THE BEAVER CREEK
Marmora's second river is the Beaver Creek - a river of many disguises:- sometimes slow and deep, sometimes a gushing torrent and sometimes a waterless canyon with the flow buried underground. It has a history of logging & hunting, and is a favourite fishing ground. Recently it has proven itself to be a popular white water kayaking route. But where does this river of many colours originate?
Its headwaters are the many swamps and creeks (including Steenburg Lake & Bass Creek) feeding Limerick Lake in the township of Limerick, (Hastings County) about 2.5 kilometres northeast of Highway 62, twenty-five kilometres southeast of the town of Bancroft and 3 kilometres northwest of St. Ola.
In 1934, the building of St. Ola Dam raised the level of Big Salmon Lake by two metres. The lake was then renamed, as part of a process in Ontario to give each large lake a unique name. The original concrete dam (consisting of the dam + a sluiceway with timber logs, plus overflow weirs) was assessed in 2002 and significant cracking was found. The dam was replaced in 2004 with a new concrete dam.
Limerick Lake is about 7.1 kilometres long and 2.2 kilometres wide with an area of 8.3 square kilometres and lies at an elevation of 313 metres. The primary inflows are Dixon Creek from Dark Lake at the northeast and Bass Creek from Steenburg Lake at the southwest. There are also four unnamed creek inflows: one at the west, one at the northwest, and two at the east. The primary outflow is a channel to St. Ola Lake. (Wikipedia)
St. Ola, named in 1870 after the parish of Kirkwall and St. Ola on the Orkney Island of Mainland, was a mill town, with a sawmill , first operated by Mr. Canniff, and the grist mill operated by Timothy Solmes. The mill burned down and Canniff, who was unable to rebuild it, so Mr. P.P. Clark took over and built a more modern mill, with a circular saw. The first saw in the first mill was an upright saw. St. Ola had a post office (1870-1970), Orange Lodge and train station at one point. There still exists Old St. Ola Cemetery: Lot 14, Conc. 2, Limerick Township
Flowing over the St. Ola dam, the Beaver Creek flows southwesterly under Sutton Road, under Highway 62 and past the Hastings Resort, where the river bed turns rocky making canoeing more difficult.
GLANMIRE (JELLY RAPIDS)
It is then about a 15 kilometer journey to the west and then southerly at Muskrat Lake, parallel to the Old Hastings Road to reach Glanmire bridge , where the flow of the river goes underground in summer.
Very little is known about Glanmire and sadly almost nothing is left. It is the 2nd village one comes to along the Old Hastings Rd. (aka the road of broken dreams) as one heads north from Millbridge. It was first called Jelly's Rapids after Andrew Jelly, its first settler on the Hastings Rd. at the bridge over the rapids in 1856.
Andrew Jelly was born in Brockville around 1820. By the mid 1850s he had moved northwest and settled in Glanmire, where he and his wife, Charlotte Earl, operated a hotel. Jelly was politically active and served as the first reeve of Tudor Township, following its formation in 1859. He also served as the village's second postmaster from 1862 to 1866, followed by Edward Tapp.
The village grew to include a school, a church (St. Margaret's built 1887), a post office (run by James Richardson in 1858), a mill, a few homes and a cemetery. Isaac Stymers was a local who earned the right to carry mail deliveries by foot from Glanmire all the way to York River (Bancroft). By the 1870s though Glanmire started to fade. The post office lasted until 1939 and the church until the 1960s when it was removed. All that remains are the church steps at the cemetery and 3 derelict wood buildings to the SE. Glanmire.
In 1945, 89 year old Jacob Wilkes, in a Marmora Herld article, 'referred to Jellie.'s Bridge which, was erected by the father of the late Constable Charles St. .Charies of Madoc. In those days there used to be a store and post office at he bridge kept by English Ray.
(information obtained fromghosttowns.com)
From this point, the Beaver Creek is in Lake Township, providing about 25 kilometers of scenic views of highlands, gorges, open water and rapids, taking in a right tributary, Dickey Creek before reaching Marmora Township. Dickey Creek draws water from Big Burnt Lake, Freen Lake, Lake of Islands and Dickey Lake.
Dickey Creek meets the Beaver Creek
Heading to the chute downstream from Dickey Creek
The chute south of Dickey Creek
From this point on, it is smooth sailing all the way to the Crowe River. Slow moving water, great fishing and calm boating, passing through a residential zone, under the Cordova Road Bridge, recently dedicated to the well respected Township resident, Don Shannon
Oct. 1, 2019 News on 7 - “Words from Mayor Jan O’Neill: ‘Welcome to Jean and her family; Terry, Robert, Peter, David, Hugh, Carrol Anne and friends and family of the Shannons. On behalf of the Council of the Municipality of Marmora & Lake, this is a special honour to dedicate the bridge over Beaver Creek to Don Shannon. I don’t need to tell you the history of Don Shannon, but I do know a few things about Don. The Shannon family homestead is north of here on the Cordova Road, and I believe Don was born in that house to Don and Jean Shannon. Obviously he was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to his family and friends. I have been told he was a character! He played practical jokes on the people he worked with, he loved to play cards, he loved music, he was an avid gardener, and served his community in many ways. He served on Council and was Deputy Reeve of Marmora Township. When preparing this presentation, and knowing where the Shannon homestead is, I wondered how many times Don Shannon passed over Beaver Creek in his lifetime, going to Marmora. I’m sure the majority of those times he was on his way to spend time with a ‘Miss Jean Cook’. When she became Mrs. Don Shannon, they lived in this area, north of Marmora in various locations for most of their life and, at one time, built and lived in the very house beside the bridge. In future, I trust that many generations of Shannons will remember Don when they cross over this bridge. The plaque is very appropriate and I’m honoured to be the one to dedicate the plaque in Don Shannon’s memory. Thank you to the Shannon family for their contribution to this municipality. Jean continues to be a very active member of the community through her volunteer work, and just being a friend to everyone. You must be extremely proud to have your entire family here today, and I know they are proud to be here with you.”
And then it’s a ride under the new bridge at Riverview Crescent, finally flowing into the Crowe River.
A LITTLE MORE HISTORY and more to come.
Narrowly Escaped Drowning
Marmora Herald, November 17, 1949
Allan McGarvey and Herbert Wright had an experience on Sunday which they would not care to repeat. They had started for their hunting camp, in a boat, driven by an out- board motor, in which they had three hounds and a lot of camping and hunting equipment. They were just a short distance past Airhart's saw mill on Beaver Creek, when for some reason, the dogs rushed to the front of the boat. Their weight caused the front of the boat to sink under the water and it rapidly began to fill with water then turned over, upsetting the occupants into the stream.
Herb Wright was able to cling to the boat and called for help, but AI- lan McGarvey was unable to get hold of it. He is usually a very good swimmer, but the weight of his clothing carried him under and every time he came to the surface the dogs climbed on top of him, scratching his face and forcing him under the water until he lost consciousness. Fortunately Hiram Revoy, and a companion were nearby, waiting for a party of hunters to join them, and they hurried to the rescue in their boat.
They got McGarvey to shore and worked over him for nearly an hour, but were unable to revive him. They then rushed him to Dr. Donevan's office at Marmora. When it was found that the unconscious man did not respond to efforts to resuscitate him, a call was sent to Belleville fire department for a pulmotor. Two firemen made a very fast trip to Marmora and in a short time McGarvey was on his way to BelIevilIe General Hospital.
Later Sunday evening a report was received from the hospital that he was getting along nicely. Herb Wright escaped without any serious effects, but his sweater was torn to ribbons by the dogs climbing up on him. Five rifles and a shot gun were in the boat, besides ammunition and camp material, and they went to the bottom of the creek.
Drowning of William Moffatt 1931
Rapids upstream from Dickey Creek
Near Dickey Creek
The Beaver Creek Hilton north of Shanick
After flowing through the chute, the river travels for about seven kilometers before hitting the Marmora Township line, and taking in a right tributary that drains Thompson Lake. As it reaches the settlement of Shanick, it is wide, deep and slow, excellent for casual canoeing. The Township road becomes evident on the right and as the main river swings to the left, it is necessary (again) to portage a beaver dam and two sets of rapids before arriving at the Shanick bridge.
Lucky for us, we can take a ride down the Beaver Creek from Shanick to Fidlar's Glen, passing under the Quinn Road Bridge, thanks to the video to the left filmed by "kayak-parrothead"
Missing is the stop at the Beaver Creek Road Bridge, part of the Beaver Creek community.
(StirlingNews-Argus 10 October 1890)
The body of the eldest girl of D. D. Johns was found in Beaver Creek on the evening of the 30th ult. The child had left school in the forenoon to go home and is supposed to have fallen out of a boat in trying to cross the creek. The bereaved parents have the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community.
The Drowning of Francis Lamontagne 1952
Speed Limit Approved
for Beaver Creek
After nearly four years of lobbying by concerned residents, a 10 kilometre speed limit has now been imposed from the narrows of Beaver Creek up- stream to Fidlar Rapids,
With support from the OPP, Ministry of Natural Resources and Marmora & Lake Township, the Federal Government approved the speed limit, which has now been posted.
Enforcement of the new speed limits are under the jurisdiction of the OPP, with fines levied at the same ratio as those for highway vehicles. All watercraft, except canoes and sailboats, are subject to
this new speed, which is directed
at "all power-driven vessels driven by electrical propulsion."
This new limit will likely stop any water skiing activities on Beaver Creek, as well as curtail those using personal water- craft, due to the slow speed.
According to Ted Bonter, this new legislation is a blow to the area's tourism & recreation, Marmora's "only industry". He feels common sense should prevail, and imposing a 10 kilometre speed limit is "ridiculous."
July 19, 1997