Over the years, the Town Hall has hosted an enormous number of citizens, some willingly and some not. Shortly after the Town Hall's opening in July 1914, three young ladies, who kept house together, were charged with corrupting our youths in a much more direct manner than the movies could. Although the case was heard "behind closed doors" at the Town Hall, it was tried before an extraordinary number of Judges:- three Magistrates and the Reeve, H.R Pearce, W. Banter, B.E. Hubbell and Reeve Hubbell.  A number of witnesses gave evidence to the effect that the house was being frequented by a number of men, often in a drunken condition. Some young men, who might have been witnesses, had mysteriously left town, but the ladies were, nevertheless, convicted and sent to Mercer Reformatory, Toronto,  for five months and five days. Sometimes it seems the world's oldest profession is also its most persistent. Within twelve months the Courts had to again deal with inmates of a 'disorderly house'.

Mercer Reformatory, Toronto

         Marmora Herald, July 1914

"The stories of these girls revealed a depth of depravity scarcely believable in girls of their age. They also revealed a condition of immorality which came as a distinct shock to many citizens of the village. All three admitted having improper relations with a number of young men around the village and also implicated a number of married men. One girl claims to be under sixteen years of age.

As a result of their evidence,   warrants were issued for a number of men, some of whom practically admitted their guilt by suddenly leaving town even before the warrants were issued. The others appeared before the magistrates and were remanded until Wednesday of next week. One of the girl residents was of "known bad character" but she had fled town. The Justice issued a warrant for her arrest but commented that "nothing will please those concerned better than for her to stay away so there will be no opportunity to serve it."

Coincidentally, the villagers had an excellent opportunity that same week to offset this assault on their morals. For the first time since his elevation, Archbishop Spratt visited Sacred Heart Church. There, he led 56 youngsters through their confirmation.  As an additional requirement, His Grace had them all enter a solemn pledge to abstain from the use of alcoholic drink of any kind, except as medicine, until after their twenty-first year.

"His Grace took a strong stand in regard to some of the modern fashions and dances. He denounced the wearing of short sleeves and low neck dresses as a return to barbarism. He also said that some of the modern dances caused people "to act like wild people and were displeasing to the Almighty."  The Bishop's opinions of the new dances of the day were receiving support from others. Noel Coward dismissed the dances for other, less elevated reasons. "Monkeys", he said, "do them in zoos."

Mr Anderson died three months later



During Prohibition, the Village learned that illegal liquor tastes and works as well as the legal variety. On May 8, 1919, five young men were tried in the Town hall for having liquor.  "On Tuesday evening Magistrates B. C. Hubbell and Wm. Banter presided at a Court held for the purposes of hearing five charges for the infraction of the Ontario Temperance Act. The five against whom the complaints had been laid were Ernest Horton, Chas. MCInroy, Wm. McFaul, Donald McInroy and Francis Terrion. The three latter were young.  An effort was made to discover where the liquor came from, but that was not so easy. Horton claimed he found a bottle and McInroy swore Horton gave him a drink. Two of the boys claimed they were given the whiskey to take home for persons who were ill...but instead, drank it.

"E. Horton was fined $50.00 and costs. Chas. McInroy $25.00 and costs, and each of the others $10.00 and costs - a total of $105.00 in fines, which were paid forthwith. As a result of the action of the Council in appointing Mr. Gillen a constable under the Act. and the fact Mr. Gillen acted independently of the License Inspector the whole amount of the fines goes into the village treasury instead of to the government.

Wherever the booze came from, at least one bottle ended up hidden in the Town Hall. In 1990, when Council renovated their Chambers, it was found. The issue of prohibition concerned not just the young. More and more, the various brotherhoods, who used the Hall or the Council Chambers, debated the rights of their less than sober members. On May 1, 1919, the 'North Hastings Night Owls' carried a motion that "no intoxicating liquors will be allowed to members". Bros. T. Trotter remarked that "It was all nonsense, anyone desiring liquor, when lemonade was within the reach of all. It could be made so cheaply, as splendid lemons could now be bought at 20 cents a dozen at the Deloro Trading Co."


The way of the drug fiend leads inevitably to shame, and in extreme cases, to the scrap heap of moral and physical wrecks. Minnie Burns, of Marmora, presented a pitiful example of the ravaging effects of this habit as she admitted to Judge Huycke this morning that she had used morphine for twenty five years. A jury had declared her guilty of forging the name of Mrs. M. Arnold, a soldier's wife to a registered mail receipt book by which she had obtained a registered letter containing Mrs. Arnold's military allowance.

Mr. Joseph Wearing, who appeared for Miss Burns, stated that she had apparently been abandoned by her relatives and friends who had not shown the slightest interest in her fate. She had three brothers in Marmora, but neither they or any other relatives had appeared to assist her. From the outset, he continued, he was convinced that she was guilty, and had urged her to make that plea. But she had refused, and Mr. Wearing stated that he had done the best he could for her.
He requested Judge Huycke to consider the fact that this woman was a "dope fiend." "She had been a dope fiend for years" said Mr. Wearing, offering an explanation of her crime, " and to a graver extent than is found among that class of persons. She can take eight one-quarter grains of morphine at once, while a small piece of one tablet would kill a man. She drinks a two ounce bottle of laudanum as readily as one would take lemonade. Her moral fibre has been undermined, with the result that she was not responsible for what she said or did. What she needs most is a medical treatment where she can be cured of this habit."
Judge Huycke heard Dr. Morgan, who gave expert information of the demoralizing effects of morphine and laudanum. He also stated that at the Mercer Reformatory a drug patient would receive decreasing allowances as a method of restoring him to the condition in which the craving ceased and a permanent cure was made possible. His Honour then sentenced Miss Burns to twenty months in the Reformatory, and stated that he would recommend that if she were cured before that time had elapsed that she be given her freedom. He was moved by the sole desire to help her shake off the influence and appeal of habit to which she had become enslaved.


The Mercer Reformatory, instilling feminine Victorian virtues such as obedience and servility & Work, such as cooking, baking, and cleaning.


Mr. Robert Warren made application for a new trial on the action which Marmora Village brought against him for the recovery of money paid for goods supplied defendant's family, owing to his failure to support them. At the trial judgment was given in favor of the Village for the full amount and interest. The application for a new trial has been refused by Judge Deroche.
November 19, 1919

Marmora Herald                     Jan. 13, 1921


There is mourning in several Marmora homes today.
One hundred and fifty boxes of whiskey, eleven of them containing case goods, and the rest one gallon jugs, were seized by Liquor License Inspectors Connor and Naphin and Provincial Constable Ward in the fair little marble village yesterday. It was the biggest haul that has been made in Hastings. Five residences are said to have contributed.
No charges have yet been made in the case.
Last night at 9:30 the precious cargo arrived by auto truck at Belleville Police Station and was locked in cell 4. It is there this minute!
While the truck was jogging on its way to Belleville two of the tires had "blow-outs".
The officers were reticent this morning as to the future of the case.
The plot thickens at Marmora.
Twenty more cases of whiskey were seized in the marble hamlet yesterday afternoon and were brought to Belleville to day by Inspectors Naphin and Connor and Officer Ward.
These cases are stated to have been found in a place visited the day before, but to which the officers were not admitted as they did not have a search warrant.
This time they had it.

Prisoner escaped  July 21, 1921

Last Saturday, County Constables O. R. Jones and H. Gillen received a request from Frankford to arrest a man named Ed. Howard, who was wanted at that place on a very serious charge. They found the accused at the home of his father-in- law, Mr. John Cronkright, and after a brief resistance placed the handcuffs on him and brought him in an auto as far as the town hall with the intention of locking him up. Constable Gillen got out to unlock the hall door and while he was engaged in opening the inner one, the prisoner made a bolt for liberty.
He succeeded in reaching the woods south of the Catholic Church and evaded his pursuers. Howard is still at liberty and is reported to have got rid of the handcuffs and there is also a report that he secured food at a farm house not far from the Village. As the extreme penalty for the crime with which the accused is charged is life imprisonment, he will probably make strenuous efforts to escape. Some months ago a warrant was issued for the arrest of Howard on a charge of boot- legging and other offenses, but he escaped to the States and just returned recently. It is also stated that a reward of $100.00 has been offered for his capture


Sept. 13, 1917
The prisoner was arraigned before His Honor Judge Wills on Monday at the Court House, Belleville, on a charge of non support and desertion of his family, who reside here. The charge was laid under the Criminal Code and not under the provisions of the Ontario Act.
The Judge, after hearing the evidence, convicted the prisoner but consented to let him go under suspended sentence, provided, and on the condition that the prisoner would, for a period of one year, pay the sum of one dollar a day or seven dollars a week to the support of his family and four dollars per week to reimburse the Village of Marmora for the monies advanced to the support of the family. The prisoner entered into his personal recognizances in $500., with one surety (Mr. Horton) for the sum of $250. On failure of these conditions the prisoner will be arrested and receive the full sentence of the Court.


Marmora HeraldMay 30, 1968

A 28 year old Marmora and Kingston area man is in the Ontario Hospital, Kingston to-day after being shot down by Provincial Police in a shooting spree on Marmora's main street Saturday evening, June 25th at approximately 11:30 p.m.
James 'Squeak' Reynolds was hit in the chest arm and both legs by bullets fired by Const. Larry McMaster (Madoc) and Const. Ross Bovay (Campbellford) when he refused to throw down his weapon and surrender.
Witnesses said "Squeak" smashed out the window in the front door of Leo's Sport Shop, Saturday night about 11:30 and entered the store and helped himself to a 303 British Army Rifle, loaded it up and began shooting inside the store. In the meantime several people ran over to the Town Hall where the teen- agers were having a dance and announced that "Squeak" had broken into the store and taken a gun to start shooting. A hurried call was made to Belleville and O.P.P. officers were on the scene in minutes.  At almost the same time Joe Murray who lives with his wife and family over Leo's Sport Shop (owner of the building) was awakened by the noise downstairs and as he walked down the hall a bullet blasted through the floor only inches from Mr. Murray, ricocheted off the wall, blowing plaster on Joe's shirt sleeve and tore a hole in the ceiling of his apartment. His daughter Catherine who was also walking across the front room in her bare feet was shot at from below. The bullet pierced the downstairs ceiling below and lodged in a beam in the ceiling. Catherine said she could hear the thump of the bullet in the wood directly below her feet.
As police arrived on the scene t,m men, one of them Jack Balvers, went around to the back door of the building while a Provincial Const. watched at the front entrance. As the Balvers boy reached the back door,  a 303 slug ripped through the door panel, smashing the outside pane of glass and missed Balvers' head by inches. Flying glass struck him in the face and he fell to the ground. It was believed the concussion and shock of the gunblast knocked him out. He was not admitted to the hospital.

A fourth bullet was shot through the big plate 90 glass window at the store front at a man who had climbed up on the awning in an attempt to look inside and locate the gunman's position.
After firing the four shots inside the store,  the man walked out through the shattered door onto the street,  pointing the rifle in the direction of the police. He crossed the street to the sidewalk in front of Simpson's Sears Store.
O.P.P. fired warning shots into the air and when Reynolds refused to drop the rifle and surrender,  they were forced to open fire on him. He suffered superficial wounds and was rushed to Belleville Hospital by ambulance and later removed to Kingston. He has been charged with breaking and enter and 2 charges have been laid for attempted murder. Several Const. remained in town overnight and the investigation was continued on Sunday.
We would like to congra- tulate the different Detachments involved in this shooting on the speed with which they arrived at Marmora when this emergency arose. Everyone is well aware that, unless they had gotten here very quickly, this shooting spree could have had disastrous consequences. To protect many individuals from certain death they had no choice but to take the action they did.
One thing we did notice about many persons' remarks afterwards,  was the unjust criticism hurled at the O.P.P. by several persons in the crowd. This was certainly uncalled for. They handled a very difficult situation in the best and only way possible. These men are only doing a job, the same as anyone else. They are responsible citizens with wives and families and have feelings the same as anyone else. Let's treat them with the respect they deserve, the same as we would any other professional man. Once again gentlemen, thank you for a job well done in the most difficult circumstances.

Click here for more photos


Marmora Herald Nov. 17, 1921

A tar and feather scrape is arousing excitement in the vicinity of Bancroft. It is alleged that three citizens of that village seized a well known man and they spirited him away to a place nine miles out in the country, and that there, after the usual preparations, they administered tar and feathers and threatened him with more severe treatment should he return to Bancroft. He did return, and lodged a complaint before a Magistrate. When the day arrived for his appearance in Court to press the charge, and he did not come, the case had to be adjourned. The Magistrate has got the Provincial authorities to work on the case. It is hinted in some quarters that the complainant was spirited away so that he could not appear against the accused.

NOTE - It is rumoured that the victim was J. Wesley Brown, a former resident of the Village of Marmora. If the report is true he will have very little sympathy in this community, where his deserted family have resided for years.


FIFTEEN  ON FORBIDDEN LIST                                     Marmora Herald, March 11, 1915

As a result of the war,  governments and municipalities have had to resort to unusual methods to cope with conditions which have arisen. The increased cost of living and the growing number of employed has meant a very serious problem for many places. At the same time it has also been recognized that the liquor traffic is responsible for a greater menace to the peace and well being of any community than anything else. To cope with these conditions and particularly to help the parties directly concerned, Marmora Village Council decided to take action under section 118, sub section 1, of the Liquor License Act.

Accordingly,  the Clerk, acting on instructions from Council, submitted a list of names to the Justices of the Peace. Wm. Bonter and H.R. Pearce requesting that the proper steps be taken to have them placed on the forbidden list. A number of names from the township were also submitted.
Summons were issued to the parties named and Court was held on March 4th. Previous to the sitting of the Court, a number personally went to the magistrates and expressed their willingness to be placed on the list as a means of helping them to overcome temptation. A number objected to being placed on the list and the objections of one or two men were accepted by the magistrates. In other cases it was considered in the interests of all concerned to have the names placed on the forbidden list. Following is the list as decided by the magistrates:

John Burns,   George Burns,   Edward Terrion, Dan Osborne, Isaac Wright, George Stanley,    Howard Hawley,  Hugh Crawford, Archie Bowen, Norman Cooper,  WaIter Revoy, Thomas MCQuaigg, Douglas McQuaigg, Thomas Winfield.  

In connection with these cases Magistrate Bonter said that no one should feel that it was any disgrace to be placed on the forbidden list. The law was designed to help men retain their manhood and was to protect those who were dependent on him. It was a disgrace for a man to become drunk and to injure his health and waste his means by indulging in liquor, but there was no disgrace in being protected or prevented from becoming drunken.


Shortly after one o'clock Saturday morning an alarm of fire was given and the old woollen mill was found to be on fire. As the water power was turned on the belt broke and it was discovered to be almost cut in two by a knife or other sharp instrument. After a hard fight to save the adjoining buildings the fire won and the building used for the village electric light plant was completely destroyed. An attempt to set fire to the saw mill was made but was discovered before much headway was made. A third attempt was made on the stables which also burned to the ground. The evidence of arson were so apparent that the Fire Marshall of Ontario made an investigation and an arrest has been made. Further developments are expected very soon.


     The Cemetery Mystery -1927

"To date there has been no solution of the mystery surrounding the attempt to open the steel vault, in which the casket containing the remains of the late Mrs. B. C. HubbeIl were buried. One can hardly imagine anything more foolish or absurd than the attempt, whatever the motive may have been."  

 So wrote the Marmora Herald on Nov. 3, 1927.

A week later,  Ewart  Wendel Warren, aged 20 years,   resident of Toronto,  but formerly of Marmora, (son of Mary Southworth& blacksmithRobert Warren),  gave himself up,  explaining he was paid $10.00 to be  only a middle man for the men in Toronto - that is,  Phillip Revoy and Frank Sullivan.(A relative of the famous "Red" Ryan,  who at the time was a resident of the Kingston Penitentiary.

On Nov. 17, 1927,  the Herald explained the motive.  "Mrs. Hubbell's casket is encased in a steel vault, believed to be the only one in the Marmora cemetery.  Mr. Hubbellisan undertaker and inquirieshave elicited the informationthat he purchased this vault some time before his wife's death, with the intention of selling it.   Such vaults were an innovation then and the undertaker failed to sell the one he had in stock.   When his wife died, therefore, he encased her casketin the steel receptacle and this novelty in funeral equipment caused much talk. Gossip spread, and the conclusion arrived at by the townsfolk was that the vault was used as a precautionagainst robbery, and that valuableshad been enclosed in the casket."  Those valuables,  according to the gossip,  were worth $200,000.00.
By Nov, 24,  Mr. Warren was let out on bail byMagistrate' Casement' after he stated, "I do not want to be represented by any lawyer," Warren continued. "I plead guilty and throw myself on the mercy of the Court."  Warren was used as a Crown witness against Sullivan and Revoy,  who were found guilty.
Asked if they had anything further to say,  Revoy said "I guess it is useless after the evidence of Warren!"


Five years later,  Ewart Warren was convicted and hanged in the Don Jail in Toronto for the murder of a dentist.                                                                  Click here to find out more about the murder and the hanging.                           




Monday evening Constable Percy Embury received a complaint against George Cole of Cooper, on a charge of passing a worthless cheque with intent to defraud. He found the accused at the Royal Hotel and placed him under arrest. As they left the Hotel, Cole made a dash for liberty, running south on Forsythe street with Constable Embury in pursuit. The constable called on him to stop and fired a couple of shots in the air, but Cole did not stop. When he turned at No. 7 Highway the constable fired low, hitting the prisoner in the fleshy part of the leg and in the foot and he dropped. He was carried to Dr. H.G. Parkin's office and given first aid and then taken to Belleville jail, where he was transferred to Belleville General Hospital under guard.