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January 14, 2011

New Year...New Books

The following are some interesting heritage publications that have come to my attention and may be of interest. 

Callander 125 Calendar 

The Municipality of Callander is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2011 (www.callander125.ca). The event opened January 1 at the Bill Barber Complex and with a calendar of the year’s events. A new book by Don Clysdale will be launched in July at the Books By the Bay event. 

Callander 125 Calendar

The calendar lists the many events over the year throughout the community. Each month features a group of photographs on a specific category of community life – Lumbering, Buildings, Streets, the Quints, the Waterfront, etc. The calendar was prepared by Don Clysdale and Nicky Poulin. Tom Fletcher & his 125 committee have done a great job of planning the event. The calendar is available at the Municipal Office & Library ($10). 

West Nipissing Heritage 

The 2010 West Nipissing calendar featured a beautiful painting by the late Frank Casey local educator and artist. The family sponsored an auction of Frank’s paintings recently. Auctioneer Stephen Tomlinson sold some $30,000 of paintings. Some of Frank’s other paintings may become a part of the Tom Thomson Gallery collection in Owen Sound. 

Frank Casey, Jim Lillie & L.J. Gillard produced an early history of Sturgeon Falls & La Societe historique de Nipissing Ouest arranged for the translation of the history into French by Pierre LeRiche & has published a gem of a 60 page history book in English and French with historical photographs and several Frank Casey paintings. Wayne LeBelle who was active in the auction and the book publication has a new book out on Iroquois Falls. 

Iroquois Falls – Anson’s Folly 

The Abitibi Power & Paper Company played an important part in the development of Sturgeon Falls, Smooth Rock Falls & Iroquois Falls. Wayne LeBelle wrote books on the first 2 locations and has now done one on Iroquois Falls. All are done with his usual careful research, photographs and production values. 

Frank Casey Sturgeon Falls book

The Iroquois Falls book is called Anson’s Folly after the founder F.H. Anson who established  the community.  The 200 page book goes back a 100 years to the heartland of Northern Ontario when the Abitibi Power & Paper Company arrived. The fascinating early machinations and power struggles make finteresting reading  leading to a well functioning larger municipality today. 

The book includes the story of some of the peripheral communities in the area and some history on the original aboriginal people. The origin of the name is interesting when the native people were not Iroquois. The French English struggles were interesting. The book has several sections in French. 

The story comes alive with profiles of some of the area’s personalities including founder American capitalist entrepreneur Frank Harris Anson who took the early lead in spite of many who thought it was folly to do so. 

The archaeological and museumological references are of interest. The people of South River will be interested in the story of the Shay logging locomotive that had run from South River into Algonquin Park for several years. It was sold to Iroquois Falls where it was restored and has become a fascinating tourist attraction. 

The book contains dozens of Wayne’s usually well produced old photographs and some fine new ones by David Lewis many of which have been archived for future generations.  People with memories of Iroquois Falls and area and those who just love a great story will enjoy this book.  I was pleased to read about nearby Monteith which became a prisoner of war camp and later an Adult Training Centre for the Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services.  I visited there several times (as a correctional administrator) and got to know the area.  

The Trouble with Treaty Nine 

Nipissing University professor Dr. John S. Long has researched Treaty No. 9 which established the division of a vast region of Ontario’s far north in 1905.  His new book details the strong aboriginal position that they were treated dishonestly in the transaction. One commissioner’s work was ignored and oral agreements were forgotten. 

Treaty No. 9 book

Long states that many of their rights and territories were never surrendered. It is no wonder that First Nations of far Northern Ontario are opposed to Ontario’s Far North Act.  This is a timely, thoughtful and courageous book that supports the evidence of the abuse of native people in the past. 

I am reminded of Wayne LeBelle’s Dokis book (2007) where he describes the machinations by the government and the Indian agent in getting the old growth lumber from the Dokis reserve for lumber companies. I read the detailed story in the book by Dr. James Angus – A Deo Victoria. I mentioned Dr. Angus  recent death in my December 10th article. 

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