Thursday, 26 April 2012

Doll Cottage

Our volunteers have been doing some amazing things for the Doll Cottage.  Our most recent donation were two pieces of art by Faye Jordan to hang on the walls.

The Grateful Frog - Campbell Cottage, Sturgeon Point, 1898
by Faye Jordan

The second piece is a pictographic map of the community.

Map of Sturgeon Point
by Faye Jordan, 2012
These pictures look fantastic on the walls of the Doll Cottage.  Thank you Faye!

We look forward to the draw on August 11th, 2012.  Remember tickets are Free!  Contact the History Project for tickets.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

One Ringy Dingy...

In the late Summer of 1958, the following letter was received by the residents of Fenelon Falls and Sturgeon Point who had telephones.
This letter was the first indication that direct dial service would be coming to the community.  Since the early 1950s, Gratton & Audrey Rutherford had run the summer telephone exchange from their store at the corner of Irene and Forest Streets

Prior to the Rutherfords arrival, the only telephone was at the Lake View Inn, at the corner of 4th Street and Lake Avenue.

In April 1959, the following letter was received by C.B. Symonds, Manager, The Bell Telephone Company of Canada, Lindsay, Ontario.

1959 Advertisment for Bell Telephone
Image courtesy of Dennis Markham's Classic Rotary Phones

On 20th of April, 1959, John E Kennedy replied to C.B. Symonds:
The phone number that was given to John Kennedy 59 years ago, is still the telephone number used today by the family.

Do you know what your family's exchange number was?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Park time...

Well its Saturday morning and already the complaints have started because its raining and that means we will not be headed to the Park.  Of all the gifts that this community has given itself, the Park has been one of the most successful.  Carved out of the woods on Irene Avenue by community members, this is the earliest known picture:
Building the slide - Mr. Gruer and Robert Hopkins
The earliest photo shows Robert Hopkins and a Mr. Gruer building the slide.  Initially waxed wood, it was later replaced by metal.  Can anyone tell me what Mr. Gruer's first name is and where their cottage was?

This undated winter photo from the Cave family shows the original metal frame bolted to the tree - which I remember as a stump.

Winter in the Park - mid 1950s
Hanging out at the Park in the winter has remained universally popular.

The old swings back in the late 1980s/early 1990s

In the 1940s shuffleboard was introduced.
In 1947, this picture was taken of the new shuffleboard courts and of 3-yr old Barb Fee and her mother.

The Fees at the new shuffleboard courts
The role of the park has evolved over the years.  Informal playtime has been joined by community events.

And celebrating the 100th Anniversary of our Incorporation as a Village

Raising the Flag for our 100th Anniversary

Community Members at the 100th Anniversay
In more recent years, the fabulously revamped Park in the Woods has hosted a number of events including the Easter Eggstravaganza, Canada Day Celebrations, the Street Dance and BBQ on Civic Holiday, and the very popular Halloween in the Park.  
City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Ric Mcgee presenting the Village with a City flag, Canada Day 2011

While the events are fantastic and we thank SPA for organizing and hosting them, it is the daily usage when would have so pleased Mr. Gruer and Robert Hopkins.

If you have pictures of the Park, we would love to have them.  Give us a call.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


We tend to forget how many families, when they originally came had staff to help with the work load of managing the cottages.  Staffing ran the gamut from cooks and maids to gardeners and au pairs.  Last summer an elderly gentlemen stopped by the Family History Day at the Fenelon Falls Museum, where we had a display, to tell me that his mother had spent her summers at Sturgeon Point in the 1930s working as a cook.  She would leave her eight children with their father and work as a live-in cook/maid for six and half days a week at The Point.  Unfortunately, he could not remember the name of the family.

The 1911 Canadian Census for Lindsay, Ontario, shows William Blackwell Fee and his wife, Isabella Bane, with two home girls - Ada Corbett (age 12) and Elsie Hargreaves (age 10).  Both girls had been brought to Canada through the Bernardos Home Children program to work in Canadian homes.  Elsie's older brothers William and Hamden were sent to work on farms in Saskatchewan.  While child labour today is view with profound disgust, a century ago it was common and the British governments took pride in taking "destitute" children and sending them to the Colonies.  It was believed that the children could the become contributing members of society rather than beggars and thieves.  In Canada the program had tailed off by the end of the 1920s and was completely killed by the Depression.  In Rhodesia the program continued into the 1950s and Australia did not end its child migrant program until 1967.  The Fees were older and had retired to Lindsay from their farm, so the girls would have been doing housework.

This is a picture of Margaret Barr, daughter of Charles Barr & Ethel Roper, with her nanny.  The picture was taken about 1914.  Born in 1909, Ethel appears in the 1910 US Census for Birmingham, Alabama.  In that census the family has two black servants -Sarah Edwards and Margaret Hunter.  Other than describing them as servants, both aged 50, both in Alabama, the only other bit of information is that neither could read or write.  This may be Sarah or Margaret or another woman entirely.  Unfortunately there are no names in the album.
Margaret Ethel Barr with her nanny, abt 1914

The Mulligan sisters hired a local girl, Betty Nichol, to work for them at Treetops.  Betty sent in these pictures of her with a couple of the children.  Betty was best remembered for leading the Salvation Army parade through town.

At Rose Hill, the Desbrisay's nanny Rosie Thompson appears in a couple of photographs that came from the Allen family's photo album.  In this one, she is topping beans.

In 1967, the Stewart's au pair Florence Monteil appeared in Zena Cherry's column About Town.

If you have pictures of people who came to work at the Point, we would love to see them.  If you can only remember names, we would like to hear them.

Doll Cottage Update... and a few other items.

Well, we have received the green light from the City of Kawartha Lakes to proceed with the draw for the Doll Cottage, provided we don't charge for the tickets.  So tickets are now available - you can stop by, call or email and get your tickets.  The next confirmed event where it will be on display is the Canada Day BBQ, but we will try to have it on display in the Park on the Victoria Day Weekend.  Watch for the time.

On a few other points... You may have noted that there have been fewer "history" discoveries of late.  It is not because the well has run dry - although we are always searching for more materials - it is more that we have a lot of "waiting for a piece of information" to complete the project.  We are currently talking with descendants of about seven families and so are waiting for them to send up images before we post.  Additionally with all this gorgeous weather, it has been great to be outside after a long winter at the computer...

I still have albums here from last year that I really need to get returned.  If you left an album or pictures here, please come and collect them.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Moving on...

Every year at Sturgeon Point, properties change hand and families join us and depart.  It is both exciting and sad to have happen.  New families bring new ideas and vigour and more children for the Sailing Club.  The old families never seem to depart fully - returning as they do for visits, the Civic Holiday Regatta, to rent and sometimes future generations buy again.

Currently there are three cottages on the market within the Village proper and two right on the edge.

62 Irene Avenue - MLS # X2263960 - $629,900
A modern 5 bedroom house on just shy of 2 acres, this is a beautifully updated property.
The agent is Joanne Hale with Royal LePage, Lindsay - tel: 866-737-9958

10  4th Street - MLS # 120278 - $569,900
A 4-bedroom house on over half an acres with a garage.  It has a dock and boathouse with slip and hoist.  The great room with its amazing ceiling is part of the original cottage that has been winterized and expanded.
The Agents are former Sturgeon Pointers, Stephen & Christine Hodge with Chestnut Park, Port Hope - tel: 905-885-4411

61 Forest Road - MLS #065122000003600 - $1,200,000
A 1929 heritage cottage on 2.8 acres with a 6-bedroom Main Cottage and a 3-bedroom Guest Cottage (with full kitchen/bathroom), a 2-bedroom Sleeping Cabin (with full bath), two docks - one with boathouse, slip and hoist, and a two-bay garage.
The Agents are current Sturgeon Pointers, Mark and Susan Benson with Royal LePage, Bracebridge - Tel: 705-385-2726

There are also two houses for sale right along the border of the Village, along the edge of the Sturgeon Point Golf Course.

81 Gray Road - MLS # 1235739 -  $314,900
A 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom house on just over an acre.
The Agent is Tom Irwin with the Sutton Group, Lindsay - Tel: 705-328-5424

54 Sandy Point Road - MLS # 1236034  - $299,900
A contemporary Confederation Log Home with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms on just over 1 acre with views out over the Sturgeon Point Golf Course.
The Agents are Peter and Wendy Witt of Fenelon Falls Real Estate, Fenelon Falls - Tel: 705-887-4242

We hope that you will find a place that suites your family and that you will join us at Sturgeon Point.  For information about each property, please contact the listed agents.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

SPA's 2nd Annual Easter Eggstravaganza in the Park was a huge success!  The weather was warm.  There seemed to be a gazillion kids running everywhere.  Parents and teens hid over 350 eggs and the kids had a blast finding them all.  Pictures from this year's event will be posted shortly, but here are a couple from last year for flavour.  Many thanks to Lisa Vehrs, Maria Marlin, Patty Aspinwall, Liane Kennedy, and Vanessa Dawson for pulling it all together.

2011 Easter Eggstravaganza in the Park

2011 Easter Eggstravaganza in the Park - Egg Decorating

2011 Easter Eggstravaganza in the Park

The Doll Cottage was taken to the Park and displayed.  There was a hugely positive response. The kids, both girls and boys, played with it and hope to win it.  There were also a number of teens who advised me that it was "pretty cool" and that they would not mind winning it either.  A number of people made donations and we thank you very much for your contributions.