Archive for the ‘Our Heritage’ Category

Trees To Remember Vimy By (August 2017)

July 25, 2017

FENELON FALLS LEGION PRESENTS THE VILLAGE WITH TWO VIMY RIDGE DESCENDANT SAPLINGS TO MARK THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF CANADA

Everyone knows the Battle of Vimy Ridge during WWI was one of the defining moments in Canada’s history. The battle raged for three days, April 9-12, 1917. Where allied troops struggled and failed, the Canadians overcame great odds and captured the ridge. For the first time all four Canadian divisions attacked together: men from all regions of Canada were present at the battle. Brigadier-General A.E. Ross declared after the war, “in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation.”  The price of victory was heavy 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 wounded. Four Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross and the entire Canadian contingent was commended for their bravery.

Untitled

Canadian machine gunners dig themselves into shell holes on Vimy Ridge,

France, April 1917

(courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-1017).

Prior to the battle the area was heavily forested with mighty oaks; after the battle nearly every tree had been destroyed. A Canadian soldier, Lieutenant Leslie Miller of Scarborough salvaged a handful of acorns from a dying oak tree and sent them home to be planted on his farm where they flourished. Today ten of these trees still stand and sapling descendants have been bred from them. Over 100 saplings are destined to be planted next to the Vimy Monument in France.

A limited number were made available and the Fenelon Falls Legion was fortunate in being approved to purchase two. They come with certification of their descendancy from Original Vimy Ridge Oaks acorns.

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Canada, the Fenelon Falls Legion is gifting the Village with two descendant saplings to be planted at the Cenotaph and the Veterans’ area of the Fenelon Falls Cemetery. Branch President, Wes Arscott, says “we hope that these saplings will thrive and be a living memorial to all Veterans who made the true north strong and free”.

For more information on the Fenelon Falls Legion, click here.

 

A Walk Down Movie Lane (August 2017)

July 18, 2017

Fenelon records memories of theatre

FTM-Midnight Madness-shirtsWhat a night it was during Midnight Madness!  Setting up the marquee sign in town generated a tremendous amount of excitement and crowds. Conversations were had of great moments remembered from the Fenelon Theatre days….including lots of first dates and kisses! Many of those moments were captured in writing on our ‘memory boards’.  Be sure to check our Facebook page for posted pictures of these boards.

https://www.facebook.com/fenelontheatremarquee/

Many thanks to all who stopped by our successful pop-up shop and purchased merchandise and/or gave donations to help support this fundraising campaign.

For those of you who may have missed us during Midnight Madness, you can also find the t-shirts and hoodies available for purchase at Grr8 Finds Market and The Fenelon Falls Museum, Maryboro Lodge.

Our new website is currently under construction. In the meantime keep tuned to Facebook for information on another pop-up shop coming soon!

‘With your donations, we can make this happen’

– Fenelon Theatre Marquee Group

19884502_1374219302614916_7742826406934947686_nFTM-Memory Board 2

Looking Back at Father Fenelon (June 2017)

May 30, 2017

An excerpt from the research done by Arlene Colman for the Canada 150 Celebration in Fenelon Falls.

François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon (1641-1679)  “ Father Fenelon”

 Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 8.47.22 AMHe was a Sulpician missionary and explorer in New France. He is sometimes confused with his younger half-brother of the same name who became celebrated as the Archbishop of Cambrai, in France.

Portrait of his half brother the Archbishop of Cambrai, France at left. (Perhaps there is a family resemblance)

He was ten years older than his half-brother. They both had the same father, Pons de Salignac de la Mothe Fenelon (1601-1663). Missionary Francois’ mother was Isabelle d’Esparbes de Lussan and the Archbishop’s mother was Louise de la Cropte. He came of ancient family of noble birth but small means.

Little is known of François’ early years beyond his birth in Château de Fénelon in Périgord. His mother, Isabelle d’Esparbes de Lussan died in 1645 and his father remarried in 1647. He had several brothers and sisters and two half-brothers. In 1665 he entered the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, France to pursue a religious life, a long standing family tradition. In 1666 he was so eager to devote himself to the missions in New France that he obtained permission to leave after spending only 15 months in the seminary in Paris. He set sail January 30, 1667 and arrived at Quebec on 27 June. Bishop Laval ordained him a priest on 11 June 1668.

He and Claude Trouvé left almost immediately to establish a mission (village of Cayugas) for the Iroquois near the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario. On 28 Oct. 1668 they reached the village of Kenté and spent the winter there.

Dollier de Casson appended to his Histoire du Montréal a  long letter written by Father  Trouvé, which is a résumé of the history of the Kenté mission. One can glimpse in it the great daring and stamina which characterized these athletic young missionaries who propelled their birch-bark canoes through rapids and ice floes as they travelled from Lake Ontario to Montreal and Quebec, wintering in the woods where at times they got lost, eating sagamité and pumpkin, and succeeding only in baptizing children or a few adults on the point of death.

This was the first Sulpician mission among the Iroquois and was abandoned in 1680. Below is a picture of an Ontario Heritage Plaque honouring the occasion. Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 8.48.07 AM

Father Fenelon spent the winter of 1669/70 at Ganatsekwyagon, (meaning “break in the cliffs” or “opening in the sand hills”) an Iroquoian village at the mouth of the Rouge River (near present day Port Hope). This resulted in the nearby Frenchman’s Bay being named for him.

Father Fenelon spent a winter, the exact date cannot be ascertained, living with the Indians in the area of Fenelon Falls. The Village was subsequently named for him. A school for Indian children was established at three islands in Lac Saint-Louis (above Lachine) and given the name Gentilly.

Father Fénelon was summoned there , as he had experience of Indian life. On that occasion Governor Buade de Frontenac wrote, 9 January 1673: “ The great zeal that Sieur Abbé de Fénelon has exhibited for several years in the propagation of Christianity in this colony, and the devotion that he has displayed in His Majesty’s service, constrain us to seek every kind of means of recognizing them and of pressing him to keep up the zeal he has shown up to the present; a zeal whose ardour has prompted him to abandon all the substantial establishments that his birth and merit might have entitled him to expect in France, in order to devote himself entirely to the conversion and education of the Indians.”

By 1674 Father Fenelon had been in New France for 7 years and accomplished much. However 1674 turned out to be the end of his Canadian adventures. The Governor-General of New France Buade Louis Frontenac (1622-1698) and Francois-Marie Perrot (1644-1691) Governor of Montreal were both competitors in the fur trade and used their authority to further these enterprises. Frontenac had Perrot arrested under rather dubious circumstances and charged with defying the authority of the Governor-General.

Portrait of Buade de Frontenac - artist unknown.

Portrait of Buade de Frontenac – artist unknown.

Father Fenelon incurred Governor Frontenac’s displeasure by his opposition to the arrest of Perrot. To further inflame matters on 25 March 1674 Father Fenelon spoke out from the pulpit in criticism of Frontenac’s actions and he too was arrested. Despite the great pressure that Frontenac brought to bear on the members of the Conseil Souverain they finally concluded that the issues involved were beyond their jurisdiction; they ordered that the cases should be referred to the King and that Perrot and the Abbé Fénelon should be sent to France to answer the charges laid against them.

His fellow clerics distanced themselves from him and Frontenac called for his expulsion. Frontenac took a very high and mighty attitude and requested the Sulpician Superior to expel Father Fénelon from the Society.

On arriving in France Perrot was shut up in the Bastille for some time and then sent back to his governor’s duties at Montreal. King Louis XIV (1638-1715) concluded that all concerned had been at fault, especially Frontenac who was severely censured for his actions and his attitude towards Father Fenelon. Frontenac returned to his duties as Governor with his authority curbed, limited to military matters and supervising but not interfering with officials.

As for Father Fénelon, he did not escape unscathed he was reprimanded by his religious superior Bretonvilliers for interfering in worldly matters, just as he had been in Montreal. He was forbidden to return to Canada. He withdrew from the Society of Saint-Sulpice and died at 38 years of age in 1679. Not even a trace remains of the mission he founded at Kente.

While his time in Canada was short his footprints can be found today as his name lingers on as follows:

  • Father Fénelon Catholic School Pickering, Ontario, named after an educator who gave up a life of wealth and comfort to become a priest and missionary.
  • Fenelon Boulevard in Dorval, Quebec
  • Ontario Provincial Heritage plaque
  • Frenchman’s Bay

His half-brother the celebrated Archbishop of Cambrai ran afoul of both the King and the Pope for his writings and controversial views. He was confined within the boundaries of the Archdiocese of Cambrai in his later years and died 7 January 1715 at 64 years of age.

Sources: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 327; Historical document “Salignac de La Mothe-Fenelon by Jean de Chanleiac; Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Catholic Encyclopedia and miscellaneous websites.

 

Fenelon Falls Freemasons Celebrate 300 Years With an Open House (May 2017)

May 2, 2017

Masons

2017 is a very important year to Ontario Freemasons and to all Freemasons around the world. It marks 300 years since Freemasonry was formally organized under a single Masonic government. This occasion took place in London, England at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern.

In the three hundred years since, Freemasonry has spread across the globe and become the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. The primary focus of the organization is to take a good man, and make him better, all the while observing the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. Part of this is developing an understanding of charity and benevolence. Freemasons have raised funds for many causes both locally and nationally. The Masonic Foundation of Ontario works diligently on projects that make life better for many people.

In Canada, Freemasonry has proven itself to be a fraternity that believes we are all equal no matter what our stations in life. Membership consists of doctors, lawyers, teachers, truck drivers and men from many other professions as well as labourers to name but a few. We have been known to have some men who stand out in their professions as members as well. We can boast many names such as Sir John A MacDonald, Tim Horton and one that many people in this area will be familiar with, Sir Sandford Fleming. All these men and all Freemasons share a common goal of helping to make each other a better man.

Ontario has 541 lodges with approximately 42000 members. Fenelon Falls is home to The Spry Lodge located at 10 Green St. It is housed in a two storey grey building located at the back of the high school. The lodge was established in 1884 and was located above stores on the main street. In 1935 the current building became the home of The Spry Lodge and is still in use today. The building was originally a continuation school for Fenelon Falls and was constructed in 1885 from stones taken from the canal and locks when they had been constructed.

On June 3, 2017, from 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M., the lodge will be holding an open house for the community to come and discover more about Freemasonry and what we do within the community. There will be many members on hand to show people the lodge room and answer questions. There will also be refreshments in the banquet room. All are invited to attend.

Don Young Retires from Ambulance Services after 39 years (Apr. 2017)

April 4, 2017

Don Young

In 1978 a young Don Young joined the Fenelon Ambulance services and opened the door to an ever changing, ever challenging career.

When Don started, Fenelon Ambulance was owned by Bruce Wood.  They had 3 full time paramedics, Bruce, Charlie Perrin and Rick Wilkins and 2 part time, Pug Allen and Don.  They worked on site 8-4 if they were called out in the night and they had a shift the next day they still had to complete their shift.   Their home base was first on Bond Street in Fenelon Falls and then when it was sold to the owner of Beaverton Ambulance Services it moved to Peace Valley and now has found its home on Wychwood Crescent.

The Original Fenelon Ambulance Service

Training at the time was held at Canadian Forces Base Borden. It was called the Fundamentals of Casualty Care, consisted of one month Monday to Friday of anatomy and physiology, advanced first aid, splinting for fractures, and light rescue techniques. They were trained in the Holger Nielson method of respiration and the Revised Silvester. These were the days before CPR.

1978 dodge van used for the ambulance service

They did all their own rescues.  Pug remembers the weekends in Fenelon Falls being like the wild west drinking and driving was common place as was driving in cars without seat belts.  Many times they were first on scene for a labour that came too quickly or was unexpected there were a number of Fenelon Falls babies born in the arms of the capable ambulance attendants.  A stretcher attached to water skis was created to transport those injured on the snowmobile trail or at the cottage which only had access by sled in the winter.  They had to be quick on their feet and quick with a solution to many different situations that could not be taught in a classroom. They needed to trust their partner explicitly.

Don’s quiet calm manner and his smile was a welcome sight in a chaotic situation.  Even when it meant answering a call dealing with family or friends. He spoke, you listened, he told you exactly what to do and you did it confidently because you knew Don would never steer you wrong. He was always soft spoken and anyone who was in his care knew instantly they were in good hands.   Servicing an area where he was born and grew up, where he knew most of the people whom he was called upon to help must have had its challenges but you never saw that with Don.  It did not matter what the situation who was involved his demeanor never changed.

On Sunday April 2nd  Don will close the doors of an ambulance for the last time.  The community of Fenelon Falls is thankful to have had Don as part of the Ambulance services for 39 years.

We hope you enjoy your retirement.

Article by Caroline Fenelius Carpenter

artsVest brings training to Arts Organizations in KL (Feb. 2017)

February 7, 2017

artsVest™ brings year-long training to arts organizations and matching funds to Kawartha Lakes’ cultural economy

 Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 2.42.01 PMKawartha Lakes, ON – January 30, 2017—Business for the Arts, Canada’s only national charitable organization that strengthens arts and culture in Canada by building partnerships between the private and cultural sectors, announced today that its artsVest program is returning to Kawartha Lakes. With funding support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Canada, $30,000 in matching funds will be delivered to local arts organizations. The program will also receive local municipal support from the City of Kawartha Lakes.

 

artsVest is Business for the Arts’ national flagship program that works directly with small to mid-sized arts organizations, equipping them with in-depth training, tools and mentorship relationships. These components are thoughtfully created to build sustainable partnerships between arts and businesses and to spark sponsorship opportunities. As an added incentive, artsVest participants can apply for matching grants – for every one dollar raised in sponsorship, Business for the Arts will match it with another dollar – doubling their sponsorship opportunity.

 

“Business for the Arts is thrilled to be bringing the artsVest program back to Kawartha Lakes,” says Aida Aydinyan, Vice President of Business for the Arts. “The generous funding and support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Government of Canada and the City of Kawartha Lakes speaks volumes to the importance and power of building relationships between the sectors. We look forward to seeing the incredible impact these arts organizations and businesses will have in Kawartha Lakes over the next year.”

 

“Establishing partnerships between our cultural and business sectors is a smart strategy. It builds the local creative economy and strengthens our communities,” says Mayor Andy Letham. “We are very pleased to have the artsVest program return to Kawartha Lakes.”

 

A ‘Sponsorship 101’ afternoon workshop followed by a program launch will take place on Monday, February 27. For details on this event, more on the program and how to apply, visit https://artsvestkawarthalakes.eventbrite.ca.

 

artsVest saw a successful cycle in its pilot year in Kawartha Lakes in 2013 where 7 arts organizations created 26 business partnerships. Matching funds of over $38,000 generated over $68,000 in private sector sponsorships and resulted in an investment impact of over $107,000 to Kawartha Lakes’ cultural economy.

 

artsVest also operates in four other Ontario communities in addition to Saskatchewan, Alberta, Toronto, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. Since the national expansion of the program in 2011, a total of 2,874 partnerships have been created between arts and businesses across Canada.

 

Notice of Statutory Public Meeting (Jan. 2017)

January 24, 2017

regarding proposed amendments to the Official Plans for the City of Kawartha Lakes, Lindsay and Fenelon Falls

KAWARTHA LAKES— The Planning Committee, on behalf of the Council of the City of Kawartha Lakes, will hold a statutory public meeting on Wednesday February 8, at 1pm in Council Chambers, City Hall, 26 Francis Street, Lindsay.

The purpose of the meeting is to receive information and public input on proposed amendments to enhance existing policies and establish new policies respecting the management of the City’s heritage program, including policies related to Heritage Conservation Districts.

Information relating to the proposed amendments is available from the City of Kawartha Lakes Development Services Department – Planning Division, Lindsay Service Centre, 180 Kent Street West, Lindsay, during regular office hours; by phone or email: Richard Holy, Manager of Policy Planning,  rholy@city.kawarthalakes.on.ca 705-324-9411 extension 1246, and at the City of Kawartha Lakes website at this link:

http://www.city.kawarthalakes.on.ca/property-development-by-law/planning/official-plans-zoning-by-law

Information relating to the proposed Heritage Conservation Districts is available by contacting Debra Soule, Arts Culture and Heritage Development Officer,  dsoule@city.kawarthalakes.on.ca 705-324-9411 extension 1498, and at the City of Kawartha Lakes website: http://www.advantagekawarthalakes.ca/en/keySectors/Heritage-Conservation-District-Studies.asp

Any person may attend the Public Meeting and/or make written or verbal representation either in support of, in opposition to, or in respect of the proposed amendments. At the public meeting presentations that would take longer than ten minutes should be presented in written form and summarized verbally.  All submissions will be considered.

Christmas Eve Church Services (Dec. 2016)

December 13, 2016

Each year, as the days darken in December and the coloured lights come on, I remember the first time I attended a Christmas Eve service after a very long absence from church.

The feeling had been building for weeks, as I shopped and baked and prepared for our family Christmas celebration. I remember buying a tiny ornament of the nativity and hanging it on the tree. But I wanted more. I wanted to hear the story – told by candlelight, the familiar carols and the sense of the holy that seemed to fill the church of my childhood on Christmas Eve.

christmas-church-cross-stitch-kit-3857-pIt felt strange walking into a church after so many years. But suddenly there it was, the story of the young mother and her babe born in the night, the startled shepherds, the angels singing. It was like coming home to something I had been missing without knowing it.

What I had missed was that deep-down assurance that God comes. That is the heart of the story, the heart of Christmas. God came — as the child of a poor family in an ordinary village. As one writer said, “To experience Christmas is to trust that God can do this thing again. God can again be born in me, in you, in this broken, gorgeous world.”

Why not find a church this Christmas, tuck yourself into a pew, listen to the story again, and share the light of a candle. Fenelon Falls offers many options for you to gather with other to celebrate Christmas.

Fenelon Falls United Church, Immanuel Baptist, The Salvation Army, St Andrews Presbyterian Church and Shilo Christian Centre have a Christmas Eve Service at 7 pm.

Trentside Baptist Church (Fenelon Falls) has Christmas Eve services at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm.

St. James Fenelon Falls has a Family service featuring a come-as-you-are pageant with live animals at 4 pm, and a traditional candlelight communion at 10 pm.

St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church Christmas Eve Mass at 4 pm and 10 pm

St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church Christmas Eve Mass at 4 pm and 10 pm

If you are looking for a more subdued Christmas worship service, Fenelon Falls United Church is holding a Quiet Christmas – a peaceful time of worship to remember loved ones, on Tuesday December 20th at 7 pm.

Farewell to The Fenelon Falls Movie Theatre (Nov. 2016)

November 29, 2016

By : Lois Densmore

theatre3The landscape of Fenelon Falls took quite a turn this week as the town said goodbye to the old movie theatre.

Originally built in 1948 by the Consky brothers, Lou, Max and Sam, the theatre presented a lineup of Disney movies and Main Street shows to Fenelon Falls residents and summer cottagers.

When it first opened, Saturday afternoons were a busy time with kids lined up to see the latest show. Admission was a quarter and popcorn was five cents. The building has changed hands a number of times and has not been open since the early 2000s.

The cinder-blocks used to build the theatre were hand made. Cement was poured into metal frames by Mark Fel and Milt Perryman. I heard from one of our locals that Milt is still alive at age 91 and living in Windsor.

theatre2The theatre was valued at $750k, on sale for $450k, and in 1995 sold for $50,000 to Jim McManamy and his brother Joseph.

The brothers had a theatrical background, Jim having more than 30 years of experience in theatre and film. He was also the head electrician at the Shaw Festival. They stored a lot of their equipment in what is now the Blue Oak Antique Shop – the building started life as the blacksmith shop doing work for local businesses in the farm community.

theatre4

 

Over the years the McManamy boys made many improvements to the theatre including a fire alarm system, plus all new plumbing and all new electrical. They also installed sounds-a-round in the auditorium plus new theatre seats and new floors. Changes were also made to the apartment – inner walls to outside walls were torn out, creating one 1400 sq. ft. flat, consisting of kitchen, dining room, living room, 2 bedrooms, and 2 four piece bathrooms with a Jacuzzi tub in the master.

A complete list of improvements can been seen at the following URL.

http://www.brushcut.com/ad_details/16781-Fenelon_Falls_Theatre_for_sale_Upgraded_Digital_Theatre_for_sale

In 2006 they hosted Bill Haley in the theartre6“Man in Black” tour, a tribute to Johnny Cash. The venue also played host to many other events including a few country bands, company off-sites and a few weddings with PowerPoint running on the bride and groom’s lives.

The McManamys believed it possible to keep culture alive in tourist towns and went to great lengths to raise money to maintain the theatre, and in July of that year offered a special fish and chip lunch with tickets purchased for the 2 PM show.

Comments on Facebook provides some history :

Jason used to come here as a kid with this cousins and sister back in the 70’s and watch all the latest ‘flicks’.

threatresignLarry remembers his uncle going to the weekend all night horror movies.

I had the opportunity to chat with residents who were here when the theatre was alive and kicking,

Jack fondly remembers the specials presented on the day after Santa Day. Brenda was an avid theatre goer from 1960 until the theatre closed.
Long time resident Marg was the librarian here in Fenelon for 17 years. She rarely missed a movie as they changed over weekly, but her ‘BiG DEAL’ was seeing ‘Gone with the Wind’. Other movies were shown via reel so you could always stay for a second showing if you wished…..Not ‘Gone with the Wind’, it was that special.

As with many of the joys of our childhoods, we said farewell to the theatre this week. It’s history however deserves to live on.


Note: for more about the future of the Fenelon Sign click here.

 

Walter Sweeney – Recognized for Substantial ‘Service Above Self’ (Nov. 2016)

November 15, 2016
President Dave Kish, City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham, newest Paul Harris recipient Walter Sweeney, City of Kawartha Lakes Counsellors Doug Emslie and Steve Strangway and City of Kawartha Lakes Fire Chief Mark  Pankhurst

President Dave Kish, City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham, newest Paul Harris recipient Walter Sweeney, City of Kawartha Lakes Counsellors Doug Emslie and Steve Strangway and City of Kawartha Lakes Fire Chief Mark
Pankhurst

A special evening of recognition for local resident, Walter Sweeney, was recently held at the Fenelon Community Centre. The Fenelon Falls Fire Fighters (Station #22) and St. John Ambulance (Kawartha Lakes) joined the Rotary Club of Fenelon Falls at the Rotary meeting.

Along with Rotary members, the City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor, Andy Letham, City of Kawartha Lakes Counsellors Doug Emslie and Steve Strangway and City of Kawartha Lakes Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst joined the evening festivities.

At the October Rotary meeting, the Paul Harris Award was presented to Walter Sweeney.  A resident of Fenelon Falls, Walter has 36 years of service as a volunteer fire fighter in Fenelon Falls, as well as a member of St. John Ambulance.

Walter spends most of his weekends at local fairs, public educational events or first aid classes throughout the area; always contributing his time to the good of others.

paulharris

Christine Keenan, our Master of Ceremonies for the evening gave some background information on Paul Harris. A Chicago attorney, Harris was best known for founding Rotary International in 1905.

In 1957, The Paul Harris Fellows program was established to show appreciation for and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the Rotary Foundation.

Paul Harris fellows include Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela, to mention a few; good examples of those who made daily contributions to Service Above Self.  

 

 The newest member of an elite group - the Paul Harris Society - Walter Sweeney receives his award from President Dave Kish


The newest member of an elite group – the Paul Harris Society – Walter Sweeney receives his award from President Dave Kish

 

On this special evening  in Fenelon Falls, one of our own became one of the elite group know as the Paul Harris Society made up of recipients of the prestigious award.

On behalf of the community of Fenelon Falls, “Thank You Walter” for all that you have done for our community. A well deserved award.

At the meeting, the St. John’s Ambulance was presented with financial support from the Rotary Club. The City of Kawartha Lakes Fire Fighters (Station 22) were also presented with financial support from The Rotary Club.

 

Council Approves Moving to Next Phase for 2 Heritage Districts (Oct. 2016)

October 4, 2016

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-1-30-26-pm

Following the completion of in-depth studies for the Oak Street neighbourhood in Fenelon Falls and for Downtown Lindsay, Council has approved moving ahead with the creation of District Plans for both areas.

Heritage Conservation Districts are areas with distinctive heritage character that warrant special attention in planning and development processes to ensure that cherished characteristics are conserved for future generations.

The Studies for the two areas, which were carried out by Bray Heritage and Associates, confirmed that both areas have sufficient merit to become Heritage Districts.

Class of 61′ Celebrates 55th Reunion (Jul. 2016)

July 4, 2016

Reunion June 11, 2016

On Saturday, June 18, most of the remaining members of the Fenelon Falls District High School’s graduating class of 1961 held their fifty-fifth reunion at the home of Arnott and Ruth Anne Matthews. 

After an afternoon of reminiscing, the group of twenty-two, which included several of the spouses, sat down to dinner at Nolan’s Restaurant in Fenelon Falls.  All agreed that it was wonderful to once again see former classmates and old friends. 

We all look forward to another reunion in five years!

The Real Jewel of the Kawarthas for Decades (Jun. 2016)

June 20, 2016
Boaters fill the locks in Fenelon Falls in the late 70's.

Boaters fill the locks in Fenelon Falls in the late 70’s.

Residents of Fenelon Falls know when summer time has hit. Fenelon Falls becomes the tourist mecca of Kawartha Lakes. Parking lots are full, grocery lines triple, restaurant seating is limited, ice cream flavours quadruple, and ohhhh…. the traffic.  Everyone wants a piece of this heaven we call Fenelon Falls. In the summer time, we are happy to share.

People flock to the Fenelon Falls area with their boats in tow, trailers filled with ATV’s, travel trailers stocked to the brim. Some come for day trips with picnic baskets, bathing suits, cameras and fishing rods.  Some come to check out curious stores and search for antiques – haven’t you heard?? We are the Grr8-est place for that too! Whatever the suits your pleasure, we always welcome you.

Some come to enjoy the pristine waters of Cameron Lake and take advantage of cruising the Trent Severn Waterways through Lock 34. Some come to enjoy the fishing or water sports. Some come to visit friends and family. Others come just to explore the many trail systems that wind through the nature that surrounds us. Whatever they come in search of, they also find the true jewel of Fenelon Falls.

Fenelon Falls has had a reputation for being the tourism hot spot of Kawartha Lakes for decades. While the other larger centres within our ‘greater city’ offer fancier stores, more variety for shoppers, some places offer lakes, trails and camping but nowhere else in Kawartha Lakes will you find the draw that you find in Fenelon Falls.

Shhh…we are going to let you in on a little secret. It is the people… The smiling faces that always take the time to chat with you. The kind locals that always go above and beyond to make you feel welcome. The friendly storekeepers that go out of their way to help you find what you need. The kind server that goes the extra distance to make sure that your meal is just how you like it. The gentleman that will hold the door for you. The well-mannered young person that lets you pass first. The family that will invite you to sit with them if you are alone. The overall good nature of the people in our little village.

This is the spirit of Fenelon Falls and this is the secret to why people keep coming back!!!! Our people are the true ‘Jewel’  in Fenelon Falls.  It has been this way for years. Come and see for yourself. We would love to have you.

—————————————–

Article by Corrie Lee

History of the Fenelon Dairy (May 2016)

May 23, 2016
Fenelon Dairy 1957

Fenelon Dairy 1957

At the corner of highway 35a and 35, lies a farm with strong roots to Fenelon Falls.  It was there that the Fenelon Dairy first began.  Jennie and Hugh Graham began the dairy in 1921.  They had 6 children, many who stayed in the area.  One, Al, who took over the Dairy at a later date.  In 1949, the Fenelon Dairy came to Fenelon Falls in the concrete building that now houses “Slices and Scoops”.  The building was built and operated by Hugh and then by his son Al. It opened in the spring of 1949 and first employed 4 staff.

In 1966, a quart of chocolate milk was 28 cents, 3 quarts of 2 per cent was 73 cents and a 1/4 pint of sour cream was 25 cents.  In 1969, the Dixie Lee franchise was established in Fenelon Falls.  In the summers following, business boomed. It was the place to go for ice cream on a hot summer day while watching the boats.  Flavours like rum and raisin, pralines and cream, supplemented the regular chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.  It was the place where many local youth had their first job, scooping ice cream or serving french fries or chicken snack packs.
After many renovations and changes, the business was sold in 1997 and the building was sold in 2000.  On a hot day, you can still buy an ice cream and watch the boats. Some would say it is still a summer Fenelon tradition.

About the author…

Caroline Fenelius Carpenter is a well know local writer and story teller. Her gift of sharing memories is perfectly suited to her vocation as a Celebrant. Caroline is available to host memorials, funerals, and celebrations. For more information call Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter – Funeral Celebrant Services at 705- 877 -2780 or contact her by email at carfencar@hotmail.com

The Story of One Spot in Fenelon (Apr. 26 2016)

April 25, 2016
Pictured above: George Armstrong and Alf Tiers

Pictured above: George Armstrong and Alf Tiers

Bert’s Appliances now stands on the property where George Armstrong owned and ran the garage and Ford Dealership in 1939. The business was run by Sandy, Mac and Jerry Armstrong.

The call of the war took Sandy and Mac overseas where they served in the armed forces.

On April 30, 1945 the news came out of the death of Hitler. On May 1, 1945 in the empty lot beside Armstrong Garage, where the theatre now stands, an effigy depicting Hitler was raised up and lit on fire. It drew a huge crowd.

Families gathered to celebrate the end of the war, the hope it brought and the long awaited return of the men who had gone overseas.

Jerry Armstrong continued the garage after the war until the early 1970’s. It changed hands a number of times housing Emmon Motors, then Herrington’s Garage and later a video store before becoming Bert’s Applinces.

The empty lot beside was bought in 1948 by the Consky family who owned the movie theatre in Minden and the Fenelon Theatre was built. When it first opened Saturday afternoons were a busy time with kids lined up to see the latest show. Admission was a quarter and popcorn was 5 cents. The building has changed hands a number of times and has not been open since the beginning of the 2000’s.

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About the author…

Caroline Fenelius Carpenter is a well know local writer and story teller. Her gift of sharing memories is perfectly suited to her vocation as a Celebrant. Caroline is available to host memorials, funerals, and celebrations. For more information call Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter – Funeral Celebrant Services at 705- 877 -2780 or contact her by email at carfencar@hotmail.com

Local Limestone Quarries (Mar. 2016)

March 28, 2016

Quarry 1920

 

With the demand for granite for mill stones, gravel for rail road infrastructure and limestone for the locks in Fenelon Falls, a quarry was needed around Fenelon Falls in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  In those days quarries were mined primarily by hand.  The demand exhausted the ability to supply locally and eventually rock had to be brought in from other areas to keep up with the construction timelines.

This picture is from a postcard with the text – “Quarry near Fenelon Falls in the 1920’s”. It is unclear, but many local history buffs believe it is actually the Burnt River Quarry.

The village of Burnt River, being part of the Canadian Shield that meets the Great Lakes Lowlands, is composed mostly of hard granite rocks. The Great Lakes Lowlands is made up of a lot of limestone. Limestone is a softer rock that is more widely used than the hard granite. Just west of Burnt River is a limestone ledge, often referred to as the Pinery Ledge. This ledge was ideal for a quarry.

The Victoria Railway was conveniently built right past this area in 1876, the same year that Alexander Rettie started the Burnt River Quarry. The Quarry was later taken over by Samuel Suddaby, who was responsible for growing it into a profiting business.

Limestone was a highly sot after commodity in the growing communities around Kawartha Lakes at the turn of the century.  The large lime kilns at Coboconk were built for converting limestone into agricultural and building materials . It was also crushed for gravel for road building. As a soft stone, it can also be carved into building blocks. Gravel and building blocks were the main products of the Burnt River Quarry.

Burnt River limestone building blocks were used all over Ontario. Locally, most of the railway trestles were built with these blocks. You can find them today at the Crego Creek trestle south of Kinmount & the old IB&O bridge abutments at Howland Junction.

At the peak of production, the Burnt River Quarry employed up to 40 men, many of the skilled workers recruited from Britain. During the height of production, 14 carloads of crushed stone was shipped out on the rails daily.

The quarry operated until 1924 when it was purchased by Hagersville Quarry Company and production ceased. The site was closed to ensure that Hagersville’s larger quarry sites would control a monopoly on the limestone market.  It stands abandoned to this very day.

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Article by Corrie Lee

The Old Arena Story (Mar. 2016)

February 29, 2016

FullSizeRenderIn 1966 Fenelon Falls was an idyllic town of 1400 people. A committee had been formed in the community to build a new arena.  The old arena was a tin building which had natural ice.  Games were played dependant on the weather and temperatures outside. 

A new arena was needed with an artificial ice plant.  A committee of five was formed to spearhead the project which in the end brought together a whole community.  $13,000 was raised through private donations and fundraising efforts including a $50 a plate dinner and $100 tickets where the winner could win a car. The dinner included some NHL referees, Al Stanley and his wife and was hosted by the writer Scott Young.  

Many residents donated leisure time to work on the construction of the building which was to house the ice making equipment.  Residents were side by side digging trenches in the evening for the pipes.  When the doors opened 150 boys participated in the first Minor hockey program and not one of them had to pay; in 1969 the price for hockey had risen to $6 and with that you got a stick. 

The residents who played a role in the building of the arena did not know that their efforts would house some legendary games, epic battles and quintessential performances for some of their own generations 50 years later until the those very walls were ripped down earlier this month. 

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About the author…

Caroline Fenelius Carpenter is a well know local writer and story teller. Her gift of sharing memories is perfectly suited to her vocation as a Celebrant. Caroline is available to host memorials, funerals, and celebrations. For more information call Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter – Funeral Celebrant Services at 705- 877 -2780 or contact her by email at carfencar@hotmail.com

When the Swedes Came to Fenelon – Part 3 (Feb. 16, 2016)

February 15, 2016

Read Part 1 here.         Read Part 2 here.

The Swedes Furniture Factories

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The Allan Wood Product factory changed hands in 1974. It was bought by a Swedish furniture company. The new factory was named Swedfurn. Before it opened its doors to employees to begin production on furniture countless hours had been spent.

Machines were brought in, bought at auctions across Ontario, the cement walls of the old factory were painted in the colours of the Swedish flag – blue and yellow. The building was heated by steam. The furnace was heated with sawdust which was filled by Lorne Robinson who later owned Lorne’s Bait Shop.

20 employees worked at Swedfurn manufacturing their wooden framed upholstered furniture. Furniture was delivered by King Wood to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver to stores that included Sears, IKEA and Idomo.

The company sponsored hockey teams and was active in the community. Some Swedish families settled in or visited Fenelon Falls for a time with ties to the furniture industry. They included the Fenelius’, the Skoog’s, the Edvinsson’s, the Walskog’s, the Josefsson’s, the Alfredsson’s, Ann Knall and the Nilsson’s.

Ingvar and Maud Skoog owned Swedfurn from 1975 until 1984. The Alfredsson’s owned it from 1984 until 1990. For many years later it was owned and run by Maud Skoog and her sons, Daniel and Chris as Swedesign. The building of the original factory was demolished about 3 years ago.


 About the author…

Caroline Fenelius Carpenter is a well know local writer and story teller. Her gift of sharing memories is perfectly suited to her vocation as a Celebrant. Caroline is available to host memorials, funerals, and celebrations. For more information call Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter – Funeral Celebrant Services at 705- 877 -2780 or contact her by email at carfencar@hotmail.com

When The Swedes Came to Fenelon – Part 2 (Feb. 2, 2016)

February 1, 2016

Memories of Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter and Family

Click here to Read Part 1

Fenelon at that time boomed in the summer with cottagers beginning their pilgrimage in late May to their family retreats. It was a dry town, with restaurants like June and Fred’s, Krazy’s, and the Chinese Restaurant, legally not being able to serve liquor until the mid or late 70’s. There was a liquor store where you could give your order to the clerk on a piece of paper and she would go in and find it in the back. Sider’s Jeweller’s and Canadian Tire greeted you off the bridge. Businesses on the main street included Brandon’s Home Hardware, Watson’s, Sobko’s IGA, Kawartha Sight and Sound, Victoria Sports, Palmer’s Insurance, and the Gazette office. The iconic Fenelon Theatre ending the downtown core.

With these new families came strange customs, crazy ideas and interesting people. The other families that included Fenelon Falls as their home were the Edvinsson’s, the Walskog’s, the Alfredsson’s, Ann Knall, the Nilsson’s, the Josefsson’s. Swedish magazines and books were circulated amongst our families.  Obscure ingredients and goodies were supplied and shared by visitors from home or travelled home by someone in one of the families.

Swedes

Midsommar and the strange cross covered with leaves and rings of flowers on the front lawn of our fixer upper of a home on Francis Street brought fabricated rumblings of a Ku Klux Klan connection. Later, parties put on by the Skoogs at the cottages they rented towards the beach, brought front page fodder for the two local newspapers – the North Kawartha Times and The Fenelon Falls Gazette – of the ‘Crazy Swedes’ and their strange traditions.

In late August, our families would be questioned by the local fishermen by the falls. We would catch buckets of crayfish with traps and sticks pierced with Schneider’s wieners. We would then take them home to cook them in a big pot filled with dill and salt. Parties with songs and the traditional snaps, a medicinal alcoholic drink, and a group of friends always ended with laughter, vibrant discussions and song.

Whenever Swedish friends or relatives came to visit, the beach was a popular place. We were usually guaranteed a visit from the local OPP, who always arrived with a grin on their faces asking us to please explain to our guests that topless sun bathing was sadly not permitted in Canada.

Over the years our traditions, foods, recipes, crafts, music and company has been shared with the many friends that we have made in the town of Fenelon Falls. What started as a Sunday drive, a lick of Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream from the dairy, a seat at the beach on the shores of Cameron Lake and a thought that this place “we could grow old in” has resulted in our roots embedded deep 40 years later.

**Watch for Part 3 in the Feb 16th, 2016 edition of the Town Crier: click here to sign up.

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About the author…

Caroline Fenelius Carpenter is a well know local writer and story teller. Her gift of sharing memories is perfectly suited to her vocation as a Celebrant. Caroline is available to host memorials, funerals, and celebrations. For more information call Caroline at 705 – 877 – 2780 or contact her by email at carfencar@hotmail.com

 

When The Swedes Came to Fenelon Falls (Jan. 2016)

January 18, 2016

Memories of Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter and her Family – Part 1

 

Fenelius

In 1972 a young Swedish family newly immigrated to Canada made their way up Highway 35. It was a usual thing for them to do, seeing what their new homeland had to offer. They came to the small town of Fenelon Falls. They parked their car on the main street where they had angle parking. They walked with the carriage down Water Street stopping at the dairy for an ice cream. They made their way down along the canal up a little hill over the railroad tracks towards the beach. The concrete docks would not be built for another few years. They sat, looked at each other and said “this is where we could grow old.”

In 1974, Jan Fenelius returned to the area. He was looking for a factory within a 100 mile radius of Toronto. The Swedish furniture manufacturer Swedfurn was looking to expand into the North American market. Jan had visited the east coast, ripe with grants from the government and had taken a serious look at the Cornwall area. He ended up in Lindsay, where the real estate agent introduced him to the newly retired banker, Jim Patterson. They took him up to see the Allan Wood Product factory that had been built in the 1930’s. It was coming up for auction on Wednesday, this was Thursday. Jan returned to Toronto and sent a telex to head office in Sweden. Despite a few complications, they arrived on Sunday. After a fast payment from an order from Simpson Sears into a Canadian account, they were able to procure the factory for a good price. The invasion of the Swedes onto the idyllic town was about to begin.

In 1975 there were 1600 inhabitants in Fenelon Falls. Most of them related or long standing residents with multiple generations and deep roots into the limestone landscape. We quickly became the crazy foreigners but our roots were only beginning to take hold…

**Watch for Part 2 of this continuing saga in the Feb 2nd, 2016 edition of the Town Crier: click here to sign up.

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About the author…

Caroline Fenelius Carpenter is a well know local writer and story teller. Her gift of sharing memories is perfectly suited to her vocation as a Celebrant. Caroline is available to host memorials, funerals, and celebrations. For more information call Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter – Funeral Celebrant Services at 705- 877 -2780 or contact her by email at carfencar@hotmail.com

 

Five Generations Living Locally (Dec. 2015)

December 7, 2015

Blackmore Family Has Five Generations in Local Area

The Blackmore family is celebrating 5 Generations living in the local area. The family homestead began in 1945 and has been going strong ever since. The family legacy has also grown deep roots in our community with combined years of volunteering and contributing to our quality of life.

The story began in 1945 when Herb Blackmore started work at the Ministry of Natural Resources in Burnt River. Herb came to this area from Renfrew County. He joined the Army at age 20 and served as a Gunner in England, France for D-Day and ended in Germany.

He met and married his wife Dorothy (Doll) Summers while in England. In 1946, Doll and son, John, joined him in Burnt River where the couple raised a family. Herb worked for Jack Austin Saw Mill in Kinmount until the 50’s when he served on the D.E.W. Line in northern Canada for many year. He then worked for Beamish Construction from 1956-1985 when he retired. Doll raised the 4 kids, 3 boys and a girl, while he was away. Doll passed away in 1989. Herb was active in the Orange Lodge, coached hockey, volunteered at local minor hockey and the Kinmount Fair and was best known for being the local bingo caller, bowling and playing cards.

His oldest son, John Blackmore, was born Sept 16, 1944 in England and came to Canada with his Mother (Doll) in 1946. John married Sandy Cripps and had 4 daughters who grew up in Burnt River – Pauline, Jennifer, Debbie, and AJ.

John worked for Bennett and Wright as a sprinkler systems installer in Toronto then at the Firestone in Lindsay until the business closed. John then went to work in Lindsay as a jail guard for 28 yrs. He was offered a promotion in the jail’s office until 1995. John and Sandy are best known for their work with the volunteer fire department in Burnt River from 1977- 2015. They were active with the New Horizons Club, Community Care, Meals on Wheels, Community Centre, and President of the Civitan Club.

Granddaughter, Jennifer, works at Kawartha Lakes Winery and lives in Fenelon Falls. She has a son, Scott who is the Great – Grandson and the father of the first of the 5th Generations of Blackmores. Great – Great – Granddaughter, Alliyah was born August 11th, 2015 and they live on Crystal Lake.

Debbie works as a Entertainment Promoter and also lives in Fenelon Falls. She has a daughter, Alyssa who is the Great – Granddaughter and mother of the second of the 5th Generation of Blackmores. Great – Great – Grandson, Riley was born August 25th, 2015 and they live in Fenelon Falls.

This family has a long history in our area and each generation has made a contribution to our community and towards the services and recreational facilities we enjoy today.

 

History of the Santa Claus Parade

November 23, 2015

 

image-1The Santa Claus parade has been a part of the culture in Fenelon Falls for many years. Pictorial history dates back to the early 1930’s. At this time, the parade was held during the day and businesses and local dignitaries would enter floats and dress for the popular occasion. Fire departments, military personal, bands and local clubs would help draw the crowds.

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In the 30’s Santa arrived on a black train engine contributed by W.T.Robson & Sons. The engine was built over their International truck and Santa Claus rode in the back. After the parade the train engine was parked at the corner of Colborne and Francis and Santa would stay for the children to visit with him and his helpers would hand out candy.

Olive Brokenshire,  longtime resident of Fenelon, remembers the excitement that the parade created in those days.   “My husband Oscar and I were just courting in the 30’s and I remember him bringing me from Lindsay to watch the parade in Fenelon.” says Olive. “It was a tradition we continued once we were married and raising our family in Fenelon. The kids loved parade day.”

Olive’s daughter, Sharon Bookie Bell, remembers the parade as a child a generation later in 1956.   “I was between the bridges and when I heard the siren that the parade was coming. I was inside out with excitement. I was 6 years old.  Allen Wood Products gave out skipping ropes with wooden handles. What a prize! My Grandpa commented that Mr. Frost was in the parade (Premier Leslie Frost). I looked right into my Grandpa’s eyes and said ‘has he come to frost all our windows – Is it Jack Frost, Grandpa?'”

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For more information on the history of our community pick up a copy of Fenelon Falls Then and Now from the Library ~$30.00

15 Years of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil (Oct 2015)

October 25, 2015

candlelight vigil

Over the years candles have been laid in the name of every major conflict Canada has participated in from the North West Rebellion to Afghanistan and the names inscribed aren’t just of those no longer with us. Currently serving men’s and women’s names adorn many of those flickering tributes.

November 10th, 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the Fenelon Falls Candlelight Tribute and with the continued support of our great community the Fenelon Falls Legion aims to make it the biggest tribute yet by laying 1500 candles. Help them reach their goal this year by sponsoring one or more candles in the name of a veteran, current service person, branch of service, battle, or other international mission.

The Candlelight Vigil will be held on November 10th, 2015 beginning with step off at 7:30pm. Everyone is invited to join the parade to the cenotaph, leaving from the locks in downtown Fenelon Falls.

You can sponsor a candle for $6.00 today by contacting the branch at 705 887 3041, or by contacting Branch Poppy Chairperson, Wes Arscott at 705 792 8132 or by email at wesarscott@hotmail.com

Heritage Conservation Study for Oak St (Oct 2015)

October 11, 2015
getlstd-property-photoA Heritage Conservation District Study is now underway for the Oak Street neighbourhood in Fenelon Falls. Bray Heritage consultants are undertaking the study and have met with Advisory Committee for the area on September 21st.Public consultation is an important part of the study process. People who live in, or who own property within the proposed district will have the opportunity to work with the consultants to identify the attributes that they feel are an important part of their area’s character, and to contribute to an overall future vision for a potential district.Information on the study’s progress will be posted on the City’s website at:

http://www.advantagekawarthalakes.ca/en/keySectors/Heritage-Conservation-District-Studies.asp

For more information please contact:

Debra Soule – Arts, Culture and Heritage Development Officer,

Economic Development, dsoule@city.kawarthalakes.on.ca

705 324 9411, extension 1498

 

Railway Station in Fenelon (Sept 2015)

September 28, 2015

FullSizeRender

It was a great day for Fenelon Falls when the first train reached the village with freight and passengers in 1876. The event would change the future of Fenelon Falls forever.

The first railway station was built in 1876 but partially burned down in 1880. In 1885 when the Grand Truck Railway took over the Victoria Railway, they built the station that currently sits on Lindsay Street in Fenelon Falls. It was built with the same design as all the stations along the line and painted the common Railroad Red.

There was a waiting room, operators windows and an office with a baggage area located in behind. William Lockhart was the first station agent. When the railway closed operations and the tracks were lifted in 1983, the village bought and restored it. It was first used by the Chamber of Commerce as an Information Centre and is now home to the Fenelon Station Gallery.

Railway station

The Kenosha – Exploring the Waterways (Sept 2015)

August 30, 2015

Kenosha

Have you been out exploring the waterways around Fenelon Falls? Traveling the Fenelon River, part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, has been a popular past time for centuries.

Once one of the main trade routes in the area, the river that flows through our community has seen many changes over the years but remains an active economic stimulus to this day. From the days of birch bark canoes through the height of the steam boat era to the allure of modern boating tourists, our waterway has sustained as a major attraction to the Kawarthas.

The Kenosha was one of the early excursion steamers. It was the paddle type side-wheeler known firstly as the Crandella but later renamed the Kenosha. This boat, owned by Captain Crandell had a passenger carrying capacity of 400. It is pictured above in 1907 with both upper and lower levels full, leaving the wharf in Fenelon.

The Kenosha was one of the main modes of transportation for the flocks of tourists, summer residents and workers to the community of Fenelon Falls. It also delivered the mail and packages to local businesses. In late 1800’s into the early 1900’s, the Kenosha traveled regularly to Fenelon Falls, boasting a luxury and scenic water voyage for it’s passengers.  Once the railroad route though the area was completed, the commercial revenue and much of the tourist traffic transferred to the quicker and more frequent mode of transportation. The demand for water transport diminished and the steamboat era came to an end by late 1930’s.

The desire to experience the scenic waterway did not end with the steamboats. It is now replaced with personal water-crafts of all shapes and sizes. Luxury cabin cruisers, speed boats, houseboats and fishing boats are seen daily at the docks in Fenelon. While the boats may have changed over the years, the beauty of our gorge and waterfalls has not. If you have not had a chance to see Fenelon Falls by water, put it on your bucket list! The beauty will astound you.

 

McArthur House Hotel in Fenelon (Aug 2015)

August 3, 2015

McArtherhotel

As you cross the bridge and enter the downtown area of Fenelon Falls, the 3 story property on the corner of Colburne and Water Street was recognized as a prime piece of real estate as far back as 1850 when a Log Tavern was built there by Daniel Comstock.

The old Log Tavern burned to the ground in 1854 and was replaced by a substantial structure known as The McArthur House Hotel. The structure, built by Joseph McArthur, was one of the first 3 story buildings in Fenelon Falls and had accommodations for 50 guests at $1.50 per night.

The extensive property grounds extended all the way to May Street and included stables, storage areas, a livery stable which managed the rent-a-horse service provided by the hotel.

JohnAldousWhen Mr. McArthur passed away, his wife sold these estate holdings to John Aldous in 1883. Mr. Aldous geared the clientele to commercial travellers, men working in the village and people requiring a stopping place traveling North or South. He later converted many of the rooms to apartments and rented store fronts on Colborne Street.

Mr. Aldous was known for his horsemanship and he won many races with his horse, Little Hector. He and his family ran the hotel until 1947.

Paper Mill Once Stood at the Beach Park (July 2015)

July 5, 2015

papermill

The area we now enjoy as the Garnet Graham Lakeside Park and Beach was once home to the Napanee Paper Mill Company. In 1882 the pulp mill was built along side the shores of Cameron Lake and employed over 150 local men for it’s operations.

The woodland surrounding the area was full of Basswood which was used for pulp in paper mills at the time. This made the Fenelon Falls location a perfect choice for the company to invest in the large mill. The pulp mill operated day and night producing many tons of the pulp which was shipped out on the Grand Truck Railway that ran adjacent to the mill.

By 1903, alternative methods of paper making rendered the mill’s processes obsolete so they sold the building to the Standard Chemical Company of Toronto. This company manufactured wood alcohol, sulphate of lime and charcoal. They provided many jobs and prosperity to Fenelon Falls until it burned down in 1911.

A large chimney reaching 110 feet high was left on the property and remained as a landmark for many years. It was taken down in 1957 when the top 30 feet of bricks began to deteriorate and drop making it hazardous to pedestrians. It took a week to remove the 5 brick thick walls.

The next time you are enjoying some time at the park, try to imagine the old structures that once stood on the lands. You may be enjoying your picnic on the same spot that the mill workers once ate their lunches by the water.

To learn more about the history of Fenelon Falls read “Then & Now” written by Marg Allen, Kathy Arscott and Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter. Copies are available for purchase at the Public Library.

Sturgeon Point – One of CKL’s Best Kept Secrets (June 23, 2015)

June 22, 2015

Sturgeon Point

John Langton was one of the first recorded residents near the lands referred to as Sturgeon Point, having lived on the Fenelon side of the Blythe farm in 1833. At the time, the actual land at the point was really only ever a summer excursion and picnic area for the Lindsay town-folks and surrounding residents.

Ship builder, George Crandell, bought 100 acres at the point and built the Sturgeon Point Hotel that opened in 1876 which proved to be a successful venture. Boating regattas, dances and grand summer galas were some of the events held there.  Special trains ran from Port Hope and Toronto, bringing up to 2,000 visitors to Lindsay to be transported by boat to his hotel.

The Crandella (pictured above), obviously one of Crandell’s boats, was just one of the many steamships that made it’s way to the docks at Sturgeon Point, transporting summer cottagers and visitors to the area.

The hotel ‘s popularity encouraged the development of more cottages and summer residences. The hotel was sold to Dunham of Cobourg and was later destroyed by fire in 1898.  Crandell kept most of the 100 acres of waterfront property and sold it off in lots which were quickly bought and developed by wealthy business people wanting a cottage in the area.

The area remained a summer playground for the descendants of the original cottagers, some 5 and 6 generations later, inheriting the properties.  There are now many newcomers buying into the lands and within the last 60 years, the summer residences have largely been winterized and now house many full time residents, primarily retires.

Historically, the ‘old families’ have been able to discourage day-trippers and tourism to the area in an attempt to keep it exclusive. Although one might feel like they are in a private development, the area is part of the City of Kawartha Lakes and as such maintained by tax dollars. The Public Beach area is public land except for the small concrete pad which is part of the Sturgeon Point Land Trust.

Located only 10 mins from Fenelon Falls, Sturgeon Point is nice option to bring your family for a picnic, swim and day by the water.

 

90 Bells to Celebrate 90 Years (June 9, 2015)

June 8, 2015

F_F_U_CThe Fenelon Falls United Church is planning on ringing the church bells 90 times at 12pm on June 10th as a joyful celebration of the 90th anniversary of the United Church of Canada.  United Church congregations across Canada are being invited by the Right Rev. Gary Paterson to ring their church bells 90 times on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, to mark the 90th anniversary of The United Church of Canada.

“Whether you’re the only United Church in town with a lone church bell ringing, or in a community where it’s possible for many church bells to ring in unison, may we all make a joyful noise to the Lord on June 10,” says the Moderator, the Right Rev. Gary Paterson.

The United Church of Canada came into being on Wednesday, June 10, 1925. The inaugural service began at 10:30 a.m. That is why 10:30 a.m. was chosen as the time, in every time zone, for United Churches to celebrate their presence in the community.