On behalf of the Hartington Community Association (HCA), Michelle Foxton came before Council asking ...
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At a public open house to discuss a proposed bylaw to regulate mobile food businesses in Central Fro...
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.
It was standing room only at the former schoolhouse, now know as the Snow Road Community Centre on Saturday afternoon (June 17) Gerry Lichty, President of the Community Centre, was the Master of Ceremonies. The building was originally constructed in 1896. The local township, South Palmerston, provided the local school trustees with a debenture for $400 to cover the cost of the new building with the terms of repayment of $100 per annum with 6% interest. The school proved to be a wise investment wit attendance of up to 50 students a year. At times it was so busy that desks frequently did dual or triple duty. All this under the supervision of only one teacher. The building served serves as the local school until 1966, when it was decided to bus both the elementary and high school students to Sharbot Lake. In 1976 a group of local citizens decided that the old schoolhouse should be preserved for posterity. On Oct. 20Th 1977 the “Happy Gang Senior’s Club” was established. Over the next three years an addition was dded to the back of the building to house the kitchen and washroom facilities and the meeting hall portion of the building was insulated, panelled, and carpeted. After many months of hard work and sacrifices it opened on august 9th, 1980 and almost 300 people attended the opening ceremony. The building became the focal point for local activities, meetings and entertainment. The school bell, which had been purchased by the Gemmill family at auction in 1966 when the school was closed, was donated back as part of the refurbishment. Over the next 30 years or so, through good times and bad, even when the hall was much less active, a core group of volunteers maintained the facility. A few years ago $8,000 was raised through fund raising and with an additional 1,000 hours of volunteer labour the Township of North Frontenac, the hall was upgraded again. Corey Klatt, with the township of North Frontenac guided the volunteers through the process and helped see the dream through to reality. Thanks to everyone, including the Frontenac County Schools museum who created various displays and artifacts go that we have an enhanced appreiation of the history of the Snow Road settlement. By 2015 use of the building had increased so significantly that major changes were needed again. With the help of the Federal government through their Canada150 program and generous assistance and wisdom of the Township of North Frontenac, the community came together once again to undertake the following activities: replacement of all he seating with new comfortable padded chairs; the addition of a heat pump to improve heating and provide air-conditioning; the construction of a new entrance to improve access and increase usable interior space; the complete renovation of the kitchen facilities; and the refurbishment of the existing interior overhead sign. The facility has also been re-named the Snow Road Community Centre (it has been officially known as the South Palmerston Community Centre until now). Walter Gemmil brought everyone together for the ceremony on Saturday by ringing the bell that he donated back to the centre so many years ago. Sharon Dowdall did a fantastic job and presentation about the history of the one room schoolhouse. Mayor Ron Higgins gave a speech. Wonderful music as provided by Walter Cameron and his partner Marilyn, who is a fantastic singer, as well as Eric Labelle, Eddie Ashton, Mark Hannah and Kevin Topping. Olive Allen, Harriet Riddell, Ron Higgins and Eva Webster cut the ribbon. And there was cake of course, and cold drinks and coffee and tea. It was a wonderful and interesting afternoon.
North Frontenac will tackle invasive plants with a cut and spot-spraying approach following a recommendation by Public Works Manager Jim Phillips at Council’s regular meeting last week in Harlowe. In his report, Phillips said that in a series of meetings with his counterparts and CAOs in Frontenac County Townships, it was unlikely that there would be any joint tenders with other townships. He said the County’s only participation would be if invasive species affected the K & P Trail. “On May 10, (we) met with Central Frontenac staff and received a presentation from Steve Ford, who represents a company that specializes in roadside invasive weed management,” Phillips said in his report. “Steve advised that based on our anticipated needs he would recommend selective spot spraying for wild parsnip and giant hogweed. “We therefore recommend that any wild parsnip that is present along our roadsides that is impacting agricultural lands (as required under the Weeds Act) can be managed by cutting and selective spot spraying by a licensed weed management contractor. “For a small patch of phragmites (on Road 506/509), Steve advised to simply cut the plants, below the waterline if possible, before the new seed heads develop. There is no herbicide currently approved for spraying phragmites if water is present (and) phragmites are not identified as a noxious weed under the Act.” Coun. Vern Hermer suggested adding “cut and then unsuccessful, then as a last resort spray.” Mayor Ron Higgins and Coun. John Inglis voted against the measure.@NorthFrontenac - Facebook/North Frontenac. Socail media comes to the northCouncil agreed to establish a policy regarding social media along with corresponding training for both staff and Council. “Are we going to be trained then?” asked Coun. Gerry Martin. “We held one training session but the only one who showed up was the Mayor,” said CAO Cheryl Robson.No bus to CalabogieCouncil decided against hiring a bus to take Council and staff to its scheduled meeting June 30 in the Township of Greater Madawaska’s Council Chambers in Calabogie.A yes vote to county study after allCouncil decided to get on board with Frontenac County’s plans for waste diversion after having voted against the plan at a previous meeting.Coun. John Inglis said he had a change of heart and voted for the plan at County Council.“We’re getting $50,000 in grant money but (the County contribution) of $44,000 is a big part of the funds we’d put away for the post-landfill world,” Inglis said. “(But) this is an opportunity and we don’t want to be left behind.”“We’ve been told if it’s (the grant application) not regional it won’t looked at and it’s more regional if the North is part of it,” said CAO Cheryl Robson. North Frontenac to cut and spot-spray invasive plant species
Back Forty Cheese will be open on Saturdays throughout the summer, and to mark the start of the summer season, they are holding an open house and party onn June 24 between 10am and 4pm. The converted drive shed that serves as a cheese factory and tasting room for Back Forty Cheese, and a loft studio for Jenna Rose, will be open and tours of the factory and studio will be offered at different times throughout the day. All of Back Forty’s sheep’s cheeses will be available, including Highland Blue, Madawaska, Bonnechere, Flower Station and Ompah, as well as fresh curd, ricotta and fried curd as well. Charcuterie boards and baguettes will be available as well. Meanwhile, outside in the yard that leads out to the Mississippi River, Stalwart Breweries of Carleton Place will have a stand with at least 3 of their different beers, Luke Mercier and Chris Colgan will be playin Appalachian music, and there will be wine from Three Dog Winery from Prince Edward County, Kin Winery from Carp, and sparkling cider and wine from Scheurermann’s winery of Westport. A BBQ, presented by Seed to Sausage, will be running all day as well. Admission is free and all are welcome to enjoy great food and drink and the summer weather. For information, go to artisancheese.ca/news.htm
On Wednesday, May 31st, North Addington Education Centre’s Grade 11 and Grade 12 Recreation and Fitness Leadership class, travelled to Algonquin park to partake in a 4-day canoe trip. The students prepared for the trip during the month of May during their class. They had to prepare presentations to teach the rest of the class important information about the trip. They also had to go through various amounts of training to learn proper canoe strokes and safety practices, such as canoe-over-canoe rescue, as well as how to portage efficiently over long distances. Their trip consisted of canoeing multiple lakes throughout a day, as well as numerous portages, one being approximately 2.5 kilometres! The students successfully completed the portages in record times and kept a positive attitude during the entire trip, despite some rain and wind at times. Grade 12 student, Shaelynn Flagler commented on her experience, “The challenges were the weather, bugs and mud which made the portages and the days on the lake very difficult, but we as a group were able to conquer Algonquin Park and have a good trip.” Their teacher, Mrs. Sproule, commented on her students saying, “the growth that we saw in students, both individually and as a group, was phenomenal. Some students learned to camp and canoe for the first time on a trip while others had the opportunity to catch their first trout and eat it cooked over the campfire!” The students all agree that it was a great educational trip and a wonderful experience. They all grew closer to each other and bonded more than they ever would have in just a classroom environment. The school and teachers hope to continue in their outdoor educational trips and are very grateful to their local sponsors for making these trips possible. Without the sponsors, they would be unable to afford the supplies and transportation needed for the trip.
The theme for last week’s Strawberry Moon Festival, the 12th annual, was beavers, ‘amik’ in Algonquin and indeed it was a busy place. The official attendance tally was 193, the vast majority of whom were children, said organizer Marcie Asselstine. That represents a considerable increase over last year. And they saw it coming which initiated the move to the Frontenac Arena grounds from the St. James Major schoolgrounds. Asselstine said the festival is a “wrap up” for her program in which she visits area classrooms to teach students about Algonquin culture and traditions. Since her schedule has increased, attendance at the festival was no surprise. “I started with two classrooms,” she said. “Now I visit nine.” The festival draws its name from the fact that June is “strawberry month,” Asselstine said. “I start planning in May, calling my traditional volunteers and putting everything together. “We chose amik (literally translated ‘builds with wood’) this year because the beaver represents wisdom and one of my classes built beaver lodges. It’s also the 150th anniversary of Canada and the beaver is Canada’s official animal.” To that end, they set up six stations and the visitors travelled clockwise to each one. The first station featured headband making, complete with beaver tails. Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation and Chief Doreen Davis provided the materials (as well as other financial support). The second station was a traditional snack of corn bread and strawberries. Healthy Kids Community Challenge provided the strawberries. The third station was drumming, with Red Sun men’s drum and a gathering of local women’s hand drums. The fourth station featured local storyteller Danka Brewer telling how beaver got his distinctive teeth. She was assisted by a host of dragonflies, which she explained are the “keepers of children’s dreams.” The fifth station featured early literacy teacher Susan Ramsey telling how beaver got his flat tail in a teepee arranged by Shawn MacDonald of the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board. The sixth station featured lacrosse, a traditional First Nations game and Canada’s national summer sport. “A lot of us here are First Nations families,” Asselstine said. “One of my students said ‘I’m Algonquin and is it ever fun. “This is about making it OK to share our culture and bringing people together.” Asselstine had special praise for all of her colleagues at North Frontenac Community Services, who helped organize the event. Use of the arena grounds was arranged by South Frontenac arena and recreation supervisor Tim Laprade.
On the recommendation of planners Megan Reuckwald and Joe Gallivan, Central Frontenac Council voted at its regular meeting Tuesday night in Sharbot Lake to enter into a site plan agreement with 2533652 Ontario Inc. to renovate the former Junction Restaurant and turn it into a gas bar (Ultramar). Gallivan said the former restaurant will require extensive work and there are several conditions to be met and a performance bond to be agreed upon but “we’ve been working with the owners for almost two years now and they’ve been very professional. “For example, they’re putting in one of the best septic systems you can have for commercial.” In her report, Reuckwald said that since the development is on Hwy 7 (beside the LCBO), the Ministry of Transportation has stated in June of this year that they are not prepared to issue permits until all conditions are met for the detail design and a legal agreement is signed. She said a left turn lane is to be designed to the satisfaction of the ministry including a legal agreement between MTO and the proponent; and an environmental screening report, geotechnical report, design sections and other reports/documentation that is part of the the design for the highway road works to facilitate the development. Bordenood CemeteryCouncil agreed to assume care and control for the Bordenwood Cemetery for which an application has been made under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act to be declared abandoned.Clerk-Administrator Cathy MacMunn acknowledged that there will be some expenses accrue under the decision but added that “municipalities do not have a choice under the Act.”When asked if there more cemeteries that might be abandoned in the future, MacMunn said “I can think of four or five but as churches close and the population ages, there isn’t anybody else to look after them.”“And somebody has to,” said Coun. Tom Dewey. RVCA and caterpillersWhen Rideau Valley Conservation Authority general manager Sommer Casgrain-Robertson finished giving Council her report on the state of the conservation authority, Coun. Bill MacDonald wanted to know if they’d had many calls about tent caterpillers and their effect on the forest canopy.“We haven’t had too many inquires ourselves, some on our western borders,” she said. “I know the maple syrup producers are concerned. Vendors, food and otherwiseAfter planner Joe Gallivan gave his report on the Saturday Open House on Food Vehicles, Coun. Tom Dewey wanted to know if they would be including “venders hawking their wares” ie, non-food vendors in the proposed draft bylaw.“We were focused on food but we certainly can,” Gallivan said.Gallivan said it would likely be the end of the summer before a licencing bylaw and corresponding changes to the Zoning Bylaw will be presented to Council.“I think there will be great interest to see what the wording of those bylaws will be,” said Mayor Frances Smith.
At a public open house to discuss a proposed bylaw to regulate mobile food businesses in Central Frontenac, many issues relating to the business climate for restaurants in the vicinity of Sharbot Lake were aired. Joe Gallivan, Manager of Planning for Frontenac County, came to the meeting looking for public input after he had looked at similar bylaws in other locations and tried to find “best options” for Central Frontenac. Last September, Councillor Cindy Kelsey expressed concern about an unlicensed chip truck that had opened up on Highway 7 near Road 509, and then Chief Building Official Jeremy Neven reported to Council that although mobile food businesses were defined in the township zoning bylaw, there were no regulations in the bylaw about whether they are permitted or not and under what circumstances. This put several existing businesses in the township in legal limbo, and in February Neven brought forward a draft bylaw, which was presented to Council but not acted upon. Since then a new Chief Building Official, Shawn Merriman, has taken over, and Joe Gallivan has been working on developing a bylaw. At the same time a business has come forward asking to be able to set up at Hwy. 7 and 38. The Spud Box is planning to relocate from Hwy. 7 and Hwy. 41 at Kaladar. Two weeks ago, at Council’s request, CBO Merriman presented a temporary use bylaw which would enable the Spud Box to apply for a permit to open this summer while Joe Gallivan and the county planning department works on a permanent bylaw, which will not likely be in place until the fall. The meeting was set up to ask questions about the permanent bylaw, such as how to define mobile food businesses, which zones they should be restricted to, and whether there should be a separation distance between them and restaurants. But the pending opening of the Spud Box came up repeatedly in the questions that were asked by a crowd that was made up of most of the restaurant and other food vendors in the Sharbot Lake vicinity. CBO Shawn Merriman repeated a point that he had earlier in the month in front of Council. “I think that in a commercial zone, like we have on Highway 7, it is not up to the township to restrict the kinds of businesses that come forward. Let the market take care of that.” Frank White from the Sharbot Lake Country Inn said “this is something I completely understand and would definitely not contest or dispute if we were on the same playing field. However, allowing a business to set up that would be in direct competition with other year round venues with low, low overhead and at far reduced cost with a fraction of the of the licensing fee for operations i.e. $350 per year vs $9,000 plus in property taxes is not what I feel should be the long term direction of economic development, especially given that the local populous would not be sufficient to support all of the business in the area.” The owner of the Spud Box, Jerry, piped in at that point. “We do have other expenses, including rent, but I know what you are saying because I owned restaurants in the past. The restaurant business is finished. I’m sorry but it’s true. We will pay a fair license fee. It does not have to be $350.” Jonathan Desroche, who owns Gray’s Grocery and Bake Shop, which is kitty corner to where the Spud Box would be located if approved, said “I don’t have any issues with him setting up. If he brings more business to the corner, that’s fine with me. But we need to face up to the reality that all of our businesses are hurting because tourism has died off completely in this area. If we don’t turn that around, none of us will be around. I’ve noticed a dramatic drop since I opened in 2010, tourism is off and our sales are off as well,” he said. As the meeting continued, other issues about the business community were raised. CBO Merriman and Mayor Frances Smith both referred to the pending approval for a new Ultramar gas station with a convenience store and restaurant component at the site immediately to the west of the LCBO store, on the site where The Junction and Bubba’s takeout were located. Joe Gallivan said he has been working for two years, from the planning end, with the owners of that proposed business, which is waiting for approval from the Ministry of Transportation before starting site development. Input on the technical issues around the new bylaw was gathered at the meeting. Most in attendance agreed that mobile food businesses should be restricted to commercial areas, but the issues around setbacks from restaurants are more complex and the response was mixed. A draft bylaw should be coming before Council before the end of the summer.
“June is Seniors Month and Volunteers Month,” Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith said at a special ceremony Tuesday afternoon at Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake. “We take this opportunity to appreciated them. “Most volunteers do it quietly, they’re not the kind to go out and hang signs.” And so they gathered, representatives from each of the districts nominated their choices and the certificates were printed. First to be so honoured was Kennebec’s Ronda Noble. Noble came to Arden to retire in 2010 after being an office manager for a prominent law firm in Toronto that included Toronto’s current mayor. “She’s very involved in the community, as secretary of the Legion, a member of the Heritage Festival committee, and the Friends of Arden steering committee,” said Coun. Tom Dewey. “She drives people to appointments in Perth, Napanee and Kingston. “And she hates to lose at euchre.” Mayor Smith presented Olden’s recipient, former Coun. John Purdon. “John retired to his wife Maxine’s family home in 2001 after a successful career in the civil service,” Smith said. “He’s chair of the United Church fundraising committee, president of the Mountain Grove 51+ Club and is still on the Library Board. “He plays euchre in Arden and is on the Arden Seniors Slow-pitch club where he has his own cheer.” She said that since Purdon left Council, she’s had to read the agendas more carefully because Purdon was the one who caught typos, spelling mistakes and errors in arithmetic. “Why I’m here today basically is because I volunteer,” Purdon said. “And why do I volunteer? “My late wife knew a lot of people here and I knew nobody. “She liked to volunteer and so I volunteered with her to get out and meet people.” Coun. Bill MacDonald presented Oso’s joint honorees, Alvin and Diane Lake. “Al’s lived in Sharbot Lake all his life and Diane’s been here for 44 years,” MacDonald said. “They are both Sharbot Lake High School grads.” MacDonald said he remembers Alvin as a great coach of many teams as well as a driver for the Cancer Society and meals-on-wheels. Diane was a Girl Guides leader and active in the United Church. “What I remember most is the Ice Storm,” he said. “I remember them feeding up to 200 people daily in the gym and making door-to-door checks. “If there’s such a thing as a fabric of a community, these folks would be a big part of this one.” “It’s all the community,” said Diane. Coun. Phillip Smith and Dep. Mayor Brent Cameron jointly presented Hinchinbrooke’s honoree, musician Gord Struthers. “Gord was born and raised in the Piccadilly area and is a unique individual,” said Cameron. “He was one of the originals at the Piccadilly Jam and never turned down a request to play whatever the cause or occasion. “His gift is his music and he is putting together a historical and cultural record of songs on Facebook and YouTube.” Cameron explained that Struthers couldn’t be in attendance for the ceremony because of being diagnosed in April with ALS — Lou Gehrig’s Disease. His daughter Sherry was there to accept the award on behalf of her father. “Dad took a fall and it is heartbreaking for him to not be able to attend because he has such a gift for gab,” she said. “He spent countless hours picking, singing and yodelling and if people asked, he answered. “This really means more to him than I could ever convey.”
As July 1, 2017 approaches, thoughts go back 50 years to the Centennial Canada Day celebrations. For Terry Crawford of Railton, another day, 5 days after Canada Day ‘67, comes to mind. On that day, July 5, 1967 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip made a short stop in Kingston as part of their Centennial tour of the country. The tour began on June 29th, and featured the Queen presiding over Canada Day in Ottawa, travel via the Royal Brittania to Montreal where the royal couple toured Expo‘67 and decided to take a mono-rail tour of the site, causing no end of nervousness among Expo ‘67 officials and the royal security team. A lesser known add-on that trip was a quick visit to Kngston on July 5, the last day of the trip. The Kingston visit is only commemorated through a postal first day cover from that day in Kingston, and all other accounts cover only the visits to Ottawa and Montreal. But Terry Crawford remembers that stop in Kingston well. At the time he was a member of the Scouts, and he was working hard for the highest designation in scouting, the status as a Queen Scout. “When it came to making a presentation to the Queen, who is the patron of scouting throughout the commonwealth, they wanted a girl scout, a brownie, a sea cadet and a boy scout to make a presentation to her. They did not want a Queen Scout to represent the boy scouts, but someone who was just below that level, and I fit the bill. I was asked if I would make the presentation,” Terry Crawford said, over the phone last week. The presentation took place on the waterfront, by Murney Tower, where a large crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. “The whole area between King Street and the Lake was full of people. It was a massive crowd. We were told what to do, and it was all going to end with a picture with the Queen. I remember being a bit nervous. I remember shaking hands with Prince Philip and him saying something about ‘it’s a great country.’ He’s right, it is a great country.” Terry remembers that day clearly, and he also has some mementos to remind him what the day was like. One of them is the photo that is reproduced with this article. “I also still have the cap I was wearing that day,” he said Terry lived Harrowsmith until 1974 and has lived in the Sydenham area since then. He made his career in the utility industry.
The Limestone District School Board gives out six Barry C. O’Connor awards for support staff on a yearly basis for the entire school district. This year, two of the six awards went to Prince Charles Public School. Head Custodian Harold Smith was honoured with the Custodial and Maintenance award and School Advisory Council Chair Nicki Gowdy was honoured with the Volunteer award. “I can’t ever remember this (two awards to the same school) this happening across the the system,” said Principal Peter Mouncey. “We are tiny and we’re quiet but we do some great things here,” said Gowdy. “And humble,” said Smith. “I got a lot more praise than I anticipated. Ironically, Gowdy was one of the ones who nominated Smith. His citation, which has both Mouncey’s and Gowdy’s name at the bottom, reads: “Every day, Harold shows the kind of initiative that makes the school run smoothly at all levels. For Harold, his job is always about the people. Whether it is his daily tasks or small gestures of support, he takes care of our students and staff members in a personal way.” Smith came to Prince Charles eight years ago when the head custodian position came open “and has thought of Prince Charles as ‘his school’ ever since. Gowdy has been a parent volunteer at Prince Charles for 13 years. Her citation’s assertion that she is “seldom one to take ‘no’ for an answer” is something local journalists can attest to. “During her frequent visits to the school, she greets students by name and engages in personal conversations,” her citation said. “She has a disarming manner that brings a smile to everyone’s face and she is highly respected by the staff and parents. “They appreciated her honesty and straightforward approach and they often say that nobody works harder than Nicki Gowdy does.”
David Townsend is passionate about keeping seniors in their homes as long as possible. Sitting in a coffee shop in Kingston a few hours before the first day of summer in 2017, the Executive Director of Southern Frontenac Community Services talks earnestly about helping seniors and low income families in South Frontenac Township. Tall with wavy dark hair, David’s laughter is loud and infectious. He smiles when asked about his work for the last 7 ½ years spearheading an agency that provides programs and services for the community’s most vulnerable residents. As he talks, it’s clear he’s happy with his progress. But as with most community activists, there’s room for improvement. “I love my work. I’ve got all sorts of ideas. I’ve got a great team,” confirms the friendly father and grandfather. “We helped 902 seniors last year,” he says thoughtfully over a cup of tea. “The senior population in South Frontenac is 2,870. I have no idea if that (our number of clients) is good or not.” According to Townsend, the agency serves an average 45 meals every Tuesday through its Meals-on-Wheels program. This means 45 people receive hot and ready meals at their doorsteps every week. “I don’t care where you live in South Frontenac, you’re going to get a meal delivered hot,” the 61-year-old says proudly about the program that costs a mere $7 a meal. The agency also offers services such as foot care, an adult day program, food bank and transportation to appointments. The list of services is long and varied. From palliative support to caregiver relief, a resident can get help inside, and outside, their home. “Everything we do is geared towards helping seniors stay in their homes,” he says with conviction. Looking around the bustling coffee shop, David sighs as he talks about his challenges. “How do we increase our services, our profile to seniors in Storrington District,” he asks aloud. “This support for the seniors who live out that way is critical. Unfortunately, we’re not getting the engagement we would like.” Home of many businesses and homes, Storrington District is the largest tax base in South Frontenac Township. The agency would like to see more services accessed by residents in Inverary, Sunbury and Battersea. “It’s not hard to see who is struggling in that area,” says David kindly. “We need to find a way to help people in Storrington stay in Storrington. We want Storrington to help Storrington keep its seniors at home.” David pauses when asked about the agency’s success rate. He admits it’s hard to measure. “We lost one of our clients today,” says David in an attempt to answer the question. “He would have been in a long-term care home three years ago if he wasn’t in our adult day program. It’s one of our services that is good for the senior and good for the caregiver. You don’t even have to drop them off at the Grace Centre in Sydenham. We have volunteers who will pick them up.” A resident of Storrington his entire life, Ron Sleeth is a Storrington District Councillor with South Frontenac Township. “I believe we need a town hall type of meeting to make Storrington residents aware of these services,” says the politician from his dairy farm in Battersea. “The agency is too isolated in Sydenham. Most seniors out here don’t know many of these services exist.” To help address this issue, the agency is hiring summer ambassadors. “We are hiring two community ambassadors for a six-week term this summer,” confirms the executive director. “The objective is to raise awareness of Southern Frontenac Community Services and its programs and services, but more importantly - to link seniors to health support programs to keep them in their own homes longer and later in life.” Looking ahead, David says Southern Frontenac Community Services wants to centralize the area’s social services. “We want to become more of a community hub,” he say with enthusiasm. “We want to create a one-stop rural shopping experience.” Working to create a sensory garden and accessible walking path at their headquarters in Sydenham, David says the agency is poised for growth. “There’s a lot of things on the go,” he says with his trademark smile. “Now we want to grow in Storrington District.” To learn more about the programs and services offered by Southern Frontenac Community Services, call 613-376-6477 or visit www.sfcsc.ca
Inverary lottery winners look forward to new earrings and shoes, and a truck. “I was routinely checking my tickets with the ticket checker,” shared Constance Hughson while her and Bob Alport were at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to pick up their over $110,000. “I came across one that caught my eye. I took it to the retailer to validate and told her I might faint if it’s how much I think it is,” she laughed. When Constance arrived home she told her partner of more than 20 years, Bob, she had a secret. “I told him he had to be extra nice to me or I wasn’t going to tell him.” “Winning the lottery was definitely a big surprise!” said Bob. The pair has a few plans for their windfall. “My first priority is to become debt free, then maybe some earrings and shoes,” shared Constance. “I love my truck, but a new one would be nice,” added Bob. “This money gives us the opportunity to dream. It offers freedom knowing that I have so many choices now,” concluded Constance. The winning ticket was purchased at Glenburnie Convenience on Perth Road in Glenburnie.
As befits a crowd of entrepreneurs, the breakfast Annual General Meeting for the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation started early last Thursday morning (June 15) with Marty G Sensations breakfast pies on the menu, starting at 7:30. By 8 the meeting was underway. One of the key note speakers, Ryan Reynolds of Capital Waterfowling had to back out because he was pulled in another direction as his company continues its meteoric rise. Billy Day, whose high tech custom metal and 3d print shop on Sydenham Road came along in time to help Capital Waterfowling get underway, and now does work for a number of new companies, was also scheduled to speak. He asked to go early so he could get back to his shop to fill an emergency order. He credits the CFDC with helping him get his start. “They got me the funding for my first machine, helped me get the ball rolling. I try to tell everyone to go and see them as long as they are working in Frontenac County. At that time the banks had no interest in supporting what I was doing, but the CFDC was interested in a big way,” he said, when interviewed a few days after the meeting. In terms of overall numbers, CFDC Board Chiar Jan Dines reported that the corporation loaned $1,776,925 to Frontenac businesses in fiscal 2016/2017, an increase of 38.75 over the previous year. Combined with $1,257 that the 21 businesses that received loans collectively invested from their own funds, it represents over $3 million in business spending in the county last year, impacting a total of 100 jobs. A further $454,454 was injected in the local economy trough Eastern Ontario Development Program projects. Adide from loans and grants, business advice and counsellling are also a major focus for the corporation. Anyone starting, expanding, or shifting their business to fit the times is welcome to call 623-372-1414 (1-888-372-9962) to find out what services they might be able to make use of.
Daryl Kennedy said that he has nothing against the K&P Trail, but as a cattle farmer working land that the trail bisects, he wants a fence put up to block access to some of his pasture land. And since the trail is located on former railway lands and is a continuous stretch, he feels that the Ontario Line Fences Act, as amended in 2006, stipulates that the current owner of the trail must put up a fence if he asks them to. “What I am asking for is a fence along 1750 feet of pasture land, only on one side since that is all I need. I requested on April 6/2016 to Anne Marie Young, who was dealing with the trail for Frontenac County at the time, that the work be done. I was expecting it would be done last summer.” Kennedy also asked that a gate on his property that had been severely damaged while the trail was being constructed, be repaired by the contractor working on the trail. He also wants the county to pay for some of the work involved in lining up crossing gates on the trail near the north end of his property, for him to use as a cattle crossing. But none of that happened last summer, although Young remained in contact. On July 19th, Young sent him and email, saying “Thanks Daryl … the act [Ontario Line Fences Act] also says the farmer must be the one to request and provide a Farm Registration Number … This can happen...we just need to have the information as requested.” The next morning, Kenedy emailed back, providing his farm registration number. On October 11th, Kennedy received another email from Young with an attached drawing marking off the section of land that required fencing. “Please take a look at the attached and verify that what I have marked is what you want fenced. I have estimated the length to be approximately 1750 feet. I want to make sure before I send it to the contractor,” said Young in the email. Nothing happened last fall, and after Anne Marie Young retired in December, Kennedy has been corresponding with Frontenac County though Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender. On March 15th Frontenac County Council met and discussed the matter. According to a letter to Kennedy from Pender after that meeting, the council, based on a legal opinion, now feels it is only responsible for half the cost of the fence. They took this position because even though the Line Fences Act says that the owner of an uninterrupted section of former rail line that is purchased from a railway company is subject to pay 100% of fencing costs for farmland that abuts the fence, the county did not purchase the former rail line from a railway company. CP rail sold the line to Bell Canada, and the county purchased it from Bell Canada, which is not a railway. This new position is being taken by the county on the basis of a legal opinion from the county solicitor, Pender said, in a letter to Daryl Kennedy on March 16/2017. The key item in the letter is item 2, which reads, “where a land owner provides proof of farming activities and where trail lands were purchased from a person or entity other than a railway company, that the county will be 50% responsible for the construction and maintenance of fencing along the property line, with the property owner having the choice of sharing equally in the construction and installation or the fence or having the county supply the fence.” The letter concludes: We have confirmed with our solicitor that the trail lands adjacent to your property were purchased from Bell Canada, not a rail company and as such option #2 above is applicable ... I trust this clarifies the county’s position.”Kennedy does not accept this. In his view, the obligation does not end with the first purchaser of a former rail line. His position is supported by the Christian Farmers Organization, with which his farm is registered. Kennedy has also been in touch with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the body which over-sees municipal governments. In a recent email, (June 15) Carol Church, Municipal Advisor MMAH, said she “would encourage the owner of the farming business to continue to bring his request for a fence to the County of Frontenac” and she attached the decision from a landmark court ruling in southwestern Ontario which ordered the municipality of Tilsonburgh to pay the full cost of a fence for a farm located on either side of a former rail-line which had been converted into a recreational trail. “I talked just last night to Peter Sizov from the ministry, who said he has never heard of a case where the fact that a rail line had been sold twice was used as a reason not to pay for a fence,” Daryl Kennedy told the News on Tuesday, June 20. The News called Mr. Sizov’s office on Tuesday afternoon, but got his voice mail and did not hear back in time to confirm he had made the statement that Mr. Kennedy attributed to him. In fact, however there is a precedence for Frontenac County to pay the full cost of a fence along the K&P trail, a recent one. On July 20/2016, Council passed a motion authorising the construction of 850 feet of fence to separate the trail from farm property owned by Frank Goodfellow, at a cost of up to $10,000. The motion came about as the result of a staff recommendation by Anne Marie Young that was submitted to council by CAO Pender himself. It included the following explanation: “Fencing is a concern of some landowners. The costs involved in the installation or repair of fences along a right-of-way can be significant and fencing can be required for pasture and farmland registered with the Ontario Farm Business Registration. In the development of the Cataraqui Trail, the Cataraqui Regional Conservation Authority split the cost of fencing 50/50 with the landowner, supplying the materials while the landowner installed the fencing where required.” But in the Goodfellow case, the cost was not split. The County paid for it. When contacted on Tuesday evening (June 20) Frank Goodfellow said it took him three years to get the county to construct the fence, and “they did offer to pay half, but I held my ground since I had the Line Fences Act supporting my claim. Eventually they came through.” When asked, Goodfellow said that not once in the three years was the fact that the former rail line was purchased from Bell Canada raised as a reason for not doing the fencing. “I own or rent quite a bit of farmland along the trail, near Godfrey and up by Tichborne as well, but I only asked for fencing where I pasture cattle, not along hay fields, even though I could according to the Act,” said Goodfellow “I don’t want to go to court, but I think it is very clear the county, by the terms of the line fenced act, and their own actions in the past, need to pay for this fence,” said Darryl Kennedy, “I don’t want to add legal fees to all of this, but if I go to court I will certainly do that.” The estimated cost of the Kennedy fence is about $19,000. A further three landowners, who are registered farmers, are located within the vicinity of the Kennedy farm. Kennedy’s property is located about 5km north east from the point where the K&P crosses Road 38 at Cole Lake, 10 km from Tichborne. The section between Tichborne and Sharbot Lake is not county owned, and has required individual arrangements with numerous landowners. Looking further north, the trail from Sharbot Lake to the township border is owned by Central Frontenac Township. The township purchased the former K&P lands directly from CP, and has paid the full cost of fencing on several stretches of the trail, at significant cost. The build out of the trail continues to be a complicated, and expensive process, and one way or another all the fencing issues between the county and farmers with land abutting the trail will need to be sorted out, at further expense, both Goodfellow and Kennedy said that the section of trail between Godfrey and Tichborne has turned out to be very popular among cyclists, hikers, and ATV’s since it was built.
“We’re not here looking for money, we’re looking for ways we can help municipalities,” Susan Moore, president of the Friends of the Salmon River told North Frontenac and Central Frontenac Councils recently. Moore and FSR founder/environmental scientist Gray Merriam have been on a mini-tour of watershed municipalities spreading their gospel and offering their assistance in whatever capacity deemed necessary. “We got a $200,000 grant from Environment Canada for studies that looked at 11 variables,” Moore said. “We didn’t find any problems.” She then turned the mike over to Merriam. “From its headwaters in North Frontenac and area, the Salmon River dumps into the Bay of Quinte (at Shannonville),” Merriam said. “We did studies (and) there are places that need work (but) it turns out not many and those are all in the south in areas of intense agriculture.” And there’s the rub. “You can’t stir the public to fix something that doesn’t need fixing,” he said. “So we’re trying to encourage people to look after what’s there. “If you allow it, this could become another Muskoka, a string of time-shares. Lay claim to the riches you have here.” Merriam urged councils to engage in regional planning and to share information through public meetings, watershed tours, maps, reports, signage. To that end, the FSR has already published the Salmon River Habitat Strategy and a book, The Salmon River — Jewel of Eastern Ontario. “Talk to your taxpayers and offer us (FSR) as slaves to do some of the work,” he said. “This land is not ordinary, it’s special. “I can eat breakfast and watch mink or otter out my window. “Offer that to people from Western Europe and see what they’d pay for it.” Merriam also extended his advice to lake stewardship. “Lake capacity is a ’70s model that’s based on phosphorus,” he said. “That’s rapidly becoming outdated by improved septic systems that deal with phosphorus. “(But) human activity on a lake can’t be dealt with by shoreline management. “A lot of lakes have reached their capacity through the music of boom boxes, not phosphorus.” For their part, the councils were quite receptive to the FSR’s message. “We’ll never become another Muskoka,” vowed North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins. “We should do this (meet with FSR representatives) every year,” said Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith. Merriam even had an answer to Coun. Tom Dewey’s question about how to handle “beaver problems.” “From the beavers’ point of view, they’re doing just fine,” Merriam said.
When words fail Chris Murphy, music speaks. Resting between shows in early June, the popular musician responds with self-deprecation when asked about himself. A resident of Frontenac County and rising star in Canada, his lack of ego is a refreshing change to the notoriously bad behaviour of other artists. Small talk doesn’t come as easily to him as the words of 1,000 songs he has memorized. “I consider myself an introvert,” admits the friendly singer/song writer from Sydenham. “Being on stage allows me to be a bit more gregarious and charismatic than in real life.” Tall and strong, Chris’ musical talent was recognized early. At 20 years old, he won the Country Singing Showdown in Kingston. Almost two decades later, his summer is booked solid by early spring and he’s touring across Canada with some of the biggest names in Canadian music in front of celebrities, dignitaries and world leaders. He has performed for the Governor General of Canada at the National Arts Centre and plays with Sean McCann, formerly of the Great Big Sea, and Abby Stewart, an up-and-coming country music singer from Kingston. At 39 years old, Chris seems happy with the numbers of his life. He plays in five bands, plays one-dozen instruments and expects to perform 150 shows this year. “Music is something that has come naturally to me,” he says. “I love listening to music. I love playing it. It’s a form of expression. I’ve written songs that are an intimate form of expression. Even playing other people’s songs gives me a good feeling, trying to make them sound as good as I can.” Armed with a love of music from his family and a degree in musical education from Queen’s University, Chris took a leap of faith and followed his dream to sing. It was a risk that paid off. An experienced performer of Celtic and East Coast music, he has bookings from British Columbia to Newfoundland this year. “I went to Newfoundland in 2000 and I just fell in love with the people, music, area, culture and food,” he says about his repeated performances there. This summer, he estimates he will only be home for five days in August due to bookings around the country. “I’ve always loved music. It’s sort of my passion,” he notes, when asked about his dreams. “Being able to do what you love is kind of the goal. One of the things I wanted to do was to travel the country and get paid to do so.” Married for 13 years with two young daughters, Chris smiles when he talks about the good, the bad and the ugly side of show business. “I often joke - I play for free, but I get paid for setting-up the sound equipment and lugging it around,” he said. “I think a lot of people don’t understand what is involved in what we do,” he said about performing late into the night at bars where a performer is part of the atmosphere, or in the comfort of a concert hall where a performer is the main attraction. Smiling as he recalls recent bar gigs, he notes, “There’s times you feel like a wall hanging or a fern. But often you know that going into a show.” “Concert halls are the best performances for the soul,” he adds. Often found playing sports when he’s not performing, Chris doesn’t stray far from his guitar in his spare time. “When I’m not playing or being a dad, I enjoy sports,” he says about his pastime. “I would also consider playing music my fun. I do a lot of playing at home. It’s something I don’t get sick of.” In recognition of Canada’s 150th birthday this year, Chris Murphy will be performing Canadian songs at Inverary United Church at 7 pm on June 25. This evening performance includes free parking, refreshments and freewill offering. Everyone welcome!
On June 24 at approximately 2pm officers from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Napanee detachment, OPP Marine Unit, with the assistance of local paramedics and fire departments, responded to a report of a missing male on Mazinaw Lake. Police investigation revealed that a 47 year old Belleville man took his family and friends tubing in a smaller aluminum boat. The man entered the water to assist the female tuber as she was experiencing some difficulty re-entering the boat while the spotter remained in the vessel. The small boat began to drift away from the two in the water. The male, who did not have his personal flotation device on appeared to be in distress, went below the water and did not resurface. The female tuber and the spotter in the drifting boat were assisted to shore with the assistance of paddleboarders and another boater. A search of the area was being conducted but was suspended due to weather conditions. The OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit were called to the scene and will continue the search.
July 8 is the third annual Sail Mazinaw. The objective of the event is to identify Mazinaw Lake as a remarkable sailing venue. On July 8, all cottagers, campers and transient sailors are invited to rig their boats and their boards and go for a sail. It is not a race nor a regatta. It's a fun flotilla and an occasion , or an excuse, to get boats on the water. It's a great opportunity to introduce a new generation to the sport. The day will begin with a crew breakfast at Mazinaw Lakeside Resort. The staff will open the doors at 8:00 to get an early start for the sailors and friends. Dock space at MLR is limited, so you are encouraged to arrive by car. After breakfast, you have all day to enjoy a sail. If you are near the lagoon in Bon Echo Provincial Park between noon and 2:00, pull your boat up on a beach and enjoy a hamburger or a hot dog prepared by Friends of Bon Echo. The proceeds go to fund the many programs that The Friends organize throughout the camping season. Your support will be appreciated. Details of a potluck supper will be communicated at the crew breakfast. Bring your boat, bring your board, crew with a friend, invite your neighbour, but get on the water for Sail Mazinaw, July 8.
As Addington Highlands continues to grapple with dwindling space left in its waste sites and the desire to keep costs reasonable for township residents, Chief Administrative Officer Christine Reed prepared a report outlining the various options for tipping fees that townships of similar size have chosen. Based on the many issues to be dealt with, including determining fees for loads of various sizes and compositions, Councillor Tony Fritsch said it would be best if a group of councillors, township residents, the public works manager and waste site attendants got together to hash out all the options. Reeve Henry Hogg said perhaps the Public Works committee, with the addition of two site attendants, could be called together to look at the issues and submit a report. Councillors Fritsch and Cox sit on that committee, as do three members of the public. Council voted to defer the matter to an expanded public works committee. Financial statementsAdam Young from Seckler, Ross and Perry, LLP, presented a scintillating account of the township’s finances, saying that based on the information presented to him the township’s finances appear to be in good order. The township carried a working surplus of $65,000 going forward from 2015 on a $5 million plus budget, with departmental actual expenditures tallying well with their budget estimates. Gravel and Tandem tenders KCK Gravel, located near Denbigh, was the successful bidder to supply gravel to the township at a price of $67,500 for 1,000 tonnes. The other bidder, Gemmills Sand and Gravel, came in at $75,000.The tandem axle truck will cost $227,350. There was only one bidder, but the price was under budget. Requests grantedA request for the waiver of the events license fee for the Flinton Jamboree was granted. Also a request by Jen Whalen of Pathways for Children and Youth for space to meet clients on Tuesday afternoons during the summer, was granted. Whalen will also work out of the Land O'Lakes Community Services Office. She uses North Addington Education Centre during the school year. Better deal for councillors attending conferencesBased on a notice of motion from Councillor Bill Cox, some of the expense payments to councillors have increased. Mileage payments have been set at $0.54 per kilometre for the first 5,000 kilometres each year, and $0.48 after that, for “travel from their residence within the municipality, for all municipal functions. For conventions, seminars and meetings outside of the township, accommodations will be covered “as per receipts”, meals will be reimbursed at a rate of $15 for breakfast, $25 for lunch, and $35 for dinner. A per diem of $125 per day, “plus bus/rail or mileage plus registration” will also be paid.
June is Senior’s Month, and Pine Meadow Nursing Home wanted to join in the celebration! This year’s theme is “Living your best life”. We thought a great day to show this was to have our residents get involved in our planned celebrations! We had ladies prepare the squares for the party the morning before, and during the social, we had our residents plant a cherry tree in their courtyard. A few years ago they planted an apple tree for Senior’s Month. We thought it was a great way to enhance our courtyard, and our resident’s will reap the benefit from the trees for years to come!