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Lamp Life: A History of the Dancey, Terry and Fox Families

December 25, 2023

Rose Marion Terry Dancey, Age 72, 1968, author of Lamp Life

By Rose (Terry) Dancey

It’s cold up here in the attic,

Dark and dreary too,

I find it’s hard to be pleasant,

When I am old and blue.

Once I was new and handsome,

Handled with loving care,

Now I am old and forgotten,

Just like that old arm chair.

How well I remember, signed the old banquet lamp, the day the lovely lady came to the shop. She spent a long time looking at the many beautiful things. I hoped she would not notice me. I liked being there with my friends, the china dogs and toby jugs, the beautiful figurines and dolls. Most friendly were the clocks, the Cuckoos that played a merry tune, the beautiful bronze lady, holding in their hand the German swimming clock, and the marbleized mantel clocks with beautiful golden hoses in shining glass houses: The shopkeeper remarked that the most expensive are those with the maker’s name “Grand father of American Clockmaker’s.” The most valuable thing about the clocks I thought was that they were useful as well as ornamental.

Now the lady was admiring me, and suddenly I became very sad. “Cheer-up, cheer-up,” chimed the stately Grandfather’s Clock, “soon you may be important too.” I was happy when she chose me, and to be given a place of honour with Margaret Stark’s wedding gifts.

On June 11, 1845, Margaret Stark, a Canadian girl of Scottish decent, married Thomas Richard Fox, a native of London, England in St. James Church Toronto. Witnesses were her brother William Stark and David Norton.

This church was the reason Thomas had come to Canada. In 1831, he had his brother Alsay and the Norton boys were brought from England to make a special type of brick for the City Hall and St. James Cathedral in Toronto.

When their contract was completed, the Norton brothers, Alsay, Jack, David, Jim and Tom, began brick-making near Bolton. Thomas and Alsay Fox found good brick clay at Bowmanville. In 1852, the opened a brickyard, “the first commercial venture of this kind in the area.” Alsay obtained land now comprised in “Bowmanville Memorial Park.” Thomas’ adjoining property is now bounded by Park, Ontario, Albert and Duke Streets.

It was here Margaret and Thomas made their home. I finally had a useful and ornamental life, admired by all and serving many years through sad and happy days.

I burned most brightly to aid the doctor in bringing to life the new babies. Marrion was the name given the first arrival. Then came Jim, George, and Thomas; Sam joined the family on September 28, 1854.

Many times I expected to be broken during their boisterous games, but perhaps my life was charmed. Then came Charlotte Elizabeth and last, but not least, Anne Margaret completed the family on November 6, 1857.

By this time, luck was being kilned in large quantities as demand was brisk and the Fox brothers were doing very well indeed. But the lure of gold was Tom’s undoing. Many of his friends and neighbours joined in the great Cariboo Gold Rush of 1860 and had been lucky. When Annie was 2 years old, he decided to get rich quick too. Leaving Alsay to look after the business, Thomas assured Margaret he would soon return and they would live happily ever after. But ‘soon’ turned out to be twelve long years.

The Cariboo Road was built for the gold seekers looking for gold on the Fraser River, on the way to the Cariboo. In six years during the rush, some twenty billion dollars worth of gold was dug, before the diggings became exhausted.

Men came from many lands. Some lucky ones made $3000.00 in a day at Williams Creek and Richville and stayed on, while other made their fortune and left. Many had little money when they came and could not afford to stay overnight, nor eat at the road-houses, scattered along the trail. Necessities were almost prohibitive in price to them. The Cariboo Sentinel advertised “1 bar of soap… $1.00.”

These unlucky prospectors were soon looking like beggars; boots and clothing worn out. Plagued by illness and mosquitoes they became gloomy and discouraged. For some the ‘trail’ ended by a river, dreams and hopes, and life gone forever. But many thought the beauty of the landscape and lure of gold was worth the hardships and loneliness. They expected to find the promised land.

Thomas, like these, held onto his dream and finally was rewarded. But homeward bound, and rich beyond his wildest dreams, he awakened one morning to find his fortune gone. It had been stolen while he slept. Discouraged, he decided to give up the “Wild Goose Hunt” and go home as planned.

At the railway station in Vancouver, he was greatly surprised to meet some old friends from Bowmanville on their way to the gold fields. They assured him that his family, and his business, were doing well in his absence. Finally, they persuaded him to go back and show them how and where to find this treasure. But contrary to their reports, these had been dark and lonely years for Margaret. Alsay had not continued to make a success of the business without Tom.

My light was kept very dim at time to save fuel oil. During the scare of the Fenian Raids, I was not lit at all. The Fenian Brotherhood was organized in Dublin, Ireland in 1858 and spread to the United States. Their idea was to capture Canada, and thus force Great Britain to give independence to Ireland. The Fenians planned the invasion of New Brunswick, also Montreal and control the Great Lakes, they also wanted to capture Canada West, now known as Ontario. Also, in their scheme was a sea-born invasion of British Columbia from San Francisco. Many serious attacks were made from the West Coast to southern Manitoba. The dreadful news, relayed by carriers, “the Fenians are coming,” put fear in the hearts of people. Children were quickly hidden. During these threats, Margaret hid Annie in a barrel of feathers and Marrion in a brick oven.

To have a northern escape route in case of invasion, the Government decided to connect some Colonization road, to form a military highway from the navigable waters of Lake Huron to Ottawa. Among these was the Monck Road, an important link in this military plan. Should transport on the St. Lawrence River in any time be impeded, the Monck Line could be reached and the necessary transit proceed to any point, East or West. There would be eligible points along the line for block houses, arsenal depots and water supplies at 30 or 40 mile intervals. From this road an internal water route could be made available for great distances, as by Gull and Burnt Rivers, and Sturgeon, Pigeon, Stoney and Salmon Trout Lakes and connecting rivers.

Work on the Monck Road began in 1866, but did not proceed very fast. Workmen were remarkably scarce due to the low wages allowed by the department. This was 57 cents per day, plus their board only on the days they worked. The men also complained that provisions were more or less “damaged.” Wealthy farmers in the neighbourhood were playing $1.00 per day, plus board (rain or shine) to the same kind of labourers.

Work on this road, first surveyed in 1864-5 was begun in 1866. Length was to be 100 miles when it would join the Mississippi Road for 71 miles and thence continue, 70 miles to Ottawa—231 miles when finished. Finally, only 8 miles of the Monck road was properly completed at that time. In 1876, the Grilled Times reported “This important thoroughfare is in a most deplorable state with bridges out of repair and one almost entirely swept away.”

Margaret was also very troubled over something called the mortgage coming due on their home. A happy day came when a letter arrived with good news from Thomas that he would be home soon with plenty of money to pay this debt. Finally, the fateful day arrived when the mortgages became due, but not Thomas nor the money. This ‘Shy lock’ would not wait and put the family and all the belongings on the street.  Margaret’s favourite expression, “The Lord will provide for all our needs” provided them with a place to live. Three days later, Thomas arrived with plenty of money to pay, but the mortgage had been foreclosed and their had lost their home.

Business in Bowmanville was not so prosperous now, as the red-brick clay was running out. Two and a half miles south on Lindsay Street, near the Town of Lindsay, Thomas located a good deposit of this clay, which he was able to purchase. In 1869, he moved there with his family and made a successful business.

His son Jim left for far away adventures in Florida, where he acquired a wife, much valuable land and spent his entire life. His son George had established a publishing office at Newmarket and later became editor of the Free Press in Ottawa. From an attack of measles, he eventually lost his eyesight. On March 3, 1882, the employees presented him with a substantial purse of money and a beautiful mantle clock. To his sister Annie, who had joined him there, and worked on a press, they gave gold earrings which she greatly prized. They returned to Lindsay and Annie learned the tailoring trade. Lottie was fortunate in getting a job in the Lindsay Post office, where she was employed until her retirement. Meanwhile, Marrion had married a shop-keeper in Fenelon Falls, Will Meagher. Later they established Meagher’s Men’s Wear in Napanee and there lived out their lives.

At the age of fourteen, young Sam began his business life as a printer, entering first as a printer’s devil, and working for two and a half years as a compositor in a newspaper office in Lindsay and later in his brother Thomas’ publishing office at Newmarket, Ontario. Finally, his father persuaded him to learn brick-making. Together they made a very successful business and Fox’s bricks were sold far and wide. Pressed in the centre brick of each tray of nine, was the name S.J. Fox. Many of these have been found today in the ruins of demolished buildings.

But the lure of gold was still in Tom’s blood and he could not resist the Great Klondike Gold Rush of ’98. He sold out the business to Sam, now married to Rosanna Free of Campbellford. The price was $200.00 plus a promise from him to build a good, brick cottage for his mother, Margaret. He was also to give her $50.00 each year, 1 or 2 pigs and an ample supply of fuel and to look after her well until his father returned.

Once more, Thomas struck it rich and immediately began his homeward journey, happy and satisfied. But this proved to be his last and heavenly journey. On the train, between North Bay and Toronto, he was found dead, early one morning. All his earthly treasure gone. This remained an unsolved mystery.

Meanwhile his son, Samuel John Fox, had become a prosperous and respected businessman. He served as conservative M.P.P. for South Victoria from 1898 until his death in 1911. True to his promise, he had built his mother a good brick cottage on the Western Boundary of the brickyard property, now known as Hamilton Street in Lindsay.

Here for many years she lived a comfortable life, happily tending her two large vegetable gardens and picking and conserving the berries and currants from the bushes. She also raised chickens, ducks and a pig. Feathers from the fowl filled the many pillows and bed ticks. With cold winter days came the familiar aroma of hot barley soup always simmering on the shining black cook stove.

The long row of Normandy Poplars planted along the western boundary inside the board fence grew more stately and beautiful with the years. Normandy poplars were first planted in North America, on the coast of Massachusetts, to mark safe landing places for vessels bringing new settlers about 1620.

Normans were originally ‘Scandinavian Invaders’ who settled in France in the 10th century in a district they called Normandy. From Normandy they proceeded to invade England, Italy and Sicily, founding a Norman Kingdom in each place. To escape persecution for their religious views 74 men and 28 women sailed from Plymouth, England, September 6, 1620. Landing in Massachusetts, they founded “Plymouth,” 40 miles south of Boston.

In the parlour of this cozy cottage I was happy, burning brightly during the long winter evenings. Margaret, rocking in her favourite chair, hooked mats, sewed rags into carpets or knitted beautiful lace for pillow slips, sheets or undergarments for her daughters, Lottie and Annie. She spent much time knitting woollen caps, mittens, stockings, sweaters and scarves for her grandchildren.

When Beau’s came calling on Lottie my light was sometimes dimmed, but she firmly refused many proposals of marriage. A handsome officer in the army insisted she become his bride, and go with him to his post in Australia. A prosperous jeweller in Lindsay was also broken-hearted when rejected but she kept her decision to stay with her mother always.

Meanwhile on September 30, 1884, Annie had married a young grocery clerk, Arthur Browning Terry. Arthur’s father, Robert Terry and his father’s brother, Townsend, two staunch Irishmen, had refused to fight against the American War of 1812. They came across Lake Ontario, bringing all their possessions, including a cow, on a hand-made raft and landed at Wellington, Prince Edward County.

Many families came to Canada in this manner. Large trees were trimmed of their branches and bound together with wine and logging chains found on the many deserted logging camps. A shanty was built on the centre of the raft, and also an enclosure to hold their livestock. They usually brought a wagon and supplies to last a month or so in case of bad storms which usually blew southward. Many bodies of men and wrecks of scouts were found along the southern shore of the lake. Settlers on this shore were glad to inherit the possessions lost.

Like other United Empire Loyalists, they were given a large grant of land in Prince Edward County near Picton, Ontario to recompense them for the home and land they had left. Robert went farming, and Townsend built a factory for the manufacturing of farm machinery and made the first steel ploughs in this part of Canada. As the business flourished, Townsend persuaded Robert to sell his farm and invest the money in enlarging the factory.

On the opening day of the new extension, overheated journals caused a fire which completely destroyed the buildings. Townsend collected and retained all the insurance money, refusing to give Robert his share. With this money, Townsend rebuilt the factory, while Robert, discouraged, moved to Port Perry. There he finally opened a cooperage for making wooden tubs, pails, barrels and butter firkins.

While living in Picton he married into another U.E.L. family of Dutch parentage, Mary Rose. One son whom they christened Arthur ‘Browning’ Terry, named Browning after their Wesleyan Methodist Minister was born there on January 23, 1858. When the family moved to Port Perry, Arthur went further north to Lindsay, where he remained the balance of his life. He learned the grocery and fruit business in Campbell’s Store, known as “the best in town.”

On his wedding day, September 30, 1884, he and his bride, Annie Margaret Fox, opened the door of their own shop. It was the second store from the south-east corner of York and Kent Street (next to Claxton’s). This building was owned by Squire MacDonald, who, unfailingly, was waiting when the door was unlocked on ‘rent due’ morning to collect the rent.

In this little store, they served light lunches, and sold groceries, candies and fruit. Soon business grew too big for this small store. In 1890 a new Post Office was being built near the south-western end of the main street. Adjacent to it was Veitch’s Hotel, doing a ‘land-office business.’ The vacant property from here to Cambridge Street was used as a Hotel yard to accommodate the farmers and their hopes.

Anne and A.B. as he was called, were able to purchase a building lot next to the hotel. Annie’s brother, Sam Fox, agreed to supply the bricks and build for them a good store. As this part of the town was beyond the main business section, it too many years of hard work to pay off the mortgage to Sam.

Meanwhile, Mr. McKay bought the adjoining lot and built a smaller two-storey building for a tailor shop and home. The old timers say that as well as making clothes for ‘special customers’ he also excelled in special cigars. However, despite all his talents, with the addition of a very large family, he could not manage to pay off the mortgage on his store. It was finally foreclosed and A.B. was able to buy the property. By cutting an archway through the dividing wall, McKay’s Tailor Shop became a large ice cream parlour for Terry’s. Furnished with small marble-topped tables, it was well patronized, especially Friday evenings after the Band Concert at the Park.

By this time, many children had arrived. As each grew tall enough to count money and break string, they were assigned a job after school and on Saturdays. For the girls, training began at the one cent case and proceeded to wrapping, tying and selling bread at 5 cents per loaf. They then graduated to the baking, candy and fruit counters. Finally, they were taught the intricacies of making ice cream sodas and sundaes including ‘David Harems,’ ‘Sunny Jims,’ etc.

The boys learned the art of candy making of many kinds, including chocolate dipped creams and hum bugs. At Christmas time, a huge candy cane was hung by wide, red satin ribbon in the front window of the store. Delicious Xmas cakes were also a specialty. After baking, these were always frozen in a large ‘ice freezer’ before being decorated for sale. Light lunches were also served at the back of the store and Annie’s specialty was Oyster Stew which brought many regular customers till 12 o’clock on Saturday nights.

Their first helper had arrived with great fanfare on July 21, 1885. The town was welcoming home the 47 men of the Lindsay 45th Regiment who had fought in the Riel Rebellion of May 9-12. Flags and bunting on the main street proclaimed the Victory of Batoche. So despite his mother’s protest and disappointment, everyone insisted that this baby boy must be named Victor Batoche Terry. In place of Victor, he was soon known to one and all as Tosh. He was to become an excellent baker, and enjoyed working in the bake shop. In his late teens, the family doctor discovered flour was affecting his lungs so he decided to join his brother George in the newly booming City of Saskatoon.

George Arthur had been born on November 22, 1887 and had become his father’s assistant in making Terry’s home-made pure ice cream which they shipped to many out-of-town merchants. Unfortunately, a severe bought of rheumatic fever when he was young had undermined his health. The doctor said “no more working with ice cream. Go west where the climate is dry.” Here he married Margaret and spent the remainder of his life. He died in Saskatoon on March 27, 1952.

During this time Lillian Alberta Claire, their first daughter, born October 21, 1889, was busily doing her part. Before and after school and evenings, she helped Kate Ford and Belle Marshall in the store. She proved to be an efficient, pleasant and reliable saleslady and bookkeeper. She always had one evening of each week to go to choir practice.

Two years after Lillian’s birth, another baby boy named Verrall Lorne arrived. He was Lillian’s shadow following her everywhere and always sharing whatever he had with her. At the age of 10, while his brothers were shovelling snow from the roof of the store, he accidentally crashed to his death on the pavement below.

The sorrow broke his mother’s heart and health so that at the birth of her next son, Cleveland, her doctor gave her no hope for her life. He advised her to give the baby to her brother Sam and his wife Rosanna, who had no children. This she finally consented to do, but on her recovery, was not able to persuade them to let her have him back again. He had become by adoption Cleveland Terry Fox, thereby making one home very happy and one home very sad.

To complete the Terry family, two more babies arrived. The next, another girl, they named “Rose Marrion” after two aunts, Rosanna Fox and Marrion Meagher. Last but not least, on January 30, 1902, a delicate, wee boy was born and christened Samuel Scott. After two months in the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children and being carried on a pillow for the first year of his uncertain life, he finally made it. As a boy, he had a job at Little’s Book Shop. Later in his youth, at the suggestion of a great friend, Frank Goodwin, he worked on the Great Lakes boats to earn enough money for a course in the Coyne Electrical School in Chicago. Returning home for his father’s funeral, he missed his final exams and was not able to receive his diploma. This was a great disappointment to him as well as a definite handicap in procuring future jobs or which he had been trained.

Upon the death of Margaret Stark Fox in 1908, her belonging and the contents of her little cottage by the Willows were divided between her daughters Annie and Lottie. I was given a place of honour in Annie’s parlour with her plush parlour suite, a wedding gift from her brother George.

In those days, parlours were always cleaned on Friday, and only used on Sundays and other very special occasions as when the minister called and had tea. Although gas lighting was now used in the Town of Lindsay and in the new store, I was still admired and useful. Lillian’s chief delight was watching the lamp-lighter as he lit the gas lamps on the street each evening.

Just as kerosene had replaced grease and whale oil for lighting, so something exciting called ‘electricity’ was to finally replace gas lighting. This magic was first introduced to Lindsay in 1884 by the Barnam and Bailey Circus, when a portable steam-operated generator activated a number of arc lights for the large tent in which the circus was held. This caused great excitement and sparked the imagination and genius of a prominent citizen and lumberman, Mr. Parkin. He established a similar plan for his mill. In spite of Parkin’s head start in the electrical field, he failed to pursue his course rigorously enough. In 1890, B.J. Reesor established the Lindsay Electric Light Company.

It costs money to change new forms, which explains the tenacity with which people hold onto the old manner of lighting. Eventually Terry’s modernized with electricity too. Occasionally, even this great system failed, temporarily, and I was happy to bring a glow of light to the darkness.

Rose Marrion was first introduced to Stanley Dancey by telephone. She had been selling tickets at the Park corner for a worthy cause, when this good-looking young man made three excuses to buy three tickets. At that time, young ladies had to be formally introduced to the boys before they talked to them. This obstacle was soon overcome by two maiden ladies at his boarding house, much interested in his welfare.

Having been raised on Kent Street, Rose had grown up with a fear of ever having to live on a farm or anywhere north of Lindsay. At that time, the ‘north’ had not been opened up to tourists. To her it was just a wilderness of the lakes, forests and farms. To many nice boys from high school who asked, “May we walk home with you and your friend Emily from Church on Sunday evening?” the reply was a polite “No thank you.”

Cautiously inquiring about Stanley from Miss Markham and Miss Minore, she learned he had graduated from Alex M. Paton’s School of Telegraphy. This school was started in 1906 in the garret of the Academy Theatre. Seven foot poles with wires and glass insulators were stretched throughout the room and telegraph instruments were set up three feet apart down a long, narrow table. Hundreds of skilled Morse operators when to school as agents and despatchers across Canada and in the USA upon graduation. Stan began his railroading career in 1913 as assistant to Bob Groves, the GTR Station agent in Markham, Ontario. Mr. Groves proved to be a good friend as well as teacher. After a few years’ service as a relief agent, he was now a train despatcher in the Lindsay office.

So Rose felt secure in beginning this friendship with she discovered his ambition was to remain a train despatcher or become a station agent. Little did she know about the future when in 1920 she promised to marry him and gradually learned Stanley Dancey had been born and raised in Lochlin, somewhere in the Highlands of Haliburton.

During the great Potato Famine in Ireland, 1845 and 1846, his father Samuel, then six years of age with his brother Edward, two years older, were sent to Canada to make their home with their uncle Sam at “Dancey Hill,” Omemee. Their names and destinations were sewn on their jackets and their only luggage, one chest of sugar.

Their Uncle Sam had three sons and one daughter. One of his sons invented and patented the Dancey fence still in use today. Young Sam lived in Omemee with his uncle until a young man, when they joined the throng, encouraged by Government to go north. 

This interesting story of the past did not disturb Rose, and marry him she did on a beautiful day, September 21, 1920. They travelled by train to the Fallmouth Hotel, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Maine for their wedding trip. It was some years later she discovered this was the place Bob and Mrs. Groves had spent their honeymoon some years earlier, also on September 21.

On their return, Stanley’s first job was to relieve the agent at Waubaushene then onto Peterborough and finally in November to Ganonoque, a beautiful town amid the Thousand Island. Here on July 17, 1921, their daughter, Audrice Gertrude was born. As the town was on daylight saving time, doctor and Miss Round, the nurse claimed she was born on Monday, 18th, but Stanley insisted that according to his watch and railroad time, it was one minute before 12 o’clock, Sunday, July 17. He won. The poor darling was to cry, almost continuously, for her first year of uncertain life, wanting the proper diet. Due to the advice of a good friend and nurse, Margaret, she was saved by the skill of Dr. Alan Brown at his Cottage Hospital in Toronto.

Rose loved Ganonoque where they had plenty of visitors and good times. She hoped to stay there forever. Also, her brother, Toche and family had bought a grocery store and moved to Ganonoque. Toche and Hattie had two daughters, Jean and Marion. Their only son “Jackie” was born there, but died very suddenly in Kingston hospital when only two years old.

Rose was very disappointed the day Stanley happily announced that he had been successful in bidding in a station and would have to leave in two weeks for Campbellcroft. This was a tiny spot just north of Port Hope on the Lindsay branch of the Canadian National Railway.

It was November 1, 1923 before a house could be located, so on that day, Audrice, then two years old and her mother, Rose, left by train for parts unknown to them. Stanley had said, “Get off at Port Hope, and then when the next train comes along, board it, and in a very short time you will be in Campbellcroft.” When the conductor finally came down the aisle and said, “Where to Ma’am?” To Rose’s response “Campbellcroft,” he assured her it would take a long tie on that train. It was en route to Toronto, making only one stop at Oshawa. Rose thought it bet to get off (at Oshawa) where, fortunately, her brother, Cleve had a hardware store.

The following three weeks were spent cleaning, unpacking, and settling the house. Finally, everything was finished and the packed suitcase (for some forgotten reason) was sent ahead on the afternoon train to Lindsay. This was to have been followed on the morning train by rose who was expecting to visit Ross Memorial Hospital shortly. However, before the morning, a beautiful baby girl, Margaret Eileen, arrived and to look after her, a registered nurse form Port Hope. This wee treasure was not meant to stay, and sent back to Heaven on February 8, 1924.

Before too long they were able to rent a nice cottage by a creek. Stanley expected to be stationed in Campbellcroft for many years. The former agent had been there forty years. So with this thought in mind, Stanley bought a good lot for three hundred dollars, across from the station. On this lot was a small but well built three-room house. Then a carpenter was found, by great economy, each pay day. “Now there is your future home, Rose,” Stanley said, “All you have to do is tell Mr. Stone how you want it built. He is just a carpenter, not a house builder.” Having no alternative, Rose took the ‘bull by the horns’ as it were, and the renovations began. After many months of designing, painting, finishing floors, etc., all well-mixed with tears and weariness, a white stucco home was sparkling with tiny black stones and black trim, was finally finished.

At the back of the lot there was a good shed, and the next spring Stanley decided he could add to his income by selling ‘hatching’ eggs of pure bred Rhode Island Red Fowl. This proved to be true and he also won many ribbons at the Lindsay Fair for his fine quality Reds. Rose had a strong aversion in this project, except to advertise and ship the eggs.

But there was till room to spare in the shed and “plenty of room for a purebred Jersey Cow.” Stanley said Rose couldn’t say she was allergic to cows because she had never been closer to one than those in a field or at the Lindsay Fair. However, she went along to look at some cows on a wonderful farm at Roseneath. The owner had many purebred jerseys, but much to Stanley’s surprise, prices were in the hundreds of dollars. Finally discouraged, he admitted all were too expensive. “How much money could you pay?” the owner asked Stanley. “Two hundred dollars” was his reply. A trifle started, the owner did his good deed for the year and sold “Pearl,” a beauty, not young, but with papers a yard long and soon to have a calf.

Now at the time Pearl chose to have her calf, “Molly,” Stanley was very ill with pneumonia. He had asked his neighbour Les Smith, to look after the cow. This he proved by carrying a beautiful Jersey calf to Stanley’s bedroom and standing it on the four wobbly legs. The great surprise came when Stanley sent Rose to milk the mother. He was sure she could do it as he had never heard of anyone who couldn’t milk a cow. Well, she tried and cried and tried again, but no success and finally had to admit to Les that she just couldn’t milk. He had never heard of a woman who couldn’t milk a cow either.

When the beautiful Spring arrived, everyone planted a garden or so it seemed. Well, sine that should also help with the grocery bills, the garden was panted and grew as planned. The large front yard was made into a beautiful lawn.

But Rose discovered in time that the gardens had to be hoed and grass cut. She took the lessons in garden and grass culture in her stride until one weary day she suggested that Stanley might find time to at least hoe the garden. He quickly agreed to the suggestion and the following Sunday morning was hard the hoeing when Rose went to call him to breakfast. The neighbours, as well as Stanley were slightly surprised at the reaction. But as he knew it would, the Sunday experiment worked.

At this time robbing stations was a hobby and agents were warned to be prepared. Stanley decided to borrow a .22 from his mother-in-law, in case of any such emergency. When examining the gun one morning, it accidentally “took off” penetrating the bedroom door and across the hall into the opposite wall. This terminated the prospect of eliminating robbers by this method. The only alternative would have to be a good police dog. So Floss joined the family and proved to be an excellent watch dog and her pups another source of income.

In 1927, on September 12, Stanley Blake Dancey was born in the Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay. Four years later, another boy, Terry Harrison, was born into the Dancey Family on June 15, 1931. The following year, Stanley was ‘moved’ to Burnt River by the C.N.R. This was a very sad event for the family as they had to sell their beautiful home, and move to where they considered was the end of the earth. This same year, 1932, Rose and Stanley’s last child was born, a baby girl, Donna Bernice, on December 28. Those were the years when we had very hard winters, with plenty of snow and the thermometer often going well below the freezing point. In fact, on December 29, 1933, it was 54F below zero in Burnt River.

Besides being the “Station Master” in Burnt River, Stanley began what was to become a thriving lumber business. This business was started out in a small way, buying and selling, car loads of posts to Western Ontario, sometimes as a sawmill was set up to cut railroad ‘ties’ and later on lumber as well. As the business grew larger, the Bow Lake Lumber Company was formed, and Stanley was assisted in this venture by his two sons, Blake and Terry.

This lumber business was so named because of eight hundred acres of wooded land around Bow Lake in Haliburton County, which was purchased by Rose and Stanley Dancey in 1937. Here the family spent their summers for many years to come, first of all tenting while a cottage was being built. This property still remains in its natural state and is enjoyed by members of the Dancey family, although a portion of the land was sold in 1967.

The family moved from Burnt River to Fenelon Falls in 1944, when a serious fire destroyed their home. Stanley commuted to work in Burnt River until he became ill with Parkinson’s disease and died on November 29, 1968.

The dusty old boxes were opened up when Grandma Terry passed away in 1948. Rose and Stanley became my proud owners and converted me to electricity and once more I assumed a place of prominence in their pretty pink home on Market Street. I was glad to be lighted each evening and to become useful again.

On November 24, 1964 their youngest daughter, Dona bought the lovely 60-year-old Wollard house at 85 Bolton Street in Bobcaygeon, where she moved with her family. For a house warming and Christmas gift I was presented to her that year. It has been quite a feat to survive in this household with four lively children and constant restoration taking place.

Being a lover of antiques, Donna restored me to my original state and always at Halloween, Christmas and special occasions I’m lit to cast my warm glow on this busy family. Donna remarried on January 1, 1974 to a native of Scotland, Arthur Logan Jr. and they have begun a furniture restoration business in their home.

This family it seems from the beginning was to have had political interest starting with Alsay Fox, for Donna was elected Bobcaygeon’s first Lady Councillor at the inauguration ceremony on January 13, 1975, for a two year term and a second term on January 10, 1977. Bobcaygeon’s Centennial was celebrated in 1976, and there I was, treasured and admired during the festivities after 131 years of glowing service. Grandma Rose, as she was affectionately called, passed away of a heart attack on January 21st, 1974, survived by her four children, plus sixteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Its warm and cozy in the living room

With grandpa’s old arm chair

With special family treasures

Restored and kept with care.

There are pictures of three grandmas

Who used to care for me

And now we’re all together

For everyone to see

I only hope that through the years,

The children still not born

Will have the comfort of my light

That grandma Rose passed on.

The Fox Brickyards in Bowmanville

Around 1852 two brothers, Alsay and Thomas Fox, came to the village and opened a brickyard, the first commercial venture of this kind in the area. Alsay Fox acquired land in the block bounded by the Base Line, Liberty, Park and Duke Streets (roughly the land now comprised in the Memorial park), while Thomas obtained a number of lots in the blocks bounded by Park, Ontario, Albert and Duke Streets. They turned out brick in large quantities as the demand was brisk at that time, and evidently did quite well indeed. Alsay Fox, by the way, was a member (from the South Ward) of the first municipal council of the Town of Bowmanville. After a few years both brothers left town, and R. Hamley then carried on the brickyard in the part of the areas that the Fox Brothers had had, but as the clay suitable for brick making bean to run out here, he transferred the yard to the higher land on the north side of the Base Line, just east of Soper’s Creek. After his death, his son Henry Hamley, carried on this business for quite a lengthy period. For many years the lots in the South Ward from which the clay fro brick making had been dug were quite conspicuous, as water generally lay in them during the wet seasons, and in winter they were often used for open-air skating. Today, they have been largely filled in and have houses upon them (with the exception, of course, of the lots which were converted into Memorial Park).

Bowmanville Becomes an Incorporated Town

In Speaking of the Arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway in this area, we mentioned the boom that accompanied it. The population of the village must have increased sharply in the period 1852-1857, for in the latter year, application was made to have the village incorporated as a town, and at that time the minimum population required for such incorporation was 3,000. At any rate, Chapter 89, Canadian Statutes, 1857, granted the petition with effect from the first day of January 1858. It also divided the town into three Wards—West, South, and North—and defined their boundaries.

On January 18, 1858, the first meeting of the Municipal Council of the Town of Bowmanville was held. At that time the councillors were elected from each ward, and then the Mayor and Reeve were chosen by council. To this first Town Council the West Ward elected Jas. B. Fairbarin, G. McDougall, and D. Fisher, the North Ward James McFeeters, Ira Van Camp and George Haines, and the South Ward Peter Coleman, John Milne and Alsay Fox. These having taken the necessary oaths, and their seats, unanimously chose James McFeeters Mayor and Peter Coleman Reeve.

A rather peculiar thing occurred in connection with the incorporation of the Town. When the village had been incorporated as such its boundaries were defined and evidently it contained no land in the Broken Front. When the town was incorporated the framers of the Act, in defining the boundaries of the Wards, threw into the South Ward Lots 9, 10, and 11 of the Broken Front, but not Lot 8. That is, the eastern boundary of the Town in the Broken Front was the western boundary of Lot 8, whereas above the Base Line the eastern boundary of Lot 8 was also the eastern boundary of the Town. This matter never seems to have merited much attention until recently when a prospective industry evinced interest in the land comprised in Lot 8 below the Base Line, only to discover that it was not a part of the Town of Bowmanville. However, appropriate legal steps were taken to have Lot 8 in the Broken Front switched form the Township of Darling to the Town of Bowmanville.

Bowmanville abounds in inconsistencies: perhaps that is what gives it a certain charm. Just here may be as good a place as any to mention another instance where a perfectly good intention got off on the wrong foot, so to speak. One of the early town fathers must have decided that Bowmanville should have a crest, and quite naturally he thought of the Arms of the Bowman’s. There probably weren’t many people in Upper Canada at that time who had any knowledge of Heraldry, and books on the subject were probably pretty hard to come by. However, this gentleman may have dipped into Burke’s Landed Gentry, or some such work, and finding an illustration of the Bowman Arms, he thereupon appropriated it as a fitting town crest. The only thing wrong with it was that the Arms he selected were not those of the Scottish Bowmans at all, but those of Bowman of Hethleton in Dorsetshire, England, a family with absolutlely no connection with Bowmanville. However, now that it has been in use for so many years, perhaps it may be allowed to continue to serve.

Samuel J. Fox, M.P.P., Lindsay, Ontario

Of high standing in the industrial life of Ontario, and a man of note in provincial politics, Samuel J. Fox, of the town of Lindsay, in the county of Victoria and the Province of Ontario, is one who, through his own ability and character, has become a man prominent in the political and commercial progress and the development of his native province. The son of Thomas R. Fox, a native of London, England, who came to Canada in the year 1831, and his mother a Canadian of Scottish descent, he was born in the town of Bowmanville, in the county of Durham, Province of Ontario, on the twenty-eighth day of September 1854. Educated at the Public and Grammar Schools of his native town. In the year of 1869, he removed to the town of Lindsay, and at the age of fourteen began his business life as a printer, entering first as ‘printer’s devil,’ and working for two and a half years as a compositor in the newspaper office at Lindsay and in his brother’s publishing office at Newmarket, Ontario.

In June 1871, the subject of this sketch joined in business with his father in the manufacture of bricks and tiles in Lindsay and accepting an interest in the business on property adjoining the town where he owns and works his farm. Successful in his venture, the business has grown and Mr. Fox now employs from twenty to twenty-five men during the brick making season, having built up, through his energy, a large and lucrative business. Interested in public affairs and enjoying the confidence of his fellow citizens, he has been elected and served as Deputy Reeve of the Township of Ops in the County of Victoria for the years 1895 and 1896. In the year 1897, Mr. Fox was elected member of the council of the County of Victoria. A Liberal-Conservative of local influence and of high character, he was the party nominee for the riding of West Victoria in the general elections of 1898 for the Ontario Legislature and was elected by a majority of seventy, carrying a strong Liberal constituency. In the year 1902, he was again returned by an increased majority and is now a member of the Provincial Legislature of Ontario.

Church of England in religion, he married, in the year 1877, Miss Rosanna Free, of the township of Seymour, in the County of Northumberland. Mr. Fox is a type of sturdy Canadian, who, through his ambition, pluck and business ability, has not only ben the builder up of his own political and commercial fortunes, but, through his public spirit and knowledge of the needs of the people of his country, has succeeded in obtaining the respect and confidence of the electors of the constituency in which he lives and conducts his business, and whom he faithfully represents on the floor of the assembly and on several of the most important legislative committees.

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