Featured News

$600,000 shortfall to complete K&P Trail

$600,000 shortfall to complete K&P Trail

Written By: Jeff Green | Published: September-20-2017 | Category: FRONTENAC COUNTY
Tagged Under: K&P trail, K&P, Development

In a detailed report to Council, Manager for Economic Development Richard Allan outlined the expected costs for completion of the K&P trail between the CN rail crossing at Tichborne to the Sharbot...

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Ompah ATV run attracts 500+ riders

Ompah ATV run attracts 500+ riders

Written By: Craig Bakay | Published: September-20-2017 | Category: NORTH FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Ompah, ATV Run

Generally speaking, in the 10 years the volunteers have been holding ATV run fundraisers in Ompah, the beginning of summer event is usually busier than the end of summer one. But this year the trend w...

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Saturn the big star at last Saturday’s star party near Plevna

Saturn the big star at last Saturday’s star party near Plevna

Written By: Craig Bakay | Published: September-20-2017 | Category: NORTH FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Plevna, Star Parties

About 50 people showed up to the Sky Pad near Plevna Saturday night where the planet Saturn was the main attraction. “This is a good night because you don’t always get to see Titan (Saturn’s largest ...

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Bellrock Hall has become one busy little place

Bellrock Hall has become one busy little place

Written By: Craig Bakay | Published: September-20-2017 | Category: SOUTH FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Music, Bellrock Hall, Bellrock

While the major renovations at Bellrock Hall have been completed for some time now, there are still things to be done and plans in the works. So, with the bands After The News and Crimson River set to...

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Pine tree at Kennebec Hall replaced with cedars

Pine tree at Kennebec Hall replaced with cedars

Written By: Craig Bakay | Published: September-20-2017 | Category: CENTRAL FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Arden, Development, nature

Back on June 15, 1984, seniors in Arden and Kennebec planted a pine tree to commemorate not only the seniors of the day, but also descendants of those present who represented the original pioneers of ...

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4th Annual North Frontenac Back Roads Studio Tour

It’s time for the annual North Frontenac Back Roads Studio tour! This is the tour’s 4th year, and ta...

Ambulance service under threat, again?

At the Denbigh meeting of Addington Highlands Council on Monday night, Reeve Henry Hogg and Deputy R...

Conditional discharge over possession of “shake”

18 year old Austin Bedwell pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of marijuana “over 30 grams” and...

Fatal motor vehicle collision with pedestrian in Inverary

On September 15, 2017, at approximately 9:05 p.m. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers from the ...

Controversy free planning for development on lakes? – never

A lot of people who live in rural areas value their privacy. For those living on lakes, privacy is h...

Public meeting to be rescheduled and advertised again

South Frontenac Council decided to re-advertise a public meeting regarding a request to sever a lot ...

Kingston hospitals seek county money

Ten years ago Frontenac County Council committed $540,000 over ten years to help fund the re-develop...

Wintergreen seminar looks at options for electricity generation

“We are at a critical juncture in Ontario — the proverbial fork in the road,” reads the sign-up shee...

Gilmour Point Beach closed for health reasons

A popular swimming hole has been closed by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.Gilmou...

Sydenham Veterinary Services staff to Ride For Farley

Four members of the Sydenham Veterinary Services staff (Leslie Reade, Kim Doucet, Dawna Revell and K...

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50 STORIES 150 YEARS

Virgil Garrett: A Salute to a Teacher and Beekeeper

Virgil Garrett: A Salute to a Teacher and Beekeeper

Q. What do grandfather clocks and bees have in common? A. Virgil Garrett This past summer there was a construction project on Road 38 at the northern edge of the village of Sharbot Lake. For a time there was a stoplight for southbound traffic in front of Virgil and Beryl Garret...

Wolfe Island Past and Present – as of 1973

In 1973, Winston Cosgrove published a 60-page book on the history of Wolfe Island. Wolfe Island Past and Present outlines how the island came to be settled, how it remained in use by indigenous peoples as fall and winter fishing and hunting grounds until the middle of the 19th Century, and how the population peaked in the late 19th Century before beginning a long decline that has only recently been reversed. The book is written in a kind of discreet manner that suggests its focus was more in the past than on what was then the present, and of course 40 years have passed since it was published. It contains, however, much information about how the island community developed from the late 17th until the 20th centuries. In 1685, Robert Cavallier, Sieur de Lasalle, having been granted the Signeury of Fort Frontenac by King Louis the 14th ten years earlier, conferred ownership of what would become known as Wolfe Island on James Cauchois. It was the “first conveyance of any part of Ontario from one subject to another”. The land remained in the Cauchois family for over 100 years, until it was sold in the early 1800s to David Alexander Grant and Patrick Langan for one shilling an acre. Grant had married the Baroness of Longeuil in 1785, and although the sale of the island to Grant and Langan severed all ties to the French monarchy it did establish the Baron of Longeuil as a major force on Wolfe Island. In 1823, David Alexander's son, C.W. Grant, the 4th Baron of Longeuil, owned about 11,000 acres on the island. A similar amount was split among the three daughters of Patrick Langan. Two-sevenths of the land had been turned over to England's King George when the British overturned French rule in the entire region. Grant sold off 100 acre lots starting in 1823, and settlement began in earnest. He also had a large house constructed near Marysville. The house, which was called Ardath Chateau, was known locally as the “The Old Castle”. It had 25 rooms, a dungeon, a carriage house and servants' quarters and was the “focal point for many years of life on the island”. In 1929 the house, which had been unoccupied for at least 15 years, was razed in a fire. “Being a native born Islander, this writer recognises the staunch loyalty among the Islanders for one another and out of respect for this tradition, would prefer 'to let sleeping dogs lie' rather than delve further into the matter.” This suggests that Winston Cosgrove knew more about the fire than he was willing to say, and in all likelihood further information about what happened that dark night in 1929 is still carried by any number of Wolfe “Islanders”. Although “The Old Castle” was certainly grand, the housing situation for Wolfe Island settlers in the early to mid 19th Century was more modest. Fifteen settler families lived on the island in 1823, and this increased to 261 persons by 1826. The population grew steadily, peaking at 3,600 by 1861. When the island was being settled in the 1820s and 30s “the typical house was a log cabin, 20 feet long by 16 feet wide, 6 logs high, with a shanty or sloping roof. Some had glass but most often the windows were only holes in the wall, which could be covered in the winter.” During the 1850s, demand for lumber for D. D. Calvin's shipbuilding operation on nearby Garden Island led to a lumbering boom on Wolfe Island, and the boom ended when the trees were gone. The population began to dwindle at that point, and by the time Cosgrove's book was published in 1973, it was down to 1,200. It had dropped to 1142 by 2001, and the 2011 population survey lists Frontenac Islands (including Wolfe and Howe Island) at 1864. The current permanent resident population of Wolfe Islands, according to Wikipedia, is 1,400, although it is twice that or more in the summer (perhaps excluding this past summer due to the Ferry Fiasco of 2015). Wolfe Island Past and Present contains a wealth of information about landmarks and renowned island residents. It explains how Marysville was named after Mary Hitchcock, who lived all of her 92 years on the island and was its first postmistress between 1845 and her death in 1877. The General Wolfe Hotel, originally known as the Wolfe Island Hotel, was built in 1860. It was renamed the General Wolfe by the Greenwood brothers in 1955, and benefited from the results of a liquor referendum in 1957, which was won by “the wets”. The hotel remains an island landmark and a major part of the hospitality industry. It's 130-seat restaurant has won a number of provincial awards. The final chapter of the book deals with a crucial subject, one that has been top of mind on the island this summer and was also the subject of a discussion and slide show on Wednesday, December 2, “Ice Travel” with Kaye Fawcett and Ken White, which was organised by the Wolfe Island Historical Society. Throughout Frontenac County the history of road and railway construction is full of colour, hardship and a fair taint of corruption and scandal. On Wolfe Island there is an added dimension - the water that separates the island from the mainland and the City of Kingston. It was 50 years ago, in 1965, that a year-round ferry service financed by the Province of Ontario was established on Wolfe Island. Until then the ferry service ran only until freeze up, and during the winter an ice road was the way across. In 1954 the winter was so warm that the ferry was only inactive for 2 days, but between 1955 and the onset of the year-round ferry in 1965, the range was 60 to 110 days, with an average of about 80 inactive days each winter. Over the years, tragedies and near tragedies occurred on the ice on many occasions. One of the more famous events was the near drowning of entire families on Christmas Day in 1955. The ferry was out of commission because of an early winter, but a tug boat, the Salvage Prince, waited at the edge of the ice at Barrett's Bay for families who had come to the island for Christmas Day and were returning to Kingston late in the afternoon. They were being drawn across the ice in a sleigh, but just before reaching the boat, the sleigh went through a wet spot in the ice, forcing a hurried and dangerous rescue, as children, adults and seniors, were luckily all pulled out of the freezing water back to the tug and a boat ride to Kingston. Some were taken to the hospital for observation. An account of the trip by Brian Johnson is available at thousandislandslife.com. In the concluding pages of his book, Winston Cosgrove makes the argument that the economy of Wolfe Island will be doomed unless a bridge is built. “In the past the economy of the island has been purely an agricultural one, with hunting and fishing and summer residents as minor items. Under this system the population has dwindled. The key to the problem is transportation. There is much beautiful undeveloped shoreline and land that is is well-suited for permanent homes but better ways are needed to get to and from the mainland if the community is to develop and grow. A ferry service is not efficient enough ... Meanwhile the Islanders who want a bridge must be content to await future developments while acting as guardians of a great land developed by pioneers, to whom all are indebted.” Although Cosgrove's views may have had a lot of currency this past summer while the Wolfe Islander ferry was in dry dock, Wolfe Island has reversed the population slide over the past 10 years and a number of tourism-related businesses are thriving.

Frontenac Provincial Park: from mica mines to trails

Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. (An account of the life and times of the Kemp family can be found at Frontenacnews.ca under the “50 Stories/150 Years” tab) The level of poverty among late 19th Century settlers is reflected in some of the minutes of meetings of both Hinchinbrooke and Loughbrough Townships. In the minutes there are accounts of grants for as little as $1 for families in need after the death of a partner or a debilitating illness. Families who had settled on the worst pieces of land, who suffered from any kind of ill health, or for some reason were not able to keep up with the demands of clearing land, building shelter, keeping warm in winter and raising enough food, ended up in desperate straits. That is why settlers would take over abandoned fields and houses and only settle the ownership later on, if they decided to stay. Far from disputing this practice, as long as the property taxes were paid the local townships did not question the ownership of the properties. Mining was one of the few means of getting money for labour, and was also a major impetus for the establishment of the K&P Railroad. The village of Godfrey, to the west of Frontenac Park, was originally called Deniston after the name of the post office but it was known as Iron Ore Junction by the local population. The Glendower company mined 12,000 tons of iron ore between 1873 and 1880, and later the Zanesville company took over and a spur line was constructed between the mine and the Bedford Station (renamed Godfrey in 1901) of the K&P. A large deposit of Feldspar was found between Desert and Thirteen Island Lakes, and it was mined, on and off, between 1901 and 1951, producing a total of 230,000 tons in that time. In and right around the park, it was mica that was the most commonly mined mineral, in small mines as a kind of cottage industry and on an industrial scale as well. There is an account of how a mica mine operated in one of the issues of “The Frontenac News” (not this newspaper but the newsletter of the Friends of Frontenac Park) Below is an excerpt: 1905 - early in the morning Tom Gorsline, the foreman at the Tett mine, is checking the steam piping as a worker starts a wood fire in the boiler that will provide the steam that runs the drill and the water pumps. The miners had been following a vein of amber mica (phlogopite) since 1899 - the main pit now plunged close to 80 feet into the rocks and water sometimes was a problem. Fortunately, the price for mica is on the rise again and the main vein is still good. The hand drillers are already at work. Their job is to make holes in the rock to receive the explosives. The drillers are working in teams of two using a method called "double-jacking". One person, the holder, manually holds a steel drill against the rock. The other, the striker, swings an eight-pound sledgehammer hitting the end of the drill. In between the blow, the holder twists the drill to loosen the rock chips so it does not get stuck in the rock. Then the next blow comes with a sharp clank when steel meets steel. They are drilling at a rate of 1.5 to 2 feet per hour. After a half-hour, the holder and striker exchange places so the striker can have a rest. As you can imagine, accuracy is crucial. If the striker misses, the holder could be maimed for life. This is dangerous enough when they are drilling on the floor of the mine, but often the veins are at the roof of a drift or on the wall of the pit. As soon as the steam from the boiler reaches the right pressure, a miner starts the steam drill. It is faster and easier than hand drilling but the steam drill is enormous, unreliable and unwieldy because of connections with the steam pipes that come down from the surface. As a result, the steam driller is assigned fairly open spaces while the hand drillers work in tight quarters. Drilling is hard and dangerous - there are no hard hats, goggles, or electrical lights - but the dollar a day they are earning helps to feed their families. Now that the holes are in place, Tom calls the blasters. They make sure the holes are dry, otherwise the charges may not go off. They put the black powder in waterproof covers, attach a proper length fuse, and place it down in the hole. They pack the rest of the hole with clay. The length of the fuse is important or they could meet their maker faster than expected. After a few minutes, all charges are ready. The head blaster gives a signal to Tom Gorsline who orders all miners and equipment out of from the mine. When all is clear, the blaster lights up the fuse and moves quickly out of the way. The explosion rumbles and the ground shakes. After the smoke and dust settle, Tom sends in the muckers. They have a hazardous job. Everyone knew of George Amey, a mucker at the Birch Lake mine, who lost an eye when his pick hit a charge that did not fully explode. Some muckers sort the ore from the waste while others, with picks and shovels, load the waste rock in a large bucket until it is full. Then one of them yells: "BUCKET." Upon hearing the signal, a man at the surface gets the horse moving on a circular track so that the winch can hoist the bucket up to the top. The bucket is dumped on the tailings pile. As soon as the muckers are finished clearing the debris from the last blast, the drillers begin to make new holes. Cleaning the mica is the job of cobblers who work on the surface. Some cobblers "thumb trim" the mica by the pit while others are working at the cleaning shop attached to the main mine building, "knife trimming" the mica to remove all traces of unwanted material. They store the clean mica in barrels. The mica is shipped down the Hardwood Bay Road to Perth Road then north to Bedford Mills. There, the mica will be shipped to a buyer in Ottawa via the Rideau Canal. The Tett mine operated from 1899 till 1924. It produced 99 tons of mica for a value of $27,279.00. For a few months, it was the largest mica producer in Ontario. By the 1940s the mica mining boom had passed and most of the homesteads in the area had been abandoned or were on their last legs. It was then that the idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty-seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty-five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter Lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park. Among the features of the park, and on the nearby Gould Lake Conservation Area, are hiking trails that pass by and over mica mine sites. In the Park, the 10 km Tettsmine Loop passes by remnants of a log slide from the lumbering days, abandoned mica mines and the remains of McNally Homestead. At Gould Lake, the Mica Loop passes over several small mine sites and mica minerals can still be seen sparkling in the rock faces.  

First Frontenac County warden from Wolfe Island

There were a number of distinguished Frontenac County wardens from the Township of Wolfe Island during the first 133 years of Frontenac County history, and since municipal amalgamation there have been two more from the Township of Frontenac Islands: Jim Vanden Hoek for two years, and the current warden, Denis Doyle. Although Tim O'Shea was only county warden for a single year, the centennial year in 1967, he was a member of the council for 33 consecutive years as the long-serving reeve of Wolfe Island. He retired from politics in 1991 and died in 1996 at the age of 78. His son, Terry, who served as the clerk of Wolfe Island and Frontenac Islands for over 20 years, starting in 1986, described his father as someone who enjoyed people and was able to remain calm in tense situations, which might explain why he was able to win election after election. He worked for most of his life as a hunting and a fishing guide on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and in the evenings he tended to township matters. As well as presiding over Council, he was the welfare officer for the islands as well as the manager of the ferry, all part of the functions of the reeve. Perhaps his most lasting accomplishment was convincing the provincial government to take over the ferry service from Wolfe Island and make it a free service. He also presided over the construction of the first library, medical clinic, ambulance base and fire department on the island. Because of all his accomplishments and longevity, he is still considered to have been the dean of Frontenac County councilors. One hundred and two years before Tim O'Shea served as county warden, another Wolfe Island politician held the post. The first ever Frontenac County warden was Dileno (Dexter) Calvin, the proverbial self-made man. He was orphaned at the age of eight in Rutland, Vermont. When he was 20 he moved to the State of New York where he worked as a labourer until he entered into the lumbering business when he was in his mid-20s. He started in 1825, squaring some timber with a neighbour and transporting it by raft to Quebec City. Slowly, he built up the business, and in 1835 he moved to Clayton, NY, and established a lumber transport business. Soon after, he became involved in a company based on Garden Islands, the Kingston Stave Forwarding Company, which was later renamed Calvin, Cook and Counter, and then Calvin and Cook after the men who owned it. In 1844, Dexter Calvin moved to rented land on Garden Island and took control of the company, taking advantage of the island's location, its sheltered port, and the fact that it was within the British rather than the American trading system. Out of its base on Garden Island, the company maintained agencies in Sault St. Marie, Quebec City, Liverpool and Glasgow, operated 12 -15 ships and employed as many as 700 people in its peak years. It became a generalized shipping company, and also operated a large tugboat service. The move to Garden Island took place soon after the death of Calvin's first wife, Harriet Webb, in Clayton, New York, in 1843. the couple had been married for 12 years and had six children. He remarried Marion Breck in 1844. They also had six children between 1844 and her death in 1861. His third wife, Catherine Wilkinson, whom he married in 1861 when he was 63, had two children, and lived until 1911. Of his 14 children, only six lived to adulthood. During the last 40 years of his long life (he died in 1884 at the age of 86) Calvin was a sort of patriarch to the inhabitants of Garden Island. He bought 15 acres of land on the island in 1848 with his partner Hiram Cook, and by 1862 they owned the entire island. Calvin bought Cook’s share in 1880. Garden Island became a model company town, with its own school, library, and post office. Although it was made up of people from different national origins and religions, it was reportedly remarkably peaceful and well managed. It was also a dry community, under the express orders of Calvin himself, who became a prohibitionist at the same time as his conversion to the Baptist Faith about a year before the death of his first wife. Since most of the inhabitants of Garden Island worked for Calvin, he was able to shield them from economic turbulence in two ways. For one thing, since he was more involved in lumber transport than buying and selling, the fluctuations in the price of lumber did not affect the business in a substantial way. He also chose to use the company's reserves to shield his employees during serious downturns, such as one that took place in 1873. At that time he cut wages but did not lay any one off, which was as unusual then as it is now. He was strongly opposed to organized labour, however, and when sailors on his ships started a union drive, he hired replacement workers from Glasgow and eventually sold some of his schooners and bought great lake barges to cut down on the need for labour. His political life, which began when he was in his early 60s, was quite distinguished. He had become a naturalized Canadian within a year of moving to Garden Island. By the time Frontenac County was established in 1865 after the amalgamated County of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington had been disbanded, Calvin was already ensconced as reeve of Wolfe Island and the surrounding islands. He became the first warden of the County, a position he also held the following year and in 1868 as well. He then took a turn at provincial politics, as a Conservative MPP for the riding of Frontenac. He served from 1868 until 1883, with the exception of the years between 1875 and 1877, when he lost favour with the party. In those days, becoming the Conservative candidate in Frontenac was more difficult than winning the election against opposing party candidates. He was also one of the first directors of the K&P Railroad. He was a man who was known for his eccentricities, such as a dislike for short men “for no other reason than that they were short” according to his grandson, as well as men who bit their fingernails (author's note – I'm sure we would have gotten on famously) as well as dogs and people who own them. “When a man's poor,” he said, “he gets a dog. If he's very poor, he gets two.” Dileno Dexter Calvin died in 1884, and despite his great success in Canada, he was buried next to his mother and his first wife in Clayton, NY.

Frontenac Provincial Park, the ultimate jewel in the rough

Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes, within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. In doing so, Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. The first family to be profiled in the book is the Kemp family, who arrived at their farm at Otter Lake, near the west gate of the park, sometime in the 1860s. By the time of the 1871 census, William and Jane Kemp, both 47, had six children living with them. The land they laid claim to, in addition to other properties taken on by their son George, was very good by local standards. Over two decades of work, making use of the efforts of the entire family, 30 acres of the 95 acre property had been cleared. “That might not sound like much to show for 20 years of labour, but in that district most farms worked 15 or 20 cleared acres. In fact the clearing was usually completed in relatively short order. But it was back-breaking work, without mechanical means. It involved cutting down the trees and clearing the brush, then burning the stumps that could not be wrenched from the ground by a team of horses or oxen and hauled away to form a first fence row. In the meantime the job of raising a crop to feed the family over the winter had to go on, and the first seeds were usually sown among the stumps ... it was no wonder that among the first settlers it was axiomatic to hate trees,” wrote Christian Barber in Their Enduring Spirit. The Kemp family prospered, and by 1900 the original log cabin that was built in the early 1870s had disappeared beneath white, painted clapboard, and numerous outbuildings had been constructed as well. There was a root cellar below, and fields that extended right to the front doorway. Still, cash was not easy to come by. A ledger from M.A. Hogan's General Store in Sydenham illustrates this. In late 1912, Mary Shales Kemp, George's wife, who managed the family finances among numerous other tasks, purchased dishes, a pair of overalls for a dollar, and the indulgences of walnuts and a vase, for a total cost of $7.32. Her custom was to pay for her purchases with butter and eggs from the farm. However on this occasion, after the eggs and butter were factored in there was a shortfall of $1.45. Back went the overalls and the extra 45 cents was paid in cash. During the mica mining year in the first decade of the 20th century, George Kemp found a number of small deposits on his farm, and even took on investors to pay the $70 that was needed for drills and blasting powder at one site. However, enough mica was never found to make a profit on the venture. To the extent that there were roads in the area, they were built and maintained by all of the farmers living in there, sometimes as part of their taxation responsibilities, which, in the late 19th century, included putting in some time improving the local roads. While the Kemp family were able to establish a successful farm in what is now Frontenac Park, it was ultimately unsustainable. Mary Kemp lived on the farm after George died, but moved away in 1928 and sold the property in 1941. The last people to occupy it were a family from Wyoming in the late 1940s. By the time Mary Kemp died in Sydenham in 1952 at the age of 93, the property where she had made her life had been abandoned and the house and barns had burned down. When Christian Barber went to the property in the late 1980s as he was preparing his book, it was mostly overgrown with vegetation, and it required effort on his part to find the remnants of what had been a going concern for 60 or 70 years. He notes this at the end of his chapter on the Kemp family of Kemp Road : “... the fields, so painstakingly cleared and planted and harvested by generations of settlers, are overgrown with sumac and birch, locust and juniper. Rusted barbed wire – embedded by years in the centre of the trees that it was originally stapled to the bark of – is stretched to the breaking point by fallen trees, and there is no one to cut them away; no farmer in overalls, with strong, knuckly, barked, and sun-tanned hands to walk the line on a summer day between haying and harvest and maintain a fence.” The Kemp family's story is similar in outcome to others told in the book - struggle and some success followed by a move to better farmland elsewhere in the region or to work off the farm in Sydenham or beyond. Mining and logging were also prevalent in the park. Logging started in the early 19th century and mining later on, with the logging having the greatest impact on the land, as it did elsewhere in the region generally. In the interesting chapter on mining, Barber touches on the story of Antoine Point on Devil Lake. Francis Edward Antoine and his wife, Letitia Whiteduck, built a log cabin on the Point in the mid 19th century and they are buried there. One of their sons, John Antoine, is listed, along with the government, as the owner of Antoine Point in the 1883 Meacham map, one of the best source materials for information about land ownership in those years. John, with his wife Elizabeth Hollywood, had 11 children. According to Antoine family lore, it was John who found mica deposits at Antoine Point, although there are competing accounts about who found the ore at that location, and it seems that the Point became of interest to mining interests in the early 1890s. There is an entry in the land registry indicating that John Antoine sold his interest in the land to William Jones for $50 in 1897, and the Antoines moved to Godfrey, and eventually back to Sharbot Lake, where another branch of the family was already located. The idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated in the 1940s. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park.

NORTH FRONTENAC NEWS

Ompah ATV run attracts 500+ riders

Ompah ATV run attracts 500+ riders

Generally speaking, in the 10 years the volunteers have been holding ATV run fundraisers in Ompah, the beginning of summer event is usually busier than the end of summer one. But this year the trend was reversed with about 545 riders registered, said one of the organizers, Lindy ...

Saturn the big star at last Saturday’s star party near Plevna

About 50 people showed up to the Sky Pad near Plevna Saturday night where the planet Saturn was the main attraction. “This is a good night because you don’t always get to see Titan (Saturn’s largest moon and the second largest moon in the solar system after Jupiter’s Ganymede),” said Alex Dolnycky, who was visiting from the North York Astronomical Association.It was also timely as the Cassini spacecraft ended its mission by burning up in Saturn’s atmosphere Sept. 15, the night before the star party. Dolnycky said Saturn is especially interesting for him because another Saturnian moon, Enceladus, is covered in ice that is thought to cover a subsurface ocean and as such could be a good candidate for harboring primitive life. Dolnycky lectures on the possibility of life in the solar system with Enceladus and Mars being his top two candidates. Telescopes were also trained on a number of Messier objects this night, with M13, the Great Globular Cluster in the constellation Hercules being particular spectacular. M27, the Dumbbell Nebula in the Summer Triangle was also worth a look.The final star party this year is scheduled for Oct. 14 when our closest neighbour galaxy, Andromeda, will be well placed. North Frontenac’s astronomer-in-residence, Gary Colwell, was also on hand and was more than willing to share his eclipse adventure this summer. On Aug. 21, Colwell was in Grand Island, Nebraska to see to total solar eclipse. While eclipses themselves aren’t rare, being in the path of a total solar eclipse isn’t something most people get to do very often, so the 5,000 kilometre trip was something Colwell won’t forget. “There must have been 3,000 people from Canada in the KOA campgrounds,” Colwell said. “And when the eclipse happened, we were all cheering like little kids.”Colwell had his gear with him and got some spectacular video and photos, but they’re a bonus to the actual experience, he said. “For two minutes and 34 seconds, it was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had,” he said. “It was almost spiritual, seeing 360 degree twilight.“It was a bit freaky seeing stars while the sun was out and the temperature dropped maybe five or ten degrees. “The next one (totality) is in Mexico (2024) and I’m planning to go.”

4th Annual North Frontenac Back Roads Studio Tour

It’s time for the annual North Frontenac Back Roads Studio tour! This is the tour’s 4th year, and takes place on the last weekend of September. This is Sept 30th /Oct 1st in 2017. More Artists than ever are participating. The tour’s great success has brought almost all of last year’s artists and artisans back, and 5 or 6 more have joined. 24 artists will be displaying their work in 15 different studios locations. Several of the new artists are located on the 506 end of the tour, near Cloyne, which will give some new territory for visitors to explore. Many visitors make the tour an annual event. As well as seeing the new work of your favourite artists, there will be new ones to check out and enjoy. A tremendous variety of work is displayed. At last count there were 10 painters with a variety of styles and subject matter, 5 fabric artists create everything from quilts to bags to clothing. Artists in three dimensions work in wood, concrete and scrap metal – one paints on gourds. There is a photographer and a jeweler working in gold and silver. Favorite stops are at an alpaca farm and at an artisanal cheesemakers. Although the tour covers a wide area reaching almost every corner of North Frontenac Township, the drive between studios is worth spending a day or two on by itself. The autumn colours should be at their peak, and the hills and lakes of North Frontenac are legendary in their beauty. A more detailed description of the artists and their work would be too lengthy to cover here, but can be found on the tour’s website northfrontenacbackroadsstudiotour.com. A map is also available there, if you have not been able to pick up a brochure already. Whether you are driving in from Sharbot Lake, or from Perth or Ottawa or Highway 41, the first studios will be easy to find and will have maps to direct you further on the tour. The North Frontenac Artists are looking forward to the tour, and all of them will make you most welcome when you visit their studios.

MVCA Says No To Residents Crossing Dam On Shabomeka Lake

Unless the Ministry of Natural Resources has some potential solution, residents on Shabomeka Lake that have been using the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority dam to access their properties will have to find alternate access, North Frontenac Council heard at its regular meeting last week in Harlowe.Lake resident Brad Pound appeared at Council representing 48 cottagers. “As cottagers who purchased properties on the west side of the lake, we have historically been able to access our properties via the water or by crossing the control dam on foot, snowmobile or ATV,” Pound said. “A few years ago, MVCA put bollards in place restricting ATV and snowmobile access. “This has forced cottagers and service providers such as Hydro One to cross through the stream below the dam or risk thin ice to access our cottages.”Pound said they would like MVCA to “incorporate a crossing into their plans that would allow us to safely access our properties as we have in the past.”He said they have made several requests to MVCA but been denied access across the dam. He said they were at Council requesting North Frontenac to provide some access in conjunction with the dam reconstruction/rehabilitation.Coun. Gerry Martin, North Frontenac’s representative at MVCA said the Township has made requests about this in the past. “They said it was a question of liability and there’s nothing we can do,” Martin said. “They also said there was some damage from snowmobiles and nobody is ‘allowed to cross.’“It’s MNR property so I don’t know what else we can do.”“MVCA has control over the dam so we have to look at alternatives,” said Mayor Ron Higgins.“Perhaps MNR might be a resource,” said Deputy Mayor Fred Perry.Higgins said he’d write a letter to the MNR “to see what can be done.” North Frontenac Council decided to remove a clause in its Official Plan (which goes to the County Community Planning Advisory Council Sept. 12) relating to commercial logging around water bodies.Concerns from area loggers were that a 150-metre zone prohibiting logging was neither practical nor warranted and that the restrictions loggers are already subject to through provincial regulations are more than enough to protect forests. “We’re already following MNR regulations which are 15 metres,” said logger Phillip Schonauer. “Unless there’s a crane’s nest in there and then it’s different.“I’d like to see the MNR rules used because that’s what we’re already following.”Council agreed that they didn’t need more logging regulations in the Official Plan.Council also agreed to have a look at rezoning some areas when it comes time to look at the Zoning Bylaw again. The offer of a donation of a telescope for the Dark Skies observation site on Road 506 are likely to be a ‘thanks-but-no-thanks’ as a suitable building to house it in would likely cost in the $20,000-$30,000 range and there’s no guarantee that Transport Canada would OK it around the helipad even if they did come up with the money (Mayor Ron Higgins floated the idea of crowd funding).“We turned down 10 acres and a log cabin for similar reasons,” said Coun. John Inglis.“I hate to say it but needs and wants are two different things,” said Coun. Wayne Good. “We’d also have to maintain it.”“We’ll have a look at budget time to see if it’s feasible,” said Higgins.

Corvus & Me Continues With Third Young Adult Novel

Snow Road author Joelle Hubner-McLean was at the Snow Road Community Hall Saturday to sign copies of her novel Corvus & Me: The Indigenous Spirit, the third in her Corvus & Me series.“In this latest one, the protagonist, Janine, along with Corvus (the Crow) and Right Whisper, struggle to preserve the forest and save it from the evil Phantom Faeron,” she said.Hubner-McLean, a former teacher with a background in indigenous studies, said the series is “semi-autobiographical” and came from an incident one winter in her youth.“I was looking at a tree and saw a face in it,” she said. She said there is a lot of the spirit world, based on Native studies, and it’s “full of metaphors.”“There are a lot of messages in there that reflect on adult people that teachers have to go through,” she said.For example, she said many of the metaphors relate to the recent struggles the Dakota peoples have gone through trying to protect the watersheds from the “disastrous consequences” of a pipeline proposal.Some of the struggles Janine goes through are based on her own childhood, she said. “I came from France at a young age and growing up here, there were language barriers,” she said. “I was bullied because of them.”So, she wanted to write for young adults to perhaps help them along. But she also wanted to do it in a certain way.“There are no pictures in the book,” she said. “Children will have to come up with their own images through their imagination.“That may be generational because we didn’t have Google (growing up).” Corvus is Latin for crow or raven and when asked if she has a spirit animal connection to the birds, she said “yes and no”.“I seem to be close to them in real life. The crows seem to be on my right side in intellectual situations and on my left in emotional situations, such as a death in the family.” Hubner-McLean’s books can be ordered through her website corvusandme.com and ravenswoodpublishing.com.

CENTRAL FRONTENAC NEWS

Pine tree at Kennebec Hall replaced with cedars

Pine tree at Kennebec Hall replaced with cedars

Back on June 15, 1984, seniors in Arden and Kennebec planted a pine tree to commemorate not only the seniors of the day, but also descendants of those present who represented the original pioneers of the area.However, nobody really envisioned a day when the tree would get as larg...

KFPL StoryWalk returns to Sharbot Lake Farmers Market

One of the more popular programs the Kingston Frontenac Public Library has been bringing to area events in the past few years has been its StoryWalk program. And last Saturday, they brought the most recent installment to the Sharbot Lake Farmers Market.“The story is Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett,” said KFPL programmer Margi McKay. “Like all our StoryWalks, you follow the signs and each sign has a page of the book and an activity for kids and their parents to do.“This story has 13 pages/signs.” For example, at one sign, participants are invited to measure themselves to see if they are as tall as an emperor penguin. At another, they are asked to hop to the next sign like a kangaroo.“By the time you’re done, you’ve read a book and you get a button,” she said. “Then kids are invited to sit on the blanket and read other books.”It’s designed to be fun, of course, but there’s a method in this madness. “Any time we can get books in the minds and heads of kids, we like to take that opportunity,” McKay said. “If parents aren’t buying books, we like to put them in the kids’ minds.“We like to add elements of fun — as a way to engage young minds.” And it also gives them a chance to talk about the various programs and services the library offers.“We’re always expanding our programs and have a wide variety for both kids and adults,” she said. For example, she said, they have a labs program for the sciences and one aimed at the younger crowd called STEM Punks (STEM standing for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as well as Books for Babies, Rhythm and Rhyme and Play and Learn.More information on the KFPL programs is available on their website.

Sam Arraj, Seeds Co, country music, and Sharbot Lake

Sam Arraj was working as a senior manager at the accounting firm of G&G in Toronto, where he had built up a clientele over the years. Since he is a country music fan, he had been drafted onto the board of the Ontario County Music Association since “not-for-profit boards are always looking for people with financial experience” and in that role he continued to pick up more and more clients in the entertainment industry. In 2016 he saw a for sale listing for an accounting business based in Sharbot Lake, Seeds and Company, and he thought about leaving Toronto behind and maybe starting a family with his wife in a less hectic location.“I had seen the way many firms in Toronto were outsourcing their work to places like India and the Philippines and thought that it could be possible to outsource work to Sharbot Lake instead.”When he looked into Seeds and Company, he found it was a very solid second generation business, started by David Seeds and carried on by his son Ryan, with a good local and regional clientele. Since taking over the business in November of 2016, Arraj has been pleased not only with the reception in Sharbot Lake, but also with the opportunities to carry on with his existing clients and expand the reach of Seeds and Company in Kingston and Toronto.“We have been investing in staffing and technology to make Sharbot Lake a strong head office where the work gets done, with satellite offices elsewhere.” A new computer server is coming online to increase the capacity of the four member staff in the Sharbot Lake office, and Arraj is seeking to hire a fifth full time and two seasonal people in the near future, as well as a staff accountant at some point.Some of his plans mirror the trajectory of the Robinson Group, a Sharbot Lake based mortgage and financial business with clientele from around the world, whose dedicated long-term staff work out of the Simonett building on Road 38.“There are benefits to working with staff in Sharbot Lake because they are more likely to stay on once they are trained up. We want to have a well paid staff, with benefits and all that, and we are only starting on a growth path.” Since taking over the business, Arraj has been dedicated to maintaining the existing Seeds clientele, and upgrading the capacity of the office. He said that he has found the local clientele to be generally friendlier and more easy going than his Toronto clients, and conservative in terms of the way they manage their businesses, which he says makes sense given the local economy as compared to that of larger centres.In the coming months Seeds will begin to do more marketing to seek out new clients, both locally and on a regional and provincial level.The company offers a full range of accounting and auditing services, as well as book-keeping. This month, as part of a coming out of sorts for the new Seeds and Company, Sam Arraj has arranged for a free community concert on Saturday, September 23rd from 2pm to 4:30pm featuring the Good Brothers, Amanda Sadler, and Whiskey Saint.The Good Brothers are a country music institution in Ontario. They have been touring and recording since they released their first record, the Good Brothers in 1971. They received the Country Group of the year Juno award for 8 consecutive years at one point in their career. Among their best known songs is Fox on the Run. They just completed a European Tour late last month and will be performing at the Glenn Gould Studio at CBC headquarters in Toronto next month. The show, set for Sharbot Lake Beach, rain or shine, will be a fitting finale for a summer of events at the beach.The Sharbot Lake and District Lions will be running a BBQ during the afternoon as well. The company has donated the food and all profits will go to support local Lion’s programming.

Park washrooms nixed for now

Central Frontenac Director of Planning Services Shawn Merriman recommended that Council accept the proposal from McAdoo Construction of Perth for the construction of a building containing a canteen, accessible washrooms, a warming area, and storage areas at Oliver Scott Park in Sharbot Lake. Merriman said that McAdoo’s proposal was the best of four bids on the job when all factors, including price and experience in this kind of project, were accounted for. The estimated cost of the project, including a new well and an septic bed that is already in place, is between $100,000 and $125,000, according to a written report by Merriman. In his report, Merriman said that Council had requested on July 11 that he prepare the way for the project to proceed this fall so the canteen will be in place this winter, and he apologised for bringing a report directly to the meeting instead of giving Council time to look at it with the agenda package earlier in the week, but the matter was not finalised until the day of the meeting (Tuesday, September 12). While there were some questions posed to Merriman about his report and the parameters of the project from members of council, they were mostly information gathering type questions, and none of the councillors indicated they were planning to vote against the proposal. As the vote was about to be called, Councilllor Riddell pointed out something that seemed to indicate he liked the idea of moving ahead and completing a project quickly. He said “I feel I need to point out that the ball field in Mountain Grove, which should have been completed eight years ago, is still not done and we are still waiting for a fence to be installed by the contractor who was hired, so I think it is important to complete projects once they are started.” When the vote was then taken on the Oliver Scott Park build in Sharbot Lake, it was 5-4 against. “What do we do now?” asked Mayor Frances Smith, who had supported the motion. Councillor Tom Dewey suggested the matter be brought back to the 2018 budget discussion for a possible build next year. Grader comes in under expected cost Central Frontenac Council accepted the only bid they received on a new grader, which was about as close to $300,000 as possible without using the number 3 in the price ($299,944) plus tax. The township had allocated $325,000 for the purchase back in August, when they decided to heed the advice of Public Works Manager Brad Thake and rush the purchase through in 2017. At budget time last year, the decision was made to repair a 21 year old Champion Grader, but when he came on Thake said the old grader was not worth repairing. The money for the purchase is coming from reserve funds, which will need to be replenished in the 2018 budget. Changes to Municipal Act Peter Sisov from the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs made a presentation regarding Bill 68, a pending new version of the Ontario Municipal Act. Among the changes he outlined were a new requirement for codes of conduct for members of municipal council, the requirement that municipal councils engage an integrity commissioner, expanded opportunities for local councils to invest excess funds, and more liberal spending limits for politicians seeking election. Once enacted, Bill 68 will permit candidates to spend up to $25,000 of their own family income on their campaigns, easily more than the combined expenditures of all nine members of Central Frontenac Council during the 2014 election. Intellivote to return – In a joint tender, all four Frontenac Townships will be engaging Intellivote to conduct a phone/internet based vote in 2018 for a total price of $75,000, to be split among them based on the number of electors in each jurisdiction. Intellivote conducted all four elections in 2014 as well. $2,000 for Hinchinbrooke school project – Council approved a grant of $2,000 to the committee looking into converting the former Hinchinbrooke school to community use. The money is intended to match a grant being sought from the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area, which will be used for feasibility and the development of a business plan for the project. Food truck bylaw folded into Official Plan development Township Planner Joe Gallivan proposed, and Council accepted, that instead of preparing a stand alone Official Plan and Zoning bylaw amendment for food trucks in the township, the issue be dealt with as part of the revamped Township Official Plan (OP) he is already working on. A draft of the OP will be presented to special meeting of Council in November. The final plan should be ready in the spring for adoption by next summer. Gallivan said the provisions for food trucks will be ready in time for the 2018 season. Bob Wilkinson on septic re-inspection Bob Wilkinson read a prepared text that worked through his objections to the mandatory septic inspection bylaw that will be coming to Council this fall. He said the assertion that septic systems pollute freshwater lakes has not been proven. “The science does not support this claim” he said. He said the majority of lakes in the township have low levels of phosphorous, and quoted local ecologist Gray Merriam, who said “you can’t stir the public too fix something that doesn’t need fixing”. Mayor Smith then said, I should read a note to Council from Gray Merriam at this point. Smith then read a document submitted by Merriam, which said Wilkinson has misinterpreted what he has said about lake quality, arguing that making sure septic systems are functioning properly is important to lake water quality, although it is not all that needs to be done. Wilkinson also quoted David Orser, a septic pumper/ hauler based in Verona, who opposes the new system, saying that Orser already checks systems when he pumps them out and advises customers when they need fixing, and reports failed systems to the Health Unit for follow up. “If we are only going on somebody’s version of imaginary pollutants emitting from our septics, then what we have here is simply a solution looking for a problem,” Wilkinson said.

K&P request rejected by County

Daryl Kennedy of Ball Road has repeatedly asked Frontenac County to fence a portion of the K&P trail that abuts his farm property, and for their contractor, Crain’s Construction, to repair a gate that he says they damaged while working on the trail as it runs through his property. When asked this past summer about the Counties’ level of responsibility as regards Mr. Kennedy, Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender said that the responsibility to fence a trail abutting farm property extended to the first purchaser of the former railroad, Bell Canada, but not to any subsequent owners. Thus the County has no obligation to fence Mr. Kelly’s property. As well, both the County and Crains deny that the gate was damaged as part of their work on the trail. On August 30, Pender send an email to Kennedy that expressed the Counties’ final position on the matters in stark terms. It reads in full: "Mr. Kennedy - as you have been advised on several occasions, the County denies responsibility for the gate damage as does Mr. Crain. I understand Mr. Crain may, as a good will gesture, repair the gate. In the interim, responsibility for your cattle remains with you. Please take the immediate actions you deem necessary. Kelly."

SOUTH FRONTENAC NEWS

Bellrock Hall has become one busy little place

Bellrock Hall has become one busy little place

While the major renovations at Bellrock Hall have been completed for some time now, there are still things to be done and plans in the works. So, with the bands After The News and Crimson River set to rock out the stage, a fundraiser barbecue was in order last Sunday. “There’s a...

Fatal motor vehicle collision with pedestrian in Inverary

On September 15, 2017, at approximately 9:05 p.m. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers from the Frontenac Detachment responded to a motor vehicle collision with a pedestrian on Perth Road near Davidson Road in the town of Inverary, South Frontenac Township. A white 4-door Toyota motor vehicle was travelling northbound on Perth Road when it collided with a pedestrian. The pedestrian 38-year old Andrew Richard ELLERBECK of South Frontenac Township was pronounced deceased at the scene. The OPP Technical Traffic Collision Investigators (TTCI) was called to the scene to assist with the investigation. The investigation is still ongoing.

Public meeting to be rescheduled and advertised again

South Frontenac Council decided to re-advertise a public meeting regarding a request to sever a lot on Itinerary Lake in response to an Inverary Lake Association letter at its regular meeting Tuesday night in Sydenham. The proposed severance would create a new non-waterfront lot on Round Lake Road (15 acres) with the retained portion becoming a smaller lakefront lot (37.8 acres with 434 metres water frontage). Planner Lindsay Mills said the resulting rezoning application could be supported from a planning perspective and both the health unit and conservation authority had no objections. However, in a letter dated Sept. 14, the lake association expressed concerns that proper procedure had not been followed. Mills admitted that the notice placed on the property had the wrong date for the public meeting on it but “when I was notified of this, it was corrected.” Members of the lake association in attendance said this error had not given them sufficient time to prepare for the public meeting. “I wonder if we could postpone this public meeting to give the lake association time to respond,” said Coun. Ross Sutherland. CAO Wayne Orr said that the public meeting would have to be adjourned and re-advertised. Council passed a resolution to that effect. Mills agreed to respond in writing to the lake association’s concerns. Budget time again It’s not quite budget time but the jockeying for economic positions appears to have begun in earnest. Treasurer Louise Fragnito was at Council asking for direction and to remind Council of the long-range budget plans implemented in 2015. If Council were to strictly adhere to those plans, she said, then taxes would have to increase by 2.2 per cent in order to maintain capital reserves of $10,445,421. If the tax increase were 2.0 per cent (as Council has expressed interest in maintaining), then capital reserves would be at $7,796,901. “I hate budget time,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “Anyways you know I’m going to argue it to death.” From the list of long-term projects Fragnito presented, Vandewal singled out a separate intersections fund (“just a way of increasing the roads budget”), a reserve for new fire halls (“putting aside $1.5 million for a new fire hall every three years is fantasy land”) and a million-dollar reserve for a new library in Verona. Coun. John McDougall said the original plan for libraries was to build a small one in Verona and a new small one in Sydenham. But a grant became available to build a big one in Sydenham and that’s what happened. Still, being a councilor representing Portland District, he wasn’t necessarily opposed to a new library for Verona. Coun. Ross Sutherland thought there was too much being put away for roads. “There’s no reason roads should increase by five per cent when inflation is two per cent,” he said. “You’ve given us plenty to think about,” said CAO Wayne Orr. “So we’re going to work with a two per cent increase and $10 million in reserves. COW’s staying home next week Council officially cancelled next week’s (Sept. 26) Committee of the Whole meeting as there are no reports forthcoming from senior management in accordance with the unofficial policy adopted at last week’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Gilmour Point Beach closed for health reasons

A popular swimming hole has been closed by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.Gilmour Point in Battersea was officially closed Aug. 30 due to possible blue-green algae in Dog Lake. The beach is located at the end of Wellington Street and is a busy summer gathering place for local families.“It’s not uncommon for there to be challenges on Dog Lake,” confirms Wayne Orr, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for South Frontenac Township. A public servant with the township for eight years, Orr says the closure only impacted the last two-week-session of children’s programs at the beach.Of the townships four public beaches, Gilmour Point is the only one closed. Samples were taken at the beach and were submitted to a lab for analysis. As of press time, results were still unknown.Speaking on behalf of the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health Unit on Sept. 6, Andrew Girouard says the turnaround time for testing is 10 to 14 days. An experienced health inspector, Girouard has seen blooms in Kingston and other parts of the health unit’s catchment area. “We want to educate people more, to take their own precautions,” says the Manager of the Environmental Health Team about the potentially harmful blooms. “I think this (Gilmour Point Beach) is a case where it’s so visible and present, people won’t go in that water.”According to officials, cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae, are primitive microscopic organisms that have inhabited the earth for more than two billion years. They are bacteria, but have features in common with algae. Blue-green algae occur naturally in a wide variety of environments including ponds, rivers, lakes and streams. During an algal bloom, people are encouraged to avoid activities such as swimming and bathing in water near the bloom to reduce the risk of exposure to algal toxins. “We want the public to be aware this bloom exists and not go into the water,” says Girouard who calls the blooms a product of heavy rains and warm weather.“As soon as the water temperature changes, it will make a difference,” confirms the township CAO. Located a few minutes from the lake where he worked as a fishing guide, Storrington Councillor Ron Sleeth notes, “Dog Lake turns over every year. This is a natural occurrence.”Describing the lake as drowned land from the building of the Rideau Canal, the well-known community activist notes, “The problem appears to be worse this year due to the heavy volume of rainfall. The water level is extremely high for this time of year.”To protect residents against possible exposure, people are encouraged to take a cautious approach if they encounter a blue-green algal bloom which can be dense and solid-looking clumps. Fresh blooms often smell like newly mown grass and older blooms may smell like rotting garbage.Although many varieties of blue-green algae are harmless, some can produce toxins that are harmful to the health of humans and animals. During an algal bloom, health experts recommend avoiding activities such as swimming and bathing in water near the bloom to reduce the risk of exposure to algal toxins. Residents are encouraged to contact the health unit for swimming advisories as well as information on health risks associated with the blooms. If you suspect a blue-green algal bloom: • assume toxins are present • avoid using the water • restrict pet and livestock access to the water, and • call the Ministry’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.

Sydenham Veterinary Services staff to Ride For Farley

Four members of the Sydenham Veterinary Services staff (Leslie Reade, Kim Doucet, Dawna Revell and Kate Earle) will be taking their bicycles to Milton, ON Sept. 23 as part of the Ride For Farley.Farley was the beloved family pet in Lynn Johnston’s For Better or For Worse comic strip who died heroically saving family member April Patterson after she fell into a ravine. In 2002, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association created the Farley Foundation as a way to help pets and pet owners who otherwise may have difficulty paying for veterinary services.“We’ve used the Farley Foundation in the past and this is our way of giving back, said technician Kim Doucet. “This is my third ride and Leslie’s second (first for the other two). “There are three distances (50k, 100k and 160k) and we did 100k last year but the course is very hilly and so this year we’ll be scaling back (to the 50k).” They also held a bake sale and raffled off a cake. Doucet said the Foundation provides financial assistance for veterinary services (when recommended by the vet) to Ontario Works recipients, disabled individuals, seniors and seniors care facilities that own a pet who provides companionship to residents. Doucet et al will be taking sponsorships and donations at their Sydenham location until Sept. 20 but after that, anyone who would still like to donate can do so at www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/sydenham-veterinary-services-ride-for-farley/. The link is on the Sydenham Veterinary Services website.

FRONTENAC COUNTY NEWS

$600,000 shortfall to complete K&P Trail

$600,000 shortfall to complete K&P Trail

In a detailed report to Council, Manager for Economic Development Richard Allan outlined the expected costs for completion of the K&P trail between the CN rail crossing at Tichborne to the Sharbot Lake junction with the Trans- Canada trail. He said that “In December of 2016 c...

Conditional discharge over possession of “shake”

18 year old Austin Bedwell pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of marijuana “over 30 grams” and based on the recommendation of the Crown he received a conditional discharge with one years probation, which will become an absolute discharge if probation is completed without incident. Police found the marijuana, which totaled 54 grams, when they attended at Bedwell’s home after being called by a neighbour about a suspicious car in front of Bedwell’s house. Bedwell faces charges in the Kingston court over the other matter. When asked by Judge Griffen, Bedwell, a High School graduate, said he intends to go to college. “What are you planning on studying in college,” asked the Judge. “I want to be a police officer,” Bedwell said. “Ok, do you think this is going to be ... helpful? Judge Griffen asked Bedwell did not answer, but whispered something to duty counsel. “What was that,” Griffen asked? “He said it was shake, the marijuana was shake,” said Duty Counsel. Peace bond for alleged flag thief - Wayne Kimberley, 62, agreed to sign a peace bond promising to stay away from 14743 Road 38 in Sharbot Lake and its three occupants, and the charge of theft of flag valued at $1.50 against him was withdrawn. First Appearances - Travis Beattie. 27, is charged with break and enter and two counts of failure to comply with a probation order. He is in custody on other charges of a similar nature that are alleged to have taken place in Kingston and will have all of his matters addressed in Kingston. The matter was transferred. Sue Vinkle, 38, is charged with obstructing a police officer. She is seeking counsel and will return to court on October 16. Withdrawn - A charge of theft under $5,000 against Donald Cooke, 58, was withdrawn at the request of the Crown. Ongoing - A charge of theft under $5,000 against John Teixera, 65, was also withdrawn Christopher Leger, 52, is facing 5 charges of assault. His lawyer, Mr. Norris from Toronto, reported through an agent that he has received a disclosure package and is studying it. The case was adjourned until the next Sharbot Lake date, October 16. Alison Potter, 40, facing a charge of possession of an illegal substance, production of an illegal substance, and unauthorised possession of a firearm, had her dated matters deferred once again until October 16. The expectation remains that once the case against her co-accused in the case at the Kingston court is settled, the charges will be dropped.

Kingston hospitals seek county money

Ten years ago Frontenac County Council committed $540,000 over ten years to help fund the re-development project at Kingston General Hospital and the Cancer Care Centre of Eastern Ontario. In the spring, the fund raisers from the University Kingston Hospitals Kingston foundation came back to Frontenac County with an update about the kinds of upgrades that are being planned for the hospital over the next few years, and said they would be back with a formal funding request. They came back this week, and the ask is $200,000, which is what the presenters back in the spring predicted it would be. On a per-capita basis, if Frontenac County Council agrees to the request, its residents will be paying, on the basis of number of hospital visits per resident per year, the same as the City of Kingston pays. Looking at it another way, with 40,000 visits per year, Frontenac County would be kicking in $5 per resident visit as an annual donation. While this seems like a large increase for the foundation to ask for, the request is actually lower than it was in 2007, when they asked for $220,000 per year of the council of that day. Council decided to pay just under 1/4 of the amount requested, $54,000 per year.Council is expected to consider the request when they consider their 2018 budget later in the fall.

Wintergreen seminar looks at options for electricity generation

“We are at a critical juncture in Ontario — the proverbial fork in the road,” reads the sign-up sheet for Power in the Climate Era, part of Wintergreen Studios’ summer series Healing Earth. “Our hydro prices are amongst the highest in Canada (and we’re feeling it).“Furthermore, we’re sourcing more than 60 per cent of our electricity from aging nuclear reactors (and) our three nuclear stations are all coming to the end of their lives in the next decade.“This is a fantastic opportunity to Ontario onto a 100 per cent renewable grid. But is this even possible?” That’s one of the questions they attempted to answer last Saturday along with the help of featured speakers Angela Bischoff, environmental writer Paul McKay and St. Lawrence College’s Energy Systems Engineering Technology professor Steve Lapp.“Rena (Wintergreen founding president Upitis) invited me and I came to help generate discussion,” said Bischoff, who has a long history in the environmental movement, currently with the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.“She almost single-handedly ended coal as a source of electricity generation,” said Upitis. “It started with phasing out coal,” Bischoff said. “But the provincial energy policy should be about 100 per cent renewable energy rather than rebuilding eight of 10 aging nuclear reactors.”Bischoff advocates all forms of renewable energy, including wind, water, solar, geothermal and biomass electricity generation. “We have a 59 per cent surplus on the Ontario energy grid,” she said. “We don’t need aging nuclear facilities.” In particular, she’d like to close the Pickering nuclear facility, the fifth largest station in North America with six working reactors.“Pickering was designed to last 30 years,” she said. “It is now 46 and its licence ends in 2018.“Better options are natural gas, conservation and water power from Quebec.”

Coywolves (Super Coyotes)

Several years ago, the CBC Nature of Things documentary ran a program on Coywolves and just recently they have been spotted around Toronto. As a result, I thought it would be interesting to run this article from 2013 again. Coywolves are a hybrid breed of wolf and coyote. The term Coywolf is the unofficial name for a breed of Eastern coyote that has bred with wolves. The hybrid coyote/wolf has longer legs, bigger paws, larger jaws and brains, and a more wolf-like tail, with wolf-like traits like pack-hunting and shows more aggression than the original coyotes. It’s thought that the hybrid animals first appeared around 1919 in Algonquin Park. It was probably happening earlier than that but it was about this time that sightings were reported. Some scientists still doubt that the Coywolf is a new species but evidence compiled for the past 100 years suggests the much smaller western coyote migrated from the Midwestern United States to eastern forests and farms where the wolf population was being killed off by humans. The coyote followed a path that took it through the Windsor area and the southwestern Ontario corridor, then north to Algonquin Park.According to the documentary, Algonquin’s vast expanse of protected forest offered the animal a safe haven and a bountiful food source. It was there that wolves began to breed with coyotes, probably because available mates within the wolf population were in decline. Perhaps one third of the animals in Algonquin Park are now hybrids. Coywolves have rapidly evolved and appear to have adapted to city life in a similar way that racoons have taken to big cities like Toronto. It used to be that only campers could hear the eerie howling and yipping of coyotes. Now, since the numbers of Coywolves have increased, you’re just as apt to hear them in and around cities. Their high intelligence has enabled them to survive, whether in natural surroundings or urban centres. They are so elusive that they seem to blend into parks, ravines and other green spaces in cities unnoticed for the most part. They can roam for miles at night routing through garbage and catching small animals such as squirrels, rabbits, woodchucks and cats or anything else that would make a quick meal. There have been many sightings of coyotes in Toronto recently and people have been warned to keep their pets inside, especially at night. Last month, Toronto Police did shoot what is believed to be a Coywolf. The police had no way of knowing that the Coywolf they’d shot was a new father protecting his young. The animal and his mate had recently become parents which is likely why they appeared to be more aggressive. While it may be unnerving to encounter a coyote in a park at night, there have actually been only two reports of fatal coyote attacks in North America in the past 500 years. The CBC documentary was filmed partly in the Cape Breton highlands where a fatal attack on a young Toronto woman took place a few years ago. A hundred years ago, the odds were stacked against eastern wolves with deforestation and control programs, not to mention increasing urban development. Coyotes, however, were able to increase their numbers. This is when the two animals began to interbreed. Depending on their habitat and the availability of food, coyotes can adjust the number of young born. Young Coywolves strike out on their own much sooner than wolves or coyotes, leaving the den by the time they are two. For more information on wolves and coyotes, in general, you can check out Steve Blight’s in-depth two-part article in the December 2008 online version of the Frontenac News.  

ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS NEWS

Ambulance service under threat, again?

Ambulance service under threat, again?

At the Denbigh meeting of Addington Highlands Council on Monday night, Reeve Henry Hogg and Deputy Reeve Helen Yanch reported that Lennox and Addington County appears set to re-visit its commitment to maintaining a 12 hour a day ambulance service based in Denbigh and build a new ...

Disposal Fees Still Being Worked Out in Addington Highlands

Addington Highlands is still tinkering with its waste disposal (tipping) fees but Council did instruct staff at its regular meeting Tuesday afternoon to bring back another draft schedule to a future meeting. Council did seemingly establish some parameters, for example eliminating the distinct between compact and full-size pick-up trucks as well as the number of axles on trailers, but actual charges are yet to be determined. “If you’ve got a small truck, you just pile it higher,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. There was general agreement that the charge to dispose of a single mattress should conceivably be less than that for a queen size but again the actual charge has yet to be determined. In fact, most fees are still under discussion. “I don’t know anywhere you can dump a dual axle for 20 bucks,” said Coun. Bill Cox. “We charge $30 for a mattress whether it’s twin or queen,” said CAO/Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed. “Currently, we’re charging more for a mattress than a truck load.” “There are so many variations,” said Coun. Tony Fritsch. “Unless you’ve got a weigh scale and taking tonnage, it’s hard to determine,” said Hogg. “If we knew how to make it easy, we’d do it.” “Well, we’ve got to establish something,” said Cox. “We’ve only got two years left at the Kaladar site.” “Some of this may just be temporary,” said Hogg. “the province passed the Waste-Free Ontario Act which puts the onus on producers to dispose of their products.” Post Office Closure - Following a presentation from Diane Mitchell, national coordinator for the Save Canada Post Campaign that featured 45 recommendations, Council voted to support the Campaign by signing and mailing a sample letter provided by Mitchell. Mitchell said the Post Office in Cloyne is on a list the Campaign is asking for a moratorium on closure for but the outlet in Flinton is not. Coun. Bill Cox pointed that the Flinton operation is an “outlet” as opposed to the Cloyne Post Office. Salvage Yards - Council passed Bylaw 0504/2017 being a bylaw to regulate and govern any business carried on within the Township and for prohibiting or regulating and the use of any land and structures for storing used motor vehicles for the purpose of wrecking or dismantling them or for salvaging parts thereof for sale or other disposal. There was no discussion of the bylaw before passage. ■

Visit Cloyne Museum, Benny’s Pond, and the new Park

On Saturday, August 26, everyone is invited to explore in Cloyne – Ponds, Pioneer Days and Parks. The Friends of the Salmon River will host an afternoon event of interest to lovers of nature and history. Have a tour of Benny’s Pond and learn how it is part of the Salmon River watershed. Enjoy tours of the Cloyne Pioneer Museum and the new Benny’s Lake Park. At 1pm, local Glen Pearce will lead the pack to Benny’s Pond behind the museum. He will explain the formation of the string of little lakes/ponds that are all in the line of flow from the headwaters and connect to Beaver Creek, Kennebec Lake and hence to the main channel of the Salmon. Glen Pearce was part of the field crew who mapped these waters. The headwaters are the birthplace and most essential part of any watershed, and these ponds are in the forefront of those headwaters, providing healthy eco-services for the entire Salmon system.Benny’s Lake Heritage Park – just opened – is a collaborative project to restore the area where a grove of 200-year-old white pines was destroyed by a major wind storm. Many new pine trees were planted to breathe new life into the park. The Cloyne Pioneer Museum & Archives reflect the history of this area with emphasis on such themes as settlement and pioneer life, mining, logging and tourism. Their staff will provide a tour and gladly answer all your questions.Refreshments will be served and this will be an opportunity for folks to connect and find out more about the Friends of the Salmon River group.Come for a day of nature and history; it’s a free event. On August 26, meet at the Cloyne Museum (14235 Hwy. 41 in Cloyne) at 1pm and stay til 3 or 4pm. Bring your friends to the “Friends of Salmon” gathering and learn more about the top of our beautiful watershed. For more information, contact Gray Merriam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR Susan Moore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Visit Cloyne Museum, Benny’s Pond, and the new Park

On Saturday, August 26, everyone is invited to explore in Cloyne – Ponds, Pioneer Days and Parks. The Friends of the Salmon River will host an afternoon event of interest to lovers of nature and history. Have a tour of Benny’s Pond and learn how it is part of the Salmon River watershed. Enjoy tours of the Cloyne Pioneer Museum and the new Benny’s Lake Park.At 1pm, local Glen Pearce will lead the pack to Benny’s Pond behind the museum. He will explain the formation of the string of little lakes/ponds that are all in the line of flow from the headwaters and connect to Beaver Creek, Kennebec Lake and hence to the main channel of the Salmon. Glen Pearce was part of the field crew who mapped these waters.The headwaters are the birthplace and most essential part of any watershed, and these ponds are in the forefront of those headwaters, providing healthy eco-services for the entire Salmon system.Benny’s Lake Heritage Park – just opened – is a collaborative project to restore the area where a grove of 200-year-old white pines was destroyed by a major wind storm. Many new pine trees were planted to breathe new life into the park.The Cloyne Pioneer Museum & Archives reflect the history of this area with emphasis on such themes as settlement and pioneer life, mining, logging and tourism. Their staff will provide a tour and gladly answer all your questions.Refreshments will be served and this will be an opportunity for folks to connect and find out more about the Friends of the Salmon River group.Come for a day of nature and history; it’s a free event. On August 26, meet at the Cloyne Museum (14235 Hwy. 41 in Cloyne) at 1pm and stay until 3 or 4pm. Bring your friends to the “Friends of Salmon” gathering and learn more about the top of our beautiful watershed. For more information, contact Gray Merriam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR Susan Moore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Six inducted into Land O’Lakes Traditional Music Hall of Fame

The rains threatened but held off just long enough for the Land O’Lakes Traditional Music Hall of Fame to induct six new members at a ceremony/performance Saturday during the Flinton Jamboree. First on stage was Ross Clow. Born and raised near Verona, Clow spent more than a decade as the lead singer for Don Johnson and the Serenaders, a long-running dance orchestra with weekly radio shows on two Kingston radio stations during the ’50s and ’60s. In his senior years, Clow gravitated towards gospel music with the Gospel Jewels and later with the Old Hims. Clow was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Sheila Calthorpe was inducted in the Songwriters Category. Calthorpe grew up on Simcoe Island in the St. Lawrence River and developed a tradition of home worship during winters because there was no church on the island. Eventually, she met and married musician Barry Calthorpe, who taught her to play. This led to writing such songs as The Church by the Side of the Bed, Mother’s Still On The Home Place and Heaven Said Goodbye, which was recorded by Bill White and White Pines. Lionel Grimard was born and raised in South Frontenac where he was a member of a number of country bands as well as a guitar teacher. During his later years, he has arranged and hosted numerous open mics and jamborees. He now lives in Harlowe. Bob Goodberry was elected posthumously. Born and raised in Verona, he came from a musical family and was the consummate country troubadour. In his later years, he was a resident of Northbrook. After his death, his songbook was discovered. In it, there were no lyrics or chords, merely the names of thousands of songs. He never used music sheets but remembered all the words. He is affectionately known as “the man of a thousand songs.” His induction was accepted by his wife Norma and son Rob. Bill White was born and raised in Plevna and has received numerous awards including five Canadian Music Association awards for bluegrass, male vocalist of the year, Canadian bluegrass group of the year (Echo Mountain) and bluegrass gospel group of the year (Bill White and White Pines). He started his career with the Neil Perry Orchestra and spent many years as a member of Buddy Clarke and Grass Creek. Neville Wells grew up in Ompah, moved to Ottawa and now lives in Perth. He is known for being the producer of the Ompah Stomp, being founder/editor of the Capitol City Music News (now the Ottawa Valley Country Music News) as well as being inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. His band credits include The Children (which also featured Bruce Cockburn, David Whiffen and Peter (Sneezy Waters) Hodgson) and Neville Wells & Sweetwater. Of late, he has been appearing at more and more events and shows no signs of slowing down. 

EDITORIALS

  • Controversy free planning for development on lakes? – never
    A lot of people who live in rural areas value their privacy. For those living on lakes, privacy is hard to come by. That view of the water brings a view of other people with it. There are next door neighbours, across the bay neighbours, and boaters and fishers buzzing…
    Written on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:53 in Editorials
  • Sir John A MacDonald: Hero or Villian?
    When the Central Frontenac planning committee were putting their agenda for the year together they came up with the idea of a John A. Macdonald Ball in October, to celebrate the local heritage of the countries’ first prime minister. Macdonald invested in both Perth Road and the K&P railway, and…
    Written on Wednesday, 06 September 2017 14:09 in Editorials
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LETTERS

  • Re - Wintergreen
    In his article on Wintergreen’s seminar concerning electricity options, Craig Bakay quotes Angela Bischoff as saying natural gas is a better option than nuclear. Having discussed this with Angela, I wish to clarify her position. Craig drew this conclusion, not from her interview, but from a slide in her presentation…
    Written on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:44 in Letters
  • Re K&P request
    Your article, "K&P request rejected by County" 14/09/17 requires clarification. I would ask CEO Kelly Pender if their refusal to look after the fence requiring attention is at all in reference to the responsibility of the "trail" that requires them to look after such. I want to know if his…
    Written on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:42 in Letters
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