[Home page] [Who is Past Forward ] [Contact Us] [Publications]

Past Forward is now on Facebook "LIKE" us to keep in touch


May 30, 2008

Names, Planes & Trains in Perspective


When the CNR was built across the north side of Algonquin Park numerous section stops were established where workers lived & maintained the track in each direction.  The names of each of the stops evoke various degrees of historical significance depending on whether the stop developed into more than a maintenance depot. 

Fossmill, Kiosk and Brent became the 3 most significant stops and I have written articles and books on all three.  One of the stops with the name Coristine on the west side of the Amable du Fond is a part of Kiosk history because even though it was abandoned when the Kiosk station developed the section house became a part of Kiosk history when the Laferriere family bought it and moved in and kept their family together when only bunkhouse accommodation was available for the men.  Kiosk replaced Coristine because lumbermen Mackey & Booth established depots there and a summer resort was established on Kioshkokwi Lake along with leases for cottage lots.Coristine was only a kilometre away across the Amable du Fond and became redundant. 

I got an interesting email recently from a man doing some history for the Coristine family History in Monrteal  and I was told that the CNR stop was named after the family patriarch.  Cynthia Coristine wrote me with some "Montreal Coristine" history.  Her great-great grandfather James Coristine (1837-1908) came to Montreal from Ireland and soon got work with a furrier. He became a partner and eventually became owner of James Coristine & Co. He became very successful, married and had 7 children. His massive business headquarters remains today as an office building.  Several family members held important positions in the company including Cynthia's grandfather who was Vice President. The company went bankrupt in 1938. The records indicate that the stop in the Park was named Coristine but there is no record why.

Photo of  Coristine
furrier business in
Montreal .  Submitted photo

Another nameI wrote recently about 101 year old Clarence Brazier  the man who learned to read at age 93 and was featured in Astrid Taim's new book Almaguin Chronicles.  Brazier's name was in the news recently when he was given the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award.  Brazier got a standing ovation and a hug from Michaelle Jean at Rideau Hall in Ottawa when he received the award on April 30.  Astrid and I will be talking about and signing our recent books at the Powassan Library on Clark Street in Powassan on June 3rd at 7:30 courtesy of the Friends of the Library. 

Jerry Rose, Chisholm Twp and sign he purchased when CNR closed in 1995


North Bay aviation historian Rudy Mauro, who has written extensively about the famous Captain of the Clouds movie, recently responded to a lengthy obituary in the Globe & Mail about a famous RCAF flyer Dal Russel  Rudy's comments were published a couple of days later as follows: 

"After his triumphs in the Battle of Britain, Dal Russel was once given a flying assignment of a Hollywood kind.  In September of 1941,the No. 11 RCAF Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron in Dartmouth, N.S., was instructed to co-operate with Warner Brothers for the filming of the climactic aerial duel scene in the wartime epic Captains of the Clouds, starring James Cagney. Lacking a Messerschmitt Bf 109, they dressed a Hawker Hurricane in German markings and put Squadron Leader Russel at the controls. 

The "Messerschmitt" and the five Hudsons flew to a location off the Nova Scotia coast to stage the attack, which was filmed by cameras aboard a seventh aircraft.  

No novice on the Hurricane, he executed the precise manouevres requested by the director and attacked the formation. Squadron Leader Max Martyn, No. 11 Squadron commander, who substituted for Cagney, later described the scene: "I feigned damage and droped away in full rich mixture to supposedly crash, smoking, in the sea below." 

Dal Russel, elated at downing his first Hudson, diverted to Halifax on his return to base and flew up Barrington Street, the main thoroughfare, at low altitude. At the sight of a swastika flashing over the rooftops, Haligonians went into near panic. 

Back at base, everyone enjoyed a laugh - except the commanding officer, Hartland Molson. He was not amused." 

Rudy has also written about his adventure in 1973 when he looked for the long-lost inscribed boulder marking the spot famous Labrador explorer Leonidas Hubbard died.  Rudy was accompanied by the son of Dillon Wallace who in 1913 had traveled back to the site of Hubbard's tragic death in 1903.  Rudy's adventure was published in Beaver Magazine and is now online at rudymauro.net.  You can also read about Dillon Wallace's trip in his book  Back to Labrador  assembled by Rudy and available online at rudymauro.com. 


Two weeks ago I wrote about 2 trains that crashed west of Mattawa in September 1952. 

I did not have a photo of the wreck.  A reader drew my attention to Ken Craig's book Blades of the Bay where Regis "Pep" Kelly is profiled. Pep was fireman on the train and suffered permanent injury.  Ken Craig gave permission to use the picture of the crash.

The 2 CPR trains that crashed in September 1952 west of Mattawa.  Ken Craig photo.


May was Museum Month and there is lots of activity as the local museums open.Was pleased to see,for example, the improvement  on the Clark House Museum in Powassan with its new roof and new front veranda.

New veranda on Clark House Museum, Powassan. Doug Mackey photo

Heritage Perspective Home Page

Past Forward Heritage Limited: 

330 Sumach St. #41, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5A 3K7   Tel. (416)-925-8412


Copyright © Past Forward Heritage Limited