Chaplin’s Dairy in Glen Tay

 

Whenever I saw the big white and pink Chaplin’s Dairy truck pull into the yard, I had only one thing on my mind; and that was their delicious chocolate milk.  It came in small pint-sized glass bottles, and had a round, waxed cardboard cap on the top to seal it in. The cap had a little tab, so that you could pull it off of the bottle, and the pint bottle was the perfect size for small eager hands.  After the cap was off, I was just seconds away from tipping the bottle and tasting the richest, creamiest chocolate milk ever produced.

Chaplin's Dairy milk tab

 

Our Dad worked for Chaplin’s Dairy for decades.  He drove one of the big pink and white trucks, and had a regular ‘route’ of customers in Perth.  He used a big, black, metal carrier to transport milk from the back of the truck to the customer’s front door.  The carrier had eight slots, and each slot held a quart bottle of milk.  He also had a book of order slips. It was a small, thick pad of paper about three by six inches, stapled together at the end.  There was a top sheet that was numbered, a small sheet of carbon paper under that, and a blank sheet at the bottom.  On the top copy, Dad wrote the customer’s name, address, and what they had ordered, along with the total price and that was the customer’s copy.  Because each order was written on top of the sheet of carbon paper, the Dairy had a carbon copy underneath for their records.

Once in a while Dad would bring me to the Dairy and I was fascinated to see the many steps that the milk went through in order to end up on someone’s table.  It was fun to sit in the big truck so high up, and the ride was very different from our car at home.  The truck bounced up and down a lot more, and made a lot of noise, as we drove down the lane, and up the third line toward Perth.  It was neat to look outside, and see how much lower the other cars were on the road.  Every time we’d go over a bump or hill the truck would bounce again, and of course there were no seat belts in those days, so it was quite exciting.

We’d drive along until we could see Nick and Doreen Webber’s house at the corner, and we’d begin to slow down.  Just a bit past Webber’s house we turned right, and Chaplin’s Dairy was a small building on the right side of the road, just up from the corner at Glen Tay.

We’d park the truck, and I would follow Dad into the Dairy.  As soon as he opened the door I could see all of the steam in the air.  It was really, really, humid.  The inside of the building was grey and concrete and the floor was always wet.  Sometimes we’d see one of the Chaplin brothers Cameron or John, and they always wore big rubber boots and the steam rose up all around them.

Because the milk came in glass bottles in those days, a lot of the steam was produced from the big machine that they used to sterilize the bottles.  When the customers were finished with their milk, they would rinse their bottles (hopefully!), leave them on their doorstep for Dad, and he would bring them back to the Dairy that evening.   John or Cameron Chaplin would take the empty bottles and put them through the bottle washer.  The bottle washer washed, rinsed, sterilized, and then rinsed again, so the bottles were sparkling clean and ready for the next batch of milk.

The next machine filled the bottles, then capped them with the little waxed cardboard caps.  There was a large room toward the back of the Dairy, and that was a cold storage room, where the freshly bottled milk was kept.  Most of the time when I visited I saw them bottling homogenized, 2 per cent, skim, and chocolate milk. Sometimes, one of the Chaplins, would hand me a pint bottle of chocolate milk, right off of the filling machine.  I would gladly accept, and thought to myself that if Mother was here she would say that I was going to spoil my supper.  Dad never said anything though, because he knew how much I loved Chaplin’s chocolate milk.

Chaplin’s Dairy was a family business.  The dairy was started by Delbert Chaplin in the early 1900s, and his brother Edgar Chaplin also worked in the business. The Chaplin family owned a large 300 acre farm at R.R 4 Perth and Delbert demonstrated his ingenuity by setting up a method to process their milk from their Holstein herd.  At first he operated the business from their farm, but later in 1935 he built the Dairy building at Glen Tay corners.

Delbert Chaplin

1920  – Edgar Chaplin, (Uncle of John and Cameron Chaplin)

When Chaplin’s Dairy began to deliver milk from the new location at Glen Tay, the quarts of milk were just 5 cents each, and it was delivered by horse and wagon. The milk was not bottled at that time but was distributed to the customers from a large tank at the back of the wagon.  The customer would leave a container on their front step or front porch, and Delbert or Edgar would ladle the milk out of the larger can with a pint or quart measure.

The Chaplin farm was producing an average of 3,000 quarts of milk per day and John, Cameron and their brother Don processed the milk and delivered it in the Perth area.

Chaplin's early milk bottles

The demand for their milk increased, and they expanded, and made arrangements to have five neighbouring farms supply their business with additional milk.  They were also producing chocolate milk and buttermilk at that time.  They made butter as well, but only to supply their own families and it wasn’t for sale to the public.

Chaplin's truck

L to R: Gordon Chaplin, (Royce Frith seated in truck), Donald ‘Don’ Chaplin

By 1945 the sons had taken over the dairy farm and Don took on the responsibility of managing the farm, but their father continued to be active at the Dairy.   They continued to expand their business and operated for many decades.  They expanded their product line to include grape juice and orange juice.They were successful and respected in the community and were known for their high quality products throughout the Perth area.

Tim Stafford: ” When I turned nine, Mom told Dad that she could no longer put up with  me on Saturdays because of my bad behavior.  That’s the ‘how and why’ of me working with Dad, on the milk truck for Chaplin’s Dairy.

I wasn’t much help at first, but he gave me fifty cents and a chocolate bar purchased at McGlade’s service station, on Gore Street.

Later, when I got my driver’s license, John Chaplin hired me and another high school student, Don Lindsay, to do his milk route, and the Christie Lake cottage route, while he covered the other routes and the ‘inside’ workers for summer vacations.

We were making $25.00 a week, plus we were expected to eat at the restaurants we delivered to on a rotating basis.  The daily meal was paid for by Chaplin’s Dairy.  John Chaplin’s favourite restaurant was Wong’s Chinese, but Don and I preferred ‘The Bright Spot’, where Muz MacLean, Hillis Conroy’s son-in-law worked.  We usually ordered grilled cheese, french fries, and cokes.”

Chaplin's quart milk bottles

Quart milk bottles –  1960s

 

Roger Stafford“I am not positive, but I believe I was about 12 when I started working Saturdays and summers with Dad on the milk truck. The first Summer I worked with Dad, our brother, Tim, was working with Grant or Gary Chaplin.

They were delivering to the stores and restaurants in Perth, and to summer camps and cottages. They drove to Christie Lake to deliver to Cavanagh’s (general store) and the Lodges (Norvic Lodge and Arliedale Lodge) . I believe Tim had been Dad’s helper on the milk truck, prior to me starting to work with Dad.  

We used to be at the dairy by 7:00 a.m., and usually got home between 17:30 and 18:00 in the evenings. When I first started with Dad, we delivered milk out of the back of a pickup with a tarp over the glass bottles to protect them from the sun and cold.  Milk was 23 cents a quart bottle, and 25 cents for chocolate milk. We also had pints and half pints in glass bottles. Whipped cream and buttermilk were also carried on the truck. It was not long after I started that we used an enclosed truck to deliver out of. It was much easier, but it had no air conditioning, and a piss-poor heater. When I worked six days a week in the summer, I earned $6. for the week.”

In 1970 Don decided to sell the farm and a few years later in 1974 John and Cameron made the decision to stop processing the milk themselves and just be distributors.  In total, John worked for 42 years in the business and Cameron for 30. At that time Chaplins were one of the last small dairies that still processed their own milk.  They began to sell milk for Clark’s Dairies in Ottawa.  John felt that there were too many changes taking place at that time and that the cost would be too prohibitive to continue processing their own milk.

The milk industry in the 1970s was changing from glass bottles to paper cartons,although most customers preferred the taste of milk in glass bottles. The process of returning and washing the bottles was becoming too time consuming, and too expensive. The federal government was also insisting that businesses use the metric system.  This conversion would have meant purchasing new equipment because their milk was sold in pints and quarts, and they would have to begin selling in litres.

At the point in time when John and Cameron decided to sell the business, they had 1,000 customers, and a modern fleet of trucks, doing 12 runs per day, with four salesmen.  They also offered a complete line of dairy products which included cottage cheese, eggs and also several types of juice. Their last delivery was made by Cameron, on Sept. 17, 1977 and their milk at that time, was 65 cents a quart.

Chaplin’s Dairy was sold that year to Bill McConachie.  Bill was formerly a driver for many years who brought the milk from Ottawa.  His plan was to begin delivering milk to Smiths Falls, to increase his market.

It’s likely difficult for the younger generation to believe that milk was delivered door to door each day, or that it had no expiry date stamped on the bottle.  The milk was fresh from the cow either that day, or the day before, processed at Chaplin’s Dairy, and delivered right to your door step.  There was no need for an expiry date.  It’s also interesting that they managed to have a pretty successful recycling process of sterilizing the bottles and getting them back on the trucks by the next morning.  That was all accomplished without ‘blue bins’ and recycling plants.

Did the milk taste better in a glass bottle?  Yes, it did; and anyone who has drank it from a bottle will tell you the same thing.  We certainly drank enough of the stuff at our house to offer an opinion on that.  One of the benefits of having your father work as a milk man is that he brought home enough milk for the family, each night, in his milk carrier.  When you are raising five children, that’s a lot of milk.  We were fortunate to have had such fresh milk each and every day and we never ran out.

Chaplin's pint milk bottle

One Pint, glass milk bottle, 1960s

Although the work wasn’t easy, I believe that Dad enjoyed his customers in Perth, and the quick chats had each day.  Whenever Mother and Dad shopped at the IGA on Wilson Street, customers from his milk route would often come up to say ‘Hello’, and exchange a few words.  Dad was well liked, and at Christmas his customers showered him with gifts.  He received many, many boxes of chocolates, packs of cigarettes and one and two dollar bills in lovely Christmas cards.  He was always late getting home Christmas Eve, and part of the reason was that his customers took a few extra minutes to wish him a Merry Christmas, and give him their gifts.

We were fortunate to have grown up at a time when there were family businesses, producing high quality products, and selling them door to door.  At one time we had a milk man, an egg man- (Mr. Greer), and a bread man, delivering right to our door.

As the years passed by, many of the small family businesses have closed down, one by one, and in many cases our products are produced far away by people we don’t know. There are dates stamped on the products now telling us when they are destined to ‘expire’.  We often have no idea what processes are used to make some of the things that we eat, and so we purchase them on faith alone.  Gone are the days when we always knew what we were eating, and even knew the people that made the goods.

Now, we are left with the memories of Chaplin’s, our small, local dairy in Glen Tay. It was a place where we could stop by for a visit and be greeted by John, Don, or Cameron in their big rubber boots, clouds of steam rising all around them. With a big smile they’d pluck a pint of chocolate milk off of the line, and hand it to a little girl from down the road. Their products were made with pride and care, and they were confident that their customers would be satisfied.  For years, Chaplin’s Dairy was a well known business in our community, and their products were enjoyed in Perth and area homes for many, many decades.

 

 

 

(excerpts from ‘Lanark County Kid: My Travels up and down the Third Line’) 

LC Kid

Memories of working at Chaplin’s Dairy – my brothers Tim Stafford and Roger Stafford, excerpts from the book ‘Recipes and Recollections: Treats and Tales from our Mother’s Kitchen’

R and R bookmark image

photos:  Stafford family collection,  Perth Remembered

 

http://www.staffordwilson.com

 

 

 

 

5 Lessons from Our Country Garden

cucumbers and onions in vinegar

 

Lessons from the Country Garden

Looking back, our humble garden on the Third Line, taught us some important life lessons.

1. Patience

We learned patience, in the long, slow, process, of waiting months, for the vegetables to grow.

2. Responsibility

We learned the value of careful watchfulness, making sure that the weeds were pulled, and the ground was kept moist.

3. Enjoying the Fruits of our Labour

We also learned the rewards of hard work, as we carried the ripened vegetables into the house, anticipating the flavours of summer.

4. A Penny Saved, is a Penny Earned

Another lesson was ‘thrift’, and the money that could be saved, in times when there wasn’t much money, in growing our food from seed.

5. A Quiet Mind

Most of all, we learned that working in the garden provided tranquility. It was an inner peace that comes from our hands working in the warm earth, and feeling the welcome heat of the sun soothing our faces and backs.  Our country garden not only fed our bodies, but also nurtured our souls.

cucumbers

Mother’s Cucumber Salad

Mother made a special treat from our garden with cucumbers and onions, still warm from the earth.  With a few simple ingredients, anyone can enjoy this gift from the ground, a Stafford family favourite.  Prepared early on summer mornings, the mixture sat in a glass jar, on the old kitchen table, all day. As each of us passed by, our mouths watered, knowing those sweet, sharp, flavours would be the highlight of the evening meal…

INGREDIENTS

2 cups water

1/3 cup vinegar (apple cider, white, and rice wine – your favourite)

2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

1 to 2 tsp salt

2-3 sliced garden cucumbers

sliced onion or green onion 5 – 10 whole green onions – trimmed, or ½ c – 1 c sliced onion

Additional vegetables may be added  (sliced sweet bell peppers, whole cherry tomatoes)

Method:

In a bowl, or large glass jar, add the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Add the onions and cucumbers.

Let stand for at least four hours, until you are ready to eat.

(you can refrigerate if you like, but our Mother let the mixture sit in a glass jar, on the kitchen table, from early morning, until supper time)

Enjoy!

girl in garden  cucumber pai;

 

 

http://www.staffordwilson.com

For more farm-fresh summer recipes: ‘Recipes & Recollections – Treats and Tales from Our Mother’s Kitchen’ – 

R and R bookmark image

 

 

Balderson Cheese – Craving the Curd

Whenever a kid in Lanark County heard the word ‘Balderson’ spoken at their home, most of the time their thoughts turned to cheese.  The Balderson Cheese Factory was a short drive up the Lanark Road from our place, and they made the best cheese in the world.  People came from miles around to buy Balderson Cheese, curds, and butter, and our family was no different. Usually a visit to the cheese factory took place as part of a Sunday drive.

Balderson was a small hamlet situated about halfway between Perth and Lanark and was one of the earliest communities settled along with Perth.  Balderson, a suburb was also settled partly by soldiers, and partly by Scottish immigrants from Perthshire in the Scottish Highlands.  It was founded by Sergeant Balderson in June 1816.

When we spent time in Balderson during the 1960s and 1970s some of the family names were: Bell, Burns, Davidson, Devlin, Haley, Jones, Kennedy, King, McGregor, McIntyre, McTavish, Myers and Newman.

 

Balderson Cheese factory 1954

The ‘new’  factory, built after the 1929 fire

cheese curds

cheese curds

The Balderson Cheese Factory had already been operating for many decades by the time I first remember it.  The factory was established 1881.  It was formed by a group of dairy farmers of Lanark County.  They were known as the Farmer’s Cheese and Butter Association of Balderson. They decided to use the excess milk that they were each producing on their farms, build a factory, produce Cheddar cheese and sell it locally. They built a small, plain-looking, wood-frame building near the Balderson Corners crossroads.

Balderson Cheese factory

 

Loading dock Balderson Cheese factory

Balderson Cheese Factory – Loading Dock

In the early days, each dairy farmer would bring their milk by horse and wagon and drop it off at the factory.  Later, to become more efficient, special milk wagons were built and routes were established and workers from the factory would go from farm to farm picking up the milk.

Balderson 1905

‘The Perth Courier’, Sept. 20, 1962

 

Just twelve years after opening, the Balderson Cheese Factory was one of the twelve factories that contributed cheese to create the ‘Mammoth’ cheese for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The old timers said that it was six feet high and weighed over 20,000 lbs.

 

Mammoth cheese

In 1929, a fire burned the original factory and all that was left was the concrete floor.

Balderson rebuilt

‘The Perth Courier’, Sept. 13, 1929

 

Although Dad was familiar with the original factory, we had only seen the one that was rebuilt in 1930.  It was a plain-looking building and was built in a similar style to many of the other local cheese factories, in and around Perth.  There was a small sign outside and the inside they had a very small counter and sold three products: cheese –  yellow or coloured orange, cheese curds, and butter. You could buy mild cheese or old cheese, and Dad preferred the older ‘sharp’ cheese and liked to enjoy it with a slice of Mother’s homemade apple pie. The cheese was cut from rounds, wrapped in waxed paper and sealed with a piece of scotch tape.  There was one person working behind the counter that would get your cheese and ring it up on the cash register. Everyone else worked in the back.

Balderson Cheese factory cheese-maker

Cheese-Maker,  Balderson Cheese Factory

Dad would often know the person working behind the counter, and he’d ask if we could go back and watch them make the cheese.  Now, that was really interesting!  There was always a distinct smell in the factory, even at the front counter.  It smelled kind of like buttermilk, and the air always seemed very warm and humid.  It was behind the counter where all the magic took place.

Balderson 1962

‘The Perth Courier’, Sept. 20, 1962

 

There were huge metal vats, filled with heated milk.  I don’t know what they use now, but in those days, they added rennet to the milk to make it curdle.  Rennet was an acid which could be found in the fourth stomach of calves and was used for digestion.  When the rennet was added to the milk it curdled and formed into clumps.  The workers in the factory would walk around with long wooden paddles and stir the vats.  Some were newly curdling and were very easy to stir, others in later stages required quite a bit of muscle to stir because the curds were forming in large, heavy clumps.  In the last vat the salt was added and some of the curds were strained out and sold, but the remainder would be pressed into huge round wooden molds.  The molds were lined with cheesecloth so that the cheese wouldn’t stick when it was time to remove it.

At the rear of the old factory, double walls were built two feet thick, with sawdust packed inside as insulation to keep the cheese cool as it cured.  After the cheese was strained and pressed into molds it was stored in the curing room. The whey, the liquid that was strained from the cheese, was stored in big tanks.  In the old days the whey was returned to the farmers to use as feed, but later when tighter government regulations were introduced the whey was dumped.  Each cheese was waxed, boxed, weighed, molded, inspected, cooled, turned and shipped. The cheese was regularly inspected by Government inspectors and the stock turns over every ten days. The cheese remained in the curing room until it was shipped.

Balderson cheese vat of curd and whey

Vat of Curd and Whey

 

Cheese making was an art form in Balderson and their Master Cheese Maker when I was a kid, was Omar Matte. Mr. Matte had begun making cheese when he was fifteen working for his father in St. Albert.  By the 1960s he had been making cheese for 27 years. In those days, Mr. Matte would mold 120 tons of cheese per year and most was shipped to the Sanderson Grading Station in Oxford where it went on to foreign markets. Ten tons of cheese on average was sold locally in the Balderson area. Over 100 tons of cheese and 9,000 pounds of butter produced yearly by the mid 1960s and sold all over North America.

There were many Master Cheese Makers before him – Chris J. Bell of Perth, James Somerville of Boyd’s, Walter Partridge of the Scotch Line, James Prentice of Perth, Charles Gallery of Perth, Robert Lucas of Jasper and Percy George of Christie Lake.

 

Balderson Cheesemakers

1881-1887  W. Brown

1888-1891  J. Milton 1888-1891

1892-1901  W.D. Simes

1902-1904  E.E. Haley

1905-1911  J.M. Scott

1912-1917  T.K. Whyte

1918-1921  M. Haley

1922-1929  A. Quinn

1930  G. Spencer

1931-1937  P. Kirkham

1937-1939  J.L. Prentice

1939-1941  C.J. Bell

1941-1942  J. Somerville

1943  W. Partridge

1944-1955  C. Gallery

1956-1958  R. Lucas

1959-1960  P. George

1961-1966  O. Matte

1966-1974  Y. Leroux

1975-1980  L. Lalonde

1980  N. Matte

As the years passed by, the cheese gained tremendous popularity, news of the product spread, and the little business was bought by a large company.  After many decades the Balderson Cheese business has changed hands many times.

You can still find Balderson cheese today, and many types and grades of cheese available in all of the major supermarkets.

I smile whenever I see the Balderson name and think of the little hamlet outside of Perth. I remember our Sunday drives to the old cheese factory, and how they made the best curd in the world!

 

cheese curd 2kid eating cheese curd

 

http://www.staffordwilson.com

(story is an excerpt from  ‘Lanark County Kid: My Travels Up and Down the Third Line’ ISBN: 978-0-9877026-16)

LC Kid

available in local book stores: The Book Nook & Other Treasures, and  ‘Bookworm’ in Perth, Mill Street Books in Almonte
Vintage Photos: ‘Perth Remembered’
Newsclippings: ‘The Perth Courier’

Meteor Shower in Jordan’s Front Field

meteor shower

 

It was one of those sweltering hot summer days in August when most people preferred to stay inside and try to get a ‘cross-breeze’ flowing through their house, for a little relief.  Even my friends Debbie and Jane, who loved to lie outside and work on their tans; decided it was even too hot for that.  Debbie lived down the road at DeWitt’s Corners, and we were visiting our friend Jane, as we often did, relaxing in their living room, and fanning ourselves with some magazines to keep cool.

 

We had a stack of ‘Tiger Beat’ teen magazines, and were going through them page by page, picking out the cute guys.  Donny Osmond was often one of the stars splashed across the front cover in those days.  Donny and his brothers might as well have been from Mars – five brothers with enormous, perfect teeth, wearing white fringed jumpsuits, and white leather boots.  It definitely wasn’t a sight you would have seen on the Third Line – not even up at Christie Lake. Sometimes at the lake we saw tourists from Pennsylvania or New York, who were dressed a little fancier than the locals, but that was about the extent of it.  No, we never saw any lads in white jumpsuits around Perth.

 

Another head poked into the room – it was Patti, from next door.  Patti announced breathlessly, that she’d heard there was going to be a meteor shower that evening, and she thought we should all stay up to watch it.   Hmm, I thought to myself, – it wasn’t like I had anything better planned.   I could stay at home tonight with Mother and Dad, and watch ‘The Tommy Hunter Show’, or see a meteor shower with my friends.  That was an easy decision.

 

So, where were we going to watch the meteor shower, and by the way – what exactly was a ‘meteor shower’?  Patti explained that it was thousands and thousands of shooting stars falling all at once, and that it would go on for the entire night.  She said we could set up an area in her front field, bring some snacks, and make an evening of it.

 

We began to make plans for what sort of supplies we’d need to stay up all night in Jordan’s field.  Debbie suggested that we should have some music.  She had just bought a new album by Deep Purple called ‘Machine Head’, and we all loved their song ‘Smoke on the Water’, so she volunteered to tape some songs from that album, and also some songs from a couple of albums I had at home.  I said I’d ride my bike home and bring back Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, and my Eagles album.  Everyone liked Elton’s ‘Honky Cat’ and ‘Rocket Man’ and the Eagles ‘Witchy Woman’ and ‘Take it Easy’. They’d be perfect for our night of stargazing.

 

I was home in no time, grabbed my albums, threw them in a bag, and off I went on my bike, back down the Third Line to DeWitt’s Corners.  I had some money left over from my birthday, so I stopped at Cavanagh’s store, and went inside to pick up a few treats for us.  I didn’t have that much money, so my choices were a bit limited.  Helen Cavanagh was working behind the counter as usual, and was asking how the family was.  She always made a point of asking about Roger in particular – likely because he had been such good friends with their son Bill.  We were talking about how hot it was outside, and it was nice to be inside the store because it was a lot cooler in there.  I picked up a bag of black liquorice twizzlers; I didn’t see any of the strawberry kind; and then I grabbed a bottle of Pure Spring Cream Soda, and a bottle of Tab.  After paying, I still had a bit of change left, so I spent the rest on Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum, stuffed it into my pocket, thanked Helen, and headed out of the store.

 

We all met at Patti’s- Jane, Debbie and I, and gathered up our stuff – our snacks, the tape recorder to provide the music, and we also had a pair of binoculars, although I don’t remember where they came from, and we headed out to the middle of Jordan’s front field.

 

It was a beautiful night.  There weren’t too many nights of the year in Bathurst Township that were warm enough to stay outside all night, but this was definitely one of them.  It was one of those perfect August evenings – it had been a little too hot during the day, but now that the sun was sliding down below the horizon, it was likely still around 75 or 80 degrees.

 

We grabbed a quilt from Patti’s house, carried it outside, and spread it in the field.  We were about halfway between the house and the Third Line.  We wanted to be far enough away that our music wouldn’t bother anyone in the house.   Patti went into the house and brought out four bowls of spaghetti.  That was one of her favourite dishes to cook for guests, and she had definitely perfected her sauce.

 

Debbie had been fiddling around with the cassette player and had got the music going.  By then, it was really dark, and it seemed like all at once, we started staring up at the sky looking for meteors.  We were asking Patti what time the meteor shower was supposed to begin.  She said she wasn’t sure – which didn’t get a very positive reaction from any of us, but she never claimed to be an astronomer, so we’d just have to wait and let nature take its course.  It wasn’t too long after that we began to notice falling stars, one after another, sometimes in clusters; they almost looked like they were raining down.

 

We stared at the sky for hours.  We talked about school for a while.  Debbie and I were graduating from Glen Tay Public School that year – Patti and Jane had one year left to go.  We all wondered what it was going to be like to be at the Perth High School.  Patti’s older sister Janice, was already there, and so Patti knew a bit about what it was like.  It was going to be very different for all of us to be in such a large school, and also to be in Perth all day, instead of out in the country.

 

It was getting late. The stars were still falling, streaking through the sky – it was really something, and I for one, had never seen anything like it.

 

Patti went up to the house, and when she came back, she said it was three in the morning.  We were all getting tired.  Jane and Debbie decided to pack it in and go home, so they grabbed their stuff, and headed up toward the house to retrieve their bikes.  Patti and I watched from the field as they rode down the lane, and turned up the Third Line, giving us a wave as they headed home.   Well, we might as well go inside too.  We picked up the corners of the quilt, carried our stuff in, and headed up to Patti’s room.  I don’t think it was very long before we fell asleep.

 

The next morning, I got up, picked up my bike out front and headed home.   It was Sunday morning so I would be expected to get ready for church.  I got home, walked into the kitchen, and Mother asked if I’d had a nice time at Patti’s and I said that I had.  I went upstairs, had a bath, and put on a dress for church.

 

In the car on the way up the Third Line, heading for Calvin church that morning, Mother had the radio on, and was listening to the news.  The weatherman in Kingston was talking about the meteor shower the night before, and what a ‘spectacular’ sight it had been.  I didn’t want to say that we had sat out in Jordan’s field all night watching it, because I didn’t think Mother would be very impressed, so I said nothing.

….

 

Many decades have passed since our ‘meteor shower’ get-together, but I’ve since discovered that meteor showers occur regularly, are visible in most parts of Eastern Ontario during the summer, and they almost always are at their peak during August.   In fact, on the local news this past summer, the weather forecaster, spoke about the ‘Perseids’ meteor shower.

 

Naturally, when I heard the words ‘meteor shower’ my ears perked up. I hadn’t thought about the meteor shower for years.   They went on to say that the Perseids meteor shower had been observed for almost 2,000 years.  They said that the meteor shower is visible from the middle of July and the peak is usually between August 9th and the 14th each year.  It was their next statement however, that almost made me fall off of my chair.  They stated, “August 12th, 1972 is reported to have been the most active shower in recorded history.”

 

August 12, 1972?  I was speechless.  According to the weather forecaster we had witnessed the most ‘spectacular’ meteor shower!  Well, it certainly was a night to remember – the pitch-black sky out in the country, some great friends, some good music, and the most active meteor shower in recorded history, long ago, in Jordan’s front field.

 

This story is dedicated to the girls who sat with me, on a quilt, in Jordan’s front field, on August 12, 1972, :  Patti Jordan, Debbie Majaury, and Jane Munro. 

Thanks for the memories my friends!

(an excerpt from ‘Lanark County Kid: My Travels Up and Down the Third Line’)

LC Kid

 

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Life Lessons at Carl Adams’ on the Tay

Carl Adams

If I hadn’t been completely convinced that our Mother loved us, I might have questioned why she would have chosen Carl Adams’ swimming hole as a good place to teach us all to swim.   Mother would drive us back there, two or three times a week, during the summer; usually after supper, and always at least an hour after we’d eaten – that was the rule.  She said that it was dangerous to swim right after you’d eaten, and that you could get cramps, and possibly even drown.  Of course, I’ve learned since then, that you can swim right after you eat, without either suffering cramps or drowning, for that matter, however, that was Mother’s rule and there was no point in arguing.  So, whether we were at Silver Lake, for a picnic, Christie Lake for a quick dip, or Carl Adams’, for a swimming lesson – Mother always wore her watch, and no one could even so much as wade around in the shallow water, near the shore, until the full sixty minutes had passed.

 

It was always exciting to hear that we’d be going to Carl Adams’; especially on one of those hot summer days, when the upstairs of the house was stifling hot.  Mother would announce that we were going to have a swimming lesson, and she’d grab her purse, and head for the garage.  That was my cue to run upstairs, and change into my bathing suit, and get a towel.  I’d also bring an extra one for Mother to sit on, because she liked to spread a towel out, on the flat rocks near the water, so she could offer some suggestions on improving our swimming technique.

 

I’d be changed in seconds, towels in hand and taking the stairs down, two at a time, and by that time Mother would have backed the car out of the garage, and be waiting, parked under the tall maple trees, that shaded our lawn.  We’d drive out of the yard, and down the lane, turned right, headed toward DeWitt’s Corners, windows rolled down, taking full advantage of the warm summer breeze, blowing into the car.

 

Usually at that time of year we’d see at least one hay wagon on the road, as we drove up the Third Line.  The hot, dry weather was ideal for cutting and baling the hay, and our neighbourhood farmers would be taking full advantage.   It wasn’t unusual to get stuck behind a tractor, which was bad for two reasons – one, now we had to slow down and weren’t getting much of a breeze blowing through the hot car, and two – I couldn’t wait to get to the swimming hole, and this would be greatly impeding our progress.   Sometimes, they’d pull off to the side so we could get by, but usually we’d just have to follow along behind, at a snail’s pace, until they’d turned off the road, and into a field.

 

If the road was clear, we’d be at DeWitt’s Corners in no time, and then we’d turn left up the dirt side road, past Clifford and Florence Munro’s. After a couple more turns on the dusty backroads, we’d arrive, and pull over by the flat rocks, under the trees.

 

It was a pretty spot, that’s for sure, with tall, graceful trees along each side of the rocks, framing that popular little section of the Tay River.  People in Bathurst Township had been using that little swimming hole for years, and it showed.  The broad, low rocks near the shore provided a natural seating area, the maple and willow trees offered welcome shade for spectators, and the cedar bushes all around gave off a fresh woodsy scent.  This time of year, we’d hear the heat bugs in full force, and see the shiny dragonflies, swooping effortlessly above the water.

 

Sometimes we’d see a couple of empty beer bottles, or empty chip bags, or cigarette packs, piled on the rocks – souvenirs left behind by teenagers, parked there the night before.   Occasionally we’d see the charred evidence that someone had built a little campfire; likely to cook a hot dog or two, or maybe toast some marshmallows.  Once in a while, there might even be a toy, or a towel abandoned on the shore, forgotten by one of the neighbourhood kids.

 

After we’d parked, Mother would grab the towels, and spread one out on the rocks and settle down.  Sometimes she’d bring a book or a magazine, or some crocheting to work on, but most of the time she’d just sit back, and watch us swim. Occasionally, Dickie Patterson, a local bachelor, would be riding by on his bicycle, and he’d stop, and sit, and chat, with Mother for a while, catching up on the local news. He lived up at Christie Lake, but we’d often see him riding, either on the Third Line, or on one of the backroads, such as these.

 

By the time Mother had settled down on her towel, I was already getting my feet wet, and assessing the temperature of the Tay River.  Most of the time, it felt pretty warm near the shore, because the water was so shallow, and I’d gradually wade into the first few feet of the river, and then I’d begin to feel the power of the current pulling at my legs.

 

Now, back to my original question, of why Mother would have brought us here, to learn how to swim.  Yes, it was in close proximity to our house; closer than Christie Lake, but here’s where the other questions arise.  There is, as I mentioned, a fairly strong current, in this part of the Tay River.  By the time I was in up to my knees I could feel it tugging at me.  Now, in order to remain in roughly the same section of the river, you had to start moving against the current, otherwise it would pull you down.  Once you were in all the way up to your neck, you had to start kicking or paddling at a pretty good pace, against the current, because the minute you stopped, you would be swept down the river.   Oh, and let’s throw one more wrench into this picture, for good measure –   remember the nice flat rocks up on the shore?  Well those nice flat rocks – Canadian Shield, I suppose, well, they extend right out into the water – except that the ones in the water were coated, in slippery, green moss.

 

Just so you’ve got the whole picture – we’re here with Mother, because we don’t have our swimming abilities perfected yet – not even close.  She’s brought us to a section of the Tay where there’s a fairly strong current, that keeps trying to sweep us off our feet, and when we do manage to try and get our footing, the surface below is slippery, wet, moss, that offers no traction whatsoever.  Many times, I’d slip on the moss, and the river would start to pull me along, and I’d have to paddle and splash like a maniac, so I could get back to the place where I’d started.  I often wondered if I didn’t fight my way back to the clearing, against the current, if I’d keep being swept along down the river, and end up somewhere in Perth!

 

So, what was the point of learning to swim at Carl Adams’ swimming hole?  Did Mother bring us there because it was convenient, and a quick ride from our house?  Or, looking back now, was there a bigger lesson involved?  Sure, once we learned how to swim there, against the strong current of the Tay – everywhere else we swam after that, seemed easy.  No current?  No slippery rocks to contend with?  Swimming anywhere else after that, was a cinch.

 

Maybe learning to swim at Carl Adams’ was a metaphor for the struggles that we would face later in life.  We’ve all had days where we feel like we’re fighting against a strong current, and moments in our lives that seem to have us perching precariously, on a slippery rock.  At times we’re certain that if we gave up the fight for even a minute, we’d be swept away down the river.

 

Looking back now, we learned so much more than how to swim at that quiet, unassuming little spot along the Tay River.  Many, many years ago, at Carl Adams’, we discovered that if we kept chugging along, persevering, and made it past the rough spots, that eventually we’d end up  back at the little clearing, warmed by the sun, leaves fluttering softly overhead, Mother smiling from the shore, and us, feeling all the stronger for the struggle.

 

(an excerpt from ‘Lanark County Kid: My Travels Up and Down the Third Line’, ISBN: 978-0-987-7026-16)

 

LC Kid

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Fly Me To the Moon…The Story of Our Cousin Don

“For the first time we were united,

people around the world,

sharing a home,

on a small blue planet,

in a vast dark universe.”

Arlene Stafford-Wilson

 

 

 

“What do you want with that old stuff?”, Don’s eyes crinkled up, and he grinned.

“I’m going to do a little write-up”, I answered, with the certainty of an overconfident teenager. “I think it will make an interesting story.”

“If you think so.”, he smiled again, and assured me he’d ask his sister Ruth to forward some papers to me, in the mail.

 

Donald Burlingame Rutherford

 

That was July 1974, a few years after the moon landing, and I was knee-deep in a conversation about space, with my mother’s first cousin, Donald Rutherford. He and his wife, Rosemary, had driven from their home in Melbourne, Florida, and were spending time in Ogdensburg, with his sister Ruth, and their Aunt Nellie.  My Dad, Mother, my brother Roger, and his wife Ruth, and I, had come to Ogdensburg for the day, as we did several times each year, to visit with our American cousins.

It seems fitting, this week, on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, to do that ‘little write-up’, as I’d promised Don, so many years ago. True to his word, he sent those ‘papers’ about his work, to his sister Ruth, who passed them along to me.  Don’s career spanned the era of the formative years of the U.S. space agency, early missile testing, and beyond the Apollo missions at the Kennedy Space Center.

From me, his inquisitive younger cousin, who always enjoyed our discussions about space-ships, flying saucers, and Star Trek, the story that follows is a tribute to Donald Burlingame Rutherford, an engineer, working in the earliest days of the space program. Although, he’s no longer with us, passing from this life in 1994, at the age of 86, I hope he would approve, and that I’ve put all his ‘papers’ to good use.

 

 

 

From Lisbon to Ogdensburg

Donald Rutherford, and his sister, Ruth, grew up in the family home at 320 Jersey Avenue, on a quiet residential street, in Ogdensburg, New York. Both born on the family farm in Lisbon, not far from the mighty St. Lawrence River, they spent their early childhood riding horses, playing in the sprawling yard of their country home, until their father, Fred Rutherford, accepted a position with International Harvester, when the family moved to Ogdensburg.

Ruth Rutherford with her brother Donald Rutherford, on the farm in Lisbon, in 1913

 

Donald and his sister Ruth, on the farm in Lisbon, St. Lawrence County, NY, with their horses

 

Donald Burlingame Rutherford at school – center of photo, (with a center-part in his hair) – 1920s

 

 

 

320 Jersey Ave Ogdensburg

320 Jersey Avenue, Ogdensburg, N.Y. – home to Fred and Ethel Rutherford and their children Donald and Ruth

 

“He’s a real whiz at math, and likes to solve problems. 

He’d be a shoe-in as an engineer!”

 

Don Rutherford at Clarkson U

Donald Burlingame Rutherford at Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York

“Don is noted for three things:  being late to classes, loafing in the radio shack,

and week-end trips to Prescott…”

 

 

Don's grad announcement 1930‘The Republican Journal’,  June 2, 1930 p. 10

“He was a member of the American Society of Electrical Engineers.”

 

Clarkson programme 1

Clarkson University, Programme, Class of 1930

 

 

(from the Clarkson University programme, 1930)

 

 

 

Clarkson news clipping

 

A few years after he finished his studies at Clarkson U., the twenty-six year-old Donald

asked his sweetheart, Ida, to marry him. 

She was a high-school teacher, and a graduate of St. Lawrence University.

 

Don and Ida's wedding announcement

‘The Advance News’,  July 1, 1934 p. 9

“Both are well known and highly esteemed…”

 

Ida Charter marriedThe Hammond Advertiser July 5, 1934 p. 1

Tragedy in Dayton, Ohio

It was in the warm spring days of May, when Don Rutherford, and his young wife Ida, arrived in Dayton, Ohio.  Don had accepted a position as one of the engineers, hired to enhance the flight capabilities of U.S. aircraft, at Wright Field.   They had barely settled in their new home when tragedy struck the young couple.  Driving near the Englewood Dam, on route 48, a truck collided with their car.  Ida was rushed to the Good Samaritan hospital, and sadly, Ida passed away on June 5th.  She was 37.

Donald later filed a lawsuit, seeking damages from the driver of the truck, Clara Strickle, owner of a local restaurant in Xenia, near Dayton.

The Journal Herald, Dayton, Ohio, June 6, p. 2

 

‘The Ogdensburg Journal’, June 9, 1942, p. 5

 

‘The Dayton Herald’, June 20, 1942 p. 14

 

 

 

In 1947, the U.S. government created the United States Air Force, and that same year, combined Wright Field with nearby Patterson Field, creating Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

 

Don Rutherford

Donald Burlingame Rutherford during his days at Wright-Patterson Air Base

 

Seven years after Ida’s death,

Donald found love again,

and married Rosemary Schumacker Gillen,

a colleague from the Wright-Patterson Air Base.

 

Rosemary (Schumacker) Gillen, when she and Donald Rutherford were dating, 1948

 

It was also Rosemary’s second chance at love.  In 1927, when Rosemary was 21, she married Charles Gillen, and they later divorced.  They had one son, Charles Raymond Gillen, born 1933.  Charles Jr. served in the U.S. Air Force from 1955-1970.  He married a young lady from Paris, Solange Riffet, at Fort Monroe, in Virginia, in 1962.  Sadly, Rosemary’s son, Charles, became very ill, and passed away in 1987, at the age of 54.

Rosemary rarely spoke about her career, although it is known that she held positions at Wright Field, later Wright-Patterson Air Base, Patrick Air Force Base, as well as Cape Canaveral.

 

‘The Dayton Daily News’, June 6, 1949, p. 26

 

Don at awards dinner

Don and his second wife, Rosemary, on their wedding day, with friends, in 1949

 

Rosemary (Schumacker) Rutherford, with Don’s mother Ethel (Burlingame) Rutherford, and Donald B. Rutherford, with Don’s 1949 Chrysler Windsor

In 1956, Donald was sent to Kessler Air Force Base, in Mississippi, for specialized training in Electronic Countermeasures.  He, along with his colleagues, were focusing on the production of missiles specifically designed to deceive radar, sonar or other detection systems.  Keesler opened a ground support training program for the Atlas Missile, and Donald was among the first sent for their training program.

 

 

Test launch of the Atlas

 

 

In the summer of 1956, Donald was sent for additional training at M.I.T., in missile guidance, dynamic measurements, and control.

 

 

 

 

In the spring of 1959, Donald trained with Martin on the MGM-13 TM-76B tactical surface-launched missile.

 

 

MGM-13 – test launch

 

 

Don Rutherford Patrick Air Force Base 1956

Don Rutherford, standing,  (dark shirt), at the Air Force Missile Test Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida,  June 7, 1956.

 

“An Act to provide for research

into the problems of flight

within and outside the Earth’s atmosphere,

and for other purposes.” 

The National Aeronautics

and Space Administration (NASA)

was established on October 1, 1958,

 

Don Rutherford Nike Rocket 1963

Preparation of NIKE Rocket to  be fired, simultaneously with the MINUTEMAN, March 18, 1963, U.S. Air Force Missile Test Center – Don Rutherford (standing-rt.)

Minuteman missle test launch

‘Minuteman’  test launch

 

Don Rutherford Air Force Missile Test Center 6-5-63

Don Rutherford (left) with colleagues, at a Pre-Launch Test, U.S. Air Force Missile Test Center June 5, 1963

 

Don Rutherford Missile test center

Pre-Launch Test 3267, June 5, 1963, Air Force Rocket Test Center in Blockhouse – Don Rutherford standing – rear

Don and Fred Rutherford

Donald B. Rutherford with his father Fred Allan Rutherford

Don Rutherford service award

Donald B. Rutherford receives Certificate of Service, from the U.S. Air Force

 

 

Donald worked at Patrick Air Force Base, where he took part in a variety of missile, and manned and unmanned space programs in the 1960s.

Both Don and Rosemary were offered positions at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and they worked there for many years.

On February 6, 1959, the first successful test firing of a Titan Intercontinental Ballistic Missile was achieved.

NASA’s ‘Mercury’ and ‘Gemini’ space flights were launched from Cape Canaveral, as well as the ‘Apollo’ flights.

 

 

rocket 1

Donald Burlingame Rutherford  – rt.

50th anniversary of Donald Rutherford’s graduation – 1930-1980

Donald and Rosemary’s home in Melbourne, Florida.
Lt to rt:  Ruth Rutherford, Rosemary (Schumacker) Rutherford, Fred Rutherford, Donald Rutherford, Nellie Rutherford

When Don and Rosemary retired, they purchased two blocks of properties near their home in Melbourne, Florida, renting them out.  In their spare time, they spent many happy days on their sailboat, along the sunny Florida coast. Both were dog lovers, and always had two or three well-loved, and well-spoiled pets in their home.

Don and Rosemary in their retirement years

 

One of their favourite television shows was ‘Jeopardy’.  As they became older, they even planned their day so they could be home in time to watch the show.  One night after ‘Jeopardy’ was over, Rosemary could not wake Don.  He had passed away during the show.  He was 86 years old.

 

Brookeside Cemetery, Waddington, NY

 

 

 

letter of condolences from Clarkson University to Rosemary Rutherford, 1994

 

Rosemary (Schumacker) Rutherford, passed away on Valentine’s Day, 1996, age 90, at the Meridian Nursing Home, Melbourne, Florida.  Her son predeceased her in 1987, and he and his wife, Solange, had no children.  There were no known survivors.

Rutherford siblings – 1889

Don Burlingame Rutherford’s father (left)

Audry (Rutherford) Stafford’s father (center)

L – Fred Rutherford, middle – Charles Rutherford, rt – May Rutherford, photo: 1889, other siblings: Nellie Rutherford, born 1897, Robbie, died in infancy

Fred and Charles were brothers.  Fred Allan Rutherford and his wife Ethel (Burlingame) Rutherford, had two children:  Donald Burlingame Rutherford, and Ruth Rutherford.  Charles Herbert Rutherford and his wife Dorothy (Woolsey) Rutherford, had four daughters and one son:  Dorothea ‘Dolly’ Rutherford (Glover),  Mildred ‘Mill’ Rutherford (Waterhouse) , Audry Rutherford (Stafford), Muriel Rutherford, and Jack Rutherford.

family in OgdensburgStanding l.to rt. Ruth (Parks) Stafford, Roger Stafford, Arlene Stafford-Wilson, Tobias ‘Tib’ Stafford, Audry (Rutherford) Stafford, Rosemary Rutherford, Donald Rutherford, – seated – Ruth Rutherford (Don’s sister) and her little dog Rastus.   photo: 1976, Stafford family collection.

 

 

NASA began with a group of engineers working with the NACA, (National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics ), along with engineers transferred from the Vanguard program and the Army Ballistic Missile Agency.  Toward the end of the 1960s, there were over 14,000 engineers working on design and testing, of aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, rocket-propulsion systems, many of these equipped to operate beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

These engineers, men and women, worked in anonymity. Many worked at test facilities, and most weren’t able to discuss their work with friends, or even family. Some worked on projects for years, and faced failure after failure, before achieving any success. They were the unsung heroes of the space program, and this story is dedicated to the many thousands, who worked behind the scenes, in the shadow of heroes.

 

“For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon, and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace,”  John F. Kennedy, 1961.

 

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(all documents and photos received from Donald B. Rutherford, were stamped ‘Declassified’, by the U.S. Air Force)

Christie Lake – Memories Along the Shores

 

We found tranquility, along the shores of this clear blue beauty.  A sanctuary of peace and contentment, a place where pink sunsets slid into still waters, and the melodious call of the loon marked the end of another perfect day, at Christie Lake.

It was also a buzzing social hub –  a gathering place for familiar faces, and new friends as well. Who could forget the laughter of the youthful parties at nearby cottages, or on Big Island? On warm summer evenings the shores were dotted with bright campfires, sputtering, crackling, shooting flames into the starry night skies. The rock and roll of our time echoed across the lake, with its steady beat, and powerful lyrics. Our music celebrated sweet young love, with a dash of social commentary, unique to those unforgettable times – the 1960s and 70s.

Where is Christie Lake?  Ottawa, the closest large city, is about an hour east, and the pretty town of Perth, is a quick, 15 minute drive.  The Stafford house, where we spent the idyllic days of our youth, was just a mile away, a quick bike ride up the Third Line; although it felt a lot farther on those hazy humid dog-days of summer.  By the time my friends and I rounded the corner near Jordan’s, the lake was in sight, and moments later our bikes had been abandoned, and we’d jumped joyfully, off the bridge, into the cool, clear, water.

bridge at Jordan's

Bridge at Jordan’s – photo:  Kathy Irvine

Christie Lake is one of the three largest lakes on the Tay watershed, along with Bob’s Lake, and Otty Lake.  It’s been said that the original name for the lake was Myers Lake, and that was way before my time; but I do remember the old timers referring to it as ‘Christy’s Lake’, or ‘Christie’s Lake’, and that it was named for John Christy, native of Scotland, the first settler on the lake.

After John Christy’s arrival, the second family living on the lake were the Allan’s. The original spelling of the lake was “Christy’s Lake”, but it was changed by the Geographic Board of Canada, to “Christie” on April 10th, 1908.

John Christy, his wife Isabella (Wright), and daughter, sailed on the ship ‘Eliza’, from Scotland, on August 3, 1815 and arrived first, in Quebec City.  Like many families arriving late in the year, they spent the first winter near their port of arrival. By 1816, the Christy’s settled at concession 2, lot 2 in Bathurst Township.

John Christy census of 1871

1871 Census of Bathurst Township

 

John Christy Jane Allen gravestone

John Christy – 1824-1909 son of pioneer John M. Christy

 

 

Alexandrine Victoria (Christy) Whillans  1839-1924

youngest daughter of pioneer John Christy, first settlers at Christy’s Lake

Alexandrine Christy Whillans Feb 19 1924 p 7 Ottawa Cit.

Feb. 19, 1924 p. 7,  ‘Ottawa Citizen’

“Victoria Whillans, was the youngest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Christy, first settlers at Christy’s Lake, Ont., after whom the place is called.”

Lake banner # 2

 

Walter Christy 1870-1942

Grandson of pioneer, John Christy

Walter Christy Jan 22 1942 p. 12 Ott Cit.

Jan. 22, 1942, p.12 ‘The Ottawa Citizen

Christie Lake banner 6

George Christy – 1868-1949

Grandson of pioneer John Christy

George Christy Apr. 27 1949 p 2 Ott.Cit

George Christy gravestone

George Christy gravestone, Johnston’s Corners cemetery, south Ottawa, Ontario

 

 

The Canadian Barks Works

A small group of men from Perth:  Thomas Aspden, Alexander Morris, William Morris, Captain John Manion, and John Hart established the Canadian Barks Works at Lot 2, Concession 3 of Bathurst Township. It was located along the north shore of Christie Lake, on Gravely Bay, as it was thought there would be a good supply of hemlock trees to sustain the business. The purpose of the mill was to extract tannin from hemlock bark, to be used in leather tanning. The tannin was used locally at a tannery in Perth, and in the beginning of operations there was also enough to export to the U.S. The company closed in 1874, due to a shortage of hemlock in the area.

Canadian Barks at Christie Lake

The Canadian Barks Works at Christie Lake  (1868-1874) photo: ‘Perth Remembered’

 

Jordan's Cottages

 

Jordan Family

and the Descendants of pioneer George Jordan & Isabella Stewart

The Jordan family were among the early settlers to the area, having lived in the region continuously since the 1800s, when pioneer settler, George Jordan, arrived from Scotland, and settled at the foot of Christie Lake.

 

Christie Lake banner

 

Pioneer Settler, George Jordan,

born Yetholm, Roxburghshire, Scotland

 

George Jordan 1830-1908

George Jordan death certificate 1908
1908 death certificate of Scottish pioneer, George Jordan – early settler to Christie Lake

 

George Jordan (1830-1908) and his wife, Isabella Stewart, were parents to John Jordan (1865-1950), and it was John, who first established the business of vacation cottage rentals.

 

Christie Lake banner 2

 

John’s son, John Robert Jordan and his wife Martina Miller (1868-1940), continued the legacy, expanding the business and keeping with tradition.

Martena Miller Jordan 1940

1911 Census of Bathurst, Lanark County

John and Martena Jordan census 1911

2nd last column is year of birth, last column is age when the census was taken
Year: 1911; Census Place: 1 – Bathurst, Lanark South, Ontario; Page: 3; Family No: 19

 

Lake banner # 4

John Robert Jordan and Martena (Miller) Jordan

John Robert and Martena Jordan had a large family of four sons and three daughters:

(babies Donald and Martena, died in infancy)

George Edwin Jordan (1896-1977)

Arthur Miller Jordan (1897-1968)

Calvin Jordan (1899-1981)

Helen ‘Pink’ Muriel Jordan (1901-1987)

John Robert Jordan (1905-1965)

Sarah ‘Sadie’ Isabella Jordan (1910-1999)

 

baby angel

 

John Robert Jordan and Martena Jordan, sadly, lost two babies,  Baby Martena, born when her mother was age 41, and the second was Baby Donald, born when his mother was age 48:

Martena Jordan 1908 death cert.      Donald Easton Jordan 1916 death cert.

Death certificates for baby Martena Jordan, and baby Donald Easton Jordan

 

Lake banner # 5

George Edwin Jordan  1896-1977

George Edwin Jordan  & Charlotte (Keays) Jordan

Children of George Edwin Jordan and Charlotte ‘Lottie’ Jordan

Donald ‘Don’ Jordan  

Keith Jordan

William ‘Bill’ Jordan

Jean (Jordan) Bell

Evelyn (Jordan) Irvine

 

Jordans on Christie Lake in boat

Evelyn (Jordan) Irvine, with her daughters, and Jean (Jordan) Bell’s children – 1972 – photo: Kathy Irvine

 

 

Lottie Jean and Evelyn

Charlotte ‘Lottie’ (Keays) Jordan seated, at Christie Lake – her daughters Evelyn (Jordan) Irvine, and Jean (Jordan) Bell standing,  1973                  photo: Kathy Irvine

 

Lottie's obit

Dec. 8, 1977 p. 14, ‘The Perth Courier’

 

Lake banner # 1

 

George Edwin Jordan –   WWI military recruitment record:

George Jordan expeditionary papers

George Edwin Jordan – Canadian Expeditionary Forces record: Library and Archives Canada: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 4968 – 47  Item Number: 493833

 

George Edwin Jordan obit 1977

“He received his education locally and served in the First World War”

Christie Lake banner 3

 

 

Arthur Miller Jordan 1897-1968

Arthur Jordan obit

 

“Pallbearers were four nephews, Donald, Keith, Bob and Alan Jordan; two neighbours, Wilbur Noonan and Gordon Stiller.”

 

Arthur Miller Jordan married Edna Ritchie in 1920

Children of Arthur Jordan and Edna (Ritchie) Jordan:

Phyllis (Jordan) Stewart

Shirley (Jordan) Weldon

Helen (Jordan) Rintoule

Joan (Jordan) McNaughton

 

muskoka chairs at the lake

Calvin Jordan 1899-1981

Calvin Jordan

married Marion Palmer in 1934

Marion Jordan

Calvin and Marion had three daughters:

Isobel (Jordan) Paul

Frances (Jordan) Dixon

Mavis (Jordan) Woolham

 

He was President of the Lanark County Federation of Agriculture, and for many years, a member of the Board of Calvin United Church

Calvin Jordan obit

March 25, 1981 p.2 ‘The Perth Courier’

 

 

pink marilyn bob sadie

Helen ‘Pink’ Jordan, Marilyn (Dixon) Jordan, Bob Jordan, and Sadie Jordan at the Jordan Homestead, Christie Lake, photo: Carolyn Jordan

Sadie Jordan, Librarian, Toronto Public Library

Sarah 'Sadie' Jordan

Sadie Jordan academic achievement

 

Sadie Jordan Toronto Library

‘The Perth Courier’, Sept. 19, 1930, pg.1

 

Sadie Jordan position at Tor Library

‘The Perth Courier’, Mar. 6, 1931, p.2

 

When Sadie graduated from the Perth High School in 1929 she was awarded the prestigious Carter Scholarship, for her academic excellence. Sadie enjoyed a successful career as a Librarian with the Toronto Public Library, and while she lived in Toronto, she attended  Bloor Street United Church,  300 Bloor Street W., Toronto, ON.

 

Helen Jordan  – 1901-1987

Helen Jordan

Helen Jordan had a distinguished career in the field of Nursing.  She trained at the North Bay Hospital, graduating in 1927.  She was promoted to Supervisor of Nursing in 1931.

In the spring of 1932, Helen Jordan was appointed to the position of Superintendent of the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, in North Bay.

Helen Jordan, Superintendent

Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, North Bay, Ontario

Helen Jordan appointed superintendent

‘The Perth Courier’, April 22, 1932, p.1

 

Christie Lake banner 4

 

Helen Jordan –  “Known to her friends, as ‘Pink’

 

Helen Jordan bio

‘The Perth Courier’, April 21, 1982, p.9

 

“….she joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps as a Nursing Sister.”

Helen part 1

Helen part 2

 

Helen Jordan roll of honour

War Veterans, who were members of Calvin United Church, Bathurst Township, Lanark County

Helen Jordan obit 1987

‘The Ottawa Citizen’, Jan. 21, 1987 p.46

 

 

Christie Lake c 1970

Bridge at Jordan’s Cottages – 1973 – photo:  Stafford family

 

John Robert Jordan

John Robert Jordan (1905-1965) married Mary Elizabeth Scharf (1909-1995) in 1933

John Robert and Mary Scharf Jordan

John Robert Jordan and Mary Jordan, at Christie Lake  – photo: Carolyn Jordan

 

John Robert Jordan and Mary Jordan had five children:

Robert ‘Bob’ Jordan

Alan Jordan

Lloyd Jordan

Harold Jordan

Betty (Jordan) Miller

 

Bob Jordan's family

Bob Jordan, his wife Marilyn (Dixon) Jordan and their three children, Carolyn, Darrell, and baby John in 1966, at the Jordan ancestral homestead –  photo: Carolyn Jordan

 

Christie Lake aerial view

Christie Lake, aerial view – photo: Carolyn Jordan

 

John Robert Jordan passed down the business to his son, Alan Jordan, and he and his wife Audrey (Conroy) Jordan have continued the tradition for many decades.  Their son, Paul Jordan, is now co-owner.

 

Jordan's Cottages 1971

Jordan’s Cottages

John Jordan established Jordan’s Cottages.

Cottage for rent John Jordan July 8 1943 p 4

Ad for Jordan’s Cottages – ‘The Perth Courier’  –  July 8, 1943 p.4

JR Jordan Jul 28 1948 p 24

Ad for Jordan’s Cottages – “The Ottawa Journal” – July 28, 1948 p. 24

 

John and Mary Jordan and family

John Jordan, his wife Mary Jordan, Robert ‘Bob’, Betty, Alan,  front:  Harold and Lloyd.    photo:  Carolyn Jordan

Mary Scharfe Jordan

 

Mary Jordan 1995

‘The Ottawa Citizen, Dec. 3, 1995 p.36

 

Betty and Alan.

Betty (Jordan) Miller and her brother Alan Jordan, at Christie Lake  – photo: Carolyn Jordan

Audrey Jordan from Carolyn

(Audrey (Conroy) Jordan, Alan’s wife, and George Jordan (Keith’s son) photo: Carolyn Jordan

 

Bev Miller's dock from Carolyn

Dock at Bev (Miller) Ferlatte’s home, Christie Lake      photo: Carolyn Jordan

 

 

Fire at Christie Lake bridge – 1940

John Jordan serious fire July 19 1940 p 4

July 19, 1940 ‘The Perth Courier’

fishing at sunset

 

“The Jordan home was ever a hospitable one, where the head of the household always found time to engage in friendly conversation and to perform some kindly act or unselfish deed.”

 

John Jordan –   1865 – 1950

John Jordan obit Sept. 1950

September 28, 1950 – ‘The Perth Courier’

 

loons on lake

 

John Jordan & Martina Miller’s son – John Robert Jordan operated Jordan’s Cottages after his father passed away.

John Robert Jordan’s marriage to Mary Scharf in 1933:

John Robert marriage to Mary Scharf 1933

 

 

John Robert Jordan obit 1965

 

 

 

Jordan's Cottages 1956

postcard – 1956

 

 

Christie Lake sunset - Kathy Irvine

Sunset, at Christie Lake                              photo:  Kathy Irvine

 

 

Jean and Don Jordan

Jean  (White) Jordan and Donald ‘Don’ Jordan boating on Christie Lake
(Donald –  a grandson of John Robert Jordan) photo: Janice (Jordan) Gordon

 

John Jordan, President of the Christie Lake Fish and Game Club

seeks to restore Pickerel to the area

Christie Lake Ottawa Citizen Fishing Nov. 24 1962 p 12

 Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 24, 1962, p. 12

 

 

Bill Keith Don at Christie Lake
Bill, Keith and Don Jordan, brothers, along the shores of Christie Lake,     photo: Janice (Jordan) Gordon

 

Evelyn and Don and Lottie at Christie Lake

front: Evelyn (Jordan), her mother Charlotte ‘Lottie’, (Keays) Jordan her brother Don Jordan, front of boat – Don’s daughter Janice, sitting beside Evelyn’s daughter Sandy.   1960s.   photo:  Janice (Jordan) Gordon

 

Jordan clan at Christie Lake from Kathy Irvine

April and Meagan Bell, Sandy Errett, Karen Ronald, Janice (Jordan) Gordon,Patti Jordan, Kathy Irvine, seated in the chair a friend –  2006,   photo:  Kathy Irvine

 

Janice and Patti 1963

Janice Jordan and Patti Jordan, at Christie Lake, 1963 – (daughters of Don Jordan & Jean (White) Jordan)

Christie Lake sitting on the boat

Seated on a boat at Christie Lake, Don Jordan with his daughter, Janice Jordan – photo: Janice (Jordan) Gordon

 

Christie Lake friends on deck

William ‘Bill’ Jordan,  Jean (Jordan) Bell & her husband Robert ‘Bob’ Bell – photo Janice (Jordan) Gordon

 

Sadie at the lake

Sarah ‘Sadie’ Jordan (1910-1999)  at Christie Lake – photo: Janice (Jordan) Gordon
(Sadie –  youngest daughter of John Robert Jordan)

 

Sadie Jordan obit

 

Christie Lake sun setting Kathy Irvine

Another perfect sunset on  Christie Lake                                                                                                        photo: Kathy Irvine

 

Christie Lake – Famous for Fishing!

Christie Lake fishing contest

Oct. 23, 1941 p.2 – ‘The Perth Courier’

 

“Pickerel – 9 1/2 pounds, caught in Christie Lake by James Brady.”

“Northern Pike, 14 1/2 pounds, caught in Christie Lake by H.M. Gore”

 

Harold and Irma Knight at Christie Lake

Harold and Irma (Miller) Knight at Christie Lake,      photo:  Janet Knight

 

 

Christie Lake train 1959

CPR Train, Christie Lake, 1959

 

Jordan's Cottages view on the lake

Patti Jordan and Arlene Stafford-Wilson at Christie Lake

Patti Jordan and Arlene Stafford-Wilson boating at Christie Lake – 1976, photo: Janice (Jordan) Gordon
(Patti –  Great-great-granddaughter of Scottish pioneer settler George Jordan (1830-1908)

 

Christie Lake island

Christie Lake – Island                          photo: Janice (Jordan) Gordon

Christie Lake by the willow tree

Christie Lake Summer Fun on a paddleboat                                     photo: Janice (Jordan) Gordon

 

Christie Lake Reunions

 

Christy – Allen Reunion – 1954

Christy and Allan reunion 1954

First Christy-Allan Reunion

was held in 1954

Christy Allan reunion 1954 Jun 8 p. 3 Ottawa Journal

“Out of neighbourly fairness, the two original families drew lots to decide after whom the lake would be named.  It was Mr. Christy, of course, who drew the longest straw.”

Christie lake banner 5

 

Christie Lake reunion July 4 1955 p

Christie Lake reunion July 4 1955 part 2

‘Ottawa Citizen’, July 4, 1955, p.21

Jordan Family Reunion

Jordan reunion 2

photo: Janice (Jordan) Gordon

 

Jordan Family Reunion –  2009

Jordan reunion

photo: Janice (Jordan) Gordon

Cavanagh’s General Store

Cavanagh's store colour photo

Visitors to Christie Lake often picked up their food and supplies at Cavanagh’s store, in DeWitt’s Corners.  A full line of groceries, barbecue supplies, ice, was available.  It was a gathering spot, for meeting up with neighbours and friends, and catching up on the local news.  Cavanagh’s was also the local polling station, where neighbours could vote for their favourite political candidate.  This store was the heart of the ‘Corners’, and the place to go, before heading up to Christie Lake.

Bill Cavanagh # 2 at Christie Lake

left – Peter Mullins, center Earl Conboy, (Bill Cavanagh with his back to the camera) photo: JoAnne (Cavanagh) Butler

 

Cavanagh's ad

Cavanagh’s Store – 1947-1985

The store opened on June 3, 1947 – carrying groceries, confectioneries, and tobacco products. Along with groceries and everyday sundries, Cavanagh’s store also sold gas supplied by Esso, a branch of Imperial Oil.

“In 1947 they moved to DeWitt’s Corners,

and re-opened her family’s general store,

under the name of  ‘Cavanagh’s Fine Foods'”

 

Locals and cottagers, along with campers at nearby Christie Lake, were all pleased to hear that there would be a general store in the area, and they would no longer have to drive to Perth, to pick up daily necessities.

 

Cavanagh’s store, DeWitt’s Corners      photo:  JoAnne Cavanagh Butler

 

Jim and Helen Cavanagh and Shep

Helen (DeWitt) Cavanagh, James ‘Jim Cavanagh, and their dog, Shep – photo:  JoAnne Cavanagh Butler

 

cavanaghs-store-black-and-white

Cavanagh’s General Store, DeWitt’s Corners     photo: JoAnne (Cavanagh) Butler

 

Shep at Cavanagh's store

Familiar sights at Cavanagh’s store:  their dog Shep, and the Millstone  –  photo: JoAnne (Cavanagh) Butler

 

Three DeWitt Sisters, at Ederney Cottage, Christie Lake

Cavanagh's cottage 1974

l to rt. Josephine (DeWitt) Lenahan,  Helen (DeWitt) Cavanagh,  Vera (DeWitt) Brady standing in front of the original family cottage on Station Bay, Christie Lake.          Photo: JoAnne (Cavanagh) Butler

James ‘Jim’ Cavanagh named the cottage “Ederney”, the place in Ireland where his family was from.

 

Jim and Helen (DeWitt) Cavanagh operated the popular neighbourhood store for nearly four decades, until they retired in 1985.

Jim Cavanagh retired April 3 1985 p 18

‘The Perth Courier’, April 3, 1985, p.18

 

The DeWitt family, Helen’s ancestors, lived in the area for generations, going back to pioneer Zephaniah DeWitt. The first DeWitt land record was Bathurst Con 2 Lot 11, on 1st January 1823.

 

JoAnne waterskiing

JoAnne (Cavanagh) Butler, water skiing on Christie Lake, with Mary Dineen (McIntyre)             photo: JoAnne Cavanagh Butler

 

Bill Cavanagh at Christie Lake

lt to rt:  Bill Cavanagh, Michael Switzer, Peter Mullins   photo: JoAnne (Cavanagh) Butler
(Peter Mullins family’s cottage was located exactly at the site of the former Christie Lake Bark Company.  According to Peter, “Growing up, there were many logs in the water. A few are still there.”)

Helen Cavanagh Aug 4 1982 p 22

‘The Perth Courier’, August 4, 1982, p.22

 

“Helen was dearly loved by all who knew her,

and was an asset to her community”

empty chair at athe lake

 

 

 

Fishing at Christie Lake banner

Fishing at Christie Lake # 1

Jan. 16, 1920, p. 6 ‘The Perth Courier’

 

“Monster-size Fish Caught At Christie Lake”

Christie Lake fishing 2

July 29, 1927 p.1 – ‘The Perth Courier’

 

“12 pound Pickerel caught at Christie Lake”

 

Christie Lake fishing 3

Oct. 22, 1937, p.1 ‘The Perth Courier’

 

 

Christie Lake fishing contest

 

fishing image

 

 

The floods of 2017

Christie Lake:   The Floods of 2017

Heavy spring rains in the region, as well as a lack of good water management practices, are said by locals to have caused the flooding in 2017.  It was widely discussed at the time, that Parks Canada, governing body of  local lakes, was partly to blame in allowing its reservoir at Bobs Lake to become too high. It was said that logs were removed from a control dam at Bobs Lake, upstream, causing water levels to rise in Christie Lake. The flood was the worst that could be recalled in the past century.

Christie Lake flood of 2017

Alan Jordan wades through the waters that flooded Christie Lake in 2017

Christie Lake flood of 2017 part 2

Alan Jordan (left) and his son Paul Jordan, May 11, 2017 – owners of Jordan’s Cottages

Jordan's cottages flood 2017

High waters cause flooding in 2017 – Jordan’s Cottages

 

Christie Lake sundown Kathy Irvine

Sundown at Christie Lake                              photo: Kathy Irvine

 

 

Arliedale Inn banner

Arliedale Inn

The Marks family of Christie Lake were known for their vaudeville shows, and traveling theatrical entertainment.  Thomas Marks, one of the brothers, turned the family home into a hotel, and named it after his daughter ‘Arlie’.

Arliedale Inn Christie Lake

There were seven Marks brothers:  Robert, Tom, Alex, Jack, Joe, McIntyre and Ernie. Two of their sisters-in-law performed with them: Kitty, wife of Ernie, and May Bell, wife of Robert.  There were also two sisters Nell and Libby who did not perform on stage.

Marks family of Christie Lake

Seated:  L. to rt,  May A. Bell Marks, George Marks, R.W. Marks, Gracie Marks.

Standing; Joe Marks, Alex Marks

The Marks family presented melodramas for the most part, but also performed some comedy as well.

When their time for performing had come to an end, most of the family returned to the Christie Lake farm of their childhood. Robert continued to perform on stage until his late 70’s and then retired to the lake. He converted the barn where they had rehearsed into a summer hotel and was owner and operator until his death in 1936 at the age of 86.

Joe also retired to the farm where he died in 1944 at the age of 82.

Tom returned to Christie Lake when he retired, and converted the old house into a hotel and called it Arliedale, after his daughter Arlie. He passed away in 1935,  at the age of 81 years old.

Ella Tom and Arlie Marks

Ella Marks, her husband Tom, and daughter, Arlie Marks and dog, Buster.

 

Marks brothers

 

Tom Marks birthday Jan 18 1935 p 4

‘The Perth Courier’, Jan 18, 1935, p.4

 

 

Death of Mrs. Marguerite (Farrell) Marks –  mother of the Marks Brothers

Marguerite Farrell Marks obit
April 15, 1921, “The Perth Courier” p. 8

 

 

Arliedale lodge postcard

Arliedale Inn, Christie Lake

Arliedale beach

 

Dance at Arliedale Inn – July 1931

 

“…a lingering twilight, as though the sun had stood still just below the horizon.  It was just the sort of night that beckons youth and beauty.”

 

Christie Lake Dance July 10 1931 p 1

‘The Perth Courier’ – July 10, 1931, p.1

 

Arliedale # 2 snip

Arliedale ravine

Christie Lake dance Arliedale 1931

‘The Perth Courier’ – August 7, 1931, p.1

Arliedale July 20 1949 Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Citizen, July 20th, 1949 p. 31

 

Arliedale May 26 1968 p 137 Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, May 26, 1968, p.137

 

Norvic Lodge banner

 

Norvic Lodge

Victor Lemieux and his wife Noreen (McGlade) Lemieux were owners and operators of Norivc Lodge.  Like the other properties set along the shores of Christie Lake, they had a beautiful shoreline, framing their homey, rustic lodge.

Victor, son of Jeremie Lemieux, and Margaret Hannah James, was born and raised in the tiny village of Fournier, in the township of Prescott-Russell.  The village is situated near the communities of Vankleek Hill, St. Isidore, and Plantagenet, a largely French-Canadian settlement. Victor’s father was a Lumberman, and his mother cared for the large family.

Victor’s wife, Noreen, a girl who grew up in the town of Perth, Ontario, was the daughter of Arthur McGlade, a labourer. The McGlade family were early settlers from Perth, originally from County Armagh, Ireland.  Catherine McCarthy, Noreen’s mother was also from an Irish pioneer family, from County Cork.   Noreen’s parents were married in Toledo, Ontario, October 16, 1899.

Noreen McGlade Lemieux

Noreen  ‘Nina’ (McGlade) Lemieux

Memories of working at Norvic Lodge in 1960, as told by Judy (Stafford) Ryan:

“The Lodge was ‘Norvic” named after the owners – Noreen and Vic.  She was called Nina, and they had a daughter Judy,  – about my age at the time.  The Lodge was on Christie Lake.

 I was the only one who had the job there, but because I also had a two week job at the Optometrist in Perth, while his secretary was on vacation, at the beginning of the Summer (Dad got it for me), my sister Jackie (Stafford) Wharton, went up to the Lodge, and held my job for me for that two week period.  I think Dad was also the one who got me the job at the Lodge.  Mother did not want me to go as she figured I would get ‘into trouble’.

We were paid $10.00 a week which was given to us at the end of the Summer.  We made great tips from the Americans, who stayed in the cabins – I could make up to $100.00 a week, depending on whether or not the cabins were full that week.

Our cabin was at the top of a hill away from the vacationers.  Our day started at 7:00 a.m.  We had to be down the hill to the Lodge in uniform, to set up the dining room for breakfast, take breakfast orders, serve it, clear tables and help wash dishes, etc.  We then went back up the hill, changed into shorts and t-shirts and cleaned all the cabins – made beds, dusted, vacuumed, cleaned bathrooms, changed towels, etc.  Then, back up the hill, back into uniform, to do the lunch thing. 

We were suppose to have a couple of hours off each afternoon, to do what we wanted.  However, part way through the summer, the lady who did the laundry left, and that was added to our jobs, without extra pay.  So after lunch, we would have to do the laundry – sheets, towels, etc. and hang them out on a line to dry.  Once a week, we would have to strip the beds, but changed the towels often. 

On days when we didn’t have to do the laundry, I would take the canoe, and a good book, and head for a small uninhabited island, and read for a couple of hours.  I knew that no-one could get to me there. 

Between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. we were back down the hill, in our uniforms, to set up for dinner, etc., etc. 

After everything was done, and cleaned up for the evening, we had time to ourselves, if we had any energy left.  I worked with a girl by the name of Claudette, and she was a real party girl, and as there was a party at some cottage every night, we went out most nights, along with the guy who worked at the Lodge store and gas bar, and he was allowed to use one of the motor boats, and that is how we got to the other cottages.

Just before I arrived to work at the Lodge that Summer there had been a bad boating accident, and I think one or two people had died.  The only way I found out about it was I saw a mangled boat with blood on it, stored in behind the lodge, when I was out walking one day, and asked the guy at the gas bar what happened.

That Summer was the first time I saw death!  There was a delightful family from Pennsylvania. there – three generations – Grandfather, parents, and two younger children.  I was serving breakfast this one morning, and the Grandfather, who was always so friendly and animated, told me about the different birds he had heard singing that morning, and during the conversation, he keeled over at the table.  I ran into the kitchen and got Vic (Lemieux) – told him the old man ‘fainted’.  Vic got the son to help him carry the Grandfather into the Lounge, behind the dining room, and they put him on the couch.  I remember going ahead and serving the other guests, and noticed people coming and going to the Lounge.   Nina told me later that the old guy had died, probably instantly, and I was really shocked and upset.  That is one of those memories that is permanently etched in your memory, especially when you are only 15.”

 – an excerpt from the book,  “Recipes & Recollections: Treats and Tales from our Mother’s Kitchen”, ISBN 978-0-9877026-0-9

 

 

Norvic Lodge ad Good food 1971

Norvic Lodge dining room

Norvic Lodge skin diving

Norvic Lodge boat show

May 10, 1962 – ‘The Perth Courier’

 

Norvic Lodge water show

 

Norvic Lodge – Christie Lake Surfers – summer of 1963

Norvic Lodge water show results

Victor Lemieux obit Mar 17 1998 Ottawa Citizen p 24

obituary of Victor Lemieux, ‘The Ottawa Citizen’, Mar. 17, p.24

Victor Lemieux gravestone

Grave of Victor and Nina Lemieux – St. John’s cemetery, Perth, Ontario

 

Red Cedar Inn banner

Red Cedar Inn

Red Cedar Inn was the official summer residence of the Marks family of entertainers.

“Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Marks are enjoying their beautiful cottage, Red Cedar Villa and will give an “at home” in the near future.”

‘The Perth Courier”, June 23, 1899

Christie Lake Red Cedar Inn

 

“The pickerel are biting fine

and large catches daily is the rule.”

 

Red Cedar Villa June 2 1899 p 1

 

Red Cedar Villa (also known as Red Cedar Inn)

Red Cedar Villa

Red Cedar Inn 1924

 “James is a great admirer of the lake and its beautiful scenery, and always calls on his friend Joe to have a chat and a drink of Mrs. Marks’ noted buttermilk.”

 

Christie Lake news – July 14, 1899

Christie Lake news July 14 1899 p 5 part 1

Christie Lake news July 14 1899 p 5 part 2

“The season at Christie’s Lake House opened much earlier this year than usual.”

 

Christie Lake news June 1, 1900 p 1

Christie Lake news – June 1, 1900, page 1

Red Cedar Inn July 3, 1924 p 6

‘The Ottawa Citizen’, July 3, 1924 p.6

Red Cedar Inn Jun 26 1941 p 24

‘The Ottawa Citizen’, June 26, 1941, p.24

Robert RW MarksRobert W. Marks  1855-1937

 

Red Cedar cottages Sept 23 1970 p 33

‘The Ottawa Citizen’ Sept. 23, 1970 p. 33

Christie Lake Camp

Christie Lake camp sign 2

 

Christie Lake Camp was established in 1922 by Judge John F. McKinley, of Ottawa.  The Judge believed that instead of punishing delinquent boys, he could offer them a chance to leave the temptations of the city, discover the great outdoors, and learn some new coping skills.

“………giving the boy responsibility, handling him with friendship, teaching him the general principles of good citizenship and doing so with the help of the open air.”

Judge John F. McKinley

Christie Lake boys # 5

 

Boys Enjoy Camp at Christy’s Lake

Christie Lake Boy's camp July 20 1923 page 5

July 20, 1923 – ‘The Perth Courier’

Christie Lake boys # 1

 

Splendid Results Attained

From Boys’ Camp at Christy’s

Christie Lake Boy's camp Nov 16 1923 part 1 page 2

Christie Lake Boy's camp Nov 16 1923 part 2 page 2

Christie Lake Boy's camp Nov 16 1923 part 3 page 2

November 16, 1923 – ‘The Perth Courier’

Christie Lake boys # 2

The boys arriving from Ottawa,  on Colonial Coach bus lines

Christie Lake boys # 3

The boys at their dock, below the main building

In 1958 Dr. Dan Offord became Camp Director. Christie Lake Kids programs were
under the guidance and direction of the late Dr. Offord, who was a well-known  child psychiatrist. Dr. ‘Dan’, as he was known, was a volunteer summer Camp Director for 47 years.

Dr. Dan Offord

Dr. Dan Offord, volunteered at Christie Lake for 47 years

 

Christie Lake boys # 6

Tremendous efforts went into fund-raising, over the past several decades, in order to maintain and repair the buildings and grounds at Christie Lake Camp.

In 2001, Dr. Dan’s work in research, at Christie Lake Camp, earned him the Order of Canada.

Dr. Dan Offord died at the age of 70, in 2004.

 

Christie Lake boys # 4

Heading up to the main building for lunch at the Christie Lake Boys’ Camp

Christie Lake kids camp

Learning to paddle a canoe at Christie Lake Camp

Christie Lake camp bonfire

Singing around the campfire, at Christie Lake Camp  – 2013

By the year 2000, approximately 400 boys and girls aged from 9 to 14 arrive every summer to learn outdoor skills and, build their self-esteem

Camp Opemikon – Scout Camp

Camp Opemikon

The land was purchased in 1937, and the camp opened in 1938.  Camp Opemikon has served the camping needs of the Scouting family for many years.

Camp Opemikon patch 1938

 

camp opemikon patch

camp opemikon map

 

camp opemikon cabins

Cabins at Camp Opemikon      – photo: Jason Chute

Canoes at Camp Opemikon

Canoes at Camp Opemikon – photo: Jason Chute

 

 

Christie Lake in colour

 

 

Special thanks to: Janice (Jordan) Gordon, Kathy Irvine, Carolyn Jordan, JoAnne (Cavanagh) Butler, and Judy (Stafford) Ryan, for sharing their photos and memories, of this very special place.

 

Discover more about Christie Lake, and learn about the parties and pastimes of the 1960s and 1970s, at this popular vacation spot, in the story, “Stranded on Christie Lake”, one of the stories in ‘Lanark County Chronicle: Double Back to the Third Line”

LC Chronicle from web

“Lanark County Chronicle” – ISBN-978-0-9877026-23

http://www.staffordwilson.com