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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.
The Drum is the thing as Sullivan makes his mark as Artistic Director Scheduling a family-based Drum from Peterborough to open the Blue Skies Festival on Friday night, and the Big Smoke Drum along with Chilean-based hip hop artist Akawui to close the festival on Sunday night, was a precedent-setting decision from Danny Sullivan in his first year as artistic director. It was the first time a drum has graced the main stage in many years, even as the festival has explored music from around the world. The experiment worked, as the first performance culminated in a round dance with hundreds of participants, and the finale on Sunday night brought the entire crowd back their feet. In between, the musical highlights included performances by the 14-member Lemon Bucket Orchestra from Toronto; Jonathan Byrd and the Urban Cowboys from Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Irish Mythen from PEI; and Swamperella from Toronto, among others. The hot, sunny weather, along with a push by festival organizers (who are all volunteers) to increase the sale of single day passes to the event, helped set an attendance record on Saturday. In the past, the festival has been notoriously reluctant to promote itself for fear of overcrowding the festival site. Overcrowding did not prove to be an issue, however, as the crew of site and parking volunteers was able to handle the crowds. Aside from some sunburns and an ambulance call for a broken leg, the festival went off without a hitch in its 43rd rendition.
People come to Frontenac County for many reasons. In Debbie Reeve's case it was to have a home base, and a refuge for her and her husband to come back to at least once a year. So 13 years ago they purchased a property at Georgia Lake in North Frontenac. Debbie’s husband Warren, the founder of Missional Church International Network, ran a church in Indonesia for 11 years and has been doing the same in Kuwait for the past six years. Debbie is a painter and art educator and she ran her business in Kuwait for the past six years. The couple took up full-time residence at their cottage near Myers Cave last December in order to be able to work locally and provide support for family members. After spending the winter settling in, Reeve is gearing up her business this summer. She has been showing her work in local shows, such as the Bon Echo Art Show & Sale and Napanee's Art in the Park. She will also be at this weekend's Cloyne Showcase at North Addington Education Centre. Reeve is a realistic painter. Her paintings show a love for light and transparency. Her subject matter is diverse, as the need to be constantly creating is what drives Debbie to explore different painting challenges. She has paintings hanging in private collections in Indonesia, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, France, England, and Korea, as well as in Canada. She trained at St. Lawrence College when she was younger, and over the years has studied at the Haliburton School of the Arts. She has also taken courses at the Ontario College of Art and Design. “I've been painting a lot in the last few months, so I have more and more paintings of the local landscape, local flowers and things like Bon Echo Rock,” she said when interviewed from her studio early this week. Reeve is also finally getting back some of her work from Kuwait, which took a long time to be shipped back. That work features a very different landscape, to be sure, as well as animals such as zebras and elephants. In addition to painting landscapes, animals and flora in watercolour, she paints more abstract work in acrylic and mixed media as well. The other part of her art business is as an art educator, and over the past few months she has been working hard to convert their garage into an art studio that is capable of hosting workshops. With the work now completed she is offering her first workshops to the public this month. “I'm starting with the kind of workshop I would never offer in Kuwait. It's a Paint your Paddle workshop on August 16, 23 and 30” she said. There will also be more traditional watercolour workshops on August 24 and September 10. “Most of my students have had little to no experience painting with watercolour or acrylic. I take great delight in teaching the secrets and techniques of painting and drawing while watching my students create works of art they never thought they could,” she said of the joys of teaching fine art. Reeve also offers piano and vocal lessons from her studio. A schedule of workshops and lessons, with pricing and directions to her studio, are available on her website, Debbiereeve.com
Saturday, July 23 was a first for the Ompah Community Centre Association. President Marily Seitz welcomed members to the first ever Annual General Meeting. The usual AGM reports were made along with reports from the committees: Communications, Birthday Bash Benevolent Fund and Wall of Memories. Then the members present voted to accept and approve the new by-laws. Previously there were no written rules governing the operation of the community centre but under the new by-laws there are now clear and transparent procedures in place. With the passage of the by-laws, two new executive positions were created: vice-president and director-at-large. These positions are to be elected on even years. The remaining three executives (president, secretary and treasurer) will be elected on odd years. Linda Rush, returning officer, took over the meeting for the election of officers. By acclamation Rob Harris, vice-president and Stacey Couture, director-at-large were welcomed to the executive of the Ompah Community Association. Upon receipt and approval of the financial statement, treasurer Edith Beaulieu announced that she would be resigning the position of treasurer due to health reasons. President Marily Seitz reluctantly accepted Edith's resignation and thanked her for her many years of dedication and service to the community and community centre. Secretary Betty Kelford presented a thank you gift and a dozen red roses to Edith, accompanied by a rousing round of cheers and clapping. According to the new by-laws, the executive will appoint an interim treasurer to fulfil the remainder of the term (one year). An enthusiastic gathering of committed community members then went to work brainstorming ideas to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday in 2017. Under the guidance of Cille Harris, an exciting and wide range of activities and events were suggested. Many names were collected of folks interested in helping plan and carry out events. The meeting was adjourned on time but members stayed around to chat, share refreshments and clean up together.
Last year, when Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) held their annual community BBQ, it poured rain and the event was held in the steamy confines of the Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake. This year it was sunny and hot, just like the rest of the month, when the BBQ took place last Thursday (August 18th) and the attendance was almost overwhelming. Tabitha Morton works as a Data Analysis Coordinator for NFCS, did not do a count, but said that the agency had 200 re-usable water bottles to give away at the BBQ, and there were none left at the end of the evening. “So I’d say we had over 200 people come out, probably a lot more.” The lineup for food was steady for well over an hour, and kids enjoyed a bouncy castle and the beach and Sparky, while the adults listened to Shawn McCullough perform and enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine. “People seem to enjoy the BBQ more and more every year,” said NFCS Executive Director Louise Moody. In addition to having some fun and eating burgers, fresh corn and watermelon, the BBQ was also the occasion of the final tally for the Toilet Paper the Town campaign that was carried out by the NFCS Youth Program Leadership in Training students this summer. Over 300 toiletry items were presented to Kim Cucoch of the North Frontenac Food Bank.
Parishioners from St. James Catholic Church were joined by Archbishop Brendan O'Brien as well as 3 of their former parish priests on Sunday afternoon (August 21). The gathering included the dedication of a new baptismal font, as well greetings from the archbishop and a trip down memory lane by Father John Brennan who served the parish between 1985 and 1992 and oversaw the construction of the new church. The church was needed because the original one room red brick church (now the home of the Cardinal Cafe), which was built in 1883, was too small and had been earmarked for replacement since the early 1960's. In his remarks to the happy crowd (lunch was served before the speeches) Father Brennan said that when he was approached to take over the Sharbot Lake and Bedford parishes in 1985, and told that he would be presiding over the construction of a new church, “I said that someone must have made a mistake, an opinion that was shared by members of my family who knew how good I was at building things and managing finances.” He said that the archbishop at the time told him something that was particularly helpful. “He said let them take care of building the church, just be their priest.” He said that he quickly learned how self-sufficient the parishioners in Sharbot Lake were when they began passing hymm books through the windows to the people outside and the collection plate would disappear out the front door each week, and then come back in with money from those who had arrived late. “I grew to realize that if it took a long time for the plate to come back in it did not mean someone made off with it, but that more money was coming.” He finished his remarks by making note of the efforts of the building committee. He talked about the work done by Doreen Onfrichuk, who came up with the idea of selling $100 tickets on a cottage, a fund-raiser that really got the ball rolling, and Leo Enright, both of who have died since the church was built. He then introduced Marcel Giroux, Theresa Ferguson, and Marg Desroche, members of the committee who have remained active at the church and in the community through the years. The anniversary celebration, which took 18 months to organize, featured memorabilia from over the years and a video about the building of the new church, which is available for $20. The organizing committee for the celebration expressed relief that all the work was completed and the celebration had come off so well. And yes, there was cake, lots of cake and squares, including a delicious carrot cake.
You would think Rob and Nancy Moore would be looking forward to a reprieve after Labour Day, when their first frenetic six weeks as owners of the popular Cardinal Cafe in Sharbot Lake. With the end of summer and the return of the cottage population to their homes in the City, they will have chance to take a deep breath. But it will also bring them to their next, big challenge, the challenge that all retailers in the area face, maintaining a thriving business through the fall and winter seasons. It's a challenge they are ready for. “When we found out that Sylvie Smith and Nicole Tarasick [the former owners of the business] were planning to sell the cafe, we knew right away that we wanted to buy it,” said Nancy Moore when interviewed during a late afternoon lull on the Cafe patio last week. “We've been talking about something like this for 20 years, and we even looked at buying this property at one point.” The Cardinal Cafe is located in the former Sharbot Lake Catholic Church, just north of the cause-way at the foot Sharbot Lake, across Road 38 from the Sharbot Lake Country Inn. It sat empty for 23 years after the St. James Church was opened up the road. A former owner of the Country Inn used it for storage for a number of years. The Tarasick family bought it two years ago and carefully renovated it in order to create an inviting public space. Smith and Tarasick decided to call it the Cardinal for the points of the compass and the logo for the Cafe is based on the stained glass window at the centre of the building, a window that lets in beam of light on summer afternoons at about 4:00, coffee time. They decided to sell the café for personal reasons in late June and when the Moore’s jumped at the chance the entire deal was arranged in a matter of a couple of weeks. The changeover took on July 16th, and the Cardinal Café 2.0 opened for business four days later. During those four days a few changes were made, including putting in a new preparation counter and some equipment so Rob could prepare breakfast sandwiches and burritos, and daily soup, salad and sandwich specials for lunch. When the new Cardinal opened on July 20th at 6:00 in the morning, it was a breakfast and lunch café and restaurant. The new opening coincided with the peak of the summer season in the Sharbot Lake area, and with a new food menu in addition to the well established coffee and drinks menu that the café already offered, Rob Moore recalls the first couple of weeks as a bit of a learning experience. “We were working long, long hours, and depending on the our two summer staff members, Maddie Field-Green and Shane Steeves, quite a bit, especially for the way the place operated and how the espresso based coffee drinks are made. I was developing our breakfast and lunch menu on the fly and just trying to keep up” said Rob, a former tea drinker who has taken to knocking back a double espresso once a day. The first few weeks were certainly a blur for the Moore’s, with Rob coming in at 4 or 5 in the morning to get ready, Nancy stopping in at 7:30 before going to her full time job at Lake District Realty, helping out at lunch and after work. Rob, who had been working as a contractor but was looking for a change, is full time at the café. The couples two school ages sons have somehow been folded into the mix, with a lot of help from family. With the menu coming together and the operation of the café becoming easier, the Moore’s are settling in for the long haul. Aside from getting more deeply into serving meals, the other change they have been working on for the café has been to broaden its appeal. “It is a beautiful place,” said Nancy Moore, “and it brought the kind of coffee and pastry that was new to this area. We just want to make it the place for everyone, we need to do that.” Opening early for people who leave early in the morning for work on construction sites or in Kingston and Perth is one way to do that. Another was to start selling butter tarts and pies from Gray’s Grocery up the road in addition to the croissants and pain au chocolat from Fieldhouse in Perth. The Wednesday evening music nights that started up in June are being carried forward, and the café also has its liquor license again, which took time to arrange because of the change in ownership. In the fall the hours will shift, but the café is gearing up to serve the office workers, teachers, and all other local residents in the Sharbot Lake area. “We take orders in the morning for pick-up at lunch, our space is available for small meetings, we are committed to being here year round Monday to Friday for sure, and on weekends as well,” said Rob Moore. “While we compete with the other restaurants in town, we work with them as well. Our goal is to bring something to the community, to make it stronger, and so far we have had tremendous support. My sense is that people want us to succeed, and we are working hard to serve good food, fine coffee, and be a place people enjoy going to.”
Kent Labbett was very concerned about Central Frontenac's purchase of the former public school's in Sharbot Lake and Parham. So, he sent a letter to Mayor Frances Smith and the township Council on February 8th, asking a number of questions about the purchases. He questioned what the townships “long term goal” was for the two properties. He also asked whether there was an information package available from the Limestone Board about the properties, if it was available to the township and if Mayor Smith has read the package before council decided to make the purchase. He also wnated to know if township[ staff had inspected the buildings before the purchase, and if the township considered and budgeted for tearing the buildings down before making the purchases. He told the News that after not hearing back from the Mayor by late February he called Cathy MacMunn, Chief Administrative Officer for Central Frontenac. He said that Macmunn began to offer some explanations but he cut her off, saying “I need to hear this from the Mayor.” He did not hear back, and based on a search of the online agendas to council meetings between March and July, the letter does not appear in the package of correspondance. In mid-July, Labbett pressed the issue again, and on July 19th, he did hear back from Frances Smith via email. She provided a point by point response to his questions. The long term goal for the properties “is to develop the Sharbot Lake property into a senior's residence; for the Hinchinbrooke property there were a few ideas such as : possible site of a new township garage; use as a recreation centre; a possible business project such as a craft brewery operation.” As far as an information package about the building is concerned, she wrote that “apparently there was one on file. We did not see it or discuss it with staff prior to purchasing. We were aware the buildings were not in A-one shape because that is why the school board closed them. We did not know how bad Sharbot Lake was until we did a walk through and definitely it is not able to be renovated.” She also wrote that the appraisal of the properties was higher than the price the township paid for them. For example, she noted that the initial asking price for Hinchinbrooke school was $220,000 and the township paid $100,000 for the property. She said that the township “did not budget for the tear down nor have we expended any money on tear down, however, we are setting aside $25,000 erach year into a reserve to provide for the tear down sometime down the road.” She added that the township may be eligible for grants to assist with the tear down if it is done in order to build a senior's residence. These responses did not satisfy Kent Labbett. He told the News that he does not “think the township should be involved in real estate speculation. That should be left to people in the land development business.” He also said he does not understand how the Mayor did not read the “package about the property from the school board. To acknowledge she had it and yet didn't read it is troubling. Why would she not consult with her head building official in advance of purchases rather than after the fact? If she had it would have made her aware that the building was of no value and tearing it down would be a major expense.” He has written a follow up letter to the Mayor making these points as well as others. Here is his concluding paragraph: “In my opinion I do not feel these purchases were prudent with the informaion available. Please provide some solid information that hopefully will change my opinion of what I think was an extremely poor decision on the part of Central Frontenac Council. Would you have acted in the same fashion if you were spending your personal money as opposed to taxpayers? Just saying ... ”
The community of Stirrngton is reeling from a string of thefts targeting volunteer groups and children. “This is a problem in our area,” says John Beskers, Acting President of the Storrington Lions Club which had its community hall vandalized the middle of August. Run by volunteers, the Storrington Lions Club launched a campaign earlier this year to revitalize its aging hall. A popular and affordable meeting place for youth and families, the hall experienced a major setback recently when the air conditioning (AC) unit was vandalized. “The sides were left in place. The robbers basically just cut everything and took the coil,” says Beskers who discovered the broken equipment while hosting a youth dance at the hall on Aug. 19. The club estimates it will cost $5,000 to replace the unit; money the club can ill afford. “We’re disgusted this type of thing is happening in our community,” says Beskers, visibly upset. A volunteer with other community groups in the district, Beskers is joining a chorus of other residents who say they are troubled by a rash of break-ins, thefts and vandalism in the area. Beskers cites examples as a broken sign and fence at the local school and a recent break-in and theft at the soccer association’s clubhouse. Other residents in the area have reported items stolen such as ATV’s and bicycles. One family even went public with a $500 reward for the return of their new four wheeler which was stolen from their house while the family was at work and school. “We’re here as a service,” Beskers says about Storrington Lions Club. “We help people by providing an affordable and convenient community hall to connect residents and celebrate life. It’s disheartening to have this happen to us; especially when we’re in the middle of a revitalization campaign. We took a step forward, and now we have taken two steps back. It seems unfair that we have to take money and fix what vandals destroyed on us.” The club has raised approximately 20 per cent of its fundraising goal of $75,000 to upgrade the washrooms, heating system and entrance ramp. The destruction of the AC is a heavy blow to volunteers who are trying to save the hall. “It’s disgusting to think there are people in our midst, or outside our community, who would vandalize the Storrington Lions club Hall at a time when the club is working to raise funds to upgrade that much-need facility,” says Ron Sleeth, Storrington District Councillor with South Frontenac Township. “Unfortunately, it would appear as though there is an increase in vandalism and petty crime in our community. Hopefully the OPP will catch the perpetrators soon.” Speaking on behalf of the South Frontenac OPP Detachment, Media Relations/Community Safety Officer Roop Sandhu says thieves broke the AC to steal the copper wire. An attempt to vandalize a second AC unit at the hall was unsuccessful. “The OPP Forensic Identification Unit was called in to gather any evidence at the scene,” confirms Constable Sandu. “It’s hard to pinpoint what’s happening because it’s so varied,” he replies when asked if vandalism and theft is on the rise in the area. “It’s just a wide-variety of mischief and thefts that is happening.” To help solve the problem, the OPP encourage residents to call the police at 1-888-310-1122 to report a suspicious person, vehicle or activity. “Why do people steal stuff like that? It’s tremendously sad,” says Beskers about the missing wires in the club’s AC unit and stolen items from the soccer association’s clubhouse. “It’s crazy what people will steal these days.” To help Storrington Lions Club save its community hall, donations are gratefully accepted through the mail at 2992 Princess Road; Inverary ON K0H 1X0 or on the club’s electronic fundraising page Go Fund Me at https://www.gofundme.com/dzyxmr7y
A good paddler knows that consistency breeds success. This summer, it seemed, that even Mother Nature knew that. The unrelenting hot dry drought conditions, though detrimental for farmers and well owners, has been conducive to paddling, allowing our sprint paddlers to train daily in sunny conditions. Five athletes from SLCC competed in the Eastern Ontario Division regatta in Ottawa last weekend. Local paddler SLCC’s Parker Friendship and Gia Venter, a seasoned young paddler, who arrived here from the Wascana Canoe Club in Regina, Saskatchewan in early July, competed in K2 (two person kayak) races for the first time this summer in the U11 Division. Twins Mathieu and Nicholas Symons, paddled together in the K1 (one person kayak) & K2 U14 Division. Enthusiastic young Keira Wilson (not in photo) competed in U8 Division in K1. Coach Sebastien L’Abbe (not in photo) competed for the Eastern Ontario Division in the individual and team kayaking events at the Ontario Summer Games in Mississauga Ontario. Rhiannon Murphy, our Head Coach, has qualified in the C1 (one person canoe) 200m race at Nationals. Rhiannon is a very versatile athlete and paddles both K1 & C1. Coach George Willes has qualified for the K1 200m competition at Nationals in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. As it is his first year in Nationals, his whole family of six will be heading down to Halifax next week to cheer him on and enjoy some east coast family time! The club will be offering fall training for age 6-adult new and experienced paddlers who would like to compete in next summer’s regattas. For more information, go to www.sydenhamlakecanoe club.com Results: Kiera Wilson, Silver and Parker Friendship, Bronze (K1 100m). Gia Venter and Parker Friendship, Bronze (K2 200m); Nicholas Symons, Bronze (K2 500m), Gold (K1 100m); Mathieu Symons, Bronze (C15), Bronze (K2 500m), Silver (K1 100m).
(TOWNSHIP OF SOUTH FRONTENAC) - On Sunday 21st of August 2016 at approximately 7:45 pm, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) from the Frontenac Detachment responded to a suspicious vehicle parked in a farmer’s field in the Inverary area of South Frontenac Township. Police attended the scene and found two deceased persons in the vehicle, a 28 year-old male and a 19 year-old female. The OPP Crime Unit was called in to investigate and do not suspect foul play. There are no concerns for public safety and the investigation is continuing.
South Frontenac Museum summer co-ordinator Nicole Hochguertel, and volunteers Lynne Hutchison and Deb Lovegrove didn't want to just wait for people to come in to the museum last Saturday, as it was holding its first anniversary bash. They left the building and spent time on the front lawn, waving to cars passing by on Road 38, enticing some to come and visit. This made for quite a sight, as they were wearing period costume and it was raining for much of the time. “The anniversary is going very well considering the rain, I believe we’ve had over 20 people and it’s only half way through the event. Everyone seems to like the outdoor buggy; it really attracts people along with the spinning and butter churning. I think people really like the costumes, the different clothing. They’re really attractive to people because they are different fashions from the old times. It’s been going pretty well,” said Nicole Hochguertel, who has been working at the museum as part of her job promoting recreation in the township this summer. Inside the museum there were visitors from all over the township, which pleased organizers. Although the museum was developed by the Portland Historical Society, its mandate is to serve as a repository for artifacts from the entire township. Verona-based spinner and fabric artist, Beth Abbott, was demonstrating on the museum's spinning wheel, and children were playing with the old math counting boards and drawing on the chalkboards. “It's more fun to use the tools from the past than just looking at them, especially for kids,” said Hochguertel. One of the visitors was Connie Cartmell. She was enjoying a display of linens from her own family farm. “My favourite parts about it is the way the things I brought from my own farm life are displayed. My grandmother was born in the 1800s, so there’s some pillowcases with lace, crochet bedspreads, and a quilt that my great-great grandmother made on one of the beds in there. The beautiful hooked rugs that someone is making are wonderful and of course all the old farm stuff that we all grew up with.” Cartmell said. The South Frontenac Museum will be open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm until Thanksgiving weekend, when it will close for the winter.
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
While the kids played games, adults took the opportunity to visit at events throughout the region on a Canada Day where the rain held off, for the most part. The oddest event this year was certainly the best legs contest for men at Harrowsmith. Top left - waiting to get into the bouncey castle at Centennial Park (Harrowsmith) - top middle - Cooking up a storm at Gerald Ball Park (Sunbury) - top right, riding the Water Slide at the Point Park in Sydenham, and bottom right, the 2017 150th anniversary committee already promoting their plans for next year at the beach in Sharbot Lake
This antique doll dates back to the 1890s and resides in the parlor at the Cloyne Pioneer Museum. It was a gift to Ora Wickware from her parents, Philip and Mary. She is a "Flora Dora" doll, made in Germany near the turn of the century. The Wickwares were able to purchase such items during the years that they owned a general store in Cloyne as they had access to an assortment of catalogues. We have a photo of the young Ora standing proudly beside her doll displayed for you to marvel at on your visit. This dear little doll sadly required eye surgery in 2012, as her eyes had sunk into the back of her head and would not come down. She was transported to a doll hospital in Prince Edward County, where a specialist restored her vision and now she is happily back with us. The attending doctor reminds anyone storing an antique doll to lay it on its stomach to prevent this happening. The doctor knows best! More information is available in the museum and on our website cloynepioneermuseum.ca. Please visit!
At first glance it looked like most of the music fans attending the Flinton Jamboree were taking the opportunity to spend time in their trailers during the induction ceremony and performances for the first annual Land O'Lakes Traditional Music Hall of Fame, but looks can be deceiving, especially on a hot summer's afternoon. While the chairs in the hot sunshine were almost empty, save for the one Dave Deacon was sitting in as he recorded the event for posterity in still and video format, out by the fences the seats under the large canopies were all full and there were a number of people standing as well. On stage, Hall of Fame Chair Bob Taylor introduced his co-conspirator, the musician and band leader Bill White, who conducted the ceremony. The first award was the lifetime achievement award, which was shared by two winners. Charlie Pringle, 89, performed first, playing “Worn Out” and the “Love Bug” before being presented with his award by Warren Anderson. Harold Perry, 87, received the other lifetime achievement award for his playing and mentoring over the years. His award was presented by Roger Hermer. The First Hall of Fame inductee was Reg Weber, who played “Duelling Guitars” with Murray White and then received the award from Murray Northey, who recalled how much Weber has done as a musician and a music store owner to encourage players young and old in the Northbrook area. George York, from Marlbank, was up next. He played “Turkey in the Straw”, and was celebrated for all the music he has performed and brought to the local community as a promoter, and for his fundraising efforts over the years. His award was presented by Cathy Whalen. Three children of the late Floyd Lloyd, including his daughter Sandra Lloyd Dunham, were in attendance to receive his award from Oddie Snider. “Robin and Nell”, Lloyd's signature song, was performed in his honour. The final award went to Cathy Whalen, who had been on stage throughout the other awards, playing drums, guitar and providing vocals in the songs for the other inductees. Mary Cassidy sang “Yellow Roses” in Cathy's honour. In addition to the Hall of Fame plaques, each of the recipients received certificates from the Province of Ontario, presented by former MPP Daryl Kramp, who was standing in for MPP Randy Hillier, and the Government of Canada as represented by Hastings, Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio. A special award from the City of Tweed was also presented to George York in recognition of his support for events in that community. All in all, organisers were pleased with the turnout and the audience was able to hear some excellent music.
The 21st Annual Art Exhibition & Sale, which took place July 22-24, generated over $30,000 in art sales. The Friends of Bon Echo Park receive 15% to assist with the funding of programs operated in the Park. Over the three day event, 2,251 people viewed the work of 44 artists. Every year a group of about 10 people, who are Friends of Bon Echo Park, start in September to plan and prepare for the show. During the show there are about 90 volunteers helping over the three days, many doing double shifts. This includes long-time members, who often have to sit, and now grandkids who can run, who all come to help out.