What do these five men have in common? Well, true, they are all politicial leaders.
- George Howard Ferguson - ninth Premier of Ontario (Conservative) from 1923 to 1930.
- Robert Keith Rae, is a Canadian lawyer, negotiator, public speaker, and former politician. and 21st Premier of Ontario, from 1990 until 1995.
- 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.
- Sir William Howard Hearst,was the seventh Premier of Ontario from 1914 to 1919
- 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.)