Quintland Landscape 2013

There are only a few signs of Quintland left in the landscape today [Nov. 2012]. The fence is still there, the nursery and a guardhouse. One of the souvenir shops is now a private home.

Nipissing University acquires Monastery Property

On 1 September 2006, Nipissing University acquired its first new property at the North Bay campus, the former Sisters of the Precious Blood monastery which is located just below the campus on the old Gormanville Road. Most of the evidence of its use as a monastery were already gone, but I decided to document the property as it looked that day for anyone later interested in making the comparison between the original property and the renovations and changes made later. Hopefully the beautiful surroundings and pond shown here will stay. The interior is of course already considerably modified.

The Sugarbush – Old and New

When I visited a friend’s family sugarbush in 2007, there was still evidence of the more traditional methods of doing things and the sap was still collected in pails rather than with a pipeline. Many of these small sugarbush operations are disappearing or their operations are being modernized. These images capture some of the “old” and some of the “new.”

A Historic Sawmill

In 2005 I went on a class photography “shoot” with David Lewis to a rural area near New Liskeard. On a farm with old buildings and abandoned farm machinery we found a small working sawmill of the type that would have been very common one hundred years ago. The owner said this mill had once been mounted on a flatbed rail car and used to cut ties as railway construction moved forward. These images show the mill and its product.

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World War II Interview Clips

What was it like to be a student just finishing high school and having to decide whether or not to go to war? These clips give us an idea of what it was like for ordinary students in North Bay to face this kind of choice.

Lois Douglas

Douglas – War (Flash)

Dinty Elliott
Elliott – going West before war (Flash)
Mary Leppan

Leppan – teach and travel war (Flash)

Eddy Sarlo
Sarlo – 4F War (Flash)
Ruth Taylor
Taylor – first fired after war ONR (Flash)

Old Home Week Souvenir Books 1925 and 1935

The 1925 Souvenir Book

7_SouvenirBook1925Old Home Week souvenir books were just that — a souvenir of the event. They provided information about the event and its organization, advertising, and pictures and stories about the place being celebrated. The cover of North Bay’s 1925 souvenir book shows Samuel de Champlain overlooking Lake Nipissing. The fact that Champlain spent the night near North Bay in 1615 is emphasized in the history of North Bay as presented in the souvenir book. Running to 120 pages, the book is a reflection of the prosperity of the period. It included a full list of the Old Home Week committee members, the program for each of the seven days, photographs, advertisements and short historical articles. Overall they present a very positive image of North Bay’s history, growth and progress, which is to be expected.
Information from the 1925 souvenir book has found its way into other sources about North Bay. Kennedy, for example, repeats many of its stories in his history of North Bay. The Trout Mills Women’s Institute also made use of it when putting together their history of Trout Mills. As one of the few sources of the history of the early days, it retains its appeal, but most of the stories cannot be verified. It seems to have played a role in establishing John Ferguson’s role as the founder of North Bay. A list and summary of articles can be found here: Souvenir Book 1925 List Articles.

The 1935 Souvenir Book

7_SouvenirBook1935coverThe cover of the English 1935 souvenir book consisted of of an embellished city crest to which was added “North Bay Old Home Week”, with its dates and words from Auld Lang Syne. The lower banner was also changed to read “Gateway to the Land of Gold.” The cover was the winning design submitted in a contest limited to school children under sixteen years of age.
The souvenir book for 1935 was smaller and shorter than that in 1925, reflecting the greater concern for cost. Although it provides pictures of North Bay and a history of its schools and churches, it is not as rich in detail as the 1925 book. It does, however, provide considerable information on the Dionne quintuplets and provides considerable detail on the very recent history of their lives to date along with photos. Souvenir Book 1935 List of Articles

The French Canadian Day Souvenir Book 1935

7_FrenchSouvenirThis French souvenir book is easy to miss. OHW has been translated to “Ré-Union des Anciens”. This book was issued in French for French Canadian Day by its organizers. It included a full list of the executive of the two clubs sponsoring French-Canadian day, the members of the organizing committee, and a brief history of Le Cercle Canadien-Français de North Bay. Only some of the parishes which participated provided photographs, histories of their parish, and advertisements for the souvenir book: Sainte-Anne de Sudbury, Saint Thomas de Warren, Saint Jean-Baptiste de Verner, Sacré-Coeur de Sturgeon Falls, Saint David de Noelville, Notre-Dame du Lac de Lavigne, Saint-Joseph de Chelmsford, and Saint Vincent de Paul de North Bay. Ads were from businesses owned or managed by members of the French community or at least friendly to it. Lefebvre’s Sport and Tobacco Shop in North Bay, for example, is identified as the location where one can procure French newspapers. The emphasis is quite different than in the English souvenir book. There is no article on the Quints, for example, although one ad does mention its location in relationship to them. French-Canadian Day appears to have been a self-contained ethnic festival within Old Home Week.


French-Canadian Heroes Honored at North Bay. The Globe, Toronto, Thursday, August 8, 1935. First Page.

[Transcribed by F. Noël.]

French-Canadian Heroes Honored at North Bay.

Commemoration Parade Features Opening Day of Old Home Week – City Is Crowded With Visitors

North Bay, Aug. 7 (CP).

It is Old Home Week in North Bay, and hundreds of out-of-town visitors are here to help the natives celebrate.
Parades, ball games, fireworks and sports programs were arranged for the week.
Today the city turned out to watch a parade commemorating the deeds of the great French-Canadian heroes. A monument to Jacques Cartier, erected through the co- operation of the French-Canadian men and women of the district, was unveiled.
Escorted by police, the procession was headed by the Sacred Heart College Band of Sudbury, followed by automobiles containing clergy of the city and district and Mayor W.G. Bullbrook and D. Barker, Chairman of the Old Home Week Committee.
The North Bay float depicted the scene on the arrival of Jacques Cartier in Canada. District Indians joined in the parade, lending color to the celebration with their native costumes.
Sturgeon Falls representatives entered the parade with a float portraying Champlain paddling across Lake Nipissing. A descendent of the famous explorer Samuel de Champlain was in the float.
Canadian martyrs were commemorated in a float picturing the slaying of a missionary by Indians.
The life of Louis Hebert was displayed in a colonial setting.
Verner, Ont., French-Canadian residents chose Evangeline as a subject of interprentation and the float was one of the most impressive in the parade.
Noelville, Ont., drew praise for a float portraying the painting “The Angelus.”
Another tribute to the adventures of Jacques Cartier was shown in a float from Warren, Ont., depicting a party of explorers with their canoe and packs. Twenty-one members of the Turgeon family, on a float, represented Astorville.
The program began Sunday and Monday with the first reunion of the 159th Battalion, when more than 400 members of the Northern Ontario unit came together for the first time in twenty years.
Chief among the district’s attractions were the Dionne quintuplets at Callander, eight miles south of North Bay, where thousands of visitors gather four times a day to catch a glimpse of the famous babies.


“228th Battalion Was Model Fighting Unit,” The Nugget, 4 August, 1925, p. 2.

[Transcribed with permission by F. Noël.]

228th Battalion Was Model Fighting Unit

Three Years on Active Service to Credit of Northmen.

Any special day of remembrance of the Great War must have for citizens of North Bay and vicinity proud yet bitter memories of its own battalion, the 228th, which left North Bay in the early days of 1916 and returned in 1919 with three years of distinguished war service ito its credit. So today when the returned men and citizens in general pay tribute to the fallen heros of the Great War there are recalled stories of the heorois, the sacrifice and the loyalty of the “men of the North.” Some retunred and some lie in foreign fields.
Organization of the 228th was authorized on the first of March, 1916 and recruiting of the unit was commenced about the middle of the month. Three months later the 228th left North Bay 950 men strong for training at Camp Borden. Ninety per cent of the men and officers of the battalion came from North Bay, and places along the T.&N.O. and from as far north as Moose Factory and James Bay. The recruiting officers had among their new soldiers 18 Indians from Moose Factory, who had never before seen any modern methods of transportation beyond their dog teams. When the battalion was later changed to a railway troop these Indian soldiers were among the battalion’s most valued members.
The chief officers of the battalion during its organization in the north and its training in Camp Borden and Toronto were Colonel A. Earchman, commanding officer, Major McKee, second in command; Major W.W. Ferguson, Major Lowe, Capt. Dierey? And Capt. ?piers, company commanders.
The battalion was in camp at Camp Borden from June until October when it was transferred to winter camp in Toronto, where two companies were stationed at Shaw Street School and two at Gibbons Street School. The offiers and headquarters were housed at Trinity College. Training continued at Toronto until February, when an order came from Ottawa changing the unit from infantry to railway troops.

Reorganized For Service

On February 17, 1917, the battalion left the Toronto camp for St. John, N.B., where they spent three days in barracks before being shipped on the Missanabie, which has since been destroyed, and landed in Purfleet? Camp on February 28. In this camp the battalion was re-equipped and re- organized for service in France. The headquarters staff of the re-organized unit were Colonel A. Earchman, commanding officer, Major W.W. Ferguson, second in command; Major A.B. Colville, adjutant; Capt. W. Maglaery, Q.M.; W.H. Roberts, chief engineer; Capt. Kip?, paymaster, and Major R.B. Smith, transport officer. The company officers were ? Major George McNamara, commanding officer, Capt. Frid?, second in command; Subalterns ? J. Bourke, Davis and S. ? platoon commanders; No. Major D.W. Fraser, commanding officer, Major H.D. McNamara, ? in command, subalterns ? Russell Young, C. Cowan ? Dale, platoon commanders, Capt. Spiers, commanding of[ficer]; Subaltern Naunders, second in [co]mand, subalterns M. Crosby, ? Scallwood and Thomas, pla[?] commanders; No. 4, Major Lewis, commanding officer, ? Piers, second in command, sup? Alterns W.J. Reed Lewis, No? treau, T. Willis and Thomas, co??on commanders.
? the battalion arrived in France ? days before Vimy Ridge Hall? in which the members took ? the maintenance of the broad ? lines between Boulognes and ?. Ten days later they were transferred to the fourth army area and took over the construction of all light railways in the Fourth Army area. This? Was continued until Nover 1917, when two companies were sent? to Belgium in the Passchendale fight and two companies remained in the Fourth Army area to ? after the first Cambrai. The ? companies Cambrai built six miles of railway and had traffic running into the Marconne in 24 hours. During the winter of 1917 and the spring of 1918 the battalion looked after the construction and maintenance of railways in the Fourth Army area. In the big retreat of March that year the battalion retired to Domleger and carried on the construction of broad gauge lines until July, 1918, when they were removed to the area in the rear of Amiens. Following the battle of Amiens the battalion looked after the construction of all light railways of the Fourth Army until Armistice, building in all 380 miles of line from August 1 until November 11.
After Armistice the battalion was left on maintenance until February when the men were removed to Etaples and there at ready for movement to England where they went into camp at Liverpool before breaking up.

Decorations ?

Outline of any fighting unit must be a mere shell w[hich] only those who participated can properly fill in the days of discomfort, of near death, of heroism, of sacrifice and death itself. It can be truthfully said that the officers and men of the 228th bore themselves in a manner befitting the sturdy north from whence they came. They returned home with 56 military crosses, 10 distinguished conduct medals and five meritorious medals among the decorations of the unit. Among those decorated were Colonel Earchman the commanding officer, who received the D.S.O., O.B.E., 1914 stars, Victory? Medal, general service, Canadian militia long service and officers long service decoratons; Major Fraser, second in command, who received the D.S.O., general service and victory medals; Major Ferguson, general service and victory medals; Major H. McNamara, general service and victory medals; Major Frid, general service and victory medals; Lieut. Jack Bourke, ? general service and victory medals; Lieut. Amos, M.C., general service and victory medals; Lieut. A. Smith, M.C.? general service and victory medals.
The colors of the battalion which were deposited overseas in the chapel at Pottors Har? where the first German Zeppelin was brought down in April 1917, were brought to Canada in April, 1919, and placed in North Bay. The members of the 228th battalion have spread to the four winds. Major H. McNamara and Major Geroge McNamara formed the McNamara Construction Company of Sault Ste. Marie; Capt. Frid is with the Frid Construction Comapany of Hamilton; Mr. Amos is with the C.N.R. at Winnipeg, and Mr. He? is now contracting for himself in the west. The former commanding officer is with the Northern Developmnet Branch at Toronto and in this capacity often meets with former 228th men, who are holding their old positions in the towns of the north.