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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.
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.
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.
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.
After a joint North Frontenac-Addington Highlands Council meeting last Friday at Barrie Hall in Cloyne, it appears that concerns about equipment reserves for the joint Kaladar Barrie Fire Department (KBFD) have been laid to rest. The meeting was called at the request of North Frontenac (and Mayor Ron Higgins in particular) to address funding for the replacement of the Rescue 5 vehicle at an estimated cost of up to $315,000. Both Councils agreed to approve budget submissions of $281,119 being added to the Vehicle/Equipment Reserve in 2017. The Councils also approved an allocation of $110,000 ($55,000 per Township) for the next nine years (2018 to 2026), with the amount required to be reviewed on an annual basis when the KBFD Asset Management Plan Tangible Capital Asset Replacement Schedules are reviewed as part of the annual budget process. The budget in general was also approved as presented in draft #2 permitting the KBFD to have all the equipment, personnel and training required to provide the core services as set by Councils in the establishing and regulating bylaw. The Kaladar Barrie department is an anomaly in Ontario because it is managed by two different townships in two different counties, but since the department pre-dates the municipal amalgamation process in 1998 and serves a single community on either side of Hwy. 41 it has persisted through successive councils for almost 20 years. Occasionally differences in the way North Frontenac and Addington Highlands run their townships has caused friction from time to time, however. “North Frontenac has had concerns that the Joint Fire Committee (JFC) hasn’t put enough money away, but we’ve put in $281,000 to buy a rescue vehicle,” said Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg. “It’s something we have to do,” he said. “It means a tax increase but it has to be done. “It’s as good as we can get. It’s always that way.” “I think it went fairly smoothly,” said Addington Highlands Fire Chief Casey Cuddy of the meeting. “Both Councils were brought up to speed.” Cuddy lives in North Frontenac but serves as Fire Chief for Addington Highlands and for the KBFD. Higgins agreed. “I feel good about how it’s gone,” Higgins said. “It’s comforting to me that Councils addressed errors in asset management. “I just wanted assurance that Councils agreed.” Councils also agreed to have the JFC review the agreements as required and to revisit the Tangible Assets Replacement Schedule in 2017 with respect to the options available.
By Kip Vankempen’s own admission, it’s just one man’s survey but the results did spark response from Mayor Ron Higgins at North Frontenac’s regular Council meeting last Friday at Barrie Hall in Cloyne. (The meeting was held in Cloyne because it immediately followed a joint Councils meeting with Addington Highlands on the joint fire agreement.) Appearing as a delegation to Council, Vankempen said he used the internet application SurveyMonkey and received 83 responses. Of the 83 respondents: • 92 per cent opposing the new municipal building expenditure• 96 per cent felt the federal gas tax could be put to better use than the building project• 97 per cent believe the Cloyne firehall is important• 97 per cent believe firefighting and rescue equipment should be maintained up to recommended standards• 78 per cent believe the Cloyne playground equipment should be replaced• 99 per cent believe internet voting should be available• 99 per cent would like Council to keep them informed by email• 97 per cent believe cottagers should receive the same relief as year-round residents for Hydro• 93 per cent felt the delivery charge for Hydro should be changed. While Higgins agreed with the respondents as to Hydro charges and pointed out the Township has sent letters to the Province asking for the repeal of the Green Energy Act, he wasn’t as agreeable when it came to the municipal building expenditures. “It is going ahead as is,” Higgins said. “You can’t look at it in isolation because the building itself has no negative impact on taxes, which we’ve kept to the Consumer Price Index.” Higgins said they view the municipal building expenses as “spending on an asset and improving service delivery” and that it has health, safety and accessibility issues. He also said that they have approved a new communications policy. Restoration Project on HoldImprovements to the Palmerston Canonto Conservation Area by the Palmerston Beach Restoration Project Team are on hold following a resolution by Council. Council did pass a bylaw authorizing the Mayor and Clerk to enter into a five-year lease agreement (for $1 per year) with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) on the property but execution of lease may also have to wait.The problem is, actual ownership of the property seems to be in question. In a report to Council, manager of community development Corey Klatt said “At the Feb. 16 meeting, we were advised by MVCA staff that there is currently an issue with the ownership of a portion of the property within the PCCA beach area.”Klatt said an adjacent property owner believes he owns some of the property. Coun. Gerry Martin, who has been working with the PBRP team wrote a letter advising them that “the renewal of the MVCA Lease Agreement will be on the April 7 Council Agenda. “The title search has not yet been completed (by MVCA) and until ownership of the property is determined, Council cannot approve work on the lot. There is a possibility the property is actually owned by a third party.” “This is turning out to be a disaster,” said Coun. John Inglis. “They’re not going to be able to do (work) this year.” “We’re dealing with something that was done wrong 30 years ago,” said Martin.
Judd Tooley, Louise Lemke and their Lodge Clarendon & Miller Community Archives (CMCA) are sharing aspects from their research as an introduction to the public presentation May 6th (1 p.m.) Clar-Miller Hall, Plevna. Visitors can browse the many photo boards and researched documents of North Frontenac Lodges and Housekeeping Cottages. Thanks to The Frontenac News for publishing a three- part series in advance of the event. Information and photos for this article were courtesy of Marilyn White and daughter Nancy Hiscock.Judd Tooley’s Lodge (Mackie Lake) Judd Tooley and Louise Lemke were both born and raised in the Plevna area. Judd grew up at Playfair Corners just north of Plevna where his parents Luther and Emma (Wood) lived; Louise at Sand Lake (just west of Plevna) where her family Julius and Carlena (Hartmann) homesteaded. In the 1920’s, Julius Lemke opened a tourist lodge on Sand Lake and Luther Tooley operated a hunting & fishing lodge on Brule Lake, just north of Plevna off the Mountain Road. Judd and Louise married and had nine children. For part of their lives, they lived on Gorr’s Mountain about a mile from the junction of Schooner Road and Mountain Road. Here the family logged, farmed, raised cattle, and eventually began operating the lodge on nearby Mackie Lake. One of James Proudfoot’s cabins sold to Judd for $35 and moved to Tooley Lodge. Around 1927 Judd and Louise used the cabin as a base and opened the lodge for business. Excellent fishing in Mackie, Fortune and Schooner Lakes attracted visitors from “nearby” Kingston and as far away as the states of Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. Judd used to say that you could almost walk across the backs of the speckled trout in the creek between Schooner and Fortune Lakes. Guests arrived at the Tooley farm and from there were taken via horse driven wagon down a rough cart track to Mackie Lake. They were then rowed across the lake to the lodge. A typical guiding day for Judd included rowing his fishermen across Mackie, walking with gear over to Long Schooner, rowing around the Schooners to the best fishing spots, and then back over to Mackie at the end of the day. For years, patrons were rowed until the first outboard motor called “Champion” was acquired. The Champion is shown in the photo of Clarence & Irma Tooley and her Mother, Mrs. Blackman. In later years, several guides were hired to accompany clients on daily fishing trips, which included shore lunches with homemade bread, beans, potatoes & onions and freshly fried fish. Judd’s wife Louise cooked for 40 years at the lodge, with help from 2 or 3 other women. Daily they made 10- 12 loaves of bread and full course meals with homemade pies. Since there was no electricity, all the water (cooking and laundry) was hauled up from the lake. The fridge was almost eight feet tall, oak on the outside, with lead doors. Two large blocks of ice would keep the fridge and its contents cold for at least two days. For approximately three weeks in mid-winter, ice for the fridges and water coolers was cut from the lake in front of the lodge. The ice blocks were sawn by hand, pulled from the lake and hauled to the icehouse. A gas-driven Delco system was installed to generate power. Hydro-electricity arrived in the late fifties.The lodge was open from the beginning of fishing season (around May 1st) to the end of deer hunting season in the late fall (mid-November). Boats or sleighs carried every bit of food, supplies and building material across the lake. A platform over two boats transported horses two at a time with one man steadying the horses. In 1972, the Ministry of Natural Resources built a forest access road to Long Schooner Lake and it was only at this point that Tooley Lodge became accessible by vehicle other than boat, snowmobile, or airplane. Judd and Louise’s son Herb and his wife Grace took over the lodge in 1974. They continued the tradition of providing great fishing and hunting experiences, tasty home cooked meals and friendly and helpful advice. Herb and Grace retired in 2004, and currently (2017) the lodge is operated by Larry Kroetsch.
Clarendon & Miller Community Archives (CMCA) will be sharing their latest year-long research covering the topic of Lodges: Past and Present. This project aims to recognize the huge economic contribution that local lodges/housekeeping cottages made in the past and continue to make to the township. In addition to Lodge information, the Committee collected information about Housekeeping Cottages to assist with the Accommodations listing website that the Frontenac News initiated last year. On May 6th at Clar-Mill Hall in Plevna starting at 1 p.m. CMCA will transform the Hall into a Lodge-like setting, allowing for an interactive format. Guest speaker and well-known country entertainer, Neville Wells, will provide his personal experiences of growing up at his family-owned Mosque Lake Lodge. Visitors can browse the many photo boards and researched documents of North Frontenac Lodges and Housekeeping Cottages. A panel of lodge owners/workers will share their expertise and engage in a lively discussion with the audience. CMCA thanks The Frontenac News for publishing a three-part series about Lodges: Past and Present as an introduction to the May 6th event. The first Lodge to be highlighted: Coxvale/ Cedar Crest Lodge. This postcard depicts the first known “lodge” at Coxvale. The building was part of the farm built by Donald and Maggie Cox. Their children were: Richard, Charlie, Guy, Nellie, Hilda, Bobby, Irene and Orpha. They rented cottages that were across the bay and on both sides of the old main road. Cox’s sold to Fred and Jean Lemke in 1945. In 1937 Fred and Jean Lemke bought property at Coxvale on Big Gull Lake which included some sleeping cabins and a dining room. This was the beginning of Cedar Crest Lodge. The next few years Fred built several cottages and he and Jean made plans for a dining room. Fishing was excellent and Fred was always in demand for guiding. Cedar Crest in 1945 In 1945, they bought the Cox home (first used as dining-room and later became a store). Jean served home-cooked meals with homemade bread, rolls and pies. A store was built in 1947 and during the 50’s Fred added more cottages. During this time a building that had been used as a dance hall was converted to a cottage. At this point they had 13 cottages. In 1960, the old house was torn down and a new home built; the Lemkes purchased the house and three cottages on the other side of the bridge. They lived in that house while Fred did most of the carpenter work on the new home. Upon completion of the new house, the store was moved. A lunch counter was opened and light lunches served. The lounge had a juke box and a pinball machine; it was a meeting place for young people on the lake in the 60’s. Cottages, now numbering 17, were rented into the late fall when Fred guided the hunters and Jean prepared the meals. People kept returning to Cedar Crest, not just for fishing and hunting, but because of the hospitality of the Lemkes. Fred’s stories of the early years at Cedar Crest Lodge were a hit with renters. According to Fred, the last lake trout he saw in Big Gull Lake was in 1940. The biggest walleye he saw from the lake weighed 11 pounds and 3 ounces and was caught by Earl Franz of Ohio. On Dec.25, 1988 Jean passed away. Fred suffered a stroke in January 1992 and passed away July 6, 1992. Daughter, Barb and son-in-law, Harold Way continued the business for some years.
North Frontenac Little Theatre presents their spring production, Here Along the Flight Path at Granite Ridge Education Centre this weekend (Friday and Saturday 7:30pm and Sunday matinee at 2pm.) The Norm Foster written adult comedy also stars Carol Belanger and Barb Matson. Tickets will be available at the door - $15 ($10 students)
The Cardinal Cafe in Sharbot Lake has a new product this week with a twist — a raspberry twist to be exact. At first glance, Caden’s Ultimate Raspberry Twist looks like a tasty square, which it is. But how it came to be is a bit of a story in itself. Cardinal owner Rob Moore is known for his innovative concoctions but in this case he had some help from the Lakers and senior food and nutrition programs at GREC. Moore has had a relationship with the Lakers program in the past and so when students were studying how to promote fruits, Moore came to give a talk. The next thing you know, they’d come up with a bit of a contest, with Moore offering to feature the winner’s creation in his Cafe. Part of the Lakers program’s mandate is to get students involved in the community. You might know them from their work with the Food Bank. “He came to our class to talk about fruits and deserts and then each person had to come up with a recipe,” said Summer Kennedy. “Rob then judged them.” The result was Caden’s Ultimate Raspberry Twist, which is on sale this week at the Cafe for $3 a square. ‘Caden’ in this case is Grade 12 Caden Stephenson, a budding pastry chef who’s looking at St. Lawrence College next year. “I found the original recipe on the Internet,” Stephenson said. “It took two or three tries to get it to look right. “It’s raspberries, lemon zest, sugar, flour, salt and lemon juice.” It was something of a labour of love for Stephenson. “I love cooking and baking,” he said. “I can do it all day.” Moore said judging the competition was a difficult job. “There were a lot of delicious creations,” he said. “But part of the criteria was how it would work as a marketable item.” He liked the raspberry twist and saw its potential. “It has a unique texture and a very vibrant flavour,” Moore said. “And we didn’t have anything like it. “I modified the base into a short-bread and came up with a lemon-raspberry curd topping.” “Rob’s changes are awesome,” said Stephenson. Moore said the squares will be for sale all this week and if all goes well “I might keep them.”
The St. James Catholic Church hall was filled to the brim on Monday as staff from Northern Frontenac Community Services served up a roast beef dinner for over 100 volunteers who help the agency deliver services to disparate parts of Frontenac County on a daily basis. This year the Volunteer of the Year award went to Bob Greer, who has been a volunteer driver for decades. In describing Bob’s dedication, Gail Young, co-ordinator of Frontenac Transportation Services, referred to a ride Bob gave to a young man on Christmas day a couple of years ago. “He was supposed to drive him to Perth, but the young man wanted to get to Ottawa for Christmas with his family, so Bob took him all the way. He never says no. After dinner the volunteers were entertained by Stephen and Debra Goodberry, a popular Neil Diamond and Elvis tribute act.
Flat terrain, prepared surface--the K&P Canada 150 Bike Ride taking place on May 6th (10 to noon) will be a comfortable ride over historic ground. This family-friendly Bike Ride takes place on the former rail bed abandoned by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Starting from Tichborne, cyclists will travel 10 km each (for a total of 150 km) passing through bush, swamps and over bridges. The Kingston-Pembroke Railway (known locally as “The Kick and Push”) once connected a string of small villages that depended on it for commerce as well as for their household goods. The Conboy’s shipped their maple syrup on the railway; Eatons delivered dressers and tables; cattle, fattened on the local farms, ended up in Toronto stockyards . Formed in 1998, the K&P Trail Group promotes the K&P as a right of way with a free multi-use trail starting at Sydenham Road. No motorized vehicles are allowed. In November 2015, the County of Frontenac, which owns its portion of the trail, completed the section from Harrowsmith to Tichborne. The new section is approximately 20 kilometers long and includes bridges over White Creek, Elbow Creek and Fish Creek. The next phase aims to bring the trail to Sharbot Lake and is expected to be completed in 2018. The K&P Canada 150 Bike Ride is hosted by the SteeleBender Cycle Club and is sponsored by the Railway Heritage Society. Further information at 613 279-2144.
The Frontenac Cattlemen Association welcomed their Stormont counterparts Saturday April 22 for a presentation by two local Cattle breeders, Dave Perry of Perry Maine-Anjou Farm, near Yarker, and DJ Cooke of Otter Creek Farm, which hosted the event. Lunch was provided by Kim Perry at Food Less Traveled in Verona. Of note were Perry's Maine-Anjou stock, as well as some Speckle Park,a breed out of Saskatchewan and one of few breeds developed in Canada,along with Cooke's Wagyu cattle, a Japanese breed that remains a rarity in North America. The Maine-Anjou, according to Perry, are a breed prized for its fastgrowth and docile disposition. The disposition, he explains, helps it grow at a steadier rate than a more skittish breed, which may beslower to take on weight. With roughly 130 head on his farm, Perry sells most of his meat through the aforementioned family store in Verona, which has been in operation for a decade now. Cattle from the farm are also shownfrequently at fairs in the region. Perry notes that with changes in consumer preference, he has shifted his practices in recent years to a strictly grass and hay diet, and has been marketing the beef as Grass Finished. While grass-fed cows tends to lack the levels of fat content of a corn or barley diet, the response from customers to the leaner beef has been positive. The farm also raises a small number of grain-finished cattle for those who prefer a sweeter, fattier meat. Otter Creek is a more recent addition to the region (established in stages over the past few years, starting with the first of the cattle in 2013). Cooke, who owns the operation, grew up on a farm where Limousin cattle were raised. He took an interest in Wagyu - which has its origins in the region of Kobe, Japan - and spent a month there learning from local farmers. All of the genetics of his herd trace back to Kobe. He began by breeding Wagyu embryos into Angus Heifers and is currently into the third generation of naturally bred Wagyu. Cooke also works with farms across Canada, supplying operations as far away as B.C. with cattle, while marketing his product centrally from Otter Creek. The aim is to develop a national brand for, what he calls, this "flavourful, tender, well-marbled meat. Otter Creek's cattle have won awards at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and are made available to 4H clubs, allowing local youth the opportunity to show them.They are also brought to shows outside of the region; Cooke notes that his cattle will be at exhibitions this summer in Nebraska and then in Denver later in the year. Perry, who is also the association's president, points out that events of this nature, where cattle farmers host groups from out of the region, are a way for people in the business to share knowledge, get exposure to breeds and talk about practices. The Frontenac Cattlemen have hosted similar events in the past and many members, says Perry, take the opportunity to participate in an annual provincial cow-calf tour coordinated by the Beef Farmers of Ontario.
This weekend is Frontenac Outfitters 33rd annual spring sale and although the idyllic location near Frontenac Park may be familiar to some this year's sale will be the first one for new owners Kiley and Zack Fiddis who recently took over this South Frontenac paddlesports business. For Kiley, Zack, and their 2-year old daughter Lyla, it's not only a significant lifestyle change but a dream come true. “This is something we've wanted for a long time,” Zack, a former heating and air-conditioning technician and long-time paddler, told Frontenac News. “The stars kind of aligned.” “It seemed like it was now or never,” Zack said when asked about why they made the move. “Our daughter is young and we'd been looking for a lifestyle change when we found this backyard oasis.” Kiley, a former social worker, was equally as thrilled about the change, excited to be able to spend more time raising their daughter amongst the lakes and woods of South Frontenac and running the business from home. Kiley and Zack purchased the business from Larry and Christine Showler who had posted the sale online looking for the right buyers. For Larry Showler, who originally purchased the business in 1994, this meant someone that would continue to run Frontenac Outfitters with the same appreciation of the business' natural surroundings and a love for paddling. The Fiddis family made it through the vetting process and have since moved from Bowmanville, Ontario to the Sydenham area and taken over the operation. “I've been paddling for 20 years,” Zack said as he excitedly described all the new boats that are premiering this weekend at the sale. Larry and Christine have stayed on temporarily to help the Fiddis family transition into ownership and to share their knowledge and enthusiasm of paddlesports as well as to introduce Zack and Kiley to their faithful clientele. “We've had a great response from the community,” Zack said. “We've been meeting so many awesome people.” When I visited Frontenac Outfitters on a rainy Easter weekend Zack was quick to take me on a hike of the property. The tour started at a building stacked to the rafters with shining new canoes and sea kayaks then wandered amongst tall trees and Canadian Shield through 7 campsites they maintain and rent out and finished right at the water's edge on the quiet and beautiful Pearkes Lake where you can try your boat before you buy it. The entire time Zack was walking me through some of the brands that Frontenac Outfitters carries and the latest technology that goes into boat building from the volcanic ash interweave in H20's new canoes to the unbelievably light kayaks they have for sale on site. “Any day you come out here you can test paddle any boat we have,” Fiddis told me. The annual sale begins on Friday and runs until Sunday with company reps on hand, competitive sale pricing, a wide selection of boats and gear, as well as the opportunity to get out on the water to test the canoes and kayaks. Add free coffee and donuts to that list of perks and a chance to say hello to the owners and you've got yourself a nice little day trip in South Frontenac. For more details on the sale you can visit Frontenac Outfitters online at Frontenac-Outfitters.com.
In response to a request from Council, the recently-arrived Manager of Development Services, Forbes Symon, presented an outline of some of the purposes of a heritage committee, and the process by which one could be created. There is a definite community interest in the heritage of the Township: both the Portland District and Area Heritage Society and the Bedford District Historical Society are well established groups. Portland created and operates the South Frontenac Museum, and Bedford has a Research Centre on Westport Road. Five heritage properties were designated by the former Portland Township. Council has three options: Maintain status quo, expand the mandates of the current heritage societies, or create an new Heritage Committee. Should Council choose to create a Heritage Committee they would then, under the act, be required to consult with them on an advisory basis when designating heritage properties or dealing with alterations or demolition of these properties. A committee could initiate programs such as new interpretive plaques of heritage locations and features, and assist Council in the research, education, promotion and celebration of the heritage of the community. “It is commonly held that promotion of a community’s heritage contributes to a sense of place and distinctiveness, enhances the overall attraction of a community as a place to live and visit and is a positive influence on the local economy,” said Symon. In the discussion that followed, there were concerns about the possibility of historical designations becoming ‘heavy-handed’ and restrictive: Symon said this need not be the case: there are many possible levels of designation to choose from, and a committee would need to do research and provide community information first. Mayor Vandewal spoke of the archival material both in the Township Hall and private collections that could soon be lost, if nothing was done to preserve it. There seemed to be general agreement that a Heritage Committee would be beneficial: this will go to Council to be formalized with a by-law. Littering and Weekly Newspapers/FlyersSpring’s here, and with it comes an accumulation of a winter’s worth of roadside litter. Council members brought horror stories of piles of plastic-clad weekly newspapers and flyers to the last COW meeting, asking Symon to look into the problem. After talking with by-law enforcement (distribution of weekly newspapers/flyers is a legal practise under the right to advertise) and distribution managers with Metroland, distributors of the Frontenac Gazette, Symon outlined the company’s policies and practices. Metroland has a detailed code of conduct designed to minimize littering problems, including a policy of sending a cleanup crew out to deal with reports of litter. In spite of this, Mayor Vandewal and Councillor Barr both gave several examples of papers piling up in ditches and cottage driveways. Symon agreed to further discuss specifics of the problem with Metroland, and suggested that anyone with complaints should be encouraged to phone Metroland directly. However, his report gave no number, and tonight’s attempts to contact the distribution company on the Kingston area part of the website got no further than the “click here” button re delivery issues. Symon’s report also said, “It is worth noting that the Frontenac News weekly newspaper has a different distribution system and uses Canada Post to deliver their product as mail…copies of the newspaper can also be picked up at various community retail stores.” Road Name to Honour Memory of Bill RobinsonCouncil agreed unanimously with the Public Works Department’s proposal to name a newly-created road in Harrowsmith in honour of long-time Portland district Councillor Bill Robinson. The road is part of the reconfiguration of the awkward and dangerous mid-village intersection, a project Robinson was much in favour of. Planner Mills recommended Council set the naming process in motion by holding the required public meeting. Shooting Range: Buck Bay RoadIn December, Mr Adam Rayner came to Council with concerns about a neighbour who operates a shooting range on his abutting property. Mills’ report reveals that this range has been endorsed by previous Councils, following complaints from Rayner, as far back as 1994 and most recently in 2007. Representatives of the Chief Firearms Officer say they have been on the site many times: they have to attend the site before each two-year renewal, and have consistently found the range is fully compliant with the Firearms Act and Regulations. Council agreed with Mayor Vandewal’s opinion that there was little more they could do to resolve what was apparently a long-standing quarrel between neighbours.
While trying to decide what to do with a number of toys she hadn’t used in years, Girl Guide Meghann McKinstry got an inspiration — could they be donated to a thrift store? Or, what if they collected toys from other guides as well as the community, organized a sale and gave the proceeds to the Food Bank. McKinstry ran the idea past her mother, Guider Joanne, who ran it by Guide Leader Kim Deline. It turns out that sort of fundraising isn’t really within the purview of the Girl Guides but seeing that it was Earth Day, and the idea of recycling toys fit in and the Food Bank always needs funds and it was spring cookie season . . . “We call ourselves Friends of Guiding,” Joanne McKinstry said. “We organized, well Kim did most of it, she’s amazing, and collected donations and the Grace Centre graciously donated space. “And here we are. The donations are still coming in and you might be amazed that some of the toys for (re)sale are brand new. “One gentleman even brought in a a brand new radio-controlled car and said he just wanted to contribute.” Before they knew it, they had the first Earth Day used toy sale, complete with coffee and hot dogs for sale by the Friends of the Food Bank and a booth for the Guides to sell their cookies. (By the way, for the uninitiated, there is no universal Cookie Day. Local troops are free to set their own spring and fall dates to sell cookies. In the spring, chocolate and vanilla cookies are for sale and in the fall, it’s chocolate mint.) “It was slow at first,” McKinstry said. “The cloudy weather was likely to blame but it’s really picked up. “One lady, who runs a day care, came in and emptied the Lego table “We gave her a deal.” McKinstry said even though it was her daughter’s initial idea, it was really Deline that made the whole thing work. “Kim was here well into the night doing food prep and every other little thing that came up,” McKinstry said. “I thought this was a great idea to promote community service,” Deline said. “And to celebrate Earth Day . . . and to sell cookies.”
For many years now, food bank volunteers have been joined by OPP auxiliary members and it’s been a mutually beneficial arrangement. In Sydenham, Verona and Sharbot Lake (like last Saturday), auxiliary officers have brought a police vehicle to a local grocery store (like Mike Dean’s) and joined food bank volunteers to collect foodstuffs and cash donations. They call it Stuff the Cruiser. “I’m local and my mom’s on the (food bank) committee,” said Aux. Const. Nicole Greenstreet, a veteran of a half-dozen or so Stuff the Cruiser campaigns. “So I know the need. “Plus it’s a good organization to be supporting that’s vital to the community.” “I just like to help out with the food drive,” said Aux. Const. Curtis Jacques, who was on his fourth Saturday. “There’s a need and it’s fun to meet people in the community.” The new kid on the block this week was Steve Scantlebury, a “just retired a week or two ago” local whose wife Barb is also on the food bank committee and suggested he help out. He said he’d be back. “Any donations of food and/or cash are useful,” said Barb, as the cruiser was starting to fill up. “It looks like we’ll have to take the cruiser over to the food bank and empty it out shortly. “I just joined last year and we had one time when we had to empty the cruiser out twice.” “We’ve been blessed with donations that keep us running,” said North Frontenac Food Bank Director Kim Pascal-Cucoch. “The auxiliary OPP officers have helped us collect a lot and they give us a presence. “This is a wonderful community that supports us on an ongoing basis.” The food bank, behind the St. Lawrence Employment Centre, accepts donations on a year-round basis. In every basket they try to add tea bags, instant coffee, sleeve crackers, packaged pasta and jars/cans of sauce, boxed cereal, Kraft Dinner, peanut butter, jam, packaged rice and cans of beans, stew or chunky soup, salmon, tuna, soup, juice and tomatoes. In baskets for families with children, they add snack pudding or apple sauce cups, fruit cups, granola bars, drink boxes, Rice Krispie squares, hot chocolate packages and canned pasta like Alphagetti or Zoodles.
Frontenac Paramedic services took some initiative a few years ago establishing paramedicine services, which involve making use of paramedic infrastructure and staff capacity to provide services aimed at preventing the kinds of catastrophic medical events that lead to 911 calls for service. To that end, with funding from the county and provincial grant money a wellness clinic in Marysville, on Wolfe Island, was established, and later visiting clinics at Diners clubs across the County have been set up. Now the province has established Paramedicine as an ongoing program and has tasked the Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN’s) with distributing funding to local paramedic services. It’s all a bit confusing because the boundaries that the LHIN’s are using don’t correspond to our service boundaries,” said Frontenac Chief of Paramedic Services Paul Charbonneau. While there is only $312,000 available for programming in the southeast LHIN territory, which includes 6 counties (Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Lanark, and Leeds Grenville) and the City of Kingston, $58,000 of that money must be allocated to Frontenac Paramedic Services to continue the programs that are already in place. “We are glad of the guaranteed funding,” said Charbonneau, “and we will be preparing a submission for some new initiatives.” One possibility is to set up a clinic in a social housing complex in the City of Kingston, where Frontenac Paramedic Services delivers service. “One of the positive aspects of paramedicine for our paramedics is it can be a good fit for older paramedics,” he said. Charbonneau is hoping Frontenac County will be able to secure $100,000 or so in funding out of the $362,000 that is available by designing highly effective programs for vulnerable population sectors in Kingston and Frontenac. No user fees on K&P TraillLast fall, Frontenac County Council entered into an agreement with the Eastern Ontario Traills Alliance (EOTA) to manage the soon to be completed K&P Traill between the southern border of the county and the trailhead in Sharbot Lake for an annual price of $400 per kilometre. The Tweed based Not-For-Profit Corporation manages a network of trails across Eastern Ontario, including the popular ATV oriented trails in North Frontenac. It has been very successful over the past ten years as an ATV tourism marketing and trail management agency. Most EOTA trail users pay annual trail fees, and the trails are motorised. The K&P Trail is a hybrid, however. ATV’s are not permitted from Verona South and are permitted to the north. The maintenance agreement with EOTA stipulated that no fees would be charged for the section of trail from Sharbot Lake to the South, but at a county budget meeting in November a discussion took place about the amount of funding that the County is spending on trails and some members of council argued that trails should be “self-sustainable”. According to the staff account from that meeting “it was questioned if the County should start looking at charging a user fee as most other recreational areas such as Big Sandy Bay and other Trails charge a user fee. Subsequently, an action item was requested to have the Community Development Advisory Committee review the Trails Master Plan to look at including user fees”. But in a report to Council from Clerk Janette Amini, the fact that a bylaw as passed establishing a no-fee contract, it would require a complicated set of procedures to unpack the contract in order to consider adding fees. In response to Amini’s report, Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle, who speculated about a fee in the first place, did not comment. South Frontenac Councilor John McDougall said “we can make it clear now to everyone that there will be no fee to use the trail.”
The County of Frontenac is looking for input from residents and businesses as it’s trying to find ways to increase the number of overnight stays in the County in all four seasons of the year. To better understand what’s needed to increase the number of overnight stays, Frontenac County and consulting firm MDB Insight are hosting workshops in each of the County’s member municipalities. Anyone with a stake in tourism is encouraged to participate in these workshops and findings will be incorporated in a toolkit to help grow four season accommodations, including marketing strategies, new digital approaches and leveraging the network of existing businesses. Tourism operators, accommodation providers, cultural associations, business owners and other interested parties are all invited. Workshop Dates and Locations:North Frontenac: Wednesday April 19, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Clar-Mill Community Hall, 6598 Buckshot Lake Road, Plevna Registration: https://accommodationsinnorthfrontenac.eventbrite.caFrontenac Islands: Monday May 1, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Community Hall, 26 Division Street, Wolfe Island Registration: https://accommodationsonfrontenacislands.eventbrite.caSouth Frontenac: Monday May 1, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Storrington Centre - 3910 Battersea Road, Sunbury Registration: https://accommodationsinsouthfrontenac.eventbrite.caCentral Frontenac: Tuesday May 2, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. St. Lawrence College Employment Services, 1099 Garrett St., Sharbot Lake Registration: https://accommodationsincentralfrontenac.eventbrite.ca
How well do you know your Canadian Trivia? Are you an armchair Jeopardy Champion? Come out to the Blackfly Derby to show off your skills. You might bring home some prizes or one of the coveted Blackfly Derby Trophies. Connections Adult Learning is holding the first ever Blackfly Derby Chili and Trivia Night, Friday May 5th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, at The Granite Ridge Education Centre. Trivia questions will focus on a variety of subjects for all ages, but will all have a Canadian connection in respect to Canada’s 150th Birthday celebrations this year. You can come on your own, or put together a team of up to four family, friends, or co-workers to compete in this fun and food filled night. Each team will be using a hand held device, either a smart phone or tablet. You can bring your own or one can be provided. The program being used for the challenge is called Kahoot. This program is used widely by more than 1.5 million educators and over 49 million students in just the three years since it was developed. The questions have been created by Granite Ridge students with the help of Teacher, Peggy Hurley. These are multiple choice questions, and hopefully, you will find them challenging and fun. Try to think up a creative name for your team as well as an individual “Handle” for yourself. The theme of the evening celebrates two iconic events in May – The Kentucky Derby and the unescapable Black Fly season. Teams are encouraged to wear either Derby or blackfly attire, prizes will be awarded for the best. The cost of this evening is a mere $5.00 in advance or $10.00 at the door. The price of your ticket entitles you to the trivia challenge as well as a delicious chili dinner. In addition, you will be able to purchase themed mocktails like, Kentucky Derby mint juleps, Shampagne, Deep Woods Off, and Run for the Roses. Connections Adult Learning will be holding another Blackfly Derby in Northbrook in co-operation with the Lions Club of Land-O-Lakes on Friday, May 12th. This Trivia Challenge will be held at the Lions Club Hall in Northbrook. Tickets can be purchased at Connections Adult Learning or, if your business or office has put together a team, a Connections staff member can come out to bring your tickets to you. Please check the Connections Adult Learning Facbook page and webpage for more details. Please call 613-279-2499 to purchase tickets or get more information. This event is to celebrate the ASITT program, created with funds from a Trillium Grant. ASITT stands for alleviating social isolation through technology. Connections Staff has been out in the community with the assistance of wonderful volunteers, helping people to feel better about using technology and solving problems they may have.
North Addington is proud of its forested backyard, and soon it will host an interpretive walking trail for students and staff. Emma Fuller, a grade 12 student, is pairing Graphic Design and Biology to create ten signs that will inform trail walkers about the ecology and natural history of eastern Ontario. Last Thursday, Fuller accepted a generous grant from the Limestone Learning Foundation that will help pay for a large part of the project. “It is a unique trail that will benefit all our students from Kindergarten to Grade 12,” said Fuller. “We are really excited to be doing this project.” Fuller is a park naturalist in Bon Echo Provincial Park during the summer and has shared her passion for the environment with her peers. As the founding member of “Enviro-Pro Hyper-Force,” NAEC’s earth-conscious student group, she organized a trail clean-up for Earth Day last Friday. Fuller, Cassidy Wilson, Greg Garey and Ryan Cruickshank walked the 3.5 km trail cleaning up litter on their lunch hour. “It was nice to be a part of this for earth day and to know that we are making a difference,” said Wilson, “and it was a nice walk.” Stay tuned for more details about the grand opening of the Viking Trail in June.
The Napanee/Kaladar Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to make the public aware of The Vulnerable Person Registry (VPR) that is now available to the community. This service allows caregivers and guardians to submit vital information about a person who may pose a safety concern to themselves or the public because of a medical, physical or a mental health condition. Contact: Juliane Porritt Community Safety Officer Napanee OPP Phone: 613-354-3369 ext 6755 or Juliane.Porritt@ opp. ca
Ken Hook has been a pheasant farmer, the Reeve of Addington Highlands, Executive Director of Land O’Lakes Community Services, and he currently runs a videography company with his wife Kathy. He is also an athlete, and a pretty good one, it turns out. Recently, he had an unexpected win in the Hamilton Around the Bay 5K running race on March 26th where he placed 1st in the age 60-64 division in a field of 51 runners. Overall, Ken placed 172 in a field of 2385 runners. Last summer, Ken qualified in Ottawa at the 2016 Canadian Triathlon Championships as one of the top 10 athletes in his age category which enables him to compete as part of Team Canada at the ITU World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands, September 14-17, 2017. Ken's event is the "Sprint Triathlon" which is a 750m swim, 20K bike and 5K run which takes under 2 hours to complete. Ken trains in the Cloyne area and swims in Skootamatta Lake. He will be competing in several running races and triathlons in Ontario prior to the Rotterdam event. (Information provided by Tracy Hook, a proud brother)