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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.
Not every studio tour boasts a range of materials like the Back Roads Studio Tour. In addition to painting, jewellery and woodworking, Back Roads offers cheese, concrete, and recycled seat belts as well. It's all part of an eclectic mix of artists and artisans who can be found at 13 studios in North Frontenac Township this weekend, Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 24 & 25. The fall colours are just starting along the scenic and winding roads that link the studios, and the locations are all worth a visit. Members of the tour include Tuscany Concrete by Design of Fernleigh. A husband and wife team, Ted and Sherry Oosterlaken of Fernleigh will be showing the decorated concrete furniture that has won them fans and customers throughout Ontario over the last few years. This is their second year on the Back Roads tour and they will be joined by new North Frontenac residents Kirk Shabot and Laura Stewart of L.S. Designs, the makers of custom fire rings and home decor signs. Over at Buckshot Lake Road, Richard Emery starts his work with a chainsaw, and then sands and seals 1 inch slices of wood to make forest frames. His wife Debbie is a well known quilter who created the 150th anniversary quilt for Frontenac County last year. They will be joined by Betty Hunter, who does just about everything that can be done with fabric. At Studio K, Gabriella Klassen combines realism and mystery in finely rendered acrylic paintings. Meanwhile, in downtown Plevna there are three studios, that of mixed media artist Marlene Leeson, the jewelry of Free Spirit Creations and the photography of Michelle Ross, and the paintings of Katie Ohlke at Stone Ridge Art Studio. While in Plevna, stop by Good Stuff Bakery, which will be open all weekend. Over on Lothlorien Road near Ompah are the studios of the very fine painter Linda Rush, and long established woodworker Pete Bunnett, whose recent work focusses on the 'live edge', the cambium layer just inside the bark of a tree, which he uses to make stunning tables, benches and stands. Down the road in Ardoch is Red Dragon Studio and Gift Shop, featuring the paintings and stained glass work of Cathy Owen. She will be joined this year by Wendy Clement, also a painter, who is a mosaic artist as well. Their work has been influenced by the vistas and wildlife at Malcolm Lake, where they live. A must-see studio every year is Silent Valley Alpaca at the former community of Donaldson, a working Alpaca farm with a range of Alpaca products including yarns and garments. The village of Snow Road has developed as a unique artisan corner. Mariclaro is an internationally nown producer of beautiful, sturdy hand bags and accessories made out of entirely recycled materials. Nearby Back Forty Cheese is a farm and sheep's cheese factory that produces four well known cheeses that are increasingly popular in the Ottawa and Kingston markets. They produce specialty cheeses as well. Back Forty is also the studio of Jenna Rose, screen-printed designs on natural fabrics that sell across Ontario. Back Forty will have its patio open and food and drinks will be served all weekend. Once you are in Snow Road, head over to Fred Fowler's studio as well. Fred has been a dedicated painter for years, specializing in visionary landscape oil paintings. One thing to keep in mind while driving the tour this year is the closure of Road 509 between River Road and Plevna. Fortunately there are no studios on that stretch, but to get from Ompah to Plevna motorists need to take River Road to Ardoch Road. (Note - the paper version of this article mistakenly inlcuded the wording "pre-cambrium" in place of "cambium" when describing the work of Pete Bunnett)
On September 9 the Ompah Community Centre was filled with folks interested in local history. Linda Rush welcomed the crowd. The evening came together because Bruce Moore, Marily Seitz and Linda wanted to have a discussion event (or events) where we could learn more about differing topics. They decided that the history of the settlement of Ompah would be a good topic with which to start. Bruce Moore spoke of the meaning of the name Ompah. In Algonquin it means 'long step' which, while a long walk, was also the shortest portage between the Madawaska River system and the Mississippi River system. It was in this period that the Algonquin began interacting with Europeans who used these two rivers to transport furs to trading posts. As the demand for fur in Europe declined, the demand for timber increased. Then when the timber trade declined the government wanted to settle the land and offered free land to those who would clear twelve (12) acres and stay for a minimum of four (4) years. Linda Rush then introduced LeeAnn White and asked her to tell about her ancestors’ arrival and how they lived. Her great great grandmother died at sea but the rest of the family moved to Donaldson then Plevna before finally settling in Ompah. One hundred and one-year-old LeeAnn had many stories to tell of the hard work but also of great fun. Young folk in the area would often walk to Folger to dance the night away then walk back and work all the next day. Marily Seitz often found herself forgetting her note-taking duties as she laughed along with the audience to LeeAnn's humorous tales. Murray Elliott then took over the podium. He was born in Kingston and came home as a baby on the K&P Railroad. He spoke about living in and off the bush. Folks sold beaver pelts, bags of wool, cream and handmade products. They had cows, chickens, pigs, a horse or two and a big garden. Murray echoed LeeAnn's words of the hard work but also the fun of living with a large family in the bush. Barbara Sproule then told of the history of the townships. 1738 saw the construction of Fort Frontenac in Upper Canada. In 1798 Lt. Governor Simcoe authorized a survey, which established lots of 100 or 200 acres. Logging was a big part of the economy. 1865 saw the opening of the first post office in Ompah. Palmerston and South Canonto Township was established in 1868, and two years later North Canonto was added to the township. Barbara told of a pair of settlers who arrived in the area in late fall with no home to go to. They built a brush shelter with a dirt floor and stayed for the winter. As Barbara tells the tale, the wife cried for two months. Following the presentations, questions were asked by the audience. Some folks shared stories of the arrival of their ancestors as well. Leonard Emery set up a log on saw horses and invited folks to try out the two-person saw to see just how much effort was required to cut timber, the primary source of income before the settlement period. Many folks stayed afterwards to chat, ask questions, share memories and make suggestions for other topics to be explored in the future.
A fundraising BBQ was held by the Bon Echo Area Residents Against Turbines (BEARAT) at the Clar-Mill Hall in Plevna on Sept. 4. The event, which was attended by over 100 people and featured live music from the Pickled Chicken String Band and Roger Hermer, was organized to generate more interest and to raise money for BEARAT's expected upcoming battle against wind turbines being built in the North Frontenac and Addington Highlands areas. Last year BEARAT was very active in fighting against two companies, Nextera and ResCanada, which had proposed building large wind turbine farms in both North Frontenac and Addington Highlands. The contracts eventually were awarded to projects elsewhere in the province, but they caused great debate and discussion in the area, drawing hundreds of people out to local council meetings, including the Ontario Provincial Police, who were brought in to keep the peace. North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins, John Laforet from Broadview Strategy Group, and Dan Carruthers, a cottager from Ashby Lake, spoke to the attendees on Sunday about the current situation and fielded questions from the crowd. “What we're doing right now is amping up our game,” Laforet said. “Individual actions are going to be extremely important as we begin to see what the timelines and benchmarks actually are for the IESO.” The IESO is the Independent Electricity Systems Operators, an organization that oversees the supply and demand of the province's electricity and are responsible for choosing which companies receive contracts to build turbines in Ontario. “We're basing this year's target funding on what we spent last year, which was $75,000,” Carruthers said. “We have about $30,000 raised (so far this year).” Mayor Higgins and North Frontenac's Council, in a vote last year, declared their township “not a willing host” to industrial wind turbine projects and have since had it included in their Official Plan. Addington Highlands voted last year to be a “willing host” to the proposed projects and so, during Sunday's BEARAT fundraiser, multiple people in the crowd were curious as to what could be done to sway that Council to vote against the projects this time around. “Once we have a sense of what the ground looks like in Addington Highlands, who we're up against, where they're going, then there is a list of concepts that we're going to put forth,” Laforet said. “There is a real, or apparent, potential conflict of interest that would, or could, result in ties. Ties are interesting and helpful to us.” Laforet also explained that they would offer “opportunities to oppose the project, in addition to opportunities to continue their support for the project, but in a way that is going to really upset the proponent and if they don't do it they look really bad to their constituents.” “The plan is to wait until it's real, then put opportunities in front of them to oppose the project based on the community's sentiment, based on other real concerns about what could happen, and then (to offer them) other opportunities to be world class in protecting members of the community while supporting the project going forward,” Laforet continued. One of BEARAT's tactics right now is to have landowners sign non-consent forms if they feel that their property could be impacted by a possible turbine in the future. The forms and more information are available on the BEARAT website at www.bearat.org. (Editors note - a previous version of this article said, erroneously, that John Laforet is associated with Wind Concerns Ontario. In an email to the News Laforet said that he was the President of Wind Concerns Ontario over fiove years ago, but is now a private consultant.)
County makes branding presentation to North Frontenac Anne Marie Young, manager of Economic Development for the County of Frontenac, and Alison Vandervelde, the Community Development officer, made a presentation to Council on September 2 to explain their process of implementing new branding for the County. “We started this from the ground up,” Young told Council. She said that she hopes the new logo will attract “adventure seekers, potential investors, and business owners.” “It looks like a girl guide badge or a boy scout badge,” Vandervelde said in explaining how the concept came together. “The crest inspires that kind of adventure.” Along with the logo, the branding company RedTrain came up with the tagline “In Frontenac” to be used with promotional material and online. “The tagline is really the beautiful part as it is what we make it,” Vandervelde said. They explained to Council how people have started implementing the “In Frontenac” tagline on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and how it starts to build a story of what Frontenac is. “It's a good measurement for us too to see how many people are using it,” Vandervelde told Council. She said that people have been tagging photos of themselves paddling, camping and eating in the area with the hashtag #infrontenac. “Is there funding available for us to implement this new branding in our township?” North Frontenac CAO Cheryl Robson asked. Young said that the County has received funding for rolling out the new brand but she couldn't elaborate yet on what that funding is or how much. “I'm excited about it because it's a whole new exercise,” Councilor John Inglis said. “It [the County] has been more or less invisible.” Malcolm and Ardoch lake plans presented to Council Brenda Martin, chair of the Malcolm & Ardoch Lake Stewardship Committee (MALSC), Glen Fowler, president of the Malcolm and Ardoch Lakes Landowners' Association (MALLA), and Mary Gessner from MALSC, presented the summary of their lake stewardship plan for both Malcolm and Ardoch lakes to council. They explained to Council that their priorities on the lakes are water quality and water levels, land use development, and fisheries and fish habitat. Martin said that the water quality and water levels are presently in a “good state” and that MALLA has done additional sampling on the lakes to recognize any changes. She said they continue to educate their members on water issues. Martin also told Council that the Ardoch condominium proposal is what prompted MALLA and MALSC to develop the thorough report on their lakes, and that their approach was more reactive than proactive. “This Council is a safety net for North Frontenac,” Fowler said. “It's the most rural and undisturbed part of Frontenac County. If you're promoting economic development through that [new] logo then North Frontenac needs to be very protective of what goes on here. Our lake plan tries to be that reference document just for our views and we hope it's consulted when changes are about to take place.” “We've seen the mistakes made in the past and we don't want to see them in the future,” Deputy mayor Fred Perry said. “I have ownership here. I live here.” Another priority for MALLA and MALSC is the fishing habitat; in particular they are concerned about over-fishing of the lakes. “Is there anything that Council can do to put a word into the ministry to have some presence periodically up here?” Gessner asked. “Ours are pretty small lakes and the public access can lead to some issues we're seeing now, like some abuse.” MALLA told Council they had reached out to both the OPP and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in regards to one individual that they claimed has been over-fishing “for a couple of seasons.” “He fishes from 4am till 10am in the morning...” Mayor Ron Higgins told Council. “...dumping fish in his livewell. Whether he is transporting or keeping them for his own use we don't know. I called the TIPS hotline and they said they'd be out there in three days. By then the perpetrator is already gone.” “Every morning I make my coffee and there he is in front of my house,” Councilor Gerry Martin said. “It's very stressful and very upsetting,” Martin said. “All the good you do for your shoal enhancement and fish habitats can be ruined in one fell swoop.”
The mist was up and the rain was threatening to move in as a crowd gathered at the old caboose in the Railway Park across from the Central Frontenac Township Office in Sharbot Lake last Saturday morning (September 17). Town Crier, Paddy O'Connor, delivered two rousing “Oyes” and then an “All Aboard” to welcome one and all to the event. Barb Neill then welcomed the guests and introduced Gary Giller, who proceeded to outline the impressive number of grants that the society has received over the last year or so. The Community Foundation for Kingston and Area (CFKA) provided $12,200 for the purchase of a railway-themed play structure that is now installed in a location close to the caboose. CFKA Executive Director Tina Baily and board member Gayle Barr were on hand and spoke about how pleased the foundation was to work with a group that is dedicated to community engagement for all ages. The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) provided $10,000 for the installation of the play structure and also funded 12 signs marking significant features in the park that are connected to the former railway. James Roulston, of the Quinte-Kingston-Region grant selection committee with the OTF, brought his greetings as well. The heritage society is also working with Central Frontenac Township on a major trail enhancement project that encompasses the corridor from the Sharbot Lake beach to the museum park and beyond. Phase 1 of the project involves the enhancement of the rock cut and the wooded area between the beach and the government dock, and includes signage and heritage lighting. This project is being overseen by a committee of Central Frontenac Council. Phase 1 of the project has been funded by the Federal Government Accessibility Fund ($50,000), as well as Central Frontenac Township ($15,000), and the Frontenac County Federal Gas Tax Fund ($10,000) Anne Marie Young, the economic development officer for Frontenac County and a tireless advocate for the K&P Trail, brought greetings from the County. Gary Giller also thanked John Duchesne, who has come on board to help with grant applications for the society. Central Frontenac Mayor (and Frontenac County Warden), Frances Smith, marked the end of the formal proceedings, and the start of the rain, by cutting the cake. Fortunately the rain then let up and the assembled crowd enjoyed music by Gilbert Riddell, Jim MacPherson, Pete MacPherson, Al Cooke, and Guy Cooke, as well as hot dogs, lemonade and cake. Perhaps the happiest person in the crowd was Sally Angle, who is now the former president of the Central Frontenac Railway Society, a position she held for 14 years until Derek Redmond recently took on the role.
At the very end of the September 13 meeting of Central Frontenac Council, Councilor Cindy Kelsey put forward a notice of motion to discuss portable food trucks. Recently, a food truck that had been open variously at two different locations on Highway 7 was shut down after a resident complained to the bylaw officer. It turns out that the township's comprehensive zoning bylaw does not permit any food trucks within its borders. The bylaw, which was passed in 2011, includes “licensed refreshment sales vehicles” in its definitions, but in the rest of the document these kinds of establishments are not listed as permitted within any of the township's building zones. There are at least two such establishments in permanent locations in the township, one on Highway 7 at Sharbot Lake and one on Road 38 at Godfrey and there is at least one other business that provides catering out of a truck. South Frontenac has a provision for and permitting “licensed refreshment sales vehicles” in commercial zones within the township, under a set of criteria that includes separation distance from other food establishments. Central Frontenac may be looking at a similar provision in their own bylaw. “That is my intention,” said Cindy Kelsey, when contacted this week, “to bring in an amendment to the bylaw so we can regulate and permit these kinds of businesses. Right now they are in limbo. Anyone can call a bylaw officer to shut them down, which is not fair, and they do not pay any fees, while restaurants pay property taxes, which is not fair either.” Kelsey's notice of motion asked staff to prepare a report outlining how the township can proceed on the matter.
It's been 18 months since Andrew Kovacs purchased the former Sharbot Lake Seniors' Home from Dr. Peter Bell. Kovacs had originally planned to make the necessary changes to the building to change its focus completely in a matter of months, but he found that the building needed to be reduced to the “bare bones” and then re-imagined as a modern residence for seniors. In the coming weeks, however, the residence will be ready to be unveiled to potential tenants. “I've been waiting until everything is ready before holding an Open House,” Kovacs said when interviewed at the residence in late August, “because I know there will only be one chance to make a first impression when people come to see what we have to offer.” The new seniors' residence, which will be available for rent, will start in the range of $3,200 per month. This includes all meals, snacks, cable, wi-fi, laundry services, etc., and is about $2,000 per month lower than what a similar facility would cost in places such as Kingston, Ottawa, or even Smiths Falls. All the floors are made of bamboo composite flooring; rooms include full bath and shower facilities; and a new elevator is being installed. The dining room has been moved next to the completely refurbished kitchen, opening up what is now a large common room with modern furnishings and a full view of the east basin of Sharbot Lake. “There are a number of seniors who no longer want the hassle of cutting the grass, of worrying about leaking roofs, preparing meals for one person, and would like to live on their own, but in a community.” Kovacs said that once the residence is complete, it will accommodate over 20 people, mostly singles although there are suites that are suitable for couples. He will encourage residents to form a committee to develop recreation programming and said he will do what he can to help make the residence a true home for the people who live there. The grounds are all being spruced up at the property, including the area between the building and Road 38, and the area behind that opens up onto Sharbot Lake. “There are many advantages to living in a full-service facility like this is going to be, and I am looking forward to showing it off,” said Kovacs. The date of an open house at the Sharbot Lake Residence will be announced shortly.
Earlier this year, Connections Adult Learning received a $39,000 Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to fund its new “Alleviating Social Isolation Through Technology” (ASITT) project. Over the next eight months, Connections will be taking steps to provide access to hardware and internet connections and to help people improve digital skills through various training opportunities. Planned activities include establishing community Wi-Fi points; visits to housebound persons; providing multi-session and one-day workshops on various technology topics; establishing half-day technology drop-in centres for access and advice; hosting social digital activities like exergaming and streamed video; and providing online tips from experts in health, legal and other online information. “Technology is advancing at incredible rates; the ability to use technology and navigate the internet is no longer simply an amusement or enjoyable distraction, it has become a necessary and essential tool for accessing government services, finding information about health care, searching job opportunities, running a small business, or just staying in touch with family,” remarked Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. “With this grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Connections Adult Learning is providing important technology-based education and skills development while helping people better connect to their communities, and the world, in a digital age.” So, what could you learn if you participated in one or more of the training opportunities? Topics currently being explored include: online banking, how to buy and sell items online through sites like Kijiji or eBay, learning to use social media (Facebook, Skype, Instagram), basic computer skills, finding online health care information, finding legal advice, and how to watch online videos. However, Connections will be looking for the public’s suggestions into their needs and interests. “To many of us, activities such as sending a photo, using social media, browsing yardsale sites, or visiting with distant family and friends are simply taps on our mobile device. However, for people without digital skills or access to hardware or internet these activities are not simple, and becoming socially isolated from family, friends and community is a real possibility,” said Karen Bertram, the project’s coordinator. In late September, Connections will be offering the first of ASITT’s multi-session workshops. In Sharbot Lake, (24719 Hwy 7), Connections will present a “Basic Computers - Windows 10” workshop and “Managing Your Mobile – Android Phones and Tablets”. In Northbrook, (12497A Hwy 41, Unit 3), they will also offer “Basic Computers - Windows 10” but switch up the mobile training to “Managing Your IPAD, IPhone or IPOD”. See the flyer insert in this paper for more details or visit www.connectionsadultlearning.ca. To make this happen, Connections will need the community’s help. It’s looking for 10 or more volunteers (Digital Coaches), to help deliver training and support to the programs’ participants. It will provide technology training to the Digital Coaches, as well as training in adult learning processes. Additionally, to advise on content, recruitment, effectiveness and evaluation, Connections is recruiting six volunteers who can commit to four hours a month for a Project Advisory Committee. Some examples of people who will benefit from the project are: the student who can’t use the Internet to do their school assignment; someone who can’t apply online for Ontario Works or Employment Insurance; seniors who can’t use social media to connect with their children and grandchildren; anyone who isn’t able to list their item for sale online; and the resident who can’t use online banking. Connections needs you. Whether you want to learn more about computers and other digital technology or if you have digital talents to share, give Connections Adult Learning a call (Sharbot Lake 613-279-2499 or Northbrook 613-336-0691/866-402-8347);check them out on Facebook or drop in to see them at the addresses above. (Note - in the paper version of this article the address of Connections Adult Learning centre was erroneously listed as 4719 Hwy. 7)
Paul Davey and Harold Lake are experienced fishing guides who typically catch fish when they’re on duty. Last Saturday, they also saved a life. Friends for decades, the men started their day like any other: boats, supplies and customers ready for an 8 am start on Loughborough Lake. The sky was blue and the water was calm. It was a perfect day for fishing. But as it happened, it was not just another day on the water. By 3 pm that afternoon, a customer was in cardiac arrest at Loughborough Lake Marina in Battersea. The men quickly scrambled to help the victim, a Rochester man who had collapsed seconds earlier. When they reached him, his vital signs were absent. Taking over almost immediately from the man’s wife, Davey and Lake began to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR. The men performed chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth for about 10 minutes until help arrived. The fishing guides credit their life-saving medical attention to the training they received to qualify for a commercial fishing guide license. Both men belong to the Storrington Guides Association. “We were trained to do what we did and to stay with it until first responders arrived on the scene,” said Lake, 70. “I think we did it well.” “We just did our job,” said Davey, 75. Holding the first aid book by Island First Aid Services, Lake advocated for the value of first aid training. “As far as I’m concerned, they taught us pretty good. It doesn’t hurt to know it. If you have the time, take the course,” he said. Still rattled from their experience two days later, the fishing guides have since spoken with the victim, who was resting comfortably in a nearby medical centre and thanked the fishing guides personally for saving his life. “He’s already planning on returning next year,” said Davey with a chuckle. “We’ve known this guy for a lot of years.” “It’s tough when he’s a friend,” Lake agreed. “It was an awful thing looking at a friend who wasn’t coming to. It was tough and I personally thought it was close to not working.” Reflecting on their experience, the men, who have 87 years of guiding experience between them, agreed it would help in situations like these if businesses on the water have a defibrillator like the one the Storrington District firemen used to revive the victim when they arrived at the scene. “We could have used it,” confirmed Davey. “His heart quit.” “I was very scared,” Davey said about the seriousness of the situation. “It looked like he was going to die on us.” “I definitely thought that,” agreed Lake. “So much happened, just like we were told in our training. That’s why we were just doing our job.”
Brittani Lawson, a 21-year-old woman from Verona, and her service dog Anchor met me at Tim Hortons recently. Brittani has a medically diagnosed, non-visible disability and her doctors say that she needs a service dog to allow her to live an independent and normal life. She was forced to take control of the supply and training of her service dog when the non-government independent organizations could not meet her needs. Medical professionals recognize the value of trained service dogs for people with non-visible disabilities. The matching of a trained service dog to these individuals can save lives, and helps them lead a normal and independent life. The training, accreditation and supply of these animals is left in private hands, with little or no federal or Ontario Provincial Government guidelines. A service dog team consists of the handler with a medically diagnosed need, and a trained dog. The province of Alberta has come to grips with this need and issues photo ID cards for all individual certified service dog teams. Guidelines for the certification, service dog training, public and business education is available from Assistance Dogs International (ADI), an international not-for-profit organization pooling the resources and experience of many international service dog groups. Ontario does not have to make up the rules. In the same way that we accept the use of dogs to detect explosives, the concealment of narcotics, or buried avalanche survivors, we must learn to accept that service dogs are needed by many people with different non-visible disabilities. The dogs’ heightened sense of smell detects changes in the scent emitted by people with, for example, insulin deficiency from diabetes, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and can alert them to the onset of a seizure and the need for help. A certified service dog is a well trained, non-aggressive and medically alert animal. Its job is to ensure the safety of its team partner. A service dog is trained with a combination of kindness and rewards for actions. Do not speak to, pat, or feed treats to the dog without the handler’s permission. You will confuse and distract it, and this may have deadly results for the human member of that “service dog team”. When meeting a service dog team, always speak to the handler, not the dog. A few years ago, when it was suggested that a service dog would help Brittani to live a normal independent life, there were no trained dogs available. Brittani and her family purchased a Labrador puppy named Anchor from a good breeder and started an intensive ADI based owner-training program. Brittani performed the many hours of weekly training, with her family providing the taxi service and long waiting times. Not everyone can have this support, and not every medical need lends itself to owner training. Government support is required. Having now passed the test as a service dog team, Anchor wears his official service dog vest. Most businesses accept this, but not all. In Ontario, public and business education is required. A service dog team may be challenged for being where dogs are not allowed. Currently the handler must produce a doctor’s letter to confirm that they need the service dog for personal health reasons. They may also have to argue their rights, and that is wrong. An Ontario photo ID card similar to a driver’s license, as they have in Alberta is required.
At the top of Fermoy Hill, one of the highest points on the Westport Road overlooking Wolfe Lake, sits the Fermoy Hall, where it has been since it was constructed over 150 years ago. For over a century it served as the hall and office for the Township of Bedford, until the early 1970s. At that time the township purchased the Glendower school, a few kilometres down the road, after it was closed by the Frontenac Board of Education, for a very good price. The school building was larger, had modern conveniences including indoor plumbing, and with little renovation could function as an office and a public hall. Over the next 40 years the Fermoy Hall slowly fell into disuse, and at one point was rented out to the Tom Cat Bat company. The company, owned by the late Tom Roberts produced baseball bats made out of maple. While not much is left from that usage aside from some racks, the hall does now have a 200 amp electrical service. For the first 10 years of its existence, South Frontenac Township was run on an area rating basis, which effectively gave representatives from former townships like Bedford access to budget money to spend in their new wards based on recommendations by local recreation committees. It was during that time that the Fermoy Hall received a new metal roof; had its aluminium siding replaced by board and batten siding; had new windows put in; and an accessibility ramp built. All of this made the building sound, but inside the building there are some major issues that have curtailed its use. There is a hole in the ceiling; some of the lights don't work; and the floor and walls require attention. None of these issues have curtailed a group of local residents from the north-eastern corner of South Frontenac to begin meeting in the hall to talk about ideas for developing it for community use. At a preliminary meeting in July, 21 people showed up and talked about what needed to be done, how much would have to be done by contractors and how much by volunteers. They also talked about potential uses for the hall, ranging from public meetings, workshops, yoga classes, musical events - the whole range of activities that small halls are used for. Alan Revill and Pat Barr are the councilors on South Frontenac Council who represent the residents of Bedford District. They have both been involved with the local group, providing advice and talking about how the township might become involved. Two other meetings have since taken place, one in August and another on September 1. Last year the township placed $30,000 in the budget to be used for Fermoy Hall. “Although that money was in the budget and we can roll it over to be used later on, council needs to approve any actual use of the money, and they will want to see that the spending is in line and will result in the hall being used,” said Barr, who has attended all but one of the meetings that have been held. The group is preparing to make a presentation to Council with a plan and a wish list for spending to bring the hall back into public use. “At this point they are talking mostly about making it a three-season hall, by repairing the ceiling, putting in new lighting and perhaps a ceiling fan,” she said. The hall is serviced by an outhouse and has no running water, although according to Barr there is a well that was drilled in the 1970s, and the state of repair it’s in could be looked at as well. “It is also, as we all know, a heritage building, and the township has invested money in it already in recent years, so it just makes sense to bring it back to a usable state. In my view once we are looking at lighting and repairs to the ceiling we might as well look at insulating while we are at it, and at ceiling fans. Not everyone is comfortable with an outhouse, so the township might look at port-a-potties in season, like they do at other locations,” she added. Donna Garland is the chair of the Fermoy Hall group, and she has worked with the group on defining the kinds of uses that can be accommodated with limited alterations to the building. “We need to be able to present these possibilities and a reasonable wish list for money to council,” she said at a meeting in August. The group is meeting this week to finalise plans for a presentation to Council later in September or in early October.
Budget confusion but treasurer gets direction for an increase South Frontenac Treasurer Louise Fragnito initiated Council into the 2017 budget process with a report outlining the direction that staff would like to take in regard to the target numbers. Because South Frontenac is committed to long-term budgeting, the 2017 numbers will set in motion spending over a long period, up to 25 years. In order to maintain and even increase the level of reserve funds over the next 10 years and continue the aggressive road rehabilitation and upgrade program that the township has undertaken, Fragnito asked that the target of a 2% increase in the impact of the budget on the average ratepayer be increased to 2.2% this year. The change reflects a proposal from the Public Works department for an expensive upgrade to the Sunbury Road, from a surface-treated (tar and chip) road to an asphalt road with a paved shoulder. The upgrade would reflect the amount of use the road receives on a daily basis, and its role as a detour from Highway 401 from time to time. A similar proposal for the Westport Road will be considered for 2018. “The use of these roads has changed since the original long-term roads plan was developed” said Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth, who added that the township has been attempting for a number of years to obtain a grant to upgrade the Sunbury Road, without success. The proposal, as it currently stands, would be financed through a loan of $11 million, to be paid off over 20 years, with interest pegged at about 2.5% The budget direction that Fragnito was seeking included annual loan payments to cover the additional projects. The direction, which projects budget increases over 25 years, also included a host of projects, including building a new $2.25 million fire hall every three years starting in 2020 until all the township fire halls are replaced. Council had a lot to say about the proposals. “I need more information about how all these numbers fit together,” said Councilor Alan Revill. “We see projections over a long period of time and we will have to then focus on 2017.” Deputy Mayor Ross Sutherland said he was ok with the 2.2% proposal, but wanted to use reserves to finance the new roads projects instead of bank loans. While other members of Council also expressed a need for more explanation of the numbers, Mayor Vandewal knew what he wanted to see: smaller numbers and less spending. “To me this is a wish list: new fire halls, road upgrades, and on and on. We aren't going to do all this. We need to look at things we can afford, not the warm and fuzzy things that we would like to see. Even if you say this is just direction and we will make decisions as we go along, once it is down on paper it will be hard to stop, so I would like to slow down,” he said. Vandewal also said he campaigned on 2% increases, so he wants to stick with that. Nonetheless the majority of Council indicated comfort with Fragnito's suggested 2.2% increase. [Editor's note – Treasurer Fragnito uses a calculation that includes projected increases in tax assessment due to new construction and overall growth as well as phased-in assessment for existing properties when calculating a 2% or 2.2% increase in the impact of the budget on the average property in the township. In our reporting of budgets at the Frontenac News, we look only at the total amount of money the township levies to ratepayers. For example, the levy increase we reported for South Frontenac in 2016 was 6.66%, an increase from $15.5 million in 2015 to $16.5 million in 2016. Looking back in time, the total levy in 2010 was $10.3 million, so it has therefore gone up by 60% so far this decade. Looking forward, South Frontenac is on track to increase the levy to about $30 million per year by 2025.] Application for funding for The Point Council accepted a Public Works proposal to apply for a $77,500 matching grant from the Ontario 150 fund. If the application is successful, new fully accessible washrooms, a new sports pad, playground equipment, new fencing and a paved walkway will be put in. The township's share of the cost will come from Parkland Reserve funds. While indicating that she will vote in favour of the proposal, Councilor Pat Barr, her voice betraying underlying frustration with the amount of attention the Point Park has received from Council in recent years, said, “I will vote for this as long as it is the last time I have to hear a request for money to fix up The Point for the rest of my life.”
Moderate drought conditions persist, declaration regarding a severe drought now pending Citing continuing dry conditions and residents’ concerns, South Frontenac Fire Chief Rick Cheseborough declared a total fire ban in South Frontenac on Tuesday afternoon (August 2) “Because our residents have been extremely cautious with fire this summer and have been following the rules that are in place, we've had no major brush fires except for a couple of calls as the result of lightning strikes,” Cheseborough said shortly after declaring the fire ban. However, with the MNR fire rating set at high, and a number of residents phoning the township office reporting dry conditions in the vicinity of their homes, the township decided to put the fire ban in place. “The ban will stay in place until there is a significant rain,”said Cheseborough, “not just a short thunder shower or the five drops we got at some places over the weekend.” On Wednesday morning, (August 3) a full ban was put in place in Central and North Frontenac, Addington Highlands and Stone Mills. A full ban has been in place in the City of Kingston which includes the rural region to the north of the city proper, since mid-July, A campfire-only order remains in place throughout Lanark County. Along with fears of brush fires, conservation authorities throughout the area maintained moderate drought warnings for the entire region in news releases last week, and with continuing hot, dry conditions, chances of a severe drought being declared in August are high and rising. According to a July 27 release from the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, which covers much of South Frontenac, rain earlier that week may have helped lawns and gardens, but that is all. “While the Cataraqui region did get rain, it was a minimal amount (only a few millimetres), not enough to raise stream flows or lake levels, or provide respite from the drought conditions of the past few months,” said the release. It went on to say, “The long-term forecast appears to predict a continuation of hot and dry conditions through the fall, which means current conditions may continue for a number of months to come. Steady, sustained, significant rainfall for a number of days is needed to bring conditions back towards normal.” As the result of low water on lakes and streams, recreational use has been affected. Boaters and swimmers are being warned that the low water has the “potential to expose hazards that are normally irrelevant.” Residents who use shore wells or private ground water wells are also being cautioned that they should be practising water conservation as a hedge against their wells running dry. The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA), which covers much of Central and North Frontenac, also said that the rainfall that occurred was not sufficient to initiate a recovery in lake and stream levels. “A significant rainfall over a large portion of the watershed will be required to return the watershed to normal conditions,” said Gord Mountenay, MVCA water management supervisor. Quinte Region Conservation’s water resources manager, Christine McClure, went further in a release that came out on July 26. “The long-range forecasts do not show much rain, either. It looks as though the hot and dry conditions will continue into the fall. This means we are at risk of moving into a Level 3 Low Water Condition unless we receive a steady amount of rain.” The Quinte Region watershed covers parts of Addington Highlands and the western end of North, Central and South Frontenac along the Salmon River Watershed. Quinte also declared their own fire ban in the Depot Lakes Campground, which is located west of the Frontenac Arena.
The new Frontenac County logo was unveiled at the summer meeting of Frontenac County Council in Glenburnie last week (July 20) Jon Allison, from RedTrain of Kingston, presented the crest-shaped logo and the accompanying InFrontenac tagline with a slide show that outlined the potential uses of the materials for marketing everything from products produced by Frontenac County businesses, to tourism experiences in the county, and the concept of “Frontenac”. The logo features three swatches of colour: grey representing rocks; green representing agricultural fields; and blue representing water. At the bottom there is a maple leaf, a reference to Canada, and sitting on the swatches of colour there are four trees, which represent the four Frontenac townships. The graphic renditions of the trees are meant to represent Balsam Fir trees, Jon Allison said. The word “County” has been deliberately left off the branding materials, except when it is used to identify the county administration itself. “The idea is to establish the Frontenac identity on its own, not as a political jurisdiction,” said Jon Allison in explaining why RedTrain came to the conclusion that the concept of Frontenac needs to be freed from the bounds of the county to be able to live in the minds of both residents and visitors alike. He said this determination came from interviewing residents of Frontenac County. “What do they think now? Those who live/work in the area say 'We love it here. It is our piece of heaven'. But they also say they don’t really think of it beyond the area they live or work in. What do we want them to think? 'I am proud to say I am from Frontenac. It is a large region with incredible diversity and lots to offer. It is so great to see that more and more people are discovering us',” said Allison, in his presentation. Before the logo was discussed by members of Council, Allison presented numerous applications for it, from billboards, newspaper/magazine ad campaigns, social media applications, and large banners and signage. The response to the logo by members of Frontenac County Council was muted, at best. “I'm surprised we got this far with only one option to choose from,” said Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle. “I'm missing the wow factor here, and without the explanation I would not know what those colours are supposed to mean. I've also never seen a Fir tree on Wolfe Island.” Councilor Natalie Nossal, also from Frontenac Islands, thought that the maple leaf at the bottom of the crest looked messy. “It looks to me like something floating in a river.” South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal said, “For me, at least, the word county needs to be there, even in small letters at the bottom.” The representatives from North Frontenac, Mayor Ron Higgins and Councilor John Inglis, had both seen the logo and tagline when it was presented to the North Frontenac Economic Development Task Force in June. They indicated that as they have become more familiar with the materials, they have grown to like it more and more. “I like the simplicity of it. I can see this is a brand identity that is going to catch on,” said Higgins. “The question I have is, where do we go from here?” said Warden Frances Smith.” That question was answered soon enough. After Council voted to adopt the new branding materials, which came at the end of a three-hour meeting, county staff unfurled some large banners that had already been made up using the logo, advertising “Food to Fork – InFrontenac”, and “Adventure and Tranquility – InFrontenac”. In the parking lot by the office there was also a brand new Smart Car, with the new logo and tag lines already decaled all over it. “I guess they weren't exactly waiting for us to approve it,” said Dennis Doyle.
Frontenac County staff presented a report last week that outlines the projected costs for three different options to reconfigure the county's administrative offices. As usual with reports concerning potential construction projects in the public sector, it provoked sticker shock among members of Council. The county offices are located in what is known as the Old House, a building that the county purchased in 1965 on a 7.7-hectare lot for $78,000. At that time the property was located in Pittsburgh Township, which was part of Frontenac County. The Fairmount Home for the Aged was built on the property and an annex was built between the two structures. In 1998 Pittsburgh Township joined the new City of Kingston, but Frontenac County maintained ownership of Fairmount Home and the Old House, which was, and is still being used to house Frontenac County’s administrative offices. The complex also houses the administrative offices of Frontenac Paramedic Services, which was established in 2002 to provide land ambulance service to Frontenac County and the City of Kingston. The Old House still looks and feels like a house, with offices located in renovated bedrooms off a circular staircase to the second floor. There is also an unused living room that is located between the administrative wing and the Clayton Room, a medium-sized meeting room that was used for County Council meetings when there were only four members of Council but is now only used for committee meetings. Accessibility issues throughout the building, in particular access to the second floor, as well as operating expenses are what led council to start looking at long-term options to bring the offices to an efficient, modern standard. The most inexpensive option that was presented is to make minimal changes the building, and simply “Renovate for washroom accessibility + improved reception + improved office productivity.” The cost estimate for that project is over $833,250. The second option was to abandon the second floor of the Old House, move the staff that are housed there to the current Frontenac Paramedic Services (FPS) offices, and move the FPS headquarters to leased space in the City of Kingston. The cost estimate is $854,000 for construction, but this option would also result in extra annual leasing costs for FPS. The final option was to completely renovate the Old House and turn it into a two-storey, accessible office building and build an addition. The cost for that project is an estimated $4.4 million The report also presented two related, lower-cost versions of this option. One of them includes the addition but limits the renovation to the Old House to making a first-floor washroom accessible. It comes in at $2.5 million. The final option presented was to do some renovations to the existing Old House building and build a small addition. It comes to $2.8 million. County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender, who wrote the report, recommends the final option that was presented, for $2.8 million. He said that it “provides the best value by ensuring that all current deficiencies are addressed while providing for all space needs for the foreseeable future. It also keeps FPS administration within the current facility, while not eliminating future options for alternate uses of the FPS suite and/or the second floor.” Although Council agreed to set up the task force, the prospects that the project will proceed according to the time lines that Pender included in his report are minimal. The task force is expected to report back in time for the project to be included in this year’s budget deliberations in the fall. “I haven't seen a number here that I can support,” said South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal. “We could build a stand-alone building for less. There is no way I would support this.” Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle said, “I've got a worry about the cost of all this. Once we get into this it could lead to a levy increase. It should be deferred until budget at the very least.” Councilor Natalie Nossal from Frontenac Islands, the council point person for Frontenac Paramedic Services, said, “It is not optimal to move FPS to a new location, away from the administration. That would make [the second option] unacceptable.” Councilor John McDougall said that the task force should be given leave to look at other options as well. “I think the options are somewhat limited,” he said. A motion to set up a task force to work with staff to come up with a recommendation was approved. It is unclear if the task force will report back in time for the 2017 budget. New personal support worker shift at Fairmount – Yes Council supported a recommendation from Lisa Hirvi, the interim administrator for Fairmount Home, to increase the complement of personal support workers in the home by one 7 ½ hour shift per day. In the report that accompanied the request, Hirvi said that the increasing frailty of residents when they enter the home has made it hard for staff to keep up with the demand for care. She also wrote that the home has received more in transfers from the province this year than budgeted. She recommended that the position be brought in on a trial basis until the end of the year so a more permanent commitment can be considered when the 2017 budget is being considered. Councilor John Inglis from North Frontenac said, “I support this position. At the same time I think we should look further at the fact that Fairmount remains at the high cost end for municipally-run homes.” The vote in support of the new position was unanimous. Second communications officer – Not now Council did not accept a staff proposal to create a new communications officer position. The staff proposal was to fund the position partly from the Frontenac Paramedic Services (FPS) budget, which would have only a minimal impact on Frontenac County ratepayers who pay only a small portion of the FPS budget since the Province of Ontario and the City of Kingston pay the lion's share. They were also seek support from the Frontenac townships through individual fee-for-service agreements. One of the larger parts of the new position’s responsibilities would be to manage the ever-increasing county and FPS social media profiles. The net impact on the 2017 budget would be an increase in the Communications budget from $80,000 to $115,000. Council was in not in a mood to spend the money. “I think I need to hear from my Council before I support this,” said Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle. South Frontenac Councilor John McDougall noted that the proposal did not come with an endorsement from the four township CAOs, who meet regularly to discuss prospects for shared services among themselves and the county. North Frontenac Councilor John Inglis had the line of the day, when he said that North Frontenac does not need help with Twitter and Facebook because, “We have a mayor who is pretty slippery when it comes to social media”, a reference to Mayor Ron Higgins, who uses Twitter on almost a daily basis to comment on municipal and other matters. Although Council did not agree to set up the new communications position, they did not reject it entirely either. The proposal will be forwarded to each of the townships for review and comment by October 19.
The OPP Frontenac Detachment is urging all residents to be vigilant with their personal information. In the past month, Frontenac OPP has investigated several complaints from residents who have become victims of Identity Fraud. Culprit(s) obtained personal information such as, full name, date of birth, Social Insurance Numbers, full address, driver’s license number and credit card information. The information is then used to apply for credit cards at various large chain department stores. How to protect yourself: Do not provide personal information to unknown persons over the Internet or telephone. Familiarize yourself with billing cycles that you receive in the mail. If bills that are expected to arrive at a certain date do not arrive, inquire with the company or financial institution. Ask yourself if you need all of the identity documents you carry in your wallet or purse. Remove any you don’t need and store in a secure place. Trash bins are a goldmine for identity thieves. Ensure you shred personal and financial documents before putting them in the garbage. Your best protection method is to monitor your hard copy or on-line financial accounts frequently and to check your credit report regularly for any unusual activities. If you receive calls from collection agencies about unfamiliar accounts, or if you applied for credit and were unexpectedly turned down, you should investigate further. If you think you have been a victim of Identity Fraud: Step 1 - Contact your local police force and file a report. Step 2 – Contact your bank/financial institution and Credit Card Company. Step 3 –Contact the two national credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Equifax Canada. Toll free 1-800-465-7166 TransUnion Canada. Toll free 1-877-525-3823 For more information about Identity Frauds and recent scams visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) website. www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
Rob Hitchcock, from Abundant Solar, brought mapping which showed that the true location of a proposed solar project near Flinton is in a dormant field at the rear of Lot 20, Con. 5, Flinton. The previous presentation had shown the project location in the front of the lot, in a field that is in agricultural production, within close proximity to three houses on the same lot and three more across the road. The new location is in a dormant field and is much easier to block using existing tree cover. It is also located further from neighbouring property owners. Councilor Bill Cox, who lives on the same lot, had expressed concerns about the initial site. He was concerned about how the view from his own and his neighbours’ homes would be affected by a project that was to be located about 150 metres from his front door. He asked for a deferral of a motion of municipal support for the project when it was presented to Council earlier in the month. At that time he was looking for more information about plans for berms and tree cover. “This location does not impact any of the neighbours in the same way, and when I talked to the neighbour who has leased the land for the project, he said the project was always set for the site at the back of the lot. It was a mistake by the people who were preparing the presentation that led to the confusion,” said Cox when contacted this week. When the motion of support was brought back to the floor at the Addington Council meeting on Monday night (September 19) in Denbigh, it was passed unanimously. There was talk before the vote about conflict of interest. However, since Bill Cox has no financial interest in the project, and courts have upheld the position of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation that Green Energy projects do not impact property values, Cox did not declare a conflict and voted in favour of the motion. The project will now go the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) “Feed in Tariff” procurement bidding process. Approval for all projects under this round of procurement will be announced early in 2017. Organisational review to be the subject of special meeting A special meeting will be held in Flinton next Monday, September 26 at 10 am to discuss implementation of the Organisational Review that was presented to Council earlier this year. The review was the subject of a letter from Jim Laginski, a representative from IUOE (Independent Union of Operating Engineers) Local 793. The IUOE represents workers in Addington Highlands, including Roads Superintendent Rosenblath. The union is concerned about the creation of a new tier of management, which has been proposed in the review. The managers would not be part of the union. Reeve Hogg said, in an interview after this week's meeting, that he is concerned that the changes called for in the review will result in higher administration costs because of new management positions being created. “I want to see a costing before I can support this,” he said. Denbigh waste site The township has been attempting get approval from the Ministry of the Environment to re-open the Denbigh waste site. This process has been ongoing for a number of years. This week the township received a letter from the MoE, which said that the township is required to place clean fill at certain locations at the site. Council is hopeful that once this is done, the MoE will re-open the site, perhaps over the next six months.
When Addington Highlands reeve, Henry Hogg, voted in favour of a motion supporting the wind turbine contract submissions that RES Canada and NextEra were making under the Large Renewable Procurement process last July, it made a number of Addington Highlands residents unhappy. For Paul Isaacs, one of the most outspoken of those residents, who happens to be a trained engineer, it triggered a further response. Isaacs felt that since Henry Hogg is also a trained engineer he was bound to make sure that any decision he made or position he took on a public matter did not contradict the oath that he had taken when he graduated as a mechanical engineer from the University of Waterloo in 1967. Henry Hogg joined the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) in 1969 and is still a member Isaacs took a similar oath, and although he never joined the Professional Engineers of Ontario himself, he submitted a complaint to the association on September 28. In his complaint he alleged that Hogg “voted to approve the large IWT [Industrial Wind Turbine] project with no study, engineering due diligence, or consultation with his constituents” according to the summary included in the PEO complaints committee notice of decision, which was released to Hogg on July 12 of this year. When contacted this week, Isaacs said he felt that during debates leading up to the vote that council took on the matter, which resulted in Hogg himself breaking a 2-2 tie with his yes vote, Hogg did not indicate that he had done enough research on the implications of the decision, and as an engineer he was duty bound to make use of his expertise. “This is the biggest engineering project in the history of the township. He is most educated person; he is the reeve, and he didn't provide his expertise. That was the essence of my complaint,” he said. When asked whether he knew if Hogg had done any research into the issue, Isaacs said he did not know, but said, “That is part of my point, if he had put pen to paper or provided information in some way, we would have seen it.” In their notice of decision, the complaints committee of the PEO pointed out that “the Ministry of the Environment and climate change possessed the authority to approve the project and engineering analysis for this project was not the responsibility of Hogg. ... Further, while a professional engineer in public office must adhere to the same standards of conduct as a practising engineer, in its investigation the Committee found no evidence of professional misconduct or breach of the code of ethics on the part of Hogg.” The committee concluded, “There is no evidence on which there is a reasonable prospect of a finding of professional misconduct or incompetence ...”, and the matter was not referred to the Discipline Committee of the PEO. Henry Hogg released a statement on the matter last week, which he read out to a meeting of Addington Highlands Council. In it he said that when informed of the complaint, “I took these charges very seriously and hired legal counsel to defend my actions, which had nothing to do with my position as a professional engineer.” Hogg also said, “In his submission to the PEO, my legal counsel stated that Mr. Isaacs had defamed me solely as a result of his disagreement with council’s majority decision.” Isaacs told the News that he did not submit his complaint to the PRO because of the way Hogg voted, but because Hogg did not demonstrate he had applied his skills and knowledge as an engineer to the matter, but added, “It would have put me in a moral quandary if he had voted against the motion. Would I have submitted my complaint in that case? I'm not sure.” Henry Hogg said he is not planning to take further action on the matter.
Have You Ever … Cut up a log into firewood with a hand saw? Then split it up with an axe? Harvested a field of grain with a scythe and pitchfork Carried it wrapped in jute bags sewn to create a large blanket? Chopped fodder for cattle with a hand-held curved blade Fed and watered livestock from hand-carved wooden troughs? Scrubbed clothes on a metal or glass washboard Pressed them with irons heated on a wood stove top? This was the life of early settlers. It's hard to imagine that a house could be built of logs, roofed with hand made wooden shingles, boards hand cut and hand planed. Furniture and most necessities started with a tree and were created with function foremost. The Pioneer Museum has an extensive display of various tools and equipment to help visitors relive the early days. Many of them are made of wood. One display item that constantly amazes everyone is a homemade, portable forge that was donated by the family of Cecil and Helen Snider in memory of Cecil's father, Zara James Snider. In the early 1900s Zara Snider was a blacksmith in the Glenfield-Vennachar area. When the road to Denbigh was being built in the 1930s he diligently built a forge to fit into his wagon, hitched up a team of horses and followed the road building crew. He moved with them, repairing and making metal tools, blades and brackets for their equipment as items wore out and broke down. This might possibly be the first mobile forge.