Category Archives: Community History

“Old Timers Fail to Recognize Town They Left Years Ago.” The Nugget, August 7, 1935, front page, 2.

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]

Old Timers Fail to Recognize Town They Left Years Ago

Residents of Early Days Are Greatly Impressed By Progress Made


Memories of North Bay when it was only a struggling backwoods town, when rocks sand and stumps were everywhere, when, there appeared little likelihood that anything would come of the attempt to establish a settlement here, when a large lot at the corner of Main and Ferguson streets sold for $25—all these were recalled for The Nugget this week by old timers who have come back for Old Home Week.
Although several of the visiting pioneers were contacted for their memories, and for their opinions of the city of today, it was impossible to reach even a small portion of the large number who have returned to their early home. From the moment an old timer arrives in the city he, or she, is so busy shaking hands with old friends, and going from place to place in a round of calls, attempts to find them at a definite place are almost futile.

Busy Bureau

The Old Home Week registration bureau located in the Board of Trade Information Bureau has been the mecca for hundreds of old timers, however, and here it is possible to contact a few of the many who have come to town.
“Why if we stay here a few days longer, we will be moving back,” was the way John Scott, a veteran C.P.R. engineer summed up, and so saying about expressed the reaction the North Bay of today. Incredulity that a city could have sprung from the humble beginning of the early 80s, the thought that “North Bay would always be home” came from other old timers, as without exception they waxed enthusiastic over the old days and the new.

Corner Lot for $25

Fifty years ago the corner lot on which T.M. Palmer’s jewelry store now stands, at the corner of Main and Ferguson streets, was just sand, rock and stumps, and was sold for $25, W.J. Kellogg, a veteran railroader recalls who used to make his home in North Bay recalls. With Mrs. Kellogg, the former Elizabeth Foster, one of the city’s pioneer school teachers, Mr. Kellpgg travelled from Desbarats, near Sault Ste. Marie to be in the city for Old Home Week.
In 1900 Mr. Kellogg left North Bay to become C.P.R. agent at Desbarats, and George W. Lee, also a veteran of the rails, recalled going to Desbarats more than 30 years ago to witness a presentation of “Hiawatha” by Indians resident near

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Desbarats and then chatting with Mr. Kellogg.
While coupling cars at Desbarats some years ago, Mr. Kellogg lost his right arm, but trained himself to work a telegraph key by his left hand. He will in 1936 complete 40 years as a member of the telegraphers’ union.
In Mrs. Kellogg’s teaching career, she was one of the first teachers in the old “log school.” Later when the city’s first permanent school was erected, the present Worthington street school, she moved to that building and taught there for a number of years before her marriage.
Comparing the cities of the North with those of 40 or more years ago, Mr. Kellogg recalls that North Bay, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie were straggling villages in those days, and that there were no settlements what-ever north of these centers.
Jack Shotton, another old-time railroader, now retired and living at Montreal, is a visitor to the city for Old Home Week. The son of a former C.P.R. locomotive foreman here, Mr. Shotton rose to be district master mechanic on the C.P.R., stationed at Brandon, Manitoba.

Always His Home

W.J. Johnson, a former C.P.R. engineer at North Bay, and now a Canadian National Railway engineer at Hornepayne, recalled with George W. Lee the days of long ago when he was engineer on a construction train, and Mr. Lee was “slinging ties” in railroad parlance on the same train.
Stationed at Hornepayne for the last 19 years, Mr. Johnson is visiting the city for the first time in several years. Although he has been away for some time, Mr. Johnson says that North Bay will always be home to him.

Came from B.C.

Before Canadian Pacific Railway track- laying crews reached North Bay in September, 1882, two Canada Central train crews from Pemborke were sent to Lake Nipissing to superintend the loading of ties and timbers for shipment to Mattawa, whence they found their way into Canada Central tracks.
One of the members of those train crews was Patrick Carmody, the engineer who piloted the first C.P.R. construction train into North Bay, right on the heels of the track layers. Today Mr. Carmody is back in the Bay for Old Home Week, back to a city which was a struggling settlement of a few hundred souls when he left in 1887.
With Mr. Carmody on one of those Canada Central crews in 1882 was James Fallon Sr., one of North Bay’s oldest residents, and the man who stoked the first C.P.R. train piloted by Engineer Carmody.
“We were working on the old Canada Central in those days,” the two old timers reminisced today, “and as fast as we could get it built the C.P.R. came along and took it away from us. We were working on construction trains, and no sooner would we get a few miles of track laid when the C.P.R. would take it over. Those were great days just the same.”
Leaving North Bay in 1887, Mr. Carmody successively worked on the Great Northern Railway, the Montana Central, and the Butte, Anaconda and Pacific in the United States, before going to Anyox, British Columbia, where he was for several years employed at the huge Granby Consolidated smelter, which closed down a few weeks ago after many years steady operation.
Mr. Carmody left the company about a month before the smelter was closed, “I figured that 53 years was long enough to work, so I’m taking it easy now.”
“I suppose there are a lot of changes since you left here in 1887,” The Nugget suggested.
“Why I hardly knew where I was until Jim, (Mr. Fulton) took me down and showed me where the old “Red Row” used to stand, and to the lake where the old dock stood. North Bay has grown into a marvellous city since I left it,” Mr. Carmody enthused.

In Construction Days

“If we stay in the city a few days longer, the first thing we know we will be moving back,” John Scott, another North Bay old timer, and now a resident at Trenton, told the Nugget in a brief moment of recollection Tuesday afternoon.
When we first came to North Bay, in the summer of 1883,” Mr. Scott said speaking of Mrs. Scott and himself, “the C.P .R. was still under construction between here and Mattawa. The only buildings erected then were Doyle’s boarding house, McFarlane’s boarding house, and John Ferguson’s log home. It wasn’t long though, before the row which was later to be known as “Rogers’ Row,” then “Green Row”, and later “Red Row” was started. I can well remember when the men were working on that they had to be careful to always stand on a board, or they would sink up their knees in muskeg.
“Back in 1883, I couldn’t imagine that a city like this would ever arise on this spot.” Mr. Scott recalled. “Even in the early days of the settlement it was hard to realize that a community was springing up. The location was not impressive, and to the men who have built the wonderful North Bay of today must go a world of credit.”
A charter member of Nipissing Masonic Lodge, and a member of the first board of Rev. Silas Huntington’s pioneer Methodist Church, Mr. Scott spent several years in the old city as a C.P.R. engineer. Leaving in 1888 because of Mrs. Scott’s poor health, Mr. and Mrs. Scott made their home in Toronto, although they lived a few years at Kenora. While running out of Kenora, Mr. Scott was engineer on the first C.P.R. train to enter Winnipeg, then a small settlement like North Bay.
After residing in Toronto for several years Mr. and Mrs. Scott moved to Trenton where they now make their home. Mr. Scott is retired, and owns a small farm on the outskirts of Trenton.

Amazing Progress

After having travelled from coast to coast in Canada several times, I have yet to find a town which has made such fast progress in the last 25 years as North Bay.” Such a tribute was paid this day W.J. Major, Ottawa, who with Mrs. Major is visiting Mr. and Mrs. W.B. Childerhose, 418 Main street west, for Old Home Week. Mr. and Mrs. Major resided in North Bay from 1882? until 1890?, when they moved to Ottawa.
Familiar with this part of the province since 1884, Mr. Major was with the car department of the C.P.R. and estimates that at the time of his residence here the population was about 2,000 persons. He recalls working with George Bury, now of Vancouver, who will be remembered by many of the old time residents of North Bay.
In the latter years of the 19th century, the town was progressing rapidly. It boasted four hotels, the Mackey House, Winnipeg, Queen’s and Pacific and six churches, St. Andrew’s, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Anglican and Roman Catholic.
During their visit in the city for Old Home Week Mr. and Mrs. Major visited the house they built while living here. Of brick veneer, it was moved from its former site, the corner of John and Railroad streets, when the T. and N. O. tracks was laid and now faces north on Main street. Although built in 1906 the house is still in good condition.
Mr. and Mrs. Major agreed that if they were to move again they’d come right back to North Bay where they both have many friends. On this trip they are returning from the Peace River district, where they visited Mrs. W.H. McNeil, Beverlodge, and where for three weeks they were detained because of floods.

“Festive Week Is Formally Opened.” The Nugget, August 5, 1935, Front Page.

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]


Colourful Function Climaxes Parade to Amelia Park

Thousands are Out as Lengthy Procession Moves Along Main Street; Veterans Sponsor Initial Function


After hiding behind dark clouds for more than twenty-four hours, the sun came out in all its glory this morning, to add its part towards making the opening of North Bay’s Old Home week a perfect ceremony in an ideal setting. Forebodings of bad weather were tossed to the winds with the light of the sun, and the biggest week in the history of the city was opening in an auspicious manner.
Actually, the week got underway on Sunday with the re-union activities of the 159th Battalion, but the week was formally declared officially opened at fifteen minutes before noon today by Mayor W.G. Bullbrook, in the presence of a number of visiting mayors, legislators and more than 500 citizens and visitors, at Amelia Park.
Before the formal opening ceremonies, one of the longest parades in the history of the city moved from the west to the east end of Main street, passing before thousands of people who lined sidewalks. Conservative estatimates placed the number of people who witnessed the parade at more than 20,000.

Impromptu Dance

As the floats arrived at the east end of the city, they were drawn up behind the speaker’s platform at Amelia Park, while the opening ceremonies were held. The Italian Boys’ Band played during the brief lull, until Mayor Bullbrook and General Chairman Dan Barker put on an impromptu square dance that literally “stopped the show.”
Speaking first, Chairman Barker bade welcome to old timers, and thanked his committee members for their efforts in behalf of Old Home Week. He wore a large silver badge presented to John Fersuson at the time of the 1925 festival.
“There’s a good week ahead for everyone of us,” Chairman Barker promised, “a week with something (continued on Page 11)


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new every day, and to all our friends, on behalf of the Central Committee, the heartiest of welcomes.”
Introduced by Chairman Barker, Mayor W.G. Bullbrook presented to the audience Leona Falconia, Feronia, Homer Grainger, 155 Princess street east, and Mildred Doucette, Nellie Lake, all children born in North Bay during Old Home Week 1925. The mayor recounded the obstacles which had been overcome by the Central Committee in bringing to fruition the efforts of months past, and promised his hearers, that the city was “wide open” during the coming week.
“The police are on their holdays this week. The town is yours. And now, I declare Old Home Week 1935 officially opened,” the Mayor declared. “We are going to forget everything but having a good time for this week, and it’s your week. We hope you enjoy it.”

Timiskaming Greetings

Mayor A. K. Grimmer, brought greetings to Old Home Week from Timiskaming, Quebec, and promised that with the opening of a motor road connecting the two cities, there would be many visitors in North Bay from Timiskaming. “If that road were open now, there would hardly be a person in Timiskaming who would not come down here sometime during Old Home Week, and I can assure you that with the opening of a road, we are looking forward to becoming even closer friends of our North Bay neighbors,” Mayor Grimmer promised.
Alderman G.E. Palmer, secretary of the Old Home Week Central Committee, expressed satisfaction which he said mus come to all members of that body, to witness the success of the opening ceremonies. “The greatest satisfaction in life is the work done for events such as this,” Alderman Palmer concluded.
“I bring you good tidings form a sister city,” Mayor W.J. Cullen, Sudbury announced, “and despite the spirit of competition between North Bay and Sudbury, I urge you to get out this week and have a good time. Break down the barriers of separation, mix and enjoy yourselves.”
Other speakers during the opening ceremonies were: Captain Ellwood, the Salvation Army; J. Harry Marceau, M.L.A. for Nipissing; Dr. J.R. Hurtibise, M.P., Sudbury; Mayor Cameron, Iroquois Falls, and Mayor Wainwright, Cobalt.

Prize-Winning Floats

During the opening ceremonies, Mayor Bullbrook announced the winners of the prizes for floats in the parade. First prize was awarded the Cercle Canadien Francais, for their tableau depicting the landing of Jacques Cartier on Canadian soil, planting of the cross, and welcome by the Indians.
The Travellers’ battleship float, directed by Pilot Paddy Patch took second prize. It was a complete “fighting unit” even to shots fired from guns on the forward deck. In nautical uniforms, the crew of travellers sailed Main street for second prize.
Third award was to a decorated car advertising “Spirella Corsets.” Fourth prize for a miniature Italian city, was won by a group of merchants and citizens of that nationality, who sponsored the float.
For miniature planing mill, turning out lumber at a great rate as the parade progressed, the Standard Planing Mills carried off fifth prize.
Judges of the floats were: A.T. Smith, D.J. Morland, John Blanchette, and T.J. Patton.

Street Spectacle

Thousands of citizens and visitors lined Main street to watch the colourful and eye-catching parade which marked the opening of North Bay’s Old Home Week. North Bay’s main thouroughfare probably never held so many people as it did for a few hours this morning.
Gorgeous and realistic floats, bands, ex-service men, dignitaries, comedians, odditities and a festive spirit all combined to make the mammoth procession one of the greatest in the history of the city.
It was a fitting grand opening to North Bay’s big week of celebration and entertainment.
The parade was about one mile and a half in length and took 20 minutes to pass a given point on Main street.
The holiday spirit was in evidence everywhere. Grown-ups and children alike entered into the spirity with unbounded enthusiasm. Kiddies were wide-eyed and happy, and adults were not far behind in the expressions of their delight.
Applause greeted many of the displays. Some of the floats were excellent in every detail, showing that a great deal of work and artistry had been brought into play during the arrangement of them.
Policemen headed the parade. Behind them marched the band of the 159th Battalion. Today, as was Sunday, is being sponsored by the 159th Battalion in the form a a re-union.

Veterans On Parade

Members of the battalion followed their band. They turned out for the occasion in large numbers and looked smart in their jaunty berets. A dugout with sand bags and all created a battle scene that went over big with the spectators. This float followed behind the veterans. Five ex-servicemen, who are leg amputation cass, trekked the entire journey from the old rink site to Amelia Park.
A historical panorama in North Bay’s growth appeared in the city float which was built on the fire department’s ladder truck. Surveyors were shown looking over the country in 1882, and another section of the display comprised a hunting and fishing scene. Miss North Bay of 1935 was seated on a lofty throne. The two children who were born here in Old Home Week, 1925, were also on the city float.
Government, civic and Old Home Week officials then passed in cars. They were followed by the pipe band. Ex-service men who are not members of the 159th Battalion marched behind the plaided-skirt pipers.
“Hap” Watson, Toronto, better known as “Pigskin Peters” of “Bird’s Eye Center” fame, was perched on the back seat of in a little car. He was decked out in the uniform of the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball club.
The Spirella Company had a car completely decorated in orange colors, a pretty sight. It was awarded third prize. Crawley and McCracken, caterers, showed a kitchen with the cook going about his duties. Lions and Rotary International was portrayed by a huge globe on a float done in the clubs’ colors. The Shriners’ float blasted forth rousing music.
Representing the Associated Canadian Travellers a miniature warship the H.M.S. Traveller, drew favourable comment. The ship, manned by men in naval uniform, was a remarkable likeness of a genuine cruiser. The float was given second prize.
The bugle band of the North Bay Collegiate Institute and Vocational School took part in the procession. Numerous business concerns were represented. The Italian boys’ band also marched.
One of the finest floats in the entire parade was the one entered by Le Cercle Canadien Francais. Enthusiastic clapping greeted its appearance. It represented the arrival of Jacques Cartier in 1534 and was clerverly done up in all details. It was awarded first prize. The planting of the cross and the French flag was realistically portrayed by performers dressed in true style of that period. Indians were seen greeting the newcomers to the land of widerness.
Other showings included a car of ancient vintage, a bicycle built for four, cowboys, comedians, a miniature setting of Palestine, a Public Health office, genuine Indians at their wigwam, decorated bicycles, a windmill, and many other things.

“Impressive Tribute Paid Solider Dead,” The Nugget, August 5, 1935, p. 3, 5.

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]

Impressive Tribute Paid Soldier Dead

Solemn Opening 159th Re-Union

Memorial Services at Cenotaph and Lee Park Sunday


Their name liveth forever more.
Solemn, with a touch of sadness, yet inspiring for all its solemnity, was the drum- head memorial service at Lee Park Sunday afternoon, and the ceremony at Memorial Park in the morning.
The address of Rev. (Captain) N. Clark Wallace, main speaker, was heard by at least 2,000 persons at Lee Park. Standing before the pyramid of drums, Rev. Mr. Wallace told the gathering that the honor of the fallen cannot be sullied. It remains pure throughout eternity. “They are not on trial. We are on trial,” he said. His text was “Their name liveth forever more.”
Perhaps the most touching feature of the service was the placement of a wreath at the plaque of the unknown soldier. While the band softly played a funeral march the wreath was deposited on behalf of the 159th Battalion by Col. E. F. Armstrong, officer commanding. It was a tense moment for all, particularly the veterans, who were formed up in a square facing the drum-head.

Patriotism, Sacrifice

In his address, Rev. Mr. Wallace outlined the true meaning of the terms patriotism and self-sacrifice, stating men who went overseas set up real examples of these virtues.
“The real cause of the war,” he said, in reviewing the struggle’s beginning briefly, “was Germany’s desire to rule the world. We didn’t go to war to make the world safe for democracy, through that has become the popular belief. We entered the fight for liberty, freedom, truth, justice, and honor. The men who went to war believed those things worth fighting for.
“Today it almost seems as if the soldier is an outcast” Rev. Mr. Wallace continued. There has been so much preaching against armament, so much talk of pacifism and world peace forever, he contended, that the men who fought in the Great War had almost become outcasts.
“It is good to gather together to pay tribute to the fallen. Their honor, their sacrifice, must remain unsullied. Yet it is wrong to say their honor must remain unsullied. It can not be sullied for they fought the good fight, they kept the faith. Their name liveth forever more.”
Captain T. Ellwood of the Salvation Army pronounced the invocation following the doxology which opened the service. Two hymns followed, then a scripture reading by Rev. Garland Gladstone Lacey.
A short prayer by Rev. H.A. Sims followed the laying of the wreath. After Rev. Mr. Wallace’s address one minute of silence was observed in honor of the fallen. A trio of bugles sent the “Last Post” shrilling into the breeze. The benediction was pronounced by Rev. (Captain) P.C. Reed. The National Anthem closed the service.
Arrayed in their berets and badges, members of the 159th Battalion presented a colorful and smart appearance as they paraded to and from the park. The All Verterans Band was under the leadership of Frank Saunders.
The “Order of Service” was presented to the 159th Battalion Association by Mrs. John G. Ross, in remembrance of her brother, Lieut. W.K. Clarke, killed in the Great War March 7, 1918.
A plea for a continuation of the war to end war, on behalf of God and in the interests of world peace formed the theme of Capt. Rev. P.C. Reed’s address to the members of the 159th Battalion and other units at the Sunday morning memorial service in Memorial Park.
Classing the war against war as one from which there is no discharge save death, Capt. Reed pleaded with his hearers to strive as citizen-soldiers to leave behind them a mark of accomplishment towards this end, Canada’s citizen soldiery was classed as the bravest in the Allied forces during the World War, and that reputation must be upheld in the new war, Capt. Reed exhorted.
“It is a war without guns or bay-
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onets that we are fighting now,” Capt. Reed explained, “but a war which we must fight, not against God, as some said we were in the last war, but for God and against sin and selfishness. We cannot stand further losses from war, but we must continue in this great war for God.
“Captain Rev. Stanley Lambert, the padre of Christie Street Hospital, Toronto, said recently that every fifth day since the end of the war, a soldier has died in Christie Street Hospital. Like the Olympic, which was discharged recently after long years of service, and like the troop ships which received their discharge while on service, all of those vessels a lot of you boys will know, the old soldiers are getting their discharge,” Capt. Reed explained.
“From this new war against war and sin, however, there can be no discharge, a vote which the men who profit from warfare are trying to discourage. You who know the hell and horrors of war should be leaders in this great battle which all citizen-soldiers are fighting today.
“I am reminded today of a spot near Seaforth in England, where I once say a blooming field of oats, and just below the top of the oats were blooming red poppies. Then I am reminded of another field, in Flanders, where red poppies bloom amid the crosses, where lie our comrades. It is the death which the poppies signify in Flanders that is the penalty of war, and it is the life that the poppies signify in Seaforth that we want to preserve, that we are fighting to preserve in the great war we are fighting today, for peace,” Captain Reed concluded.
The service at Memorial Park was in charge of Rev. H.A. Sims, assisted by Capt. Reed, and Rev. G.G. Lacey, who pronounced the benediction. The 159th Battalion Band accompanied the assembled veterans in the singing of “The Son of God Goes Forth,” prior to the address, and “Rock of Ages” at its conclusion. Sgt. Major A. Collier, Sudbury, sounded the Last Post and Reveille.

Veterans Circle Cenotaph

To veterans from the 159th and other units massed on three sides of North Bay’s war memorial, and to listeners who spread back almost to the First avenue sidewalk, Rev. Mr. Reed voiced his message. A parade from the Masonic Hall by way of main street preceded the service.
To the west of the monument the 159th band was drawn up, grouped there after leading and marching men to the park. To one side of them were the bagpipers and drummers of the North Bay Highlanders, and with them the Bugle Band of the Algonquin Regiment.
More than five hundred citizens and visitors attended the memorial service, joining their voices with those of the veterans in the hymns, and repeating with them the Lord’s Prayer after Rev. Sims. Surrounding the park on three sides were rows of parked cars, their occupants joining with the veterans in tribute to their comrades who died in France, and whose memory they honored by the service along with other soldiers who fell in the Great War.

“Women Played a Great Part in Development of City,” The Nugget, August 5, 1935, p. 10.

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]

Women Played Great Part In Development of City

Responsible for Developing Spirit of Fellowship in Early Days

True Pioneers

The North Bay of today, with its fine city streets and modern structures is a far cry from the little settlement huddled about the C.P.R. station which marked the site when the first woman arrived at this Gateway to the North, about 50 years ago.
The one board walk extending along the only travel way, now Oak street, was laid with planks placed lengthwise. The few make-shift dwellings faced the station and the C.P.R. “Red Row,” the last house of which stands on C.P.R. property at the corner of Ferguson and Oak streets.
About this little active spot in the wilderness, pierced only by the twin rails of a great transportation company, the C.P.R., lay an area dotted with innumerable stumps, the first evidence of clearing operations.
At first, social and church activity was nil but, in the secluded settlement a spirit of friendship in common sympathy soon sprung up and the populace turned their minds to entertainment.
Travelling troupes of entertainers were soon including North Bay on their itineraries and it was not long until an amusement hall was erected west of the settlement proper. Since church services were at this time held only upon the visits of missionaries and in box-cars on the rail tracks, church organization was devoid.

Develop Fellowship

It was not until Methodists, Roman Catholics and Presbyterians had united in their respective bands that the spirit of fellowship really bloomed. The “Park,” now Amelia Park, was a popular location in those out-of-town gatherings which characterized the early days of North Bay.
Church congregations organized picnics and the whole colony turned out. Visitors from as far as Ottawa arrived by train for these far-famed events when jollity and care-free merriment were the only watchwords. Large banquet tables were laid in the open air and the country picnic of tradition was on.
A remarkable annual event, organized as the town grew in population and the surrounding territory became broken by farm houses, was the Agricultural Fair also held at the Park. It was an occasion long looked forward to each year. Fine specimens of animals and farm produce were exhibited for awards.

First Women’s Society

The first women’s society active in the settlement was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union which still functions in the city of today. Its organization was prompted by the open bars of that time which were the mecca of lumbermen travelling through the little colony.
The first sport participated in was lacrosse. Enthusiastic encounters of this play, originated on the Ottawa River, drew practically the whole village.
The early days were hard for women, no lights, now water and no conveniences, such as are taken for granted today. Water was carried from Lake Nipissing for some time and later it was hauled in barrels by team, to be sold for 25 cents a barrel.
There was only limited hotel accommodation for new arrivals who were not yet established, and the village folk were forced to take them into their homes. “The Blue School” will be remembered by pioneers of the district. It was built on McIntyre street when accommodation at the first little schoolhouse was found wanting.

Railways Cause Growth

The start of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario, and C.N.R. railways expanded the settlement. The three transportation systems put North Bay on the map. Except for the passing of Samuel de Champlain, the North country was shrouded in oblivion until the C.P.R. rails pushed through the wilderness. The establishment of T.& N.O. connection with the North made North Bay a terminal point, through which all traffic to the rich mining areas must pass.
After the construction of the first churches, the ladies of the town centred their activities about them. Picnics and social affairs were arranged and advertising was done by announcements from the various pulpits. Dramatic societies were organized and their efforts provided a variety of entertainment.
In the early days of the 20th century many social organizations were formed providing gathering places for the women of the town. The most prominent of these was one which is still flourishing in the present-day city, the Women’s Canadian Club, a society alive with patriotism.
Reminiscent tales of North Bay’s early days were on the tongues of everyone as pioneers were reunited.

Many Pioneers Among Visitors for Home Week,”The Nugget, Aug 9, 1935.

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]

Many Pioneers Among Visitors For Home Week

Former Resident Comes from Wisconsin to Renew Acquaintances


The Old Home Week registration office in the Tourist Information Bureau is an interesting place this week as former residents of North Bay make it their headquarters during their return to the city.
Meeting one another, old-timers enjoy interesting chats of the old days when North Bay was nothing more than a spot in a wilderness touched by the C.P.R. main line.
Among the many who have returned after long departures is Patrick Stone, of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, who is visiting in the city during Old Home Week. Mr. Stone left North Bay more than 25 years ago and is spending his holiday renewing acquaintances.
His two sons, Judge P. Stone and John, who accompanied him, have never before seen the city. Mr. Stone is en route to Ottawa to visit Michael Brennan, a former mayor of North Bay, who is ill.” While in the city he is the guest of Dr. E.J. Brennan.

Pioneer Women

“North Bay wasn’t much of a place when I came to it 50 years ago this month,” Mrs. Harry Washburn, an old-time resident of the city and now a resident of Ottawa, reminisced Thursday.
“A month after Mr. Washburn and
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I came to North Bay we bought a house at the corner of Cassells and Main streets, and that was out in the bush almost, for those days. There was nothing but a little narrow path, lined with stumps and rocks between our home and the C.P.R. station. I can remember going to St. John’s Anglican Church when Rev. Mr. Gilmour was pastor, and carrying wood and oil to light the fires when we got there. We had a lot of fun in those old days, though.” Mrs Washburn smiled.
Leaving here on the death of her husband about 20 years ago, after 30 years residence in the city, Mrs. Washburn has since made her home in Ottawa.

Absent 22 Years

In 1900 Robert Wallace came to North Bay as a C.P.R. railroader, and although he remained in the city only eight years, Mr. Wallace retains a rich store of memories of the old city. In 1906 with the opening of the Parry Sound branch of the C.P.R. Mr. Wallace moved to Mactier, where he still resides, retired on a pension early in 1935. He is paying his first visit to the city in 22 years, and is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Allan, 11 O’Brien street.
A real North Bay native is D.J. Bernard, born 53 years ago in a boarding car in the C.P.R. yards, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Paul Bernard. Those were the days when the spot on which is now Main street, in front of the Bank of Nova Scotia, was merely a pool of water. Doyle’s and McFarlane’s boarding houses were the principal gathering places for the pioneers, and Rev. Silas Huntington and Rev. Father Bloem were conducting their early missionary labours in the little settlement.
When North Bay’s first fire department was organized, Mr. Bernard was one of the members, and he made the fighting of fires his work in the intervening years. Joining the Spruce Falls Power and Paper Company’s fire department at Kapuskasing shortly after his return from overseas, Mr. Bernard is present chief of that unit. He has been with it 15 years.
Registration in the official registration book since Wednesday included…

“Birth of Gateway City Initiated Development of Great Importance.” The Nugget, 5 August 1935, 1 and 10

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]

Birth of Gateway City Initiated Development of Great Importance

More than two and a half centuries after the birch bark canoes of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration party slid down the La Vasse River.. glided out on the smooth waters of Lake Nipissing… and swirled on into the sunset, two ribbons of steel penetrated through swamp and virgin forest to reach the spot now known as North Bay, the Gateway City.
In other words, the Canadian Pacific Railway arrived… and its arrival meant the birth of North Bay.
It was in July, 1615, that Champlain passed this way, momentarily drawing aside the curtain of oblivion and mystery which surrounded Nipissing district. When the great French explorer disappeared into the west that curtain dropped back into place again and remained that way for 265 years. The Nipissing Indians watched 1,060 seasons fade into history and gradually the story of the “pale face” who visited the region became a legend, dim in the minds of even the oldest of the tribe.
At the end of that 265-year period the quiet of this wilderness was at last broken. Surveying parties, discouraged when they tried to route the Canadian Pacific Railway around the south shore of Lake Nipissing and ran into unforeseen difficulties, pushed their way north in 1880.
Once again canoes came down the La Vasse… and this time they did not fade into the west. They brought the surveyors and their families.
Two years later the steel came through. Construction work cleared a little space on Lake Nipissing’s shoreline … carved, as it were, a niche in the thick forest, where a few cabins and shanties sprang up haphazardly. It was the beginning of North Bay.

Christened in 1882

The Gateway City was named North Bay in 1882, because of the fact that its first habitations were clustered on a great, sweeping bay on the north shore of Lake Nipissing. A legend that North Bay was named through shipment of a keg of nails has been disproved.
Shortly after the steel of the railway wound its way through the district North Bay was surveyed into lots and subdivisions. By 1885 it was fairly well established. When the C.P.R. got through to British Columbia, cattle and wheat trains rattled through the little settlement heading east. Machinery and other manufactured products were transported west. Trains, trains and more trains puffed their way through North Bay.
In the end, C.P.R. officials established the place as a divisional point. Shops and offices were located here and a population boom resulted.
The next big step forward was North Bay’s incorporation as a town in 1890. John Bourke was first may-
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or, and April 7, 1890 will always remain a red letter day in the city’s history.
Not content with being a mere town, “The Bay” lost no time in entering the county town election in 1895. With Sturgeon Falls and Mattawa as her opponents, North Bay waged a bitter battle for the honor. Two elections were necessary. They were the famous elections in which “dead men and children voted.” Sturgeon Falls did not participate in the second, and North Bay just edged out Mattawa.
That meant another boom, coincident with the establishment of judicial and governmental offices. The election victory brought North Bay a court house, registry office, and jail, two judges, and various other government employees.

Start T.&N.O. Railway

Undoubtedly the biggest jump in the progress of the city occurred in the period 1902 to 1905. This time the ribbons of steel were the rails of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway. Flung north to Cochrane in 1902, piercing the very heart of the richest gold and silver mining areas in the world, the T. & N. O. “made” the North country and Northern Ontario. North Bay was and is its headquarters, its southern termininus, and the main settlement along its lines.
Smooth steady progress was temporarily halted by the Great War, but after four trying years the town, like all other Canadian towns, cities and villages, marched forward again.
By 1925 North Bay had become modern in her appearance. She was overdue to become a city. She had become a famous railway and distributing center, and a true gateway to the North. Her business and residential sections were up-to-date and beautiful.
And so, Old Home Week of 1925. With her incorporation as a city, North Bay completed the last step towards 20th century modernity. She was on her way as one of Ontario’s key cities.

Ten-year Eras

North Bay’s progress can be briefly sketched in ten-year periods: 1885, definitely established as a village on the C.P .R.: 1895, made county town; 1905, boom as the T. & N. O. railway hummed with activity; 1925, attainment of modern cityhood; 1935, emerging from depression years in fine condition, ready to face a promising future.
Since 1925, North Bay’s progress has not been slow. A few important events in the past ten years include: Extension of the Ferguson highway 341 miles north of North Bay to Kapuskasing, with branches to Timmins, Kirkland Lake, etc.; extension of the T. & N. O. railway to Moosonee, on the shores of James’ Bay; building of Canadian National Railways divisional offices; building of a new Nipissing Home for the Aged; building of the North Bay College; building of the V ocational School; St. Joseph’s Hospital; new Public and Separate schools; the Masonic Temple; the Empire Hotel; the Capitol Theatre; the Presbyterian Church; the St. Vincent de Paul Church and St. Simon Church; the suburban United churches; Lee Park; Amelia Park; establishment of a provincial laboratory, a provincial mines office; growth of the suburb of West Ferris, including new schools, laying out of two lakeside parks, and erection of thousands of summer cottages along the beach.
Aside from the major improvements, the appearance of North Bay became more attractive year by year, as succeeding city councils and citizens at large co-operated in an effort to beautify their city.

Population Growth

Official statistics reveal North Bay’s growth since 1895. In that year the population was 2,024, the area 500 acres, the property value $431,790, the business and income assessment next to nothing and the taxes $$9,122.
In 1905 the population of 5,204 was residing on the same 500 acres, but property value had increased to more than a million dollars, the sum being $1,636,250. The town had a business assessment of $134,980 and income assessment of $119,770, and taxes amounting to $40,122.
In 1915 the population had jumped to 10,041 and the area to 2,160 acres, the property value to $6,821,613, the business assessment to $400,960, the income assessment was $146,168, and the taxes $167,109.
In 1925 the population was 13,011, the area 2,100 acres, the property value $8,445,300, the business assessment $130,515, and income assessment $438,225, and the taxes $365,773.
Today North Bay has a population of 16,181, an area of 2,100 acres, a property value of $10,991,908, a business assessment of $642,370, an income assessment of $161,576, and taxes amounting to $569,487.30.
North Bay is the capital and judicial seat for the District of Nipissing. It is the focal point of various provincial government branch offices which serve Northern Ontario, including Crown Lands, Game, and Fisheries, Northern Development, Provincial Police, Hydro Electric, Provincial Laboratory, and Provincial Mines Office.
It is Northern Ontario headquarters for Railway Mail Service, office of the District Superintendent of Postal Service, Customs and Excise, Employment Service, Department of Marine, and Department of National Defense, all branches of the Dominion Government.

Hopes of Future

Among the improvements that North Bay is looking forward to are: Completion of the highway to Timiskaming, Quebec; erection of a new bridge over Duchesnay Creek; erection of a new hockey arena, city hall, and district court house, and establishment of a branch of the new provincial bank.
The Gateway City got her start as a railway, distributing, educational, church, government, and tourist center for Northern Ontario. The railroads established North Bay. In later years the highways made their advent. Now the city is connected with good roads leading in all directions, north, east, south and west. She is a true “hub” in the wheel of northern development and progress. Her position is strategic in every way.
Practically all tourists (and there are thousands weekly) who visit Dafoe Hospital to see the Dionne quintuplets make their headquarters at North Bay for two or three days.
The city is the leading educational center of Northern Ontario, and ranks with the best in the southern part of the province. The See of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie is located here. Head offices of the T. & N. O. are here, as well as divisional offices of the C.P.R. and C.N.R.
In 1925 North Bay had 27 miles of permanent sidewalks, 16 1⁄2 miles of sanitary sewers, 9 1⁄4 miles of storm sewers, 38 miles of watermains, 6 1⁄4 miles of pavement, and 30 miles of improved streets.
Today it is estimated the city has about 40 miles of permanent sidewalks, 30 miles of sanitary sewers, 15 miles of storm sewers, 50 miles of watermains, 30 miles of pavement, and 50 miles of improved streets. Add modern homes, stores, parks, and buildings, and the description is that of North Bay.
North Bay’s lighting system compares favorably with any in the province. The city is equipped with a waterworks system capable of taking care of the needs of a metropolis with a population of 50,000 souls.
Thus has North Bay has developed, progressed, and prospered since first the C.P.R. reached here more than 50 years ago. Old Home Week of this year marks a half century of growth for the Gateway City, a fitting celebration for such an occasion.

Old Home Week Sporting Events, 1925 and 1935


To celebrate holidays with sporting events was a long-standing tradition in Ontario. OHW celebrations followed this practice as well. In 1925 the finance committee of Old Home Week was allocated $4000 to spend on recreational sports during the August celebration. A wide range of events were planned that would appeal to almost everyone including soccer games, baseball, swimming, football, track events, tennis, and quoits.

Map of Old Home Week Locations, North Bay

Map of Old Home Week Locations, North Bay

Sporting events took place at several locations. Amelia Park beach was the site of canoe races, swimming and other water events such as log burling. Wallace Park and Amelia Park were used for baseball, softball, ladies’ softball, and track events for young and old.

The horse races were a featured event and 50 entries were expected. The opening race event was attended by Hon. J. Lyon, G. Nicholson, Dr. Harcourt, MLA, Mayor McDonald, and John Ferguson. (The Nugget, August 7 1925)

Lacrosse and baseball played by the Old Timers were major attractions. Lacrosse used to be very popular in North Bay before World War One. Former members of the North Bay lacrosse team met in July to organize for a game against Sudbury during Old Home Week. Mattawa also pulled together a team. Those who played baseball were former North Bay baseball club players, some from as far back as 1884.

The tennis tournament was extremely popular and entries from many parts of Northern Ontario including Timmins, Haileybury, Sudbury, Copper Cliff and Cobalt were received. As a result of the enthusiasm, the North Bay Tennis Club decided to establish an annual Northern Ontario championship.


In 1935, horse racing was no longer the chief attraction at OHW. In fact, the track was gone, having become the grounds for North Bay College. Key attractions included the marathon swimmer Marvin Nelson, and a baseball game played by NHL players. (See Special Events.) Another high profile event was a boxing match between Dom Scappatura and visiting Kirkland Lake boxer Herbie Dymond held at Wallace park. Having grown up in North Bay, Scappatura had many local fans and they turned out in large number to watch him fight. This was only one of several matches that took place with local boxers participating.

OHW was an opportunity to bring in some of the best teams in the region. A baseball game between Kirkland Lake and Frood Mine, for example, was expected to one of the most entertaining events of the week as the Kirkland Lake team had not lost a game yet and Frood Mine was considered to be one the best teams in their league.

9_baseball_1935OHWGames which featured Old Timers were also crowd pleasers. As expected, large crowds turned up to watch Old Time baseballers including “Boxcar McDonald”, “Gutty” Lockhart, and “Cap” Weegar in a challenge game against the CPR Ceepees. A photo (left) of a baseball game in 1935 suggests that large crowds watched some of the games.

Photo by Hartley Trussler.

Lacrosse was no longer played on a regular basis but was revived for OHW. North Bay was defeated by Sundridge despite the help of Native players from the reserve.

Regular teams also got an opportunity to play during the week. The North Bay Rosedale Thistles, for example, played soccer against the Garson Mine team in front of a crowd of 1500. Veteran soccer players also pitted themselves against younger players. The T&NO baseball team lost shamefully to a Pembroke team. Local girls’ softball team and younger players also got a chance to play.

Track and field events, bicycle races, and swimming races provided the greatest opportunity for local children to participate in the events of the week. Both the Motor Club and the Knights of Columbus included a number of these activities in their program. The Motor Club held swimming and running races in the morning at Amelia Park. Local athletes, ranging from as early as 15 years of age to adults were able to take part in the races. For the swimming portion, the competition took the form of a quarter-mile race in Lake Nipissing.

Sporting activities during the OHW celebrations were similar to those of Dominion Day and Victoria Day holidays and of company or church picnics. During the celebrations regular play was suspended and exhibition and novelty games were the norm. The focus could be on providing a high quality games that people would want to see or on hilarity and entertainment.

For a full listing of sporting events see the programs:

Program for 1925

Program for 1935


Old Home Week Special Events, 1925 and 1935


In 1925, the big entertainment special event was an act by James Hardy, a high wire walker and stunt man, advertised as “The only living ‘Hero of Niagara Falls'”, the ‘Marvel of Genesse Gorge’ and the ‘Wonder of Montmorency Falls’. ‘The World’s Famous Aerial Artist’ performed daily at Wallace Park with a special show for Children’s Day. During his act he changed clothes and balanced on a bicycle.

A huge concert with about 700 school children was another special event held during OHW. It was under the direction of J. Gatenby and held at the arena.

A civic banquet was held in St. John’s Parish Hall on August 3rd to honour North Bay’s achievement of city status. Invitations were extended to all “notable” public servants who held office from 1891 to 1924. Seventy-five planned to attend. Members of the Old Home Week executive, members of the clergy, E. Beatty (president of the CPR), Sir H. Thornton (president of the CNR), Hon. Charles McCrea, Hon. J. Lyons, Hon. G. Henry (M.P.), E. Lapierre (M.P.), H. Morel (MPP), G. Harcourt (MPP) and Z. Mageau were also invited. (The Nugget, July 21, 1925.)

The CNR presented outdoor movies for the entire week. These were screened on the side of their local office with the city turning off three lamp posts to accomodate this. The movies included long screening of Canadian scenic productions, comedies and cartoons. The scenic productions shown were: the Triangle Tour, Diary of a Rocky Mountain Badger, NipigonTrails, Great Lakes Romance, Where Its Always Vacation time, In Old Quebec, and Where the Moose Run Lodge. (The Nugget , August 4, 1925.)

One event which surprisingly, was not part of the official program, was the unveiling of a cairn in honour of Samuel de Champlain by the Imperial Daughters of the Empire. The cairn was located at the Toronto highway where it was crossed by the La Vase River. Judge Valin would unveil the cairn. Speeches were made by Rev. Father Chapleau and Mayor McDonald. Mrs. W. Cockburn, chapter regeant, oversaw the affair which was attended by eighty people.(The Nugget , August 4, 7, 1925.)


9_AdforNHLHockey was by far the most popular sport in North Bay and some local players had gone on to the National Hockey League. In an era of natural ice, a summer event like OHW did not allow for a hockey match. But even without a hockey game, these players would be a draw. They were brought in to play softball against a local team. The match which pitted fourteen NHL professional hockey players against the North Bay Travellers and gave spectators a chance to meet and greet these hockey players drew a crowd of 4,000 to Amelia Park on Saturday afternoon. The results of the game, a defeat of the Travellers by a score of 11-10 was probably not as important as the chance to see the hockey stars in person. Traveller’s Day with this special feature was advertised well in advance. The ad to the left and the program listed the hockey stars who were coming: Pep Kelly, Maple Leafs; Bob Gracie, Maroons; Hec Kilrea, Maple Leafs; Wally Kilrea, Detroit; Syd Howe, Detroit; Allan Shields, Maroons; Joe Lamb, St. Louis; Bill Beveridge, St. Louis; Alex Smith, Americans; Frank Finnegan, Maple Leafs; Eddie Finnegan, St. Louis; Earl Robinson, Maroons; and, Ace Bailey, “former star of the Toronto Maple Leafs and one of the most popular stars of all time” as umpire.

TMarathon swimmer Marvin Nelson was a star attraction at the 1935 OHW in North Bay. According to the advance publicity for the event, Nelson was world champion swimmer five times over. His first win of the unofficial world champion title was in 1930 in Toronto at the Canadian National Exhibition. Three years later, he won again, the first person to do so twice, to a crowd of more than 100,000. In North Bay the crowd was much smaller, but Nelson not only performed, he also considered coming back again.




The Capitol Theatre also took advantage of the crowds at OHW to bring in special shows like this one, a “Harlem Extravaganza” called “Brown Skin Models.”


Old Home Week Promotions 1925

5_GlobeAD1925Old Home Week advertising went beyond the usual ad in the local paper or the placement of ads in the souvenir book. A special full page advertisement was placed in the Toronto Globe for the 1925 OHW in a format that resembled those of other towns. It consisted of stories and pictures as well as more obvious advertisment of the event. The Globe made a specialty of these special pages and even sent a representative to North Bay to discuss it. The cost was was $220 for a half page ad.

5_StudebakerSpecial promotions were also organized in which expensive items were given away in a raffle-like promotion. The OHW organizers themselves gave away a Studebaker Six. It was given away free to the person who became president of the OHW Association. Members of the association paid a dollar to join and the President was chosen based on a draw from the names of all members. A total of 1200 people entered the draw to become Honorary President of Old Home Week and 5000 people were there to watch the final draw. Tickets were loaded into a washing machine for mixing and the winning ticket was selected by Ms M. Baxter. Mr A. Smith announced the winner, Mrs P. Moriarty, the wife on a T&NO employee, who was presented with the keys to the vehicle. Since such a car cost about $2,000 at that time, this promotion definitely made money for the OHW organizers, and even more so if the car was provided at cost.

5_CochraneCochrane Hardware gave away two large ticket items during the 1925 OHW. The first contest required guessing the number of tools on display and offered the winner a Findley Tortoise Cook Range as its prize. The second offered a Brantford Electric Washing Machine valued at $145 to the person with the most votes. Votes were based on the value of purchases made during OHW but could be transferred to someone else. Both contests required persons to be in the store.

Here's WatchesEric W. Ross gave away both a man’s and a woman’s Mars Swiss wrist watch during OHW. He advertised the give-away in advance but the actual contest rules were not published until July 31st. “Watch for It” his ad read.






5_FergusonAdSMJohn Ferguson who owned property throughout the city promoted sales through OHW by giving away a lot free. It would go the person who purchased a lot closest to the lot he had picked to give away. The person who won it, however, could choose one in another location instead if they so wished.




Travel to OHW was also subject to a special promotion. The Railroad Transportation Committee was in charge of making arrangements with the railway companies and ensuring that tourists would have the best rates possible when the came. This was arranged with the Canadian Passenger Association in Montreal. The arrangement for reduced fares which was negotiated was a ‘Certificate Plan’ by which the traveller who purchased a First-Class Single ticket to North Bay and obtained a “Canadian Passenger Association Standard Certificate” from the ticket agent at the same time could, when returning, present this certificate and pay only one-half of the First Class fare, plus a twenty-five cent validation fee. As the programme further explained, however, these special fares applied only to travellers from Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes and to fares over seventy-five cents. “Summer Tourist Fares” would be in effect from Vancouver to Winnipeg. The Certificate had to be presented to the Secretary of Old Home Week at the Registration Bureau to be filled out, as well as to the ticket agent, and only if more than 150 such certificates were handed in would the special rate apply. ( “Come Back – Old Pal!” brochure; “Official Programme.”)

Old Home Week Parades, 1935

August 5th Monday. A Glorious hot August Day. Perfect for the first Big Day.
Went to work early and got the parade arranged at least our part of it. Jack Fischer had our float to finish and we had the “Gutter Service Ambulance” to decorate. Had to get a car for the last Old Home Week Babies. I did all the lettering on the old cars and trucks. The first and opening parade was at 9:30 and we did some tall old hustling to get up there.
The parade was splendid and the crowd was good too. Brought Marg, the kids down to see it. Took a bunch of pictures of the floats. PM. I was too busy to go down and see any of the sports. There was a full day of entertainment and everybody was in good spirits. At night everything was hilarity personified.

Diary of Hartley Trussler, Courtesy of Paul Trussler


Jacques Cartier. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

Jacques Cartier. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

HMS Traveller. Photo by Harlty Trussler

HMS Traveller. Photo by Harlty Trussler

The Old 1908 Auto Car. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

The Old 1908 Auto Car. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

The grand opening parade of Old Home Week 1935 formed at the old Arena Rink on Main Street West and made its way to Amelia Park where Mayor Bullbrook with the help of several other dignitaries, declared OHW opened. Six bands participated. The grand parade on Monday was the most important event of the 1935 celebrations. It was viewed by an estimated 20,000 people and reported to be “one of the greatest in the history of the city.” A mile and a half in length, it took twenty minutes to pass a given point and included floats, veterans, dignitaries, comedians, and oddities. The veteran’s float reproduced a dugout with sandbags and a battle scene. The city’s float consisted of a historical panorama built on the firemen’s ladder truck which showed surveyors arriving in 1882 and a hunting and fishing scene. It also carried Miss North Bay, 1935, and the two children born during the 1925 Old Home Week. First prize for the floats went to the Cercle Canadien Français for a “tableau depicting the landing of Jacques Cartier on Canadian soil, planting of the cross, and welcome by the Indians.” The Travellers’ battleship float of “H.M.S. Traveller” directed by Pilot Paddy Petch looked so genuine it took second prize. (The Nugget, 5 Aug 1935)

— Motor Club Day —- August 6th Tuesday. A beautiful hot day Just Perfect.
Went to work early – I was busy as could be all forenoon getting things ready for the big Motor Club Parade It was at 1:30 PM. It was very good too but not nearly as large as yesterday’s. We had our float and two new cars in it. There was an interesting drill of the Copper Cliff Cadets down at the Park and then a couple baseball games and softball games. In the parade today was the old 1915 Buick Touring car which belonged to Harry Pedder when new and in which I had my first wonderful automobile ride. In those days it was a real adventure and something to talk about for the rest of the year. The Old car is still running good and I guess could make the same trip now in 12 hours which took us 21/2 days to make then. Margaret and I went down after dinner to see some of the sports and it was so uninteresting we went back home. Came back to see the Swim. Mar[vin] Nelson was here and swam in a relay race against four North Bay Boys. It was about as interesting as a stroll of ten year olds. We didn’t stay to see the finish.
Worked until late.

Diary of Hartley Trussler, Courtesy of Paul Trussler


The Turgeon Family.

The Turgeon Family.

On Wednesday, French Canadian day, the parade themes were historical and allegorical. Floats were entered by the many French Canadian communities from the surrounding area that participated and featured figures from French Canada’s past such as Jacques Cartier, Champlain, and Louis Hebert as well more allegorical figures such as Evangeline, “The Angelus”, and a tableau of the “‘slaying of the Canadian Martyrs”. The most unusual float was that from Astorville and consisted of Mr. and Mrs. David Turgeon and their 21 children. The Nugget featured their photo under the headline: “ALL OF ONE ASTORVILLE HOUSEHOLD.” (The Nugget, 12 August 1935.)

Jacques Cartier Monument

Jacques Cartier Monument

In the afternoon the parade went to McMurchy Park where a monument to mark the 400th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s arrival in Canada (1534) took place. Like French Canadian Day, the monument was sponsored by the FFCF and Le Cercle Canadien-Français. Judge J.A. Valin and E.M. Regimbal, the president of the Cercle presided. The monument was blessed by Very Rev. Dean J.A. Chapleau of St. Vincent de Paul Church, North Bay’s French parish. Speeches were made by Dr. J.R. Hurtubise of Sudbury, M.P. for Nipissing, and J. Harry Marceau, M.L.A. for Nipissing. According to the French program, Senator G. Lacasse was to have given the major speech, but he was unable to attend. Mayor Bullbrook spoke saying French Canadian “were carrying out the old French traditions inaugurated in Canada with the early settlement of their country by Jacques Cartier.” (The Nugget, 7 August 1935; The Globe, 8 August 1935.)

Thursday morning, a children’s parade made its way to Amelia Park where there were activities planned for the children. It included a lot of clowns. Thursday evening featured a “Monster Carnival Parade” with prizes for best costumes in several categories. Young and old were asked to join the Shredded Wheat Band from Niagara Falls, New York, to the carnival and street dance area and to enjoy the Old Home Week spirit.

Two parades featuring the Toronto Shriner’s 70-piece band were planned for Friday, Shriners’ Day.

Saturday, organized by the Associated Canadian Travellers, a monster street parade ended at Amelia Park where the Travellers’ softball team competed against National Hockey League players, one of the entertainment highlights of the week The week closed with a “shirt-tail” parade at 11:30 that night.

View more of Hartley Trussler’s 1935 OHW Parade images below: