Our family lived in Cordova Mines from 1943-1947 when my Dad was the Pastor of the Free Methodist Church. I started Public School there and was pleasantly surprised to find the pics of my sister Lois and I in the group pics. We lived in the parsonage beside Barrons' Store. My siblings Lois, James (Jim),and Eunice moved there and Willie, John and Esther were born in the parsonage. I have many, many fond memories of our years there, in spite of having no electricity, no refrigerator, no indoor plumbing and no tap water, We did have an ice box and a cistern and a gas engine on the washing machine!!! How parents managed to raise families in those war time years would boggle the minds of young people today! We were blessed to have a roof over our heads, a good bed to sleep in, food in our tummies and most of all great neighbours and friends.
Artist and former owner of Glen allan Park, Elizabeth Berry, sent along the following memories:
"Attached are a couple of my works from the 70's. At the time and before we became environ-mentally aware, kids used to catch frogs for the summer frog race at Glen Allan Park. Often it was the height of their stay as they spent up to a week looking for one. Moms were never far away and sometimes took them out in a boat or canoe and when the children caught a big frog in the net and tossed him in the boat, mom would shriek and jump out. There were, of course, strict rules. No excessive handling or touching the frog and all were carefully watched as they had to go back into the water they came from. Some summers there was a party afterwards with hot dogs in the rec hall. The winners got a trophy and ribbons but all kids got some kind of treat. Then it was rest time before the evening hayride with Charlie Crowe.
The second picture is the spring animals that are still there and being used. Dan and I bought them in 1976 from Paris Playground Equipment and it drained our bank account that year. They have provided thousands of hours of fun for kids (and a few adults), while parents lounged beside them on the beach.
My name is Anne-Mae Archer; my family moved from Toronto to Marmora in July of 1947. I was 1 ½ years old. The story began during WWII. My dad, Charles Archer, was stationed in Holland in 1945 where he met and married my mother Annette van den Berg. I was born in Holland on February 9th, 1946 and came to Canada on the Queen Mary in August 1946.
Charles Archer was looking for a career and a home for his growing family. They had been renting in different rooming houses in Toronto. I don’t know how Charlie found out about an auction in Marmora, but he purchased the taxi and trucking business from the estate of the late William Sanderson and started running the business June 9th 1947. Mrs Annette Archer and their two daughters, Anne-Mae and Mari-Lou, joined Charlie in Marmora in July of 1947.
As the house was large, Charles and Annette rented part of it to Mr and Mrs Lorne Gawley and their two daughters. Mrs Gawley was also a Dutch War bride. My parents thought that the house was haunted; there was a set of stairs at the back of the house going to the second floor which was closed and locked at night. It was a hook and eye type lock and every morning when Annette checked, the door was unlocked.
Charles and Annette met and became good friends of Tom and Bessie McCann well known residents of Marmora. They became my god parents. I recall, when I was a little older, I picked up the phone and a female voice said hello and I said Bessie? The operator at the other end knew who Bessie was and put me through. My mother came into the room and found me talking to Bessie, but she had not heard the phone ring. Bessie said “you called me”. I do remember their store in Malone, part of which was a post office and under no circumstances could we go behind that counter.
My sister, Mari-Lou was baptised on November 2nd, 1947 by Rev. E.M. Cadigan at St. Andrews United Church, at the same time Mr and Mrs Lorne Gawley also had their daughter, Shirley Marie, baptised. In 1948 I needed my tonsils removed; the closest hospital was in Belleville. There was a young new doctor in town, Dr. Donovan. My mother told me that Dr. Donovan removed my tonsils in his office and my mother was assisting with the anaesthetic.
Living on the main street at 19 Forsyth St we were next door to the Texaco Gas Station. My sister and I used to sneak over there when no one was looking; the men at the gas station would give us a nickel. When I think about it now it was a very dangerous thing to do, two little girls wandering around where cars pulled in to get gas.
In August of 1949 both my sister and I contracted polio and were sent to Toronto to the Thistletown hospital, and then later to Sick Children’s hospital. It was a hard time for Charlie and Annette being separated from their small children. Because of the distance they could only visit once in a while. I was in the hospital for six months and Mari-Lou was in the hospital a year and three months.
Charlie had trouble making a go of the taxi business and had to sell the property and move to Madoc. The house was eventually torn down and the Plaza Theatre was erected on the site.
After Madoc we moved to Deseronto. Then in 1952 Charlie built a small house outside of Marmora on the rocks, west of Crowe River and on the highway. We had no running water because of the rocks. By then I was in grade one and took the bus to school everyday. I do remember that to catch the bus I needed to cross the highway. If I saw a vehicle coming in either direction I would not cross the road. The highway wasn’t as busy then as it would be today.
Finally in May of 1953 our family moved to Orillia, where Charlie’s mother and older sister lived. At that point my mother put her foot down and said we are not moving again. We needed a family doctor and lucky for us Dr. Donovan had already moved to Orillia and became our family doctor.
In the early 1980’s my husband and I were travelling in eastern Ontario and on the spur of the moment we decided to stop at Marmora and visit Bessie. We stopped at a phone booth in town, I was going to look up Bessie’s number and call her to get directions to her house. The phone book had been ripped out of the booth. I noticed the local post office just down the street and thought I would take a chance and ask in there for directions. The postal employee was very helpful, knew who Bessie was and gave us directions to her house.
Just a note of thanks to the Marmora Historical Society, I did not know the name of the street we lived on until I found your site. All correspondence only said Mrs. C Archer, Marmora, Ontario Canada.
ALLAN STACEY from Chelmsford writes:
A lot of us who travel the back roads often wonder about the stories of those who lived in houses such the Ellis and the Seabreeze houses pictured in the stories below. I notice the name Ellis.
I went to the Provincial Institute of Mining, at Haileybury and boarded with Jim Ellis, son of William "Bill" Ellis, who at the time, 1962-63, was Mayor of the, then, city of Sudbury. Local historian, Gary Peck, inter-viewed Mr. Ellis as part of a Sunday radio series on local folks. Mr. Ellis told Mr. Peck that he was born in Marmora on March 19, 1914, married a Marmora girl, (Bertrand?) moved around at various jobs and eventually ended up in Sudbury where he worked for the International Nickel Company (Inco - now Vale). Click here for is full interview
Looking forward to more "house" stories.
Believe it or not I grew up in this home and so did my Mom and her Family. This house was no mansion by any sense of the imagination but when my parents sold the house it was still livable. I have many fond memories of this house from Saturday night guitar and fiddle playing, pulling out of the driveway after freezing rain and sliding to the bottom of the hill eyes wide and white knuckling the steering wheel. Snow so deep you couldn't see the farmers fences and playing hockey at the outdoor rink in Cordova,
swimming at the deer river bridge and partying at Scott's Dam until the wee hours, sneaking in after hoping we didn't get caught which we always did but my parents were cool.I now have my own family, home and now making new memories but I will never forget where I'm from my roots and my home.
From website : http://jermalism.blogspot.ca/2012/02/abandonment-issues-cordova-mines.html
This house pictured once belonged to my Great Aunt Evelyn and Great Uncle Don Ellis. (My grandfather's brother). They lived in New York State and would come spend summers at The White House, or the Screen House(to the west and at the top of the hill - long since fallen down) or at the cottage at the lake. That cottage was struck by lightning and burned to the ground when there was no storm.
We would walk from our cottage on the lake to go see them and enjoy a treat of cookies and lemonade while my aunt played or painted and my uncle told stories of growing up there. The Ellis' were early inhabitants of this beautiful piece of Canada.
The White House and the black and white log cabin on Vansickle Rd. belonged to his parents. Lots of memories at The White House that is slowly being reclaimed by the earth. My cousins still own the land but as they live in the states it's become a part of our family history.
Written July 10, 2014
Written in 1965 by 87 year old Mrs .Gertrude Caverly of Marmora Township
"In 1860 our roads were rough and in spring very muddy. The long swamp, one mile and a half long was only a corduroy road. My mother-in-law, when she had to cross it, would prefer to walk and carry her baby rather than ride over such a rough road. Our neighbours were Campions, Wells, Airharts, McIlwains, Cooks, Dwiers, Maloneys, Inksters and Hamiltons.
Most of the work on the farm they used oxen on a plow or a' stone boat. One time a family wanted groceries so hitched a team of oxen to a wagon and the lady rode behind and the man in front with a long whip and a line to goad the oxen.
We were the only ones had a potash kettle and they often got it to butcher their hogs., My father-in-law and a neighbour once wanted to make potash (the water-soluble part of the ash formed by burning plant material; used for making soap, glass and fertilizer)
They cut several trees, piled and burned them, put the ashes in a salt barrel and poured on water; saved this and boiled it down until the kettle was red and then they had potash, which was sent away for some cash to a soap company.
Money was scarce, so each one tried some way to have cash. Women would go to the forest for wild berries and dry them. Some men would trap for furs, hunt for deer or fish for food. My father moved north of Cordova, now from near Campbellford, to a forest of 200 acres. He built and cut a clearing for a home and today, it is a very nice tract of land. The neighbours there were Russels, Wiggins, Cars, Allens, Breakenridge, Minihans. Maloneys, Wannamakers, Crippens, Caverleys and McConnels.
Once our P.O. was Wariston but now it is Cordova and most of this land around here was crown land and at that time it had to be occupied for a few years before a crown deed was got out.The only farms remaining in this settlement over 100 years still are occupied by the older people, ancestors, and carrying the same name, such as the old Caverly home, a few more miles down the way.
When we first moved there I got very lonely and ran away over two miles before they caught me. I hated it so bad. This Cordova was a gold mine and it made lots of work and many came for miles to work there.
I managed the P.O. myself and, as these miners sent money to their homes, we had no trouble with it. Our mail came from Blairton to Wariston then on north toVansickle P.O. There was a small store near Cook's corner and a there was a cheese factorynear. there too.
North of Pleasant Corners Community, back on what we call the common, were two families settled by the name of Couch and McInroy. They made their living by burning potash and selling it for making soap: It was sent to a soap factory. Finally Mr. Couch took very sick and sent out to Pleasant Corners community for a couple of men to go in and make his will. Mr. James Hensy and Mr. Mills Caverly went and all he had to will was a pig and a dog and he wanted his wife to have them, so they made his will and everyone was satisfied.
For a time we had no well, so Mr. Wiggins drew and brought some water to mother in her wooden churn. Mother baked his bread for years and each time he gave her one loaf of bread for her work, as his wife was very ill.
My news are almost ended as I am nearly 87 years. I think I wrote plenty. Good night ...."
Mrs. Gertrude Hay Caverly.
We had to walk over two miles to school called Cook's school. I passed for my last there when I was 13 years old, then went to Stirling High School - took two years work in one year. But been a farm woman the rest of the time. When I was 10 years old on coming from school, I had to cross a creek and the water was deep, so I tried to walk a log on the side of the bridge but off went the bark and I too. So Patsy Maloney, a big boy, caught me by the hair and by so doing saved my life and carried me to a Mrs. Cars' home.
We used to send our milk to that Cook's cheese factory. The men had pig pens there and each farmer put one pig there and the cheese maker fed the pigs grain and lots of whey. I remember the first. binder two neighbors bot. It was Mr. Wiggins and Mr. Breakenridge's, but others had reapers, or else cut the grain by hand and tied it up the same way.
Wayne VanVolkenburg added that Cook's corner is where Clemenger road meets the Cordova road. The second building on the right on Clemenger road was the old Cheese factory. There was a school close to where the cheese factory was located. The area surrounding that location was referred to as the "Pleasant Corners Community".
Several of the Caverly family are buried at the Zion Cemetery. Gertrude, her husband Edwin, and his parents, Edwin Mills and Elsie Williams, are buried there. Several other family members are buried there as well. If you check Don Shannon's photos of Zion you will find Gertrude's name on Caverly 4.
THIS STORY is an account written by William H. Minchin (1839-1914) of his life and struggle to become a school teacher, revealing how very difficult it was for immigrants to start a new life for themselves in Canada in the 1800's.
But really the story begins with his mother, JANE GLADNEY MINCHIN , (1807-1900), a brave and hardworking woman, who faced the eight week journey across the ocean with her husband, Daniel Minchin and five children, only to be left a widow, upon her arrival in Marmora, destitute and depending on relatives.
By the time William Minchin's family had arrived in Marmora, Jane's father, William Gladney (1780-1851) was well established as a merchant here, had married his second wife, Elizabeth Hampton, and produced a second Gladney family, who were the ancestors of the well known Gladneys that built 65 Forsyth Street, Marmora.
The story of the Fidlar family in Marmora begins in Scotland, when Magnus (Magness) Fidlar, a boat builder born on Aug. 26, 1759, in Stromness, Orkney Scotland, married Janet Irvine (born 1766). It was their son, John, a sailor, who settled in Marmora, in what is now known as Fidlar's Glen, on the Beaver Creek.
Lucky for us, a sampler, survives, embroidered by John's daughter, Janet, when she was only eleven years old in 1851. The sampler is now inthe possession of a descendant, Bill Inkster of Kincardine, Ontario .This photo was sent to us by Jennifer Kolthammer of Lake Jackson, Texas.
"It's a shame," said Helen Mantle, one of the eight Gaffney sisters of Deloro. "It's a shame that such a small community had two different schools. I don't believe it bothered me as much when I was young, as It didn't seem important, but now, looking back, I do believe it was a shame."
"When you have such a small village as Deloro, and you have just two streets to walk up and down, it's a real shame that we children had to go separate ways.
"There were two schools, one that was Public and one Separate. I don't understand why they had to have two schools, when we all would have fit just fine into one classroom. It's a real shame that at such a young age and because there were only a few of us, that there was fear of the Catholic children losing any faith in their church. As you know, in Marmora, the community had at one point in time shared the church, although it was of Catholic Denomination.
There were only four or five other Catholic families. I just don't think it was necessary to separate us. We would all meet and greet each other and then walk up the street together. The sad part was we would have to say good-bye and go our separate ways when it came time to turn to go to "our school." Doing that, dividing the children like that, put a label on us. We weren't just children, but the "Catholic Children"
It was a shame, really, a terrible shame that we were treated so differently."
I remember. I hated it! The kids from the Public School used to be so happy when they returned home from school. But us........ Well you know, because we were part of the Separate School Board, there was very little money and so the Public School had much better toys than we did."
Bill O'Keefe sent us this photo of a drawing of Zaddock Daniel LaFontaine, owner and publisher of the Marmora Herald at the turn of the 20th century. Although he is just one man, the photo brings together so many local family names. He writes:
"This is a Photo of Zadock "Zed" Lafontaine Born near Rice lake in 1873 and died in Tweed Ont in 1920. He was the editor of the Marmora paper for some time and then bought the paper in Tweed which he ran until his death in 1920. His daughter was Gracia Rebecca LaFontaine, who married, Daniel Neil O'Keefe, whose grandfather was John O'Neill from Marmora. John O'Neill's wife was Annie Shannon, her daughter Ellen was Daniel Neil O'Keefe's mother." Gracia's mother was Mary "Minnie" Foley from Marmora and Mary's Mother and father were Thomas Foley and Maria Shannon, both of Marmora.
Whew! Now we all know that Shannons are related to Maloneys and Hughes, not to mention Crawfords, Butlers, O'Neils, O'Keefe's, Lynch, Haughton, Quinlan, Stephens and Walsh. Then related to them are Minihanes, Rohans, and O'Connors!
Why that's half the village right there!
You can peruse our catalogue of family names, which is steadily going thanks to the Gerald Belanger genealogical collection, and contributions of our readers.
Well, back to Mr. Lafontaine. You can read more about the Marmora Herald. Just click here.
"ON THE 3RD DAY, I SHALL DESTROY THE TOWER AT BETHLEHEM"
In the land of the Cainites, there was a tribe at the place called Marmora, who were known throughout the land as the Marmorites. Daily the Marmorites laboured in a place called Bethlehem, where they became makers of steel. Alas, Bethlehem was under the rule of the rich Usites, who lived in a wealthy land to the south of the Cainites.
In Bethlehem, the Marmorites worked both day and night to reap their bountiful harvest. They stored their harvest in three great towers which were in Bethlehem. It came to pass in Bethlehem that one night while the Marmorites slept, the Gods smote down one of the three great towers. The tower crashed to the earth, vomiting its rich harvest. In the beginning, the Marmorites, being wrapped up in their toils, did not see the fallen tower. But then, as it happened, one among their midst, who was a taskmaster known as Thomas, cried out,
"Holy jumping Jesus Christ, the south bin hath fallen over!"
A great cry of woe arose from the midst of Bethlehem (mingled with a few hearty cheers and the Carling's Red Cap Salute). The Marmorites, not knowing what they did to incur such wrath from the Gods, ran to their chiefs, crying:
"What is to become of us? Are we destined to again feel the wrath of the Gods? We knoweth not what we doneth!"
The chiefs spake, "Go forth and empty the remaining towers lest they too be struck to the ground."
And it was done as the commanded. Then from the land south of the Cainites, the high priests of the Usites came and spake,
"Prepare thyselves, ye men of the Marmorites, to build thyselves yet a new tower. It is
to be eighty cubits high and to encompass one hundred and fifty cubits and it shall be
stronger than any tower yet built." Amen
Author: Bruce Bennett - university summer student
Joking all aside, thanks to Gerald Belanger, we now have on line the full history of the Bethlehem Steel Marmoraton Mine. Be sure not to miss
We can add: Mary is listed in the Sacred Heart burial records:
Mary Margaret Quinlin, born, February 25, 1928...died _____. 2014....In the church records it is spelled Quinlan,,....reads that she is the daughter of Thomas Quinlan and Anna Rohan and that Mary was adopted ..Mary married Thomas Dennis O'Connor..
When recently researching my ancestors who settled and died in Marmora, I came upon your site. I was amazed to see a copy a photograph of Allie Monahan (Minihane) submitted by Jeanette Seabourne. Allie is a Great Great Gran Aunt of mine. I am living in Ireland very near to where Allie would have been born.
Allie is one of six children who was taken to Canada by her Mother Mary (Alice?) Minihane or Monahan after Allie's father died. Mary Minihane went over to her brother Mathew Moloney who was living in Canada at this time.
Another Great Gran Aunt of mine, Mrs Thomas Quinlan nee Rohan died in Marmora in 1953, she had one daughter Mary who later married an O'Connor. Please find an old photograph of Annie Elizabeth Quinlan nee Rohan attached.
I would appreciate any advice or support you can provide and likewise if interested in the story from my end I would love to share.
Deirdre Daly- Ireland
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION TO ADD TO THIS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT email@example.com or just click here
Wilma Brady/Bush July 31, 2016"Mary (Quinlan) O'Connor was a delightful lady. I first met her when she visited my grandparents when I was a child & she was a young girl, adopted by the Quinlans. I thought she was so pretty & had such a delightful Irish accent which she never lost. Mary remained a very sweet lady through the years - had a nice family - her daughter Wanda attended school with my youngest - Julia. Happy memories!"
By Jack Grant Marmora Herald - July 22, 1992
Since September, 1915, the Village of Marmora has been the place I call home. Except for the periods of time we lived in Toronto and, in' Peterborough(about 20 years) we have been fortunate enough to enjoy all the Valley of the Crowe River has to offer.
I just feel compelled to say something in this paper that should be said.
First, I want to commend our Reeve and' Council for keeping our village up-to-date with good' streets, new side- walks, excellent water, adequate street lighting and cleanliness. Even when I drive through other towns on Highway .7, I cannot help but compare; Marmora rates very high.
We have the Crowe River, the beautiful old dam; Beaver Creek, Crowe Lake, - all these areas enhancing and bringing so many tourists to our town. We have two beautiful parks, both are on theriver and catching the eye of every motorist driving along the highway.
And how about the recreation and good times that are enjoyed in the ball diamond and at the good old swimming beach? I swam in the same spot 70-years ago and was proud to be able to swim across theriver and back again without stopping.
And how about the beautiful bed of flowers adorning our four corners. I have seen several ladies working there on different days. I know Mary Jane Goodchild and Fendi Wood. To these super citizens, and on behalf of thousands, I say "thank you very much."
1n 1989, we completed the Dr. Parkin Living. Centre -- a 24-apartment complex and the place I call home. And, in 1991, the new Medical Centre. Buildings we can be proud of.
And we have a real up-to-date curling rink and curling club. And how about our super hockey arena, started in 1990; finished in 1991, the envy of hockey players from all over this part of the country.
Sort of makes you feel good to live here, doesn't it?
We have a new generating plant at the dam. True, it won't make much difference in our energy bills now, but it's definitely a plus for days and years to come.
There are so many' good things come to my mind - our service clubs, for instance. The Lions Club, a great organization, made up of too few gentlemen working their hearts out for the good of Marmora;, and the Lioness Ladies-, - organizing their banquets - doing more than their share to enhance our community.
And how about the Legion? First we had the GWVA- after the first World War - then the, Legion replaced it. A wonderful organization, doing everything possible for the good of the community . -- and mankind. And I know, especially at Christmas, thousands of families thank God for the Legion.
Pat McCrodan wrote: I still remember Jack chasing us out of his strawberry patch. We got away but left our bikes behind, you know how that turned out! We had bought an ice cream cone at Nickles and thought some of Jack's strawberries would go great. Still had the cones in our hands when he chased us over the back fence. I seem to remember having to do some weeding in return for our bikes.
Alana Grant : My wonderful Grandpa! Will always love you and youhave the most wonderful son and father to me Al Grant..love you so much!
D. Slade: My Great Uncle Jack..what a character he was! Always upbeat and a great sense of humour. And always took time to drop in and visit my mom (his niece) in their later years. The Grant clan had a very long run as residents of Marmora; several generations made it their home. It'll always be a special place to us.
Baldy, Toad, Poker, Bushy, Porky, Pung and Spider?
A FATHER'S DAY CHALLENGE
by Gerald Belanger and Cathie Jones
Prior to the 1960’s when most things were not always required to be politically correct most boys had a nickname. These nicknames became so permanently attached to that person that years later we usually forgot the beautiful Christian names given to these boys by their parents.
Here is a list of some of our favourite nicknames for boys/men from the Marmora area.
CAN YOU MATCH THE NICKNAME TO THE REAL PERSON?
39. Sap Pan
____Bernard Walter Doyle
___Charles Alf. McWilliams
___Clifford Patrick Ellis
___Donald Alex. Nickolson
___Ernest Floyd Trumble
____Floyd Russell Loveless
___Frank Leal (Jr)
____Glen Mawer/R McCann
___Graham Bell Jr
___Harold Oliver Olsen
___Howard C. Deering
___James Francis Reynolds
___Kenneth C. Trumble
___Morris Edward Lynch
___Norman Douglas Sopha
___Patrick John McCrodan
___Percy Joseph Gray
___Ron & Terry McGarvey
___Ron Smith/Reg. O'Shea
___Russell J. Hegadoren
___Wilbert Albert Gray
____William Foster Brown
___William Pearson Monk
Deer Lake Hatchery – Aircraft Fish Stocking
Submitted by Wayne VanVolkenburg
In the late 1960’s and 70’s Beaver and Otter aircraft were employed to stock smaller, otherwise inaccessible lakes within the district. These versatile aircraft were fitted with special tanks that held perforated aluminum trays. An oxygen supply system was added to increase the carrying capacity and the distance that could be travelled.
The trays were each loaded at the hatchery with a predetermined number of fish. Once the aircraft had reached the lake, the fish were dumped into a hopper with an exit chute. At the appropriate time, the release mechanism was activated and the fish dropped into the lake. The lakes were small and the timing was critical, so sometimes the target was not reached by all of the fish.
In order to fly fish from Deer Lake Hatchery it was necessary to install a temporary dock at the north end of the lake which would accommodate an aircraft. Also, the temporary installation of a communications radio was necessary. This would allow contact between the hatchery staff and the pilot. In order for things to happen in an efficient manner the hatchery needed to be notified about thirty minutes before the aircraft landed. This would allow time for loading the trays and making the trip to the landing site.
On one occasion, while making his approach to the lake, the pilot radioed the hatchery and informed the manager that there was a fire burning behind the office. Apparently the manager had started a fire in the incinerator and gone back to his other duties. Some sparks had ignited the surrounding grass and a fire resulted. Luckily it was caught in time and extinguished. Although there was a shed full of fire suppression equipment on site, it could have proven to be quite embarrassing,
This method of aircraft stocking was replaced by the use of helicopters. The shock of dropping fish from an airplane had shown to cause significant mortality. Although the helicopter was more costly to operate, it proved to be more cost efficient in the long run.
For lots more on the Deer Lake Fish Hatchery, CLICK HERE
Have you ever stopped to think, "How did I get here?" What was the unique set of circumstances that fate packaged together especially for you? Here is a story by Pam (Armstrong) Phillips who came from Wales in 1953-54 and ended up in Deloro.
In the summer of 1953 my parents, Thomas and Dorothy Armstrong were living in the small town of Bridgend, South Wales, U.K. Dad had returned from WWII, serving in the British Air Force as a rear gunner and spending most of his time in Egypt and was finding it hard to get work as a master carpenter, joiner, cabinetmaker.
They decided to immigrate to either New Zealand or Canada. They chose Canada and in 1953 Dad left from Liverpool, England travelling to Montreal on the"Empress of Australia" to the new world.
On the week long crossing he met two ladies who were returning from visiting their mother in England, the ladies, being Ivy Mantle (Mrs. George Mantle) of Marmora and her sister Helen Webber(Mrs. Guy Webber) of Ottawa. They struck up a friendship and Dad told them his story. He would land in Montreal and find work and then send for Mom, my brother and me. If he didn't find work quickly, he only had enough money for a return ticket to Wales
Ivy made him promise that if he decided to return home that he would phone her first. Two weeks later he phoned Ivy and informed her that indeed he was going to have to return home. Ivy told him that there was a new mine opening up in Marmora and she was sure that if he would make the trip here, he could find work.
He did. Ivy and George took him (and us) under their wing and helped us through the early years getting accustomed to Canada. I remember climbing out of the window of their apartment onto the flat roof of Richards Restaurant and watching all the "doings" on the main street on Friday or Saturday night, so busy....but.....that's another story. They were the kindest people.
With the help of Buck Mantle(George Jr.) he started working at the mine in 1953. He went on to become a foreman in the pellet plant until its closure. He too was one of the men chosen from across Canada to go to Argentina for a year in 1977 (?) to train men in a new mine there.
n June of 1954 (seven months after arriving here) my Dad sent for the family to come to Canada. We too left from Liverpool to Montreal. Then a train ride to Belleville. Dad had fully furnished an apartment for us in Madoc, where we lived for a year then moved to Marmora and lived in several apartments including the old red brick high school (owned at the time by Earl and Marion Binch).
When Deloro closed and the houses went up for sale he purchased a semi-detached home with George Mantle buying the other side. (Purchase price$2,000.) Dad also spent two terms as Reeve of Deloro. Mom and Dad lived there until their deaths in 1993 and 2000 respectively.
So but for that chance meeting, where would I be?
I went on to marry Bill Phillips, who was born at the Lawlor Nursing Home in Marmora.
I am proud to say that Marmora is my "Home Town"
Pamela (Armstrong) Phillips
Arlene McKee has supplied us with lots of Vansickle history. The following is John Wesley Vansickle's description of his father, John, written in 1946.
" When I was fourteen he drew lumber from the mill of TP.Pearce in Marmora for the erection of the present home" approx. 1872. My Dad paid $11.00 a thousand and you could not find a knot in it. It was the choicest pine. The wolves used to come up on the roof of the old house which had been first the log shanty. They did not molest us but would kill our sheep within 25 rods of the house."
He then related how his mother carried his brother Robert when a baby, six months old, all the way to Marmora and back (28 miles) in one day to get to the late Dr. H.M. Jones to pull a tooth. John said, " My father was not established in the settlement many years before he came into possession of the property of his his brother and brother-in-law. This gave him 300 acres. Brother David decided to travel to the USA and his brother-in-law, who kept a small general store and Post Office in Vansickle for about two years, moved to Norwood where he retired. John put in 26 winters as foreman for the Pearce Company lumbering in the settlement. He was a member of the Orange Order of Norwood for about 50 years and had only missed attendance at only two walks. His name is among the honored in this part of Ontario. The land in the east side of the settlement, Hastings County, was deeded to John Wesley on .,August 25, 1888 from Thomas Peter Pearce of Marmora, Hastings County, (son of the old Pearce Family of Norwood Dummer area) for the sum of$400.00 Lot # 4, Concession 1(Lake Township) fortwo hundred acres.
"Ah, the Irish and their potatoes, every meal, every day." Ronald Barrons wrote to share a family story.
"Here the Barrons family prepares their potatoes for spring planting. My father Harry Barrons is at the back, his brother Charlie in the foreground. Their grandfather came to Canada in the 1850's. Also shown is their mother Lena, whose 3rd great grand father Timothy McGinness came to America before 1738."
Kristin Philpot I worked at the "North End Gas and Goodies" for a summer while in high school in the nineties. We all called it the North End Store but that name must have stolen from the grocery store shut down across the street on McGill.
I pumped gas, served ice cream, and bred and packaged worms (bait). In hindsight, there probably wasn't enough hand washing in between! We had a sign outside that said "YES! We have gas and worms." - which led to a summer of ridicule and advice that I should see a doctor! We sold single cigarettes for $0.25, which meant a lot of guys stopping by for sneaky smokes their wives didn't know about! In those days they smoked indoors of course. We also had a cork board where cottagers or campers would leave messages for each other (imagine life without cells!). It was the way to find the best parties. It was a good job, the bosses (Brad Campbell and a fellow from Deloro) pretty much left me to my own devices and I met lots of fun people....