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1922 Tornado in Cordova

John VanVolkenburgh and Sarah Reid wedding day April 19 1893 Photo by Cunningham studio, Norwood & Hastings.

John and Sarah decided to abandon the property and move into half of a house in Cordova, owned by their daughter Alice and son-in-law Lewis Briggs.  Lew was a blacksmith by trade, having previously worked at a lumber camp at the Airhart ranch, north of Twin Sister Lakes.  Alice had previously worked there as well, as a cook.  John and Sarah lived the remainder of their lives at that location.

Back row, L to R.- Bill Magee, Charles Holland, Jack Hele, Bill Norton. C.R.- Theda Magee, Nora Norton. F.R.- Harry VanVolkenburg, Gladys Holland, Sarah VanVolkenburg, John VanVolkenburg, Vera Hele, Maude VanVolkenburg.

Wayne Van Volkenburg writes:       My grandfather John Wesley VanVolkenburg lived on a farm north of Cordova, at Lot 27 Con.1, Belmont. The lot was previously owned by his father Nathan, an early settler in that area.

In June 1922 a tornado and hailstorm blew the roof off their home and flattened the barn.  Hailstones the size of hen’s eggs were still evident a week later.  John junior (my father)  and his mother Sarah were travelling home from Marmora, by horse and buggy, when the storm forced them to seek refuge at the Maloney farm.

1901 John, Sarah VanVolkenburg, with children, Theda, Alice, May, and Harry (front)

All children  of John and Sarah  included :    Alice and John (twins who died at birth in 1893), Alice b. 1894, May b.1896, Theda b.1898, Harry b.1900, Gladys b.1902, Nora b.1904, Alexander b.1907, John b.1910 and Vera b.1912.

A Lewis Briggs story
On one trip from the Airhart ranch to his home, Lew came upon a man walking towards town. He stopped his buggy and asked the gentleman if he was tired of walking. He replied that he was indeed. Lew then said " Well then why don't you run for a while." He then drove away.
Lew purchased a new 1951 four door ford car. After purchasing some supplies at the Cordova store, he entered his vehicle, only to find that same man in the back seat. The locals sitting in front of the store found this quite amusing. Needless to say, Lew did not!

The VanVolkenburg family in Oshawa, Christmas 1947, John and Sarah in the centre