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January 26, 2007

Taking a look at the history of the North Bay area



This column for the information of North Bay Nugget readers who now get the Community Voices newspaper each Friday looks at topics of heritage or historical interest.  Community Voices has been going free to homes from Temiskaming, Quebec to Mattawa, to West Nipissing, to Sundridge and points in between since April 2000. 

Many people in North Bay with an interest in the history of the surrounding area have asked for the paper which was only available in North Bay at the Nugget Office.  Now if you get the Nugget on Friday you get Community Voices.  People outside of North Bay will get some North Bay News in their copy of Community Voices as well.  With North Bay under the umbrella it also provides me the opportunity to write on the history of North Bay which I have only done on occasions where the topic touched on the outskirts. 

As a matter of interest I have written some 260 thousand-word columns usually with a photograph or two over the years.  All of these columns except the most recent are on my website at www.pastforward.ca – click Heritage Perspectives and scroll to the index.  If you click on any title you will get the column.  There is also a guest book.  By the way, I also write an Art Scene Column about once a month looking at art exhibitions of interest – they are not on line.  One was in last week looking at current art shows and related activity in North Bay and area. 

I usually write on one topic but I occasionally cover several topics that I have in a current miscellaneous file.  For example today you will see several items of a follow-up nature as follows. 

Campbell Mystery Solved 

In March 2004 I wrote about Allan and Margaret Campbell who disappeared in May 1956 on Trout Lake, North Bay and were not found until recently (The Nugget top story of 2006).  Their remains have been identified and the case is now closed.   

Nurses Edith Parkin and Jean Cameron 

Two remembered WWI nurses were profiled in two columns in July 2001 and September 2006.  A new book It Was Their War Too by Pat Staton, who contacted me to use their stories, is hot off the press and will be in the Powassan Library soon and in other locations I am sure.  It is available from Green Dragon Press at 416-251-6366 Toronto or log on to Green Dragon Press. 

South River Centennial and Train Station 

The South River 2007 Centennial can be celebrated by purchasing one of several varieties of trees from the Municipal Office at 705-386-7678.  The ongoing CNR Train Station restoration got a boost recently when a group of Grade 12 students in Brad O’Gorman’s construction class at Almaguin Highlands Secondary School worked on the restoration to get it ready for the celebration. 

The Near North Heritage Group Brochure 

Museums in Nipissing Village, Commanda, Powassan and Burk’s Falls recently launched a new brochure in cooperation with the Canadore College graphic arts program.  The brochure by winner Ashley Martin will be available this summer to encourage visits to these fine facilities. 

New book on Logging and Lumbering in the Ottawa Valley

New Books of Interest 

Several new books with a heritage focus have come to my attention recently.  A new book on the Capitol Centre in North Bay is now available.  Lumber Kings and Shantymen: Logging and Lumbering in the Ottawa Valley is a new book on logging history.  Wayne LeBelle has a fine new book on the Dokis Reserve which will be reviewed here in the near future.  All of these and many other history books are available at Gulliver’s Books, 157 Main Street West, North Bay. 

Ontario Archives to Move to York University 

A new, modern Ontario Archives will be built over the next two years at York University doubling the size of the Archives.  The largest provincial archives in Canada, worth over 400 million dollars will now have a state of the art facility for new and future historical research on all aspects of Ontario History. 


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