Sunday, 23 December 2012

Glad tidings approach...

As Christmas fast approaches, I know that many will have already headed to The Point. 

With family and friends there is so much to celebrate... We are all so blessed.  As we gather around our respective trees, we will remember those who are celebrating their first Christmas - be they newly born or new to the community, and we will remember those who have moved on - whether they have moved or passed on.

As my own family is one who has moved - and we are missing being a part of the Point at this time of year - I am going to be challenged to maintain this blog and the History Project at the same level.  So I am asking the Sturgeon Point Santa for some elves who might be available to lend me a hand...  I've put the scotch by my tree... and perhaps I might get some "Christmas at The Point" photos in my in-box.

Have fun with the last minute details and Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Bugle Call: Flora Agnew 1927-2012

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Flora Agnew.  A wonderfully involved member of the Sturgeon Point community, from the Golf Club to the Sailing Club.  She was an early supporter of the History Project, endlessly willing to answer questions and sort through photographs and steer us through the politics of previous generations.  Flora's contributions to the project have been invaluable and she will be sorely missed by us all.

We have some wonderful pictures of Flora - they will follow.

Her obituary, as follows, appeared in the Globe & Mail:

AGNEW, Flora
Born August 2, 1927 in Lindsay, Ontario. Died peacefully November 11, 2012 in Toronto surrounded by family. Wife for 60 years of Arnold Agnew. Beloved mother of John (Jodi Woollam), Sarah (Stephen Zeifman), David (Sheila Kirouac) and Elizabeth (Bruce Lourie) and proud grandmother to George, Jane, Emmett, Clancy, Michelle, Nick, Ellen and Claire. Also Jesse Zeifman and Michelle Chan, Jack and Olivia. Predeceased by parents Dr. C. V. and Isobel Mulligan and sister Mary Prendergast. Graduate of University of Toronto. A tireless and committed volunteer, Flora was at both the front lines and the board table for many local and national organizations. She started her volunteer work in the Red Cross Canteen on Adelaide Street as a teenager during WWII. She ended it at a place she was devoted to, as past president of the Association of Volunteers for Women's College Hospital where she worked at the information desk. Flora was a volunteer for more than 50 years at the Art Gallery of Ontario, including serving as the President of the Volunteer Association. It was at the AGO that her interest in the Arctic and Inuit art was born, and she made more than a dozen trips by air and water to various parts of the Canadian far north and Greenland. She was also active in the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums and was the first female chair of the Board at Bishop Strachan School. On her retirement as President of the Sturgeon Point Golf Club she was made an honourary life member. Her broad and varied service was recognized by the Toronto Community Service Volunteer Award in 2000. Flora spent her 85th summer at Sturgeon Point this year, happily presiding at a large gathering of family and friends celebrating her 85th birthday, her and Arnold's 60th wedding anniversary and the cottage's 100th year (and George's 8th birthday!). Visitation at Morley-Bedford, 159 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto on Tuesday, November 13 from 5 pm to 8 pm. Funeral services will be held at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14. A special thank you to the caring and compassionate doctors, nurses and staff of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Please make a donation in her memory to a charity of your choice.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

We will remember them...

As another Remembrance Day rolls around, we would like to pay tribute to the members of the Sturgeon Point community who have served.  From the Battle of Batoche to Afghanistan & Iraq, members of our community have served on the front lines and on the home front to preserve those values that we as Canadians and our allies hold as sacred.

We ask you to share their stories with us so that their sacrifice is not in vain.  It is 127-years since a young Major General Dr. Sterling Ryerson served in the medical tents at Batoche patching up Canadians of Metis, English and French origin.  It is 102-years since that August morning, the day after the Regatta, that young men got on to the ferry at the Upper Wharf and left to enlist.  It is 73-years since a September morning at the end of summer, when the next generation picked up the torch thrown and took up the quarrel.  

Since then we have seen action in Korea and Afghanistan.  Served as peacekeepers in the Cyprus, Israel, Bosnia... A roll call of places in which our soldiers have served. 

For their sacrifice, we thank them.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

2013 Events being planned

We are currently in the midst of planning our 2013 schedule and we would appreciate your thought, comments, photographs...

2013 Canada Day BBQ
Heritage Display theme:  Sturgeon Point Streets - 1st Street and Sandy Point Road
I have contact information for most of the 1st Street residents and hope to speak with them through the winter so that we can pull this together.

Sandy Point Road is a tricky one.  At some point the cottages are no longer in Sturgeon Point and become part of Hickory Beach.  But I think that I will leave this to the individual cottagers who live on that road to decide where that line is.  Historically, Hickory Beach was a marshy area were the guests from the Sturgeon Point Hotel went to hunt ducks and the like.  I don't know very much about the history of our neighbouring community (available guest blog topic for any interested writers) and so am not able to judge where they see their boundaries. Again I will be in touch with the families along the road to learn about their road's history.

2013 Civic Holiday Regatta
Heritage Display theme:  175th Anniversary of the 1st Sturgeon Point Regatta
This is a great one for participation - with all the cameras that are at all of this event, we should be able to get some great images. I will be looking for images of races, prizes, flyers, stories...

Civic Holiday Regatta - Running Races, 1960
courtesy of the Agnew family

2013 Speakers Series
We have already booked two speakers for next summer - and yes, John Summers, GM at the Canadian Canoe Museum will be returning!  We still have a third speaker to book. If there is a topic that is of particular interest to you, then drop me a line.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bugle Call: Justin Wallis 1983-2012

It is with great sadness that we advise our fellow Sturgeon Pointers of the far to early passing of Justin Wallis.  A former year round resident, a cottager and an SLSC alum, Justin will be deeply missed by his family and friends.  Our condolences to Liz, Richard, Ryan & Krista and Ella, and Dani.

Justin Wallis

His obituary appears below:
WALLIS, Justin Michael -
November 13th, 1983 - October 14th, 2012
It is with profound sadness that Justin's family announce his sudden passing on Sunday October 14th, 2012.
Justin, loving son of Richard and Elizabeth Wallis, beloved brother to Ryan, his wife Krista, daughter Ella and sister Danielle. Grandson of Leon and Aneila Wallis (deceased) and Ron and Rita (Mickey) Belton. Beloved nephew of Edward Wallis, Lynn and Marc Adams, Chris Belton, Colleen and Kevin Clynch, Susan Belton, John and Penny Belton and their families as well as fourteen loving cousins and friends too numerous to mention.
Justin came into this world with a great deal of difficulty and left nearly 29 years later in much the same way.
However, while here and despite having to weather more than his fair share of adversity, Justin brought joy, wonder, laughter and love into the lives of everyone who knew him.
Justin lived with enormous spirit that could never last, though while it did, it was truly a sight to behold.
He will forever be sadly missed.
Without the help and support of Sick Kids Hospital, Justin would never have enjoyed the life he had.
Visitation will be held at the Oshawa Funeral Home, 847 King Street West (905 721-1234) on Thursday October 18th from 2 - 4 and 7 – 9 p.m.
Memorial Mass will be held on Friday October 19th at 10 a.m. from St. Gertrude’s Catholic Church (690 King St. E.).
Donations to the Sick Kids Foundation would be appreciated.
Online condolences may be made at

Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy 1st Anniversary

The Tuesday after the 2011 Thanksgiving was our first posting for the Sturgeon Point History Project Blog.  Its been a pretty impressive first year with 105 postings and 8,764 views.  We have learned some amazing things about the history of our community and collected some amazing images.

Our thanks to everyone who contributed.  We look forward to a terrific second year.

The Cottage of Elizabeth Homes Hopkins (1816-1917)
built for her in 1886 by her son Judge Hopkins next door to the main cottage
courtesy of the Hopkins-Roberts family

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Thanksgiving at the Point - Season's End

Thanksgiving is upon us...  The traditional end of season for the community... a time of rolled up rugs, mothballs and closed up cottages... of football games and big turkey dinners. 
The Thanksgiving Football Game has a long history at the Point.  Through the 1950s and 1960s many of the young bucks had played football on their high school teams. They played a friendly and spirited game against each other around the Point. By the early 1970s, Chip Barrett had gone pro, playing for the Toronto Argonauts.  Aided and abetted by a group of Aussies who had played rugger back home, and who had made Ian Kennedy's cottage their Canadian hangout, and a whole lot of beer, the impromptu games became an annual event.
Courtesy of Annie Gray
Ian Kennedy said: "it was at Culzean for several years until there was one to many take-outs by trees and Chows. Then moved to the lower field (Robertsons). One classic game was the teens against the twenty plus... They said tackle so Dennis, Angus, several rugger playing Aussies and self said sure... With the oldies dominating, the Teens asked the second half be touch. Lost track for the next few years and by then it had become more civilized with girls now part of the scrums..."
The game moved from the Kennedys, to the Robertsons, to the Driving Range to the Barretts and a few spots in between.  For much of the past decade it has been played at the Wiseners.

Football melee at the Wiseners, 2011
However you spend the weekend, we hope that you have a great one and we'll see you at Sunday's game.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Second Golf Course at Sturgeon Point?

Gavin Lucas' Historical Sketch of the Village of Sturgeon Point 1640-1940 has the most fascinating nuggets of information about the Village.  In putting together the Heritage Boards for the Golf Course for Doors Open, I came across one of those nuggets on page 18:

Some members incuding Messrs. Barr, Grace and Wood feeling doubtful of the possibilities of such a stoney course developed another Golf Links called "Merryland" on the open fields north of Irene Avenue and also built an excellent tennis court on this land at the head of First Street.  This area was abandoned after a few years as the other course was gradually improved.
Merryland?  This was a brand new one for me.  In all the discussions I've had with Village residents, this one never came up. In speaking with the Barr, Phipps, Graham and Roberts families, I learned that the golf course was on the Graham Farm between the Leaf Dump and the original road* into the Village.   All agreed that there were 3 or 4 holes and that they went up and down the hill.  Babe has some memories of the course but the others all say that it was no longer in use by the mid-1920s.  Butchie said that use of the tennis court continued after the the golf course fell out of favour.

Have you any information or pictures about Merryland or about the Sturgeon Point Golf Course?  We would love to learn more about the early history of our golf courses.

Golf at Sturgeon Point
courtsesy of the Hopkins family
 * Note: The original road into Sturgeon Point ran from the corner of the Graham & Rutherford farms, through the woods, past the Shea's log house, across Irene Avenue - which originally only ran from the Upper Wharf to 1st Street - through the woods, past the Crightons, across the back of the Swan, between the buldings of The Sturgeon Point Hotel, coming out between the Lower Warf and the Sandbar. This road appears on the 1871 and 1877 maps.  The current road is dotted in on the 1884 subdivision map done to show the Village lots.  A good portion of the road can still be walked but please remember that it is private property and permission to walk it is required.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Doors Open

Last weekend, Sturgeon Point participated in the Doors Open event.  A province-wide day of getting to view heritage properties, this year Fenelon Falls and Sturgeon Point show-cased the history of the City of Kawartha Lakes.

There were three venues at Sturgeon Point - the Church, the Upper Wharf and the Golf Course.  The History Project participated by providing Heritage Display boards showing the history of the venues.  The Heritage Display done for the Golf Corse is still on display in the Cub House.  We found some very early pictures, so please take some time to drop by an see them.

Dr. Jacob Neelands & Catherine Langton Neelands leaving the Dedication Service
Sturgeon Point Union Church, 11 July 1915
There were between 50 and 60 people who came out to see the venues and learn more about our community.  The weather was great and the visitors were full of interesting questions.  There were even a few former Sturgeon Pointers and it was great to meet them.
Doors Open Coorinator Mike Sloboda said that there was also a good turn out in Fenelon. Mike said: "There were great numbers in Fenelon, and Oak St. got a lot of traffic, and many who I talked to, really loved Sturgeon Point. I'm not surprised at that."

A Match At Sturgeon Point
At Sturgeon Point, on the Kawartha Lakes, on Monday last, a [golf] match was played between Lindsay and Bobcaygeon.  There were seven players aside and the game resulted in favour of Bobcaygeon.  Sturgeon Point will next year have first class-links, and doubtless a great many golfers will be attracted to that already popular-summer resort.                                                     The Toronto Daily Star, p6 - Saturday, October 27, 1900

Thanks should be extended to out-going SPA President, Victor Isbrucker and in-coming Spa President, Lisa Vehrs, to Heritage Victoria member & Doors Open Coordinators, Michael Sloboda and Paul Zaborowski, and to CoKL Economic Development guru Lance Sherk for their efforts in bringing this event together.  The Doors Open volunteers - Andy Mutch and Mary, at the Golf Course, a number of the Church Trustees together with Nelia Stewart, at the Church, and Liane Kennedy and Lisa Vehrs at the Upper Warf.
Fun on the Lintonia
Thanks to everyone who participated in the event and our thanks those who came to visit!  We hope to see you again.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Bugle Call: Barbara Thake

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Barb Thake.  She was a wonderful woman.  She and Rich were generous supporters of The History Project.  I had a number of opportunities to meet with Barb in the summer of 2011 to talk about the Fee family and their involvement in the history of Sturgeon Point.  In turn, I was able to share some information with her.  The Fee and Thake family albums have been an amazing addition to the record of our community.  But this has been only one of the very many contributions she has made to our community.  She will be deeply missed.  My condolences to Richard, Kristin, Jonathan, Ashley and their families.

Barb at the Point- 1949
Barb, Rich, Eva and a friend
Barb, 1962
Barb in the centre, 1990s

BARBARA THAKE Once in a rare while, God sends an angel to remind us of the deep-down meaning of unconditional love. The Thake family was very, very lucky, because one of the angels He sent us was an angel called Barbara. To her children Kristin, Jonathan and Ashley, Barbara was "Mum". To her grandchildren Cameron, Duncan, Claire, she was "Nana". To her husband Richard, she was his "Angel" all her life. And to everyone else who knew her, she was good old, silly old, huggable, loveable "Auntie Barb". And on Thursday evening, with her work here finished, our Angel returned to God's arms. Goodbye, Auntie Barb. We love you more than words can ever say - because you taught us that love is so much more than words. It's hugs and laughter. Cupcakes and little wax candles and gold stars on Allowance Charts. Love is goodnight kisses, hosting noon-hour lunches and family dinners - when you would sit there enjoying every moment of our enjoyment just being in the same room together. And although our world has been greatly diminished by your passing, we can't help feeling the next one has been greatly improved. If you believe as I, Then you know that God did not Send us here to die. For my bones and ashes, do not lament- I need them not when they are spent. Because, you see, I did not die. I am not dead. I am simply someplace else instead. So, take my memory and hold it dear And that is what will keep me near... Until that day when you and I Once again as one Will fly across the universe Together And there, abide forever.
Memorial visitation will be held at the HIGHLAND FUNERAL HOME - SCARBOROUGH CHAPEL, 3280 Sheppard Ave. E. (west of Warden Ave.), 416-773-0933, on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Children's Wish Foundation.
Published in the Toronto Star on September 1, 2012

Bugle Call: Beryl Graham

While many may have seen the small obituary, many others may  have missed the news of Beryl Graham's passing in July.  She was a great lady and will be greatly missed.

Beryl Stewart Graham with her neice, Martha Chalmers
The daughter of Rev Rupert Stewart and his wife Lena Johnston, Beryl and her siblings, Clair Stewart, Jean Stewart Chalmers and Bonnie Stewart Parker grew up at the Point on 1st Street.

She married Gordon Graham and they bought Miss Flavelle's cottage at the bottom of 1st Street, which Beryl's brother Claire Stewart turned into the wonderful home that is there today.

Beryl & Gordon Graham's home

Gordon & Beryl Graham with friends on their front porch, 1971

GRAHAM, Sarah Beryl (nee Stewart)

A long time resident of The Village of Sturgeon Point, passed away peacefully on Sunday July 22, 2012. Predeceased by her husband Gordon, brother Clair Stewart, and sisters Jean Chalmers, and Bonnie Parker. Her wonderful sense of humour will be greatly missed by her many loving nieces and nephews, and friends. Beryl was the daughter of the Reverend DC Rupert Stewart and Lena (Johnston) both predeceased. Martha and Christie wish to thank the dedicated staff at Fenelon Court for their compassionate care for Beryl in her final years. A private family service was held on July 25, 2012, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Fenelon Falls.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

70th Anniversary of the Raid on Dieppe

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the Raid on Dieppe.

By The Numbers:
6,000: Allied troops involved in the raid. Of these, roughly 5,000were Canadian. The remainder were British commandos and 50 American Rangers.
907: Canadians killed. Of these, 807 were killed in action, 28died of wounds and 72died in captivity.
586: Canadians wounded.
1,946: Canadian prisoners of war.
106: Allied aircraft shot down.
13: Aircraft losses for the RCAF, inlcuding 10 pilots.1

Among those Sturgeon Pointer who served in WWII was Lieut. Sterling Ryerson.  He was the son of Eric & Mona Ryerson, and grandson of the old war horse, Major-General Dr. Sterling Ansel Ryerson. Their cottage was called Oakhurst. (The cottage was then sold to the Barretts who called it Coral Gables, then to the Tawastjernas who called it Green Gables, then to the Kozaks who now called it Manita.) He was captured at Dieppe.

Ryerson was serving with the Royal Regiment of Canada. “
The Royal Regiment of Canada landed near Puys along with three platoons from the Balck Watch of Canada and an artillery detachment who were tasked to neutralize machine gun and artillery batteries protecting the Dieppe beach. They were delayed by 20 minutes and the smoke screens that should have hidden their assault had lifted, with the advantage of surprise and darkness lost the Germans had manned their defensive positions in preparation for the landings. The well emplaced German forces held the Canadian forces that did land on the beach. As soon as they reached the shore, the Canadians found themselves pinned against the seawall and unable to advance. The Royals suffered severe casualties: of the 556 men in the regiment 200 were killed and 264 captured.” 2

Canadians dead on Blue Beach, Puys, Dieppe - August 1942
courtesy of the German Federal Archives
Lieut. Ryerson was interned at Oflag 7B Eichstätt, about 100km north of Munich. He was there until the camp was liberated by the Americans on 16 April 1945.

Annie Gray worked for the Ryersons as a housemaid. She collected the following article in her scrapbook.

The Old Times, a supplement of The College Times, published by the Upper Canada College Old Boys in January of 1943, wrote on Page 33 in their list of Prisoners:
     Ryerson, Y. Sterling ('25-'29), Lieut., H.Q. 2nd Can. Div., missing after Dieppe raid,
     now Canadian Prisoner of War No. 4084, Oflag VII B, Germany.

Trinity College School Record October 1943-August 1944, on page XVI under the caption, R.C.A.F. listed:
    1929-32 RYERSON, Y. E. S., Lieut., Royal Regt. of Canada (Prisoner of War).

Annie Gray mentioned that the summer after Sterling came home, she and the other staff who worked for the Ryersons were directed by Mrs. Ryerson never to look at or comment about Sterling’s wrists, as he had been shackled. Annie could not remember why. In his book Objects of Concern: Canadian Prisoners of War through the Twentieth Century, author Jonathan FW Vance wrote of the issue. Referred to as the Shackling Incident, it was the result of the German capture of the British plans to bind the hands of all prisoners to prevent them from destroying their documents. Despite the objections of the Canadians, the directive remained in the plans for Dieppe. When those plans were captured in the aftermath of Dieppe, the Germans were furious. In September of 1942, the German government announced that they would “chain all Dieppe prisoners unless the binding order was rescinded. A month later the threat was revived, with renewed vigour. Citing further investigation into the Dieppe case and an instance of the binding of prisoners during a recent commando raid, the German government announced that nearly 1300 POWs would be bound the following day. ... At camps around Germany, the shackling began on the morning of 8 October [1942]. At Oflag 7B Eichstätt, Canadian officers from Dieppe were taken from the main camp to a nearby fortress were they were handcuffed during daylight hours. After six months, the guards tired of shackling the prisoners merely handed them cuffs, which were hung on hooks in the rooms until it was time to return them in the evening.” 3

Dieppe has for a long time been a question mark. What did it happen. It appeared ill conceived and poorly handled. The purpose of the operation unknown. It has been suggested that it was done to appease Stalin, to keep the Western Front open, to do something, anything... It cost untold grief in thousands of Canadian homes. Military historian, David O'Keefe has spent the past fifteen years trying to find out what happened and why. He described the research as "... detective work with a series of small ‘eureka!’ moments. A bit like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. To see it all come together is a rush.”

"O’Keefe’s research has revealed that the raid was launched as a diversionary tactic designed to provide cover for a commando unit ordered to penetrate German naval headquarters — believed to be housed in the town’s Hôtel Moderne — and to board certain boats in the harbour, all in a bid to steal German code books and a code machine. In military parlance — and only at the very highest levels of command — the Dieppe Raid was dubbed a pinch operation. The head of the commando unit was none other than Ian Fleming, a Second World War British intelligence officer and the creator of spy extraordinaire James Bond.

O’Keefe presented his research to British naval authorities two years ago, and they admitted to the operation’s true motive.

“It changes our understanding of what Dieppe was all about,” O’Keefe said. “It was their admission that made all the time and effort worthwhile. The cat was finally out of the bag.” 4

This raid had been a part of ULTRA, the race to break the German Enigma code. One can only think what a pity it is that all those men and their families, who sacrificed so much, never knew the real purpose of the raid. And that the officers were forced to accept the blame and scorn and never hinted because they believed in the Official Secrets Act.  Even sadder is that it would still be a secret without the research of David O’Keefe.

Tonight O’Keefe’s documentary Dieppe Uncovered will air on History Television at 9pm on Sunday August 19thand will be rebroadcast at 8pm on Monday, August 20th.

1. Numbers courtesy of Legion Magazine’s 12 July 2012 article, Dieppe: They Didn’t Have to Die by J.L.
Granatstein ( ).
2. (
3. (p134-135– for more about this incident, the politics surrounding it and the Battle of Bowmanville – yes… the one in Ontario – read Mr. Vance’s book on-line). 
4.  Documentary puts the ghosts of Dieppe to rest by Kathryn Greenaway, THE GAZETTE August 16,

Friday, 17 August 2012

Doll Cottage has a home!

The draw for the Doll Cottage was held on on Saturday, August 11th at the Sturgeon Point Union Church.  The draw was done by our 3rd Speaker, John Summers.

And the winner was... drum roll please...

Susan Benson

A big round of applause.  And a big round of applause to everyone who contributed to the making of the Doll Cottage...

Joan S - who let us use her cottage as inspiration

Jay V - who built the cottage

Liane K - who conceived the idea and did most of the decoration and Tom K who supervised

Penny B, Bev B, and Pauline D - who shared stories of their childhood in the cottage

Flavelle B and Penny B - who helped with the genealogical research into the inhabitants

Maureen McK, Susan B and Carol S - who contributed furniture and items of decor

Martha D - who stored it between events

and a special thanks to everyone who made donations.  It was truly a community project.  We hope that Susan and her family will enjoy it.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Saturday Aug 11th - Sailing Canoes Talk & Clinic and Doll Cottage Draw

1.  Friday, August 10th at 2pm at SLSC
RAIN DATE CALLED - Sat. Aug. 11- 2pm
John Summers, General Manager of the Canadian Canoe Museum will be conducting a Sailing Canoe Clinic.

Sailing Canoes were the racing canoe of choice amongst Sturgeon Pointers from the 1880s thru the 1920s.

The clinic is free. Sailors, young and old, and any one else who is interested is welcome.
please note that if your child is not old enough to attend SLSC then you must accompany them.

Please bring your PDF and join us at the Club.

2. Saturday, August 11th - John Summers will also be speaking at the Sturgeon Point Union Church at 9:30am.

3. The draw for the Doll Cottage will be held after the talk.

Tickets are FREE and still available - email me for details

Thursday, 2 August 2012

174th Sturgeon Point Regatta - Civic Holiday 2012

Well the Regatta weekend is fast approaching and as usual it is jam packed with events.

Sturgeon Point Regatta, 1907
courtesy of the Brown family

On Saturday morning is the Civic Holiday Open Regatta - be at SLSC at 9am on Saturday August 4th.  It is open to sailors of all classes.

Saturday evening is the Annual Civic Holiday BBQ and Street Dance - Food, music and dancing begin at 6pm at the Park.  The History Project will also have the Doll Cottage on display with tickets available.  Tickets are free.  Donations appreciated.

Rev. Doug Norris, the incumbent at Rosedale United Church (Toronto) , will be conducting Sunday's service at 10:30am at the Sturgeon Point Union Church.  A reminder to bring your donations for the Salvation Army food drive.

On Sunday afternoon at the Public Dock at 2pm are the Swimming and Canoeing Races. 

On Monday, August 6th, at Swananowa at 10:00am are the Running and Novelty Races.  A reminder that the races are run by age group starting with the youngest and that they move quickly, so early is better.  If you miss giving your contribution to the Sally Ann food drive on Sunday, they will be collecting again.

The History Project will also have the 2nd Street Heritage Displays on show.  If you have any pictures, there is still the opportunity to have them included.

Look forward to seeing everyone!

Saturday, 21 July 2012


We have had two significant donations in the past couple of weeks.

We would like to thank June Mclean for her generous financial donation.  It was very much appreciated and her kind words were equally apprciated.

We would also like to thank Mark & Susan Benson for their contribution of a portable scanner.  The Flip Pal is a small portable scanner that will allow us to scan images in peoples' homes without having to borrow their scrapbooks and photographs.  It will make a world of difference in being abel to capture fragile and important images that people do not want to leave their cottages.

Our thanks to you all for your generosity.

Speaker Series - 2nd Speaker Paul Arculus

We would like to thank Paul Arculus for coming to Sturgeon Point to speak today.  His two pronged talk focused on the people involved in the development of transportation who come from the area. 

He first focused on our own favourite founding father, George Crandell.  There is no doubt that Crandell's youth was murky and that his business practices occaisionally suspect, but there is also no doubt that he and his sons Franklin and Freemont were the visionaries that laid the community that we enjoy today.  His fifties years spent building and operating lake steamers opened Sturgeon Lake and Scugog in ways that might not have otherwise occured.

1878 image of George Crandell
Courtesy of descendant Bev Hopkins
Paul then focused on Dr. Edwin Campbell and the development of GM and Chevrolet.  While we might wish that he had focused more on Campbell's relationship with RS McLaughlin and the Oshawa auto industry and on the Sturgeon Point connections with the Coulthards, Scotts, McLaughlins and Phillips - it was a really interesting talk.

We look forward to seeingwhere Paul's next research project takes him and thank him for his time.

We would also like to thank Madge B for hosting Paul & Isobel.

©Oshawa Public Libary

Speakers Series - 1st Speaker Randall Speller

We had our first speaker on July 7th.  Fenelon Falls historian and author, Randall Speller came to talk about his research into the Business History of Fenelon Falls (1830-1900).  It was fascinating.

Attendance was small - mostly due to the 45 minutes of much needed rain, but the audience was interested and full of questions.  Randall was a great speaker - very much at ease with his material and the amount of research he has done is mind boggling.

We would like to thank Randall again for coming to speak and we hope when he has finished the next century of business development in Fenelon that he will come back and speak again.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Canada Day BBQ & Sturgeon Point on the Water

We hope that you enjoyed the Canada Day BBQ at the Point.  We would like to thank the SPA directors and their spouses for all the hard work that went into making the BBQ such a great event – especially given the gorging on hot dogs and cake done by the kids!  City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor, Ric Magee and his wife, Carolyn Magee, and our Ward Counsillor, Brian Junkin were able to attend again this year.  We missed SPA President, Victor Isbruker, who was attending his son’s university graduation ceremony.

This is 3rd summer that the History Project has had a display at this event.  Each year the Project has grown as more images and stories have been contributed.  This year we presented “Sturgeon Point on the Water”.  We hope that you enjoyed the display.  Our display included a series of heritage boards that covered images of Sturgeon Point from 1861 through to 2011.  The 1861 image is the first known image of the Sand Bar.  The photograph was taken by George Crandell and donated by his descendant, Bev Hopkins.

First known image of the Sturgeon Point Sandbar, 1861
Photograph taken by George Crandell
image courtesy of Bev Hopkins

We would also like to thank the Winnipeg Art Gallery, who permitted us to display the three paintings by the English vicar, the Rev. Nicholas Howard McGachen.  The paintings were done between 1882-1888, when the Rev McGachen’s son was working for a bank in Lindsay.  The rights to display these pictures was donated by Jo B.

We were pleased to have the opportunity to display the Civic Holiday Regatta Trophies – the Tolka Bowl, the Flavelle Cup, the Tree Tops Trophy and the Handicap Trophy.  We had hoped to learn more about the Handicap Trophy, which was first won by Fred Hopkins in 1947.  If you know more, please let us know.

We also displayed the Doll Cottage. A replica of #25 1st Street, it was built over the winter by Jason V and myself as a fundraiser for the History Project.  I would like to thank Joan S for letting us copy her cottage and many others, most notably Maureen McK for assisting with the Doll Cottage. The draw will be held after our last speaker on August 11th.  The Cottage will be on display at events through until the draw.  Please note that the tickets for the draw are free, but donations are appreciated.  The monies raised are applied to the costs involved in running the History Project and we appreciated your assistance.

The display that you all saw on Canada Day will now be going to be displayed at Fenelon Court - for Beryl and Annie to enjoy.

A reminder of a few items mentioned at the BBQ:

This year is also the 175th anniversary of the arrival of Anne Langton here on Sturgeon Lake.  Many of us have read A Gentlewoman in Upper Canada about how she came with her parents and aunt to join her brother, John, at the farm he had homesteaded at Blythe Farm in 1828.  The museum in Fenelon Falls has worked hard to bring home the collection of sketches that Anne Langton did of the area when she lived here.  We hope that you will all take the opportunity to visit their gallery this summer.  For more information about their Anne related events, please see their website at

This summer the History Project is presenting a Speakers Series at the Sturgeon Point Union Church: 
The first is next Saturday – July 7th at 9:30am. Historian Randell Speller will be speaking on the business history of Fenelon Falls from 1830-1900. 
On July 21st, historian Paul Arculus will be speaking on George Crandell and the lake steamers. 
On August 11th, Canadian Canoe Museum general manager, John Summers will be speaking on the history of sailing canoes, one of the earliest sail boats on the lake.  He will also be giving a clinic for the junior sailors and other interested sailors at the Sailing Club on August 10th.  If you are interested please drop us an e-mail at

After the speaker on Saturday July 7th is the 1st Annual Frog Jog.  The 5km run/walk arund the Point and the Children's 1km Run start at the Park at 11:00am.

On a final note… Looking ahead to Civic, the History Project will be presenting a display on 2nd Street.  We hope that the 2nd Street cottagers will share their photos and stories with us – especially stories about all those legendary 2nd Street Parties.  We started dropping flyers around on 2nd Street, so we look forward to hearing from you.

We hope that you all had a great time – and enjoyed our nation's 30th Canada Day celebration… before 1982, it was called Dominion Day…

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Another Generous Donation...

The Sturgeon Point History Project would like to thank the Brown family for the generous donation of their family's sailing pennants.  Dating from about 1911 through the early 1930s, these cotton and wool flags show the evolution of the Lindsay Canoe Club's squashed frog.

While some of these pennants are quite fragile, we will be able to display a number of them at the Canada Day heritage display.

Our thanks again to the Brown family for their very generous gift.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Civic Holiday and the 2nd Street Heritage Displays

For the Civic Holiday Heritage Boards, the Sturgeon Point History Project will be focusing on 2nd Street.  If you have tales of the legendary Poly Parties that took place... or pictures of Richard Thakes band... or Rev Edmonds at the Shamrock Cottage... or any of the VanVs... or of Ted supervising...  the History Project would love to see the pictures and hear the tales.

Marlyn Beggs with two young friends
Bring your pictures to the Canada Day BBQ or let me know that you have them and I will come and collect them.  Despite our move, our phone number remains the same.

The Crighton Cottage "Baby Blue" was rented by the Ollerheads in the 1950s.
Interesting how different the porch looks and how much vegetation there is to the north.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Generous Donation...

The Sturgeon Point History Project would like to thank community member Madge B who has donated a MacBook to the History Project so that it has a dedicated laptop.  We appreciate her generosity. 

Having the laptop will make a huge difference to our ability to go out into the community and meet with community members in their homes.  We hope to raise enough money this summer to be able to pair this gift with a portable scanner, so that the scanning of photos can be done on-site as well.

Our thanks to Madge!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

It was a gorgeous day with wonderful winds that make you wish a regatta was being held today...
Sailing on Sturgeon Lake, 1962

A reminder that for the Canada Day display, we are looking for pictures of Sturgeon Pointers on the the water - sailing, canoeing, waterskiing, bobbing with noodles, regattas at home and away, picnics at Third Landing, having fun on docks and in boat houses...

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Saturday in the Park

The Sturgeon Point History Project will have the Doll Cottage on display at the Park on Saturday, May 17th from 9:30am to 1pm.  We will have tickets on hand.  Tickets are free.  Donations as always are welcome.

We will also be accepting images to be copied for the two summer displays:

at the Canada Day BBQ we will be displaying

"Sturgeon Point on the Water"

and at the Civic Holiday Regatta, we will be displaying

"2nd Street"

We look forward to displaying your pictures.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Golfing at the Point

In 1929, members of the Macmillan family went golfing at the Sturgeon Point Golf Course.

The greens may have been rough but a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Gregory family

I was recently asked by a real estate agent to pull together the history of a cottage that was on the market for the purchaser.  This research introduced me to the Gregory family of Lindsay, Ontario, who were the first owners of Lots 10 & 11 on Lake Avenue.

On September 1, 1884, Edmund Gregory and his wife, Mary, purchased the Lot 11 and part of Lot 10 from Thomas Stewart for $50.  On the 8th of July 1889, he purchased the remainder of Lot 10 from Martin Luther Calvert for $200. The family notes indicate that Edmund borrowed money from his second oldest son Herbert Gregory to finance the second purchase.  Herbert was 17 years old at the time...

Wedding Portrait of Edmund Gregory & Mary Wight
Married 4 Jun 1867, Lindsay ON by Rev. A. Edwards
Portrait by G. Martin of Montreal while on their honeymoon.

They built their cottage on Lot 10.

The Gregory Cottage, early 1890s

Edmund was a druggist in Lindsay. He and Mary had five sons and a daughter - Ethelwynn (1868-1951), Alfred Edmund (1869-1950), William Herbert (1872-1950), Frank Wright (1873-1962), Henry Glyde (1874-1951) and Arthur Keele (1880-1956).  The family appears in the 1891 Census with two of the boys working with their father.

Five sons of Edmund & Mary Gregory - taken at Alfred's Wedding, 30 Jun 1897
Top: Henry Glyde Gregory (1874-1951) and Frank Wright Gregory (1873-1962)
Middle: the groom, Alfred Edmund Gregory (1869-1950)
Bottom: William Herbert Gregory (1872-1950) and Arthur Keele Gregory (1880-1956)
Sadly Edmund Gregory passed away in February 1892.  His widow and the children continued to use their cottage until the fall of 1893 when Lot 10 was sold to Adam Fordyce Barr and Lot 11 sold to Ernest McGaffey both of Lindsay.  Lot 10 remains in the Barr family.  Lot 11 later passed to Ernest's sister, Emma McGaffey before being sold to Marjorie Jones, then to Col. Eric Phillips, then to Fred Connell and passing down through his family, until its sale this spring.

The Gregory family continued to come to Sturgeon Point as illustrated by this picture taken in 1896.
Henry Glyde Gregory, Lillie Pearson, Willie Dundas,
Mrs. Sam Hughes with daughter Tweet, and Ethelwynne Gregory
The photo was taken by Joe Keele, a maternal cousin of the Gregory's, circa 1896
In 1911, Adam Fordyce Barr completed renovations to the original cottage to accommodate his growing family. The Gregory cottage still stands today as the western portion of Tolka Lodge.

The Gregory family would continue to cottage.  In September 1917, Henry Glyde Gregory purchased the point of land on Cameron Lake that had previously been owned by Sit Sam Hughes.

I would like to thank Gregory descendant, Bruce Gregory of North Carolina for sharing his family's pictures with us.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Bugle Call... Lloyd Robertson

It is with sincere regret and sadness that I relay the news of the passing of Lloyd Robertson in Lindsay last week.  A life long community member, veteran, past Reeve for the Village of Sturgeon Point and councillor for the City of Kawartha Lakes, his contributions to the life of the Point were enormous and he will be deeply missed by his family and many friends. 

A Celebration of his life will be held later this summer.

Lloyd Robertson with good friends

A lengthier biography will follow.