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Fenelon Falls’ First Veterinarian, Dr. R.M. Mason

April 23, 2024

Dr. Robert Mercer Mason

In the nineteenth century, practically everyone kept domesticated animals, and they were a necessity of life. Farmers employed their faithful team of horses practically every day, they became part of the family and were a major investment. Yet, if an animal fell ill, most farmers resorted to folk remedies or visited local blacksmiths, until Dr. Mason moved to Fenelon Falls. Some larger companies, like sawmills would bring in a veterinarian.

Dr. R.M. Mason came from Mono Mills to Fenelon Falls in 1889 on a trial basis, becoming the community’s first full-time veterinarian. He was soon doing so well that he decided to stay. Within two years he hired J.W. Smelser as his assistant. He treated animals from as far away as Haliburton. Dr. Mason went on to serve on Village Council, as Reeve, and Warden of Victoria County in 1908. He practiced until about 1911, died in 1920 and was buried in Fenelon Falls Cemetery.

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