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Baddow Baptist church stalwart Gladys Suggitt took over her father’s farm, working it with Lola Potter and family. In her spare moments she collected local memories, which became Roses & Thorns, a remarkably popular and authentic local history.
The Local Face of the Conservative Party was the enthusiastic and articulate “master of ceremonies for damned near any gathering of more than ten people.” Monty was a Massey Ferguson dealer, beef farmer and community builder in both Fenelon Falls and Kinmount.
Young George did ten years hard labour for his major role in the murderous Markham Gang. He then served on Lindsay Council, founded Sturgeon Point and ran a steamship line, though he remained a street brawler. The great fire of Fenelon Falls started in his hotel.
“The oldest and most experienced bush ranger in Canada,’” Vannier was an excellent judge of standing timber. He inspected forests from Alaska to Labrador, often for Mossom Boyd. A skilled ranger was invaluable in the 1890s, as virgin berths were scarce.
Al was a remarkably devoted Fenelon Falls village employee for 35 years. He fixed every pot hole, knew about local water and sewer, broke ice dams, and tirelessly shovelled pedestrian bridges. When he retired, he refused to take a pension.
A mason by trade, Robert Jackett privately installed Fenelon Falls’ first water system in 1894. Initially using tamarack pipes, when upgraded to steel it lasted 70 years. His descendants created the village’s largest construction company.
Minister at St. Andrew’s Fenelon Falls and Knox Glenarm from 1969 to 1988, William was beloved by his congregation. With his Scottish brogue, he was a very warm and engaging speaker. He and wife Rita devoted their lives to caring for his congregation, particularly those who were unwell. St. Andrew’s has never been the same since he retired.
Superintendent of Mossom Boyd’s logging shanties, Barnhart had “A fearfully bad temper at all times, and was liable to ‘blow off’ at any time, although his bark was usually worse than his bite, for none had a kinder heart than he.” In the logging camps, Barnhart’s word was law.
Nichol Hugh Baird
In 1833, Upper Canada commissioned N.H. Baird to survey the proposed Trent Waterway. He estimated the total cost at $1,167,236, easily enough to bankrupt the government. Nevertheless, he completed a thorough survey of the route, which would facilitate its subsequent construction. Baird later went insane shortly after the birth of his eighth child.
Starting out as a tinsmith, he expanded to operate Fenelon Falls’ hardware store from 1886 until his death in 1911. His son William John carried on the business. He was also an avid sportsman, as shown here with an impressive Musky.
Matilda (Patten) Lamb
An original Bury’s Green settler, Matilda faced an arduous life raising a backwoods family. When husband James passed, neighbour Richard Arkwright helped her manage as her children matured. Matilda later enjoyed many happy moments with her grandchildren.
Edward Deanes Hand
E.D. Hand founded the original Lindsay Advocate and Bobcaygeon Independent, before returning to Fenelon Falls where he launched the Gazette. From 1872 to 1915 he was the voice of what was happening in Fenelon Falls, imparting a memorable wit to everything he wrote.
Myrtle worked as a milliner for J.A. McDougall before opening her own hat business, that operated from 1902 to 1928. She and Rachel McFarland made hats to suit on site, and both were devoted members of Fenelon Falls United Church.
Martha was approached by a group of her Bobcaygeon friends who were looking to name the lakes of the Trent Valley region. Kawaatebiishing soon became Kawarthas, as it was advertised throughout North America. Martha Whetung received free passage for life on all Trent Valley Navigation Company Steamers, and when she passed W.T.C. Boyd purchased a grave marker for her.
Susannah was expecting when she arrived in Verulam Township in 1833. Daughter Maria became the new community’s first child. The family survived the trials of farm creation, and Susannah later became one of the few original settlers to be photographed.
While laying out the Nipissing District, this Fenelon Falls surveyor realized it was better suited to recreation than the farm lots he was instructed to create. He persuaded the Province of Ontario to create Algonquin Park, which open in 1893. His enthusiasm for outdoor recreation shaped the early park, creating formal canoe routes, a park map, and ensuring that Algonquin was stocked with fish and game.
Fenelon Falls’ first postmaster, Powles later farmed Lot 15 VIII, Fenelon. An avid gardener, he is remembered for his ability to graft fruit trees, along with his productive orchard and vineyard. Powles’ Corners is named in his honour.
Fenelon Falls Librarian from 1977 to 1993, Marg demonstrated a sincere, loving interest in the community she served. Story time at the public library was a much appreciated community event. An avid member of the local stamp club, Marg began collecting local postcards. After many years of devoted labour, she pulled together a remarkable archive of community images and memories, published as Fenelon Then & Now in 2000. A woman of many talents, who willingly shared with the community, young and old.
Fenelon Falls’ self-identified “Bad Ass,” Jim had a sense of humour that few who met him will ever forget. He had many careers (teacher, school board trustee, handyman, worker at Allen Wood Product), but is particularly remembered as the local animal control expert. He had a unique ability to befriend a skunk and carry it outside without getting sprayed. During one school board meeting, he famously showed up with a bottle of wine and started drinking to question the appropriateness of allowing alcohol at school dances.
Bobcaygeon’s energetic librarian exhibited a zest for life that few could match. She helped her husband Don farm, being the last family to pasture Big/Boyd Island, and was active in the Ontario Hereford Association. She authored multiple local history works, including Timber Empire and The Bad Luck Bank Robbers. Even in her eighties, she was still hiking across Scotland. She touched everyone she knew, and was an inspiration to many friends and neighbours.
A very popular minister, Walter led a large youth group from St. Andrew’s Fenelon Falls and Knox Glenarm. His followers remembered looking up at the stars with him and learning about the constellations. As a bomber navigator over Germany during the Second World War, his plane was hit and lost its navigational equipment. He managed to find his way back to England flying by the stars.
Born into the large Verulam township family, Joe stood out as a goaltender in minor hockey and for the Bobcaygeon Bobcats, then went on to play for the New York Golden Blades of the WHA and Boston Bruins. He was a hero to many local boys growing up.
One of the last traditional blacksmiths in Victoria County, Melrose had a shop at his home farm near Bury’s Green. He loved working with horses, and his neighbours looked forward to bringing their teams to be shod or implements for repair. He always had a story to share.
The last Reeve of the Village of Fenelon Falls, Roger Bellwood enthusiastically backed countless proposals to improve the community. He spearheaded efforts to create the Community Centre and Langton Gallery, while volunteering to help practically every organization in town. As a mechanic, he loved restoring old cars, which inspired Memory Lane Motors. As a politician, he liked to say, “it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission.”
An All-Star defenceman, Allan won four Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs before retiring to the Beehive near Bobcaygeon, where he operated the golf club and resort, while founding a waterfront community. He helped organize the Byrnell Manor Hockey Camp, which allowed local youth to learn the game from NHL stars like Pierre Pilote and Dennis Hull.
Doc Bill operated a Fenelon Falls physicians’s office, while also making house calls round the clock. Starting out before public medicare, he treated patients for free when they could not afford his services, and made house calls round the clock. For a generation, Doc Bill delivered practically every child in town.
Jack operated Van’s Groceria in Fenelon Falls, where he typically served customers from the meat counter, slicing off whatever cut a customer desired. A devoted fire fighter for 51 years, when the fire bell rang, he is remembered for running out of the store, racing down the street to the fire hall.
Fenelon Falls remembers Fred as the ever pleasant and helpful Home Hardware owner, working there for 50 years. He volunteered for a great many community organizations, including baseball, curling the Hydro Commission, and as a volunteer fire fighter.