By Wayne VanVolkenburg
The photos of the Beaver Creek Bridge triggered several early memories of that location in the early 1960s. It was a favorite summer gathering place for the local guys. In order to prove that you belonged to this group you had to jump or dive from the highest level of the bridge.
On one occasion we were there, along with some older Marmora boys, when a boat approached from the Crowe River and headed up the creek at full speed. Ted Hewitt attempted to run to the other side of the bridge to watch it going away from us. Unfortunately, a vehicle driven by Jim Gordineer was crossing the bridge at that time. Ted was struck and knocked down, but appeared to be uninjured and refused to be taken to the doctor. At that time Jim had the only cottage above the bridge.
Many people used the bridge as a location to fish and consequently there were several fishing lures decorating the electric and telephone lines near the bridge. One such lure was a “Hi-Sport,” known to be effective in the local waters. On one trip up Beaver Creek, I had lost a similar lure to a large bass after catching a walleye and muskie. So, it became my goal to replace my lure with the one on the telephone line. I gathered stones and proceeded to try to dislodge the lure. Although the lure was hit several times by me and several other people, it still clung tenaciously to the wire. Finally, after throwing several hundred stones, I knocked it down. I dove in and retrieved my prize, only to find that the lure was battered to a state of uselessness.
Our neighbour to the south of us was Irv Muir who worked for T.A.Cassidy as an undertaker, ambulance driver and furniture store sales person. Irv and his brother were joint owners of a wooden boat that they had built. Irv, being a generous person, agreed to let us use the boat for a weekend. The three of us, Larry Neal, James Reynolds and I headed up the river from Marmora with big plans for our trip. We decided to take a side trip up Beaver Creek and could, if we kept the boat in a straight line, just clear the underside of the bridge. This worked fine on the trip upstream, but on the return trip the boat turned a bit sideways and the windshield caught the bridge. As a result we now had a crack in the windshield. Not a good start! The boat, although equipped with a 25hp. motor, moved rather slowly because of its size and weight.
I knew that there was a 14 foot aluminum boat at my uncle’s cottage on Crowe Lake, so a plan was hatched to transfer this motor to his boat. We did this and were now in possession of the fastest boat on the lake.Unfortunately, the motor didn’t start well and necessitated leaving the motor in gear and turning up the throttle in order to get it to run. On one of these attempts, the motor started and off went the boat before I could grab the handle. It then turned sharply and flipped over. Squeak, who could not swim a stroke, had disappeared from our sight. Luckily he grabbed a life jacket and appeared once we tipped over the boat. We transferred the motor back to the big boat and finally got it started. Irv remained surprisingly calm when we returned the boat at the end of the weekend, but there were no further offers to use it.