Wednesday, October 4, 2023
The Way We Were

The Way We Were

25 Years Ago April 29, 1998
Litchfield mill comes together: When Gustave Brunet joined his father and brothers in the family sawmill in Fassett, Que. in 1968, he had bad dreams of expansion.
Thirty years later, the 48-year-old is head of Sylvio Brunet et Fils Ltée, the parent company to a sawmill in Fassett, Que. and the Produits Forestier Coulonge hardwood lumber sawmill in Litchfield.
“I started (in the lumber business) with my father and brothers in 1968,” he says. “We had a small mill but my goal was to expand.”
Brunet’s company took over the Fortin Mill in Mansfield in 1992. Unfortunately the mill was destroyed by fire in January and the company lost equipment which was slated to be moved to the new mill.
Indeed, the new mill, one of the largest of its kind in Canada, was built from scratch from the ground up.
Successful steam threshing: Many attended the annual steam threshing at Eric and Evelyn Campbell’s farm. Beautiful weather and a good crowd made this a great success again. The old-timers love to see the old engines working again and to the younger folks it is a new experience.

50 Years Ago May 2, 1973
Bryson Centennial Easter Parade: Easter Sunday during Bryson’s Centennial Year was something very special. Taking part in a real old-fashioned Easter Parade were citizens of Bryson as well as numerous visitors.
Rev. Father Pelletier made the parish hall available and Rev. Crozier assisted in the evening combined religious service held in the Bryson United Church.
Gowns of unusual beauty and authenticity were worn by Mrs. Claude Lepine, Mrs. Hubert Ralston; Mrs. Rheal Sicard; Mrs. Richard Barr; Mrs. Cletus McGuire; Mrs. Leo Piché; Mrs. Joe Rodgers; Mrs. David Hodgins; Mrs. Leonard Rodgers; Mrs. Bob Walsh; Mrs. Ronald Coyne and Mrs. Fred Coyne; Mrs. J.C. Poisson; Mrs. Claude Poisson and Mrs. Donald Evans.
Historical Society will visit Champlain museum: The Pontiac Historical Society met Monday night in the Pontiac Protestant High School with two films as the special attraction and several points of interest to be discussed.
David Conrod showed the films, “Turn of the Century” and “Lord Durham”, which were greatly enjoyed and gave his comments on their content.
A resolution of the society was debated and finally passed to transfer possession of the old railroad station to the Village of Shawville. Through the assistance of Pontiac’s member of parliament, Tom Lefebvre, arrangements were finally concluded with regard to renting the property upon which the building now stands from the CPR for $5.00 a month.
It was further decided to purchase a Shawville Centennial flag for the historic display in the old agricultural building during Old Home Week in Shawville.

75 Years Ago May 13, 1948
Local news: When motoring in the country north of Shawville on Sunday, Mr. and Mrs. Ebert Richardson and their children had the rare sight of seeing a bull moose swimming across Steinkie’s Lake at the town line of Clarendon and Thorne townships. Some residents claim that moose have wintered in the swamps of the district.
After a prolonged illness, Pontiac’s oldest medical practitioner, Dr. Simon Joseph McNally, died at his home in Campbell’s Bay at nine o’clock Saturday evening at the age of 82 years. Long active in Pontiac politics, Dr. McNally was a Conservative candidate in 1908 against Dr. T.C. Gaboury; in 1933 against W.R. McDonald and later against the present MLA for Pontiac E.C. Lawn. He had long been known throughout the district for his platform ability and oratory.
Born at Calumet Island in 1866, Dr. McNally was the son of the late Simon McNally and his wife the former Catherine Cody, both natives of Ireland. After receiving his primary education at Calumet Island, he began his medical studies at College des Beaux Arts, Montreal, from which he graduated in 1893.
Mrs. G.G. McDowell was appointed a delegate to the Provincial Convention at Macdonald Collage.
The May meeting of the Women’s Association of Shawville United Church was held on Thursday evening in the Sunday School room with thirty-seven members present.
It was decided that the Women’s Association assist in the purchase of hymnaries for use in the Sunday School. Hostesses for the evening were Mrs. A. MacKay, Mrs. D. McCredie, Mrs. Shore, Mrs. C.H. MacLean and Mrs. Evelyn Little.

100 Years Ago May 3, 1923
Local news: A good many people have come to the conclusion that spreading gravel on our country roads in winter season is poor business.
To send a P.O. order to Eaton’s seems to be the rule with most people who think the local dealers cannot fulfill their needs in the matter of dress or even household commodities, but his course does not appeal to certain young ladies of our town who want to see and judge for themselves before they dissolve partnership with their good coin.
“To be or not to be” - that is the question which is expected to be decided on Monday next after the respective council boards of Shawville and Clarendon have discussed the project of commemorating the anniversaries of the settlement of Clarendon and incorporation of Shawville.
The Odd-fellows and Rebekah Lodges had a splendid turnout to service at the Masonic Hall on Sunday evening and the service itself was bright, Heart-some and fully in keeping with the annual fraternal event of those societies. Rev. MacCallum gave an impressive address in which he stressed the importance of aiming at high ideals and diligently striving for their attainment as the chief mission in life. He also dwelt upon the obligation that rested on the church to teach people to worship. During the offertory Mr. Arthur M. Henry gave a medley selection of old familiar hymn tunes on the Hawaiian guitar.
Ad: Homemade bread, buns, cakes, pies, etc. Orders taken and filled promptly. Call or phone Mrs. Normal Smith.
Tentative plans are now being made by the Canadian Manufacturers Association looking towards the organization of a representative party of Canadian manufacturers to visit Japan in September and October for the purpose of studying conditions in that country and extending Canada’s trade across the Pacific. An invitation to send such a party to Japan was received by C. Howard Smith, vice-president of the Canadian Manufacturers Association, during his recent visit to the Orient.

125 Years Ago May 5, 1898
Local news: A union camp meeting will open at Bryson on Friday.
The sawmill of H.B. Lawrence near Billerica was recently burnt down.
The largest eleven months old baby in the Dominion is said to be that of Mr. and Mrs. Charles McLean of Parry Sound, its weight being 52 pounds.
Renfrew’s population is 3,058 and total assessment $1,054,420, the latter being an increase of 45 per cent over last year’s assessment on account of the fact that the assessor this year was obliged to assess the properties at their full market value.
No. 9 school was open to visitors on Friday p.m. from one to four o’clock. A goodly number of the parents and friends of pupils were present. The p.m. was spent in lessons, followed by recitations, readings, music, etc. and a very profitable time was spent which, no doubt will be repeated at the end of each month.
Mr. George Kemp of Bryson has lost three members of his family in thirteen months from consumption.
The Pembroke Observer says: The new hotel which Mr. Desjardins is about to build to replace the house recently burned on Allumette Island will be a fine one, three storeys high Mr. Desjardins intends to have a summer resort across the lake and sell lots to those wishing to erect summer cottages.
A well was sunk for the use of the cattle on the farm of Mr. Joseph Burns in Westmeath about four miles from Cobden last year but the cattle would not touch the water which had every indication of containing coal oil. Last fall, Mr. Burns employed a man named LeDuc, formerly of Alice, to dig post holes for a fence and it was noticed that from the holes came forth an odour of coal oil. This spring, Mr. LeDuc induced Mr. Burns to allow him to begin sinking a well in order to investigate; he has gone down a considerable depth and has discovered what is believe to be surely petroleum. Samples have been forwarded to Ottawa for analysis.
Many of our farmers in Upper Thorne are nearly through plowing, although there is comparatively little grain sown as yet.
Bush fires are doing considerable damage in this section. A barn was destroyed by fire On Monday of last week while some of our farmers have sustained considerable loss by having their fences burned.
Mr. C. McDowell, our village constable and general man of all work, has made very necessary repairs to the sidewalks since he took hold. If the town fathers can only provide ways and means to keep Sam in material, we have no doubt he will work miracles in this direction.


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