To some, they’re creepy, to others they are cute. Regardless of your opinions on the matter, bats pl...
The Sydenham Food Bank shelves are getting bare, so it’s time for their fall food drive, to help tho...
After Fire Chief Eric Korhonen and consultant Terry Gervais completed a power point presentation of ...
Southern Frontenac Community Services is launching a new program this fall. The Youth Volunteer Prog...
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.
Corin Raymond brings his Bookworm monologue to Snow Road Station and performs songs from his latest album Corin Raymond is a Toronto based singer-songwriter who has performed locally on occasion over the last ten years, most recently at the Blue Skies Music Festival last summer. He has recorded four albums since 2001, including the double album Paper Nickels which was funded entirely with Canadian Tire Money. His most recent recording, Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams, was released in the spring of 2016 and was nominated for a Juno award in the contemporary roots music category. The award went to Earthly Days by William Prince. Raymond has always been a literary kind of songwriter, often making songs that have both a narrative and a poetic bent. In 2011 he wrote and staged a spoken word piece called Bookworm at Fringe Festivals around the country. Bookworm is a very personal account of Raymond’s own history with books and storytelling, a journey that is inextricably linked to his relationship to his father, whose personal 10,000 plus book collection was not stored in boxes throughout the family home, but was stacked on shelves throughout the house as if it were a bookstore or library. With financial assistance from Blue Skies in the Community, Joanne Cumberbirch brought Raymond and his hour long Bookworm to the Snow Road Community Centre last Friday (October 6). Cumberbirch, who brings in a variety of musical acts to house concerts, decided to produce this event at the hall, calling it the first of a potential series of occasional Coffee Houses at the hall. The hall was sold out, even though many in the audience had no idea what the show was going to be about.They were not disappointed. The show starts with the first line of the Ray Bradbury novel Something Wicked This Way Comes.“First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren’t rare. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say,”. Before going any further Raymond began a series of digressions and anecdotes about his relationship to that book, Ray Bradbury, his father, and many other stories.Raymond spent a number of years living with his father in a small town in the far western corner of Ontario. They would drive to Ottawa to visit family, leaving a lot of time for his father to tell stories. His father was the kind of High School history teacher who dressed up like a Roman Centurian to teach the history of the Roman Empire, and the kind of father who read to his son every night and on 18 hour road trips. He was so enthused about, and idiosyncratic in the way he described books that he sent his son off on reading adventures that have never ceased. Corin never did like school very much, however.Bookworm covers the great love Raymond has for books and certain writers and characters in particular. This enthusiasm for stories and story-telling informs all his own writing and music, and it came from his father’s determination to share his own love of books, stories, and knowledge. Bookworm is also a wild narrative ride through Sherlock Homes, all of Ray Bradbury, Philip Pullman, the Twilight Zone, Homeric myth, Spiderman, Raymond’s own family history, and more. Although it retains the feel of a spontaneous yarn, you can hear the writer’s, editors and director’s hand as the story progresses. The impact of the show is to catch some of Raymond’s love for story and books and life as well. It is also a great advertisement for some of the books and writers he loves, particularly Ray Bradbury. If he had copies of Bradbury’s books available he would certainly sell some after the show. (He said that when he did the show for a week in Winnipeg, he visited some of the local used book stores on his down time, and the booksellers said they had all had an unexpected run on Bradbury’s catalogue.)Bookworm is a 6 year old piece, but it still felt fresh and interesting last week. Finally, he did get to the second line of Something Wicked This Way Comes, a line that captures the attitude of boys and girls back in 1962 when the book was written just as completely as it does today. “Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month: school hasn’t begun yet. July, well, July’s really fine: there’s no chance in the world for school. June, no doubting it, June’s best of all, for the school doors spring wide and September’s a billion years away.”After an intermission of coffee and treats, Raymond performed a set that was mostly devoted to the songs in his Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams recording. Over the years, Raymond has experimented with different ways of telling a story using words and music. A good example of the facility he has developed, is the song “Hard on Things”. It is basically a list of things the singer is hard on: from clutches to tools to people he knows to his body to his own well-being. The narrative trick is to make the song more than a list, to create a story, which it does. Other highlights included a new song, written by the Australian songwriter David Ross MacDonald, about the recent end of Raymond’s relationship with his girlfriend, describing the day they were packing up her stuff. It has the line – and I am paraphrasing, “it is too late to say its ok, and too early to be sad. I’m so sad.” Heartache makes for good song lyrics. Corin Raymond performs most Thursday evenings at the Cameron House in Toronto from 6-8pm, and uses the Cameron House as a character in some of his banter. No doubt Snow Road Station will be used in the banter at the Cameron House some time in the future.He said during his show that if he were a novelist and came up with a town name such as Snow Road Station, he would consider that “a good day’s work”. And the fact that he was the performer at the first ever occasional coffee house in Snow Road Station, pleased him even more.
NAEC students turned out in force on Thursday, September 28, to raise money in the annual Terry Fox Run. Student’s Council set a goal of $2,500 in sponsorships. The money has all been collected, and the final tally comes to $3,019.25 – over $500 higher than the goal.As well as obtaining sponsorships, 48 students and staff bought Terry Fox T-shirts, which also contributed to the fundraising. Ms. Shepherd’s class won free breakfasts for raising the most Secondary money, while Ms. Dunham’s class won free sundaes for being the top Elementary earners.Greg Garey, Alexus Wagner, Henry Hasler, Raistlin Lloyd, Avery Gaylord, and Maggie Hasler raised $100 or more each. “We are very proud that our little school was able to meet and exceed an ambitious target,” remarked Angela Salmond, Principal. “It just shows what can happen when the whole school works together.”
Nestled into Ridge Lane near Ardoch, where a group of cottages front on Malcolm Lake, you’ll find Red Dragon Studio and Gift Shop, where Cathy Owen displays her watercolours, stained glass, mixed media, sculpture soaps and beauty products.This was Studio 10 on this year’s North Frontenac Back Roads Studio Tour and the fourth time Owen has participated in the annual event. “It’s a little quieter this year, other years have been much busier,” she said on Saturday morning. “But there are 24 artisans this year and it’s a big area.“The weather has certainly been a blessing.” It was indeed a beautiful fall Saturday. And that allowed Owen to bring many pieces outside for display, a space she spared with her daughter, Wendy Clement, who was showing watercolours, acrylics and mosaic pieces made of glass and tile.While she works in various media, Owen definitely has a preference. “My true love is watercolours,” she said. “I teach watercolours here and in Ottawa (her winter home).She said she and her husband, Trevor, were drawn to the area for the “peace and quiet” and because it was much more affordable that areas south of Hwy 7 they’d looked at.She’d always wanted a studio and this place was perfect for her. “We named it Red Dragon Studio for my husband’s Welsh background,” she said. “He’s always been my encourager from the beginning and he even bought me my first sketch pencils.“I couldn’t have don it without him.” She said after a short time as strictly an art studio, she added the ‘gift shop’ part and started selling soap and jewelry.“That’s gone rather well,” she said. “I have a lot of repeat customers in the summer. “It’s especially convenient for people who don’t want to drive all the way to the city when they need to buy a gift.”This year’s tour featured featured 24 artists and artisans in 15 studios from Myers Cave to Snow Road Station and as far north as Buckshot Lake Road.
If the firefighting thing doesn’t work out, Stan Seitz may have a future in speech writing as his reception of a 35-year service pin produced one of the better acceptance speeches in municipal awards history. “It started out in this very room (in the Ompah fire hall/community hall) in 1980,” he said. “That door there led to the outhouse. “There was an old woodstove and firefighters were expected to bring a log or two for meetings. “We had no truck, no equipment, no uniforms . . . but we had spirit. “We saw it as our job to make somebody who was having a very bad day feel a little bit better. “I feel I should warn the Mayor and Council — it’s going to be very hard to get another 35 years out of me.”
One of the final Canada 150 events in this sesquicentennial year will feature the music of Canada.The Covering Canada 150 Coffee House is set to go this Friday night (Oct. 13) in the Granite Ridge Education Centre auditorium at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 and includes free coffee and snacks. Proceeds will go to a special fund being set up to pay for music lessons and/or music camp for deserving local students.“There have been so many 150 celebrations this year,” said Jim MacPherson, who along with fellow musician Gary Giller organized the event. “We wanted to do something to show the Canadian music scene and the many avenues that entails. And we wanted to highlight the Canadian singer/songwriters and artists we’ve been influenced by.” The two-set show was in the process of being finalized at press time but in addition to MacPherson and Giller, locals Pete MacPherson, Julia Schall, Martina Field-Green, Dave Limber, Dennis and Donna Larocque and others are scheduled to perform a variety of Canadian tunes, covering such artists as Neil Young, The Guess Who, Ron Hynes, The Barenaked Ladies and Fred Eaglesmith. MacPherson said they also wanted to give back by raising funds to help kids who might not otherwise have access to music lessons and the musical experience.“Essentially, we’re just folks who enjoy music,” he said. Although not directly connected to the Canada 150 project whereby several local musicians met at Oso Beach on Wednesday nights to cover 150 Canadian songs, many of the same musicians are involved, and most of the material being presented Friday night was also part of that project.
Lights for the Thompson’s Cut section of the K & P Trail through Sharbot Lake beat out the Sharbot Lake outdoor arena project and the Hinchinbrooke Community Centre (the former Hinchinbrooke school) as Central Frontenac’s project for a potential Trillium Foundation Grant, Council decided at its regular meeting Tuesday afternoon at Piccadilly Hall. Chief Building Official/Manager of Development Services Shawn Merriman told Council that the municipality can only submit one application and of the three projects considered, the trail ask has the best chance for success.“They (the committee doing the trail renovations) have already completed Phase 1, and trails seem to be the thing right now,” he said. “We’re still waiting for a business plan for the school and the rink committee probably can’t get two quotes in time for the Oct. 25 deadline.”There are no matching funds required for Trillium grants and the maximum ask is $150,000. The Trail project is for $50,000.“I know if we don’t apply, we won’t be successful,” said Coun. Bill MacDonald. However, there was concern from Hinchinbrooke residents and the district’s councilors that if work didn’t get started on the school soon, it may deteriorate past the point of no return. For example, there was no heat on in the building all through last winter in an effort to save money.“My only concern is the longer we leave the school, the closer we get to there not being any point to doing something with it,” said Coun. Phillip Smith.His concern was echoed by District 4 Rec Committee member Sue Leslie. “We have two quotes lined up and we do have somebody who’ll do the plumbing for free if the Township will buy the materials,” she said. “As you know, the copper plumbing was stolen (in late spring).”“It’s not a matter of either/or,” said Dep. Mayor Brent Cameron. “The school is still on our plates.” “I know that the committee has applied to the Kingston Community Foundation for a grant to do a business plan,” said CAO Cathy MacMunn.But Coun. Bill MacDonald came up with a plan that everyone seemed to be able to live with for the time being, moving that Merriman be directed to come back to Council with a quote to keep the heat on in the school this winter. Elm Tree Bridge/culvert construction is expected to begin Oct. 23, Public Works Manager Brad Thake told Council as part of his monthly report.He said waste issues have been occupying much of his time these days.“The footprint of the Olden landfill wood/shingle debris pile has been growing, so we’re exploring shredding with a tub grinder as an option,” he said. “And we’re talking to doing it in conjunction with South Frontenac for optimum pricing.“We’re also talking with the City of Kingston about the possibility of them accepting and processing our recyclables and should have a report in November.”He said from May 15 to Sept. 10, there were 387 amnesty loads at the Oso land fill and 414 at Olden.Coun. Bill MacDonald asked if the Township is using outside road crews for road repair.“I went by one location and didn’t recognize anybody,” MacDonald said.Thake said he had contracted out a couple of jobs but “we’re back to our own crews now.” Merriman said that building stats are “slightly ahead of last year and that construction on the new Ultramar gas station should be starting soon.“I don’t think it will be open this year, though.”
With Central Frontenac Township scheduled to provide direction to staff concerning proposed mandatory septic inspection Oct. 24, here’s a look at just how widespread septic failure is.First, in consultation with Central Frontenac Treasurer Michael McGovern, the Frontenac News looked at just how many septic tanks there are in the Township.To do this, we looked at the tax roll. There are just under 6,000 tax bills sent out every year.Of these 2,050 are for seasonal residences, 206 are for farm residences and 1,047 are for permanent residences. In total, this comes to 4,103.In addition, there are 127 commercial bills but some of these are combined with residential so we (with McGovern’s input) estimated that number to be about 100.We rounded the number off to come up with 4,200 septic tanks in Central Frontenac.Next, we consulted with Gord Mitchell, Public Health Inspector for KFLO&A Public Health. If a septic system fails, they’ll be the ones to know about it because they’re the ones who issue permits to have it replaced.Mitchell said that it’s not hard to tell when your system has failed. Either you won’t be able to live with it (smell, mess, backflow, etc) or your neighbours won’t and will let Public Health know.While it is possible for someone to simply walk away from a property after a septic fail, it is extremely rare and not statistically significant.Now the following numbers are for replacement septic systems. Not all replacements are necessarily for failures as some represent renovations, and/or additions.In 2016, the Sharbot Lake office issued 86 permits for septic system installation. Of these, 21 were for replacement systems. In 2014 there were 87 permits issued, 5 of which were for replacement systems. In 2015, there were 82 permits issued with 5 replacements. For comparison purposes, the numbers at the Cloyne office were 80 permits with 10 for replacements in 2014, 70 permits with 7 for replacement in 2015 and 80 installation permits with 16 for replacements in 2016.So looking at the Sharbot Lake (ie Central Frontenac numbers) over a three-year period, there were 31 replacement systems permits issued or on average 10 systems per year.If all of those replacement systems were for failure of the previous system, that would be 10 of 4,200 systems replaced per year or 0.24 per cent. Mitchell also added that by far and away the bulk of their work is around cities, not strictly rural areas. He said that not only are there a lot more systems in areas in and around cities but those systems also tend to be a lot older, more than 40 years old in many cases.
Battersea held what was perhaps its most successful ever Pumpkinfest last Saturday.The whole village was decorated with pumpkins and cornstalks; there was a parade, food, music, petting zoo, rides through the forest on a miniature steam train, rides through the village on a wagon, a haunted barn, a pie sale, pumpkin carving, both participatory and performance-based, and a creative array of pumpkin-related children's games. A wind-up catapult flung pumpkins in more or less one direction, three strange winged figures on stilts stalked through the crowd along with a top-hatted unicycle rider, and it appeared Queen Victoria herself moved in a stately manner across the field. If you'd substituted livestock for all the dogs, it could have been a mediaeval fair. Volunteers, many with pointed hats and straggling orange hair, saw that cars pedestrians and trains interacted safely. Some lovely new children's play structures were officially opened, the weather was warm, and it didn't rain. Congratulations to the army of volunteers who made the day such fun.
Coming in at a whole 16 minutes, Tuesday’s regular South Frontenac Council meeting in Sydenham wasn’t the shortest on record (14 minutes) but it was close.Still, after acknowledging that the meeting was being held on Coun. Ron Sleeth’s 74th birthday, Council did cross a few T’s and dot a few I’s. For one thing, the Harrowsmith Beautification Committee was recognized as a committee of Council. Based on the model of the successful Verona Community Association, the committee has been busy with a beautification project for Harrowsmith that includes flags, flowers and benches.When asked by Mayor Ron Vandewal if they “are they as organized as Verona?” Councilor Brad Barbeau replied: “there’s a lot of enthusiasm.”Still with Harrowsmith, Council authorized a $1,000 donation to Harrowsmith Public School for new playground equipment. Councillor Mark Schjerning commented that he was speaking in favour of the motion but also observed: “given what we did for Loughborough and the fact that we have six public schools in the Township, we can probably expect four more similar requests.” And CAO Wayne Orr gave Council a rundown on new signage at the Township offices in Sydenham.“We’ve had people with accessibility issues come up the ramp only to be told that building and planning are downstairs,” Orr said. “And we need to make office hours and the entrance to Council Chambers more accessible from the street.”Council also approved the purchase of 50 new self-contained breathing apparatus units and 150 spare air bottles for the fire department. The price tag of $572,991 plus taxes will be paid this year from reserves to take advantage of a group discount with Kingston but will be listed on the 2018 fire budget.And finally, Orr gave a brief report on six small-scale (five acres or less) approved in the Township. None of these projects were brought to Council for approval. Vandewal speculated that the reason none of them came to Council is that they had First Nations endorsement meaning that they didn’t need the points that township approval would have given them.
When Carol Little of Sydenham learned of a trip for Canadian Grandmothers to visit Zambia and South Africa, she knew at once that she had to go, to personally meet some of the women she has been connected with over the past several years, through pictures and letters and stories. Her own children and husband were unquestioning in their support, with the result that a year ago this summer Carol headed off alone to Britain, where she met three more women, identified by the matching scarves they wore. Many hours later, these four landed in Zambia and joined six others for some sleep and cultural orientation before embarking with driver and interpreter over some of the roughest roads she’d ever travelled. “It was an intense, life-changing experience,” Carol says, “the awful living conditions, the optimism, laughter and strong determination, the dancing. They dance to express joy, sorrow, happiness and grief. I learned and saw so much.” Ten years ago, a group of women in Sharbot Lake began a group they called “Grandmothers by the Lake” to support the Stephan Lewis Foundation in Africa. It has grown to include women from throughout South, Central and North Frontenac. Many, if not most of these women are grandmothers themselves, and they wanted to reach out to some of the many grandmothers in Africa who are struggling to raise their orphaned grandchildren. African grandmothers are central to the life of their communities. With almost no support, they have stepped forward to care for millions of children orphaned by AIDS, sometimes as many as ten to fifteen in one household. Resources from the Canadian Grandmothers Campaign are invested directly at community level, with grassroots organizations that provide grandmothers and the children in their care with supports that include food, educational supplies, uniforms and school fees, medical care, HIV counselling and testing, adequate housing and bedding, counselling and support groups, home visits, and much more. Carol will be presenting a slide show and talk about her trip and experiences on Thursday, October 26, at 7:00 pm in the Community Room of Sydenham Library. Everyone is welcome.
The Sydenham Food Bank shelves are getting bare, so it’s time for their fall food drive, to help those in need. On Saturday, October 21, from 9:00am to 3:00pm, volunteers from Southern Frontenac Community Services, which operates the Food Bank, will be encouraging grocery shoppers at both the Verona and Sydenham Foodland stores to consider making a donation of food or cash. “The Foodland stores are always willing to partner with our food drives,” says Amanda Pantrey, who is coordinating the fall food drive, “they prepare $10 and $20 bags of non-perishable food that is high on our list of needs that customers can purchase and donate on site.” Customers can donate other items as well, and the Food Bank welcomes gifts of cash. “The Food Bank relies heavily on volunteers and donated food, but we still need to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, eggs and milk,” says Food Bank Coordinator Vicki England. As a member of the Ontario Association of Food Banks, there are often deals with suppliers that can result in huge buying power. “Donations of cash can really be stretched far.” Online donations can also be made through the organization’s website at: www.sfcsc.ca So this Saturday, keep an eye out for the volunteers at the Foodland stores in Verona and Sydenham from 9am to 3pm, and consider making a donation
The local Greens have set Thursday, October 26 for their candidate nomination meeting for next year’s provincial election, for the riding of Lanark-Frontenac- Kingston. The meeting, which takes the theme: “You can send a message to the Liberals without voting Conservative”, will be held at McMartin House in Perth, starts at 7 pm. (McMartin House is on the north-east corner of Gore and Harvey streets, Perth.) The local riding has been changed by Elections Ontario since the 2014 provincial election, losing Napanee and area and adding the Mississippi Mills area. The riding of Lanark-Frontenac- Kingston, now comprises the towns of Carleton Place, Mississippi Mills, Perth, and Smiths Falls, and the townships of Beckwith, Central Frontenac, Drummond- North Elmsley, Lanark Highlands, Montague, North Frontenac, South Frontenac and Tay Valley, as well as the northern part of the City Of Kingston. The next Ontario election is scheduled for June 7, 2018.
First Appearances Mallory Kehoe, 27, is charged with theft of a vehicle and four counts of driving while under suspension. She will return on November 20th and is seeking legal aide. She is currently in custody in Ottawa on other charges that will be dealt with before the November Sharbot Lake date. Marion Vanalstine, 59, Sherri Wylie, 44, and Devin Kennedy, 27 are each facing a charge of production of an illegal substance. They will return on November 20. Ongoing The lawyer for Jeremy Pershaw, 34, is facing a charge of operating a vehicle while disqualified from doing so, a charge of dangerous operation of a vehicle, and two charges of failing to comply with court ordered conditions. His lawyer appeared before the court, but said he has not been able to contact his client since the last court date in September. “I’m hesitant to act without consulting my client. I do believe this is headed for trial, but I really can’t say” he said. The matter was deferred until November 20. Alison Potter, 40, had her charges of possession of an illegal substance, production of an illegal substance, and un-authorised possession of a firearm deferred once again, to November 20. It is still anticipated that her co-accused in the matter will have his case resolved in Kingston, and the charges against would then be withdrawn. The matter has been on the books for 14 months. Sue Vinkle, 42, is charged with obstructing a peace officer. She will return on November 20. Christopher Leger, 53, is facing 5 counts of assault. His lawyer, John Norris, said through Duty Counsel, who was acting as agent, that he is still reviewing the disclosure package and asked for the case to be deferred until November 20. Judge Griffen said, “when you are communicating with Mr. Norris that I would like to set a trial date on November 20.” Peace Bond – A charge of Assault against Reinhold Zuther, 62, has been resolved by means of a Peace Bond wherein he has committed to keeping the peace and avoiding contact with certain individuals. The charge has been withdrawn. Withdrawals – A charge of theft against John Texeira, 65, has been withdrawn, as has a charge of mischief against Kevin Camilleri, 53.
To some, they’re creepy, to others they are cute. Regardless of your opinions on the matter, bats play an essential role in the ecosystem and are also vastly misunderstood. Back by popular demand, bat expert Matt Saunders, aka The Real Bat Man, will help enlighten, educate and demystify folks about these flying rodents as part of a special presentation at the Outdoor Centre at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, on Sunday, Oct. 29, at 2 pm. His one-hour presentation is suitable for ages seven and up and participants will have a chance to build a bat house of their own after the talk (bring a hammer) or take it home. Kits will be sold for $20 each (while supplies last). Seating is limited for this very popular event, so be sure to come early. It’s also recommended for folks ages 7 and up. The Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area is located on Division Street just two kilometres north of Highway 401. Entry fees are: $5.50 per person for adults and children over 12, and $3 per person for children 12 and under, to a maximum fee of $14 per car. Annual passes are available for $80 per year. For more information about the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, visit www.crca.ca or call (613) 546-4228 x 500 or toll free in the 613 region at 1-877-956-CRCA (2722).
It was a test of endurance.Sitting in her home in Battersea one-week after completing a 200-mile relay race from Sarotoga Springs to Lake Placid, Melonee Dowdall smiles at her accomplishment."The hardest part was the heat and elevation," said the 46-year-old brunette about the Ragnar Relay Race in New York State last month that left her sore, hungry and tired. "I'm not good in the heat. It really affects me."A member of a 12-person team of Canadians called the Crazy Canuckleheads, Dowdall trained for 14 weeks down the quiet backroads of South Frontenac Township. Runners were expected to run three times (legs) over the duration of the race which lasted two full days and nights. Many ran on little to no sleep over steep terrain and in unseasonably warm temperatures; often wearing fluorescent vests and headlamps to mark their way. "It was definitely a life changing experience," notes Team Captain Lisa Johnson. "The elevation was the biggest challenge." Wrapped in warm pajamas on a cool fall evening more than a week after crossing the finish line, Dowdall describes her first leg with her trademark humour. She sums it up as 40 degree heat and mostly uphill. "I considered taking a cab for part of it, but I didn't," she says with a smile.The last part was up a 1.6 km hill, affectionately nicknamed What the Hill."It was brutal," she says in hindsight. "I didn't enjoy the experience. I think I didn't really appreciate the accomplishment (finishing the race) and I still don't."Dowdall describes the race as one of the most difficult experiences of her life. "It's the lack of sleep," she says with an incredulous laugh. "One night I laid down alone and I woke-up a short while later with two strange men sleeping beside me."Taking time to reflect on what she did with a group of fellow Canadians, Dowdall admits, "It was exceptional. Everyone was supporting each other. They shared food, helpful tips and encouragement. They just wanted everyone to succeed.""The entire team was amazing. We all gave it 100 per cent," says Johnson proudly about the Canadian team that placed 188 out of 218.Looking past the mental and physical challenges, Dowdall found inspiration all around her."There were some hills I would look at and say 'How am I going to do this'?" says Dowdall. She adds that she runs “because I can, because I'm healthy and strong. Because I was with my mom in the hospital before her radiation treatment on her brain, when she could still walk. I was with her the last time she walked. When she came back, she never took another step and never stood up again. I vowed then and there, I would live as healthfully as I could as long as I could so I decided to start running in her honour. I do it because I can, even though I had always believed I was not a runner and still don't consider myself a real one.”Runner or not, the mother of two teenage boys found a sense of peace running through the Adirondacks after dark. "It was peaceful and almost spiritual to run at night," she confirms. "I went there a stranger and left with some new friends. The people I ran with were amazing. I could never have done this by myself. Overall, it was a great time and I don't regret it at all."
No Trillium application for kitchen reno at Denbigh Community CentreThe township was preparing to submit a grant application to the Trillium Foundation to cover the long awaited kitchen renovation at the former Denbigh Schoolhouse. In order to apply, it is necessary to include three quotes for the work that the applicant intends to do. Councillor Tony Fritsch prepared a detailed scope of work and three contractors asked for the information package in order to submit bids, but all three decided not to bid.“It was not the job itself, but the timing and having to guarantee a price for March of next year that stopped them from bidding”.With no pricing available, the township will not be submitting a grant application this time around. Bill for OPPCouncil and the finance staff are not going to begin dealing with the 2018 budget for several months but they will need to come up with just a bit more money for policing next year. The 2018 OPP bill has been set at $780,379, up from $779,337 in 2017. OPP costs jumped several years ago and have now been phased in. The township paid $735,143 in 2016 and $580,450 in 2015. Free use of Hall for Maltby CentreThe Maltby Centre (formerly Pathways for Children and Youth) provides mental health and autism services for children and youth in Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. Jen Whalen, an Enhanced Youth Outreach Worker with Maltby is running a group called New Mentality, a peer support group for youth to reduce the stigma around mental health illness and help peers find a voice in telling their stories. The group runs from 2pm-6pm on Thursdays and Council agreed to provide free space for the group at the Flinton Hall each week. Implications of Bill 148 on firefighting costs to be referred to AMOBill 148 – The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, has been widely discussed across the province because of its proposals regarding increases in the minimum wage in Ontario to $14 on January 1st 2018 and $15 on January 1st 2019.Fire Chief Casey Cuddy looked at other provisions in the act in his report to the Kaladar-Barrie Joint Fire Board. His report poses questions about the wage paid to firefighters, because one of its provisions says that all employees, part-time included, must be paid the same rate that is paid to full-time employees doing that job. If that means firefighters in volunteer departments, who are considered township employees and not really volunteers, must be paid the same rate as full time firefighters, costs will escalate. The Act also calls for employees to be paid for three hours whenever they come in to work. In his report, Casey asked whether a 45 minute call involving 10 firefighters might cost $600 in wages instead of the current $250. Council received the report and referred it to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) for analysis.In response to another change coming from the Province of Ontario, whereby holders of “D” drivers licences are to be required to take a physical exam each time they apply for a renewal of their licence. The exams can cost up to $100, if a health practitioner even agrees to conduct them, and are not covered under OHIP. The change could effect costs in both Public Works and Fire Departments. Council passed a motion requesting staff to ask the Lakelands Family Health Team if they are willing to conduct the exams. If they aren’t, travel costs to far flung medical service providers could make the new regulation even more costly to the township. No more dump divingIt is not permissible to remove items from waste sites in Addington Highlands. There are concerns over liability. Instead, Public Works Manager Brent Reavie will be reporting to Council about how other municipalities, such as some in Lanark County, offer re-use options at their sites. Reavie will also be arranging for the sale of scrap metal that has accumulated at the sites. Intellivote engaged again for 2018The township has contracted with Intellivote to conduct the 2018 municipal election. Ballots will be cast either by phone or Internet over a one week period and the results will be announced within minutes of the close of polls on election day. The price of the service will be less than it was in 2014.The township does not put money aside for elections each year, so the cost of next year’s election will be born entirely by the 2018 budget.It was suggested that the money realised through the sale of scrap be devoted to covering the cost of the election.Public Works Manager Reavie said that it would be fine by him. “Sounds good. It’s kind of fitting, actually,” he said. Remembrance Day CeremoniesWith the closure of the Northbrook Legion, the Arden Legion will be stepping in to conduct Remembrance Day Ceremonies in both Flinton and Denbigh. Because the Legion also holds ceremonies in Arden and Mountain Grove on November 11, the AH ceremonies will be held sometime on the weekend before Remembrance Day. The exact dates will be announced soon.
It has been a very busy few months for the Board of Land O' Lakes Community Services & Pine Meadow Nursing Home. As promised, the results of our May/June Survey for Community Services have been tallied and studied with the outcome being as follows. First and foremost, there was a very positive response to the existing programs overall, especially the Seniors Adult Drop-in, men's and women's groups, Meals on Wheels, and Transportation. Seasonally, the Income Tax Service, Snowsuit Fund, and Christmas Hamper programs are readily utilized. Lesser used are the Warm Toes and the Backpack programs for children, Adult Protective Services, Caregiver, and Homemaking Services. The number one area noted as needing improvement is better communication with the people living in our coverage area. When asked how information was received, two methods stood out, word of mouth, and through the local newspaper. We are in the process of redoing our website and are exploring other ways of keeping you informed. In the mean time, we ask that you continue to check up on, visit and talk to your senior neighbours, and continue to read the paper for upcoming events. There were also requests for adult exercise/walking programs. While there have been independent exercise programs for Seniors in both Northbrook and Denbigh, no one responded that they actually made use of these. This could be due to a lack of communication. The lack of child/teen activity programs was certainly seen as a need in our communities. Unfortunately, we are not provincially funded for this at this time. We will continue to search for possible funding sources. Meanwhile, if you would like to organize and run after school/homework clubs, teen movie nights, or other age appropriate programs, you could talk with either the Lions Club or the school administration to see if they can accommodate you. The Mazinaw Lake Swim Program has been operated by dedicated volunteers for the past 45 years (originally as the Marble Lake Swim Program), and has been a program of Land O' Lakes Community Services since 1985. While costs have risen, efforts have been made to keep registration fees minimal. Registration fees continue to cover only a very small percentage of the actual cost of hiring instructors, lifeguards, bus drivers and bus rental, as well as insurance. Most of the costs to run this program are raised through fundraising. Fundraising is done for many other programs running at Community Services and Pine Meadow. All aspects of Pine Meadow, Community Services, and the Mazinaw Lake Swim Program, require volunteers to assist with programming, and until more provincial funding is allocated to rural services, we appreciate the generosity of our community to help us run these very valuable programs. We continue to explore alternative funding. If you find you have some time to volunteer, please contact the programs you may be interested in.We thank you very much for taking the time to participate in our survey.
Addington Highlands is still tinkering with waste disposal fees but made some changes at its regular meeting Monday afternoon in Flinton.Many of the changes came from suggestions from supervisor Brett Reavie, who gave a report based on feedback from waste site attendents.First up was tires with rims attached. “You can drop the rubber and you can drop the steel, but you can’t drop them together,” said Coun. Bill Cox.Reeve Henry Hogg suggested the company that takes the tires might take tires with rims attached but would likely charge a few for that.“That would be the simplest thing to do,” he said. Reavie also said they are starting to get more fibreglass paddleboats and canoes.“The Vennachar dump gets quite a few at times,” he said.Council adopted a $35 fee for canoes or paddleboats.But perhaps the biggest debate was what to do with shingles.“There was a time when we didn’t accept shingles at all,” said Hogg. “I don’t know what happened to them then.”“Are you trying to divert shingles or keep the countryside clear?” said Reavie.Council agreed it was a bit of both. “You can’t charge so much that it won’t be worth it for people to bring them in,” said Hogg.Council decided that if shingles were brought in a pickup truck or single axle trailer, the few would be $35. If brought in a double axle trailer, the few would be $70.Council also decided the fee for a regular load brought on a double axle trailer would be $35.They also decided there would be no additional fees for small pieces of carpet if part of a larger load or refuse.“We can’t finalize this until we hear back on the tires and rims,” said Coun. Tony Fritsch.“We’ll look at it one more time,” said Hogg. Council moved a step closer to completing its Civic Addressing Bylaw with a review of the draft.“We’re having rules for naming the roads, but what about the lakes,” said Reeve Henry Hogg.Several councilors related lakes that seem to have changed names (often more than once) over the years. After noting that Lake Weslemkoon was hard to pronounce and spell, Hogg made no suggestion that it should be changed but pointed out the numbering system on lanes around the lake left something to be desired.“It will have to be changed,” he said. “The cottage associations did the numbering some 20 years ago and a lot of it doesn’t make sense.”Dep. Reeve Helen Yanch said while she was OK with roads already named after people, she’d like to see the practice abolished in the future.Council also agreed that the posts and blades for new roadside numbering shouldn’t cost residents, they wanted to see some costs before proceeding. Council decided to go ahead with Remembrance Day ceremonies despite the Northbrook Legion closing.Coun. Bill Cox, a Legion member himself, said he’d received a letter about the branch closing and the fact that the membership has applied to join another branch.“I think it’s sad,” said Dep. Reeve Helen Yanch. “But I think we need something at our two cenataphs even if it’s only for this year.”Cox said he’d contact Legion Central Command to get their thoughts on the matter. Council is still concerned about its ambulance base situation.“The County made a motion that we’d get an ambulance station,” said Coun. Bill Cox.“It was made Oct. 12 last year and it’s never been rescinded,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. A memorandum of understanding between the Township and Metis Nation was moved to closed session for Council discussion. Council approved its joint fire agreement with North Frontenac Township.