Frontenac Counties 150th Anniversary

150 Years Anniversary

Virgil Garrett: A Salute to a Teacher and Beekeeper

Written by  |  Wednesday, 02 December 2015 20:00  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
Q. What do grandfather clocks and bees have in common? A. Virgil Garrett This past summer there was a construction project on Road 38 at the northern edge of the village of Sharbot Lake. For a time there was a stoplight for southbound traffic in front of Virgil and Beryl Garrett's house. One afternoon while a half dozen cars were waiting for the light to change (an unwelcome novelty in this part of the world) Virgil Garrett was standing on the sidewalk, waiting for all the cars to clear the scene before slowly and serenely walking across the road to get his mail, just as he has done since 1949. In the rear view mirror driving away, Virgil was in the foreground and the sun…

Wolfe Island Past and Present – as of 1973

Written by  |  Wednesday, 02 December 2015 19:57  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
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…

Frontenac Provincial Park: from mica mines to trails

Written by  |  Thursday, 24 September 2015 08:14  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
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…

First Frontenac County warden from Wolfe Island

Written by  |  Thursday, 24 September 2015 08:09  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
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…

Frontenac Provincial Park, the ultimate jewel in the rough

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 September 2015 19:08  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
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…

Quilt stitches Frontenac County together

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 September 2015 18:53  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
When Plevna quilter Debbie Emery won the design contest for the Frontenac County 150th anniversary quilt, she knew she was going to have a lot of work to do to translate her design into a finished quilt. By the time she delivered the quilt to the county in early August, in time for it to be displayed as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations, she had put 650 hours of her own labour into the project, turning the $2,000 prize for winning the contest into a $3 an hour part time job for eight months. More importantly, the quilt was front and centre at the opening ceremonies of the celebration event in Harrowsmith, and will be available for display at the county offices for years…

Agnes Thomas: A Long, Good Life of Farming in Donaldson and Lavant

Written by  |  Wednesday, 19 August 2015 20:08  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
Agnes Morrow is 101 years old, and when she was born on March 9, 1914, World War One was still six months away; oil had not yet been discovered in Alberta; and James P Whitney was the Premier of Ontario. When historians look at the 20th century, 1914 is seen as a pivotal year, because it was the start of the war that profoundly changed the political landscape around the world and in Canada, and left millions dead and millions more displaced. But in the community of Donaldson, where Agnes Morrow was born in the farmhouse of Louis and Julia Morrow, the third of eight children, world events had little impact in those years. Donaldson, which is now merely an access road to a small…

Frontenac County celebrates 150 years of rural life

Written by  |  Wednesday, 19 August 2015 19:57  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
As the 150th anniversary of Frontenac County was approaching, a committee was formed to organize events to mark the occasion. They realized that the best way to mark a year-long event such as as this was to have an event of some kind to provide a focus. So the planning began for a three-day celebration from Friday to Sunday, August 28 to 30. The location at Centennial Park in Harrowsmith was an obvious choice. Not only is it located on Road 38, the artery that links three of the four Frontenac townships, it is also the largest community park in the county, easily hosting over 1,500 people on Canada Day each year. However, the decision to locate the celebration at Centennial Park brought more into…

Frontenac 150th Anniversary Celebration

Written by  |  Wednesday, 19 August 2015 19:49  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
In keeping with the great tradition of music in Frontenac County, the performers who will be performing all weekend are made up primarily of artists who live or come from Frontenac County, supplemented by some from nearby Kingston. On Friday night, Kingston/Nashville based Rob Carnegie will take the stage at 6pm, following the opening ceremonies, which start at 5pm. Rob is a singer songwriter in the country music tradition. He has been making a name for himself as a songwriter and performer in Canada and the United States, with his 2014 release “Unwind”. Also on Friday night, a family movie, Big Hero 6, will be screened at 8pm, followed by fireworks. On Saturday, the festival swings into high gear with a parade at 10am. Across…

In search of the K&P: Rail and Trail

Written by  |  Wednesday, 19 August 2015 19:42  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
It's a curious title for a book, “In search of the K&P”, as if the one time 112 mile rail line from Kingston to Renfrew (it never made it to Pembroke as originally intended) was some kind of mythic entity. The title is explained in the preface to the book, which was published in 1981. The writer, D.W. McCuaig, recalls that when he first moved to the Ottawa Valley in the 1950s he was taken for a drive on a back road in Lanark County and came upon a train pushing though the bush. “I vowed I would travel on that train,” he recalls, but never got the chance because the line closed down shortly thereafter. The book was written as an attempt to recapture…

The Trousdales of Sydenham

Written by  |  Thursday, 30 July 2015 00:00  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
The Trousdale family is known for the iconic Trousdale General Store, which is still operating as a gift store, as well as for the Home Hardware and Foodland stores in Sydenham. However, it turns out that although the family has been in the retail business for a pretty long time - longer than either Frontenac County or Canada have been around - they actually started out in farming. The family arrived in Canada from England sometime in the late 18th or early 19th century. They farmed near Holleford at first, and there are Trousdales who are still farming in that area to this day. “One brother went to Tennessee and another moved to Holleford,” said John Trousdale when he and his wife Ginny were interviewed…

Wayne Robinson: bridging the rural-urban gap

Written by  |  Thursday, 30 July 2015 00:00  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
Last year, Wayne Robinson stepped back from his role as CEO of Robinson Asset Management, a company that manages money from across the globe out of an office in Sharbot Lake. While most of the other Ontario companies that do that kind of work are based in Toronto, and perhaps Ottawa, Robinson's remains based in a small rural community, where it is one of the larger employers. The company had its genesis managing the retirement income of local teachers by investing in real estate, but has grown into global markets over the last 30 years. When we interviewed Wayne for this article, we talked in his office, not so much about his company, but about his upbringing on a farm in the Bradshaw area outside…

Thomas Neal, a son remembers

Written by  |  Thursday, 30 July 2015 00:00  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
Municipal amalgamation brought the end of an era for many long-serving local politicians. None served longer than Thomas Neal, who sat on Frontenac County Council for 34 years and was reeve of the former Barrie Township from 1967 until amalgamation in 1998. He served as warden in 1972, and sat on Barrie Council for two other terms in the 1950s. According to Neal's son, Thomas Jr., his father's 34 years as county council member is a record and he was also the only county warden to ever come from Barrie Township. Thomas Sr. was born in 1913 and moved to Harlowe from Kingston as a young child. He ran the general store in Harlowe, and kept the store going for over 50 years. It closed…

Wilma Kenny: Sydenham in the Mill days and afterwards

Written by  |  Thursday, 18 June 2015 06:57  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
(Many readers of the Frontenac News will know that for 13 years Wilma Kenny has been covering South Frontenac Council just about each week for us at the Frontenac News. Each week she attends the Tuesday night meetings and then crosses the street to her house and writes them up, often working until after midnight. Wilma has a lifelong history in Sydenham and Loughborough Township and we sat down to talk about the village and some of her experiences) Wilma Kenny grew up in Sydenham, on a 50-acre farm just outside the village. “I guess you would call it a subsistence farm. We grew all our own food, anyway. Dad was a beekeeper and he always worked out because the farm couldn't support us. He…

The early life of Don Lee

Written by  |  Thursday, 28 May 2015 15:13  |  Published in 150 Years Anniversary
Don Lee says that he is not as sharp as he used to be, his memory is not as good, he can't hear that well, can't see out of one eye, and he has been slowed down by a stroke several years ago. At 95 he still remembers a lot of stories from the past, “but I can't really tell you what happened yesterday,” he says. Since we were interested in the past, that wasn't much of a problem. We also found out after the interview, which took place in midwinter, that Don still operates a chainsaw, and can even use up two full tanks of gas before putting down the saw. Don was born in 1920, in the house where he still lives, on…
Page 1 of 2
 

News From Across Frontenac

Click Here for More

Photo Gallery- 150th Anniversary