||September 22, 2011
Fossmill Community Remembered
book The Fossmill Story (1999) profiled the lumber
community of Fossmill in
from 1922 to 1936. The book had 50 interviews and some 500 photos. When the
mill burned during the depression in 1934 some people hung on and some
dispersed. Many went to Kiosk, east down the CNR in
and had long careers.
The remains of the Mill site after the fire in 1934 from
the Fossmill Story by D. Mackey
slowly disappeared and the remaining buildings, and
workers homes were torn down. By 1950 nothing remained. Many have returned to
visit the site over the years. The lines from Oliver Goldsmith’s poem The
Deserted Village capture the nostalgia.
Here as I take my solitary rounds
Amidst thy tangling walks and
And many a year
elapsed, return to view
Where once the cottage stood, the
September 11 the
asked me to be involved in a 2 hour tour of the site open to the public. I
worked with Gerry Rose who now owns the property and has a camp there on the
Wasi River where the old mill and hot pond stood.
Some 60 interested men, women and children joined us and we had a lot of fun
Visitors to former village of
Fossmill that burned 77 years ago.
D. Mackey photo.
I showed my
movie Logging by Rail in
and showed some enlarged photos from the book. One showed the previous
with a large group in front augmented by many Fossmill
members. Of special interest was a photo of the mill, trains, tramways, etc.
after the fire. Several people saw a strong similarity to the photos of 9/11 in
provided refreshments and everyone hung in in spite
of the long walk. Thanks to Gerry Rose for his work uncovering
artifacts, preserving the log pond and narrating the
long walk through the ruins by the old church, school, train station, houses
etc. Vestiges of the mill manager and the woods superintendent’s homes on the
other side of the railway (now a railbed) were still
there. Special thanks to Peter Loy who owns that property
and cut a trail and pegged the site for the visitors to easily see the old site.
Numerous bales of Peters hay provided seats for the visitors while the movie was
interesting project has developed at the Powassan
Legion (Branch 453) where an artefact museum is
being prepared. Various memorabilia have been in storage and used on November 11
but there has been no permanent display.
Taylor had some of his father and grandfather’s medals and other material and
wanted to donate it. He became the lead on an effort to acquire display cases
and other artefacts to set up a permanent area in
the legion. Anyone with artefacts or interested in
making a financial donation can call Dan Taylor, Curator, at 724-1276.
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