Driving north out of Marmora, on the Cordova Road, you will find Centre Line Road on your right. Following this route will take you past the Hughes Cemetery on the left, and the S.S. #2 Jones Public School house tucked in the bushes, just before the Beaver Creek road intersection.
It is here, at this intersection, that Shanick's first postmaster, James Bailey, lived. Since he ran the post office for Shanick here, the intersection was referred to as Shanick, even though the community was much further north, up the Beaver Creek. In 1885, however, the post office closed and did not open again until 1894 when Peter Sheridan took over the post master's job. Luckily for Shanick, Mr. Sheridan lived in the community of Shanick, so the village could claim its own name back.
Postmaster James Bailey
The intersection of Centre Line Road and Beaver Creek Road was formerly known as Bailey's Corners and later as "North Marmora". You will notice a cheese factory (now converted to a house) on the right as you pass through the intersection. The Shanick Road is your next left turn.
The first land grants of this area of the Beaver Creek were made in 1848 for farming. Shortly thereafter followed the lumber mills with the Ryan-Lynch partnership and in 1880, the Airhart lumber mill.
Ruth Tierney in her book "Echoes from the Past" wrote the following:
".... Some of the earliest immigrant family names were: Legrow, Revoy, Friar, Darrah, Lynch and Franklin. There were more but these names headed the list of pioneer names in this place. Kay Holmes at age 83 claimed her grandparents, Jim and Lucinda Darrah, arrived in Shanick about 1850. Her father peeled tan-bark for the Rathbun Lumber Co. of Trenton and lived in a little log house opposite the school. The house is still standing and is being used as a seasonal dwelling. Kay remembers when, “everyone went to Marmora in lumber wagons for that was all they had. The road out was little more than a dirt trail and was terribly bumpy but there was no choice. They had to have supplies. All land owners were expected to donate three days a year toward the maintenance of the road and Ben Revoy had taken the responsibility for its overall condition”.
Ben arrived in Shanick circa 1897 and got a job at the Lynch Mill. He was seriously hurt when his clothing caught in the rapidly spinning mill shaft. Rather than return to the mill after his convalescence, he accepted the position of Secretary to the Shanick School Board. During this period he also worked for H. Reg. Pearce Lumber Co. in Marmora as a land crusier, a job involving the study of the geographical limits of lots and estimation of the number and height of mature timber trees.
Ben was a busy man. He rode river log drives for Pearce Lumber, did a considerable amount of poaching, was a bootlegger and had the reputation of being a womanizer. Revoy married a bird-like little woman who didn't weight more than 90 lbs soaking wet. (Mary Jane Minnie McFarlane) She could walk for miles through the dense woods to gather a few berries but became lost when left on her own in Marmora. Before his death Ben Revoy was quoted as saying, “I reckon I've drunk enough whiskey to swim from Shanick to Marmora and back, without get'n wet”.
Antoine Revoy (no relation to Ben) built the one and only General Store and his customers where settlers, farmers and logging crews. The settlement spread over a distance of about 5 miles but Fryers Bridge was the focal point of the entire community. Antoine established the first feed mill there.
Chris Logan sent the photo at left: The store / George Logan's house in Shanick (1960's) abandoned by this time. Annmarie Willman-Spry wrote: My Great Grandfather George Emigh brought his bride, Lidieann Pemberton, from Frankford, Ontario & settled in Shannick where they produced their family including my grandmother Myrtle, along with George, Wes, Katherine, Edna, Bill Cross' mother & other children.
From left, Tim Loveless, Pat Clemens, Greg Terrion, Todd Ellis and Pat's brother Paul. Picture submitted by Dan Terrion
Another interesting character was Belle Gray, part Indian and a long time resident of Shanick. She was 84 and lived alone in a roughly built log cabin. While cleaning turnip greens she happened to glance up and saw a large black bear trying to kill one of her pigs. Grabbing her rifle she ran out the door hollering at the top of her voice while aiming her weapon. She fired on the run. The bullet caught him between the eyes and he dropped like a stone. That night the whole community showed up at Belle's for a bear meat supper.
As late as 1925 this place called Shanick was lagging far behind civilization. For example there was a hand-saw cutter at the Lynch Mill named Steven Emory who met a stranger on the road while returning from a hunting trip. The stranger possessed a beautiful pearl handled revolver that had been fashioned especially for him. Steven not only admired it but wanted it for himself.
After dickering for hours over the price, Steven finally offered his wife in trade. The deal was closed with a handshake and he never saw her again. When defending himself he declared' “ She wouldn't stop smoking her dirty old corncob pipe and I couldn't stand the smell no more”.
When the big lumber companies and their logging crews pulled out of Shanick, there were insufficient customers to allow the store to survive. Antoine Revoy went bankrupt, families moved away to seek work elsewhere and the school was boarded up. The post office was re-called by the government and few signs remained to reveal the once bustling community that had held such promise for the future."
House and Barn Burned
Marmora Herald Dec 1, 1932
Fire of unknown origin completely destroyed the barn and residence of Mr. George Franklin at Shanick early Saturday morning. Mr. Franklin is a widower and has been living alone lately. Sometime after 8 o'clock he was awakened by the crackling of the fire in the barn. He rushed out hoping to save his stock, but was too late. Four horses, two cows, harness, feed and various other equipment was lost. The only thing saved around the barn was a pig. Mr. Franklin then attempted to save some of the furniture at the house, but about all he could get out was a trunk belonging to his daughter, Miss Gertie Franklin, and a small amount of clothing. Mr. Franklin carried a small amount of insurance, but his loss will be quite heavy. Until he decides on his future plans he will live with Mr. and Mrs. John Neill, who lived quite near to him in a house also owned by Mr. Franklin. Mrs. Neill is his neice.
CLOSE BRUSH WITH DEATH
Marmora Herald Nov. 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 Allan 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 Marrnora, with the siren going full blast. In a short time McGarvey was ready to be taken to the Belleville General Hospital. An ambulance had been summoned before the call was sent for the pulmotor and the ambulance was waiting before it arrived. The fire chief's car lead the way on the return trip to Belleville and both made the trip in almost record time with the siren wide open.
Later Sunday evening a report was received from the hospital that the patient was getting along nicely. He was able to return home on Tuesday. Herb Wright escaped without any serious effects, but the back of his sweater was almost 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. We have not learned whether they were recovered or not. At the price of guns it will mean a heavy loss if they are not recovered.
This reference to "Shanuck" refers to the original location of Shanick on the Beaver Creek Road. The Fidlar homestead was located in the Fidlar's Glen area being Lot 14, Conc. 5 Township of Marmora