Monday, 31 October 2011

Of Haunted Houses...

Happy Halloween to one and all!  A successful day of haunting was held at The Park on Saturday.  Our thanks to Patricia and the Committee for organizing it and SPA for sponsoring it.

Growing up most of us had gone for the season by the time Halloween rolled around but the Anders, Clynchs and Gallaghers have all advised that the history of Trick or Treating is long and that failure to make it to all the houses would result in phone calls from community members asking when the kids were arriving.

While some of us missed out on that we still had the Haunted House...

The Britton House on Lake Avenue was built in the 1880s.  By the time this picture was taken in 1945, it was no longer lived in.  The Barr family purchased it that year from The Britton family and it come complete with a squatter.

Samuel Britton who first owned the cottage was born in Lindsay in 1863.  He was third generation to live there his grandparents, Jeremiah & Catherine Britton, having come in 1834 and purchased one acre of land at the foot of Kent Street.  They built a tavern, where the Academy Theater now stands and built a block of office buildings along the western frontage of the block.  Which still stands today

The family all lived in the house at No. 6 Rideout Street, which ran on the southern edge of the block.  Today the house has been beautifully restored.

Samuel Britton never married and had no children.  His siblings and there families made regular use of the cottage until they became to elderly to maintain the property and it was sold to the Barr family.  Unfortunately by the 1970s the building had become to unsafe to use but evening dare to run up to the porch happened through out the 1980s.  There was a birchbark canoe that used to sit on two chairs in the living room - it is now with Maryboro Lodge Museum in Fenelon Falls.  There was also an old ice box on the back porch.  But all it took was one "BOO" to send us all running.

What were your memories of The Britton House?  Were there any earlier haunted houses at The Point?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Transportation around The Point

A couple of post back, when discussing the new steps at the Upper Warf, I posted the image of the Esturion arriving and the horse drawn wagons and hand carts were clearly visible in the image.

The picture made me think about all the ways we use to get around the village and how that has changed over the years.  Hand carts like the one in the 1934 photo from the Cave family shows how bags were moved from the ferry to the cottage.

During his visit back east this fall, David Milner shared how the hand carts were also used to transport freshly laundered linens to the lake to be rinsed.

Most common are bicycles and cars...  This is Lloyd Flack (b. May 1912) on his tricycle in front of Web Shelley's house at the bottom of 4th Street, on the east side, about 1914.  Web Shelley's house later became the Brown family's cottage.

And from the Hopkins family came this gem of Robert Hopkins with his sweetheart, Madeline Scott, and his bicycle with their friends.  Can you identify any of the friends?

And still the preferred means of transport to the Club...

For some it is a case of why bike when you can take the car...  This image of Jon Ebby's MG, parked outside the Callis' cottage on 3rd Street, reminds us that some of the cars were pretty snazzy...

Some were classic, like Jack Fee's 1948 vehicle with its running board...

Or Lillian Fee at the back wheel of her car...

Now a days, golf carts are becoming fashionable but then again nothing beats a walk...

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Halloween in the Park

A reminder that the Second Annual Halloween in the Park will be taking place this Saturday.

Last year was a huge success... it brought out some wonderfully costumed small ones...

and as evening fell a large portion of the community participated in trick or treating...

Come and join another terrific community event!  Thanks in advance to SPA, Patricia and all the volunteers who work so hard to bring us this event.

If you attend and take pictures, we'd love to have copies!


I must say that I have always been a bit sad about this cottage.  It is in such a prominent spot and it has been so unloved for such a long time.  I will also be the first to admit that I knew nothing about the cottage or its history.  However a couple of photos received this summer shed some light on it.

This image of two of the Boswell boys, Jack and Don, from 3rd Street was in the Cave family album.  It was taken out front of Oakie-Doke in 1947.  The glassed in side porch is still there.

I then learned that the name came not from the phrase "Okie-Dokie" but from the couple who lived the whose last name was Oak.  From the Rutherford family album came these Red Rock photos of Audrey & Gratton with their girls and the Oaks.  We do know that Mrs. Oaks name was Harriet, but Mr. Oaks name is currently unknown.

If you have any information about the Oaks family, please drop me a line.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Changes to the Upper Warf

The new stairs have been completed at the Upper Warf and I can only say "Bravo!" to SPA and the volunteers who have pulled it together.  While the original usage of the Upper Warf has changed from the days of the Esturion docking...

And the need to bring horse and wagons and the luggage hand carts down to the water is no longer an issue... Other activities have continued there...

and people have continued to gather to watch sailing races or to fish.  So it was grood planning to take the increasingly unstable and washed out access path and replace it with something that will be surer underfoot and looks great. The bank still needs to be sodded, but this is going to be a terrific space.

It also better showcases the memorial to Capt. Grey and the Lintonia.

If you took pictures of it being built, please send them through.  Many thanks!

Thursday, 20 October 2011


With all the heavy winds we have had of late, it is really too bad that it has been too cold to sail.  So I have been browsing through the Archive looking for sailing pictures and came across this series about the first season of the SLSC.  These pictures come from the Kennedy family and date to 1956.
It is really amazing how little has changed... even if the "SLSC" letters are missing from the wall and the decking is not there to pull up the boats and an addition has been put on behind... parents are still waiting to pick up their kids and the bikes are still piled under the tree at the bottom of the stairs, the raft and dock are still there...

The boats and the sweatshirts may have changed but the goals of learning to sail and having a great time have stayed the same.  We greatly appreciate all the volunteers and instructors who give so much of themselves, with a special thanks to the Wroe family who permit the annual invasions.

Fifty-five years on we still have a terrific thing going!

If you have pictures of SLSC and related events (regattas and galas) we'd love to see them.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Hopkins Boathouse

I love our boathouses and the Hopkins boathouse has become an iconic image.  The photograph in this postcard was taken about 1905 before the Shelley-Brown-Jordan boathouse was built.

However until recently I had not known that there had been a structure that had preceded it.  Two pictures have emerged from the Roberts and Lai family albums.

The first image showed a fine boat, the days catch and behind them the slanted shed roof of the boathouse.  The second image was much clearer.

Of additional interest is that the dock space in the right forefront of the picture was retained after the boathouse was rebuilt.

Note the frog at the top of the sail... and that the boat coming out of the slip is the same boat as shown in the earlier photos.

If you have boathouse pictures to share, we'd love to see them.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Walking Along Our Roads - Part II

Yesterday's post brought in some terrific new pictures of street scenes. 

The Cave family sent in these two images.  The first is walking down 3rd Street.

The second is walking into the Village from the Fenelon Road (County Road 25)

Then the following came from the Neelands family.  It is Lake Avenue in front of the Lake View Inn (bottom of 4th Street, west side) looking east on Regatta day - 3rd of August 1914.  It is poignant because on August 4th 1914, Canada joined the Allies in declaring war on Germany. 

As another Sturgeon Pointer, Major General Dr Sterling Ryerson wrote in his diary:
"On August 4th at midnight Great Britain, true to the treaty with Belgium, of which treaty Germany was also a signatory, declared war. We realized that when England was at war we were at war, for the Empire is one. England's king is our king, her flag is our flag, all of which facts Germany discovered to her cost."

In the meantime the Regatta went on..
A side note is that the short wood fence is the corner of the Hopkins property and was later replaced with a metal pipe fence.  The same wood fence can be seen in this undated picture, which looks west along Lake Avenue past the bottom of 5th Street.  The picture came courtesy of the Lai family:

From the Thakes came the following which had been collected for Y2K

And Forest Road at Rose Hill

And from their own collection - looking north up 2nd Street:

We look forward to seeing more street scape images!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Walking Along Our Roads

One of the joys of receiving the large number of photo albums is all the pictures that people have taken looking up and down the roads.  This summer the MacMillan family shared this 1901 image of Lake Avenue looking east towards the Lower Warf. I love the three children playing under the tree.  Originally the hotel would have been through the trees on the left but it had burnt down three years prior.

The same family also shared this image of walking east on Lake Avenue west of the Upper Warf.  The water pump was located in front of the Britton House – this was the local haunted house until it had to be taken down.

The Brown family shared this image of looking up 5th Street.  The little girl was Ida May Brown.

This image shows Lake Avenue west of the Upper Warf.  The driveway onto Lake Avenue indicates that the image was taken before the driveway to Forest Road was put in. And yes... there is still a chow chow there...

The Rutherford family shared this image of Gratton standing at the intersection of Forest and Irene looking north up Forest Road.
Gavin Lucas wrote in his booklet A Short Historical Sketch of the Village of Sturgeon Point:

"In 1904 First, Second and Fourth Streets were underbrushed and opened sufficiently wide for driveways… $50 was granted to gravel Lake Ave., the gravel coming from Mr. W. Needler’s shore.  Mr. [John] McDonald was requested to remove obstructions on the hotel property roadway as it had become a public right of way.

In 1906… Irene Avenue was graveled partway… The hotel property was bought by Mr. J.W. Flavelle of Toronto and an amicable arrangement was made respecting the right of way along the shore. … Sixth street was opened up the same year.

… Fifteen oil streetlamps were installed in 1910, maintenance to cost 40 cents per light…  Henry Street was opened as far as Clerk’s at a cost of $100.

In 1917 consideration was given to opening Irene Avenue to the Fenelon Road [from 1st Street] but on account of expense nothing was done… the first oiling of the roads was done in 1924 when at a cost of $248.60 Lake Ave. was oiled from Knowlson’s to Cedar Spring.

In 1926 Henry Street was opened to Graham’s Landing.  Roads were oiled in 1927, 1929, and 1931 at an average cost of $300.  Irene Avenue was opened to the Fenelon Road in 1933, a project long delayed.  By decree of the municipal Board thirteen acres of Wm. Graham’s farm in Fenelon Township were annexed by the Village making the total incorporated area 247 acres and a new street, Forest Road, was made through the woods connecting Irene Ave. with Henry street at the rear of the cottages.  This is 1938.  The cost of land and construction of this half mile avenue was $1500.  It was designed to take the traffic off lakeshore road, too narrow in many places for two cars to pass and also to enable nervous drivers to avoid some danger spots adjoining the high banks."

And here is Forest Road in 2010.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


I never cease to be amazed at the number of postcards that were created for The Point.  I have identified 25 different postcards - with some having been produced in both colour and black & white. 

I believe that this one was take just above the Upper Warf at the intersection of Lake & Irene Avenues. The parasols, big hat and dog running free make it a classic.

I also love this one which was sent in 1906 and shows the lake steamer loading at the Lower Warf.

But my favourite is of the boat houses on Lake Avenue belowing to the Marjory & Wallace Jones and to W. Lloyd & Sarah Wood.  Marjory's father, Sandy Campbell, was the law partner of our first Prime Minister Sir John A McDonald and the Conservative Party fixer. William Lloyd Wood was the daughter of Sarah Jordan, whose father had homestead next door to the Langtons at Blythe Farm.  The Campbell boat house was taken down between 1936 and 1943 and the Wood's boat house survived into the 1960s.

Have you sent the History Project pictures of your boathouse?