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Remembering Local Fiddlers

February 14, 2022

Song and Dance at an unidentified Shanty - Image from Guy Scott

Back in the days before social media, television or even radio, communities gathered together in person, telling tall tales, keeping up on the gossip, helping out, and personally being there for one other in ways that are very different than what has become the norm in modern life. Music and even the occasional dance was a big part of how friends and neighbours kept each other company.

A century ago, practically everyone in this area appreciated (Old Tyme) fiddle music, and local musicians often spent an evening performing in many living room concerts and maybe the odd public venue. And having music, might even inspire a square dance! Around Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon and North Verulam in the first half of the twentieth century, one group of friends that were well remembered included John Hooey, Grattan Smith, and Basil McGee on fiddle, with Geordie (Gardy) Grandsen on guitar and Granny Schell chording on the piano.

And fiddle music was not just for farm folk, it was as much appreciated in the logging camps, where the boys might even hold a dance.

Do have memories of local fiddlers?

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