength - to name lakes after the apparent dominant Indian clan or extended family patriarch or chief. Jack's Lake was named after Jack Cow and Eels Lake after Eel Cow. It follows that settlers experienced the visits now and then of the Paudash family at Paudash Lake and that was how the name was established.

The name,  Paudash,  itself suggests the abundance of wildlife in those days,  "Paudash being the Chippewan word for "crane",  a symbol which dominates the Petroglyphs of Stoney Lake.

For more on the Crowe River,  CLICK HERE

Farming the Old Way

Ted Barrons standing on the threshing machine on left.  He was the brother of George Barrons and moved to Saskatchewan  in 1905.

Written in 1996 by Charles Barrons

Many settlers raised cattle and pigs;  the cattle mainly for the milk and the pigs for their pork.  Pork was preserved in a barrel with lots of salt.  When it was cooked,  it was put in an iron kettle and slowly boiled to remove the salt.  After it had boiled for a length of time,  the salty water was removed and the pork covered with pure water once again,  and allowed to finish cooking.

Settlers grew their own vegetables.  They were stored in a shallow hole in the ground,  covered with straw and dirt for later use,  and to provide seed for next year.  Some built root cellars of log or stone.

The flail

All work,  from clearing the land to harvesting, was done by hand.  The hay was cut with a scythe and raked by hand.  The grain was  sowed by hand and sometimes covered with a drag made of brush.  When the grain ripened,  it was cut with a cradle,  hand raked into sheaves and tied with a band made of the grain stalks,  and stacked.  It was then taken to the barn and thrashed with a flail.  This knocked the kernels of grain off the stalks.  The wind would then separate the grain  by blowing away the chaff.

The cradle used for reaping until mid 1800s

The invention of the threshing machine made harvesting of grain considerable easier.  It was powered with horses on what was called a "horse power"  with horses going around on long arms to turn the capsule,  which went to the machine with tumbling roads.  Usually four teams of horses were on it.  The sheaves of grain were fed into the open cylinder by hand after the bands had been cut .  The threshing machine separated the grain from the straw (which was usually stacked and used later as bedding for the farm animals).

Next came the steam engine which provided power for the threshing machines.  The engine was moved by horses from one job to another.  Water had to be drawn using teams hooked to a wagon.  Then came the more modern steam engine which moved under its own power.  The threshing machine had a self feeder and a blower.  This was followed up by a tractor for power. 


The most modern machine was the combine, some pulled by tractors,  others self propelled.  This meant that the sheaves of grain no longer had to be drawn to the barn to be harvested.  It was,  instead,  harvested in the field where it grew.  The kernels of grain were collected in a bin,  which was periodically emptied into a tank,  taken to the storage area and unloaded.



Ronald Barrons :  Threshing time was a great time when we would move from farm to farm. It allowed that we might know our neighbours in a working environment and appreciate them in ways that differed completely with chance meetings on other occasions. With those from Vansickle, who came to our community, this was especially enjoyable. And in return, I got to see their farms, that I would not otherwise see.    Mostly, my job was carrying the grain from the machine to the grainery (32 pounds per bushel) and might total four or five hundred bushels or more a day. It also involved the eating of a lot of dust thrown out by the thresher. Anyways, memories I cherish.

Chris McKee I remember going to farms with Charlie to thresh grain. he would hook up "big Bertha" his Case L to his thresher and a way we would go with me sitting on the fender.    The man on the left is Charlie Campion, my grandfather, wonder if that is his thresher as he did custom threshing for folks.

John Reynolds On my grandparents farm I was pretty small at the time. I remember stooking sheaves in the field. When the threshing gang arrived the meals seemed like a feast every day. When they were finished we would all head to the neighbours and do their crop. Fond memories, but hard work.

Bootlegging, Cordova Style

Cordova Mines has always prided itself on its successful mining and  its wide variety of community facilities - two churches, a first class school,  general stores (one owned by the mining company)  a post office,  butcher shops,  drug store,  bakery,  refreshment parlor,  livery stable,  Orange Hall,  shoe repair,  photographic gallery and a large company boarding house.

But that was not enough for "One-Armed Maloney",  who was trying to cope during the prohibition years.   With no saloon in town,  and plenty of thirsty miners,   John Maloney,  according to one newspaper article (no date),  found a cunning,  profitable career, avoiding the strong arm of the law.

The plug.jpg

"There is a building on skids beside the boundary line road (Vansickle Road) with "Jim Dandy" stamped clearly over the door,  but it is known as the "PLUG" where strong spirits are sold. (Real Whiskey),"  

"How the authorities in Havelock (Peterborough County)   get wind of this is a mystery.  They start for Cordova by horse and buggy, or democrat.  Word is received at the "Plug" via the grapevine that the authorities are on their way.  When they arrive,  the building is across the road in Hastings County.  Same thing happens when the Marmora authorities arrive."

For more on Cordova,  CLICK HERE.


One of the pleasures of spending time at the Historical Foundation is handling actual letters once held by someone of a different era,  voicing the concerns and stresses of the long gone writer. (Given the popularity of electronic communication,  this may be an experience that future historical societies will not be able to offer.) 

While filing away mystery documents  at the Historical Foundation,  we recently came across the following:

Dec 5,  Marmora  
Dear Sir
in ancer to your letter i am sorry to have you wating so long to tell you the plane reson. i have een sick and my husban has been out of job and i expet money this week and i will send it soon.  i have nothing to sell nothing, but the haush(?)
i am willing to pay and will  pay you for wating.  the ded mans words was to me that the essence of time did not matter as long as he was sure of it,  but i hope you will be kind enuf to wate for a little while and I will send it to you.                              I remain yours truly,  Mrs. Thrall

So who was this Mrs. Thrall who seemed to have hit hard times?

Well,  after a little research,  the only Mrs. Thrall we found in our area was Diana Houghton,  (daughter of William Houghton and Lucinda McMurray),   who married Harlan Page Thrall in Marmora on April 19, 1886.  He was a contractor, born in 1841,    the son of Simon Thrall and Lydia,  who had emigrated from the U.S.   He died in Marmora in 1902.

Diana Houghton (also spelled Haughton)   and Harlan Page had a daughter,  Lydia Thrall born in 1887 in Marmora,  who married Matthew Drummond,  a sailor on the Great Lakes.  It was a short marriage though,  as sadly,  Matthew died at the age of 28,  in 1909,  of consumption,  in the house of his mother-in-law,  Diana Houghton Thrall,  who by then was living on Peterborough Street,  in Norwood.

Was Matthew Drummond related to our modern Drummonds in Marmora?  Probably not.  Matthew's parents came from Ireland.  The Drummonds of "Drummonds Building Supplies in Marmora originated in Scotland.    But that's another story!

Back to the drawing board to find more answers.  In the meantime, though,  if you need to know more,   you can click below for family trees.

                                    Deborah Glover added:  


Also Diana Thrall and Hiram Page Thrall had another daughter,  Frances Victoria Thrall,  who married my maternal grandfather, William Walter Thomson. They had one child by this marriage. Francis Thomson.

Frances Victoria Thrall was a model for the Hershey's Chocolate Factory in Perth, Ontario, Canada before she married my maternal grandfather. Her photo is also in the museum.

Frances Victoria Thrall's father Hiram Thrall was killed in the Crow's Nest Explosion in British Columbia



cranbrook Herald           1905-04-27

Bridge Over the Beaver Creek


The iron bridge crossing Beaver Creek 9 miles north of Marmora and generally called the Shanick bridge, was erected in the summer of 1912. It came in pieces to the Marmora railway station, was hauled to the site by teams and wagons belonging to Gillam and Murphy and assembled on the spot. Mr. Ed O'Connor. recalls that Arthur Murphy used a team of Mr. O'Connor's to haul sand and gravel during the construction. On the first river drive in the spring of 1913, the logs jammed at the bridge and it was later raised three feet. At that time Shanick was a thriving farming community of 40-50 families. The bridge is still solid in spite of its age but in dire need of repairs and a paint job.


The Norway-Deloro-Chile Connection

What do Norway,  Deloro and Chuquicmata, Chile have in common?

The answer is a young chemist,  hired from Norway,  by the Deloro Mining and Reduction Company, to act as a mill superintendent at the Deloro site.  Thormod Melvaer arrived in Deloro some time in the first decade of the 1900's.  With his wife,  Agnes Torvick,  they settled into family life,  with a daughter,  Agnes,  being born on July 1, 1912,  delivered by our very own Dr. Thomson.

By 1915,  we find Thormod was appointed a chemist at the Chuquicamata Mine,  one of the largest open pit copper mines and the second deepest open-pit mine in the world,  located 1,650km north of Santiago, Chile. The mine,  still operating, popularly known as Chuqui, has been operating since 1910.  There too,  Thormod patented his own process of copper extraction.

Thormod died in 1916,  and his grandson,  Harald Wentzel of Finland,  sent us two photos of the funeral,  along with the photo of his tombstone,   near the Chuquicamata Mine in Chile where he is buried.

But,  our story continues.....

Thormod Melvaer was accompanied in Deloro by his brothers,  Einar (foreman) and Finn (chemist).  Like Thormod,  Einar,  whose wifewas Agnes Andersen,  had a daughter, Solveig,   born in 1912 inDeloro,  this time delivered by Dr. MacKechnie,   It seems, however,  that Einar and his familyreturned to Norway.

Finn Melvaer, however,   with his wife,  Gertrude Berg,  accompanied Thormod to Chile, where two of their three children were born.  In 1924 he returned to Deloro and continued to enjoy life in the Marmora area,  becoming great friends with the Barlow family. (Clinton Barlow was head chemist in Deloro) Finn died in 1949 and is buried in Fergus, Ontario,  as is his wife, Gertrude, daughter, Mildred and son, Odin.

Their children,  Thorunn, Mildred and Odin,   attended Albert College in Belleville when the Melvaers returned to Chile,  and stayed with the Barlows during holidays. 

Thorunn married Fred  Beatty ( from the Beatty family that made washing machines )  They had 4 children Nancy, Carol, David and Tom.. Nancy was is an actress and was in many CBC TV shows..David was a professor at Trent University in Peterborough,  Ontario Canada    They owned a cottage on High Shore Road,  Crowe Lake 

For Ann Barlow's photos of Finn Melvaer and his family,  see "Your Gallery" - Ann Barlow Giddings  Click here

Agnes Melvaer,  daughter of Thormod,  sitting in the chair,  with siblings,  Ottar, Dagny, Magnhild, Eldrid 

Chuquicamata open-pit copper mine, Chile.



In 1909,  this picture was not only  an inspiration for creative writing in the "School and Home"  Magazine,  but was also used by the Marmora Fair Board to advertise.  But what is the origin of the painting? 

A little research  pointed us in the right direction,  where we found it was an oil painting by Marie Mizzie Wunsch,  a painter, born on 17 July 1862 in Gersthof (Weinhaus) in Vienna,   and  well known for her portraits of children.  She studied in Austria and Venice,  Italy,  but suffered poor health and died at the age of 36,  in 1898.  

The Original title of the work was "Affectionate Admonishment".  However,   the painting is also known as "The Conspiritors", "Haensel & Gretel", "Ein Geheimnis" or "Shared Secret".

Below:  More works by Marie Mizzie Wunsch

For more on the history of the Marmora Fair,



 Sept 1, 2 and 3, 2017


In 1890,  Charles Havelock Taylor (1859-1953),  a self taught engineer and geologist,  was working for the Canada Consolidated Gold Mine Company that was mining the Gatling Mine in Deloro.  He had previously proven his entrepreneurial talent in Bridgewater (now Actinolite north of Tweed)  as he wrote for a Royal Commission on mining:

" I have been working the actinolite mills at Bridgewater. I put up the works there, and I have three patents on the process, one for breaking the stone, one for pulverising, and the other for a composition for roofing."
C.H. Taylor, Prospector, iner, inventor.jpg

In Deloro,  however,  he worked to  improve the output of gold,  proving again his talent.  He wrote of the gold in Deloro:

"We are at present taking the gold out of the tailings of the Consolidated mine by amalgamation. Our process is a simple one and is not patented ; it simply consists in using a sodium amalgam. With our mercury flowers,  we use a copper amalgam. I do not think we get all the gold. In every ton we put through I think we leave $35 or $30; if assayed it will show that. By the first process the company adopted I do not think they got more than $7 or $8 a ton of concentrates, though it assayed from $60 to $70 to the ton..........In a building 40 feet square I can do twice as much as they can do with all their works at Deloro, which cover half an acre."

But Mr. Taylor's most ingenius idea came to him while working a dam in Quebec in 1895.  He noticed  water flowing over the spillway created air bubbles that became trapped under ice sheets at the bottom of the dam. The trapped air was compressed in the same way as air in a bicycle tire, causing the ice to bulge upward. And as an engineer, Taylor immediately realized the compressed air had the potential to be used as a power source.

And so was born the Taylor Air Compressor -  a system that required no electricity and has no moving parts. Set it up, let the river run through, and the system provides a perpetual source of air power.  


The first plant to be built was in a cotton mill in  Magog, Quebec followed by one in Ainsworth B.C..  But the most significant example of the Taylor  Air Compressor in Ontario is that installed by Order of the Dominion of Canadain the Peterborough hydraulic Lift Lock in 1899 where  the natural gravity fall of water powered the lock's internal machinery.

For more on Charles Taylor, written by his great- grandson,  Robert Hawkins,  CLICK HERE

Note:  In 1880, Charles Havelock Taylor,  while living in Montreal, met and married Helen Maria Pye (born 1866; died 1929). Helen bore Charles  three children:-  Eva born 1883; died 1962 ,  Arthur Havelock born 1894; died 1964 and Helen born 189?; died 1921.    In 1911,  Charles married Gertude Mabel Morgan,  and had 5 children together, Sylvia born 1915, Charles Havelock (Bud) born 19??, Phyllis born 19?? ; died 1941, Roy born 19?? and Ray born 19?? (deceased).
Robert Hawkins wrote:  I am a product of the first family  and have the Cobalt Daily Nugget from 1910 as well as hundreds of family photos taken in the late 1890's through to the 1930's. I have little or no history after 1910.    Joan (of the second family)   and Terry Mandzy of Madoc  have that data.

Terry Mandzy (Husband of Helen Taylor of the second family)  added more to our story.

 CLICK HERE for download


Trinity Anglican Church

Marmora Township  1897-1947                                                                                          Information supplied by Fred and Dorothy McGibbon,  and Mabel Clarke

On December 14th,  1897,  James Bailey and his wife,  Isabella Bailey,  donated land on the north west corner of the intersection of Centre Line Road and Beaver Creek  Road,  being  an acre and a quarter for a new church representing the Church of England.  Local residents in the Beaver Creek area felt the six miles to town was too long a walk for church.

Mabel Clarke remembered her mother telling her that William (or James) and David McCoy hauled the brick from Belleville on overnight trips by horse and wagon.  The congregation,  which  included the Derrys,  Loughs,  Downards,  Baileys and McCoys,   shared the services of the rector of St. Paul's Anglican Church,  Marmora.   The organist was Anne Bailey,  later the wife of John Langman.  She died in 1995.   

Lasting only 50 years,  the congregation  gradually dwindled in number until it was no longer feasible to keep it going.  According to Mabel,  Meg Downard and John Cochrane were the last members to work on keeping it open.

The Canons of the Anglican Church forbid the use of a closed church building for anything else,  and consequently contracted Mike Bobyk to tear it down.  He later used the bricks to build the house at 28 Main Street,  in the Village of Marmora.  The land was sold to Fred McGibbon for $20.00,  plus $3.00 for the deed.

Fred McGibbon described the church as an attractive red brick,  with rafters 28 feet long and the interior was completed with birch tonque and groove lumber.  The doors faced south to the Beaver Creek Road and the property was fenced erected by the McGibbons.

Fred,  with the help of Herb Bonter and Sid Snider,   built his house on the old foundation of the church,  however,  the church extended 12 feet  further west than his house.  It was later sold to his daughter,  Anne and her (unnamed) husband.

The records of the church are kept at theoffice of the Diocese in Kingston but are mixed in with those of  St. Paul's  Anglican Church of Marmora

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.