CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pancake Breakfast-Side Tracked

We work for the big pancake breakfast at the end of the season where family and friends gather to use up some of that fresh maple syrup .

Because Spring's Coming-Side Tracked

Buckets hanging from taps
photo from land-of-snow.com
 Well it's March in Ontario and that means it is maple sugar time ( Remember that piece of fiddle music - Maple Sugar Time ). I may be in and out for the next while as there is a small window of opportunity to collect the sap from the sugar maple trees , so procrastination is not an option .

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Where is Larchwood?

Latitude: 46.34.20 N
Longitude: 81.17.53 W

The old station and section houses south of town on the CPR mainline are long gone . But for a period of time there was an operating station with an agent and two section houses that provided homes for two CPR section men and their families . Departing Sudbury , the train travelled north to the

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pining for Pines-Side Tracked

Lumberjacks 1880's
" Gain to the verge of the hog-back ridge where the vision ranges free:
   Pines and pines and the shadow of pines as far as the eye can see;
   A steadfast legion of stalwart knights in dominant empery.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

History :CPR Spawns Sudbury

photo from about-art-decor.com
Sudbury at 4 yrs old

     A CPR railway work camp was set up in Ste. Anne des Pins in 1883 to begin the next stretch of the westward push .

  Prior to this , trade in furs was in full operation . Ojibwe villages of the area  were in the network that fed furs into the system that flowed east to Montreal .Since the area was further inland a post was not established close by . The nearest Hudson Bay Posts

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Enough of McKerrow

  Things were not going well in McKerrow . Mum was getting more ill by the day since her second child . A small section job was not enough to pay the bills (hospital bill) and keep a family . The baby was still reacting to Mum's milk and formula .

 Dad heard of an opening in Larchwood on the CPR main track just north of Sudbury . It was a larger place with a station and two section houses , one of which could be theirs . So he applied to move up the section ladder . Since he had some seniority behind him , he was able to get the position . In February 1951 , they headed to Larchwood .

Friday, March 4, 2011

Second Child

  In Espanola , there was a hospital run by Nuns on the Mill property . Two doctors and nurses were maintained by the company to provide for the needs of the company town and the inevitable lumbering casualties in the area .

  Since access to this hospital was easy , this is where Mum went for the birth of her next child in December of 1950 on her own birthday ...at 2 o'clock in the morning . A steady pain under pressure woke her suddenly . Mum worried that something wasn't quite right and the presence of her mother's spirit told her it was time . Waking up a neighbour who agreed to care for three-year-old Sharon during the next few days , a taxi was called into service to rush Mum and Dad the three road miles to the hospital .

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Tornado Wind

In later years , after McKerrow , my Dad often referred to the tornado that past through McKerrow and ended at Lake Agnew . He described a wind that ripped off roofs and tore out trees that crossed the tracks a mile from the house and cut a swath on a path to the lake .

 At the lake , the devastation that only a tornado can cause abruptly ended , dumping large amounts of debris into the south end water . He recalls seeing fascinating things such as a small tree branch driven through some one's roof board , and surrounding trees with pieces of grass driven straight into the wood . He talked of roof peaks poking out of the lake as well as all sorts of household debris floating there with trees and mats of grass .

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Look What I Found !

from trainweb.org archives
 Dad gave me three different CPR chairs during my starting out years after college . One was a cocktail chair from the lounge car , one was stationary captain style chair from a station/bunkhouse and the last chair was a dining car chair from one of these Versailles Dining Cars .
In this illustration from July 1929 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens you can see the chair back . It was covered in green leather with a hat/purse rack under the chair for the convenience of passengers . Because the one I got was in bad shape (the leather) , I had to recover it . Inside , there were heavy lead weights which kept the chair steady when the train was moving . Once the 'Canadian' silver bullet style train took over from these magnificent old passenger cars of the steam age , old furniture ended up in bunk houses , service cars and who knows where else. Dad rescued my chairs from a bunkhouse that was being demolished . Lucky me !

www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/archives   visit this webpage for some very cool stuff

This article shows people travelling in high style . It wasn't too long after this that many people began to ride the rails in box cars and on flat cars looking for work during the Depression .

The Southwest Wind

  Espanola , Ontario is about 2 miles south and west of McKerrow . In the 1700's , when French Missionaries and traders entered the area , they found Odawa and Ojibwe people speaking their language with a healthy mix of Spanish words thrown in . In Northern Ontario ? How did the Spanish get there?...Short answer to that one , they didn't .

The name Odawa comes from the Anishinaabe word 'adaawe' which means to buy and sell (trade). Most Odawa people were involved in trade although certain villages did get involved in warrior work as needed along the outer reaches of their territory . Early Jesuit French missionary , Father Le Mercier commented in 1654 that they were better merchants than warriors . Champlain met one trade group in 1615 on the French River and explained how they travelled 200 to 500 leagues from home (600 to 1500 miles) on trading runs . He said they had the reputation as intertribal barterers and traders .