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winter 2016







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The empire of mark rashotte

by Vic Schukov


Bringing pottery to life

by Michelle Hauser


Each issue available online at: www.countyandquinteliving.ca

the 160th Anniversary of Chisholm lumber

by Lindi Pierce


Nicholson and Scotch Bonnet Islands by Sharon Harrison





Pathways to Independence: Making Lives Better, Together


CQL at home with Jane Massey and Arne Corsen

by Alan Gratias

by Jennifer Shea




Gravitas Margaret Swaine

Mini Menie

by Alan Gratias

by Lindi Pierce


Mark Rashotte photographed onstage at the Empire Theatre by Daniel Vaughan.

from the

Editor’s Desk we think of magazines as a reflection of our times, then F it’s important to acknowledge what’s happening in our world. To meet this goal, in the interests of expectations, and to force myself to form the words, here goes. The 45th president of the United States of America is Donald Trump. There you go, as my friend Amy says, saying so much with so few words. Requirement met. We Canadians, living up here on the other side of the longest undefended border on this sphere, have been more vocal about this election than probably any other. The stakes are high. It’s a global globe these days, and not all things respect a border. Things like hatred and racism and misogyny don’t check in at customs and wait for permission to enter. They sneak over the fence, insidiously infiltrating the conversation.



Only if we let them. Only if we let them. Like many Canadians, my roots run deep into American soil, starting when my ninth great grandfather John Guild arrived in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1636 with his brother Samuel and sister Ann, seeking as so many did, a new world absent persecution and full of promise. From John came many, including two U.S. presidents – George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Two centuries later, the Guilds arrived in Mallorytown, and both communities continue to have Guild families there today. It’s not uncommon in eastern Ontario, particularly in United Empire Loyalist circles, to have families entrenched in the soil of New England and Upper Canada. The post-American Revolution exodus left family behind, and at the time, there was probably a lot of headscratching going on; a lot of questioning, a lot of, “Should I stay or should I go now?” A clash for sure, and somehow, we all got through it, remaining strong, and sharing a love of democracy, a dislike of New England and Canadian winters, and a fondness for Florida beaches in February. As one side of the family came from England to what would become New England (Go Patriots!), to the Saint

Lawrence River, another travelled from Wemyss, Scotland to Muskoka in 1870. My great-grandparents, my great-great grandmother, seven young children, one more on the way, on the Saint David, in 1870. Makes driving from Toronto to the County with three kids in a minivan a little more palatable. We are resilient, we humans. We find a way to survive, to succeed even in the face of the strangest decisions a mass of humanity can make. It’s time to move on, to get ready for winter, to prepare for the holiday season. It’s time to celebrate everything great about living in this stunningly beautiful region. It’s time to say hello to 16-year-old Jan-Hendrik and his Oma Ursula in Hamburg, Germany, who are devoted readers of this magazine. It’s time to head outside and add some seasonal décor to the trees, before the snow comes. It’s time to rejoice, to find joy. It’s time for peace on Earth. Thanks for turning the page.

Catherine Stutt, Editor, County and Quinte Living editor@xplornet.com


General Manager Seaway Gavin Beer gbeer@metroland.com editor Catherine Stutt editor@xplornet.com Photo editor Daniel Vaughan daniel@vaughangroup.ca Advertising Executives Melissa Hudgin, Sales Manager 613.966.2034 x 504 melissa.hudgin@metroland.com Lorie Douglas 613.966.2034 x 505 lorie.douglas@metroland.com Laura Ajayi 613.966.2034 x 518 laura.ajayi@metroland.com

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Distribution Paul Mitchell 613.966.2034 x 508 County & Quinte Living is published quarterly and is available free of charge through strategic partners, wineries, golf courses, real estate, and chamber of commerce offices, retail outlets, and advertiser locations. County & Quinte Living may not be reproduced, in part or whole, in any form without prior written consent of the publisher. Views expressed by contributors are their own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of County & Quinte Living. Subscription rate $25 a year. HST included. County & Quinte Living is a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd.

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Mark Rashotte Belleville’s Very Own Homegrown Impresario

Article by Vic Schukov Photography by Daniel Vaughan Mark Rashotte, both saviour and keeper of the enduring flame that is Belleville’s Empire Theatre, recalled a pivotal moment in his life. “When I was eight years old, in 1964, I was crouched behind my older sister who had her face pressed against the television watching the Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. My parents were in their recliners behind us, complaining about the length of the Fab Four’s hair. I realized something cool was going on and I wanted to get involved in this. I asked my parents for a guitar, but being huge Lawrence Welk fans they thought I should play the accordion instead. It was not until 1967 that I managed to convince them to let me rent a guitar,” he laughed. Fast forward. Mark is chatting informally in his 48-channel recording studio above the Empire Theatre’s grand stage, surrounded by the toys he offers his performing artists to play with when they are chilling out between shows: rows and rows of vintage guitars, many autographed by famous pickers like Buddy Guy and Slash, to name a few.



Between the time of his Beatle epiphany this visit in the magical emporium that is the Empire where Mark records many of his celebrity artists’ dazzling performances, there is 12


an equally mesmerizing and colourful life story. Belleville born and bred, he and fellow icon Andy Forgie have been close friends since grade seven when they formed

a band to perform for fellow students. The talented boys dreamed of become rock stars living in playboy mansions in California. Upon graduating high school in 1974, they hit the road, performing

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up to 250 shows a year, as a power pop group evolving their sound under several names – Creed, The Elevators, and finally settling on Photograph when they signed with Capitol Records and

released an album in 1981. The album was recorded in Toronto and Hamilton, engineered by legendary producer Daniel Lanois with Tom Cochrane guesting on background vocals. Three of

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their original tunes – Last Dance, Sarah, and Blow Away – charted in Canada, with Last Dance in the top 10 in many markets in the nation. Ten prolific years later in 1984, the band called it a day and Mark with a 14


young family and a mortgage, went for his first, and what would be his only job interview. “My resume was limited,” he smiled, “I applied at Cablevue as a cable TV installer because being a musician, the one thing I knew how to do was to

plug stuff in and hook stuff up.” As fate would have it, he did not get the job, and the rest is history. Intrigued and stoked from reading volumes on the business of real estate, he completed his license and signed on

with AE LePage in the fall of 1984. “After selling for them for three years,” Mark recalled, laughing, “Management told me the consensus was ‘this guy is dangerous and get him off the street,’ and they put me behind a desk as a manager at the

small Royal LePage office in Belleville.” to Brockville under the Royal LePage It turned out he was a natural-born ProAlliance banner. whirling dervish in business. In 1999, “My day job is managing 400 sales he bought the Belleville to Cobourg people in 17 offices, but I spend most of franchise, eventually expanding on two my time in the Quinte area, thanks to the ends from Port Hope through Kingston amazing management and support team.” COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Winter 2016


His eyes light up with that super-charged look when discussing his passions. “I love interacting with people. I love the hunt and negotiation of a deal, and especially finding solutions to problems when something is not happening and I uncover what works and makes sense.” In a word, Mark is a human dynamo. He fires 16


up when speaking of his home town like she was a sister to him: “I love Belleville. I have invested and grown businesses here because I love the familiarity and have been so well received. I have intertwined myself in the community, and that makes me happy.” The man exudes pure, selfmanifested joy.

In 1998, Andy was asked to do a fundraiser for a local charity, so he and Mark formed a band along with four other local musicians. “We decided on something universal, a Beatles thing,” said Mark. “We did a show at Centennial High School’s 700-seat auditorium, the only place in Belleville at the time, and

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sold out the two nights, calling ourselves All You Need Is Love. It was intended as a one-off but ended up being so much fun, we were asked to repeat the event in 1999. That led to similar benefit shows in Kingston, Toronto, and Ottawa theatres, partnering and raising money for women’s shelters.”

Word spread about the band’s cool chops, and in 2001 he got a call from a Cleveland promoter, Gary Jacob, doing a Beatles Abby Road on the River festival in conjunction with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. One weekend in 2002, All You Need Is Love played with more than 70 tribute bands. “We don’t

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Our spectacular team is a true family. They know the Empire Theatre is special to the town, and they want to keep it that way for people who enter both through the front and the back (artist) entrances.

dress up in Beatles costumes like a lot of the other bands,” explained Mark. “We described ourselves as The Who playing Beatle songs with Bruce Springsteen as a lead singer. Everyone got to know us as the Crazy Canucks, with Andy placing the Canadian flag front and center before each show.” Fourteen years later, the band has done well over 100 shows in theatres around Europe, the United States, and Canada, including Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club, as well as the afore-mentioned festival now based in Louisville, Kentucky and Washington, D.C. All You Need Is Love is also raising the anchor on its first Rock and Roll Cruise in March of 2017, in the Caribbean, along with acts such as Peter Frampton and America. In 2001, his acute business prowess and professional musicianship came to a crossroad. Mark heard through the grapevine Jerry Bongard was selling the Stephen License building in Downtown Belleville which used to house the McCarthy Theatre from 1938 to 1962. That news nugget just scratched a spot where Mark itched, “I wanted to get back deeper into the entertainment business, to be more involved with musicians. Jerry was thrilled at the suggestion that I wanted to rejuvenate the building back to being a theatre.” In March of 2002, the deal was completed, and Mark started a $3 million renovation to bring the theatre back to its original glory and then some. A 50-foot extension behind the stage made room 18


Mark also plays lead guitar in the Jake Clemons Band, the saxophonist with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. “I wanted to make it a fabulous, Clemons runs his own show when not intimate venue for acts to come to,” said touring with the New Jersey icon. “I am Mark. “I knew many artists didn’t have a a huge fan of Springsteen,” admitted need to come to Belleville, so I set out to Mark. “When Jake played at the Empire give them a reason and then talk about in July of 2014, I jammed with him on their positive experience and come stage, which was a real thrill for me, and back again. We provide them with great I told him I wanted to be in his band.” In food and great sound and lighting. Our September 2014, Clemons called him up spectacular team is a true family. They to tour with him in England, Ireland, and know the Empire Theatre is special to Scotland; 17 shows in 21 days. Since then, the town, and they want to keep it that there have been shows at home, Toronto, way for people who enter both through Springsteen’s Asbury Park, three weeks the front and the back (artist) entrances. in Australia, and most recently in Las We treat all people properly and that is Vegas. The Jake Clemons Band with the feedback we get from everyone all Mark just recorded an album due out January 13, 2017 on BMG Records, to the time.” be distributed world-wide by Warner The apparent beauty of all of this is that Brothers. Mark provides first quality entertainment The impresario shares his motivation in the context of his own experiences on to have his nimble fingers in so many the road, knowing what works for people pies like Royal LePage, The Empire doing what he used to do (and still does.) Theatre, Dominion Lending, Café E, He is intimately schooled in the life of music, and more. “I look at the positive the touring musician. “Returning artists things in life. I want to be a happy love the guitar room and like to hang out camper, and I want people around me to there.” he said with obvious satisfaction. also be happy campers. I live on positive Those who have played here before, energy and try to project that in business, arrive often cheerfully asking, “What’s music, and health. Those are the things I concentrate on. I am doing stuff that I for supper tonight?” want to do. I love the real estate business The Empire Theatre is a clear winner, and I love hanging out with musicians. entering its 14th year of operation. I enjoy their spirit. I get them because Belleville’s own Eveready human battery I am one of them. Plus, I couldn’t do all hooks and books many of the acts that of this and remain sane without such mosey through the Toronto, Montreal, strong support from my wife, Rachel, and Ottawa corridors. and our amazing families.” for a green room and dressing rooms, as well as the recording studio.

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pottery to life

Article by Michelle Hauser Photography by Daniel Vaughan

From Tasmania to Prince Edward County, with a couple of European stops in between, David Scott has travelled a great distance. But from one Island of Inspiration, as Tasmania is known, to another, it is perhaps not such a big leap: bringing functional ware with artistic flair to life has been a constant for the Australian potter who has called Bloomfield home for the past four years.

Born in the suburbs of Melbourne, David met a Taswegian and relocated to the former penal colony where he spent most of his life raising a family and perfecting his pottery. For the uninitiated, pottery is not made, it is thrown – the technical jargon comes from the act of throwing a lump of clay onto the wheel to make it stick. “It’s as simple as that, really,” says David. Although to hear

him talk of his endless experimentation with glazes through the years, pottery sounds anything but simple. David’s first exposure to working with clay came when he attended a technical college in Melbourne. “Some of the people there were making sports cars and stuff and it looked really cool, but mine looked like crap.” That initial hopelessness was followed, years later, by



a transformational visit to Sovereign Hill in Victoria, a popular tourist destination that recreates the 19th century Australian gold rush. Then in his mid-20s, David saw men at kick-wheels in period costume making jugs, “I thought ‘Wow, that is really fabulous!’ And it stuck with me: you get a little lump of clay and in just a couple of minutes or less it was turned into this usable thing.”

At the time David was laying bricks to earn a living but he’d caught the fever for throwing pots. “I bought a little wheel and I’d get a bag of clay and chop it up into pieces about the size of a mug and I’d make 20-odd mugs.” With no kiln to fire the mugs he’d smash them up and do it all over again. The practice and repetition were essential to the young potter perfecting his method, although


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“By the time the blue came,” says David, “I was making a lot of things I liked, the shapes were good.” his signature style – the cream and blue stoneware influenced by traditional French and English country pottery – would be many more years in the making. A period of study, mentorship, and apprenticeship ensued. Over time it gave David access to the studios and equipment needed to sharpen his skills. “I went to college for three years to do ceramics and I learned how to make glazes properly.” During the 1990s, David was no longer working as a brick-layer; instead he was designing and making a range of garden pots for another Tasmanian potter. “There wasn’t any style to what I made in the beginning,” says David, “I was a production potter so I got paid a dollar a kilo if I made one pot – some were 10 kilos, some were nearly 30 kilos.” Eventually David struck out on his own, buying a kiln and building a studio where terracotta-based potato crocks were an early staple of his repertoire which would eventually

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expand to include a variety of plates, pasta bowls, mugs, tea pots, wine chillers, bean pots, and much more. “In the beginning I was making a lot of stuff and selling it for next to nothing in the market and I was glaze-testing until 3 a.m. quite often to try to come up with a colour that was something worth taking to a gallery.” At his dining room table in Bloomfield, David points to a large blue plate on the sideboard, one of his pieces from this seminal period: a twocolour glaze, green under blue over terracotta, a long double-dip process that resulted in his having conjured the colour of the sea itself. “Man, that’s good!” he remembers thinking about the remarkable colour that, insofar as it is the same intense blue-green as the potter’s eyes, hints at selfportrait. A colour-coincidence he calls serendipitous.

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“By the time the blue came,” says David, “I was making a lot of things I liked, the shapes were good.” At this point he was well beyond the trialCOUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Winter 2016




and-error stage where curves didn’t work or the pottery looked dumpy or lumpy. He began to see the value in his work, as did others. Soon he was able to place his pottery in the higher-end shops and galleries in Tasmania with great success. Running alongside David’s decade of growth as a potter, his first wife was also suffering from several different cancers which eventually took her life. In 2002, “I was on my own,” says David, who had two adult children. He returned to school to

study therapeutic counselling, thinking he needed a break from pottery. After finishing that degree, David went for a six-week holiday to France, “My daughter said to me, ‘Maybe you can meet someone.’” Indeed, he did. Jan Duffy was a Canadian management consultant who, after the death of her husband, also went to France to get away. David and Jan lived between France and the U.K. for a time and were finally married in 2011 and moved to the County



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He points to the throwing lines on one of his finished pieces as proof of life, “If these lines happen nicely the pot seems alive,” he says.

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in 2012. In terms of choosing their next destination, “It was either Tasmania or Canada,” says David, “I’d never heard of the County, but Jan knew a local artist.”

that can handle a lot of clay. Judging by the splashes on the walls surrounding the wheel, it has seen a lot of throwing action. David’s custom is to close the studio door to reduce The moderate climate and a vibrant artistic community made traffic noise, and listen to chamber music or string quartet. the County a perfect fit for the creative pair. Today they work “That’s perfect for me.” side-by-side from their home studio. David throws his pots and He points to the throwing lines on one of his finished pieces Jan, having had enough of airports and luggage, upgraded her as proof of life, “If these lines happen nicely the pot seems hand-crafted jewellery from hobby to full-time pursuit. David alive,” he says. “It’s better for me throwing pots in the morning says they’ve never been happier. Of his shared space with Jan because I’m more alive with the feeling of it, it’s not a Zenhe likes that they get to talk to each other. “It’s a pottery studio moment exactly but there could be some elements of that.” and a workplace. We’re not trying to make it look like a gallery,” When the tension and laboriousness evaporate, he finds his he says. rhythm.

Today David uses his hands to throw the clay – a cream stoneware that works harmoniously with his trademark blue – and he harnesses the maturity of a potter in the full bloom of his craft to, “Move out of its way and let it happen,” says David, referring to bringing to life of the pot, what he calls the rising up of the walls of the clay. (With David’s thick Australian accent “Walls” sounds like “whirls” and “highway” sounds like “hot whigs.” There is at least some Australian-to-Canadian translation required during the interview.) After breakfast and a good gab with Jan, David is drawn to the wheel, the VL Whisper, made in Japan, with infinite speeds

The clean-lined flower that graces the surface of many of David’s pieces is a recent addition, “I started making it here” he says. Here is the County; there is Tasmania. “The line work is something I’ve always liked the idea of. It feels like it flows. The flower itself is just an impressionist type of flower that is probably a mixture of a lot of things.” He admits it most resembles the Star of David Cactus – a little more serendipity, perhaps – a desert flower found in Australia and elsewhere. It is an elegant, sophisticated flower; much like the man and very much like his pottery.

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The Chisholm Lumber Story

Article by Lindi Pierce Photography by Daniel Vaughan Chisholm’s Mill, that iconic structure on the Moira River near Roslin, is a favourite destination for painters and photographers. Debra Tate-Sears, who rendered the mill in watercolours in 1986, explains the appeal. “There is something very romantic about old mills as a reminder of our past, and

something very special about one that crosses years and generations to remain relevant in the landscape of the present.� Debra points out the features that draw artists: reflections in the river, old limestone, stained tin, and faded signage, the variety of forms and planes.

For artists, historians, and those who simply enjoy picturesque spots on Sunday drives, this aging building is Chisholm’s. But nothing could be further from the truth. Turns out the old mill (a rebuild after a 1944 fire) is unused, preserved by a family steeped in lumbering tradition but solidly forward-looking. A visit to the site – or to the informative Chisholm Lumber website – reveals a modern,

multi-faceted international business with a very long history, and a local family – six generations of it – at its heart. The year was 1857, the era of lumber barons Booth, Gilmour, and Rathbun. Men, horses, and forests were squandered in desperate and dangerous pursuit of prosperity from the resource considered inexhaustible. Sawmills flourished along the Moira and its tributaries, processing logs floated downstream from northern townships. In that year, William Fraser Chisholm moved his family from Marmora to a log house in Roslin and acquired Shipman’s water-powered flour/grist and sawmill at this location. Lumbering changed over time. Railway flatcars and later logging trucks replaced horses and log drives; the last one took place in 1910. Water power gave way to diesel, then electricity. As much as

Chisholm Lumber knows where it came from, it knows where it’s going. Folks who buy the occasional sheet of plywood or a 2x4 at the local big box store may fail to grasp the uniqueness of Chisholm Lumber. Naturally, Chisholm’s retail store sells those things. A customer who buys a piece of pine at Chisholm’s purchases a board sold by the family who

private wood lot owners. Chisholm’s is a fully integrated forest products operation. All the divisions operate in sync; production can turn on a dime in response to new demands and trends. Production meetings are typically held on the fly; with any planned conferences being squeezed in around 5 a.m., before the day’s busy operations begin at 7.

A guided tour around the 25-acre property begins with a drive through the Chisholm Lumber is primarily a massive retail warehouse, into a riverside hardwood sawmill. Their saws bite into field of neat board and batten buildings white pine, as well as other softwoods and open storage sheds, an old-style hip-red pine, spruce, cedar, hemlock – roofed barn, and piles of weatherproof for local retail and custom building. rough lumber. On the hill above, the They are best known for, locally and story begins in the log yard. globally, hardwood lumber derived Chisholm Lumber holds Sustainable sustainably from their own forests, then Forest Licences, which allow them to manufactured and dried on-site. sustainably harvest timber on their allocations of Crown Lands – mainly in Diversification and integration are the the Bancroft/Mazinaw areas. “We have keys to Chisholm Lumber’s success in to manage this resource for 50, 80, 100 today’s markets. The Chisholm Lumber years into the future, ” explains Peter Group of Companies encompasses the Chisholm. “Our certified forester walks wholesale lumber division, managed by every property and writes a prescription Peter Chisholm, the sawmill division managed by Jordan Chisholm, the retail for the forest – what to take, what to division managed by Patrick Cassidy, leave – to ensure a healthy regenerating the custom home building division, and renewable resource.” Planned managed by Richard Reid, and a division sustainable harvesting ensures mature which provides sustainable forest trees are harvested, younger ones given management services to businesses and room to grow. grew, harvested, and manufactured the lumber.



Chisholm Lumber contracts loggers who, following the company’s prescription, harvest logs and truck them to the yard at the Roslin mill. All the good softwood and hardwood logs are graded and processed on-site. Pulpwood logs are typically sent to paper mills. YouTube videos on the Chisholm Lumber website show grapple trucks

gently unloading double flatbed trailer loads of forest-fresh logs into piles in the yard, and huge front-end loaders trundling forkfuls to a giant rotary grater, the debarker. Once inside the sawmill, the debarked logs are 3D laser scanned then optimized by computer to obtain maximum yields of lumber with minimal waste. A massive automated hydraulic log carriage passes

logs back and forth through the saws, readjusting each log with a casual flip to position them for the most efficient cuts. A professional sawyer controls everything from an electronically sophisticated cab. The saw is not the enormous whirring circular blade of the melodramas (two old ones are displayed about the property, artistically laser-cut with the company logo) but an efficient six-foot double cut high-speed bandmill.

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Lumber off the saw is edged, then trimmed as it makes its way through the mill on different conveyers and chains. As a final step before being packed, a professional grader trained in National Hardwood Lumber Association at a hardwood grading school in Memphis Tennessee, ensures grade standards are kept as high as Chisholm customers’ expectations.

The hardwood and softwood lumber is then trucked to Tweed for kiln drying. Chisholm Lumber’s commitment to sustainable practices is again evident in their kiln drying operation. The computer-controlled facility is run over 95 per cent off the company’s bioenergy heating system. Sawdust and dry shavings from their sawmill and planing mill are burned as fuel for the boilers, heating the kilns, and drying the

lumber, helping to keep oil dependence and energy costs down. Back at Roslin, at the planing mill, dry lumber is again reprocessed and dressed to different profiles. Planer knives set by hand and eye by a seasoned mill operator produce an impressive range of profiles in a variety of sizes, species, and grades – v-joint, shiplap, log and cove siding, board and batten, floorings, and


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mouldings – which eventually make their way to the retail warehouse down the road.

reclaimed or new mantels are displayed along the warehouse office walls. Board and batten and the live sawn effect (boards with untrimmed bark edges), are popular rustic looks at the moment.

There is next to no waste at this modern sawmill; the use of residual wood is a new motivation for the Hardwood lumber represents more industry. Sawdust, once discarded at a than over 80 per cent of what Chisholm cost, can now be transformed into pellet Lumber manufactures. The emphasis is stove fuel. Leftover slabs off the saw on grade – the best quality ash, basswood, are now sent to the chipper; the chips poplar, beech, birch, butternut, cheery, used by paper mills, or as bio-fuel, or hard and soft maple, red and white oak. by landscapers. Bark off the logs can be Kiln dried hardwood lumber is sold used for landscape bark mulch, or cattle through their retail store, but mainly bedding for farmers. “Formerly you paid through their wholesale lumber division to get rid of this stuff – it’s a complete – Chisholm Forest Corp – where it reversal now with customers worldwide is shipped in truckload or container inquiring on availability.” load quantities to markets in Ontario, Quebec, the U.S., and overseas. End Responsiveness to trends is key. Peter users include long-established furniture, points to piles of darkened lumber flooring, and moulding manufacturers, stacked under the tall trees near the cabinet and casket makers. river. These aged, cracked boards are

the weathered top layer from piles of lumber stored outdoors. “It looks reclaimed, looks worn and useless, but it’s one of the most expensive products we sell. Designers, builders or homeowners come from all over Ontario and Quebec and they’ll just take it all in one go.” It will be used for accent walls, headboards, fireplaces, and furniture. Live edge stacks of pine and

Their website and the Internet are helping Chisholm’s extend their reach, both in wholesale and retail. On the wholesale side, customers find them from all over the world. “It helps that we’ve been around so long – it shows customers from other countries we’re a reputable, long standing business.” The Internet also helps find potential offshore markets, dealing with Canadian

trade commissioners to find trustworthy customers in countries worldwide – Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and China to name a few. The retail division of Chisholm Lumber is housed beside their historic mill in Roslin. The gleaming showroom panelled with pine and cedar provides a full range of lumber and building supplies. But the difference: most of the lumber and manufactured wood products are produced by Chisholm’s. Much of the retail business is now done online too. “Customers can find us, see our products, pricing, learn about what we do,” explains Peter. “We’re a niche lumberyard with a diversified product mix. Hobbyists and woodworkers say we have all the stuff they can’t find anywhere else. Our website helps, but retail is also successful because we’re heavy on servicing these products to our customers. Here, the company and person who’s making the customer’s lumber is also the company and person they’re talking to.” The showroom showcases Chisholm’s new line of rustic furniture, crafted by two Chisholm staffers. Unique designs and woods – wormy soft maple dining tables, live edge white pine coffee tables,

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hemlock benches. Furniture grown, harvested, manufactured and marketed by the family business. In a world that values 100-mile diets – 100-mile furniture! Next door, the retail warehouse, a soaring structure with curving roof trusses, offers three tiers of racks of smooth, dry, fragrant lumber in rich colours, the deep grey of hemlock, warm brown of walnut, rust of cedar, bright white pine. Craftspeople like to know where their wood comes from. Artisan Darryl Stutt explains. He appreciates Chisholm’s because of the wide variety of woods available, the dry indoor storage, good prices, and knowledgeable service. Darryl fashions willow, juniper, oak, elm, walnut, and maple into desks, tables, blanket boxes, shelves, urns, cutting and serving boards. “Each wood has its own COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Winter 2016


beauty and practical qualities. Maple, walls and ceilings to wainscoting and for instance, has antibacterial qualities. siding, finished with the company’s own Elm repels water. Butternut is amazingly rustic furniture. light.” And the beauty of wood! Darryl In 2017, Chisholm Lumber celebrates displays a walnut table showing the 160 years in business. How do they do two distinct colours of light sapwood it? Diversification. Integration. Quality. and dark heartwood in a single board. Sustainability. Innovative technology. “Woodgrain is as unique as fingerprints. And family. Peter, Jordan, and Patrick You don’t know what’s in a piece of are cousins. They work as business wood until you begin machining.” He partners, each bringing strengths to describes spalting, random black lines the overall company, but with that like seismograph records, and figured maple, with its deep shimmer like moiré extra connection, that special dynamic fabric. The appeal of wormy wood. The of a family business – shared vision, loyalty, pride. “We want to make the darkening of patina on cherry. family business thrive.” Loyalty extends Yet another division of Chisholm to the workforce, “the backbone of the Lumber, their construction operation, company, the guys getting the product began 10 years ago. Chisholm Lumber out every day.” Many of the 40 employees Design Build has built over 100 homes, have been with Chisholm’s for 20 to 30 with an emphasis on custom building. years. It’s a great value-added business to their The partners grew up in the business. other businesses – from log, to sawmill, to dry kilns, to planing mill, to retail store, “When you’re a kid you pile lumber, do to builder, to home owner – the entire what you’re told, try to learn what’s process controlled by Chisholm Lumber. required.” Now it’s figuring out how Log to living room, keeps quality up and to change and progress forward. Hard costs down: timber framing to flooring, work. Being there. “If you’re not here



every day, paying attention, picking up on trends, changing, you won’t survive”, Peter observes. “That’s what’s kept this going for so many years, we’re always here, working, listening, thinking of ways to make it better – year after year.” Along with a lot of hard work, Peter attributes Chisholm’s longevity to careful planning and mentoring. Chisholm Lumber is a case study in good succession planning; the last of the fifth generation, Doug Chisholm, has moved primarily to an advisor role and is always available with his knowledge, patience, and assistance. When asked, Peter admits he looks ahead to, “hopefully being as supportive to the next generation as he is to us.” As to a seventh generation? Each of the partners has a young family, so it’s possible. A visit to Chisholm Lumber, a chat with the Chisholms, and it seems highly likely. Proud past. Innovative present. Confident future.

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Nicholson and Scotch Bonnet Islands

Where seclusion and isolation reside as neighbours. Article by Sharon Harrison

Its propinquity means one can almost reach out and touch Nicholson Island. Located just offshore, it makes a nearperfect backdrop to capture a stunning crimson sunset. It is one of Prince Edward County’s better known islands, with a rich and flamboyant history known to many locals, and yet it exists in relative obscurity, clouded in mystery with fascinating fables forming part of its illustrious history. Colourful and curious tales of the island, its inhabitants and visitors abound, and while some are accurate in their detail, many more are exaggerated and embellished stories gathering imprecision with the passage of time. Anchored proudly and prominently about one mile off Huyck’s Point in the County’s southwestern corner, Nicholson Island is long and low, grey and magnificent, just as a humpback whale could be imagined, lying motionless as if waiting to rise up at any

Photo courtesy Terry Sprague www.naturestuff.net

moment to expose a giant tail fin. The 167-acre island appears to float in the choppy water, its dark silhouette hugging the horizon. For many years, the island has been referred to by locals as Millionaires’ Island, and for a time during the 1920s when the island was owned by W.G. Lambe, it was known as Lambe’s Island.

Ring-necked pheasants are the bird of choice on Nicholson Island. The attractive bird gets its name from the white ring around its neck. With an iridescent bottle-green head and neck, a large bright-red patch over each eye and a pure-white beak, the beautiful mottled copper and bronze feathering include a very long tail feather. Females, on the other hand, do not boast the distinctive markings of their male counterparts, and are mostly brown in colour and rather ordinary by comparison. While pheasants can fly, they generally don’t and are not especially fond of spending time in trees, instead preferring to live as ground foragers.

The privately-owned island is home to an exclusive hunting club, and its illustrious history (chronicled in Reg Bishop’s Nicholson’s Island, which is the source for much of this information) includes famous visitors such as singer and actor Bing Crosby who came to hunt pheasant in 1965. Many other notables For invited guests, hunting season include actor Mickey Rooney, and begins on September 1 and usually lasts Charlie Conacher, a professional hockey about three months, ending when the player for the Toronto Maple Leafs weather makes it impractical to continue. during the 1930s. Guests from all over The island has also been home to turkeys, Canada include corporate presidents quail, partridge, and ducks, as well as the and CEOs from railway to sugar refining to mining companies. A number of many working dogs used for hunting – County residents, as well as their parents usually Labrador retrievers and English and grandparents, recall working on pointers. Groups of eight to 12 hunters the island over the years, usually in the stay on the island at any one time, with roles of maintenance workers, assisting up to 400 hunters visiting in a single directly with the pheasants and chicks, as season. the general manager, or as dog handlers, Nicholson Island consists of about assisting the gamekeeper, or in the main half woodland and brush and half agricultural land, as well as a short house as cooks and kitchen staff.


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grass airstrip. A variety of crops – corn, buckwheat, and sorghum – were once grown and primarily used as feed for the pheasants, but currently most of the feed for the birds is purchased. Prior to it becoming a game shooting preserve, the island was used as a sheep farm in the summer months. Transportation to and from the island has not always been the easiest of undertakings, especially with the unpredictability of weather, and even with the relatively short distance from the island to shore the crossing can be a treacherous one with wild winds and turbulent waters. Rarely does the stretch of water between the island and the mainland completely freeze over in winter, although it has been reported once or twice, occurring as recently as the early 1980s. Over the years, some of the gamekeepers, along with their pheasants, resided on the opposite shore at Huyck’s Point during the winter season. The alternative meant certain isolation through severe winter weather once ice gathered. Two amphibious vehicles named Duck and Lark have been used for many years to traverse the stretch of water. One vehicle was used for transporting people, and the other

Photo courtesy Terry Sprague



adapted to carry supplies, birds, and heavy equipment. Some guests prefer to arrive via helicopter or airplane. The present owners, officially recorded as the Nicholson Island Club, have owned the island since 1964. Up until the mid-1800s, records show the island was occupied by First Nations and it has had a variety of owners over the last 150 years, and was even expropriated as use as an air firing range in the years spanning the Second World War. In 1862, a home was built on a small portion of the island’s southwestern corner to serve as the lighthouse keeper’s winter residence of neighbouring Scotch Bonnet Island. The keeper’s cottage on Scotch Bonnet was deemed largely inhabitable from November to March. Records dated 1888 indicate two parcels of land were expropriated: one four acres in size, the other 400 by 100 feet. It is

believed these lands were used by the lighthouse keepers to provide firewood for Scotch Bonnet Island and for growing vegetables. Once known as Egg Island, the tiny speck of the delightfully-named Scotch Bonnet Island sits a mile beyond Nicholson Island and about three miles from the County mainland. The island is now a National Wildlife Area, managed by the Canadian Wildlife Service, and in order to protect birdlife, public access to the island is no longer permitted. The island is now an important site for the protection, conservation and research of wildlife and their habitat. According to legend the island received its name from a visiting Scottish sailor who thought the slab of limestone rock resembled a tam o’shanter – a traditional Scottish woollen tartan cap complete with a pom-pom. More official sources indicate because the island forms part of a rise of the glacial Scotch Bonnet

Ridge, this is most likely where its name originated. This remote island contains a oncebeautiful, but now ruinous limestone lighthouse whose light could be seen for up to 20 miles on a clear day. Left neglected for many years, the conical lighthouse built in 1856, and adjoining single-storey modest lighthouse keeper’s home, crumbles a little more with each passing year, adding to the pile of stone rubble forming at its base. The Canadian Coast Guard attempted to pull down the 54-feet tower, but it resisted and was simply left partially destroyed. Its solid stone construction and the tower’s fourand-a-half feet thick stone walls were not easily defeated. Although the tower has lost its top half, its lower portion still stands, with the original circular tower now resembling a horseshoe shape. All that remains of the adjoining keeper’s house is one wall complete with holes for windows.



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It is a sad reminder of another There were 10 lighthouse keepers on heritage structure left to deteriorate, Scotch Bonnet Island over its 60-year and is now likely unsalvageable. Much history. The first was John Giroux in of the structural deterioration has only 1856; the last keeper in May 1912 was occurred within the last 30 to 50 years, Benjamin Y. Cunningham. The longest and it is unfortunate it has not been serving keeper was, by far, Robert Pye given the attention and preservation it in April 1877, who stayed for 18 years. so deserved. In 2015, it was announced In 1912, the lighthouse was automated the Scotch Bonnet Island lighthouse and lighthouse keepers were no longer will be protected under the Heritage required at the site. Lighthouse Protection Act. While The installation of a 63-foot utilitarian it is very unlikely the lighthouse will metal scaffold-type structure took be repaired or restored, it will be place in 1959. Just steps away from maintained in its present state and the lighthouse, the ugly frame replaces hopefully further deterioration will be the once-attractive stone tower of the avoided. original and now decommissioned 50


PUT A SMILE ON YOUR BACKYARD Photo courtesy Graham Clarkson

lighthouse. Even the gathering birds seem to prefer the old structure to the new. With its automated light, it remains active as a navigational aid. Both lighthouses sit on a slightly raised platform in the centre of the island, surrounded by a seawall designed to protect the structures and the island’s original inhabitants from bad weather and rough seas. It is a wonder the low retaining wall, still in place today, could offer much protection from the elements on such a low-lying and exposed slab of rock where in high seas, the island almost disappears beneath the waves.

At just two-and-a-half acres in size, the island is barely an island at all, sitting just seven feet above lake level on a good day. The barren shoal consists of nothing more than slabs of grey-white, flat, shimmering limestone, slightly overlapping in places, and appearing as if placed here in an ordered fashion. Other than the two lighthouse structures, there are no other buildings or roads on the island. Historic photos show some vegetation and a few small trees growing on the tiny isle, but with very little soil and no human inhabitants, there is almost no vegetation today.

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Photo courtesy Terry Sprague Birdlife is surprisingly plentiful with significant populations of nesting water birds, notably the largest colony of herring gulls in Lake Ontario, as well as double-breasted cormorants and other migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, with many more showing up in the spring and fall migrations. From a distance, the dark bodies of the birds against the white rock appear as black dots, as the birds bask in the warmth of the stone, completely undisturbed. It is hard to imagine the solitary existence of a lighthouse keeper (even a seasonal one) on a stormy night in the mid-to late1800s, with its isolation and remoteness offering very little protection from the elements. Many vessels were gobbled up by Lake Ontario during the1800s as schooners, steamers, and barges met their fate,

usually caught off guard when vicious storms blew in. The southwestern corner of the County was one of the most notorious areas for wrecks with the many shoals and reefs in the area, as well as the Scotch Bonnet Ridge, which runs several miles out into the lake, becoming troublesome spots for mariners. It took many decades of discussion, indecision and government bureaucracy before approval was finally given to build a lighthouse in this section of Lake Ontario. Initially, a lighthouse was proposed for Nicholson Island, but when ship after ship sank off the dangerous shoals and ridge off Scotch Bonnet Island, the decision was finally made to place a structure there, although it would take another few years before the lighthouse was finally built and activated.

On August 26, 1841, the large schooner Frontenac ran aground on Nicholson Island. The vessel was badly damaged, but her crew were able to get ashore and were saved. The Christiana, a three-masted schooner carrying pot ash and timber, sank on October 27, 1851 off Scotch Bonnet Island. All 11 sailors on board lost their lives. The Norfolk sank on November 10, 1854 with all hands lost, having been pushed onto the island by gales. The small, two-masted schooner carrying staves had a crew of four. The paddlewheel steamer Ontario was pushed onto Nicholson Island on November 30, 1854 in a severe gale. All lives were saved, along with much of her cargo – 200 tons of sugar. On November 7, 1880, the Zealand, with a cargo of flour and wheat, struck rock west of Nicholson Island during a storm. The captain and all 14 crew were lost. The steam tug, the James A. Walker was driven onto the reef near Nicholson Island in severe gales on October 22, 1898 with all 11 lives saved. Whether a wealthy executive dropping in for a weekend of game hunting, or a herring gull basking on a warm rock in the middle of the nowhere, both Nicholson Island and Scotch Bonnet Island offer two extremes of island living. Rich in sorrowful maritime history and shrouded in mystery, it is where seclusion and isolation come together as neighbours.




Pathways to Independence: Making Lives Better, Together

Article by Jennifer Shea Photography by Daniel Vaughan Adults living with developmental challenges or acquired brain injuries often require support to manage their daily lives and integrate into the community. Pathways to Independence is a local organization committed to enabling individuals with challenges to realize their potential and achieve selfempowerment. Children and youth under the age of 18 with developmental disabilities or acquired brain injuries are supported with community programming provided by several Ontario government-funded agencies. When these young people reach 18 years of age, the number of services available to them declines dramatically. That’s where Pathways steps in.

“We deal with each individual person, trying to put together what they want in their life,” said Chief Executive Officer Lorrie Heffernan, describing how Pathways supports its more than 280 clients. “When we work with this person, it might be they want to volunteer, and they want to swim, and they like to go to church. We put that together. When we talk about it from that level, it’s a lot easier to explain what we do.”

Clients go on a wait list. That, in Ontario, is huge – for both populations.”

“It’s really hard working with families who are so desperate for services,” adds Lorrie. “There are two areas where it’s particularly heart-wrenching. One is where they age out of children’s services and have nothing. Families have to quit their jobs because they don’t have a place for their child to go. The quality of life, their income, everything just changes. Pathways provides community- The other point that’s so sad is when based living support to adults with parents age and they just cannot take developmental challenges, acquired care of their 40- or 50-year old child brain injury, or a combination of anymore and there’s no place for them to developmental disability and mental go. It’s really hard to watch those families health/behavioural challenges (dual struggle.” diagnosis). This could include supportive There are three types of housing options, day, vocational and accommodation programs available recreation programs, psychiatric through Pathways. Group living is counselling and behaviour therapy, court one option, where clients live together and justice-related services, and short- in housing with Pathways support term respite. staff on-site. Another option is semi-

The Pathways headquarters and office for the Hastings, Prince Edward and Quinte region is located on Pinnacle Street in Belleville, but the organization also serves the Ottawa Renfrew region from an office in Ottawa. More than 300 employees work with Pathways clients.

independent living, where clients live in their own apartments and Pathways staff comes and goes based upon needs. The third option is the family home program, where Pathways clients live with a family in the community. The final option is outreach, where clients with As Lorrie notes, “Adult services are not acquired brain injuries live with their mandated by the province of Ontario, own extended family and Pathways staff so if there’s nothing available for you, meets specific needs, like transportation you don’t get anything. When we’re at to community programs or work. capacity, without somebody else moving The family home program is currently on or (without) getting new funding from challenged because many of the the province, things get rather stagnant. family caregivers in the program are at

retirement age or beyond and can no longer accommodate the needs of the Pathways clients living with them. Fewer families are willing to take on the role of family home provider, which creates a large gap in accommodations. Donna Lott and Bill Saunders have been family home providers for Pathways for about nine years. Donna used to work with Pathways as a supervisor with the family home provider program, so she was very familiar with how it worked. She had never planned to become a family home provider herself until she met Eddie Novosad, a Pathways client whose foster father had taken ill and could no longer have Eddie live with him. “I was working with the family to try to find something and it was really important for Ed to remain in the Belleville area because of all of his connections,” says Donna. “I just saw something in Ed and thought there’s great potential there and he could be a lot more independent. I thought we could offer that for him and he would fit into our lifestyle as well. It was a good match.” When Eddie first joined Donna and Bill, they were living in Prince Edward County. The lack of public transit was a big challenge for the family. “Without access to public transit, you’re now required to drive him everywhere,” says Bill. “If you don’t do that, then the lifestyle is you stay home. Staying home usually means video games or television or something like that, not that much interaction with the public or friends, so that was a really big challenge.”


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The family now resides in Belleville, which is much better for Eddie’s independence. “I take the bus to work,” says Eddie proudly. He works three days a week at Pizza Hut, and may be starting a second job soon. In his free time, Eddie enjoys bowling, swimming, YMCA, poker and movie nights, and golfing with his friends. Eddie is also an active volunteer, including packing food boxes for the Community Development Council and helping a vendor at the Belleville Farmer’s Market. “He gets his own volunteer jobs in the community,” says Donna. “You can’t go anywhere without him knowing someone,” adds Bill. When asked what makes him happiest, Eddie quickly replies, “Those two (Donna and Bill) are great to me; great friends at Pathways; great staff at work. Sundays, I go to a show at the mall.” Eddie has even managed to take a few trips to Jamaica and Cuba, through Quinte Vocational Support Services. Says Bill, “With this arrangement (living in a family home), he’s able to save enough that he’s able to take these trips. Financially, those options wouldn’t be available to him if he was living on his own with a fixed income, even with some support from Pathways.” When asked what advice they would give to others considering joining Pathways as family home providers, Bill and Donna suggested anyone who’s interested should go in to Pathways and

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discuss what’s involved. “Maybe just and volunteer or try offering respite – having someone coming and spending time with you – and see how that goes,” says Donna. Bill adds there can be a good fit on multiple levels, especially for emptynesters. “This could almost be an antidote, an extension for those people who just love to raise kids and family and whose children have moved on. I think that could easily be a fit.” Pathways supports family home providers with remuneration, respite services, case worker services, and monthly check-in visits. Another Pathways housing challenge relates to accessing affordable and safe community housing for Pathways clients who are able to live independently. Many of these individuals are just entering the adult system and are seeking options to group living. “Apartments aren’t cheap. It’s really hard to live off an Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) income and afford your own rent,” says Lorrie. “We are always looking for ways to either get into relationships with other landlords for apartment rentals or we have some of our own apartments we are able to rent out at a reasonable rate.” Pathways client Tom Hill has firsthand experience with this situation. He has been with Pathways for 10 years and has lived in several different places in the community, initially relaying on Pathways to help him find a place to live and resources to move in. “They

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www.vanderlaanbuilding.com COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Winter 2016






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helped me find a place and work and money management too,” says Tom. “They do a lot of that; coach me on life situations, so I get a lot of ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’ and they give me some relationship advice too, when I need it.” Tom and his girlfriend are expecting a baby in December, and their current apartment is less than suitable. At $950 per month in rent, and currently relying on the ODSP as he is between jobs, Tom says there’s very little left at the end of each month. “It’s tricky sometimes having barely anything to get by. It’s hard at the end of the month, thinking about all the bills you have to pay and you’re looking through and it’s like ‘which one do I pay this month and which one can wait?’ It gets a little tricky then. After you pay one bill, you only have like maybe 50 bucks left or something like that.” Tom is on the search for more affordable housing, but he’s hoping for a place where the rent is all-inclusive. He is also investigating some job training to obtain a forklift operator license, which he hopes will lead to new employment. “I really do want to work. I have no problems working. I just need the licensing behind what I can do. Once I get that, then I can do a lot more. Being out of work makes you kind of stir crazy.” Although not all the Pathways clients are able to work, if they are interested in employment, Pathways is there to help them. “There are degrees of ability and interest and skill amongst the people we provide services for,” says Lorrie. “At the one end of the spectrum, we have a group of people for whom our goal is competitive employment. It’s usually somewhere around the minimum wage level because of the kinds of jobs they go for. We have job coaches who support them in getting the skills and dealing with any issues they might run into at work. We have staff who try to find jobs for people.” Lorrie continues, “Then there are various degrees of that, right down to volunteering at the food bank. We also have supported employment, so if you can only do a little piece of the job, you can still go and work and get paid. That whole idea of ‘I’m going to work’ is so important.” The Pathways strategic plan uses the slogan, “Making Lives Better, Together.” This makes sense when considering the needs of Pathways clients and the many ways individuals, families, businesses and the community can make lives better by contributing to Pathways. 60


“I just saw something in Ed and thought there’s great potential there and he could be a lot more independent. I thought we could offer that for him and he would fit into our lifestyle as well. It was a good match.”


Mini Menie Article and photography by Lindi Pierce

Mini Menie Menie is a welcoming crossroads once served as the Seymour Township hamlet sheltered by hills and tree Women’s Institute headquarters. At canopy, with a slow stream, rustic one time, Menie was an area cultural concrete bridge, early houses, free centre. The Seymour Literary and range children and dogs – and a Temperance Society was formed in unique community mailbox. The 1887, and the village boasted a brass hamlet (pronounced “mini”) at band. Concession 5, Lot 23, Seymour In 1946, Doris and husband Frank Township, Northumberland County, purchased the Menie store from uncle was named by pioneer mill owners Alex Milne. The store had always been John and Robert Turner after their in the family. Doris remembers babies ancestral home in Aberdeen, Scotland. sleeping on the counter while women Menie’s finely crafted stone house customers had a visit with aunt with its three Gothic gables was built Lizzie. Doris worked as a teacher, but in 1858 for James Mather. At the helped keep the store open from early corner of the property stood his frame- morning, for the farmers bringing built general store. Today, travellers milk to the cheese factory, to late wishing to visit Menie General Store, in the evening, for the euchre and centre of community life for over 100 crokinole players. years, must venture further afield. The store sold groceries, flour,

Doris Potts, an impressive 103 years coal, work clothing, hardware, and old, remembers the general store cattle feed. People came in to catch days. Doris and her sister Florence up on the news, discuss planting are descendants of William Rannie, and harvesting, request or offer (The Scottish Hearts of Fogorig CQL neighbourly assistance. Winter 2013) a blacksmith from Menie General Store closed in 1966. Scotland. Rannie was among the first As it happened, Peterborough County to settle these hills and valleys along was planning an historical village. the Trent River, in the early 1840s. Organizers were looking for a general Trained Scottish stonemasons built store, and Doris and Frank had one the sturdy farmhouses dotting the to donate. Today the building, with hilly countryside, and proud Scots its original cash register, customer established St. Andrews Presbyterian account book, locally built display Church, Burnbrae, in 1836. cases, and recreated post office assist Menie once boasted a cheese costumed interpreters to present a factory and blacksmith shop, both typical early 1900s Ontario general still in use as homes. A pressed-tin store, at Lang Pioneer Village near clad home with a lofty Gothic window Keene, Ontario. COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Winter 2016


at h


me with


’s Alan Gratias

Jane and Arne

Article and photography by Alan Gratias

share a fondness for the eastern part of the County. qualities in a world running amok, qualities Jane and Jane built a house in the Waupoos area 15 years ago Arne have captured in their new house on the ridge and Arne designed a hilltop abode overlooking the below the road. Bay of Quinte not far away. When Arne’s wife died Turning down the steep drive, I am aware of a metal in car accident, Arne and Jane decided to combine artist on the premises. Several striking mobiles turn households and start over. It was a coming together Calder-like in the wind, diverting attention from 40 years after they first met at Jane’s 21st birthday party the dramatic views north and west across Adolphus in Ottawa. Reach. Arne does his hobby welding in an atelier They bought a four-acre waterfront property on he set up beside the coach house. In the welcoming County Road 7, not far from the original Hessian courtyard, it is another sculpture that captures my land grants, and set out to construct their dream attention. The wood pile. Stacked and calibrated by homestead focussed on one-room living. With long colour, shape and size, the wall of wood is a testament views, glorious sunsets, and tucked away privacy, to Teuton precision. Arne is from the port city of ‘MC (Massey-Corsen) Acres’ is a masterpiece of Hamburg, the most prosperous in Germany, and has understated elegance. The principal living area, their not forgotten his roots. The wide bay in front could be one-room living, is 40 feet long and 30 feet wide, the Elbe River leading to the North Sea, and the stack anchored at one end by a huge fireplace and the other of wood enough to get through the scarcity the late by a kitchen so subtle and hidden one wonders where 1940s. Arne emigrated to Canada in 1968, married, the cooking is done. and enjoyed a career in the steel business as the long Invited for drinks and fondue at the new residence, serving president of Formweld Fitting. I decide to make the journey around the eastern Jane had quite a different upbringing. Born into a extremity of North Marysburgh. The horn trip lives famous industrial family (Massey-Ferguson at one in the County, albeit in a new incarnation, more time was the largest manufacturer of farm machinery camera, less beer these days for the journey around in the world), her grandfather Vincent Massey was any of Prince Edward’s craggy peninsulas. The mid- appointed the first Canadian-born Governor-General. October forests throb with colour as County Road 8 There is that famous refrain from B.K. Sandwell, the morphs into 7 on its way back to Picton. This end of one about, ‘Toronto has no social classes, only the the County seems remote and serene, the rarest of Masseys and the masses.’



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me continued...

When his wife passed away before his swearing in, the GG asked Jane’s mother to become the chatelaine at Rideau Hall. Jane, the eldest, and her two sisters moved into Rideau Cottage on the vice-regal estate, the same house where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family moved into while renovations are carried out to 24 Sussex Drive. For seven years, Jane, age four to 11, lived in the grandest fashion in the country, meeting and entertaining dozens of royalty and heads of state. Prince Philip in particular took a shine to the young girls, instructing them on how to use a Brownie box camera. That same decorum and household tradition hold true at the new MC Acres. Everything is spotless, ordered, and polished. 64


Jane puffs the pillows and turns down the bed before dinner as Arne prepares the drinks for cocktail hour. The rituals and disciplines learned at Rideau Hall govern the rhythm of the day. “It provides an anchor and shape to daily living,” Jane explains as she beckons us to the tile- inlaid dining table at one side of the immense room. Dressed in a long black sweater over jeans, she is petite and chic. The kaleidoscope of the sunset streams in colours between colours through the wall of windows opposite.

cheese is placed on a heating element on the table, our glasses charged with a fine Sauvignon Blanc. “To the independent Duchy of North Marysburgh,” Arne jokes. Dressed in a white turtleneck over black trousers, he is a large man with a jovial demeanour. In marvelling at the surrounding art, from bold abstracts to landscapes and portraits, several from the famous Massey Canadiana collection, I notice the outline of a missing painting to the left of the fireplace.

“An Augustus John,” Jane explains. “This is it,” I think to myself. “The majesty “Dispatched to Sotheby’s in London.” of one-room living.” Everything is here, A cucumber salad is served in a lowthe serenity, the comfort, the sightlines. A celadon fondue crock bubbling with Gruyère rimmed porcelain bowl, a wedding gift from



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John Diefenbaker, followed by a dish of sorbet. We move to the seating in front of the fire. Arne brings out a rare bottle of German Himbeergeist, a Black Forest raspberry eau de vie.

*Sales Representative | Trademarks owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association. Used under licence.

“What about the flag for our new Duchy,” I enquire to keep the narrative rolling. “Blue for water, orange for welcome, and red for Canada,” Arne suggests. “In the middle, the white rabbit of Waupoos,” Jane insists. On the way out I have a final question. What formula for a successful home life would they like to share? “The Massey family motto, Dum Terar Prosim,” Jane says. “Nose to the grindstone.” “Keep stacking wood,” Arne adds.


S a i ta rg ’s G r av i ta s Q u o t i e n T Gravitas Quotient is a measure of o n e ’s r e s e r v e s o f i n n e r w i s d o m .

Margaret Swaine answers 18 Gravitas questions with Alan Gratias

How do we get to the authentic self? Simply accept yourself and be yourself in all situations. What is your favourite recipe for unhappiness? Self absorption. People who are self centred can never be at peace. It’s best to embrace the world, not just yourself. If you were in charge of the world for one day, what would you change? I’d give everyone either the same religion or no religion at all. Religion has been the motivation behind far too much genocide. How do you gain a new soul? By living this life well.

Name one universal rule of friendship. Empathy always. What are you going to do about growing old? Celebrate! Think of the alternative.

If you had your own country, what is the first law you would enact? The natural food act. I’d want a country that allowed only organically grown produce. All animals raised with love, free range, and hormone free. Raw milk and raw milk cheeses in abundance. That’s my utopia.

If you knew the truth, how would you reveal it? Immediately but then no one would listen. If you were going to launch a new prohibition, what would you outlaw? All prohibitions. Live and let live. If you were to ask for divine intervention, what would it be for? Replace corporate greed with true social responsibility. A focus on the bottom line and big salaries takes the whole world down a dark path. What are you fatally attracted to? Scruffies. Animals and people who need loving. Give me a lame squirrel with mange and my heart melts. Give one example of life’s absurdities? Airport “security” obsessed with nabbing people’s water bottles, shampoo, and cosmetics. Why do we sometimes crave chaos? It can be exciting not knowing what’s coming next and fosters creativity. How do you stay clear of the rocks and shoals? I don’t. When I am dashed against the rocks I check the damage, repair it best I can, and continue on. When they say follow the fear, what fear are you following? I don’t believe fear is a good state of being. We need to be courageous to improve life not just for ourselves but for others. Fear has no place in my soul. Why should we hang onto our illusions? If the truth is too hard to bear, illusions are a good sanctuary. What do you wish you understood about the workings of the universe? Where we are going and why? Is it random or predetermined?

Photo Margaret Swaine

What makes your heart stand still? Opera when the music and the singing soars.

By Alan Gratias

Discover your Gravitas Quotient at www.gravitasthegame.com

About Margaret Margaret Swaine has been writing about the County for years. She has praised the wineries and the bounty of the fields in her many columns. She says that despite all the new developments, a stay in the County still feels like time travel. Many people tell Margaret that they’d like her job or at least to carry her suitcase. She’s been travelling practically non-stop all her life and has amassed a kaleidoscope of memories from the 117 countries she has visited. After getting her degree in Journalism at Carleton University, she worked in Ottawa on the political staff of Federal Cabinet Minister Marc Lalonde. Her next job as Director of Information Services for the World Trade Centre Toronto brought her to Toronto.

A few years later she became the wine columnist for both Toronto Life and Chatelaine magazines. She is the author of the first three annual Toronto Life Wine, Beer and Spirits Guides and the host for many years of The Toronto Life Wine Experience dinners. When the National Post launched in 1998, she was a feature writer and then their wine columnist, followed by a fouryear gig as the travel columnist writing Forks & the Road. Margaret founded both the Wine Writers Circle of Canada and The Travel Media Association of Canada. She is the recipient of the 2003 Life Achievement Award of the Ontario Imported Wine-Spirit-Beer Association. When I asked her what is it about wine that is so intoxicating, she was quick to answer. “It can be complex or sensual, but it is always fun.”




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