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1976 Was a Year Most Vegetable Growers Would Like to Forget

  • CA BWGPL PH25660

Municipality :
Community : Holland Marsh
Lot :
Concession :
Description : 1976 Was a Year Most Vegetable Growers Would Like to Forget
By Matthew Valk

The end of the year is a time when most of us look back on what we have accomplished and look forward to better things to come. 1976 was a year that many growers would like to forget.

The first few months were a struggle to sell a large crop of carrots which never brought more than $1 per bushel; in many cases, it was far less.

A large volume was fed to cattle. There were some hopes that the stabilization board would help to reduce the large financial losses, which most growers were facing. However, after several months of negotiations, Ottawa came across with a measly $2.25 per ton which would not pay for the seed.

The 1976 growing season was also less than desirable. Apart from a warm month of April, the early spring was cold and wet. June was more like what we were looking for, warm and dry, but the months that followed produced cool temperatures and lots of rain.

Diseases were more prevalent than usual, particularly "blast" in onions. Harvesting weather was deplorable; rain and cloudy weather hampered field operations which were mostly stop and go. Although storage temperatures were fairly good for carrots, the high humidity caused a lot of headaches for onion growers.

The market situation has made some compensation for all these problems. The price of carrots and onions has been somewhat better than last year and prospects for the new year are good.

The reason for this is that growers in other parts of the world have had and are still having still bigger battles with the weather than we have had. Everyone has heard about the drought in Europe and the shortages.

In particular, potatoes and onions have been in great demand by European buyers and large quantities have been going overseas. Although most of the onions have been shipped by U.S. shippers, the effect has been a steady market for us as well.

Recent abnormal rainfall in the southern USA, mainly Texas, is affecting the growth of onions and carrots and the volume that may be expected in the next few months.

The acreage of these crops will certainly be down from normal and the quality could be affected due to the wet field conditions so far. So as we go into the new year, there seems to be nothing new as far as marketing our produce is concerned.

As usual, our marketing problem is really a production problem. The weather factor continues to play a big role in the volume of production. Growers usually say that they are better off if we all produced less and received more. No one can argue with this philosophy.

Since no one will volunteer to reduce production (this is against a grower's nature), the weather is left to do the regulating for us.

As we go into the New Year, I would like to wish friends and readers a healthy, happy and prosperous 1977 and good markets.

4-H Club Year End

  • CA BWGPL PH25651

Municipality :
Community : Bradford West Gwillimbury
Lot :
Concession :
Description : 4-H Club Year End

Cookstown Public School was quite active last Saturday afternoon as over 100 women and girls attended the 4-H activity day, put on by 4-H girls from Bradford, Ivy, Beeton, Everitt, Bond Head, Tottenham, and Hill and Valley groups.

The girls put on charades about etiquette, discussed judging and arranging of flowers, and gave plans for arranging a birthday party, and voted on next year's projects which will have a definite focus on living involving spring cotton reviews.

In the afternoon the girls record books were on display for the mothers to enjoy, and they also showed their decorated boxes which were made to hold reference files. Plays and exhibits were offered in both serious and funny presentations in order to draw attention to the fun that can be enjoyed while serious learning is taking place.

Most of the theme centered around manners, etiquette and table setting. Comments were made to the girls by visiting home economists to assist them in future clubwork, and the Bradford leaders Mrs. Swan and Mrs. Klop were quite proud of the achievements of their girls.

Projects awards were given to DonnaLee Lloyd, Nancy Jean Clubine, Lynda Slingerland, and Cathy Lewis. Achievement awards were given to Judy McArthur, Lyna McVety, Susan Robertson, and Ellen Masin, and Linda McArthur. Now the girls can go on and work toward receiving County and Provincial awards in the years to come.

A Glimpse of History

  • CA BWGPL PH25604

Municipality :
Community : Bradford West Gwillimbury
Lot :
Concession :
Description : A Glimpse of History

When Lucy Shepherd (nee Fairbank) lived in the old Steel House at Steel's Corners (Highway 11 and Concession 14), she and her siblings discovered a dusty, calfbound volume in the attic of the home.

They played with the book, wrote in a few I.O.U.s and admired the elegant handwriting. It wasn't until years later, long after the Steel House had been torn down for the widening of Highway 11, that Shepherd realized she had something out of the ordinary.

The book turned out to be the Day book of blacksmith John Steel. Dating from 18855 to 1869, it itemizes the daily and monthly accounts of residents like Robert Kneeshaw, Joseph Fennel, James and Robert Bell.

Prices ranged from 10 cents to mend a pitchfork and 25 cents to replace a horseshoe, to $1.75 for repairs to a "thrashing mashen" (threshing machine). The accounts also contain a price list for construction materials for a new home in the late 1860's - including $123.41 for lumber, $19.50 for hardware, and $11.51 for the glass and "putey".

The prices seem unimaginably low by today's standards, and it is a surprise to note that over the 14 years spanned by the accounts, the blacksmith's prices did not go up.

A Look at Bradford Over 100 Years Ago

  • CA BWGPL PH25686

Municipality :
Community : Bradford West Gwillimbury
Lot :
Concession :
Description : A Look At Bradford Over 100 Years Ago

Dear Sir:
This is a copy of a letter written during the 1860's by my grandfather, Philip Crowder, at Manchester, England to the Herald. I received a copy from an uncle, Albert Crowder, now at Bangor, Maine.

I thought it might be of interest to you.
Sincerely yours,

Philip. A. Crowder
Star Route
Deerwood, Minnesota

A Look Into History

Mr. Editor
Dear sir:

Wishing to try my hand at writing a small article for the Working People's Supplement to the Herald I thought I would write from memory, some account of the first village I settled in and of the life in the Inhabitants lead.

I emigrated to Canada nine years ago with my wife and two little ones, the oldest child not quite two years old, and arrived in the City of Churches, as it is by some called, but better know as Toronto; where I found to my surpirse, tram cars running on several of the main streets. I soon got work at my trade but it being slack time of the year for it and I being unaccustomed to their way of working, I earned but little money and so left the shop to work on a sewer which was being made in Yonge Street, where I worked 'til it was finished. I applied for work at their mill at Bradford, only forty miles "up the Northern Track", so I went home and got my dinner and a change of clothes and started at quarter to three from the "Northern Depot" for Bradford where I arrived just after six.

It was on this journey that I saw a little of what the country in Canada looks like. I had only been through old settled country before, with here and there a bit of "bush" left for firewood; but now I passed through some new cleared land with the fields full of stumps and log huts here and there, and through the Holland River swamp, (which is now cleared up), and then thought I had some idea of the back woods; how soon we think we have learned soemthing. Arrived at Bradford Depot, (station), I enquired my road to the mill, where I luckily found the clerk, who was busy that night, and he gave me an order for admission to the boarding house, where I had supper and was then shown my bed, there being three double beds in that room.

At the front of the house I found my fellow boarders, and part of my future mates, collected, some seated on benches, some playing quoits, some leaning against a fence dividing the yard from the railway; (the house being in the lumber yard, one line of lumber piles being within ten yards of the back of the house), and all indulging in rough jests. A good number of them, like myself emigrants - English, Irish, Scotch, with three of these I struck up aquaintance. One was a pit sawer from Banbury, another a Cornish youth, and the last a carpenter from Brighton. As dark came on we went to bed as our inclination led us. As half pat five we were called by a bell for breakfast, which consisted of the remains of salt pork boiled the day before for dinner, served with bread, fried potatoes followed by bread and butter and that by fat cakes and molasses with tea to drink. At five minutes to six the first whistle blew when all hands started for the mill to be in their places when the whistle blew at six. I was put at first in a gang of six or eight who were making a ditch to go between the river and cistern intended to suppply the boilers of a new mill they were building at a distance of about a furlong from the old one, the road and railroad lying between them. At half past eleven the whistle blew for dinner when I saw most of the hands that lived at the boarding house running as fast as they could for that most desirable place. I thought them a very greedy set of fellows until I arrived at the back of the house where I saw some of the last ones rubbing themelves with the towels and the row of unemployed wash-bowls ready for myself and the few elderly men that was (sic) staying there and so this tremendous rush was only to get the bowls with clean water ready in them without the trouble of pumping it. By the time I was ready the bell rang for dinner when all walked quietly into the dining room and took his place.

Dinner consisted of salt pork boiled with potatoes and some kind of garden vegetable when in season, followed by pies such as apple, pumpkin, and citeron (sic) and finish up with fat cakes and molasses and finished with a cup of tea. At half past twelve the whistle blew for work and at six to "quit", when we got our supper which consisted of bread and butter and preserved fruit and hot cakes and molasses. On Sundays we had a joint of fresh meat roasted, or rather baked, in the oven of the cook stove and sometimes someone or other of the luxuries usual in the homes of even the labourers of the county. It was here I saw green corn eat (sic) for the first time. I was highly amused at the sight but would not be tempted to try it. Perhaps some of my readers have seen a "cob" of corn or Indain corn in some corn dealers window. Well these are fathered when the grain is full not but begun to ripen, and boiled for twenty minutes, and served on the table, the diner takes hold of the stalk end with his fingers of one hand and spreads butter on the cob with a knife held in the other, he then takes hold of the other end of the cob instead of the knife and bites off the grain much the same as you may have seen some one pick a bone. It well repays you for any loss of dignity you may have sustaiend from the awkward looking position, at least I thought so the following summer when I was persuaded at the house of a friend to try just one cob and tried another without any persuading and so thought the Irishman who having arrived on Toronto in September thought he saw peas being eaten in a new way. After having devoured his corn asked the waiter to "Please to put some more pays on this stick."

After a few days I was fetched to work at the mill where there was about seventy men and boys working in about it. It is situated on one side of the Holland River in which the logs lie as they have been brought up the river by small steam tugs from Lake Simcoe. it is a large wooden building two stories high...

Area Historical Society Formed

  • CA BWGPL PH25692

Municipality :
Community : Bradford West Gwillimbury
Lot :
Concession :
Description : Area Historical Society Formed

The first major steps to preserve the heritage of the Scotch Settlement and area were taken last week when about 20 people officially founded a historical society.

Known as the Scotch Settlement and District Historical Society, it will seek to preserve the historical record of not only the struggles of the Scottish settlers but those of Bradford and West Gwillimbury as well.

Philip Baker, a representative of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation was on hand to describe the procedure in setting up a historical society, the grant structure, and the initial problems that will have to be faced.


He told the group that the common mistake of most historical societies is to concentrate all activities on one particular project in the beginning and then disintegrate when it is completed.

He urged members to set up a variety of projects that could be tackled over the years.

The next step in the formation of the group is to adopt a charter, Mr. Baker said, and consider affiliation with the Ontario Historical Society.

He commended the society for its decision not to concentrate activities only on the Scotch Settlement, because of the danger that it would then be too limited and not self-perpetuating.

Funds for the immediate future would present the group with its first major hurdle.

Grants from the ministry and Wintario are of the matching variety and the group will first have to acquire funds on its own.

With this in mind, the society will probably ask the councils of Bradford and West Gwillimbury for a grant.

The maximum grant available from the ministry is $550 a year.


Mr. Baker said other grants are available through Wintario, but also on a 50-50 basis.

The society elected its first officers that same evening, with Eleanor Reid as president, Andrew Rettig secretary-treasurer, George Brown in charge of architecture and historical buildings, and Ruby Fairs, program director.

A fee structure was also approved, with a $5 annual fee for a family, $3 single, and $1 student.

Don Beatty of the Innisfil Historical Society was also present at the meeting, and he related experiences of his own group, especially financial and the difficulty of maintaining an adequate number of members.

The society will meet again later in the fall at a date to be announced.

Art Evans is Honored

  • CA BWGPL PH25663

Municipality :
Community : Barrie
Lot :
Concession :
Description : Art Evans is Honored
By John Slykhuis

BARRIE - They came to say thank you to Arthur Evans last Friday, almost 1,000 strong, including cabinet ministers, politicians from all parties, and a small portion of the thousands of friends he has made over the years.

They came to say thank you for the 17 years he held the Simcoe Centre riding for the Progressive Conservatives, and the 20-odd years before that he held political offices.

Almost a life-time of dedicated service to the people in his riding.


Art Evans and his wife Audrey arrived by limousine at Barrie Raceway to the deafening cheers of the people gathered on a cold, snowy evening.

Among the podium guests were chairman for the evening George Taylor, who succeeded Mr. Evans as MPP, Lorne Richardson, minister without portfolio, James Taylor (energy), and John Rhodes (housing).

Each had personal reminiscences about Art and paid tribute to his dedication, common sense, and honesty.

Telegrams poured in, including one from Premier William Davis who wrote, "You are one of Simcoe County's finest citizens...the accolades are well-earned."


James Taylor commented, "I came to respect the common sense and good judgement of a man who served you so well for so many years...I feel honored to have known you."

Political colleague and friend William Hodgson, MPP for York North, recalled the first time he and Art met, during the Hurricane Hazel disaster.

Art was reeve of Bradford at the time, and Mr. Hodgson deputy-reeve of King Township.


He recalled that Art, organizer of the hurricane relief effort, almost single-handedly created order out of the chaos that Hazel wrought.

John Rhodes followed with a warm speech sprinkled with humourous anecdotes.

"I'm here to tell you the truth about Art Evans," Mr. Rhodes began, "It's fitting you held the ceremony here (at Barrie Raceway). Art's been going around in circles for years.

"Arthur was responsible for getting me elected and I've never forgiven him."

Mr. Rhodes paid a special tribute to Art Evans' wife Audrey for her unswerving devotion and support.

"For all the hours we put in, our wives put in just as many, " Mr. Rhodes said. "Arthur was successful because he had a good wife."

He concluded joking, "You've inflicted George Taylor on us, but we'll see what we can do."

Ken Tupling, Arthur Evans' campaign manager, presented a bouquet of roses to Audrey Evans and gave a summary of Mr. Evans' long and distinguished career.

He began his political career as a member of the Public Utilities Commission of Bradford, followed by terms as councillor, reeve, Simcoe County Warden, and as Bradford's first mayor in 1959.

In 1960, Mr. Evans gained the Simcoe Centre seat left vacant after the death of George Johnson, and held that seat until his retirement earlier this year.


His toughest fight, Mr. Tupling recalled, was that first provincial election in which he defeated his Liberal opponent by a slim 600 votes.

During those hectic years, Art and Audrey raised four children, John, Donald, Robin, and Cathy.

Art and Audrey received several gifts along with the accolades last Friday.

They included a grandfather clock, framed campaign poster and cartoon, and a scrapbook spanning his career.

Mr. Evans, 62, now works as a loan consultant with the Municipal Savings and Loan Corporation in Barrie.

"I don't know how I lasted the 17 years," Mr. Evans concluded. "It's a tough racket; it really is."

Art Kneeshaw Helps Plan Area Growth

  • CA BWGPL PH25666

Municipality :
Community : Bradford West Gwillimbury
Lot :
Concession :
Description : He Helps Plan Area Growth

Art Kneeshaw was appointed to the Bradford planning board in 1969, just when growth began to surge in town.

The appointment to the Bradford board was followed two years later by his being named to head the joint planning board with West Gwillimbury.

"The idea behind joint planning is to make Bradford and West Gwillimbury work together," Mr. Kneeshaw said recently in an interview.

The pressure on the town of Bradford to develop never lets up, he said.

"With gas prices so high, commuters to the north are suffering," he said. "People are moving closer to Toronto. Because we're not that far away, we're getting hit by that."

The Simcoe-Georgian Task Force has suggested that the population of the town of Bradford should grow to 12,000 by 1991.

"Even at the present rate it's going to be ahrd to hold it," Mr. Kneeshaw said. "Right now we have enough development approved to take us up to 7,800 people."

The official population for Bradford in 1975 was 4,566. "We're still in the process of going from 5,000 to 7,500," he said. "It's going to be busy for the next two or three years anyhow."

The main limit to growth right now is the delay in approval of the proposed sewage plant extension. Council asked the Ministry of Housing for approval 18 months ago.

"It appears we're getting in more industry than we should," Mr. Kneeshaw said. "The plan is set up for 75 percent residential and 25 percent industrial."

"This town can someday handle 20,000. We're very fortunate that we'll never have to annex for years."

When asked what has been the toughest problem he has faced while sitting on the planning board, Mr. Kneeshaw replied:

"The time element. A developer always feels there is a time delay from the time he makes application until he get approval to go ahead."

An area resident all his life, Mr. Kneeshaw is the Land Registrar and Master of Titles for the County of Simcoe.

He has worked for the county for 25 years.

He and his wife, Ruth, have two grown children, Brian and Faye.

Mr. Kneeshaw's numerous interested include curling, golf and the Bradford Lions Club.

Beard Growing Contest Begins

  • CA BWGPL PH25518

Municipality :
Community : Bradford West Gwillimbury
Lot :
Concession :
Description : BRADFORD - Amid much wailing and knashing of teeth the beards of two prominent Bradford gentlemen were gently removed by master barber Joe Scotto last Wednesday.

Mayor Zyg Fenik and Councillor Bill DePeuter, who are challenging each other to a beard-growing contest in preparation for the town's 125th anniversary, took to the barber's chair.

It was the first time Mayor Fenik had been clean-shaven in five years.

In the case of Mr. DePeuter, a decade-old mustache fell to the floor in a flurry of whiskers. Although the contest didn't officially start until Monday, the two men were shaven Wednesday because Mr. DePeuter was going to Florida on vacation.

While there he'll get a signed certificate from the chief of police of the town where he's staying stating he was clean-shaven on March 1. Bradford Police Chief John Harrison arranged the international whisker inspection.

Ellen McKinzey and Diane Sturdy members of the Take Off Pounds Sensibly (T.O.P.S.) group were there to witness that the shaving was done fairly. The group will act as official judges for the contest when it winds up during the town's anniversary celebration from July 1 through 4.

A total of 19 Bradford-area men signed up for the contest Monday, Mrs. McKinzey said.

Included in the beard-growers are clerk-administrator Pat Storey (his mustache gone), Councillor Waldie Crossland (a veteran of the 100th anniversary contest) and arena manager Don Harrison (after much persuasion and outright threats).

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