The following stories are really "Yesterday's News Today"  but all have one thing in common.  These are all strange and weird occurrences involving our local animals. 



  Six Night Vigil - Woman,  65,  Shoots Bear

April 30, 1942 On Monday evening Mrs. Isabelle Gray shot a black bear at her home in Marmora Township. The bear killed a lamb last Friday evening and a watch was kept for it each night. Sunday night it returned but In getting over a fence, knocked a rail down and, frightened by the noise, scurried away. Monday night the  Bruin returned again and Mrs. Gray, was waiting for the raider. The sheep and lambs were alarmed by its approach and rushed around the end of the barn. A wire fence ran from the end of the barn and the bear reached the fence on one, side of a small manure pile while Mrs. Gray waited at the other side.

At the fence the animal raised up on its hind legs and Mrs. Gray fired one shell from a single-barrel shot gun. The charge caught the bear In the neck, ending Its career.   It weighed about 250 Ibs. and the hide, when stretched, measured about 6 feet in length and 47 inches across the widest part.

Few women, or men either, would care to tackle a bear with a slngle barrel shot gun, For a. woman over 60 years of age Mrs. Gray has made qulte a record.

The Toronto Star further reported that Isabelle and Robert Gray lived 12 miles northwest of Marmora. They reported Isabelle explained "It was a bright moonlight night and I rigged up a blank so that if th bear did come he wouldn't see me against the moon. ....I saw the bear approaching the mound, about 50 yards away. I pointed my gun at it and watched it approach. About 20 yards away, it stopped and lifted its head. I pulled the trigger and it dropped without moving......I had never shot anything larger than a rabbit before."

Black Snake Carries 48 Smaller Ones

Bonarlaw,  September 1, 1936    Cats have nine lives, but Kenneth Huff and Clarence Williams, of Bonarlaw, have one to tell that puts the cat to shame.  They report they encountered a black snake with literally forty-nine lives.
They were hauling logs to Allen's Mill last Friday, when, a few rods from the mill,   they noticed a black snake four feet long on the road. Running over it with the truck, they got out to see if they had killed it, and found forty-eight little snakes,   about eight inches in length wriggling away from the big one.  It was with difficulty that they rounded up the forty-eight and despatched   them. Apparently the mother had been carrying the little ones in her pouch while travelling to some new feeding ground.

Rattlers here in the old days

Sept. 29, 1927      Mr Ben Cooper killed two large rattlesnakes on Lot 22, in the 10th Concession (Centre Line Rd near Madoc Township Line) Township of Marmora recently.  On September 12, he killed the first one with a club, while on his way for his cows.  The snake was about 4.5 feet long and had five rattles.  It  showed fight,  but he managed to disable it with the first blow.
The  next day he found another at about the same place,  and killed it by shooting it with a shotgun.  The second snake was about 5 feet long and had seven rattles.  This is the first time that rattlesnakes  have been reported in this location for some time.

For more rattlesnake stories,  click here

Sept. 22, 1935  Horse Killed By Lightning 

A single bolt of lightning at noon last Thursday killed a valuable horse tied in its owner's barn In the Van Sickle  Settlement.  Fred Cole had left work to have ihs dinner and left the horse tied in the stable adjoining a large frame silo.  While he was eating a single lightning bolt struck, and when. he went to get the horse,   he discovered it dead in the stall and badly burned. On closer examination he found the silo had been split by the-bolt and the current had  followed a steel bar into the stall in front of the horse.

Mr. Cole is probably the hardluck farmer of the district. He had bought the horse late in the spring for the summer farm work after be had Iost a young horse. The one kllled will be the fourth he has lost this year from various causes.

Crowe with beads.jpg

May  16, 1935,  Marmora Herald

On Monday morning a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dermot Bedore, who
reside near Malone, accidentally knocked down a bird's nest which was over the pig pen. On picking up the nest she was surprised to find a complete string of prayer beads In it.  The beads did not belong to any of the family and they have no idea where the bird could have  picked them up.

Another Crow Story by Tom Brooks

We had our milk delivered by Hannah'sDairy in the early morning. The money to pay for the milk was put within the bottles.  One day,  this money went missing and Hannah complained about no payment.   Who was suspect but the kids. Big investigation, a lot of asking questions , and you know what - it was discovered that Alphonse Clemen's two pet crows were the robbers. All the change was found in the nest, apparently they are attracted/mesmerized


Aug 19, 1937  Marmora Herald

This is the story of the killing of a skunk by Mr. Albert Burridge, while holding a lantern in one hand and a gun in the other. The animal visited his chicken coop about 2 a.m. last Wednesday morning and devoured one spring chicken and was busy on a second when the commotion awakened Mr. Burridge.   He· hurriedly lighted a lantern and seized his gun and with two shots both of which hit the target, killed the skunk.
Mr. Burridge left the task of disposing of the carcass to his son, who took a labor-saving and effective method of getting rid of it. He poked the dead skunk down a woodchuck's hole and fillinq the opening with earth. Just what happened to the woodchuck or groundhog is not known, but unless it proved a second victim it likely vacated the premises


Aug 19, 1937   Marmora Herald

The fate of a mouse.

Mrs. John.Gifford, who lives on the Deloro Road, was bothered with mice and set a trap in the pantry. The mouse was caught in the trap, but when Mrs. Gifford heard a disturbance in the pantry and went to investigate she found a large spotted adder had also got in in some way and seized the mouse by the head and was trying to draw it out of the trap. With the horror of a snake, natural to most women, Mrs. Gifford called her neighbor, Mr. James Murphy, to her assistance. When they entered the
pantry the snake was coiled around the trap with the mouse's head still
in its mouth. Mr. Murphy secured a pail of water and succeeded in tumbling snake, trap and mouse into the water. The adder released its hold and was killed by Mr. Murphy. It was found to measure 43 inches in length.

Sept. 12, 1933 Another snake story!

A blowing adder snake( Eastern Hog-Nose)  was killed this week by Mrs. Norman Cooper on the north-west side of Crowe Lake Mr. and Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. 0' Brien were coming out of the berry patch when the snake, which was in the path, jumped at Mrs. Cooper. She hit the snake with a club and it bit a piece out of the stick but she finally managed to kill it. The snake was five and a half  feet long and 6 inches through. It was dark blue on the back and light blue on the belly with black streaks running down from  Its head.

(The bizarre defensive behaviour of an Eastern Hog-nosed Snake makes your first encounter memorable. If threatened, the snake will flatten and spread its neck to resemble a cobra. It even hisses and may strike towards you but usually with its mouth shut. If this behaviour doesn't convince you to back off, the snake typically will play dead, writhing about and finally rolling over on its back with its tongue out. These defensive behaviours have lead to their nicknames of puff adder or blow adder. We are fortunate to live in an area where this threatened species can still be found.)

Aug. 26, 1909   The bad luck of Thomas Cain

A streak of bad luck has been following Mr. Thos. Cain, who lives about four miles north west of the Village for the past couple of weeks. First a splendid mare, one of a matched team worth $300 got cast in a ditch and was found dead by its owner. Then dogs got into his flock of sheep and killed 17 and afterwards drove a fine fat steer into  the lake, where it was found drowned.

                                                                     Mr. Thomas Cain and 2nd wife

May 17, 1923   Tarantula Found  on  Banana Stalk

While picking some bananas off the stalk last week, Mr. Geo. Aunger, discovered a fair sized tarantula or spider among the bananas: Luckily Mr. Aunger knew what it was and did not touch it as it is poisonous. It is about an inch long and when spread out,  covers  about three inch space. It has two very formidable looking teeth  with which it inflicts the poison.  Mr. Aunger placed the spider in a sealer and it is expected it will be given  to the High School for their studies.

Nov. 19, 1931  Horse Killed by Car

An accident occurred on No. 14 Highway. about six miles north of Stirling last Friday evening, which resulted In
one horse being killed almost instantly, and another being cut considerably.  The democrat to which they were attached was almost completely demolished, but fortunately the driver of the horses, Murney Scott, was thrown clear and escaped with a few bruises and the shock of the accident.  He had been plowing on a rented farm on the 4th concession of Rawdon and was returning to his home on the 6th concession when the accident occurred.

Google photo

The car which struck the democrat is owned by Mr. Hugh Crawford of Marmora. It was driven by Pat O'Connor, who was accompanied by Mr, Pat Quinn. It Is stated that when the accident occurred the car, driven by Pat O'Connor, was meeting a truck and the lights of the truck made  it impossible to see the democrat. It is also alleged that there was no light of any kind on the democrat and when it was first seen,  it was impossible to avoid
striking it. The one horse had its legs broken, one being cut off, and was injured internally and died almost instantly. The other was badly cut. The democrat and the car were both travelling north and both were on the right side of the road. It is stated charges have been laid against both parties, an effort will be made to fix the responsibility at a Cour to be held in the Council Chamber Saturday forenoon.